The best hardside luggage you can buy in 2024

Best hardside luggage

Suitcases come in all weights and sizes, but there are really only two types: softside and hardside luggage.

Whether it’s a massive suitcase designed for the plane’s hold or lightweight carry-on luggage, you can get yourself either soft or hard luggage.

Hardside luggage has far more benefits than soft side luggage, which we’ll take a look at below.

But what’s the best hard-side luggage to pick up? What exactly should you be looking for? Picking the best suitcase or the best travel bag can be confusing, and there are a lot of factors and choices to consider.

So, let’s take a look now at the very best hardside luggage around, and what’s so good about them!

Read next: 23 best bags for travel

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The Rundown: 13 best hardside suitcases

Benefits of hard side luggage

The one downside to hard side luggage has pretty much vanished now. It used to be that it was much heavier than soft side luggage, but that’s not the case anymore (no pun intended).

The best hard-side luggage is just as light as soft-side luggage and has far more benefits. Hardside luggage is the best suitcase for sturdiness and safety.

If you’re carrying valuables, fragile souvenirs, or electronics and you’ve seen how baggage handlers, well, handle the luggage, you’ll be thankful to have the best hard-shell luggage to keep everything inside safe and well-protected.

How to choose the best hardside luggage

There are a few things you must consider before buying your suitcase. Like, how many pockets and compartments should it have, is weight important for you, do you want a set and what material do you prefer?


This can differ from suitcase to suitcase but hardside luggage doesn’t have any external zips and pockets.

Inside, it will often have a mesh pocket to help separate your items out – like clothes and toiletries. You’ll also usually find straps to help keep clothes from getting messy and to keep valuables safely strapped in place.

But you might also want to consider investing in some packing cubes if you want to micromanage your luggage even further.


As I mentioned, weight used to be a real issue with hard side luggage, but nowadays the best hardside luggage is just as light as softside luggage.

Softside is still the lightest luggage, but not by much. You can easily find lightweight carry-on luggage that uses a hard shell.

The best lightweight luggage uses strong but light materials to ensure the complete safety of your things when in transit.

Set or a single?

This is your call; it depends on how much you typically like to pack. If you’re flying and you’re checking your baggage in, you’ll want to have a set of good check-in baggage and the best carry-on suitcase.

Buying a set is usually cheaper than buying two bags individually. If you know you’ll need two bags, buy yourself a set.

The best luggage sets are usually not too expensive, and you’ll find that they come in fun matching colors and styles.


Hardshell luggage can be made from various materials, from lightweight but sturdy plastic to thin and light metals and polycarbonates.

The more you’re willing to pay, the better the materials will be. And the better the material, the more durable your luggage will be.

Durability means safer items and long-lasting luggage. Polycarbonate is the best material for both lightweight and durability.

You’ll find that the best luggage brands, like Samsonite, use polycarbonate in their lightweight luggage. Read on to find the best hard-side luggage for you!

Best hardside luggage

These are the 13 best hardside suitcases you can get. Let’s dive in!

Hardside suitcases

Best overall: Kenneth Cole

This luggage is for check-in and is one of the best lightweight suitcases on the market. You can fill up almost your entire weight allowance with your personal effects and not worry about the weight of this tough and durable suitcase. It’s also a chic rose gold color.

Hardside suitcases

Most lightweight: Samsonite Winfield 2

For the very lightest luggage, this is the check-in suitcase you want. This Samsonite luggage is made from polycarbonate and is as durable as it is light. It’s the lightest luggage around and getting this means you’re not sacrificing sturdiness or security. As lightweight suitcases go, this gets top billing.

Hardside suitcases

Best style: Aimee Kestenberg

Hard case luggage can often be seen as boring or dull, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want style, here’s style! This awesome hard case luggage has a chic and dynamic aesthetic in a stunning rose gold color. It’s stylish without being gaudy; I love it.

Hardside suitcases

Best budget: Amazon basics

If you’re looking for the best hard-shell luggage that’s also the best carry-on suitcase and is also affordable, this is it! A lightweight, cheap, reliable, small, and strong hand luggage suitcase that has no downsides. Affordability without being unreliable.

Hardside suitcases

Best splurge: Delsey

On the other end of the scale, this is a gorgeous suitcase with a high price tag. This suitcase is stylish and very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. It’s fashionable, lightweight, safe, theft-proof, and built to last.

Hardside suitcases

Most durable: Samsonite Omni Expendable

This excellent polycarbonate suitcase is the one that will best stand the test of time. You won’t ever find this suitcase looking battered or old; it’s scratch-resistant and looks like it could handle a mid-sized explosion. You don’t really expect anything less from Samsonite luggage.

Hardside suitcases

Best for business: Level 8

This multipurpose luggage is an all-in-one.  It’s one of the best travel bags I know, and perfect for the businesswoman or man on the go. With separate pockets to store and protect your laptop and other electronics, as well as compartments for different clothes, both formal and informal, it’s a dream of a suitcase.

Hardside suitcases

Best theme: American tourister

As I’ve mentioned, hard shell luggage can be guilty of being quite boring, aesthetically. But not this one. This is great for any Star Wars fan who scoffs in the face of boredom. With four suitcases to choose from: R2-Ds, Stormtrooper, BB8, and Darth Vader, your luggage will never look drab again.

Hardside suitcases

Best carry-on: Delsey Paris

Another fashionable that is the perfect carry-on luggage. This striking and chic carry-on hard-shell suitcase is lightweight and perfectly sized for the overhead bin. It’s an ideal weight, size, and sturdiness, and does everything a solid hand luggage should do!

Hardside suitcases

Most stylish carry-on: Rockland Melbourne

This is a chic and stylish carry-on that’s unmatched in its subtly cool design. But the best thing about it is that you can choose from not only a myriad of colors but also color combos, with some color options being half-and-half split horizontally or vertically. The sheer variety here makes it one of the most fun luggage choices on the market.

Hardside suitcases

Most vibrant: Viaggi

This is hands-down one of the most colorful suitcase designs I’ve ever seen. Striking in the best possible sense of the word; I love it. A pop animal print that’s made up of a variety of vibrant colors and blends print patterns from zebra, leopard, and some kind of tropical bird that’s all kinds of eye-catching.

Hardside suitcases

Best set: Coolife

This is the best luggage set, not just for its universal sturdiness, lightweight, and ergonomic design, but also for its price. It’s a perfectly priced set of luggage that you won’t beat anywhere else.

Hardside suitcases

Best vintage: CO-Z

I don’t know about you, but I love vintage bags. Leather camera bags, messenger bags, and these old-fashioned English suitcases. You can imagine yourself running along a train platform with this as the steam train whistle blows. All aboard!

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The best hardside luggage should be spacious, durable and practical. I've handpicked the best suitcases from brands like Samsonite, Delsey, and more in this ultimate guide. Find the best one for you here. #suitcase #hardsideluggage

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  1. Hey Miriam,
    Hope you’re doing well and safe. First of all, your content is pretty engaging for readers. As we know, there are so many best qualities available on the market but I’ve some suggestions for “Kenneth Cole Luggage” buyers. if we take a look at the other luggage brands then they are giving us better features. How? let me clear, what I don’t like in “Kenneth Cole Luggage”?.
    The first thing is, they are pretty expensive and having no TSA Locks. WHAT I like so much? they are good for domestic travels/trips. If you are looking for lightweight luggage then it will be a better choice for you. On other hand, if you want premium build quality then “SAMSONITE Luggage” is here with TSA Locks. They have maximum packing capacity and suitable for international travels.
    Finally, I would say, Thanks for this amazing content. Stay Safe & Stay Healthy!

    1. Hi Hamid, thanks for your input.

      Luggage is a personal choice, and what is preferable to some might not be for others. Some value lightweight over style, while others would choose premium quality over weight. That’s why I’m presenting a variety of choices. I’m glad you offered you two cents, too.

  2. There are many other “downsides” to hardside luggage that you did not mention. First and foremost, the clamshell design. You must open it up fully to twice its closed width. You can not place a medium or large hardside suitecase on a suitcase stand, footstool or chair in a hotel room and open it. This also causes some degree of difficulty in opening and closing them when full. Second, most all of them do not have a handle on the bottom. Very useful when lifting them to lay them flat, especially when loading them into a vehicle trunk or rear of a van/suv. Also, the two handles they have are not in the middle of the top or side, making it awkward to carry. Finally, you did mention the fact that they do not have outside compartments but did not mention this as a drawback.

    1. I don’t agree.

      I place my hardside suitcase on chairs and stands all the time without trouble. Also, when carrying a suitcase, you’ll carry it at the top, not the middle. At least that’s what I do. It all comes down to personal preference. There are pros and cons to both types of suitcases.

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