Looking for the best lightweight luggage? The art of travel begins with packing smart, and that includes selecting the lightest luggage. Choose these stylish and quality contenders.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have high-quality, lightweight luggage.
Trust me – it’s all well and good having a swanky suitcase with heavy aluminum shelling and fancy handles. But when it takes up half of your weight allowance, I guarantee you won’t enjoy it as much.
On the other hand, there’s no point picking up a super flimsy suitcase that weighs practically nothing and falls apart the minute you inevitably start to overstuff it. Been there, done that.
So, how do you choose?
Luckily, I’m here to be the voice of reason – these are the lightweight suitcases well worth shelling out for.
Best Light Luggage: At a Glance
|Best Lightweight Luggage for …||Product|
|Overall Best Lightweight Suitcase||Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage|
|Best Lightweight Luggage on a Budget||Amazon Basics Suitcases 30 Inch Softside Spinner|
|Best Stylish Lightweight Luggage||Level8 Textured Luggage Check In 24”|
|Best Lightweight Softshell Luggage||Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Lightweight Expandable Suitcase|
|Best Lightweight Carry-on Luggage||Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage|
The Best Lightweight Suitcases
Here are a few of my top recommendations…
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage – Best Overall Lightweight Suitcase
Price Guide: £££
At just 3kgs, finding a better lightweight hard shell luggage option than the Samsonite Omni PC is a challenge. It’s a suitcase that maintains its stunning appearance long after you’ve bought it thanks to the scratch-resistant, micro-diamond polycarbonate texture.
Despite its compact look on the outside, it has a spacious interior. The expandable waist also allows you to free up some extra room. My only gripe with this case is that the interior crossing straps are on the flimsier side, but if you pack right, it works well to keep everything in one place.
The four durable and lightweight spinner luggage wheels rotate in all directions and, if you take good care of your bag, you shouldn’t have any issues with wheel breakage. The zips are smooth, and the trolley handle pops out with minimal effort.
It also comes with a TSA lock, which helps keep all your valuables safe during flights. Just remember it doesn’t include an access key to manually unlock the combination lock, which is a slight flaw.
Hardside Samsonite Lightweight Luggage – Pros & Cons
|Extremely lightweight||TSA lock instructions aren’t easy to follow|
|It has an expandable side for more items||Wheels can pull slightly on carpet|
|Offers a 10-year limited warranty||There is no latch system in case the zipper splits or breaks.|
Level8 Textured Luggage Check-In 24” – Best Stylish Lightweight Suitcase
Price Guide: ££
Though the Level8 24” check-in suitcase is 4.4kg – so heavier than the Samsonite – it’s still one of the lighter options on the market thanks to its triple-layered polycarbonate hard shell. And it’s one of my favourite suitcases.
You can adjust the handle to four lengths while the wheels are quiet and rotate 360°. My favourite part? If you want to lie it down after carrying it, the side bumper feet protect the bag from scuff marks on the floor. A very nice touch indeed.
As for the interior – with three mesh-protected zipper compartments, you won’t even need to use packing cubes (although I still highly recommend them). The only thing that really lets this suitcase down is the lack of laptop sleeve – a shame as it’s a great option for business travellers.
There’s also a TSA lock system, so you can rest easy knowing all your valuables are safe and sound.
Still need convincing? Read my Level8 luggage review.
Level8 Textured Luggage Check-in 24” – Pros & Cons
|Slightly heavier than other options||No laptop sleeve|
|Three compartment interior is super helpful||No built in USB chargers|
Amazon Basics Suitcases 30 Inch Softside Spinner – Best Lightweight Checked Luggage for Budget Travelers
Price Guide: £
If you’re travelling on a budget and need a softshell suitcase that caters to your every need, this Amazon Basics Suitcase is ideal. And, at 3.5kg, it competes with the other fabulous lightweight options in this guide.
This suitcase, while described as a medium size, is deceptively spacious. Nestled inside the large compartment, its smaller internal pockets have zippers to keep it all in one place.
This is a softside case, so it’s not the most protective; however, the soft-touch interior material does help prevent scratching of items like Ipads. Its lightweight polyester material also means you save on weight, so you can pack more items. Sounds like a win-win, right?
It has no safety feature, so you must bring a detachable lock to prevent theft. That said, the telescopic handle makes wheeling it around easy enough. And the short handle is super sturdy for picking up, too.
Amazon Basics Lightweight Softsided Luggage – Pros & Cons
|Very affordable||Soft shell doesn’t offer a lot of protection|
|Expandable waist accommodates more items||Zippers tend to break easily|
|There is no warranty or guarantee|
Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage – Best Carry-on Luggage for International Travel
Price Guide: ££
If you’re looking for the best lightweight carry-on, the Samsonite Winfield 2 is easily the best option. It’s a hard shell bag, so you know all your valuables will be safe from the occasional bump.
Its TSA lock system is a bonus, while the compact 20” size means it’s not a hassle to carry. But you won’t need to carry the Winfield 2, as the gyroscopic four wheels move flawlessly alongside the pop-out pull handle.
The zip-up mesh netting on the one side will keep everything safe and sound — this section is best for laptops. The other side only has a cross-over cord, which is too stretchy, but you can make it work if you pack right.
It may not be expandable, but that’s what makes this lightweight (3kg), durable luggage such an excellent carry-on option. Not only does it keep your stuff safe, but it also ensures it meets the size requirements for most international carry-ons.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Carry-on Lightweight Luggage – Pros & Cons
|Wheels work well on all surfaces||It doesn’t have an expandable waist|
|Offers a 30-day return policy||Easily scratchable|
|Reasonable price||Slightly too small for long journeys|
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Lightweight Expandable Suitcase – Best Softside Suitcase for International Travel
Price Guide: £££
If you’re after a softshell case and have a larger budget, get your hands on the Travelpro Maxlite 5. From its stain and water-resistant exterior to an expandable waist of up to two inches, this bag takes practicality to the fore.
Not only will your goods stay dry, but Travelpro also considers the environment wherever possible. The interior lining is 100% recycled plastic, and while it’s not scratch resistant, it does offer a mesh pocket for storing those smaller travel accessories.
Its trolley handle is also super light and has a contoured grip, so it’s easy to hold. This is a big bag, so only having four relatively small wheels may be a slight concern. However, they hold up pretty well and act like skateboard wheels to a certain extent.
Although there’s no built-in locking system, the zipper can lock with your own lock, so it’s not a huge deal breaker. It weighs only 3.8 kg, making this lightweight luggage bag the ultimate softside option for international travel.
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Suitcase – Pros & Cons
|Has a handy padded laptop sleeve||Only a one-year warranty|
|It’s water resistant||No built-in locking system|
|It’s durable with strong wheels||Handle only locks at the furthest extension|
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero 29 Inch Expandable Spinner Trolley – Best Large Suitcase for International Travel
Price Guide: ££
The Delsey Helium Aero 29” suitcase is a big’un, so it’s no surprise that it weighs in at 5.6kg. Still, that’s pretty lightweight for a case of this size.
Let’s start with the bad news, with a shiny metallic exterior of 100% polycarbonate, it is prone to wear and tear.
But, if you can handle the preloved look, this case might still be the one. As for the wheels, they are one of the strongest on the market. Their ergonomic design makes for a seamless glide on almost any surface, and the extendable handle adjusts to two heights.
It is a fairly big bag, and one side of the interior has mesh netting to ensure all your clothes stay in one place. If both sides had this netting, it would be near perfect, but at least it has an expandable waist to accommodate more clothes.
This is a bag for long-term travel, as it can fit a lot, and I mean a lot, of luggage. And to make this nearly 30-inch lightweight luggage bag that bit better, it also comes with a TSA lock which works effortlessly.
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero 29 Inch – Pros & Cons
|Fairly affordable for its size||The two-year warranty doesn’t cover a lot|
|Wheels are notoriously strong||Zippers are prone to breakage|
|It is very easy to manoeuvre||It scratches easily|
Oflamn Canvas Weekender Bag for Women 47L/21” – Best Weekender Bag for Women’s Travel
Price Guide: £
For all my fellow long weekend lovers, the Oflamn canvas bag is something you’ll want to snatch up as soon as possible. It is TSA-compatible and weighs a meagre 0.45 kg, so even calling it ultra-lightweight carry-on luggage is an understatement.
It is durable canvas material, while its handles and wear-resistant protective patches are artificial leather. So even my veganistas can enjoy the perks of the animal-friendly bag.
The adjustable strap is also detachable, making this stylish bag more sleek. It’s got plenty of nifty little pockets too, from the inner zipper pocket for your purse or wallet to the mesh pocket perfect for chargers.
And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s a separate shoe compartment. So you can say goodbye to the grubby bottoms of your shoes messing with your clean white T’s.
Good luck finding a better lightweight travel bag than this trendsetter.
Oflamn Canvas Weekender Bag – Pros & Cons
|It is airline carry-on compliant||Has no external pockets|
|Comes with a free toiletries bag||It’s not water resistant|
|Easily collapsible when not in use||Shoe compartment takes up a lot of internal space|
Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack – Best Lightweight Backpack for International Travel
Price Guide: £
Searching for the ultimate backpack to make your travels abroad a comfortable one? The Asenlin travel backpack is sure to raise some heads – it caught my eye with its simple design and stunning additional features.
The backpack is made from water-resistant polyester Oxford cloth and almost unbreakable zips. The adjustable shoulder straps make it fit almost any body type, but the cool features are yet to come…
This travel backpack has a designated 17” laptop compartment, so you can keep it safe and sound. Then there are the individual packing cubes — that’s right, it comes with packing cubes. There are three sizes, and they all fit snugly into the bag, saving space for other essentials you may want.
It’s also carry-on compliant, and the shoulder straps can hide away in a zipper compartment so they don’t dangle around and make airplane travel a hassle. Need I say more?
Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack – Pros & Cons
|It is water resistant||Not TSA lock compatible|
|Very affordable for what it offers||Shoulder straps aren’t the most comfortable|
|The additional packing cubes are handy||The drink compartment is on the small side|
Gonex Large Foldable Travel Duffel Bag – Best Lightweight Duffel Bag for International Travel
Price Guide: £
Weighing in at just 0.75 kg, the Gonex large duffel bag is an absolute steal. Its honeycomb nylon fabric is tear-resistant, repels water and packs more luggage than you can imagine.
This duffel bag also folds up, so you can slot it away easily when it’s not in use. It also boasts a separate shoe compartment, which makes it easy to keep everything separate and clean. Speaking of which, the mold resistant coating on this bag means that there’s no need to worry about your clothes smelling gross when you land.
The two handle types make it easy to carry, while the two external zip compartments are perfect for smaller items like your phone. Due to its size and capacity, you’re better off using it as a travel bag. But as it’s not a hardside model, keeping fragile valuables in your carry-on luggage is better.
Gonex Large Foldable Travel Duffel Bag – Pros & Cons
|Folds up to a convenient size||Doesn’t hold shape well|
|Extremely affordable||It can be uncomfortable to carry|
|100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of the purchase||Not ideal for fragile luggage|
Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell – Best Durable Lightweight Set for International Travel
Price Guide: ££
If you’re looking for a lightweight set, look no further than this bright Coolife three-piece suitcase set. It comprises a carry-on friendly 20 inch, slightly larger 24 inch and a whopping 29 inch case weighing 2.7, 3.3 and 4.1 kilos, respectively.
Not only is this set rather affordable and durable, but it’s also got some helpful features that – I believe – every suitcase should have.
From the TSA locks to the zippable mesh pockets, you’ll be able to explore the world knowing your valuables are as safe as can be. The rotating wheels are silent and sturdy, while the retractable push-lock handle has three heights to pick from.
Its colourful exterior is pretty hard to miss. So you won’t have to wait at the collection terminals at the airport for ages wondering if your bag has gone past already. The 28-inch lightweight luggage suitcase is also the largest of the set, making long-term travel an absolute breeze.
Although none of the suitcases have an expandable waist, this won’t be an issue. After all, you’ll have three airline-ready bags to use, so what more could you ask for?
Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell – Pros & Cons
|Offers a two-year warranty||Interior fabric isn’t the most luxurious|
|The set fits into the largest bag for easy storage||TSA locking mechanism is prone to jamming|
|Extremely durable suitcases||The finish does begin to fade after a while|
Best Lightest Weight Luggage Guide – Things to Consider
What should you consider before purchasing your lightweight luggage?
First and foremost, it’s essential to note that lightweight doesn’t always mean durable. If you’re looking for a bag that’s lightweight but still offers a certain level of protection, consider getting a polycarbonate hard-side suitcase.
However, if you’re not planning on carrying fragile luggage, a soft side suitcase will work just as well. Canvas and polyester-cotton mix soft side cases are your best bet.
Remember what you intend on using the bag for. If it’s just for a long weekend, you can get away with a hardshell carry-on case. But a large suitcase is better if you’re planning a longer vacation.
Also, remember that airline luggage restrictions vary for each airline. However, there is a general guideline for international luggage standards that most adhere to.
Material: Hardside vs Softside
The age-old debate of material. Which is better, a hardside or softside suitcase? To be completely honest, it depends on your travel plans. For aeroplane travel, hardside luggage is generally the safe option.
However, if you’re planning a roadtrip, then a soft-side suitcase is easier to fit in a car. So it depends on your travel needs.
As you can imagine, weight can be a major issue when packing for a trip, so the weight of your bag is essential. Hardside suitcases are naturally slightly heavier than that of soft-side options.
But again, it is slight. I personally prefer a slightly heavier hardshell case.
Wheels can be the bane of every traveller’s life, especially if one breaks mid-trip. Trust me – you want a 4 wheel case that spins 360 degrees.
Keep the interior space of the bag in mind. Many luggage options come with expandable waists, which offer slightly more interior space. And if a bag has a separate shoe compartment, just remember that it’ll also take up a lot of your internal space.
Every bag has its quirks, so identifying essential extras is a must. For example, the necessary extras to have are the TSA lock and the expandable waist.
Other not-so-necessary extras that are still nice to have include additional pockets, mesh netting and packing cubes.
Summary of the Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel
If you’re starting from scratch and need the best lightweight luggage, I recommend grabbing the Samsonite Omni PC or the Level8 Textured Luggage. To accompany them, I’d grab the equally magnificent Samsonite Winfield 2 for your carry-on companion.
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