Best Hardside Luggage

Best Hardside Luggage in 2020

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Choosing the right type of luggage is always a struggle. Apart from making sure that your items will remain safe, you usually want luggage that offers heaps of storage options. Also, assuming that you’re a frequent traveler, you might wish to have a compact suitcase; otherwise, it won’t be easy to carry.

The best hardside luggage of 2020 fits this criterion perfectly. They are made of scratch-resistant materials and are lightweight compared to their Softside counterparts. Also, most of them absorb impact when they are dropped or thrown, thereby keeping your items secure.

Best Hardside Luggage – Comparison Table

IMAGELUGGAGEDETAILS

  • Shell: 100% Polycarbonate
  • Colors: 13
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell Material: 100% Polycarbonate
  • Colors: 13
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell Material: 100% virgin Polycarbonate
  • Colors: 3
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell: 100% Polycarbonate
  • Colors: 5
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell Material: Nylon
  • Colors: 10
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell Material: Extra-Thick-ABS
  • Colours: 4
  • Price: $$
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  • Shell Material: 100%-ABS
  • Colours: 17
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell: Polycarbonate
  • Colors: 12
  • Price: $$
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  • Shell Material: ABS
  • Colors: 4
  • Price: $$$
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  • Shell Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Colors: 6
  • Price: $$
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And the best thing about hardside luggage? They have sleek looks which not many carry cases can match. That means if you want your carry to be the center of attention whether you’re at the airport, in the hotel lobby, or waiting for a tube, they have got you covered.

Best Hardside Luggage in 2020 – Buying Guide

Finding the best hardside luggage can be a very daunting task. To make it seamless for you, this buying guide lays out the criterion of selecting the best suitcase for your needs.

Material of Construction

Following are the three most common materials you’d see in hardside luggage:

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is an amorphous polymer that displays excellent transparency which makes it easier for the luggage manufacturers to convert it into multiple colors and patterns.

More importantly, it has brilliant impact resistance, can stay strong in the face of high/low temperatures, and is flexible. This means that if you put pressure on polycarbonate, it will bend before coming back to its original shape.

ABS

Compare it with polycarbonate, and you’d come to realize that ABS is the lighter of the two. It rivals its counterpart in impact resistance, ease of processing, and high heat distortion as well. And guess what? It is the cheaper of the two.

Unfortunately, though, as far as durability is concerned, ABS cannot rival polycarbonate. That’s why most luggage makers combine ABS with other materials to turn it make a stronger carry case.

Aluminum

Eager to do some weight-lifting while you’re on the road? Then the aluminum luggage might suit you better. It’s the heaviest of the three materials we have discussed here but is also the most durable.

Its back pain-inducing weight is the reason why aluminum-made luggage isn’t the most popular. Also, if you’re a frequent overpacker, this luggage might not be the best for you as it isn’t flexible.

Size

You’d find most suitcase manufacturers offering these three sizes across their ranges:

Small size

Generally measuring around 22 x 18 x 10 inches, small-sized hardside luggage items deserve your attention if you want your suitcase to fit inside the overhead bin of your mode of transportation. Though it should go without saying that they aren’t the best choice if you’re going to pack for a month on the road.

Medium size

Medium cases generally measure between 25 and 27 inches. Although you cannot fit them inside the overhead bin, their limited dimensions (neither too small nor too large) allow you to pack the necessary items for a weeklong trip. This way, they’d save you from paying additional weight fees at the airport.

Large size

If you’re planning to be on the road for a long time, large size cases, generally measuring around 32 to 33 inches, might be worth a shot. They usually are more rugged than other sizes and can, therefore, take more abuse. Though they aren’t the most travel-friendly.

Number of wheels

You have two choices when it comes to the number of wheels that would carry your luggage:

4-wheels

Also known as spinners, four-wheelers are the easiest to navigate in tight corners. They won’t put much stress on your shoulders as their weight distribution is much better than their 2-wheel counterparts.

On the flip side, having so many wheels might make these luggage bags challenging to maneuver on rough surfaces, from cobblestone to grass. Also, you need to be vigilant when you park them on a slope, or they’ll be running away in no time.

2-wheels

Despite being less expensive than their 4-wheel colleagues, the two-wheel luggage cases tend to provide more storage space. They are a must-have if your trip is going to force you to walk on lots of uneven terrains.

Unfortunately, while four-wheel hard suitcases are easy to push in front of you, the reverse is true for two-wheel luggage. So you’d have to apply more force to drag it from behind you.

Must-have Features

If you wish to choose the right hardside luggage for your needs, you shouldn’t compromise on these features:

Multiple compartments

Go through our recommendations, and you’d realize that most of them have numerous storage compartments. That’s because having separate sections makes packing gadgets, accessories, and other valuables a cinch. Provided you haven’t used a luggage case before, you’d marvel at the convenience that is on offer as a result of compartmentalization.

Well-Engineered Zippers

Your luggage’s zipper is its gateway to the world – one which you’d like to remain closed most of the time if you aren’t too fond of having to pick your clothes off the airport’s floor. You should be able to set the zipper back into its body when it’s shut. This would make it sturdy enough to withstand any break-in attempts by wannabe thieves.

Telescoping handle

During our research for this article, we came across this fact: the telescoping handle is the best friend of a traveler. They withstand several falls and can be quickly slotted away once you aren’t using them. Also, since they have a super-smooth opening/closing mechanism, you won’t have to expend too much effort.

TSA-approved locks

Whether you’re going to travel by plane or by bus, TSA-approved locks are a must-have on any luggage item.

These units can be opened by the agents of the transport authority should they feel the need to check your luggage, but they are almost impregnable to damage or theft. Some cases provide them in the package, while others require you to purchase TSA lock separately.

1. Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage

The Samsonite Winfield 2 is a medium-sized bag that is made for frequent travelers. Nothing in its little weight, as well as compact dimensions, will make it difficult to carry. It features spinner wheels that allow you to navigate this Samsonite luggage through tight spaces easily.

Then comes its clamshell zippered interior, which is equipped with luggage straps to protect your valuables. Its main compartment is roomy enough to store clothes for a whole week trip, whereas the lid contains a mesh pocket to store your keys, stationary and other similar items.

Since this hardside expandable spinner is available in eight different color options, you can easily select the one which suits your taste. Each of the colors has a brushed pattern to dumb down the appearance of scratches. Also, since all of its locks are TSA-approved, only you or a TSA agent can open it.

You might find it useful to know that Samsonite has improved the push-button telescopic handle of this luggage. The latest version comes with an extra-wide aluminum handle to provide a user-friendly grip. Oh, and without paying one extra penny, you get a 10-year international warranty on this hard shell suitcase.
Pros

TSA lock

Oversized-zipper and interior divider

Four multi-directional spinners

Cons

No slot for luggage tags

2. Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Luggage

To make it a must-have for overpackers, the Samsonite Omni features a clamshell design. One side of this luggage’s interior has an elastic band to let you secure your valuables. The other, meanwhile, has a zippered net underneath which you can store items you’d need frequently.

Between both is a horizontal divider to let you carefully arrange your travel itinerary. You can use its fully zippered interior to store documents, stationary, and other essential items. And everything that you’re going to pack in its interior will be secured by the TSA-approved locks of this luggage.

The side and top handles of the Omni Expandable come handy when you feel the need to lift it over uneven surfaces. Conversely, if the surface is paved, its 360-degree spinner wheels will allow you to glide this hardside luggage easily to its destination.

Apart from being functional, this case is also good-looking. It’s made from lightweight and durable polycarbonate, which will keep it protected in the event of falls. The micro-diamond texture polish on its exterior does well to keep scratches at bay.
Pros

Scratch-resistant exterior texture

Glides easily on paved surfaces

Super-easy to pack and unpack

Cons

Wheels might break if abused

3. DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hard+

Nobody could guess by looking at its champagne white exterior that this hardside suitcase can withstand abuse. It is capable of doing precisely that because of its polycarbonate construction. Lightweight and durable, PC, as it is known among frequent travelers, won’t let much get past it and inside this luggage.

Once you have this hardside expandable spinner packed up and locked, you won’t have to worry about the security of your items. Only two persons in the world – you and the TSA agent – can get past its TSA-approved locks, with its zip security giving this luggage an added layer of protection.

Open up its zipper to stare at the marvel of compartmentalization. The bottom-facing side contains a divider separating two zippers, which are big enough to store your clothes. Two more zippers are on offer on the front-facing side, of which the upper one can be used as storage space for documents.

There’s also a tracking plate on its back in the unfortunate event of the luggage getting lost. The entire luggage is supported by double spinner wheels that rotate without making as much of a squeak. You also get a break system to lock the front two wheels and roll the bag on the two back ones.
Pros

Wheel-brake system

Has a deluxe zippered-interior

Incredibly stylish design

Cons

The exterior isn’t scratch-resistant

4. Travelpro Citadel Deluxe

At the cost of sounding biased, we’re confident when we say that nobody is going to buy the Travelpro Citadel Deluxe for its looks. It’s an ugly-looking suitcase whose unique selling point lies in its functionality. You might need to keep this fact in mind as we dissect the other features of this best hardside luggage.

Provided you have no problem with its looks, this hardside luggage ‘s functionality will surely prove its utility in your eyes. It features a spacious zippered-interior that is built for the overpackers with its zipper divider panel, an accessory pocket and an elasticized hold-down system.

Its patented ProGrip handle is designed to complement your grip and assure easier maneuvering. Four spinner wheels are responsible for getting this luggage out of tight spaces, whereas a height-adjustable extension handle has two stops to make this product useful for users of different heights.

Keen-eyed observers might already have noted that the Citadel Deluxe has side bumpers just above its wheels. Their reason for being is to protect the luggage against abrasion. Also, of all the luggage cases that we’ve seen thus far, this one is by far the most inexpensive.
Pros

Side bumpers protect against abrasion

Roomy and zippered interior for overpackers

Spinner wheels and adjustable handle

Cons

Ugly

5. DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage

You can’t guess by looking at its exterior that the Helium Aero Hardside Luggage is one of the most inexpensive on the market. Perhaps that’s because no corners have been cut to keep its asking price low. It’s a durable checked luggage whose polycarbonate construction makes it lightweight to cracking and breaking.

This product’s exterior is polished with a deep metallic finish, which does well to minimize the appearance of scratches. Its double spinner wheels have a 360-degree rotating action and allow its users to slalom this luggage through tight spaces with ease.

Despite being hardside, this checked luggage features an expandable interior that stretches by 2 inches to accommodate those items which you purchased at the last minute. The lid-side features a packing compartment with a zippered divider to help you organize things better.

Once you have stored your items and closed this luggage, there aren’t many persons in the world who would be able to open its 3-dial, TSA-approved locks. Also, the fact that its interior is fully-lined means it won’t be giving way anytime soon.
Pros

Three-dial TSA lock

One-button locking handle

Fully-lined interior

Cons

The shiny exterior makes it prone to scratches

6. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage

Hate running out of storage space when packing items for your next trip? Don’t have the budget to spend over-the-odds on an ultra-wide product? You won’t encounter either of these problems with the competitively priced AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage.

In contrast to other hard shell suitcases we have seen thus far, it has ditched polycarbonate in favor of ABS. The latter is no doubt heavier than PC, but it is also more sturdy. You can expect it to handle more abuse, resist scratches better and hold up better over an extended period.

Similar sturdiness will be on display once you open up this carry-on. The interior is fully lined-up and has a vertical divider to let you organize your items. Three internal zipper-pockets have enough space to store your keys and other smaller items.

Air travelers would have no problem fitting this hardside suitcase in their overhead cabin as its 21’’ size is acceptable to most airlines. You’d experience similar convenience when moving this hardside suitcase around as its retractable handlebar and double spinner wheels make navigating this hardside suitcase around a cinch.
Pros

39 liters interior capacity

150D polyester interior

Durable and rugged ABS construction

Cons

Weighs Heavy

7. Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set

Similar to other hardside carry-ons that you see in this review, the Coolife Luggage 3 Piece spinner Set comes with a retractable handlebar that makes it useful for people with different heights. Unlike some of them, it also features side handles which would let you lift this hardside luggage over uneven surfaces.

Of the three pieces that are offered in its set, the lowest has a 38L capacity and will easily fit inside the overhead cabin of most airline service providers. The other two, which can pack 60L and 93L of your luggage, will need to be put away in the boot.

All three of them feature an interior mesh zip pocket for you to put away your keys and other smaller items securely. The lid side of these carry-on spinner features a cross-strap beneath which you can effortlessly fit in clothes, whereas the other side has a zipper to store your documents.

That the interior is fully lined means this product won’t become a victim of premature tears. Though one area where this hardside luggage could have done better is its 2-year warranty. No matter how you look at it, it’s nowhere near enough.
Pros

Silent 360* wheels

Interior mesh zip pocket

Fully-lined interior

Cons

Short 2-year warranty

8. Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds Carry On Suitcase

Just like the Samsonite Omni Expandable, the Kenneth Cole Suitcase is also available in three different sizes. It is this characteristic of this suitcase which would appeal to you whether you are going away for months or would be back home after the weekend on the beach.

Nothing about the interior or the exterior of this hardside luggage raises many questions about its durability. The storage compartment is fully lined to prevent any premature tears. The outer surface, meanwhile, sports corner guard reinforcements, which would absorb the impact in the event of an impact.

Overpackers won’t have any trouble stuffing this suitcase with their luggage. Its interior is neatly (and equally) divided by a divider to allow double-sided packing. You can use its garment restraint straps to prevent your clothes from falling out, whereas its zipper-pocket will keep valuables like keys inside.

On top of everything else, you could effortlessly maneuver this luggage using its 4-wheeler. Equally useful is its retractable push-button telescopic handle. You can count on it to provide you with one-handed usage, a feature not many 4-wheel luggage can boast of.
Pros

Effortless to maneuver

Double-sided packing facility

Garment-restraint strap

Cons

Zipper’s quality is suspect

9. Merax 3 Piece P.E.T Luggage

The Merax P.E.T Luggage comes in a three-piece package, among which the smaller (20’’) will fit inside the overhead bin and the other two (24’’ and 28’’) will go into the boot. Its material of construction is a rugged PET polymer which has undergone a 2-ton cargo truck test to indicate its ruggedness.

The test which we’re talking about involved this material driven over by a 2000kg weighing truck. Impressively, the material suffered little damage and came out smiling at the other end. That should tell you everything you need to know about its durability.

It seems to us that its manufacturer was trying to prove a point when checking this product’s ruggedness. That can only be why it forced this luggage to undergo three 20, 50lbs rolling tests, 20, 50lbs single wheel drop tests, and 1000, 50lbs handle inspections.

Little wonder, then, that you get a 5-year international warranty on this luggage. It is equipped with an anti-UV interior which would prevent the harmful sunrays from aging its shiny exterior. So you can expect this luggage to stay with you for years to come.
Pros

Incredibly durable

Has a 5-year warranty

Anti-UV exterior

Cons

Doesn’t have TSA lock

10. Ben Sherman Nottingham Suitcase

Provided you like smooth-rotating wheels, eye-catching exterior, and rugged hardshell, you won’t find any reasons to complain about the Ben Sherman Nottingham Suitcase. It is supported by dual, 360-degree rotating wheels which make navigating this suitcase around a crowded space a breeze.

One glance at its interior will let you know that it has enough space to hold all the things you hold dear during a journey. There is a mesh zipper pocket to store your keys, two storage compartments on both sides to hold all your clothes and a tear-resistant lining to keep tearing at bay.

Apart from that, the side under the lid features a U-shaped zipper pocket, which is separate from the mesh-zipper pocket we discussed in the previous paragraph. Depending on the size of your valuables, you can store the bigger ones in the U-shaped pocket.

You also get four molded feet with this product, which allow it to stand upright on its side. Also, impressively for a suitcase large enough to store all your essentials, the Ben Sherman Nottingham Luggage comes with a market-high 10-year warranty.
Pros

Stands upright without any support

A plethora of organized compartments

Water-resistant hard shell

Cons

Weighs Heavy

11. Rockland Melbourne 20″ Expandable Hard Abs Carry On

One thing is guaranteed you decide to go shopping for the Rockland Melbourne Expandable: it will spoil you with its impressive color range. This best hardside luggage is available in 32 different colors, so it has something to offer from the most conservative to the most fashionable user.

Therefore, while the color which you’re looking at falls in the conservative category, you don’t have to fall for it unless it’s your favorite. The range of colors is so immense that whether you’re going to the Paris Fashion Week or an office trip, they’d compliment your travel’s purpose.

You would appreciate its sporty exterior more once you go through this luggage’s functional interior. After all, what use is a carry-on for if it can’t pack enough items? Luckily, with the storage space that it does offer, it won’t only be the looks of this expandable spinner that you’d appreciate.

On its inside is an elasticated pocket that is expandable to accommodate the needs of overpackers. Two storage compartments, one on each side, are big enough to hold items for a week-long trip. Two top handles (telescopic and lifting) plus durable spinner wheels make maneuvering it a breeze.
Pros

Huge color range

Made of ABS

Boasts expandable capacity

Cons

No outer pocket for luggage tags

12. Nautica 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage

Elegance is the word that comes to mind once you look at its exterior for the first time. Its navy-colored outer shell in combination with the orange wheel caps and the black handle make sure that nobody would bat an eye if you place it in the middle of a busy hotel lounge.

Such a design choice has its benefits. The dark exterior means that without being scratch-resistant, this carry-on spinner would easily hide the abuses it might have gone through. Also, as not many bags sport this combination, you could quickly identify your suitcase amid scores of others on a luggage belt.

Maneuvering this hardside suitcase is going to be a cinch on both even and uneven surfaces. It comes with four spinner wheels whose 360-degree rotation allows them to tiptoe around tight spots. The top and side carry handles, meanwhile, let you lift this luggage over the surface, which might be too rough to bypass.

Pros

Top and side carry handles

Push-button handle

Expandable by 2’’

Cons

Expensive

13. Goplus 20″ Expandable Carry On Luggage

There’s nothing about the exterior of this carry-on luggage that is going to convey that it would break down tomorrow. Its durable ABS outer shell, metal pull rod, and scratch-resistant and waterproof external layer would all keep this luggage going for years.

Most other hardside carry-ons come with corner pads to protect the luggage. The Go Plus 20’’ Expandable, however, has a smooth corner that will protect you. Its surface is of a rubbery texture that would absorb bumps, thereby not hurting your foot if/when you bump into the corner.

Even when it’s packed to the rafters, the four carry wheels will make it easy for you to move around this luggage. They would be aided in their mission by the telescoping aluminum handle. This way, you won’t have any problem crisscrossing this luggage around a busy airport.

Pros

Smooth corners

Telescoping aluminum handle

Multi-directional wheels

Cons

No mention of any warranty

14. Olympia Apache Ii 21″ Carry-on Spinner

In contrast to the other standard hardshell luggage bags that you see on the market, the Olympia Apache has a slightly different design. The center of this carry-on has a hidden compartment that would allow you to store away items such as briefcases, laptops as well as headphones.

The best thing about this hidden compartment is that it has no bearing on the uprightness of the whole bag. You could have the carry-on fully packed, and there would still be space in the hidden compartment for you to tuck away things that are most valuable to you.

That’s not all as its interior has two zipped pouches big enough to store all your documents. The compartment under the lid has a garment restraint strap, which you can snap together via its buckle once you have placed all your clothes under it.

Pros

Competitive pricing

Hidden storage compartment

Internal divider and buckle straps

Cons

Flimsy zipper

15. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage

If you’ve ever wondered why American Tourister is one of the most popular luggage brands in the world, this hardside suitcase will let you know why. It contains two spacious inner compartments that are expandable to provide you with extra-storing capacity.

Also inside its main zipper are two large compartments for you to tuck away your laptop, clothes, and similar items. Effortless maneuverability is all but guaranteed thanks to its single spinner wheels, whereas the retractable handle would suit people of all sizes.

Lastly, it has been the hallmark of American Tourister to use a combination of ABS and Polycarbonate in its luggage bags. That’s why this bag features a unique-mix of lightweight and rugged construction, which means its compact dimensions won’t expose it to damage anytime soon.

Pros

ABS and PC construction

Comes with a 10-year warranty

Push-button locking handles

Cons

The exterior isn’t scratch-resistant

Conclusion

Whether you are a frequent traveler or only venture out of your home once every few months, the best hardside luggage items have everything to be your perfect travel companions.

These are durable models with an eye-catching design and provide enough storage space for all your belongings. Add to the equation their budget-friendly cost, and they’d be a nice addition to your travel itinerary.

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