No matter where you’re traveling in the world, whether it’s across the state or to a whole new country, the luggage you take with you will make a huge impact on how your journey goes. With the right luggage by your side, you’ll be comfortable, have peace of mind that your belongings are safe, and be able to easily transport your bags with ease.
We all know the difference a good suitcase or carry on can make, but we still sometimes go years without investing in a quality piece. The most important factor for many travelers is choosing something lightweight that makes travel even easier, so this is usually the best place to start.
Looking through the options for the best lightweight luggage can be a lot to take in though, as there are seemingly hundreds of different brands out there. If you’re searching for the best light travel luggage and don’t know where to start, let this comprehensive buying guide show you the way.
Good lightweight luggage can be hard to come by, as there are plenty of models out there that are cheap and flimsy and those that are way out of the price range of most average people. These are our recommendations for the best lightest luggage options in different style and what each of them can bring to your traveling experience.
Best Under Seat Lightweight Luggage
Best Lightweight Upright Luggage
Best Lightweight Luggage Set
Best Under Seat Lightweight Luggage
For some, the best lightweight suitcase will be one that stores easily underneath the airplane seat so that it’s always within reach. If this is your preferred way to travel, we’ve scoured the best lightweight luggage reviews to find those that are consistently top rated.
Winner: Travelpro Luggage Maxlite Tote
If you’re after a no-fuss piece of luggage that will store easily under the seat in front of you and fit everything you need within, the clear winner is the Travelpro Luggage Maxlite Tote. Simplicity is key with this product including the design, how easy it is to carry, and the effortless way it tucks under the airplane seat and stays close by as you travel.
Travelpro’s range is all about affordability with quality construction and that’s what they deliver with this bag. Proving that they’re not all about practicality, you’ll also get the option of choosing from four different modern colors to suit your style and be able to carry this bag in a number of ways.
The dimensions of this bag are 11 x 18 x 8” and it weighs just 1.6lbs, making it the best ultralight luggage we’ve reviewed. You’ll barely feel the bag itself and will only be weighed down by what you put inside, so it’s up to you how much you want to carry.
The only real downside is a lack of zippered compartments on the inside which won’t suit those who like to keep things super organized when they travel. If you’re someone who likes more options for inside storage and having a specific place for everything you’re traveling with, this might not be the right design for you.
The Travelpro bag might seem lightweight but it’s made with quality materials. The bag is both water resistant and stain resistant and comes with a lifetime guarantee of quality, which is rare to find in a bag that costs this much.
This luggage ticks all of the boxes for what you’d look for in a lightweight bag, and it’s our top-rated choice on every front from style to functionality.
Runner-Up: Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry On
If you’re someone who regularly runs out of room when you’re traveling, you might think you need to upgrade to a bigger bag. Travelon has a better solution to your problem with the Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry On that features two separate bag in the one compact package.
This is the best super lightweight luggage for people with more to pack and it comes with two bags to get the job done. The main bag is a wheeled underseat carry on but inside stored away you’ll find a separate bag that will sit atop the first one in case you need some extra room.
The underseat bag is stylish with a quilted finish and there are eight different styles and colors to choose from. Little extras like a bottle carrier stitched into the side reduce the need for even more bags and make it easy to carry just the one through the airport.
This bag is probably not so great for those who want a bit of leg room as it will tend to stick out slightly from under the seat. However, there’s nothing stopping you from storing it overhead so you can easily retrieve it once the plane has landed.
The material used in the Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry On is quite simple and will easily wipe clean from stains, but don’t expect to keep water out of it. For those traveling with this, a quick spray with a water-resistant protector might be ideal to ensure nothing inside will get wet during the journey.
For those who like the convenience of a carry on bag but like to also have peace of mind they’ll have extra room should they do some more shopping, there’s no better choice. The Travelon bag is comfortable, easy to use, and will provide more than enough room, so it’s a great option for those with more to carry.
Alternative: Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater
Samsonite is a popular name when it comes to luggage so it’s no wonder that their products have made our list. For those who don’t want to leave anything to chance and would rather spend more money getting a brand they already know, this can provide the peace of mind you’re looking for.
You can tell instantly by looking at this that it’s high quality and that whatever you put inside of it is going to be protected. With a 100% poly nylon blend of 900D quality, it can withstand just about anything, which is nice to know when your bags are being thrown around in transit.
The Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater is definitely large and so large in fact that some reviewers have found it has trouble sliding underneath a standard airplane seat. The only want to buy this with satisfaction is to be okay that it might not always fit, and get ready to store it in the overhead compartment when needed.
Judging by the lightweight luggage reviews, people were happy with its construction but found it a little bulky for some aircraft. However, it will fit most standard size regulations within America and overseas, but it may pay to do your research before you head to the airport.
These bags come in four different colors and have plenty of cool features like a Wetpak to keep soiled or wet clothes separate, internal compartments for all of your needs, and a zipper closure for safety. It ticks all of the boxes and does so with the stamp of a brand that’s known for quality, so it’s a great choice for travelers.
Best Lightweight Upright Luggage
Not everyone has a need to keep their luggage right in front of them where they can see it, and would rather the ease of placing it in the overhead compartment during the flight. These lightweight luggage options are in the upright variety and offer style and convenience for the modern traveler.
Winner: AmazonBasics Hardside Carry On
When you think of quality lightweight luggage, the first name that comes to mind isn’t usually Amazon, but as it turns out the online marketplace knows a thing or two about travel accessories. The AmazonBasics Hardside Carry On is our pick for the best lightweight upright luggage because it ticks all of the boxes and comes in at an affordable price.
The AmazonBasics Carry On measures 20” which makes it a standard size for most international and national airlines. As it’s an upright style you’re not likely to fit in under your seat but it’ll fit perfectly overheard. Thanks to the hard case, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged up their either.
Inside the luggage is just as good as the outside and it’s got a fully lined interior made from 150D polyester. Within the bag are three separate compartments to store whatever you need and one larger area so there’s ample room for just about anything.
This bag comes equipped with four spinner wheels so it’s pretty seamless when traveling, however, one small fix would have been 360-degree wheels to make it smooth. This aside, there’s really nothing to complain about with the AmazonBasics Carry On.
You can also extend this bag up to 15% if needed so it’s great for those trips where you shop more than you expected. It’s got a thick shell that won’t scratch and heaps of colors to choose from so you’ll get one that suits your personality perfectly. As far as upright lightweight luggage goes, this one has our tick of approval.
Runner-Up: Kenneth Cole Reaction Luggage
There are some travelers among us who like to fly in style and for those people, it’s not just enough to have the lightest bag or the one with the most compartments, they want the trendiest brand too.
Kenneth Cole Reaction has released their carry on luggage that’s great for those people with style in mind, and it’s a 20” hard case that will store easily in the overhead compartment.
The Kenneth Cole Reaction Carry On features four spinner wheels that go a full 360 degrees which means you’ll have absolute ease of use when carrying it around. For the price, it’s rare to see this functionality and when you couple it with how stylish the case is, it’s even better value for money.
There are a few reviewers who weren’t too pleased about the inside space of this lightweight luggage and felt there could have been a bit more room in the design. Keep this in mind if you usually pack a lot or are going for a longer trip as it might not be adequate for all of your belongings.
One of the most convenient features of this bag is the U-shaped zipper which goes around the entire bag. This means you can pack on either side with ease and don’t need to try and get things the right way, making for even more confusion when you’re rushing to get ready for the airport.
There are quite a few different colors to choose from in this collection and there’s one to suit every taste. Finished with a hard ABS shell, your belongings will be saved from any scratches or damage to your possession inside, s it’s a lot more than just a pretty face.
Best Lightweight Luggage Set
Travelcross Milano Luggage Set
If you’re looking for more than just a carry on bag and want an entire lightweight luggage set, look no further than this affordable entry from Travelcross. Their Milano Luggage Set comes with three different pieces with sizes to suit all types of travel.
The Milano Luggage Set has a stylish European look to it and comes in a few color choices to represent your personal style. Whether you want the smaller 20” for a short trip or to incorporate all three including the large 28” full-size suitcase, there’s something here to suit whatever you had in mind.
Some users have found that their luggage set felt a little thin and perhaps wasn’t going to be adequate protection for their belongings. Considering the low cost, it’s a valid concern, but Travelcross ensure their bags are made with durable ABS and built to withstand harsh travel conditions.
You’ll get runner spinning wheels that allow for easy gliding through the terminal and a TSA approved combination lock. These extras aren’t what you’d usually find on a three-piece luggage set so it’s a welcome surprise and one that will quite beneficial for travelers of all kinds.
If you’re someone who takes many different trips of varying lengths and needs, the Milano three-piece set will be the best choice for you.
The Benefits Of Lightweight Luggage
The key benefit of using lightweight luggage is that it gives you more room for your own belongings. Traditional suitcases can weigh quite a bit and when you’re trying to stay within the weight restrictions that airlines offer, these bags can actually use up most of your allowance.
Another benefit to lightweight luggage is the ease of portability which is incredibly important when you’re traveling. Running to a flight departure or walking through the airport means you want something light and easy to carry that won’t slow you down. These bags are made with lightweight materials that ensure you’ll be able to move quickly and conveniently.
What To Look For In Lightweight Luggage
Choosing lightweight luggage is just like choosing any other kind in that you have to understand the features and what they offer you as a traveler. Here are some things to keep in mind before you purchase your next bag:
Common materials include polyester or poly blends, with hard shell suitcases made from something durable like ABS. These are lightweight materials that also offer strength and durability.
Quality is usually evident by the materials used, how good the reviews are of the product, and what warranty is offered by the company. The cost will vary depending on the quality but there are plenty of brands like the ones we reviewed that offer a mixture of affordability as well as excellence.
Size And Weight
The size will depend on whether it’s used as a carry on or for larger items that are to be checked in for the flight. Lightweight bags start at around 1lbs for a carry on and go up to a few pounds more.
If you’re buying a carry on, you need to be sure it meets the dimensions for what’s allowed on the aircraft for both domestic and overseas travel.
Choosing The Best Travel Companion
Even if you don’t realize it now, the importance of your luggage will become clear when you start your journey to wherever you’re going. Having something lightweight but durable will be essential no matter where or why you’re traveling, and it’s an investment that will last you years when you choose the right one.
Finding the best lightweight luggage is the only way to travel and it will take a lot of the usual stress out of your commute. Whether you’re going all the way overseas or simply spending a few nights out of town on business, having one of these bags at the ready will make for a seamless flight.