If you’re shopping for luggage on a budget, it can be difficult to find affordable luggage that is well-built enough to last more than just a few trips. With so many cheap suitcases out there, it’s hard to separate the ones that deliver good value from the ones that will break within a few months.
I’ve traveled all over the world, and typically on a limited budget, so I know all about using affordable suitcases. In Germany, I destroyed the wheels of two cheap bags dragging them over the cobblestone streets. Since then, I’ve focused on finding luggage that is both affordable and durable. It’s not worth saving a few bucks on a suitcase that you’re going to have to replace after a few trips.
That’s why our approach to affordable luggage is to find suitcases that hit a reasonable price point without compromising on quality and durability. In the long run, you’ll save more money by investing in something that’s built to last.
That’s not to say you have to spend a fortune to get a functional, durable suitcase, of course. This guide will give you the best choices for affordable luggage that will stand up to the abuse of travel.
AmazonBasics is known for providing good-value products at low prices, from shirts to keyboards to staplers. With an AmazonBasics suitcase, you won’t get the same craftsmanship and attention to detail as more premium brands, but you can expect good overall construction.
Carry-on bags can take a lot of abuse from travel, so when you’re shopping for an affordable carry-on, you want something that’s durable enough to handle being stuffed into overhead bins and dragged all over the place.
The AmazonBasics 21” Hardside Spinner is a surprisingly well-built hardside carry-on suitcase for it’s low price. With a durable shell, smooth spinner wheels, and ample packing space, this simple case stands out in the crowd of affordable luggage.
The ABS plastic hard shell isn’t quite as durable as a polycarbonate suitcase, but it’s about what you’d expect at this price point. The textured, rippled design of the hardshell actually improves durability, strength, and scratch resistance.
This case doesn’t have any exterior pockets, but inside it has compression straps, a zippered divider, and three zippered pockets. It’s easy to keep your carry-on items organized and accessible.
The four spinner wheels provide smooth rolling in any direction. They feel surprisingly sturdy and should last a long time as long as you aren’t taking them on super rough terrain.
Overall, this AmaonBasics carry-on is a fantastic choice for anyone needing simple, reliable carry-on luggage at a good price.
AmazoBasics 21“ Hardside Spinner Specs:
|Dimensions||22″ x 14.9″ x 10″|
eBags is a luggage brand founded in 1998 with the goal of creating a better travel experience. One of my favorite things about this brand is that they highly emphasize customer feedback and are constantly making changes based on reviews, comments, and returns.
eBags has a huge range of products, and all of them are offered at relatively low prices. They pack in a lot of value and features for some of the best affordable luggage out there.
Hardside luggage is the best option for anyone needing more protective luggage for breakable items. The best affordable hardside luggage should be sturdy, lightweight, and offer good interior organization features.
The eBags E.V.M. Medium Spinner is the best affordable hardside suitcase I’ve come across. It combines a sleek, stylish design with sturdy construction and fantastic interior organization.
With a sturdy polypropylene hard shell, aluminum telescoping handle, and well-built spinner wheels, this case is reliably constructed. While it might not be ready for the apocalypse, you can count on this cheap suitcase to get you where you need to go without falling apart.
This case comes with a built-in TSA lock that lets you keep your belongings secure. Integrated locks are much more user-friendly than dealing with an external luggage lock.
This suitcase maximizes interior packing space with an expandable design that adds up to 1” of storage capacity. When you travel frequently, expandable packing space is a great feature that makes a suitcase more versatile for a variety of trips.
If you’re looking for carry-on size hardside luggage, there is also an eBags E.V.M. carry-on.
If you’re looking for hardside affordable luggage, I highly recommend you check out the eBags E.V.M.
eBags E.V.M. Medium Spinner Specs:
|Dimensions||26.3″ x 18.5″ x 11.5″|
Travelpro was founded by a Northwest Airlines pilot who invented the first rollaboard suitcase. He started the company building luggage specifically for pilots and flight crews, and that function-oriented design carries over to incredible luggage for all travelers.
For decades, Travelpro has been at the forefront of luggage innovation. They are constantly evolving their designs to deliver lighter, more durable, and more functional products.
Softside luggage is an especially good choice for a carry-on because you get more external pockets that keep your travel essentials easily accessible on the go. A softside carry-on will also typically be lighter weight and easier to lift up to overhead bins.
There definitely are cheaper options out there, but the Travelpro Maxlite 5 hits it out of the park when it comes to delivering high value for your money rather than being the cheapest luggage on the market.
This softside carry-on is built with high-denier polyester fabric with a DuraGuard coating. This makes this bag water-resistant and durable enough for frequent travelers.
The rollaboard design of this suitcase uses two wheels that are mounted at fixed positions, rather than the spinner wheels that have become more popular. There are many advantages to the two-wheeled design including better durability, improved ergonomics, and easier rolling over rough surfaces. In my opinion, once you leave the smooth tile of the airport, two-wheeled luggage is a much better choice.
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 is an incredible-value softside suitcase that will last for years without costing a fortune.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Specs:
|Dimensions||23″ x 14.5″ x 9″|
LEVEL8 is a luggage brand that emphasizes minimalist design for maximum functionality and versatility while traveling. Their suitcases are stylish, well-built, and offer great value at an array of price points.
Luggage sets are a great way to save money if you need to buy more than one suitcase. You can get two or three bags at a discounted price when compared to buying suitcases individually.
Coming with a carry-on bag and two checked bags, the LEVEL8 Grace Set offers fantastic value in a travel combination that will keep you ready for anything. The low price for three solid suitcases makes this one of the best affordable luggage options out there.
All three bags have the same construction with a polycarbonate shell and reinforced aluminum corners. These cases are highly protective and are built to take a beating.
The included 24” and 28” check-in suitcases give you tons of storage capacity. You also get the flexibility to bring both for bigger trips or choose just one for shorter excursions.
The carry-on bag in this set has an external pocket that opens with enough room for a 15.6” laptop. This feature isn’t common in hardside suitcases, especially at this price point, and it is fantastic for keeping electronics or other items easily accessible during travel.
As an added bonus, all three suitcases nest neatly inside each other. This saves precious storage space when you aren’t traveling.
Whether you’re traveling with a family or just need more space for long-term travel, the Level8 Grace Set is a fantastic way to get three solid suitcases at an affordable price.
If you don’t need quite so much space, it’s also available in a two-piece set.
LEVEL8 Grace Set Specs:
|Carry-on 20″||Checked 24″||Checked 28″|
|Dimensions||21.8″ x 14.5″ x 9.4″||26.8” x 18.5” x 10.6″||30.7” x 20.5” x 11.8”|
|Weight||9 lbs||9.5 lbs||11 lbs|
5. AmazonBasics: Best Affordable Luggage Brand
If you’re looking for a good brand for the best affordable luggage, it’s hard to go wrong with AmazonBasics. This is Amazon’s in-house brand that builds all sorts of products targeted at value-oriented buyers. From batteries to clothing to laundry detergent, they offer a huge range of products at impressively low prices.
While AmazonBasics luggage won’t have the same level of quality control, high-end materials, and convenient features as more expensive brands, they sell functional suitcases that are durable enough for traveling around the world.
Whether you are looking for a lightweight carry-on or a massive checked bag; a softside or hardside suitcase; luggage with spinner wheels or rollers; you can find a functional and affordable option from AmazonBasics.
Here are a few top luggage choices from AmazonBasics that stand out from the rest:
|21″ Hardside Spinner||3 Piece Set (21″, 26″, 31″)||Expandable Soft-Side Luggage|
|Dimensions||22″ x 14.9″ x 10″||21″ x 14.7″ x 9″ (21-inch)
25.9″ x 16.1″ x 10.6″ (26-inch)
30.9″ x 17.5″ x 12.9″ (31-inch)
|24” x 16.7” x 9.8”|
|Weight||7.3 lbs||5.5 lbs (21-inch)
6.8 lbs (26-inch)
7.8 lbs (31-inch)
Samsonite is probably the most recognizable luggage brand out there. You’ll find them in stores around the country, and if you look around at the airport you’ll see a lot of Samsonite luggage.
There’s a reason for their popularity. Samsonite has built a reputation for making functional, high-performing luggage across every price point.
If you are looking for the most durable luggage possible, you want to focus on simple, proven designs that use burly materials and bomber construction. Especially if you’re looking for affordable luggage, bells and whistles just add more things to break.
Some of the most common failure points in luggage are torn zippers, cracked hard shells, and broken wheels. The best durable luggage option should address these areas with improved construction and design.
The Samsonite Andante 2 was clearly designed with durability and affordability as the first priorities. Unlike a lot of other affordable luggage, this bag doesn’t try to copy more expensive designs. Instead, it keeps things simple with a duffel bag design and adds in heavy-duty materials and construction.
This big bag is built around a sturdy frame with two wheels that are oversized to make it easier to pull over uneven surfaces. In my experience, bags with spinner wheels are much more breakable than two-wheeled rolling luggage. This design is a huge bonus for durability, especially if you’re going beyond smooth concrete and tile floors.
The main material of the bag is a thick polyester fabric with a waterproof coating. This construction is very wear-resistant and should hold up for a long time.
If you’re on a budget and want a bag that can take a beating, the Samsonite Andante 2 is a fantastic pick.
Samsonite Andante 2 Wheeled Duffel Specs:
|Dimensions||28.6″ x 14.5″ x 13.7″|
Delsey is a Paris-based brand that has been around since 1946 when they started making and selling leather cases during the birth of tourism and mass travel. They emphasize building products that have high quality while keeping prices accessible.
Delsey luggage combines excellent styling with high attention to detail in a surprisingly affordable pricepoint. If you’re looking for stylish affordable luggage, Delsey is a good brand to look at.
Whether you’re traveling with kids or just need lots of packing space for a longer term trip, sometimes you just want one massive checked bag that can fit everything you need.
Bigger luggage means you’re hauling heavier loads, so it’s even more important to get a bag that is well-built and can handle the wear and tear of travel.
The Delsey Maubert 2.0 is a massive rolling duffel bag with tons of space for any adventure. The design is simple, stylish, and durable. Though not everyone may like duffel bags, this 29” rolling duffel is a fantastic solution for anyone needing a single large luggage piece without spending a fortune.
This duffel is made with 300-denier polyester fabric that’s made from recycled water bottles. This fabric should stand up to a lot of travel abuse, and it’s great knowing that it’s made from bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Whenever possible, I try to buy products that are recycled to do my part toward protecting the world I love to explore.
There isn’t much going on in the main compartment: just one cavernous space with a wide-opening zippered lid. If you like having lots of organization pockets and dividers, this probably isn’t the best choice, but it sure makes it easy to fit a lot of stuff.
While it doesn’t have an integrated TSA lock like some of the other options on this list, it does have lockable zippers and comes with a separate TSA-approved lock.
It also features an RFID protected pocket for cards, and the main compartment has Delsey’s patented SECURITECH zipper sliders which are three times more resistant to forced opening than other zippers. You can count on this duffel to keep your belongings secure while traveling.
This duffel rolls on two polyurethane wheels that are rigidly mounted into a sturdy frame. This two-wheel design is much stronger and more reliable for heavy loads than spinner wheels.
The Delsey Maubert 2.0 is a good choice for anyone needing affordable luggage that’s big enough for hauling loads for families or extended trips.
Delsey Maubert 2.0 Specs:
|Dimensions||30″ x 15″ x 14″|
Founded in 1933, American Tourister is one of the largest luggage brands in the world. They focus on delivering high-value suitcases at affordable prices.
When traveling, it helps to have your suitcase be as light as possible. Lighter luggage means it’s easier to lift into the overhead bin and drag through the airport. Good lightweight luggage should be around 5 lbs without compromising quality and durability.
At just 5.4 lbs, the American Tourister Wavebreaker 20” helps take the load off while traveling. This minimal weight is perfect for a carry-on for frequent travelers who will be taking their suitcase everywhere.
The ABS hard shell of this lightweight carry-on is stylishly rippled and textured across its surface. This is for more than just for show, though. The rippled pattern actually improves the structural rigidity of the shell, and the texturing makes it more resistant to scratches and wear.
In the interior of the main compartment, this suitcase has compression straps, a large zippered divider, and two zippered pockets. It’s easy to keep all your belongings organized and accessible with this simple but functional design.
This carry-on suitcase rolls upright on four double spinner wheels with a telescoping aluminum handle. It rolls smoothly and keeps any weight off your arm and shoulder while maneuvering it through the airport.
One thing I wish this suitcase had is more carrying handles. There is only one grab handle on top, and more handles on the sides or bottom would make it easier to lift overhead.
If you’re searching for a lightweight, minimal carry-on for travel, I definitely recommend the American Tourister Wavebreaker as a budget-friendly pick.
American Tourister Wavebreaker 20″ Specs:
|Dimensions||23″ x 18″ x 11″|
Samsonite does a really good job at providing high-value luggage within affordable price points. You can expect consistent quality and solid design features in all of their products, and it’s easy to find deals because they are in stores everywhere.
Spinner luggage has exploded in popularity. With the smooth-rolling easy maneuverability, it makes sense why. For a piece of spinner luggage to stand out from the crowd, it needs to combine durability with a streamlined user-friendly design.
The Samsonite Voltage DLX is a well-built suitcase with sturdy spinner wheels, an attractive hard shell design, and well-thought-out features.
The unique fluted design of the Voltage DLX hard shell is impossible to miss. Not only is it easy to identify in the airport, but this shell is rigid, protective, durable, and scratch-resistant, so you can count on it to protect your travel items on any trip.
The dual spinner wheels on this suitcase have steel ball bearings and sturdy construction. They give impressively smooth performance and should last a long time.
This case comes with an integrated TSA lock for the main compartment zipper. Combined with the hardshell design, this makes for a very secure suitcase that will give you some peace of mind while traveling.
The interior organization is fantastic, with compression straps, a big zippered divider, and plenty of internal pockets. This makes it easy to keep your clothing and other packed items neatly organized.
I highly recommend the Samsonite Voltage DLX for anyone who wants the best affordable luggage with spinner wheels.
Samsonite Voltage DLX Specs:
|Dimensions||31.8″ x 22″ x 13.6″|
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that this is the second Travelpro Maxlite 5 on this list, but this is the international carry-on version. The reason for this is that I truly believe Travelpro’s Maxlite 5 collection offers the best quality-to-price ratio on the luggage market.
Travelpro is a brand that emphasizes quality, durability, and functional design. If you are looking for affordable luggage, I think it’s better to invest a little bit more in something that will last rather than buying the cheapest suitcase you can that will need to be replaced within a year or two.
International airlines have slightly smaller size limits for carry-ons than most domestic airlines. A good international carry-on needs to be small enough to fit these restrictions while still having enough packing space for all your belongings.
You are also more likely to be pulling your suitcase over rough surfaces like cobblestones, brick, or dirt roads when traveling abroad. You need a suitcase that is sturdy enough to take on more challenging terrain.
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 International is a soft-sided carry-on that is intentionally sized perfectly for fitting carry-on size restrictions around the world. Its durable, simplified design offers tons of functionality for international travel, and by not using spinner wheels, it maximizes interior packing space.
Two external pockets give easy access to any items you need while traveling. In my view, external pockets are one of the best advantages of soft-sided luggage, especially for a carry-on.
The Maxlite 5 International is built with burly polyester fabric, high-density polyurethane wheels, and an aerospace-grade aluminum locking handle. While this bag is slightly more expensive than some other options, you get major returns when it comes to quality and durability.
For international travel, you want a carry-on suitcase that is durable enough to survive hard use, and the Travelpro Maxlite 5 international fits the bill perfectly while still hitting an affordable pricepoint.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 International Specs:
|Dimensions||21.8″ x 15.7″ x 7.8″|
How to Choose the Best Affordable Luggage
There are hundreds of cheap suitcase options out there, and it can be hard to know what’s the best for you. While many factors are purely up to personal preference, there are a few key considerations you should take into account when shopping for the best affordable luggage.
Quality and Durability
When shopping for the best affordable luggage, I take materials, construction, and quality into account before convenient features. While having a cool array of packing compartments, built-in laundry bags, fancy spinner wheels, and top-notch styling, all these things are less important than having a bag that won’t break in the middle of your trip.
The best affordable luggage isn’t the suitcase that packs in the most features at a low price, but the suitcase with the best quality, durability, and functionality without breaking the bank.
Here is a list of factors to consider when looking for affordable luggage that’s still durable enough for real-world use.
- Luggage with two wheels is more durable than luggage with four wheels.
- The best hard side suitcases use polycarbonate shells rather than ABS.
- If you can, look for a suitcase with YKK-brand zippers for the best longevity.
- Softshell luggage should have thick polyester or nylon fabric with a waterproof coating.
Buying Affordable Luggage Sets
One of the best ways to find more affordable luggage is to buy suitcases in sets. Sellers will usually offer a significant discount on a set when compared to buying bags individually, so if you need to get both carry-on and checked baggage, a combined set is definitely the way to go in my opinion.
Best Place to Buy Affordable Luggage
It’s hard to get away from the fact that Amazon offers a huge array of luggage, often at lower-than-MSRP prices. If you’re looking for a place to buy affordable luggage, it’s hard to go wrong with searching for deals on Amazon.
Going into a brick-and-mortar store does have advantages over shopping online. You can try out suitcases and get a feel for their size, quality, and features in person before committing to a purchase.
If you’re looking for a physical store to buy affordable luggage, I have had good success shopping at Kohl’s. They often have awesome deals on luggage, so you can score a new suitcase for a low price.
Affordable Luggage Accessories
Samsonite Combination Luggage Lock
Many of the bags on this list don’t come with an integrated TSA lock; instead, they have interlocking zippers that let you use a separate lock to secure them.
If you still want the peace of mind that comes with securing your luggage with a lock, a separate TSA-approved luggage lock can be a great inexpensive addition to your travel gear.
This Samsonite combination lock is an inexpensive, lightweight, and compact way to prevent people from tampering with your luggage. It lets you set your own three-digit code and easily locks luggage zippers so they can’t be opened.
It is also TSA-approved and can be easily accessed by airport officials if they need to inspect your bag.
REI Co-Op Laundry Bag
When you are living out of a suitcase, you want a way to keep dirty clothes separate from the rest of your items. This laundry bag from REI is a fantastic solution that is simple, lightweight, and packable.
My favorite feature is that it comes with shoulder straps so you can carry it like a backpack for trips to the laundromat while traveling.
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes
I find it easy for my suitcase to turn into a jumbled mess during a trip. Even if luggage has good pockets and organization, the main compartment can be hard to keep neat and organized.
Zippered packing cubes can be a fantastic way to help tame the chaos. These packing cubes from AmazonBasics are one of the best affordable options available. They come in a four-piece set with different sizes for packing different items.
The simple zippered design is lightweight and easy to use while the mesh front panel lets you immediately see what is in each one.
REI Co-Op Flash 18 Pack
A good travel daypack is great to have on trips for day excursions once you arrive at your destination. This lightweight daypack from REI is simple, functional, and one of the best affordable packs out there.
Ready for everything from short excursions through town to adventurous hikes, this versatile backpack is something you’ll want to bring on every trip.
Most airlines allow you to bring a carry-on suitcase and a smaller personal item that fits under your seat, this compact backpack can work perfectly as your personal item to keep electronics, books, snacks, and more close-at-hand while flying.
Why Trust TravelFreak?
At TravelFreak, giving you the best information, tips, and product recommendations is something we take seriously. We are all avid travelers ourselves, and we test products in the real world while pursuing our own adventures.
We love obsessing over the details so you don’t have to. Rather than taking products into a lab for testing, we take them out into the field. We’ve all had our share of challenges with luggage: ripped zippers, busted spinner wheels, and bags packed to the bursting point.
Every recommendation we give is based on years of experience dialing in our own travel setups and dealing with frustrations on trips. We demand a lot from our gear and aren’t satisfied with mediocre performance.
For considering affordable luggage, specifically, our approach was to find products that deliver high quality and performance while still being inexpensive, and not just pick the cheapest suitcases on the market. We believe it’s worth investing in high-quality gear that will last a lifetime of travel, and don’t think you need to spend your life savings to get that.
We never recommend products just because they are popular. You can rest assured that all the recommendations on this list are products we actually like and would use ourselves.
Affordable Luggage FAQs
What is the best affordable luggage to buy?
Which brand of luggage is the most durable?
Osprey makes some of the most durable luggage you can find on the market.
What is better hard or soft luggage?
Hard luggage is more protective for fragile items, while soft luggage has more exterior pockets.
What is the number 1 luggage brand?
Monos is the best all-around luggage brand in terms of quality, value, and design.
What time of year is best to buy luggage?
Fall is the best time to buy luggage because the busiest travel season is in the summer.