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Best Luggage on a Budget! 6 Stylish Brands to Love

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Maybe you’d rather spend every last dollar on a vacation you can’t afford and carry your things in a garbage bag, but that’s just not practical. Even for a road trip, which is about all any of are doing these days, you need real luggage. Ideally, that luggage is budget-friendly, but it’s also high enough quality that the wheels don’t fall off, the handle doesn’t break, and it’s not so heavy you can’t pick it up. Plus, it should be cute. When you’re walking your rolling bag from the driveway to the front door of your swanky Airbnb rental, that bag is part of your outfit.

With those standards in mind, here are six picks for the best luggage on a budget.

Best luggage on a budget

1. Beis

Beis bags feature clean design details and quality touches you’ll appreciate, like 360-degree wheels and a cushioned pillow handle on the hardside bags, or a padded laptop sleeve that comes with the backpack tote. The design aesthetic of the line-up is understated class. The hardside bags are available in one of four gorgeous neutrals: beige, black, matcha (a soft, olive green), and sakura (a lovely pink rose). Or, for a bolder look, choose the black-and-beige striped design in the everyday tote or backpack tote. You can also grab a matching striped wristlet and cosmetic pouch, for the ultimate in coordinated separates.

Beis price points range from $24 for the woven cosmetic pouch to $198 for the carry-on roller bag. If you need multiple pieces, shop the hardside luggage sets — you save 10% on two pieces and 15% on a set of three. Shop Beis luggage at Beistravel.com.

2. Samsonite at Kohl’s

Samsonite has been lugging travelers’ stuff around for at least a century. The brand is a little all over the place in terms of price point. Some Samsonite hardside bags can set you bag $350 for the carry-on size, while others are in the $150 range. Your best option for a budget rolling luggage is the Freeform style, available at Kohl’s.

The price point is $100 to $150, and Kohl’s isn’t shy about discounting from there. Choose from eight colors, some of which look oddly similar to Beis’ line-up.

3. American Tourister

American Tourister is a lower-end Samsonite brand. The brand was established in the 30s by a guy named Sol Koffler, who wanted to build a good suitcase that he could sell for a dollar — if any brand has budget luggage roots, it’s American Tourister. The company that owns Samsonite bought the brand in 2009, but American Tourister still offers decent quality, hardside bags for about $100.

The Moonlight 21-inch spinner is normally priced at $110, but it’s on sale right now for $77. Color options include this rose gold floral pattern, a tropical print, marble, solid rose gold, iridescent white, or iridescent black.

4. AmazonBasics

AmazonBasics luggage is cheap but is a little boring from a style perspective. The most attractive pieces in the line-up are the Urban softside spinner bags, which are available in a textured black, periwinkle or olive. Key features include a built-in TSA lock plus high-density, water-resistant fabric.

You can buy a carry-on sized bag for $80, or a three-piece set of spinner bags for $189.

5. Adidas for duffels

Personally, I travel with a duffel whenever possible. It’s definitely harder on my shoulder than a spinner bag, but it holds a lot more stuff — since there are no wheels or telescoping handle taking up space. If you’re up for carrying your stuff rather than pulling it along behind you on wheels, a duffel is the way to go.

Adidas duffel bags give you a big logo to show off, plus some features you’ll appreciate — like a water-resistant base and a lifetime warranty. You can wash it, too. You can grab a medium-sized Adidas duffel on Amazon for $40 or $50.

6. HFSX for backpacks

For those getaways when you only need your laptop and two summer dresses, a roomy backpack will do the trick. HFSX is a brand that sells mostly on Amazon. The bags are constructed of water-resistant nylon and feature built-in charging cables, a headphone jack, separate laptop compartment, and padding on the back, shoulder straps, and grab handle.

HFSX backpacks are priced at under $30.

Those are my picks for best luggage on a budget. IMO, you can’t beat a multipurpose backpack for $30 or a gorgeous hardsided bag that’ll last for $200.

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Monica W

Saturday 19th of November 2011

After being charged an enormous fee both ways for his checked bags, the spouse came home from the business trip and weighed his then empty bags. He learned that his empty bag weight allowed for 10 pounds only of clothes + shoes for a week-long business trip. After research and some careful outlet shopping, he gained 30+ pounds of packing weight in roomier luggage from a luggage outlet store. When shopping, consider cubic packing space, empty weight of the bag itself and current airline weight and dimensional restrictions. For price, check outlets and online. Brand? Some of the brands we grew up with are the very bags allowing you only 10 pounds of packing weight for clothes and shoes. You want replaceable inline skate wheels for durability and easy repair. At least the minimum of ballistic nylon exteriors for durability. Color/ pattern should be the ugliest you can find to stand out on a busy day at the airport. Adding clashing color straps, luggage tags, ribbon or glitter to those new bags helps even more. You want memorable bags for easy grabbing post-flight. Buy a luggage scale and weigh your packed bag before leaving the house. Take that number and check the airlines you normally fly or might need to fly. Tuck the scale into your bag for checking before your return trip. Your bag should already be the correct external dimensions, but check anyway. All this careful shopping, packing and weighing means you save money from overweight bags at the gates later.

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