Welcome to yet another luggage buying guide article. In this article, we have tested all the selected brands to help you decide which brand of luggage is most durable.
I am also going to give out tips on how to select your bags based on durability, and if a bag’s durability is dictated by the brand. We’re going to look into different bag brands and pit them against each other using one quality, which is durability.
My goal for this article is to help you identify which bag brand is best for your needs. Apart from the durability tests, I will also consider plenty of things that defines a bag brad – price point, overall quality, style factor, feature rating, and many more.
I will try my best to compare each brand using a level playing field. I will take into account the biggest durability markers like price point. I mean, it’s not fair to compare A to B, if A is way more expensive than B. To make all of the comparison fair, I will make the price point somewhat of a denominator.
As for the brands that I’ve selected, I’ve decided to only compare brands that are of similar price point. I won’t include the most expensive bag brands in here because that would make the comparison a bit skewed.
Since I’ll be using the price point as a denominator, ultra-expensive bags are in a somewhat precarious position because, you know, they’re extra expensive.
In short, I’ll be comparing the most popular brands from the same price range. This is to get a much more level playing field, comparison-wise. I might do expensive bag brands comparison in the future, but for now, this should do.
Why Does Luggage Durability Matter?
The answer to this question is very obvious but I feel like I need to put this section in here to help you understand how much durability means when traveling.
If you are a frequent traveler, it’s highly likely that you already are aware of how valuable durability is. Not one airline cares about your luggage, to be honest. Your luggage bag will be thrown around by the crew. That’s just the way it is.
As such, luggage bags, especially bigger ones that you have to check in, need to be incredibly durable. Not only should they be able to keep up with being thrown around, but they have to withstand that while also being full with your items.
There’s nothing worse than having a luggage bag fail on you during your travel. This will almost never happen if you choose a bag that is quality and durable.
Without further ado, let’s look at the most popular and promising luggage brands today.
American Tourister one of the most popular luggage brands in the States. While popular, it’s not exactly as recognizable as big brands.
I’d personally place it near the middle of the pack in terms of recognizability. It’s not a brand that you think of first when you hear luggage bag. In fact, most of the buyers of this bag probably only heard of it just before they bought.
So, what makes this brand great and popular?
Probably the biggest reason why this bag has quickly gained quite the market share is their pricing. Many would say that this is the best bang-for-your-buck luggage bag because its low pricing highlights its durability even more. You can’t beat that kind of value, and that’s probably why it’s my go-to choice for practical reasons.
Many of you might not know but American Tourister and Samsonite have the same parent company, Astrum International. They are sister companies, with Samsonite being the bigger one.
That being said, these two companies claim to have maintained a level of autonomy, which they claim is good for the market. I can’t really substantiate their claim but I could definitely see it being true.
It’s only fitting for my next brand to be American Tourister’s big sister company, Samsonite.
This is one of the most popular luggage brands in the world. It’s probably the first brand that comes to mind when someone mentions luggage brand, and rightfully so, because it’s one of the best luggage brands there is. This company is more a century old which adds to its reputation.
As for the quality of their bags, I feel like I don’t need to discuss much. Their bags are quality. They won’t be the giant of the industry if their work is subpar. They’ve always been known to be quality brands, even from their earlier days.
What sets this brand apart from its competitors is they rely on the quality of their bags instead of the price of their bags in order to sell. This strategy seems to have paid off, seeing that it has become one of the largest luggage bag companies in the world.
Pelican Elite is not as popular as the first two brands but it’s probably the most unique, style-wise.
At first glance, their luggage bags look like they are made for the military, and that’s not an accident. They are marketed as military grade bags which can withstand whatever you throw at it. Their high-end bags are water-resistant, too, which is something you won’t see often in this category.
One con is the somewhat unappealing design. If you’re the type who wants to keep things simple and rugged, their designs may be more your style.
If you are a type that gives priority to durability more than anything else, this bag is for you. But if you like your bags to more stylist, this bag is definitely not for you.
Out of all the brands here, Pelican Elite actually looks to be the most durable. If there’s one word I would describe their luggage bags, it’s definitely going to be “indestructible.” But this bears repeating, their style is not for everyone.
This is a French brand that specializes in hardside luggage. It’s not a popular brand but it’s quality-made. It’s quickly becoming the go-to alternative for Samsonite in many parts of the country. It’s still a long ways off before I can consider this brand a direct competitor to Samsonite but it’s getting there, slowly but surely.
The fact that it is slowly managing to go toe-to-toe with Samsonite, feature-wise, is impressive enough. As for the durability though, it’s comparable to American Tourister.
They have a limited warranty of 2, 5, 10 years, and even lifetime warranty in some cases. For the electronic parts for their bags, they seem to only offer up to 5 years, which is a bit weird since those are the part that usually give out first.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a suitcase. If you are not a frequent traveler, one advice is to go for medium-range luggage bags since you won’t be using your bags regularly.
In most cases, these consumers will be redirected to this brand. Rockland is one of those unassuming brands that you’ve always seen but never even considered purchasing. It’s marketed as a cheap luggage brand.
As we all know, in many cases, especially in the luggage bag industry, more expensive = more durable. That seems to be the case here.
Rockland luggage bags aren’t really made to last a lifetime. While it’s true that they have a lifetime warranty, you have to pay $40 first before they ‘inspect’ your bag. Only after their inspection can they determine if the damage is within the warranty. If not, then say goodbye to your $40.
If you think about it, save a couple of $40 and you can get yourself a new bag. Buying Rockland really is a matter of choosing between buying two $100 luggage bags every 5 years, or buying $450 bag for a lifetime. It really depends on how you value your money.
AmazonBasics is like a generic brand that is offered at considerably lower price than premium brands.
It’s tempting to call the items under this brand knock-offs but that isn’t really the case. The opposite is true, actually.
In many cases, Amazon secures a deal to just rebrand legitimate branded items and sell it for cheaper.
As for the quality of their products, it depends on which specific product line you’re looking out for. For cheaper items, you shouldn’t really expect much. For larger purchases, like a luggage bag, for instance, it’s a bit more complicated.
Since their items are being outsourced from all over the place, and from different companies, the qualities, as well as durability of their bags are all over the place.
If you want to ensure that the bag you purchase has high quality, you need to find out the exact model of the bag and do a reverse search to see its brand name counterpart. Only then will you be able to tell if it’s a good buy of not.
One of the biggest selling point of this brand is their price-quality ratio. Their bags don’t come in really cheap but it’s cheaper than its competitors. This brand is more of a mid-to-high range company.
One thing I don’t like about this company is it comes with a 5-year warranty, which is substantially lower than some other brands’ warranties. For reference, American Tourister has a 10-year warranty. One of the more expensive brands, Briggs and Riley, offers lifetime warranty.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you can never go wrong with TravelPro. In my opinion, their best offerings come in their mid-range product lineup, which is where the most value comes from.
If price is more of a secondary priority though, there are better brands out there.
Briggs And Riley
This is probably the most expensive brand here in this article. Earlier I said that I would limit my reviews to brands of comparable pricing but that would limit this article. Probably the main reason why I included this brand is to give you an idea of what premier luggage brands are offering to their consumers.
One feature that you won’t find elsewhere is their lifetime warranty. Yes – lifetime warranty.
This company is so sure of their quality that they offer warranty for all kinds of damages, even ones that are caused by the airlines. They have plenty of patented features on their bags which is unique only to them.
They have some of the coolest features that you won’t even consider when making a purchase, but totally makes sense once you use them.
Now, I don’t own a Briggs And Riley brand but I was really impressed when I came across a demo one time. It is super stylish. One look and you could tell it’s a premier brand.
As for the durability rating, it’s one of the most durable luggage bags, hands down. It’s pricier than usual though, but considering the perks you get from it, the price hike is easily justifiable.
You can tell a lot by a brand, but it’s not a be all end all when judging a product. The qualities of bags vary a lot even within the same brand. What I’m saying is brand matters but not as much as people would think.
Many people think that choosing based on a brand is the only choice when shopping for a bag. That’s not really the case now, especially if you are limited by your budget.
To summarize, brands matter a lot, but only up to a certain point. There are many cases in which a brand coasts on their popularity to sell their items, so you have to really do your research to determine if the item you want is worth the purchase.
If money is not an issue though, you can just select from the premier brands, and forget about it. Expensive items usually are very durable to justify their pricing. Should you decide to go the expensive route, you will never go wrong. How much are you willing to spend depends entirely on you.