Luggage Rating Sources
Total of 24 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
2011 Summer Buyer's Guide: Luggage
by Editors of Outside magazine
Our AssessmentSince 2004, Outside magazine editors have been abusing new luggage and naming the best choices each year. Their top pick for 2011 is the Thule Crossover 60-liter Upright, which earns a Gear of the Year award. Several of their top picks from previous years are still available as well. Editors at this site review close to 60 bags in all, although not all of these have been subjected to hands-on testing.
by Editors of Outside magazine
Our AssessmentIn this roundup of the best buys in the travel business, Ted Alan Stedman names his top two picks for luggage. The high-end Tumi Ducati Evoluzione International Carry-On is his all-time favorite. Stedman says this bag combines durable construction, great organizational features and sleek looks "inspired by the Ducati 1199 Panigale motorcycle." His runner-up choice is the Patagonia MLC (short for "maximum legal carry-on"), a nonwheeled bag with tuck-away backpack straps that fits into the smallest airline luggage bins.
Choosing a Bag
by Doug Dyment
Our AssessmentTravel expert Doug Dyment runs this site devoted to "the art and science of traveling light." He discusses factors to consider in choosing a bag when that one bag is all you plan to carry. Other articles under the "What to Pack It In" tab recommend specific pieces of luggage for leisure travel and business travel, as well as dual-purpose luggage that serves both needs well. A long article addresses why Dyment believes wheeled bags are a bad idea.
by Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentTesters at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluate 24 carry-on suitcases for durability, comfort and performance. The bags were dropped from a 3-foot height, wrenched by the handles and scratched with sharp wire. Testers also pulled wheeled bags through doors and over curbs to test their rolling performance and poured water on them to test their weatherproofing. Each bag is given a letter grade, accompanied by a summary of its pros and cons. Warranty information for each case is also provided. Four bags earn A grades, but two of them are now discontinued.
by Editors of Wired
Our AssessmentWired, a site better known for its technology coverage, also reviews other products, including luggage, on occasion. The most recent luggage review is a detailed -- and enthusiastic -- write-up of the Timbuk2 Wingman, a carry-on that converts from a backpack to a messenger bag. The other four are from a 2009 round-up of rolling carry-ons by Tumi, Samsonite, Eagle Creek and Victorinox. Each bag gets a brief evaluation and a list of what's "wired" and what's "tired." The Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 scores second best, with an overall rating of 7 points out of 10. However, the nonwheeled Wingman fares better, with a score of 8 out of 10. We also found a link to a review for another Timbuk2 bag, the Command Messenger, which earns a rating of 7 out of 10.
We Test 5 Supersized Suitcases
by Jason Kephart
Our AssessmentSmartMoney magazine asks Travel Channel host Samantha Brown to test five big, expensive suitcases. She tests their durability by tossing them down a flight of stairs and evaluated their maneuverability, looks and features. The SmartMoney magazine award goes to the $950 Tumi Alpha Wheeled Expandable Extended Trip suitcase, which Brown finds light, durable, stylish and practical.
Luggage Ratings & Reviews
by Contributors to LuggageOnline.com
Our AssessmentThis retail site publishes owner-written reviews and ratings of luggage from many brands. The lists show the average rating and are easy to narrow down to your specifications. The main luggage page also has a tool for finding carry-on bags that meet a specific airline's requirements. Though not all bags have accumulated enough reviews to give their average ratings much weight, the site lists a few bags that get great marks from many reviewers. It also shows the overall rating for an entire brand. Most luggage brands get overall ratings of 4 on a 5-point scale, but some -- including David King Leather Luggage, Tumi, JanSport and Briggs & Riley -- get higher scores based on feedback from hundreds of users.
by Contributors to eBags.com
Our AssessmentMany brands and styles of luggage are sold here, most getting fairly high ratings -- sometimes from hundreds of owners. One useful feature of the site is its "best of the best" list, which identifies the top-rated bags in each category. You can also sort the reviews of a bag to read the most critical comments. It's a good site for checking owner-written reviews once you've narrowed your choice. Cases made by eBags itself receive the largest number of reviews here; other popular brands include Baggalini and Samsonite.
by Contributors to REI.com
Our AssessmentThis retailer makes it easy to browse luggage listings, showing not only the overall rating for each bag, but the number of owner-written reviews on which it's based. When you click on a bag to read reviews, the main pros and cons are nicely summarized at the top.
Field Test : 5 Lightweight Bags
by Charles Passy
Our AssessmentCharles Passy tests five lightweight rolling suitcases in a hands-on torture test. Each bag gets an overall grade (ranging from A-minus to D), plus a brief evaluation of its durability, functionality, features and warranty. The Eagle Creek Tarmac 25 bag gets a much higher overall grade than the other four bags, including the much more expensive Tumi Vista and Samsonite Black Label X-Lite (both now discontinued). Passy notes it is also the only one that carries a lifetime warranty.
The Best Lightweight Check-in Luggage
by Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentExperts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute test 11 bags that are too large to carry on board, but light enough to make it easier to meet new airline weight limits. Tests cover maneuverability, capacity, durability and weight. Recommended are the five bags that pass a handle-strength test; the bags that fail aren't specified. Only one of the top picks, the Briggs & Riley Transcend 24-inch Upright, earns perfect scores for water resistance, durability and fabric abrasion, but its expandable handle sometimes sticks.
Our AssessmentThis blogger says he prefers nonwheeled carry-ons for their lighter weight. His reviews are incredibly detailed, with lots of photos. However, he does not compare bags or make recommendations. Also, navigating the site can be tricky; you have to click through page after page of entries in reverse chronological order to pick out the useful reviews. However, if you're interested in a specific piece of luggage, it's worth doing a search to see what he has to say about it.
The Best Carry On Bag
by David M. Rowell
Our AssessmentWe'd rank this review much higher if its recommendations were more up-to-date. Most of the top picks are now discontinued, although it's sometimes possible to guess which current models have replaced them. The testing includes measuring the bags – knowing exact dimensions is crucial now that airlines are tightening up on size and weight requirements -- and the reviews are detailed, noting drawbacks as well as strengths.
Carry-on Bag Buyer's Guide: Avoid the New Airline Luggage Fees
by Doug Stallings
Our AssessmentThis travel site recommends four carry-ons (a backpack, a rolling duffel and two wheeled suitcases), but notes that if you only plan to take one or two trips a year, a discount-store carry-on is fine. Though no testing is documented, this is an authoritative source. The review includes useful tips on how to choose a bag to maximize the chances of being able to carry it on.
Best Wheeled-Luggage for Your Budget
by Editors of CBS News
Our AssessmentThis segment from CBS News' "The Early Show" commemorates the 40th anniversary of the introduction of wheeled luggage. After noting how far rolling bags have come since the original, hefty Samsonite suitcase in 1970, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg discusses the most important features to look for in a wheeled bag: a good warranty, sturdy wheels and a convenient shape. The six bags covered in this segment range in size from 25 to 42 inches -- too large to carry on, but not too bulky to maneuver through the airport.
by Contributors to One Bag, One World
Our AssessmentThis blog's focus is on one-bag travel. The "Gear Reviews" section contains many luggage reviews, but the names and credentials of the authors are not generally provided. Most reviews here are fairly detailed, discussing the bags' dimensions, construction and useful features. However, the site does not actually rate or recommend specific products. As a result, we have relied on this site only as a source of additional information about top-rated products.
Rating Carry-On Luggage
by John Flinn
Our AssessmentTravel editor John Flinn recommends against buying rolling luggage, instead favoring carry-on bags that can convert into backpacks because they're lighter, hold more, are easier to pack and provide better freedom of movement. He recommends several bags based on his personal experience, including the Patagonia MLC, the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on and the eBags Weekender eTech Convertible.
Test: Freeway-Legal Scooters, Top HD Tuners, Tricked-Out Travel Mugs
by Jen Trolio
Our AssessmentThough this older review's title doesn't mention luggage, it includes three rolling suitcases. Each bag is rated on a 10-point scale, with a brief summary of its pros and cons. Only two of the three get Jen Trolio's recommendation. Interestingly, the inexpensive L.L.Bean Rolling Adventure Duffle, medium, gets a slightly higher rating than a Tumi bag that costs over seven times more (and is now discontinued).
by Contributors to FlyerTalk.com
Our AssessmentThis frequent-flyer forum has a thread devoted to the best luggage with more than 400 posts. Most of the recommendations here are for lines of luggage rather than specific bags. Seasoned travelers recommend a few brands over and over: Briggs & Riley, Travelpro and Red Oxx. The Red Oxx Safari-Beanos and Air Boss carry-ons are often specifically recommended. Tumi bags have some adherents, but even more detractors. Posters also discuss brands to avoid, including Pierre Cardin.
Top 10 Carry-On Bags
by James Martin
Our AssessmentOnly five of the 10 carry-on bags recommended here have full reviews based on testing, but these tests are quite thorough. A few of the picks have been discontinued. The site also has many tips on packing and European travel. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentYou'll find thousands of pieces of luggage for sale here from many brands, but only a few get enough reviews to be meaningful. However, since quite a bit of luggage gets low ratings, it's worth checking this site after you've narrowed your choices to see if any criticisms are important to you.
With These Bags, You Can Carry On
by Ellen Crean
Our AssessmentIn this segment from CBS News' "The Early Show," Real Simple magazine editor Kris Connell names the best carry-on bags from a test of more than 100. Connell names a winner and runner-up in each of four categories: Pullmans, duffels, totes and backpacks. The four-minute video clip is accompanied by a list of the top bags, with a one-sentence summary for each pick. However, more than half of the recommended bags are no longer available.
The Best Rolling Luggage
by Madaline Sparks
Our AssessmentThis article is described as a "road test" of rolling luggage, but there is no description of the testing methods used. Nine cases are recommended as being best for specific uses, such as short trips or business travel. Descriptions are brief, however, and there's no mention of the cases that didn't make the cut.
Brand-New Bags for Flying Light
by Jayne Clark
Our AssessmentJayne Clark recommends five lightweight carry-on bags to help travelers avoid checked-baggage fees. Their sleek designs make it easy to get these bags into overhead compartments. The brief description of each bag includes pros and cons, evidently based on examination of the luggage. Criticisms are quite minor, but no real testing is documented, and it's not clear how many other luggage brands and models are considered. Moreover, of the five recommended bags, only one (the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22) is still available.