The best suitcases and travel bags for stylish storage on the go

In addition to being able to slip through the most crowded queues at airports and squeeze into overhead cabin lockers, stylish suitcases should add serious pizzazz to your jet-setter’s appearance. How you emerge from the arrivals lounge says a lot about you, so sourcing quality accessories like the best luggage and passport holders is a task worth allocating some budget for. With international travel back on the table (with a few hiccups everywhere), quality boarding and carry-on luggage is an especially timely investment for a last-minute summer vacation.

With so many suitcases to choose from, we’ve compiled a guide to everything you should look for in a trustworthy travel companion, as well as our picks for the best carry-on luggage and suitcases for upcoming trips.

What is the best suitcase to buy?

Best all-rounder: Horizn Studios H Series

Horizn’s H-Series cases blend super-sleek aesthetics with eco-friendly credentials and suitcase smarts (like phone chargers and compression pads) that have it all and aren’t too intimidatingly priced.

Best for city breaks: Away The Bigger Carry-On
If you’re a frequent long weekend person, the Away’s larger carry-on can handle longer than three nights, but won’t leave you stranded at the departure desk. Features like a USB charger and included laundry bag will also keep your trip more organized.
Best premium suitcase: Rimowa Classic
Rimowa is the preferred partner of high fashion houses such as Dior, so you know it’s doing something right. Its aluminum luggage is a first-class travel companion you’ll never get tired of packing.

What size suitcase do I need?

As any professional traveler knows, the golden rule is to carry-on luggage whenever possible. To avoid being saddled with any hefty last-minute handling fees, check that any cabin luggage you want to store in your overhead locker is no longer than 55 cm and does not exceed the requirements listed on the airline’s website.

An easy way to solve this problem is to first choose a smaller carry-on case that compression straps can cram in as much as possible. Also, make sure your carry-on suitcase doesn’t have ridiculously large wheels or large handles, as it’s unlikely to squeeze into the metal-sized frames that airlines like so much. If you need a larger suitcase for check-in, choose one that is more than 75 cm long and has a capacity of more than 70 liters, and look for an expandable suitcase that offers ample storage space. But remember, the bigger the suitcase, the heavier it is, so you’re better off choosing a soft shell to reduce weight.

Of course, if you’re travelling within the UK (we may be able to direct you to our guide to the best vacation cottages and hotels in the UK), make sure it’s the right size for your car and/or won’t take up too much space on the train.