The Best Affordable Luggage to Help You Travel for Cheap
Traveling is expensive, so why spend your budget on the bags to get you there? Save some dough with these affordable luggage options.
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Quality luggage for less
A quality piece of luggage is an investment that can travel the friendly skies with you for decades, so if your budget permits, consider splurging on one of the best luggage brands. However, if you don’t want to shell out a ton of dough, you can still find first class-approved cheap luggage options.
Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at truetrae.com, suggests looking for markers of quality, no matter the price: “I look for durability, a warranty and convenient features, like built-in compartments and expandability,” she says. She also advises paying attention to the weight of a suitcase, especially when buying hard shell luggage, as that will affect how much you can pack without exceeding airline weight restrictions.
In this list, we define “affordable” luggage as costing less than $200. However, keep in mind that many bags above that price point, including those from Monos, Away and July, will have features and qualities to make the investment worth it. Think: multiple compartments for organization, upgraded materials and higher-quality handles and wheels, smart bags with charging capabilities, etc.
Where to find affordable luggage
One way to score a brag-worthy deal on everything from carry-on bags to underseat luggage to checked options is to shop over three-day weekends or sales holidays, like Amazon Prime Day, Target’s Deal Days sale or Black Friday/Cyber Monday. There’s nothing like the high you get from scoring on a piece you’ve had your eye on during a sale, is there?
If you need your luggage now, we’ve done the research for you, scouring the internet for the best quality luggage that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We found the top options based on reviews, features, expert advice, and of course, affordability.
- Best underseat luggage: Samsonite Underseat Spinner
- Best hardside carry-on: Olympia Apache Carry-On Spinner
- Best softside carry-on: Travelpro Maxlite 5
- Best hardside checked bag: Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner
- Best hardside luggage set: Showkoo 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set
- Best softside luggage set: Rockland Softside 2-Piece
- Best luggage set for kids: Travelers Club 5-Piece Luggage Set
Best underseat luggage
Samsonite Underseat Spinner with USB Port
Overhead compartments can fill up fast on major and budget airlines. Whether you like to travel light or simply prefer keeping your suitcase underneath the seat in front of you, this Samsonite underseat bag is a total travel game-changer. Equipped with a USB port so you can charge your gadgets while on the go, the small but spacious bag on spinner wheels boasts a padded laptop sleeve, thoughtful pocket spaces and compartments. The main section offers enough space for about two days’ worth of clothes. “Great underseat spinner! It’s roomy and big enough. It looks durable and gorgeous,” writes one five-star Amazon reviewer. We love this Samsonite pick so much, we put it on our list of best underseat luggage.
- Small enough to fit underneath an airplane seat
- Roomy with lots of organizational offerings
- Built-in USB port for on-plane charging
- Battery pack for USB port sold separately
Best hardside carry-on
Olympia Apache Carry-On Spinner
Olympia’s carry-on is under $200 and boasts features found in suitcases double the price. Equipped with four smooth spinner wheels and an easy-to-use aluminum telescopic handle, this carry-on bag makes hustling to catch that flight a breeze. In terms of packing space, not only does it have various compartments for organization (including a secret one to hide valuables!), but if you come home with more stuff than you left with, it expands to add 20% more space. Reviewers attest that it can hold a surprising amount of clothes, shoes and gear, making it a solid pick for overseas travel. Hopefully your airline isn’t one that started charging for carry-on luggage.
- Carry-on size approved by most airlines
- Spinner wheels for easy maneuvering
- Hidden compartment
- Sleek, modern design available in different color accents
- Expands for 20% more packing space
- Extension handle may be a little wobbly
- While a great value, it isn’t as durable as other models
Best softside carry-on
Travelpro Maxlite 5
Travelpro makes some of the most highly rated luggage on the market, and this softside carry-on is no exception. Available in a bunch of fun color options, the lightweight, expandable suitcase is beloved by users for being reliable, convenient and easy on the eyes. It offers both a telescopic handle and carry handle, inline skate wheels and interior and exterior pockets.
“I pulled my bag across airports, roads, crosswalks and the uneven sidewalks in NYC. No issues and the bag remains stable and upright when being pulled,” writes verified purchaser Duke Jackson, who gave it a perfect five-star rating. The Travelpro Maxlite also comes in a larger carry-on and checked bag size, though the latter will run you more than $200.
- Softside design is lightweight and expandable, but still fits carry-on size restrictions
- Ergonomic handle and water- and stain-resistant coating
- Available in a range of colors and sizes
- Limited lifetime coverage and trusted companion promise
- Only has two wheels
- Softside bags may show dirt more than hardshell luggage
Best hardside checked bag
Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner
With a scratch-resistant hardside shell, this 30-inch checked bag from Amazon Basics is durable and affordable. The zippered bag expands up to 15% when you need extra space, and comes equipped with an organizing divider with pockets. It also offers four spinner wheels and both a telescopic and short handle for convenience. You have your choice of two checked bag sizes and one carry-on size, as well as four colors. “It rolls with complete ease!” writes flight attendant Allison B., giving it a five-star rating. “It’s sturdy too.” This affordable bag from Amazon also comes in two- and three-piece luggage sets.
- Hardshell exterior made with extra-thick acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material
- Complete with a scratch-resistant finish
- Very affordable
- Available in individual pieces or two- or three-piece sets
- Four color options
- Handle may wobble when fully extended
Best hardside luggage set
Showkoo 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set
Amazon reviewers love this three-for-the-price-of-one cheap luggage set from Showkoo, which has almost 14,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars. It comes with three suitcases, including a smaller carry-on, medium checked and large checked suitcases, each made of polycarbonate for durability. These pieces offer organizational compartments and straps to hold clothes in place. Other noteworthy features include TSA-approved locks and multidirectional wheels.
“I am very pessimistic about lower priced items and feel like you get what you pay for,” confesses reviewer Robert Montanez. “With two hotel changes and two flights to get home, this luggage had plenty of time to disappoint. After five to 10 miles of walking, 15 to 20 escalators, and four flights they have already exceeded my expectations.”
- Three carry-on and checked pieces for the price of one
- Impact-resistant polycarbonate construction
- Available in 25 vibrant color options
- Sensitive zippers
Best softside luggage set
Rockland Softside 2-Piece Luggage Set
This Rockland set, which includes an expandable carry-on and a matching tote bag, was made for the traveler who wants to avoid checking their luggage. The softside suitcase features a retractable handle, in-line skate wheels, back zippered pockets and top and side grip handles. Amazon reviewers maintain that it holds a surprising amount of clothes and navigates well around the airport.
- Compact size suitable for carry-on and underseat luggage
- Extremely wallet-friendly and lightweight
- Available an impressive 38 colors and patterns
- Affordable, but will wear out quicker than other options
Best luggage set for kids
Travelers Club 5-Piece Luggage Set
This adorable luggage set from Travelers Club includes everything a kid needs for their next trip. That includes a hardside carry-on suitcase, backpack, lunch bag, neck pillow and luggage tag, all in a matching pattern of their choice. Amazon reviewers rave that the set is a quality deal for the price. “The outer shell is nice and sturdy, the zippers glide easily,” writes buyer Elewis, who adds that she’s “obsessed” with the overall quality.
- Five-piece set covers all your child’s traveling needs
- Patterns available for boys and girls
- Light enough for children to carry
- Very affordable
- Suitcase may not be big enough for long trips
Source: Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at truetrae.com
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