Feel free to pack heavily with the best checked luggage of 2019

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Travel carefree with this checked luggageTravel carefree with this checked luggage — Photo courtesy of iStock / YakobchukOlena

Some travelers strive to pack light, whittling their luggage down to just a carry-on. There are whole articles and video tutorials that teach travelers how to travel with just the essentials. But if you’re going on a long trip, or perhaps a trip that will take you through several different climates, packing just a carry-on isn’t an option. There are just some trips which call for full-sized luggage that needs to be checked.

The durability of any suitcase is put to the test once it’s checked. Once it’s put on the conveyor belt behind the airline counter, you no longer have control over how your bag is handled. Airlines try their best to treat every bag as if there’s precious cargo inside, but even when extra precaution is taken, bags are tossed about and jostled around in the cargo hold. So you’re going to want a piece of luggage that is sturdy enough to endure the worst case scenario.

The experts at Reviewed.com have tested a variety of checked luggage to research not only how resistant they are, but also how much can be packed and if souvenirs and duty-free items can withstand a long journey home. They’ve also evaluated price, how the suitcase handles being toted from the taxi to the airport to the hotel, how secure the suitcase is, as well as how the luggage helps with staying organized while on the go. Here are their results.

– Reviewed, a 10Best sister site, has a team of product experts who review and recommend items to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, they may earn a small share of the revenue. Their picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

1. Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 29” Expandable Spinner Suiter

Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 29" Expandable Spinner SuiterTravelpro Platinum Magna 2 29″ Expandable Spinner Suiter — Photo courtesy of Reviewed / Seamus Bellamy

Reviewed.com’s Best Overall checked luggage is the Travelpro’s Platinum Magna 2 which offers 137 liters of space. It’s spinner wheels are aligned by magnets, making it easy to pull around the airport. It has a large expandable zippered pocket in the front which is ideal for items you want to separate from the rest of your luggage, like wet bathing suits or muddy shoes.

The main compartment of the Magna 2 has two zippered pockets – one lined with plastic which is perfect for toiletries and liquids, while the other is a breathable material perfect for clothes. There’s also a compression strap that helps you stuff as much clothing as you’ll need.

Where to buy:

Amazon – $331.81 »

2. The Large Away Suitcase

The Large Away SuitcaseThe Large Away Suitcase — Photo courtesy of Reviewed / Seamus Bellamy

The Large Away Suitcase is Reviewed.com’s Best Hard-Sided Suitcase. For travelers who need the extra peace of mind that comes with a hard shell suitcase, this suitcase does a great job at protecting your belongings from rough impacts or from being crushed by other suitcases in the airplane’s cargo hold.

In addition to being durable, the suitcase is built with security in mind. The Large Away Suitcase has a built-in combination lock that keeps your belongings inside safe.

Where to buy:

Away – $295.00 »

3. Briggs & Riley Large Expandable Spinner

The Briggs & Riley Large Expandable Spinner is quite an investment, but according to Reviewed.com’s experts, “we’ve never encountered a more robustly constructed suitcase.” It’s built to last a lifetime of travel with plastic bumpers on its most vulnerable points.

Its leather handles and smooth gliding zippers not only provide comfort, but also add a bit of style and luxury, making the luggage both functional and fashionable.

Where to buy:

Amazon – $715.00 »

4. Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling DuffelEagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel — Photo courtesy of Eagle Creek

The benefit of a duffel is that it’s lighter than most pieces of luggage (the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel is only a little over 3 pounds), it doesn’t take up much space in storage when it’s not used, but it can expand to fit everything you’d need on a long trip.

This rolling duffel is versatile – it can be pulled around by its two wheels, or it can be worn as a backpack with its sewn-in straps.

Where to buy:

Amazon – $158.98 »

5. Timbuk2 Quest Large Rolling Duffel

Timbuk2 Quest Large Rolling DuffelTimbuk2 Quest Large Rolling Duffel — Photo courtesy of Timbuk2

The Timbuk2 Quest Large Rolling Duffel is another excellent choice for travelers who prefer duffel bags over traditional suitcases. The Quest Rolling Duffel is a bit smaller than the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler (coming in at a 60-liter capacity versus the Eagle Creek’s 90-liter capacity). However, Reviewed.com experts say that its retractable handle and wheels that stick out further than the Eagle Creek duffel make handling and maneuverability much easier.

Where to buy:

Amazon – $174.99 »

6. L.L. Bean Sportsman’s Expandable Rolling Pullman, Extra-Large

L.L. Bean Sportsman's Expandable Rolling Pullman, Extra-LargeL.L. Bean Sportsman’s Expandable Rolling Pullman, Extra-Large — Photo courtesy of L.L.Bean

The vintage vibes of the L.L. Bean Sportsman’s Expandable Rolling Pullman will make it easy to find when you’re at baggage claim. But according to Reviewed.com testers, its style is its only benefit. When it came to maneuverability, it couldn’t compete to other suitcases in the security line test. It also showed wear and tear after only a few walks down the sidewalk.

As for organization, the luggage only comes with a set of compression straps and not many pockets. Travelers should use packing cubes to organize their belongings when traveling with this luggage.

Where to buy:

L.L. Bean – $319.00 »

7. American Tourister Sonic 28” Spinner

If you’re looking for an inexpensive suitcase that can get you from point A to point B with no frills, the American Tourister Sonic 28” Spinner is a good choice. Though Reviewed.com’s experts found loose threads along the luggage’s seams and the zippers didn’t zip or unzip all that smoothly, it was able to maneuver through the airport with ease.

If you don’t travel often, perhaps only one or two vacations per year, then the American Tourister will get the job done.

Where to buy:

American Tourister – $83.99 »



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