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Luggage in 2023

So my sister is looking for new luggage.
She has worn out her old luggage traveling around the world.
Up to this point she has only traveled with tours or with National Geographic trips or with other organized trips such as professional conferences,
And while she has traveled to pretty much every continent (except Europe) and even gone yo the Antarctic she is just now plan ing her first trip To Europe. And she plans to take a few more trips over the next few years.

As such she is looking for luggage,

She is currently thinking carry on/spinner

So what brands do people like? Samsonite? American Tourister? Something else?

My current bags are Samsonite but they are a few years old and where bought because my fathers bag could slip onto my bag and i could roll them around as one. So that was the reason we picked those particular bags. So i am a bit out of my knowledge base here.

So what is your advise for luggage for use in Europe in 2023.

FYI she is in her mid to late 60s and in very good shape, but is rather tiny (5’2 or so?)

Posted by
8586 posts

Is cost no object, and is she inclined towards status or expensive brands? At some level, a brand name is not necessarily an indicator of quality or value. A good sale price is often a decision-making factor.

Posted by
2856 posts

Douglas, here's a couple links to recent threads which may help:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/luggage-recommendations-ef78385e-a2a5-4634-b323-0ddcbc7f3ad9
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/best-luggage-a942ff39-6bdb-4849-a95c-1c8134f24543
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/greece/recommend-carry-on-luggag

And if you're interested in AirTags, here's a forum link
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/packing/using-apple-s-airtag-in-luggage

Hope this all helps. I use the RS Rolling Carryon. Works good for my once or twice a year travel. I took everyone's advice about 2-wheel vs spinner when I bought it 6 years ago. No problems pulling it over cobblestones and up/down Venice's bridges. I just bought AirTags for my June trip.

Posted by
963 posts

you can search for this in the SEARCH BAR - as it was just brought up a couple days ago. I recommend the luggage with 2 large wheels over the 4 small spinner wheels, they are MUCH easier to pull on cobblestone and they are more durable. TravelPro has a good one, as does EagleCreek - TJMaxx and Marshalls and Ross sell good luggage too. You can get TravelPro on Amazon or the TravelPro website. The Rick Steves luggage is good and they have sales often.

Posted by
4421 posts

I have the smaller Travelpro Carryon, since European airlines often have less generous size and weight requirements.

Posted by
15539 posts

It depends on her budget and how she plans to travel. In other words, besides size, is she also concerned about weight since many European airlines have weight restrictions. (Most Asian airlines have stricter carry on weight restrictions than the European airlines.)

If cost, and weight, are no problem, then the high end brands like Briggs & Riley, Tumi and Rimowa are the names to look for. (Briggs & Riley has a lifetime warranty.)

For mid level, Samsonite has upped their game in the last few years. (I use a Samsonite spinner.) But high marks also go to Travelpro, Delsey, Eagle Creek and Lipault. There are more but those are the ones that come to mind.

I don't suggest any "cheap" brands when it comes to spinners because they usually use cheaper wheels and attachments which is what you don't want in spinner.

While buying online might save money, I suggest trying out as many brands as you can. Samsonite has stores in many large malls. If there are any luggage shops near her they will carry the higher end brands. If there is a Container Store nearby they usually carry Eagle Creek. Lastly, the big name discount stores like TJ Mass and Ross also carry a large selection of luggage.

Posted by
4574 posts

I think luggage is a personal choice and she would benefit from trying out both styles to see what fits her size and any current physical weak spots. I also am from the school that price doesn't mean quality or a suitcase perfect for everyone. I also don't consider an investment purchase for luggage due to continuing airline trends towards smaller size carry on limitations...and limited weight allowed.Things to ask is 'does she plan on carry on only and can she get the bag into the overhead bin by herself"? I chose for weight, measurement and purpose(carry on or checked) and if it will withstand the environment I am traveling to.

Posted by
6619 posts

I like TravelPro with two wheels, not the spinner type. Mine is 22" but your sister might want to look for 21" to meet more restrictive size limits for flights within Europe.

I'm no luggage expert but I wouldn't buy a real expensive one unless it's much lighter or more versatile in some important way. Durability is good up to a point, but it doesn't have to last forever. As carryon requirements change, and our abilities to lug luggage around decline, we may want to replace something that worked before.

Also, there are probably several billion black bags out there on airport carousels. An unusual color can help her find her bag more easily and prevent someone else from mistaking it for theirs. Mine is now olive, not the greatest choice. I used to have a bright red one that I could spot a mile away.

Perhaps, she should plan her trip first; determine which airline and luggage policy; then, buy luggage. I agree that luggage choices are personal almost like buying shoes or purses. Each person needs his/her own criteria for purchasing luggage. Once criteria is established - go find that piece of luggage. Criteria can include: cost, brand, size, features, aesthetics, style - backpack, 2-wheel, spinner, etc.. There is no right or wrong choice just as long as the user is satisfied. One person may like thrift shop purchases while another likes Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Let your sister have fun working through her purchases. Remember - packing cubes!

Posted by
740 posts

To me the real question is, what brands are any good?

I agree I prefer two wheel vs spinner having used both.
For that matter my fist suitcase was the old style hard side with no wheels. Then i got a large two wheel. And now i have a combo set of a spinner and a two wheel that stack.
So i have tried all the basic designs over the years,

And my sister is pretty experienced at travel, just not in Europe and has not bought any luggage in a while so was wondering what brands are good. As that can change from year to year.