What You Need to Know about the Best Hardside Luggage Sets

Choosing luggage, particularly pieces that you have to take on an airplane can be quite tricky. There is just so much that you have to take into account to find the right option. Hardside luggage, especially, requires you to consider quite a lot before you make a purchase. After all, you are trying to make an investment.

If you don’t want to end up with a white elephant case on your hands, you need to be able to understand how to choose a piece of hardside luggage. To make this process a little easier for you, we have decided to create an article that shows you everything that you need to do. Here is all of the information that you should be aware of.

Hardside Luggage: What You Need to Know About the Buying Process (Buyers Guide)

Hardside luggage is a relatively new type of suitcase and isn’t as prominent among travelers. So, when it actually comes time to make a decision, you may not find that you have all that much information to go on. This can make it difficult to know whether you are choosing the right piece of luggage for yourself. Well, if you want a little bit more help in this department, you have come to the right place. Here is what you need to know:

Hard vs. Soft Luggage

When it comes to luggage, the first decision that you will have to make is between hard shell luggage and soft shell cases. As the name suggests, hardside luggage comes with a tough shell while soft shell suitcases are often made from fabric. Now, these two types of luggage have their own set of advantages and disadvantages so let’s take a look at what each of them has to offer:

Soft Shell Luggage

You are probably quite familiar with soft shell luggage as they still tend to be one of the more commonly used options. The reason that people tend to go for this type of luggage is because it is easier to pack more items into it. Since there is less rigidity to the exterior, you can also stuff in a few extra things. This flexibility also means that it is easier to fit the smaller versions of these cases into the overhead compartments in planes. The downside, of course, is that neither the case nor the things inside are afforded all that much protection. Also, the higher quality soft shell bags tend to be quite heavy as well.

Hard Shell Luggage

The main benefit of hard shell cases is that the outer part of the luggage is incredibly strong. It is meant to be able to withstand being dropped and mishandled. The materials ensure that the suitcase stays intact and that the items inside are also well protected. Surprisingly enough, hard shell cases are actually quite light due to the way that they are built. So, although they may not look like it, they can actually rival soft cases when it comes to weight.

Which One is Better?

It actually isn’t a case of which one is better but rather, which one is right for you. One of the reasons that hardside luggage is becoming more popular is because of its durability and longer lifespan. Also, with weight restrictions becoming stricter and more expensive with airlines, these type of suitcases actually help you to stay in check when packing.

What Is Hardside Luggage Made Of?

Hardside luggage is actually made of several materials. The materials that are used depend on the manufacturer as well as what the main purpose of the bag is. For instance, a case that is meant to be durable may be made from a different material than one that needs to be lightweight.

The most commonly used materials are hi-tech plastics. These include polycarbonate, ABS plastic, and polypropylene. If your main goal is to minimize the amount of weight of the luggage, then you should opt for ABS which is the lightest of all of these options. Of course, while it is strong it may also not afford you the same level of protection as the other materials.

Polycarbonate is a bit heavier than hardside luggage made from ABS plastic. The upside to this is that polycarbonate is also stronger. So, you can expect your suitcase to be able to take a bit more battering around and still be virtually unscathed.

If you want a suitcase that is tough yet flexible, you should look for ones that are made from polypropylene. Cases made from this type of material are quite hardy and much more capable of protecting the items inside your suitcase. Despite this, these suitcases are actually quite light.

Now, a hard shell material that it isn’t mentioned too often is aluminum. Luggage that is made from aluminum tends to be quite pricey, not to mention rather heavy as well. The payoff to these downsides is that these cases are practically indestructible – well at the hands of impatient airport baggage handlers, at least. They also happen to be nearly impossible to break into due to the special lock system on such suitcases.

Sizes of Hardside Luggage

There is quite a bit of variation associated with hardside luggage sizes and capacities so you should be able to find one that is best suited to you. Here is a guide:

Carry-on Luggage

This refers to hardside cases that you can take aboard an aircraft and store in the overhead compartment above your seat. For these type of bags, you have to be careful about the size as well as the weight that you are carrying. As a rule of thumb, a bag that has dimensions greater than 22 x 15 x 9 cannot be considered as carry-on luggage.

Checked Luggage

With checked luggage, you have a little bit more freedom when it comes to size and weight. This does, of course, differ from airline to airline. It is typical to find that any bag that exceeds linear inches (length x width x height altogether) 62 inches will be considered excess luggage. For cases that are bigger than this, you may be expected to pay an additional fee.

Taking Weight Into Consideration

Along with the size, you will also need to think about how much each piece of hardside luggage weighs. As mentioned, airlines will restrict how much you can carry onboard as well as check in as baggage. The more that your hardside case weighs, the less that you will be able to pack into it due to these limitations.

Internal Storage Organization Features

Hardside cases don’t have exterior pockets or compartments of any kind. So, you have to rely on the internal capacity of the case to store all items. This is why you should look for as many organization features as you can. This can usually be divided into mesh pockets, small pouches, straps, and even dividers.

The main purpose of such features is to help you to separate various items from one another so that it is easier to locate when the case is opened. Of course, they can serve another purpose too. There may be instances in when you do not fill up the luggage to full capacity. In this case, you will need to ensure that all of the items are secured so that they don’t move around during the journey.

Expansion Feature

In many cases, hardside luggage is built to allow only a certain amount of items and will can’t fit any more than that. However, there are certain designs that do give you the chance to expand your luggage so that it can carry even more items. This is often managed by additional length of fabric with a separate zipper attached. The average hardside suitcase can expand anywhere from an inch to almost five inches. As you can imagine, making use of this feature does mean that you will be carrying more weight as well.

The Wheeling Options

These days, you will be hard-pressed to find hardside luggage that doesn’t come with wheels attached at the bottom. These fixtures certainly make it easier for you to transport your luggage from one place to another. While you may not think that the wheels on your suitcase are all that important, you should pay closer attention to them.

The first thing you will need to do is to figure out if you want a suitcase that has only two wheels at the bottom or four. It is now becoming more common to see hardside cases with four wheels as these do make it simpler for you to maneuver through tight spots. The four wheels – also known as spinners – can move in a 360° direction which makes it easier for you to turn the suitcase and pull it in this manner.

Still, two wheels can still come in quite handy. There are often good on more uneven surfaces and are better equipped to handle a variety of environments. At the same time, since you need to bear some of the weight of the luggage, it can be a bit tiresome to keep handling this type of luggage.

In most instances, the wheels on hardside luggage tend to be more exposed and don’t have the protection of the luggage frame. This is why it is quite important to check that the wheels are durable and will not break easily. This doesn’t mean that the wheels should be made from a harder material, though. A more flexible material will work better as it is less likely to crack against rocks or other hard obstacles. On a similar note, you should stick with larger wheels as well. These are less likely to get stuck in ruts or small spaces and will handle more smoothly.

More Food for Thought – Square vs. Round Edges

Hardside luggage will either have square edges on its frame or round edges. While this may seem like a stylistic feature, it is actually a functional one. The round edges on a suitcases means that it is less like to get scratched or become damage and withstands wear and tear quite well. On the other hand, the square edged suitcases have the benefit of allowing you more internal storage space. So, it is up to you to decide whether you want durability or space when examining the corners of a suitcase.

This is what you need to be aware of when choosing any and all types of hardside luggage.

Top 10 Best Hardside Luggage


1 – Delsey Cruise Lite 19


Sale
Delsey Cruise Lite Hard 19" Intl. Carry On Exp. Spinner Trolley (Black Cherry)
  • Designed to fit in the overhead bin of most domestic and international airlines
  • This 19 inch carry on bag is made from 100% polycarbonate, a highly impact-resistant plastic that is both strong and lightweight with a scratch-resistant finish
  • Has a unique 90/10 opening with a zippered pocket in the lid that allows you to pack this hard side case like a soft side
  • Features four double spinner wheels, recessed top and side carry handles, and a rubberized TPR non slip grip handle for easy maneuverability
  • Interior features a water resistant flyaway pocket for toiletries, mesh pocket, and zippered pocket in the lid

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Delsey Cruise Lite 19:

Reviewers like these things about the Delsey Cruise Lite 19

  • Most users said that they have traveled a lot with Delsey Cruise and it still looks great.
  • Many users said that it has plenty of room, especially when you open the extending zipper.
  • They mentioned that it is extremely well made.
  • Reviewers also mentioned that it is extremely lightweight for its size.
  • Some users mentioned that it has an attractive textured finish which hopefully won’t show every little scuff.
  • Users mostly liked that fact that the doubled spinner wheels roll easily and the zipper works smoothly so far.
  • One feature praised by many users said that the telescoping handle has two positions.
  • Users also said that there is a zippered expansion feature which can increase the depth of the main compartment a couple more inches.
  • Most reviewers said that the main compartment is very roomy, with a strap and a small zip pocket.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the expanding zipper broke after some use.
  • One user complained that there is no reinforcement around the wheels and after some use the wheel area was crushed.
  • Another user complained that the they found no instructions on how to set the combination.

2 – Gabbiano Genova


Gabbiano Genova Collection Hardside 20 inch Upright Spinner
  • Fashionable and lightweight; Made with polycarbonate composite.
  • Durable steel alloy telescope, expandable design
  • Built-in shoe pockets and accessories bag; built-in TSA lock
  • Jumbo 8 wheel spinner ensures 360 degree effortless movement
  • Carry on size: 20'' X 15'' X 10'' /7.6 LBS

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Gabbiano Genova:

Reviewers like these things about the Gabbiano Genova

  • Users said that the pack has zip compartments for each side of the luggage.
  • Many users said that the wheels are sturdy.
  • Most reviewers agreed that the backpack is highly durable yet stylish.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said it’s easily maneuverable.
  • Many users praised the fact that the small and the medium bag fit easily inside the large one.
  • Several users said that the pack is super lightweight and holds a lot of stuff.
  • Some other reviewers said that the handles are adjustable for any height.
  • Users said that it doesn’t have a chemical smell like others.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the wheel broke after first use.
  • Some users complained that it scratches very easily.

3 – Andiamo Pantera 20


Andiamo Pantera 20" Hardside Carry-On Luggage With Spinner Wheels (20in, Lava Red)
  • Anti Scratch Makrolon
  • YKK Thinguard Zippers
  • 360 Degree Spinner Wheels
  • Luxurious Lining
  • Zippered Front Pocket

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Andiamo Pantera 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Andiamo Pantera 20

  • Most users said that they were very pleased with the quality, workmanship, and attractiveness.
  • Users appreciated the side pocket for storing a laptop and other work supplies.
  • They said that it is very durable and sharp looking as well.
  • Many users said that they love the pocket on the side.
  • Many reviewers said that it’s craftsmanship, style and functionality is unsurpassed.
  • Other reviewers said that the wheels are very high quality, rolls perfectly smooth and just glides effortlessly.
  • Some reviewers said that the zipper is heavy-duty and strong.
  • Many travelers said that the interior is very nice and spacious.
  • Some users said that all the handles feel very sturdy.
  • Many other travelers said that the lifting bar and the little concave hand scoop at the bottom of the suitcase make it easier to lift.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that It is a little heavier than similar luggage.
  • One user complained that it is too heavy for his purposes.
  • Another user complained that this bag is quite large for a carry-on.

4 – London Fog Cambridge 25


London Fog Cambridge 25" Expandable Hardside Spinner, Black/White Houndstooth
  • Durable polycarbonate composite hardside construction
  • Trolley handle has aluminum channel tubes for added strength
  • Multi-directional 360 degree spin technology 8-wheel system
  • Mounted tsa compliant combination locks for extra security
  • 17x10x25

Here’s what the reviewers think about the London Fog Cambridge 25:

Reviewers like these things about the London Fog Cambridge 25

  • Some users thought it’s a smart-looking case.
  • Others find its quality incredible and the case very sturdy.
  • Some users are glad that comes with a great price for a classy piece of luggage.
  • Many reviewers love the different organizers inside the luggage.
  • A number of users said it’s easy to use and fits nicely in the overhead.
  • Others thought it’s sturdy and easy to maneuver.
  • Many users like its very light weight and wheels that rolls easily.
  • A lot of owners said it’s well designed for easy access and flexible mobility.
  • Others particularly like how the handle slides smoothly.
  • Some reviewers love the presence of two zipped pockets on the lid that can be used for damp or used clothing.
  • The expandable section feature of the bag is also lauded by a number of users.
  • Some owners love how the large zippers and zipper pulls reinforces the class and quality of the bag.
  • Others love the texture and feel of the material.
  • Some reviewers like its large opening for a top open carry-on.
  • A number of users are glad with the presence of three handles to grip carry-on in multiple configurations.
  • Others find the handy exterior pockets very useful in keeping things organized and safe.
  • Many users love that it has separate zipper-areas on the side to keep shoes separate from the rest of their clothes.
  • Others find the easy to use straps inside the expandable suitcase space very effective in keeping everything in place.
  • Many users appreciate the added snap-in toiletries bag and another see-through bag to hold small bottles for airport security checks.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Others find the zippers on outside pocket too difficult to undo.
  • Some users said the only downside is that the wheels don’t roll great on carpet.

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 – Delsey Chatelet 21


Delsey Luggage Chatelet 21 Inch Carry-On Spinner, Brown, One Size
  • Carry-on size fits in overhead of most U.S. Domestic airlines. Fully lined interior offers two packing compartments with tie-down straps on one side and a zippered divider on the other side to minimize shifting of content.
  • Unique brake system is activated with a single knob and locks the two front wheels of the luggage, preventing the bag from drifting away while allowing travelers to roll the bag on the two back wheels. Silent-running, Japanese hinomoto spinner wheels assure smooth maneuverability.
  • Recessed integrated TSA accepted lock provides secure travel and allows only TSA agents to open and inspect your bag without damaging the lock.
  • Identification plate located on the back of the luggage for easy tracking in the event of your luggage getting lost.
  • Worldwide limited 10 year warranty

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Delsey Chatelet 21:

Reviewers like these things about the Delsey Chatelet 21

  • According to users, the Delsey Chatelet luggage is comfortable to use.
  • Other users noted that it is durable due to its polycarbonate design.
  • Testers indicated that it has a fabric lining.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the bag has clean curves and soft leather trims.
  • They noticed that it could resist extreme temperature and impact.
  • Users found that it features a unique brake system that allows them to lock the front two wheels to keep the bag from drifting away.
  • Other reviewers also found that the wheels run silently.
  • According to some reviewers, the spinner wheels of the luggage have a smooth maneuverability.
  • Testers noted that it offers two packing compartments.
  • They also noted that the bag helps minimize shifting of contents.
  • Users noted that its main compartment contains several pockets for multi-purpose organization.
  • Other users lauded the presence of a sleeve dedicated to keeping their gadgets safe and secure.
  • They also indicated that the bag looks attractive.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A tester had issues with the wheels of the bag.
  • A reviewer thought that the lock is unusable.

8 – Goplus Globalway 20


Goplus 20" ABS Carry On Luggage Expandable Hardside Travel Bag Trolley Rolling Suitcase GLOBALWAY (Black)
  • 🛩️【Multi-directional Spinner Wheels】4 Multi-directional spinner wheels for ease of 360 degrees movers stably and smoothly.
  • 🛩️ 【Lightweight and Durable】This luggage is made from ABS material which maintains a good balance between lightweight and firmness.
  • 🛩️ 【Water-proof & Scratch-resistant】 ABS Material to protect your contents from water, tea, rain and other liquid during travel; with rigid hard shell, it is tough to leave scratches on the surface of this luggage.
  • 🛩️ 【To Keep Your Belongs Tidy】The interior features joinable elastic belt and an internal zipped divider (perfect for ties, underwear, socks and other knickknacks), to keep the contents in place during transit. The fully lined interior has organizational pockets to keep your belongs tidy.
  • 🛩️ 【To Be Comfortable & Safe】Sturdy ergonomic aluminum telescoping handle will not make you feel unpleasant, and a smooth corner will not hurt you when bump into the corner of the luggage.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Goplus Globalway 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Goplus Globalway 20

  • Users liked that the hardback is durable and it is especially good if you need to bring a laptop.
  • Most users said that the suitcase is lightweight and manageable to carry.
  • Many users said that the extendable handle is really nice.
  • Most reviewers love the way the interior is set up with the elastic strap and a zippered mesh on the other side.
  • Reviewers also said that there is a small pouch which is nice for small items.
  • They also said that It has a handle for strolling the luggage alongside you with an easy up-down button for extending and releasing the handle.
  • Some other reviewers said that It also has two more handles for carrying both in landscape or portrait positions.
  • Several other users said that they love the separating mesh inside so you can organize your things better.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the plastic cracked and wheels stopped moving very early.
  • One user complained that a piece of the inside liner ripped off only after some uses.
  • Another user complained that the zipper pull came off on his first trip with this bag.

9 – Titan X2 30


Sale
Titan X2 Hard Luggage Large 30" Spinner (Gunmetal)
  • 100% Grade A Virgin Polycarbonate- For high impact and scratch resistance
  • Lightweight at just 8.6 LBS!!
  • Water repellent zipper - making the entire luggage weather resistant and water repellent. Solid Smooth Running and sportive looking Double Wheels
  • Integrated TSA combination lock and Exclusively designed Titan handles
  • 20.5x11x30

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Titan X2 30:

Reviewers like these things about the Titan X2 30

  • Many users find the water-repellent finish and zip ideal for all weathers.
  • A lot of users noted how ultra silent its double wheels are.
  • Many owners love how the trolley rolls beautifully and smoothly on any surface.
  • A lot of reviewers find it perfect for plane trips.
  • Many users said it holds a lot of clothes and is very durable.
  • Others thought it’s very light and easy to use.
  • Lightweight, sturdy, great wheels, durable and spacious are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Some users who’ve used the luggage for a while said that the wheels prove to be smooth-rolling and long-lasting.
  • Others particularly like its stylish flash and shark skin finish.
  • Some users thought it has trendy colors and smart design.
  • The TSA combination lock is also lauded by many reviewers.
  • Many owners are pleased to find the shell material tough and durable.
  • Others thought it has an attractive shape.
  • Some users love its neatly arranged interior division for easy organizing of items inside.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users thought it’s a quality luggage but too small.

10 – Travelers Choice Tasmania 21


Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 100% Polycarbonate Durable Hardshell Expandable 8-Wheel 21-inch Carry-On Spinner Luggage Suitcase, Black
  • 100% Pure Polycarbonate allows the shell to absorb impact by "flexing" when under stress
  • Interior lid with "U" zip mesh cover and tie-tapes to secure belongings
  • Convenient add-a-bag strap for carrying additional bags
  • Expansion gusset offers 25% more packing capacity
  • Dual spinner wheels provide smooth and quiet 360 degree maneuverability

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Travelers Choice Tasmania 21:

Reviewers like these things about the Travelers Choice Tasmania 21

  • Many reviewers commend the Travelers Choice Tasmania luggage’s slight metallic finish which gives the color a nice punch.
  • Users thought that the skin of the luggage has a diamond-grid texture which gives it an overall pleasant quality look.
  • Reviewers believed that the bag is very durable.
  • Testers pointed out that its spinner wheels move quickly and smoothly.
  • Users indicated that it comes with a belt attachment where they can connect luggage pieces.
  • Other users also thought that its zippers run up and down the lines smoothly.
  • Reviewers praised the large zipper tags/grips of the luggage.
  • They also said that its pull handles are durable.
  • Other reviewers thought that it is spacious.
  • Testers pointed out that its inside compartment has mesh inserts on the outside of it.
  • Several of those who have tried the luggage noted that it packs well.
  • Users took notice of its zippered divider.
  • They also noted that it holds up quite well.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer had issues with the hard shell for this luggage that is a little flexible.
  • Another reviewer felt that the wheels are really loud.

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 2018-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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