The Best Guide to Checked Luggage for International Travel

These days, traveling by plane is more popular than ever which is why you need the right checked luggage to take with on your journeys. What many people don’t realize is that there is a lot more to checked luggage than you can imagine. From type to size and material, this is a large subject matter.

This is why you need to be aware of all that there is to know about this type of baggage and we endeavor to help you. If you want to find the perfect piece(s) of luggage for you, you have come to the right place. Read on and be enlightened about what type of luggage is a good fit for your travels.

Choosing Checked Luggage the Right Way

Buying checked luggage for the first time can actually be a daunting thing. This is because you finally realize just how many options are available to you. While all of this variety is a good thing, it can also end up confusing you quite a bit. Considering that checked luggage isn’t cheap, we’ve come up with a few guidelines that will make it a bit easier to make the best possible choice.

The Types of Checked Luggage

There are several types of checked luggage to choose from, depending on what type of journey you are taking:

Duffel/Travel Duffel Bags

Duffel bags are essentially rectangular or barreled shaped pieces of luggage that have two straps that allow you to carry it parallel to the ground. The other version of this type of bag is the travel duffel bag. The only difference here is that the travel option comes with a wheel and handle system to make it easier to take around with you.

The main benefit with duffel bags is that they are lightweight and great if you want to cut down on checked luggage fees. At the same time, there are space and size limitations which means that there is only so much that you can carry in these bags.


These are the most common types of airline luggage that you see and are often accompanied by wheels and handles. These bags are available in numerous different sizes so you are sure to find one that fits the duration of your trip. The advantage of suitcases is that you can pack a lot more in here and they often have compartments to aid with organization.

Hard Shell and Soft Shell Cases

If you want to buy suitcases, you will need to determine if you want a suitcase that has a hard shell or a soft shell. Soft shells tend to be the most popular and are often made from thick fabric. They allow you to store numerous items in there as they often can expand quite easily.

Hard shells, on the other hand, are typically made from tough plastic. The purpose of these cases is to be able to withstand wear and tear and to protect the items inside the bag. Surprisingly enough, they can also be quite light. They don’t, however, accommodate too many items all that well.

Travel Packs

These are the bags that you typically see tourists with. While they are basically backpacks, these are quite a bit larger and can’t be taken as carry-on luggage. These packs are useful because they are lightweight, can contain a lot, and can be easily carried on your back. They also tend to be quite weatherproof and so are great if you are going exploring.

Dimensions and Capacity of Checked Luggage

Checked luggage is essentially a piece of baggage that is too large to be considered carry-on luggage. Basically, any bag that has a length greater than 22 inches is often considered large enough to be checked luggage. This, however, is not all that you need to keep in mind when considering the various sizes available for checked luggage.

First and foremost, beware of luggage that claims to be ‘official airline luggage size’. This is misleading because each airline sets its own rules about what sized baggage is acceptable. So, it isn’t a case of one-size-fits-all. Despite this, there is a rule of thumb that you can follow. In most cases, if your bag is greater than 62 linear inches (length + weight + height) it will automatically be considered as oversized luggage. This means that you may have to pay additional fees to be allowed to check the bag in.

Usually, a bag that is between 23 and 24 inches long can be considered to be of medium size while a bag that is around 25 to 27 inches is labeled as large. If the piece of luggage measures between 28 and 32 inches, it can be considered cargo.

Capacity of Luggage

Most checked luggage has a volume of at least 50 liters although this can easily go up to 120 or more liters. Here is a rough idea of how much you may need, depending on the length of your trip:

  • 50 – 60 liters: this is a good option for a weekend trip as it should be able to carry all of the clothes that you may need. There may not be much room for else, though.
  • 60 – 80 liters: a bag of this size will work for a trip that is between a week or two long, depending on what you are taking and how you are packing.
  • 85+ liters: pieces of luggage that can contain more than this is usually a good choice if you are going on an extended trip and want to take as much as possible with you.

Of course, these are just basic guidelines. In the end, it is all about the kind of items you are taking, how much you need, and even where you are going.

Luggage Sets

If you want to buy suitcases, you will actually find that you have the option to buy them as sets. This means that you can get four or more bags of varying sizes. This can prove to be useful for those that travel quite often for various reasons. This way, you will always have a bag that is precisely the size that you need.

Organization Features

When traveling, it is good to have all of your items neatly and separately stored so that you are able to easily locate everything that you need quickly. This is why it is important to check the organization features on the checked luggage that you wish to buy.

With duffel bags, there aren’t too many internal organization options although you may find some small compartments and pockets. You should, however, be able to find one or more external compartments where you can keep items that you want readily available.

Soft shell suitcases tend to have quite a bit of organization features including large internal pockets, mesh compartments, and various pockets, and even external pockets. So, if you are looking to separate as many items as possible, this type of luggage will serve you well.

Hard shell suitcases do have a few pockets, straps, and perhaps even dividers in the internal storage compartment. So, it does allow you to organize your items. At the same time, there aren’t any pockets on the outside of the suitcase.

The one thing that you should keep in mind about external pockets is that there is usually no way to secure them. Due to this, you should avoid putting anything that is valuable in these pockets as it will not be very difficult to steal.

Security Features

You need your checked luggage to be incredibly secure as you will not be able to lay eyes on your bags for extended periods of time. This leaves thieves with plenty of opportunities to break into your bag and steal anything they can find in there.

If you are really concerned about security, then a hard shell suitcase is probably a better option than all others as these can be quite difficult to break through. Of course, duffel bags, soft shell cases, and even travel packs made of thick and tough fabric could also be similarly burglary-proof.

Without a doubt, though, the zipper on your checked luggage is the weakest point on your suitcase. This is why you need to consider the strongest possible option. There are two styles for you to choose from – the chain zipper and the coil zipper.

The coil zipper is simply two coils lying parallel to each other that can be zipped up. The chain zipper, however, consists of interlocking teeth. On average, chain zippers tend to be stronger and more difficult to break apart. On this note, they will probably last longer as well.

The Appearance of Your Checked Luggage

Since there is a greater demand for checked luggage than ever, there are also a lot of stylistic options as well. You can find bags and suitcases in all kinds of prints and colors. The reason that aesthetics can play a role in your luggage choice doesn’t actually have anything to do with a fashion statement. Rather, choosing a bag that is either brightly colored or easily distinguishable can make it easier to find on the carousel at baggage pick-up. There will be no chance of you missing it then.

Additional Features

There are a few other things that you may want to think about when choosing your checked luggage:

With duffel bags and travel packs, and even some suitcases, you can find the option of compression straps. These are straps that are on the outside of the bag and can help to compress the luggage so that it prevents the items from moving inside. It can also help to make your bag look smaller so that you can check it in without incurring additional fees.

Another thing that you may want to consider is an expanding feature. This helps to increase the internal capacity of the suitcase so that you can pack more things in. this can be a good feature to have when you are going on vacation, for instance, and want to bring souvenirs back.

Now you are aware of the right way to choose checked luggage so that you can avoid many of the common mistakes made.

Top 10 Best Checked Luggage

1 – Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36

Eagle Creek Unisex Exploration Series ORV Trunk 36
  • Eagle Creek sends you packing with the Exploration Series ORV Trunk 36.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36:

Reviewers like these things about the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36

  • Some users find the straps on the bottom and the top portion of the bag useful in providing additional insurance in case there are any zipper failures of the main compartment.
  • Robust shell construction, lot’s of storage and good ergonomics were cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • One user exclaimed that everything about the bag is amazing.
  • Many users find the presence of handles all over the sides of the bag very useful in picking it up from any angle.
  • Others find the expandable pocket amazing.
  • Some users thought the rigid frame is easier to maneuver and holds its shape even when it is only partially full.
  • Some reviewers who’ve used Eagle Creek for a while said it tends to hold up well in the rough & tumble of airport baggage handling.
  • One user thought it’s a pretty powerful bag and could contain a great number of their compression cubes.
  • Many reviewers agree it looks amazing,comes with premium construction and worth every penny.
  • A lot of users thought it’s the perfect size to carry all their work and personal gear.
  • One user said it’s built to last for someone who travels a lot.
  • Others thought the luggage has some good amount of organization.
  • Frequent travelers commend the bag for how it made their trip very comfortable.
  • Many reviewers noted how easy it is to pack and travel with.
  • Other users chose the bag for its sturdy fabric, strong seams, durability and color.
  • Other reviewers praised its well-balanced wheels.
  • Many users enjoy the multiple grab handles on the exterior of the bag, as they provide options on how they want to carry the bag.
  • Some liked how they can lock the main compartment to a grommet at the top center of the bag, for additional security.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user thought it’s a wonderful high class bag but not tough enough for Singapore Airlines.
  • Some reviewers thought that some of the zippers seemed to be prone to misalignments.

2 – Brics Life 32

Bric's Luggage Life 32 Inch Ultra Light Spinner
  • Imported, polyester lining
  • Designed with a large exterior pocket, an open interior with a large zippered pocket, and includes a hanging luggage tag and TSA combination lock.
  • Ultralight multi-step aluminium pull-handle system W ergonomic comfort-grip handle and Japanese engineered, 360 degree spinning wheels.
  • Details/trim are made of full-grain, bovine, vegetable-tanned, drum-dyed Tuscan leather.
  • 21x14x32

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Brics Life 32:

Reviewers like these things about the Brics Life 32

  • Most reviewers said that this piece is really well made, durable and sturdy without being too stiff.
  • Many users said that it is the perfect size for a weekend trip.
  • Users also said that they love the soft feel of the bag.
  • Some users said that it comfortably accommodates everything required for a weekend away. Strong zipper compartments and outer zip.
  • They said that it’s great quality and should last for years.
  • Some other users said that it is dirt resistant and easy to wipe clean.
  • Some other users mentioned that it has a reasonable weight without the contents.
  • Most users mentioned that the wide opening allows generous packing space.
  • Most buyers said that it has nice quality, style and easy to use.
  • Buyers also said that it is very classy and functional and perfect hand luggage size.
  • They also said that with carry handles and a thick comfortable shoulder strap it is easily portable.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the strap broke off and stitching ripped on first use.
  • Another user complained that it is oo big and floppy.

3 – Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 WT 30

Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 WT 30 Dual-Caster, Black, One Size
  • Ballistic nylon exterior
  • Dual-caster spinner wheels
  • Multi-stage telescoping handle
  • U-Shaped front pocket
  • Intelligent Pack More System: Pack More Divider, Compression Straps, Removable Suiter, Zippered Expansion, Attach-a-Bag Strap

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 WT 30:

Reviewers like these things about the Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 WT 30

  • Users said that there is a surprising amount of room inside.
  • Many users said that its right at the limit of domestic carry on.
  • Most reviewers said that it looks good, sturdy, and the perfect size for up to a week of travel.
  • Reviewers also said that it has great quality and capacity for international carry on.
  • They said that this bag is everything they want and need.
  • Several users mentioned that the insert divider thing for separating the suitcase into two sections is well designed and well made.
  • They also mentioned that this is a really nice case.
  • Other reviewers said that it is roomy and astonishingly light.
  • Some users also said that hanging a backpack with the detachable strap worked.
  • Most buyers said that it is incredibly well thought out.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users said that the stitching on these zippers will break, particularly at corners.
  • Some other users said that the carry on handle became loose after a few uses.

4 – Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28

Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade Collection 28" Expandable Spinner Upright - White
  • Expansion zipper on main compartment for extra carrying capacity
  • Main compartment features garment restraints and zipped pockets
  • Lid includes zipped mesh pockets
  • Durable bottom grab handle, top and side handles
  • Measures 20' wide, 27.5' tall, 12.5-14' deep

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28:

Reviewers like these things about the Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28

  • Most users said that it rolls in any direction.
  • Reviewers said that the interior is well organized with a separator.
  • Many other reviewers said that they can easily pack a week into this bag with room to spare.
  • Users said that it is lightweight and has sturdy sides and wheels,.
  • Many other users said that its expansion feature is well designed.
  • Some reviewers said that even when expanded, the suitcase remains stable.
  • They said that the pack is durable and practical.
  • Most travelers mentioned that easy to maneuver.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the plastic just broke.
  • Another user complained that the grab the handle to lift bag broke early.

5 – Travelpro Maxlite 4 25

Travelpro Maxlite 4 25" Expandable Spinner, Black
  • 360-degree spinners roll effortlessly in any direction you want to move. Low-profile top and side carry handles along with bottom handle cup
  • Telescoping handle adds length and strength, stops at 38 inch and extra-tall 42.5 inch, Case Dimensions: 25x18x11Inch
  • Patented contour grip for more comfort and Honeycomb frame system for lightweight durability
  • Limited lifetime warranty and Ergonomic top-strength durable zipper pulls. Volume -92 Liter
  • Weight : 7.8lbs; Exterior dimension: 27 inches x 18.5 inches x 11.5inches

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Travelpro Maxlite 4 25:

Reviewers like these things about the Travelpro Maxlite 4 25

  • According to constant users, the Travelpro Maxlite is fully functional.
  • They indicated that its telescoping handle adds length and strength.
  • Other users found that it has a zippered closure to keep gears and other things secured.
  • Reviewers found that its ball-bearing in-line wheels offer high performance.
  • They further explained that the bag has fully line interior.
  • Testers mentioned the presence of low-profile top and side carry handles along with bottom handle cup.
  • Reviewers said that it has protective crash-guard wheel housing to protect the wheels from being damaged.
  • Other reviewers pointed out that its polyester fabric has water and stain resistant coating.
  • Users stated that its frame system offers lightweight durability.
  • Testers explained that its ergonomic zipper pulls ensure a smooth and consistent opening or closing.
  • Reviewers said that the bag would work best when traveling.
  • They further mentioned that the main compartment is large enough for a week-long vacation, or more.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer indicated that the wheels do not rotate 360 degrees.
  • Another reviewer said that it does not have any organizing pockets.

6 – Samsonite Omni PC 24

Samsonite Omni Pc Hardside Spinner 24, Black
  • Micro-diamond texture is extremely scratch-resistant, keeping cases beautiful after a trip
  • Re-engineered lightweight spinner wheels for effortless mobility
  • Consumer preferred expansion on all sides
  • Full-zip interior, divider and cross-straps for increased packing organization. Side-mounted tsa lock ensures security while traveling
  • Body Dimensions: 24.0 x 17.5 x 11.5 inches, Overall Dimensions: 26.5 x 18.5 x 11.5 inches. Weight: 8.3 Pounds

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Samsonite Omni PC 24:

Reviewers like these things about the Samsonite Omni PC 24

  • Reviewers thought that the Samsonite Omni spinner suitcase is durable due to its polycarbonate material.
  • They also thought that its zipper closure is effective.
  • Several users pointed out that the bag has an attractive and stylish design.
  • Other users noted that its micro-diamond texture is extremely scratch-resistant, keeping the case beautiful after a trip.
  • Other reviewers pointed out that the bag is functional and easy to use.
  • Some users are pleased with the lightweight spinner wheels for effortless mobility.
  • According to some users, it has available expansion on all sides.
  • Other reviewers thought that it has a full-zip interior.
  • Some users felt that its divider and cross-straps are essential for increased packing organization.
  • Users were delighted that the bag has a side-mounted TSA lock that ensures security while traveling.
  • They also indicated that it comes in a variety of colors.
  • Reviewers mentioned that it has a lightweight design.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user said that its wheels tend to break easily.
  • Another reviewer noted that it is smaller than expected.

7 – Eagle Creek Load Warrior 26

Eagle Creek 26 Inch, Smoky Blue
  • DURABILITY. Exo-Skeleton strategically strengthens wear points for maximum abrasion resistance. Corners reinforced with hypalon material prevent fraying, while ripstop and ballistic fabrics add reinforcement and create a water repellent exterior.
  • INTERIOR. Compartment on top of bag is great for quick grab items, plus large pocket can act as a laundry shoot or be used to separate gear from clothes. Compression straps inside secure contents and keep clothing wrinkle free.
  • ALL CONDITIONS. Oversized treaded wheels in protective wheel housing for smooth mobility on any surface. Exterior lockable zippers have finger-friendly pulls so you can grab them even with gloves on. Reflective accents ensure you stay visible in the dark.
  • ULTIMATE GEAR BAG. Unique Equipment Keeper can be used to strap gear to the top of the bag and also doubles as a bottle opener. Multiple haul handles and exterior compression straps keep your gear secure and makes it easy to just grab your bag and go.
  • MEASUREMENTS. 15.5 x 26.5 x 11 in | 63 L | 5 lbs 6 oz.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Eagle Creek Load Warrior 26:

Reviewers like these things about the Eagle Creek Load Warrior 26

  • According to users, the Eagle Creek Load Warrior luggage is comfortable to use.
  • Reviewers noted that the pack is versatile.
  • Other reviewers noted that its Hypalon material protects and blocks the bag from bumpers.
  • They also mentioned that the trodden wheels of the bag have protective wheel housing and a durable kick plate.
  • Users noted its geo ripstop and ballistic fabrics are water-repellent.
  • Reviewers pointed out that it could be converted into a duffel bag, luggage, and a backpack.
  • Testers said that it has ample pockets for storage and organization.
  • Users pointed out that the bag has lockable zippers with reflective pulls.
  • Reviewers mentioned that its equipment keeps gears on top of the bag.
  • Others noted that the bag has several haul handles making it easy to grab the bag on the go.
  • Reviewers recommend the bag for travel and outdoor adventures.
  • They also noted that they could also store a lot of stuff in its main compartment.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that its fabric tends to rip.
  • A tester said that the main compartment of the bag does not fully open.

8 – Samsonite Mightlight 2 25

Samsonite Mightlight 2 Softside Spinner 25, Black
  • Four multi-directional spherical spinner wheels for easy mobility
  • Constructed of ultra lightweight nylon fabric with samguard water-resistant coating for strength and durability
  • Integrated carry-handles provide comfort when lifting a fully packed case
  • Ultra lightweight beveled alloy pull handle
  • Body Dimensions: 25.5" x 18.0" x 9.5"

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Samsonite Mightlight 2 25:

Reviewers like these things about the Samsonite Mightlight 2 25

  • Several users noted that the Samsonite Mightlight bag has four multi-directional spherical spinner wheels for easy mobility.
  • A reviewer thought that the bag was constructed of ultra lightweight nylon fabric with samguard water-resistant coating.
  • A lot of users praised the durability of the bag brought about by its fabric and its construction.
  • Testers mentioned that the carry-handles provide comfort when lifting a fully packed case.
  • Users praised the handle of the bag, making it easy to carry it when necessary.
  • Testers pointed out that the materials used are of good quality.
  • Various users also noted that the bag is very simple yet functional.
  • Other users noted that it is comfortable to wear, especially on the back.
  • Several reviewers have pointed out that it has sturdy zippers.
  • They also mentioned that the design is attractive and striking.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer noted that the wheels make loud noises.
  • Another user said that the bag is not light as described.

9 – Travelpro Crew 10 25

Travelpro Crew 10 25 Inch Expandable Spinner Suiter, Navy
  • Crew 10 is comparable to Crew 11
  • Shear-Resistant Zipper Heads. Nylon Fabric with Duraguard Coating
  • Power Scope Aluminum Extension Handle
  • Contour Grip Design with TPR Touch Points
  • Patent-Pending MagnaTrac System - Two Front Zipper Pockets

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Travelpro Crew 10 25:

Reviewers like these things about the Travelpro Crew 10 25

  • A lot of users have mentioned that the Travelpro Crew suitcase is built with high-density ballistic nylon.
  • Others thought that it the pack is durable due to its nylon lining.
  • Several reviewers thought that the main compartment could fit the necessary things for travel.
  • Users found it comfortable to use even with heavy loads.
  • According to some users, it has a zipper closure to ensure the security of the things.
  • A user mentioned that it is an expandable bag.
  • Another reviewer thought that it has stylish leather accents.
  • Testers found that the bag consists of eight self-aligning magnetic wheels for smooth rolling in any direction.
  • Other testers noted that its extension handle minimizes the suitcase wobble while walking.
  • Many wrote that it has a cushioned contour grip.
  • They also said that it consists of durable zipper heads.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the bag is too big and heavy.
  • Another user found that its wheels have a tendency to break.

10 – Osprey Packs Meridian 75


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Packs Meridian 75:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Packs Meridian 75

  • Many reviewers commend the Osprey Meridian luggage for the optimal comfort it delivers.
  • Users thought that its material and construction makes the suitcase durable.
  • Reviewers believed that the pack is versatile and lightweight.
  • Testers pointed out that the high-rolling clearance chassis provides maneuverability.
  • Users indicated that it has a comfortable harness for backpack style carry with torso adjustability.
  • They also mentioned that its harness stows in the rear panel pocket and is removable for additional storage room.
  • Other users also thought that the bag is a detachable daypack for day trip adventure.
  • Reviewers indicated that it includes a 15-inch padded laptop sleeve.
  • They also said that it has a padded tablet sleeve.
  • Other reviewers thought that its dual tube extended handle is designed for extra control of large loads on rough surfaces.
  • Testers pointed out that its rear panel pocket holds magazines.
  • Several of those who have tried the bag said that an ID card window helps to spot the bag on the luggage carousel quickly.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer said that the actual dimensions inside are much smaller than expected.
  • Another reviewer felt that the suitcase is very thin for a carry-on.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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