Shopping for the best wheeled luggage can be overwhelming. I know firsthand how tough it is trying to sift through different brands, designs, warranties, and more to pick the wheeled luggage for your next adventure.
I went through a series of cheap wheeled suitcases, and I constantly dealt with issues, from ripped zippers to broken wheels. Since then, I’ve traveled all over the world, tested dozens of suitcases, and learned a lot about what works for good luggage and what doesn’t.
Wheeled luggage is a broad category. It includes two-wheeled rollers, four-wheeled spinners, hard shell luggage, rolling duffel bags, wheeled backpacks, and everything in between. I’ve found that the best luggage is highly personal. You want wheeled luggage with the best quality and features, but it’s even more important that it fits your specific needs and preferences.
Whatever type of rolling luggage you are looking for, I’ve got you covered. Each one of these recommendations is hand-selected and is great at what it does. I’ll break down the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you know which one will work best for you.
Monos is one of the best luggage brands out there, and they’ve really earned their reputation. Their products emphasize minimalist design and uncompromising quality so that you can focus on enjoying the experiences of travel, not problems with your suitcase.
One thing I love about Monos is their commitment to quality. All of their products undergo intensive testing, and they offer an excellent limited lifetime warranty that covers repairs or replacement for damaged shells, wheels, handles, or zippers.
This Monos Check-In Medium is a sleek, durable suitcase that hits a perfect balance between functionality, style, and simplicity.
The durable polycarbonate shell is nearly unbreakable (as long as you aren’t tossing it off a moving bus). It also has tons of fun colors to choose from and a stylish, streamlined design that looks great in the airport (or on Instagram).
Monos’ quiet and ultra-durable spinner wheels make theirs some of the best rolling luggage on the market.
The interior organization of this suitcase is really well thought out, and it makes it easy to pack all your belongings neatly and securely. There are two big dividers that keep everything in place, and several zippered mesh pockets that give you a place for smaller items.
There really is a lot to love with this rolling luggage. It’s not the cheapest suitcase out there, but if you’re looking for a suitcase that looks good, functions better, and will last a lifetime, a Monos case is a great choice.
Monos Check-In Medium Specs:
|Dimensions||26.5″ x 18.5″ x 10.5″|
If you’re looking for cheap luggage, Amazon is most likely where you’re doing your shopping. Amazon’s in-house brand, AmazonBasics, offers a great array of rolling luggage that is affordable and surprisingly capable.
If you’re looking for affordable luggage, you want something simple. You won’t get the same top-notch design as more premium luggage brands, so don’t worry about fancy features (which are just extra things to break), and focus on finding a suitcase that is durable enough to last more than just a few trips.
The AmazonBasics 25” Softside Spinner is a fairly basic soft shell suitcase with 360-degree spinner wheels. It definitely isn’t the most stylish or cleverly-designed rolling luggage out there, but it does the job and hits a great price point.
The outer material is a durable polyester fabric that offers some water resistance (though I definitely wouldn’t leave it out in a rainstorm). While the corners are somewhat reinforced, they aren’t as tough and rigid as more expensive rolling luggage, so I would be careful when packing fragile items.
This spinner bag doesn’t have much in the way of organization, but you do get one external front pocket, one internal pocket, and elastic compression straps. It’s pretty basic, but there’s ample space to bring everything for your trip.
One advantage of the simplistic design is that this suitcase is very lightweight for a checked bag at 6.8 lbs. I haven’t found many suitcases that are lighter than this while still offering so much space.
I also love that it has multiple grab handles on the sides and bottom. This is an easy-to-overlook feature, but it really makes it easier when you have to lift or move it.
While you definitely aren’t getting innovative design or premium materials, it is fairly well-built and offers great bang for your buck.
AmazonBasics 25″ Softside Spinners Specs:
|Dimensions||22″ x 15.1″ x 9″|
Briggs & Riley is one of the most respected luggage brands in the industry. Their rolling luggage comes with painful price tags, but if you view it as a lifetime investment, you can start to see the value.
Briggs & Riley has one of the true lifetime warranties in the business. You can return any damaged suitcase, and they will repair or replace it, no questions asked.
If you travel extensively, your carry-on bag can really take a beating, and you want something that will last. A Briggs & Riley suitcase is something that will last your entire life, and you can hand it down to your grandkids.
The best carry-on luggage needs to be tough, lightweight, and have accessible exterior pockets. The Briggs & Riley Torq 22” gives you all this and more in a bomber hard-sided bag that will last forever.
This suitcase starts with a durable polycarbonate hard shell. It has a scratch-resistant texture and heavily reinforced corners.
The standout feature of this carry-on bag is the hinged outside pocket on the front. I personally think external pockets are a must-have for carry-on luggage so you have an easily accessible place for electronics, passports, and other essentials. Usually hard-sided bags don’t come with external pockets, so it’s awesome to see it included here.
The design of the front pocket is also unique. Instead of a zipper, it has a locking clasp and then opens on sturdy hinges. Zipped pockets tend to snag or break, so this design is better for long-term durability. It also makes it super easy and fast to open.
In the pocket, you’ll find a padded laptop sleeve and several compartments that make it easy to keep smaller items organized.
The internal organization is less impressive, with one zippered divider on one side and a compression system on the other.
If you want the best carry-on luggage, this is one of the best out there, though you’ll pay an arm and a leg for it.
Briggs & Riley Torq 22″ Specs:
|Dimensions||20.5″ x 14″ x 9″|
Bric’s is a family-owned Italian brand that originally started making fine leather bags and travel gear. With an emphasis on preserving quality craftsmanship, their rolling luggage has high-end materials, impeccable build quality, and details like genuine leather detailing.
I won’t make it a secret that I really love two-wheeled rolling luggage. You get more durability than spinner wheels, more internal space, simpler construction, and even better ergonomics.
A good two-wheeled carry-on should capitalize on these advantages with durable construction and versatile design that’s ready for anything.
The Bric’s X-Travel Montagne Trolley is an adventurous soft-sided carry-on that is perfect for global (or domestic) travelers looking for rolling luggage that is lightweight and durable enough to go anywhere.
It’s made with a durable but lightweight polyamide fabric that has a PVC coating to give it good water resistance. This carry-on suitcase is tough while still being exceptionally light, meaning it’s easier to lift into the overhead bin or drag across a city.
With three internal pockets and a pair of simple compression straps, the internal organization isn’t anything special, but it works. If you like to be more organized, it’s probably worth investing in a set of packing cubes.
This rolling carry-on also is the perfect size to fit either domestic or international carry-on size restrictions. This adds a ton of versatility and means you can fly pretty much anywhere in the world with this bag.
It is expandable with a wraparound zipper that adds 2” of depth, or compressible with a compression system around the entire exterior, so you can expand or shrink this bag depending on the trip.
This lightweight luggage is versatile enough for any trip.
Bric’s X-Travel Montagne Trolley Specs:
|Dimensions||22″ x 13″ x 9″|
The founder of Travelpro invented the two-wheeled rolling luggage back in the 80’s. They originally started selling carry-on suitcases for flight crews, and now they make some of the best soft-sided bags on the market.
Duffel bags are awesome for their ability to swallow surprising amounts of gear. They are easy to pack, easy to store, and dead simple. Combine that with a pair of wheels, and you get a load-hauling machine that’s ready for any long adventure.
The Travelpro Bold 30” Rolling Duffel is a massive beast compared to most rolling luggage. With 118 L of storage space, it has room for family vacations or long-term international moves.
The exterior fabric is a rugged high-denier polyester with a waterproof coating. This material should prove almost indestructible for normal use.
Everything about this bag is rugged and overbuilt. With reinforced wheels, skid guards, corner bumpers, and big, beefy handles, it feels tough and should stand up to some abuse.
The massive main compartment is divided into two sections, and each of them can be accessed by its own dedicated zipper opening. This makes it easy to keep things organized and separated and makes the enormous space that much more functional (if you need one large space, you can also zip away the divider to combine the two compartments).
Getting into the lower compartment isn’t super easy when everything is packed to the brim, so I wouldn’t use this for anything you need frequent access to.
It also has an outside-access wet pocket that works great as a hidden laundry bag for keeping damp or dirty clothes separate from the rest of your gear.
It comes in an array of colors, so you can pick one that will be easy to find at the baggage claim.
Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that this duffel is huge, bulky, and a little difficult to manage. If you can get away with something smaller, I’d recommend that. However, if you need a massive rolling duffel as your checked luggage for gear-intensive trips, this is the one to get.
Travelpro Bold 30″ Rolling Duffel Specs:
|Dimensions||31″ x 17″ x 16.5″|
Eagle Creek has been selling travel gear for over 40 years, and they specialize in highly durable and capable bags and suitcases for travelers who venture far off the beaten bath.
You won’t get sleek urban styling in Eagle Creek’s lineup, but you will get tough, functional designs and a fantastic “No Matter What” warranty.
During travel, wheeled luggage really makes a lot of sense for carry-on bags. With wheels, you don’t have to carry all the weight, and it’s easy to maneuver through crowds or wait in lines at airports.
Sometimes, though, a backpack is a better option. If you are venturing into more remote areas or will be doing a lot of walking, dragging a suitcase behind you can be awkward and cumbersome.
The Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Convertible Carry-On Backpack is an innovative carry-on that can transform from a standard rolling suitcase into a comfortable carry-on backpack.
This bag has thickly-padded shoulder straps and a supportive hip belt to help distribute the load when using it as a backpack. I love that the bag is really designed around backpack carry rather than just throwing shoulder straps on as an afterthought.
When you’re ready to use it as a wheeled carry-on, the shoulder straps and hip belt can stow away behind a zippered panel so they aren’t in the way.
This carry-on backpack has oversized durable wheels with chunky rubber tires that perform great over rougher surfaces.
One thing I don’t love is having to deal with all the straps and buckles while wheeling through the airport or stuffing it into overhead bins. Even when you stow away the hip belt and shoulder straps, there are still compression straps that can snag and get in the way.
One last feature: this rolling carry-on backpack comes with a smaller 18L daypack that attaches to the front of the main bag. I love that you get a full-sized carry-on and a compact travel daypack in a functional package.
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Convertible Carry-On Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions||21.8″ x 14″ x 9″||18.3″ x 11″ x 6″|
|Weight||5 lbs||1 lbs|
Db is a Scandinavian brand that builds tough luggage for adventurous travelers. With bags for everything from skis to surfboards to mountaineering gear, they have luggage for any adventure.
Db also emphasizes innovative design, and they’ve invented an array of technologies meant to make their bags light, protective, and functional.
The Db Strom Roller Bag 90L is a big, tough softshell rolling luggage with a simple (yet highly functional) design and durable construction.
This big two-wheeled bag has a ton of storage space for longer or more gear-intensive trips. The main compartment opens fully, making it super easy to pack and access anything inside.
There isn’t a ton of organization, though. You get a few mesh pockets along the inside to store small items, but I would prefer having multiple compartments. I really like being able to have a designated place for everything while packing, so while the big open compartment can fit a lot of stuff, it isn’t the best for keeping it organized.
One of the most innovative features of this rolling luggage is the “rib-cage” design, patented by Db. It is a softshell bag, but it has hard ABS ribs built into the material. This gives it extra rigidity and makes it very protective for your packed gear while still staying lightweight.
This bag also has Db’s unique “Hook-Up System” that lets you attach a carry-on or backpack from Db. This makes it easy to roll through the airport without juggling multiple bags.
If you’re looking for two-wheeled rolling luggage that’s big, protective, and durable, the Db Hugger is worth checking out.
Db Hugger Roller bag 90L Specs:
|Dimensions||33.4″ x 19.6″ x 11.8″|
Here’s another product from Travelpro. While they originally started with two-wheeled rolling luggage, they also make some great spinner luggage. The Travelpro Platinum Elite line is their high-end range of rolling luggage designed with flight attendants, pilots, and other frequent fliers in mind.
Platinum Elite products cost more than Travelpro’s less expensive suitcases, but they have higher-end materials, more advanced designs, and an upgraded limited lifetime warranty.
The Travelpro Platinum Elite 25” Check-In is a stylish, smooth-rolling suitcase that is fully outfitted for the most organized travelers.
The four spinner wheels are ultra-smooth and plenty durable for long-term use. Spinner wheels don’t shine on rough surfaces though, so if you’re heading out on cobblestone streets in Europe, you’ll probably want to get one of their bags with two wheels.
The built-in TSA-approved lock is super easy to use and keeps your belongings secure throughout your trip.
The organization of this suitcase is awesome, and it is way more than you see in most check-in luggage. There is a fold-out garment holder for hanging clothes like suits and dresses, two exterior pockets, a removable wet bag for toiletries and liquids, and a nifty compression system with two zippered pockets built-in.
I love seeing that level of organization in a suitcase, though for many people, it may be more than you need (especially the garment hanger). It also adds extra weight to the bag. While weight isn’t the most important thing for checked luggage, it is good to be aware of so you don’t end up paying extra for an overweight bag.
If you want a durable and super organized softshell check-in suitcase, the Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner is a great choice.
Travelpro Platinum Elite 25″ Specs:
|Dimensions||28″ x 18.5″ x 11.8″|
Underseat carry-ons are perfect for keeping all your travel essentials like electronics, books, passports, and snacks close at hand (never separate yourself from your snacks while flying).
The Samsonite Theorym is ideal for this, with tons of organization pockets to keep your phone, tablet, headphones, charging cords, books, and more within easy access in the airplane. You can pack your clothing in your checked bags or bigger carry-on while keeping smaller items close by in this underseat spinner suitcase.
The overall design is well-thought-out, with storage in the lid and a padded laptop/tablet sleeve that folds out of the way to give access to the main compartment. You also get an exterior pocket so it’s easy to get to important items.
The 360-degree spinner wheels make rolling it through the airport effortless.
The zippers are also lockable, so you can add a TSA-approved lock to keep your belongings secure.
This underseat carry-on is small, and most people will definitely want a bigger carry-on to be their main suitcase. It is also surprisingly heavy for its tiny size.
If you need a little extra packing space in addition to your main carry-on or check-in suitcase, the Samsonite Theorym is a perfect addition to your travel arsenal.
Samsonite Theorym Underseater Spinner Specs:
|Dimensions||18″ x 14″ x 9″|
Bric’s is a 70-year-old Italian brand that makes luggage, purses, packs, and other travel gear with an emphasis on old-world craftsmanship, timeless design, and solid quality.
If you appreciate good design, you’re sure to find something you like from Bric’s. They have a wide range of beautiful products that look amazing and function just as well.
The X-Bag 21” Rolling Duffel is probably the only duffel bag in the world that can claim to be stylish. Typically when you envision a duffel bag, you think of a big, bulky, oblong blob that looks more like a bean bag with handles than luggage. Not so with this sleek carry-on duffel.
The style is spot-on here, with an adventurous but refined design and premium leather trim detail that really adds that next level of sophistication. This carry-on duffel bag is your best bet if you want to travel in style.
Not only does it look great, but also functions great as a piece of carry-on luggage. The big wide-opening main compartment is super easy to pack, and there is an exterior pocket and three internal pockets.
I personally wish there was a bit more organization on the inside to keep things from turning into a jumbled mess. It also doesn’t have any sort of laptop sleeve, so it definitely won’t be the best for business travel or any other trips where you’re taking a laptop.
This carry-on duffel rolls on a pair of oversized ball-bearing wheels that are smooth and durable. You’ll have no problem taking on cobblestoned streets in Europe.
Overall, if you’re looking for a carry-on duffel bag that looks amazing, this is the one to get.
Bric’s X-Bag 21″ Rolling Duffel Specs:
|Dimensions||21.7″ x 12.8″ x 10.2″|
11. CALPAK Hue Medium: Best 24-inch Wheeled Luggage
CALPAK has been selling luggage and other travel products since 1989. This family-owned business specializes in chic, modern, minimalist designs that look great anywhere.
24-inch suitcase is a good compromise when you need a bit more space than most carry-ons, but don’t want to deal with an oversized check-in bag. This CALPAK Hue Medium gives you a check-in suitcase with ample packing space and no unnecessary bulk.
The ultra-simple exterior is sleek and stylish, and it looks good anywhere. It’s also made with a tough polycarbonate shell, meaning it will stand up to some abuse.
Even though this is a big-ish hard shell suitcase, it isn’t overly heavy, meaning you can pack more without worrying about going over airline weight limits.
My one complaint (and you may be sensing a theme here) is that I wish this suitcase had more organization. There is a large divider and a few internal pockets, but it’s pretty basic overall. I like having a place for everything (and everything in it’s place) so more pockets and dividers would be welcome here.
CALPAK Hue Medium Specs:
|Dimensions||26.5″ x 16.5″ x 10.8″|
12. Monos Carry-On Pro: Best 4-Wheeled Carry-On Luggage
It’s fitting to finish this list where we started: with another sleek hard-shell suitcase from Monos.
The Monos Carry-On Pro bag stood out in all our tests for sheer functionality. It has durable wheels, fantastic internal organization, and an external pocket.
This spinner suitcase is built around a durable polycarbonate shell. This lightweight material is tough, and the Monos hard shell is sleek, stylish, and impact-resistant, with reinforced corners. You can count on it to look good after years of travel.
Like all Monos cases, you get their durable and smooth spinner wheels that make them some of the best-rolling luggage out there.
Unlike most hard shell carry-ons, this case has an external-zippered pocket. This hard, protective pocket covers the entire front of the suitcase and has a padded laptop sleeve and plenty of smaller organizing compartments inside. I think external pockets are a must-have for carry-on. I love being able to keep important items within easy access, and the Monos Carry-On Pro is great for that.
You also get Monos’ great limited lifetime warranty, which gives you a lot of peace of mind.
If you’re looking for the best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this sleek and rugged case.
Monos Carry-On Pro Specs:
|Dimensions||22″ x 14″ x 9″|
How to Choose Wheeled Luggage
There you have it! Twelve of the best rolling luggage options on the market. Each one is great at what it does, but which one’s right for you? There’s a lot that goes into choosing the best rolling luggage, from size to materials to features. Here are some of the key things to take into account while you shop:
One of the first things you’re going to need to decide is what size suitcase you need. Are you looking for a big checked bag or a compact international carry-on?
It’s important to understand airline luggage size restrictions when picking a suitcase. Here are some of the categories to choose from and what size restrictions to expect.
- Checked luggage needs to be less than 62 linear inches to avoid extra fees (linear inches means you add the length, width, and height together)
- Domestic carry-on luggage in the US is typically limited to 22” x 14” x 9”
- International carry-on luggage is limited to 21.5” x 15.5” x 9”
- Underseat carry-on sizes vary by airline, but the limit is typically close to 18” x 14” x 8”.
Of course, you should always do a bit of research to make sure a specific piece of luggage will work on the airlines you fly with.
Two Wheels or Four Wheels
The best rolling luggage falls into one of two categories: two-wheeled roller or four-wheeled spinner.
Luggage with four wheels seems to be all you see nowadays. These suitcases come with swiveling 360-degree spinner wheels that let you roll them in any direction. They are smooth, easy to use, and they can even be fun to maneuver through the airport (if anything about airports can be called fun).
Two-wheeled suitcases used to be the norm, but they’ve been losing ground to their spinner-wheel descendants. I still think there are a lot of reasons to choose two wheels over four.
For one, two-wheel luggage is typically more durable than spinner wheels. The wheels are tougher, bigger, and have sturdier mounts, so they do a better job on rough surfaces like cobblestones, brick, or unpaved paths.
Two-wheel suitcases also have more internal space because the wheels don’t take up as much room. This can make all the difference when you’re trying to pack your carry-on to the max.
Ultimately, the choice between two or four wheels comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer the durability and simplicity of two-wheeled luggage, but if ease of use is more important, you may be happier with spinner wheels.
Quality and Durability
Luggage takes a lot of abuse during travel, whether it’s the rough use from airline baggage handlers, or wear and tear from dragging it across cities around the world. The best rolling luggage should be built to handle everything you throw at it (within reason, of course).
There are a few common areas where luggage breaks: zippers, wheels, and corners are common problem areas. Here are a few points to look for when shopping for the best luggage:
- High quality zippers: I couldn’t tell you how many zippers I’ve snagged and broken over the years. I think it’s a curse. YKK-brand zippers are the best in the business, so I’d look for that in a good suitcase.
- Reinforced corners: Hard shell suitcases are most likely to break at the corners where they take repeated impact. Look for cases that have tough, reinforced corners.
- Good materials: A suitcase is only as good as the materials it’s made from. For hard shell luggage, polycarbonate is much better than ABS. For soft shell luggage, look for thick, durable fabrics like ballistic nylon or Cordura.
- Durable wheels: After having a pair of spinner suitcases break in Germany, I’ve become obsessed with finding luggage wheels that can handle abuse. Look for bigger wheels, ball bearings, and thick, rubber tires.
Of course, cost is going to be the trade-off here. Higher-quality luggage will typically cost more. If you are looking to hit an affordable price, you’ll want to find a suitcase that has good value and doesn’t compromise on basic build quality.
Most good luggage brands offer some sort of limited lifetime warranty. Basic warranties typically offer repair or replacement for manufacturing defects within a certain time frame.
Some companies offer better full-coverage warranties that will repair or replace your damaged suitcase no matter what. Carry-on fall from the overhead bin and break a wheel? Covered. Checked bag chewed up by the baggage claim conveyor? No problem.
Of course, luggage that comes with a better warranty usually costs more. You’re paying for the quality and service that goes into selling products that can be guaranteed for life. You’ll have to decide whether that’s worth it or not.
Wheeled Luggage Accessories
If you’re shopping for the best rolling luggage for your next trip, here are a few essential accessories to make sure you are fully equipped.
Monos Compressible Packing Cubes
It can be challenging to keep the main compartment of your suitcase neat and organized. It seems that no matter what you try, it always turns into a jumbled mess.
These zippered packing cubes are fantastic for keeping your suitcase organized. They come in sets of four or six with an array of different sizes to hold everything from socks to shirts.
The mesh front panel makes it easy to see what is inside each packing cube.
If you want to up your organization game while traveling, these are a fantastic choice.
Away Small Toiletry Bag
This small zippered bag works well for keeping all your toiletries organized and in one place.
One external zippered pocket and a transparent internal divider make it easy to see and access all your toiletries. Though it’s definitely compact, you’ll be surprised at how much fits in this little bag.
The small size is perfect for light packers, but if you need a bit more space, you can check out Away’s Large Toiletry Bag.
July Tech Kit
It can be hard to keep track of small electronic items like cables, headphones, and chargers. I usually find myself stuffing them into my pockets, or losing them deep in my luggage and having to dig them out.
This little case gives you a dedicated place for those small, easy-to-lose items. With room for earbuds, chargers, cables, a USB battery bank, and a pen/stylus, you won’t have to worry about losing anything.
The transparent plastic case protects your electronics while making it easy to see what’s inside, while elastic holders keep everything secure and organized.
Why Trust TravelFreak?
All of us on the TravelFreak team are avid travelers, and we have a lot of experience with rolling luggage. We’ve tested suitcases on our own business trips, vacations, and long-term overseas travel.
For this article, I consulted with the team and we put our heads together to list the best rolling suitcases out there. All the bags on this list were meticulously chosen based on our personal experience and testing during our own travels.
It’s a core value here that we only recommend products that we really like and would be happy using on our own adventures. We are dedicated to finding products that outperform others on the market, and everything on this list is the best at what it does (in our opinion and experience, of course).
Think we’ve missed something? Drop a recommendation in the comments. We’re always happy to check out new luggage and see how it measures up!
Wheeled Luggage FAQs
Which suitcase brand has the best wheels?
Monos suitcases have smooth-rolling wheels that are tested to be extremely long-lasting.
What are the best durable luggage wheels?
Eagle Creek rolling luggage has bomber oversized wheels that can take a lot of abuse.
Are double wheels or single wheels better on luggage?
Double wheels are typically more durable and smoother rolling in the long run than single wheels.
What is the best luggage for rolling on carpet?
Two-wheeled luggage is typically better for rolling in carpet than spinner luggage.
Do airlines prefer hard or soft luggage?
Hard luggage is preferred for check-ins as it’s more protective and less likely to snag or tear.