The Giant Guide to the Best Kids Luggage for Boys and Girls

When you are traveling with your children, you have to prime yourself for an entirely different kind of journey. The key to surviving the trip with your family intact is lots of preparation. In this spirit, one of the main things that you will need to consider is your kids’ luggage. Now, there are numerous advantages to giving your kids their own bags. Choosing these bags, however, is not easy.

If you don’t have much experience with kids’ luggage, don’t worry – we’re here to help. In this guide, we tackle the types of bags available and various other features that you need to know about. You will be a total pro at the end of this and ready to choose the best piece of children’s luggage.

How to Go About Choosing Kids Luggage

Perhaps the first rule of parenting is – always be prepared. It is normal for children, at a drop of a hat, to become bored, tired, cranky, or incredibly hyper. Now, on a regular day this can be tough enough to deal with but when you are traveling by car, plane, or train, it is a whole other nightmare. The first step to prepping for any journey is to make sure that your kids have their own bags. This can go a long way towards making sure that they are kept quiet and satisfied for the whole trip.

Now, shopping for kids’ luggage isn’t exactly like looking around for adult’s bags. So, to help you make the right decision for you and your child, we have come up with some guidelines to help you out. Here they are:

Should You Get Your Children Special Luggage?

When you think of the additional cost involved, it can be easy to wonder if your children even need bags of their own. After all, can’t you just pack their things in with yours? While you could do that, you should be prepared for a big mess when it comes time to unpack. Since all of the items may have been tossed around during the trip, it will not be easy to disentangle each person’s belongings.

Even if you don’t want a bag for your children’s clothes, what about for their books and toys? Having a separate piece of luggage for these items means that your little one will always be able to keep themselves entertained. Not to mention, it acts like a toy box when you are not at home.

It is also a good idea for your kids to carry at least a few items of their own. Not only does it teach them responsibility, they also will not have to refer to you quite so much during the trip. With their own bag in hand, they will be able to reach for toys, snacks, and anything else that they may need on their own.

Things to Remember When Looking for Kids’ Luggage

Kids travel bags are like all merchandise targeted towards children – they can be rather gimmicky. With most manufacturers, the goal is to catch the eye of children. So, the bags often feature popular cartoons or interesting shapes and sizes. As the adult, however, it is important for you to look past that. Instead, you will need to think in terms of quality and practicality when analyzing the various options on the market.

The other thing to keep in mind is to keep the size of your child in mind when looking for bags. Think about the length and width of a bag in relative to their height and width. This way, you will be able to determine if the bag is a good fit for your little one.

Then, there is the journey itself. Of course, the first thing to consider is how you are traveling – by vehicle, train, or plane? This is so that you will be able to figure out just how long your child will need to physically be with their luggage. For instance, if the bag will be packed away immediately, then elements such as weight and carrying ability will not matter too much. However, if your little one will need to be in an airport for hours with their bag, then these features will be a lot more significant.

Types of Kids Luggage

Before you delve into the different types of kids luggage, you will need to debate between kids luggage on wheels and the ones without wheels. As you can imagine, the bags with wheels will undoubtedly more exciting to your little ones. It also allows you to pack more items in their bag since you don’t have to worry about them carrying the weight. At the same time, these bags do tend to be a bit more cumbersome and bulky. Also, depending on the size and age of your child, they may find it difficult to pull their bag along and maintain a steady pace. In the end, it really comes down to what you feel is most comfortable for your little one.

Kids Backpack

For kids backpacks without wheels, the advantage is that they can have all of their important and favorite things on hand at all times. Also, they will be able to have their hands free as well. To top all of it off, backpacks are incredibly versatile and can be used for practically any outing or trip.

There are two things to pay attention to. The first is the size of the bag. With kids, smaller bags are often preferable but if you have an older child, you may want to invest in something a bit bigger. If so, you will still need to ensure that the dimensions don’t go over a certain limit. For this, you will need to measure the length between your child’s shoulders and just above their hips. Ideally, the backpack shouldn’t be any longer than this. The bag shouldn’t be wider than them either.

Once you have looked at this, it is time to focus on the straps. You will have to make sure that they are adjustable as you need them to fit your child perfectly. Also, while you should look for slightly wider straps, stay away from straps that are too thick as these will keep slipping off your kid’s shoulders.

Kids Suitcase

Children like kids suitcases because it makes them feel quite grown-up. Also, these bags typically have a lot of capacity, which allows them to take more things with them. At the same time, your little one will need to lug their bag with them everywhere. As for size, you should make sure that the suitcase doesn’t go past their hips when it is placed standing upright on the floor.

With suitcases, you will have to decide between soft shell and hard shell cases. In the end, it really is a matter of preference as there isn’t too much difference in terms of durability or weight with the modern versions of these bags.

Kids Duffel Bags

You shouldn’t really consider a duffel bag for smaller children. While they do have a lot of space, these bags tend to be quite long and can be difficult for little ones to manage. Usually, kids above the age of 11, will be more equipped to handle such bags. Still, these could be a bit heavy or tiresome for them too. If you do want to get a duffel travel bag, it is best to stick with a wheeled option.

Choosing Wheeled Options

Like most parents, you probably want to ensure that your little one has at least one piece of kids rolling luggage. Well, there are a few things that you need to know about with these bags. Now, with most wheeled backpacks and duffel bags, there are just two wheels attached. This is fine since these bags aren’t too heavy.

With suitcases, though, you may realize that you have a choice between two wheels and four wheels (also known as spinners). If you are planning on packing a lot into their suitcase, it is a good idea to go with four wheels. This is because your child can push these suitcases instead of having to pull on them. So, they end up being able to move the bag more easily.

The other thing to analyze is the telescopic handle. First off, make certain that it is strong as they will be a lot of pushing and pulling involved with your child. Also, check that the handle has a comfortable grip and that your little one can hold on tight easily.

Carry On vs. Checked Luggage

As with adult luggage, kids’ luggage also comes in various sizes. The size that you decide on depends on many factors including the height and age of your child as well as how much you want to carry. However, airline rules are something else that you will need to adhere to.

Most airlines require carry on bags to be no more than 22 inches long, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide. Of course, the precise measurements do change from airline to airline so you will need to check on this beforehand. Anything above this size will be deemed as checked luggage. So, if you want to make sure that your child will be able to keep their bag with them during the entire flight, you should adhere to the size regulations.

What Materials Should You Look For?

With kids, choosing the material that the luggage is made of is a tricky thing. This is because not all materials that are suitable for adults are right for kids. The main goal with kids’ luggage is to keep the weight down. So, you should look for bags that are made from polyester. This fabric tends to be lighter and will not weigh as much as other materials.

With hard shell cases, it is probably best to stay away from those that are made from PVC plastic. Instead, look for polycarbonate shells that are safer and a lot more durable as well.

Now, you know how to go about getting kids luggage. Hopefully, this guide will help you decide on the perfect one for your trip and your little one.

Top 10 Best Kids Luggage

1 – TrendyKid Travel Buddies

TrendyKid Travel Buddies Tiger 18" Carry-On
  • Children's carry on case
  • ABS light weight hard shell
  • Carry handle and adjustable pull handle for parents and kids
  • 2 handle Heights
  • Easy roll integrated wheels

Here’s what the reviewers think about the TrendyKid Travel Buddies:

Reviewers like these things about the TrendyKid Travel Buddies

  • Users said that its carry on suitcase in backpack form.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said that the extra handles on the side are handy.
  • Some other reviewers said that the pack is more secure in terms of zip quality and thicker material.
  • Many users said that it’s light and roomy.
  • Users praised the fact that it’s comfortable to walk around.
  • Several users said that it’s a good bag for a great price.
  • Most users said that the bag weighs less.
  • One great feature mentioned by many users is that the harness on the back is very comfortable, with adjustable straps.
  • They have also mentioned that there is a handle in a Velcro holder to give the backpack a bag option.
  • Some other reviewers said that they like the daisy chain down the front.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users mentioned that the pack needs a weight-bearing buckle around the waist.
  • One user complained that the material doesn’t feel particularly waterproof.
  • Another user said that the fabric is very flimsy and thin.

2 – American Tourister Disney

American Tourister Mickey Mouse Multi-face
  • Single spinner wheels
  • American tourister branded push-button locking pull-handle
  • American tourister branded id tag
  • American tourister branded zipper pulls. Large packing compartment with large mesh pocket on interior panel and cross straps with fun printed lining.
  • Exterior Dimension: 31.0 inches x 19.0 inches x 11.0 inches; Interior Dimension: 28.0 inches x 19.0 inches x 11.0 inches

Here’s what the reviewers think about the American Tourister Disney:

Reviewers like these things about the American Tourister Disney

  • Super lightweight, sturdy, well thought-through features, and known durability are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Many are glad that the bag is a combination of kid friendly with a grown up appeal.
  • Others liked how the wheels glide easily and all the zippers are nice and sturdy.
  • Many users agree that it is a beautiful piece of luggage and is very well made and has plenty of room.
  • Parents thought that it is just the right size for a child to handle.
  • Some are amazed with how it rolls very easily-even when full.
  • Some described it as the cutest luggage ever.
  • Others are happy that it got nice pockets on the outside and roomy on the inside.
  • Parents like how the extender provides additional space for a little ‘over-packing’, the handle go up and down easily and it rolls quite nicely.
  • Some liked that it was easy to clean, durable, and beautiful.
  • Many users thought that it’s the great size for travel.
  • A lot of users find it Lightweight and super cute and easily fits in overhead bin.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some are a little disappointed that the piping frays easily.
  • Others say the product is of good quality but too big for small children.

3 – American Tourister Star Wars

American Tourister Star Wars 21 Inch Hard Side Spinner, Storm Trooper, One Size
  • Single spinner wheels, star wars branded push button pull handle
  • Star wars branded zipper pulls
  • American Tourister branding ID tag
  • Split construction, large mesh pocket on interior panel and cross straps
  • Exterior Dimension: 21.5 x 15 x 9 inches, Interior Dimension: 21 x 14.75 x 9 inches

Here’s what the reviewers think about the American Tourister Star Wars:

Reviewers like these things about the American Tourister Star Wars

  • Many find it as a very cute suitcase, sturdy construction and with nice interior.
  • A lot of users thought the wheels are of excellent quality and roll with ease over most any surface or obstacle.
  • Others love that it comes with a hard plastic Star Wars luggage tag.
  • Most users thought the suitcases themselves appear to be really well made.
  • they glide nicely over the floor and have a lot of room on the inside.
  • Many reviewers observed they’re also very light when they’re empty, which makes them easy to store and easy to carry when they’re sensibly packed.
  • One user thought that this is a winner in every aspect including the full circle four wheels.
  • A lot of users love the hard top of the suitcase, which makes them safe to check in with airlines. The hard top doesn’t add much weight to the suitcase either.
  • Others thought the finish, colors, and overall look are great.
  • A lot of users find the wheels and handles sturdy as well, no trouble pulling out or pushing in the wheel handle.
  • Many love how it expands too in case you have too many clothes.
  • Some particularly thought the graphics are very clean and look amazing.
  • Many find the bonus luggage tags awesome.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users said that sizing is not accurate.
  • Others thought that it’s too big and heavy than expected.

4 – Skip Hop Zoo

Skip Hop Kids Luggage With Wheels, Owl
  • Front zip pocket keeps favorite things in easy reach
  • Removable, adjustable "parent" strap
  • Retractable 13-inch handle for easy carry-on
  • Elastic mesh bottle pocket
  • Back loop keeps shoulder strap tucked away

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Skip Hop Zoo:

Reviewers like these things about the Skip Hop Zoo

  • Many users liked how the front pocket easily holds two diapers, small pack of wipes and a tube of diaper rash cream.
  • Other reviewers liked its large zipper pulls and how it holds its shape well.
  • Some users find the side pocket for sippy cup stretchable you can keep adult bottle in it.
  • Many users appreciate how comfortable the padded straps Are.
  • A lot of users liked how spacious the inside of the bag is and able to fit their kids essentials.
  • Others love that it comes with two good sized compartments.
  • A lot of users find the stitching is very solid, even on the zipper pulls.
  • Parents love how the zippers have big apples on them which are good for little hands to grab.
  • Others noted that each piece is themed with cute patterns, bright inviting colors, and decorative accents.
  • Many liked how comfy it is to carry with the padded straps and easy to clean with a damp towel and soap.
  • Others love the carry handle and side mesh pocket for drinks.
  • Some kids love how the snout part of the bag unzips and acts as a front compartment.
  • A lot of users love its fun design and lively colors.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some would’ve prefer if it came with two bottle holder.
  • Some said it’s not big enough for school.

5 – Stephen Joseph Classic

Stephen Joseph Boys' Rolling Luggage, Monkey
  • FUN & FUNCTIONAL: Colorful, exciting characters and patterns make this luggage super stylish. Your child is sure to find something they love with the variety of designs offered. Don't forget to make it a set with other coordinating Stephen Joseph products or customize it to make it your own!
  • CARRY-ON SIZE: With multiple pockets and plenty of space to pack, this luggage is carry-on sized and ready to roll! Measuring 14.5"x 18"x 6.5", they're great for kids to travel with and easy for parents to manage, too.
  • SPECIAL FEATURES: With accessible, zipper pockets and fun designs that even include glitter accents, there are plenty of awesome features that make this luggage stylish and smart. An extendable handle for easy rolling makes travel simple for kids. Multiple outside compartments also help you simply and organize your child's belongings, no matter how far they travel.
  • HIGH QUALITY: With a sturdy construction and durable polyester exterior, you can be assured this bag is made to last through plenty of wear and tear. Sturdy wheels and exterior hardware will make it the perfect bag to use for your next vacation!

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Stephen Joseph Classic:

Reviewers like these things about the Stephen Joseph Classic

  • Most users said that it is a great suitcase and quite roomy.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said the wheels roll really smooth.
  • Many users said that netting pockets inside makes it convenient to separate stuffs.
  • Most reviewers said that the pack is big enough to fit blankets for sleepovers.
  • Several users said that the top and bottom are hard sided.
  • Some other reviewers said that telescoping handle is long enough.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that it has lots of interior and exterior pockets.
  • Most users said the bag is well worth the money.
  • Many users praised the fact that it’s not too heavy which makes it easy to pull for kids.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that it doesn’t seem strong or sturdy.
  • One user complained that the handle broke on first use.
  • Another user said that the zipper started coming out.

6 – J World Lollipop

J World New York Lollipop Kids' Rolling Backpack with Lunch Bag
  • Lunch bag included ; Handle Type: Comfort-grip Handle, Adjustable strap, Retractable Handle, Padded Handle ; Exterior Features: Front Pouch, Organizer Pocket, Mesh Pocket
  • Soft and noiseless wheels with magnetic self-lighting system
  • Air mesh cushioned padded shoulder strap and back with slip-in system
  • Telescoping single handle
  • Lunch bag included

Here’s what the reviewers think about the J World Lollipop:

Reviewers like these things about the J World Lollipop

  • Most users mentioned that they are really very satisfied with the product.
  • Users said that it has sturdy construction and good handle maneuverability.
  • Parents said that their kids love pulling it through the airport.
  • Many users said that it’s strong but not heavy, so the kid could carry.
  • One great feature mentioned by many users is that the wheels have lights which are great for security.
  • Some users said that it was a great backpack, lots of pockets.
  • Parents also said that it was the perfect size for an elementary student.
  • They also mentioned that it is easy to convert to a backpack.
  • Many parents also said that their kids get lots of compliments on her book bag.
  • Most buyers mentioned that the bag is great quality and has an amazing grip on the handles.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some user complained that the bag is a bit small.
  • Few other users complained that the lunch bag velcro is a little weak.
  • Another user complained that the straps kept on getting caught in the wheels and eventually ripped.

7 – Cabin Max Bear

Cabin Max Bear Childrens Luggage Carry on Trolley Suitcase
  • Features adjustable pants so that your child can seat their favourite teddy bear or doll as part of the bag
  • Dimensions 22" x 15 x 9 inches. Easy to pull trolley for a child 3+ which still has a great capacity of 34l
  • Practical childrens trolley bag that is perfect for your next holiday with the kids
  • Internal pocket, external side pocket and bottle holder

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Cabin Max Bear:

Reviewers like these things about the Cabin Max Bear

  • Most reviewers mentioned that the pack seem reasonably sturdy.
  • Some users said that there is lots of room inside and the drink-bottle pocket is a nice addition.
  • Users said that there are lots of little pockets to store toys.
  • Users also said that they have been through the airport with this as hand luggage.
  • Several reviewers mentioned that it is very roomy, lightweight, wheels well, and the teddy is excellent quality.
  • Many other reviewers said that there is lots of space and pockets for extra storage.
  • Many parents said that it’s very light so kids can carry it’s on their own but at the same time roomy.
  • Parents also said that it also has a pant-like pocket for a teddy or some other toy.
  • Reviewers said that it has a shoulder strap, useful for a parent.
  • Buyers said that you can fit in all the necessary stuff to carry with you on board or clothes and things for a short break.
  • They also mentioned that it can easily slip into an adult case and sit nicely on top.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that it can get a little wobbly on the wheels depending on the weight inside.
  • Few other users complained that it does not stay upright when full.
  • Another user complained that it is too small for adults as the handle is short and you are bent on pulling it.

8 – Heys Travel Tots

Heys America Travel Tots Kids 2 Piece Luggage Set - Ladybug
  • Luggage - 18 x 13.5 x 9 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds
  • Backpack - 13 x 10 x 5.5 inches and weighs 1.2 pounds
  • Inline skate wheels
  • Luggage print is protected by a layer of clear coat which gives it a beautiful glossy shine
  • Design of this case allows the wheels to protrude out keeping the case elevated preventing the bottom from touching the ground

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Heys Travel Tots:

Reviewers like these things about the Heys Travel Tots

  • Users said that it’s extremely durable.
  • Most users said that it is lightweight and easy for kids to carry.
  • Reviewers said that fits perfectly under seat on an airplane.
  • Several users said that it’s easy to zip and unzip.
  • Some other reviewers said that its Adorable and cute and their kids love it.
  • They’ve also mentioned that the pack is sturdy and well built.
  • Many users love that stains are easy to wipe off.
  • Many users praised the fact that the backpack is well padded.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that it is perfect size for small hands.
  • Most users said that the pack has sturdy wheels.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the pack scuffs easily.
  • Some users complained that it is smaller than expected.
  • Another user said that the seams came apart after few uses.

9 – TrendyKid Travel Kool

TrendyKid Travel Kool Luggage, Chat, Black
  • Lightweight and strong hardshell case made from ABS/PC.
  • 20" case meets carry on standards world wide
  • Multi length handle extends to 3 different heights for convenience.
  • Features Internal zippered compartment and garment straps.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the TrendyKid Travel Kool:

Reviewers like these things about the TrendyKid Travel Kool

  • Users said that they like Trendy Kid Travel Cool for its smooth zipping mechanism.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said that the cross strap ensures clothes arrive unscathed.
  • Many users said that it have a soft back.
  • Several users said that the handle is adjustable.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that it’s adorable yet seems sturdy.
  • Most users said that it’s easy to maneuver.
  • Users said that the case is super lightweight.
  • Many users like the fact that its wheels light up.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that it got a dent after few use.
  • Some users complained that it scratches easily.

10 – Stephen Joseph Butterfly


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Stephen Joseph Butterfly:

Reviewers like these things about the Stephen Joseph Butterfly

  • Most of the buyers liked the design and color of the bag.
  • Other buyers said that the Velcro closure of the bag worked great.
  • Reviewers confirmed that the bag can be washed or cleaned easily.
  • Majority of the reviewers confirmed that the bag has inside zipper pockets.
  • The material quality of the bag has got positive reviews by most of the buyers.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the bag is priced reasonably.
  • Users highlighted that the bag is quite durable.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some buyers wanted to the strap of the bag to be a little longer.
  • The size of the purse was too small as mentioned by some reviewers.

Selected reviews

Colorado Mountain Mom reviewed the TrendyKid Travel Kool

The quality of these cases, along with the creativity and thought which have gone into their design, make TrendyKid best in class when it comes to kids luggage. If you are in the market for travel gear for your family trips, or even just a great case for your kids adventures be sure to check them out.

Posted 31 October 2013 by Tami – Read full review

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

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