When I first started traveling regularly my luggage consisted of a large roller bag I stole from my parents and an old, grungy duffel bag. I totally underestimated how important good luggage is until I was running through the Abu Dhabi International Airport or picking up my mangled, checked-in luggage at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines. After broken zippers and sore shoulders I was on the hunt for good, quality luggage and came across luggage that could rival any handcrafted handbag – these are travel luggage options you can envy!
Whether you are looking for a backpack, carry-on, or check-in roller bag Tumi has you covered. Tumi bags are not only fashionable but sturdy with a pretty great warranty – 5 years (linked to each individual ID within each bag). Tumi will repair any damage to your bag within the first 12 months, including normal wear and tear and airport handling, or replace the bag. The following 4 years Tumi will repair your bag for normal wear and tear or manufacturing defects.
Tumi wins in the esthetic department in my opinion – both for men and women. They have designed luggage and bags that are feminine and long lasting for women while at designing mens luggage that is stylish but manly – this is a hard feat in my opinion. They also monogram your luggage for free so you can personalize it!
Prices are on the high side but you can find discounts at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off Fifth if you want to save a few bucks. I’ve seen discounts recently up to 50% off. These are a few of my favorite looks they have right now:
Briggs and Riley
Briggs and Riley offers a more traditional luggage look with a non-traditional promise – a lifetime guarantee – which is pretty fantastic! Once your bag is registered, Briggs and Riley will cover the repair of all functional aspects of your bag for free even if the damage comes from airport handling. They definitely win in the warranty department – simple as that!
Their bags have a more traditional style and don’t have designated women bags. Not a deal breaker but I would personally like to see more feminine options in their line up. I will say their bags feel well constructed and durable which is often more important than appearance.
Check-in bags start in the $300s while backpacks start close to $200. If you live close to an outlet mall check and see if they have a Briggs and Riley outlet because you can score great discounts on these high quality bags.
Rimowa represents heavy duty luggage that can withstand the harsh elements required when traveling as their luggage is made entirely from aluminum or polycarbonate. Manufactured in Germany their luggage includes a European flair but this comes with a pretty heavy price tag – running anywhere from $500-$1k. They offer a respectable 5 year warranty, however, it only applies if the “usability of the product is considerably adversely affected by a material or manufacturing fault already present at the time of hand-over (defect).” This warranty does not include normal wear and tear or flight/transport damage which is a slight disappointment for the price tag attached to the bags.
Known primarily for its tweed bags Hartmann luggage has been a staple, high quality luggage brand in America. The brand has branched out over the years with leather, aluminum, and cloth designs all promised to be made with high quality materials and the finest designs. However, the tweed still remains the most recognizable design of the brand. A standard roller bag will run you around $500 but Hartmann regularly runs discounts right on their website.
Hartmann only offers a 2 year limited warranty which is short compared to the industry average. The first 12 months of the warranty are great and include repair or replacement for damage including caused by transit, wear and tear, or manufacturer defects. The second year only includes defects in materials or workmanship.
For high quality on a budget Swiss Gear is a great option. They offer a wide range of luggage and backpacks including hard case and soft side roller bags as well as TSA friendly “Scansmart” laptop backpacks. Their warranty includes a 3 year limited warranty which includes only defects in material and workmanship. Unfortunately, it does not include damage from airport handling, however, at the price point, starting around $100, this is pretty reasonable.
The soft side roller bags and back packs both have a more traditional, simple look while the hard case roller bags are sleek and sophisticated. Their line up also includes wheeled duffels which are perfect for outdoor and backpacking travelers.
I personally own a Swiss Gear hard side and have traveled all over the world without any issues. One of my wheels did bend into the case upon arriving home from Thailand but it popped right out without any damage so no complaints there! One of my favorite elements is the integrated TSA combination lock right on the zipper.
If you aren’t on any budget and really want to splurge check out the following luggage pieces. These are more eye candy for me than anything else but a girl can dream!
No matter what luggage you choose always make sure it meets all your needs. There is nothing worse than struggling with your luggage through an unfamiliar airport, taxi or hotel. For me, most important is how much I can pack in one bag – don’t forget to check out my Essential packing tips if this is also important to you!
Until next time 🙂