Best Hardsided Luggage



For those who are concerned about protecting their items while traveling hard sided luggage is the way to go. Back in the day, even the best hard sided luggage had some major drawbacks.

Best Hard Sided Luggage

When we first started traveling, hardshell suitcases were pretty much that annoying 50-50 split clamshell design. But nowadays companies are more innovative. The best hard sided luggage companies are taking strides with engineering.

Hard side luggage is no longer dramatically heavier, more difficult to open or less expandable than soft-side suitcases.

Nowadays, you pretty much have hard side bags that are wannabe soft side luggage! The only difference is that you get the added protecting hard shells offer.

Some of the major changes in the best hard sided luggage’s design are:

  • Expandability
  • Increased durability
  • Seamlessly integrated features
  • Exterior pockets
Lightweight luggage

How Light is Lightweight?

There are a few things to think about if you want to find the best hard sided luggage for you.

Naturally, unlike their soft side friends, these cases don’t bend or compress. This fact gives you extra protection for fragile items. On the flipside, hard side cases don’t tend to offer packing wiggle room.

You should also know that hard side luggage tends to show wear and tear more than soft side cases.

For this reason, you should heavily consider each case’s warranty in your buying decision.

Without further adoo.. here are the best hard side luggage cases on the market today.

Our lightweight luggage standards

Best Hard Sided Luggage: 

Raden’s A22 Smart Carry on is one of the new kids on the block. This high-tech case offers similar features to the blue smart one case, but with a sleek street appeal.

This bag comes with a handy phone app that lets you weigh your luggage and track it!

The A22 also comes with two charging ports. Although the charging feature is pretty impressive, it does come with a bulky battery. This battery takes up a bit of packing room.

Raden A 22 Smart Carry on

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Key Features
  • Top handle weight sensor
  • Waterproof Zipper with TSA lock
  • Makrolon® polycarbonate shell
  • 7800mAH integrated powerbank
  •  Location sensors sync to Raden iOS appRetractable monotelescopic handle
  • 360 degree wheels
  • Interior zipper mesh compartments

Best Hard Sided Luggage for the Modern Minimalist

Featured as one of our best lightweight luggage spinners, the Delsey Helium Aero had to be on our best hard sided luggage list! This bag looks like other more expensive luggage which is a bonus.

Sitting at a light 8.2 lbs, the Aero lacks a few bells and whistles but has a few nice touches. Our favorite Aero elements are its price point, ample storage space, interior laptop sleeve, and self-health zippers.

DELSEY Helium Aero

Key Features
  • 100% polycarbonate
  • Deep metallic finish
  • Expands up to 2 inches
  • Two lined pockets
  • Web straps
  • Zippered divider
  • Recessed  one-button, two stage locking handle
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Double zpinner wheels

Best Hard Sided Luggage for the Style and Budget conscious

That said, buyers do feel that the Aero has a few too many zippers and is a tad bulky.  

It’s pretty clear why Victorinox’s Spectra 2.0 won Travel + leisure’s 2014 award.

This stunning case has a unique front organizational panel and through pass compartment.

Hello, form and function in a crazy stylish bundle!

Victorinox spectra 2.1 dual axis global carry-on

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Key Features
  • Front organizational panel
  • Quick Access door
  • Two way packing interior
  • Bayer polycarbonate
  • Removable electronics panel
  • Dual caster wheels
  • Multi stage locking aluminum handle
  • Integrated TSA lock

Best Hard Sided Luggage For Easy Access

Samsonite’s Firelight is made of the world’s first self-reinforcing 100% polypropylene. This material offers extremely high levels of impact resistance.

The woven fiber is not only strong but incredibly light. This case weighs in at approximately 4.4 lbs! Everything about this case screams lightweight luxury!

Samsonite Black label firelight

Key Features
  • 100% Curv
  • 350 wheels
  • Fixed TSA lock
  • Add a bag strap
  • Water resistant PU Zipper

Best Hard Sided Luggage For Lightweight Travel

There’s a lot to love about Travelpro’s Maxlite, for one how cool is its shell?! As a top luggage choice for many cabin crew members, Travelpro knows what travelers like.

Unlike many hard shells, the Max lights chroma shift exterior is scratch resistant! And each of this case’s wheels is protected with crash and skid guards.

Travel Pro luggage Maxlite hardside

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Key Features
  • ChromaShift hard Shell
  • Patented Contour Grip Design with TPR touch points
  • Built in TSA lock
  • Alirline-grade alumium handle
  • 360 degree rotating wheels
  • Duraflex anti-break buckle
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Best Hard Sided Luggage for Easy Spotting

The Bluesmart One is one of the first high-tech cases. This case offers a lot of cool features. According to buyers, this case is slightly larger than listed on the website. And, some of these features are a bit buggy.

 However, when it comes the One’s essential features, everyone seems happy. We recommend keeping this bag on your radar unless you are willing to work through a few tech kinks here and there.

Blue Smart One

Key Features
  • 2 USB charging ports that can charge devices up to 6x!
  • 3G GPS tracking
  • Built-in Scale
  • Remote digital lock
  • Water resistant Polycarbonate
  • Front compartment for electronics
  • Intuitive interior packing compartment

Best Hard Sided Luggage for The Tech Obsessed

Never the less we had to include this high-tech case on our best hard sided luggage brands list because it one-ups Raden’s A22 on packing space and new updates are rolling out!
lightweight luggage

We’ve named Pelican’s Elite luggage as the best hard sided luggage for the accident prone, for a reason! This military grade luggage is legendary. Trusted by law enforcement and Hollywood alike to transport delicate items it would be hard to go wrong with the Elite.

Designed with a double wall polypropylene, the Elite can withstand loads up to 1,500 lbs! If packed properly, you should never have to worry about damaged items.

Pelican Elite

Key Features
  • Includes Enhanced Travel System
  • Lid organizer, toiletry kit and zippered shoe sack
  • Recessed press and pull handles
  • Ball bearing wheels
  • Water tight O-Ring seal
  • Automatic pressure equalization Valve
  • Spot cleaning interior Fabric
  • Life time Guarantee of excellence
  • Double wall polypropeline

Best Hard Sided Luggage for the Accident Prone

This case also has a watertight O-ring seal that will keep your items dry in up to a meter of water. The Elite also has an integrated TSA lock, custom ball bearing wheels and recessed handles.

As Tumi’s lightest case, there is a lot to love about the Vapor. This case is definitely not for the budget conscious, but the Vapor certainly backs up its price with loads of features.

Not only is this case nice to look at; it offers ample packing space and tons of organizational compartments.

TUMI Vapor Lite

Key Features
  • Aircraft grade aluminum handle
  • Tumi Tracer
  • Tumi’s lightwest hardside
  • Muti-layered polycarbonate alloy

Best Hard Sided Luggage for the Cool Factor

From the lifestyle brand, Nautica comes the Ahoy spinner. This simple case comes in many nautical and whimsical colors.

These colors are sure to appeal to your sense of style and help your case stand out in the airport!

Made of ABS this bag is less durable than polycarbonate, but also comes at a lower price point. If you are going for a “just for now” case, to tie you over, then the Ahoy is the way to go.


Key Features
  • 100% ABS
  • 360 Wheels
  • Recessed, push locking handles
  • Fully lined interior
  • Two mesh pockets and valet straps

Best Hard Sided Luggage “Just for Now”

Also featured on our Lightweight luggage round up the 4W is a distinctive and modern hard sided case.

This eye-catching spinner features a self-reinforcing hard shell that comes in several vibrant colors.

Online this spinner might not look like much, but in person it is quite nice. We love the 4W’s mod look and design!


Key Features
  • 100% pp ( Polypropylene )
  • Fixed TSA combo lock
  • 10 year warranty
  • 360 degree rotating wheels

Best Hard Sided Luggage for those with a mod style

Incase’s EO Roller offers the best of both worlds. The EO has a hard polycarbonate front that protects your technology. And the back of the EO roller is made of a plush wool-like fabric.

What this means is that you get the front end protection of a hard sided case with the flexibility of soft sided luggage. Its also pretty cool that the EO allows travelers to pass their laptops though TSA machines without having to separate them (more details here).

Incase Eo Travel Hardshell Roller

Key Features


  • 60% Cotton/30% Polyester/10% Thermoplastic Rubber
  • Butterfly opening
  • polycarbonate hard-shell front panel
  • Expandable main compartment
  • Organizer pockets
  • Meets international airline carry-on requirements

Best Hard Sided Luggage for breezing through the TSA.

You should also take note that this bag only has two wheels. For most this aspect of the EO is a bit of a “take it or leave it.” But, other buyers may love the two wheel design.   

Our list of the best hard-sided luggage would not be complete without Globe-Trotter. This time-tested brand makes premium Vulcan fiber suitcases. Globe-Trotter makes luggage that somehow manages to look better as they age.

Globe Trotter

Key Features
  • Hinge-clasp closure
  • Buckle straps
  • Key lock system
  • Compression straps
  • Protective metal feet
  • Vulcan Fiber

Best Hard Sided Luggage Investment

At first glance, you might assume that these cases are heavy. However, the Vulcan fiber hard shell keeps these rolling trunks light and extremely durable.

For this reason, Globe-Trotter is also on our top luggage brands to know and our top 10 luggage brands lists!

Samsonite’s Inova is one of the top rated business travel suitcases. According to buyers, this dependable case lasts for years.

Inside the Inova, you will find two mesh compartments that keep your belongings secure. For the price, this bag is a sleek and cost effective solution for travel.


Samsonite Inova

Key Features
  • 100% polycarbonate
  • 360 wheels
  • integrated TSA lock
  • Flat handle

Best Hard Sided Luggage for Sleek Business travelers

Most basic hard side suitcases aren’t flexible. So it’s pretty great that the Traveler’s Choice Tasmania expands up to 25%! What’s even better is that this luggage sits at a relatively low price point and comes in a set of three.

The “cons” that we’ve found are to be expected of a cost effective hard side case. For example, the Tasmania doesn’t have extra pockets and is a bit heavier than travelers would like.

Rimowa Topas Stealth

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Key Features
  •  Keprotec® and reinforced with Kevlar®
  • Two way zippers with TSA approved lock
  • Exterior pockets
  • Compression straps

Best Hard Sided Luggage with a Hybrid Design

cheers to lightweight luggage! We hope you've enjoyed our work!
Cheers to lightweight luggage! Choosing a lightweight bag doesn’t have to be complicated. To pick the perfect luggage for you, you just need to know what to look for. Our round-up of the lightweight luggage is just starting. As we grow and continue to travel, we’ll be adding more bags for you to check out!

For now, we hope that you’ve found this article useful. This list has some of the lightest and best reviewed lightweight luggage currently available. But, if you have a burning question about a bag you don’t see here, message us! We are happy to help.

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– Winston Churchill

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