questionswhat's a quality yet affordable luggage set?


Have you checked Amazon and their reviews? I hear that there are some really good deals there.


Oh, my. You are so unlikely to be getting any helpful responses, just now. Pity you don't have another account to ask with. Most of staff does (and I have a list of who is who), but as far as I know, you are completely innocent of this subterfuge. I shall do my best to be helpful.

I have Samsonite luggage. It has the nice 360 degree spinner wheels, four of them. I have two pieces. They were new while I still worked, purchased sometime around 2003 or so, so you know they've seen some serious air time. They're just slightly scratched up, in the most minor of ways. They are sort of hard sided. I'll try and find a link, but it's going to be hard, considering it's been ten years.

There's only one problem. They were NOT cheap. Not even a tiny bit. On the other hand, they have stood up to everything. The only other item of luggage I love as much is my Swiss Army (Victronix) computer bag, which is a thing of beauty.



My luggage "set" came from a thrift store. An unbranded but new/unused carry-on + good condition Samsonite upright spinner for <$15.

Intact? No funky smells? Zippers sturdy? Rolls well? Priced right? I say good enough.


Here are some tips on buying spinner luggage from The O

Sorry, I do not have any real personal experience, I pack extremely light and do not typically use much more than a carry on and a backpack.


Dang. Prices have changed in ten years. Who knew?

That item leads to about one zillion other links, too.

It's very similar to what I have, except...

It's EXPANDABLE! It's currently on sale for $98 (marked down from $300).

Ships from and sold by

I honestly don't think you'll do better than this.

{Best thing about this question? It's something I can actually be helpful with, and know about.}

...also... Upvotes for everybody. You get an upvote, and you get an upvote!!! It makes me so happy to see other people helping and not being mean.


@shrdlu: Much like the other changes here, I think the majority of us regulars know that it's not TT's fault for the new rules, so for now, we're still here to do what we usually do - which is helping others.

That said, on the other end of this seesaw is fun. And when that fun leaves, guess what will fall to the ground? ...



Had to find Oprah that fateful day.


@shrdlu: I do have an anonymous non-staff account but I see no reason to hide.

I like that piece you linked. I've looked st luggage and yes, at Amazon but there are sooooo many. I'd prefer to have some personal recommendations.


I think it worth shelling out extra bucks for some quality luggage. I bought some nice pieces of LLBean Sportsman luggage many years ago. Still going strong. They have a three piece set on sale
They are always improving and tweaking, so this is not exactly what I have. Plus this is only in black. But then it's on sale ! Plus free ship. The best part if at any time you aren't happy with your purchase they will take it back.
As in anytime. I had a duffle rip after a few years of light use and they replaced it no questions asked.
I have an LL Bean card, so I also get free monograming-- and used some earned certificates.. I got a unique color thread so my suitcase stands out at baggage claim. I highly recommend getting monograming, even if you have to pay for it for that reason.
They are simply the most helpful and nice customer service around.


They have some single pieces on sale too, as well as some other luggage sets. The guarantee on their products is bar none.


I'm a fan of hard shell/case luggage with spinner wheels. Theres not fabric to get those black stains that sometimes appear on the bag after checking it. The hardcase keeps things from getting squished. If you are carrying a bookbag/pocketbook/carry-on then you won't miss the outer pockets. I've also never broken a spinner I have one from Calvin Klien and my wife from Delsey and we like both of them. here is hers, it's got probably 15-20k miles on it.

they have all different sizes and probably sell a set. It won't be very cheap though...We rarely check bags so we paid out a bit extra for a good carry-on.

BTW: I also do not blame you for the changes. I have said it before and I'll do so again. Of all my gripes, not one is about you. (except that you delete my post all the time :-P)


Make sure you look at the zippers first. They are often what manufacturers cheap out on, and are also the first point of failure. The zipper and the teeth should be metal, not plastic. Also, larger teeth is better than smaller teeth. Often on the cheap luggage, the zippers will be plastic with really small plastic teeth - they won't last long. The best zippers will often have YKK on them - standing for a Japanese company that makes quality zippers.


Good stuff here. Funny that I was looking at a Delsey set that was on close-out on Macy's online. Still scared of spinners though although I love the idea of them over the typical two wheel bags.


@thunderthighs: In a crowed airport you'll really appreciate being able to pull that bag up close to you and roll it along side you. can't do that with the two wheeled things that have to be tilted. just some food for thought. I was really jealous of my wife's ability to do that and my next suitcase had them. no trouble so far :-)


Not sure which brand to suggest, but check the quality of the handles and how they are attached to the luggage. I've lost otherwise good luggage to airport staff tossing them by the handle. Last year on a trip with the entire family the baggage handlers ripped off not only the handle but several inches of luggage around the handle. The airline replaced the luggage, but we never found some small items that fell out.

I keep trying to convince DH that hard-sided luggage is the way to go, but he's incredibly stubborn. Ah, well. One day it will be HIS idea and then I will discover that we have all new luggage.


I travel a lot and I pack heavy. I am packing even now for my summer vacation which will include a visit with family to transform an office to a live-in caregiver bedroom, the World Science Fiction Convention where I will be in the art show and have a booth to sell art, a week in New Orleans, and a week long Caribbean cruise with two formal nights. So I have to pack for hard labor, dining out, hot and humid sport activities, swimming, and formal dining, on top of packing enough art for a fairly major sales event. So you can see what I mean by packing heavy. Rather than buy expensive luggage that will survive many trips i buy inexpensive stuff i can afford to replace if it gets damaged. Here are some of the things I look for in luggage:


1. Not black. I want my luggage to stand out on the carousel. My current set is tan with brown leaves.
2. Smaller, lightweight pieces. When the airlines went from 80lbs per bag to 50lbs per bag, I found that I couldn't stay under that with the bigger pieces. I don;t want to waste my weight on the suitcase either.
3. Sturdy piggyback straps that will hold the weight of the other pieces.
4. Spinner wheels. I can't usually find them on cheaper luggage but they are very nice.
5. For non-wheeled carry-ons, comfortable straps that stay in place. External pockets for easy access to documents, snacks, glasses and sunglasses. Before I got the tablet I wanted a separate, easy access pocket for the laptop to make the scanners easy, but I don;t have to remove the tablet for scanning.
6. Ditto on good quality zippers.


@thunderthighs: Hey. Get the danged spinners. Have I ever steered you wrong? My luggage has been on every major US airline, and plenty of puddle jumpers you never heard of. It's been manhandled by everyone from airlines to Vegas bellhops (not known for caring), and those wheels are great. As long as you're not on carpet, you can push your luggage around with a finger, and this matters when you're tired, and changing planes, and the gate you got off is on this side of DFW, and the gate you need to be at is WAY over there, on the other side of the airport.

I've never seen one of them damaged. Someone else commented about zippers, and they were spot on. Zippers are an earmark that can warn you of poor construction. Just get the spinners. Do it. You know you want to.


Oh, and here's one weird thing I look for in a carry-on. I want to to be firm enough that I can use the top of it as a small table to put a drink or rest the tablet on to watch movies in the waiting area, and to serve as a footrest while actually aboard the plane. Most "pilot's bags" fit this bill, most backpacks and carry-on type bags do not. Thanks, by the way. This discussion has reminded me of a few things I need to add to my packing list.

Headphone splitter
Headphone extension cord
USB to mini usb cable


@moondrake: A week in New Orleans? Fun or business? If you're showing your art somewhere, let me know. I might be able to make the 1 hour trip over to see your stuff! (Retirement DOES have a few perks.)

BTW, to make it easy to identify my current plain old black fabric luggage at the airport, I always tie some glittery ribbons on the handle.


Don't know if you are familiar with ebags, but it might be worth a look.

They have several sets on sale right now. I purchased a Delsey soft-sided set from them many years ago and it is still going strong. No spinner wheels, just the two, but they work fine for me. As do the zippers -- never been an issue. I can pack a ton into the largest bag, and even a good amount into the next size bag.

Unfortunately, I don't see any Delsey sets on sale at ebags right now. They do sell the brand, though, if you want to pick individual pieces. But some of the sets on sale are respected brand names with lots of good reviews.


@belyndag: The week in New Orleans is pure fun. The Sci-Fi con and art show is in San Antonio. I was toying with the notion of seeing whether I could find a craft fair in New Orleans that would let a guest artist have a space for the weekend since I'll have my jewelry with me, but most craft fairs require you to bring your own table and I obviously won't have one. I may poke around and see if there are any opportunities. Church and school fairs usually provide tables. It would be fun to add New Orleans to the many places where I have sold my art (on four continents so far...)


i switched from 2-wheeled, soft luggage to 4-wheeled hard case spinner luggage and i think it's worked out well.

-easier to navigate as you can push the bag alongside you or in front of you
-bag itself is lighter
-hard case is pretty durable and easy to clean

-if you're used to using a luggage rack in the hotel, the hard case can be more troublesome as your stuff is in two halves of the bag, rather than one big part of the bag (does that make sense? sorry, i'm sleepy).
-harder to find a cheap deal

i got my set at's made by samsonite. costco may not have the same set any more, but they do have pretty good deals on quality bags.


I'd recommend going to the store to see actual sets to give you an idea of the size, features, etc. But places like Marshalls and Ross have a pretty good supply at good prices, if you're only looking to get a couple of pieces and don't mind that they won't always match.


If you can find it for a price you can afford, go Victorinox. I've got a few pieces from them, I bought the first over 10 years ago. After being on countless road trips and weekly flights, I have yet to have any issues other than some slightly frayed fabric where the bag got snagged once. Every piece I've bought since then has been of the same excellent quality, I've only got them because I didn't need such a big bag, like the first once I purchased.


When we needed to replace ours, I looked in stores first so I could check out how well/poorly made various brands and models were. Once I had it narrowed down, I checked reviews on Amazon and eBags. We do a lot of international travelling, so weight of the bag empty was important. Another high priority was the warranty offered and how easy it was to get replacement parts, if necessary. Usually we have our hands full with children and their bags, so being able to lasso the bags together and still pull them easily was another feature we examined.

Just checked and the bags we currently have that are doing well were made by Heys and American Tourister. We do have some with the spinner wheels and no problems whatsoever, with more than 20K miles on them in under a year. We have fabric ones and soft shell type, which I prefer b/c of weight.

Gl and let us know what you end up getting. Shopping vicariously through others is fun!


Ok, so I bought some luggage.

I went to Macy's because I knew they would have a lot of selections for me to peruse. I wasn't looking to buy there, just look them over for size and other stuff. After looking over quite a lot of them, I had decided on soft side, around 25", and low-profile spinner wheels. That last part was important to me. Some of the suitcases had wheels that stuck way out from the suitcase and that just seemed like an invitation to breakage.

I really liked the Victronix Werks 4 but I wasn't going to pay $350 for one suitcase. As my son and I discussed, I'd be sick if something happened to it. I could get a cheaper one and be fine replacing it in a few years if I had to. I mean, my set that I have now is a cheap set that lasted me 20 years.


Next it was off to Costco. I found a set there I liked and bought it. It's a Ricardo Hybrid 2-pc Set for $149. It had the low profile wheels that I wanted. It's expandable and lightweight. It had hard edges but soft sides. I decided it was good enough and Costco is good for returns. It's not on their website. I'm pretty sure it was an exclusive for Costco because the others online have different wheels. Oh, and it's a deep purple.

We also went shopping for son some tennis shoes. Same thing we do every year at this time. We've bought the exact same shoe for 3 years now. We buy one pair and order another just like them to be sent to us. BOGO 1/2 off. He wears one pair for half the year and then switches to the next pair. My son hates shopping more than I do.