The Five Best Luggage on a Budget


When it comes to traveling, the last thing you want to blow your budget on is the luggage.

However, you still want baggage that is made well enough that the wheels won’t fall off, and from material that won’t weigh you down. Plus, it should also be cute. If you get a bag that isn’t black, it’s easier to spot on a conveyor belt and can add to your travel ensemble. You might want to try different options in the store, since bags have their own feel as you pull them or tote them.

We’ve compiled our picks for the five best luggage brands on a budget.

Best Luggage on a Budget

Overseas: Samsonite, $199, on sale for $99 at Kohl’s

Budget Luggage Brands

 The key to saving money when buying luggage is to invest in luggage from brands, like Samsonite, that are made to go the distance. It’s easy to find it on sale for up to half off, such as a wheeled bag for $99 (originally $199). The luggages comes with features like a bag that helps you pack for the liquids restrictions at security checks, shoe pockets, pouches for toiletries and expandable designs. They also come with warranties, just in case.

Weekender Luggage : LeSportsac

Lesportsac Bag

These bags last forever (Sara still has her junior high school book bag). The ripstop totes are available in crazy patterns and colors that will help you recognize your bag anywhere you go. For less than $100 (and even cheaper if you stop the brand during a Macy’s sale or at the LeSportsac outlet), you’ll get a nearly weightless tote that you can stuff with whatever you need for a short trip.

Sporty Trip Luggage: Nike

Nike Bag

Hikers and golfers truly understand the utility of pockets. So does Nike. Their gear-ready bags have convenient features designed to work for any activity. For short trips, they have bags that transform from backpacks to cross-bodies to duffels, with special compartments for balls, wet/dry storage, ventilated shoe storage (ahem) and insulated pockets for water.

Carry-on: Anne Klein

Anne Klein Bag

If you can avoid checking luggage, you not only shave travel time from your trip, you also save the additional $25 in fees in both directions. Put that savings into buying an Anne Klein carry-on with stylish (and sturdy) fabrics and great hardware. The “Downtown” model is expandable and has a handle that lengthens for easy pulling.

Long Distance Duffel Luggage: Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer Bag

We’ve found we can over-stuff this duffel with anything except for boots, and it always comes in at just about 50 pounds. Starting at $60, you’ll be able to carry it through any adventure–from a jungle to an urban jungle. Upgrades with wheels and the premium Maximus line will costs more.

Tell us about your favorite luggage brand below.


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Catherine Brock

As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

Blog Comments

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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