Luggage Reviews and Helpful Travel Tips
Welcome to the Homepage of Luggage News, a UK based website, where we do extensive luggage reviews for people living in the United Kingdom. When people like you and us travel, then almost always we are going to need some form of luggage. This could be anything from a simple piece of hand luggage, a backpack, a couple of suitcases, and all the way through to an expensive luxury luggage set.
So whatever it is you are looking for, the chances are, that you will want to have check some reviews before you buy. This is what this website is all about. We explain the many different types of luggage available. We check out what materials they are made of and the different price ranges. We also examine the luggage brands, and try and help you find the best type, for your own travelling needs.
As you can imagine, there is a lot to cover, which we will try and do on this website. A great place to start is to read our extensive UK luggage buying guide. Just by reading that guide alone, you will quickly learn what types of luggage are available in the UK.
That can then help narrow down the choices that are best suited for your own individual needs. You can click on one of the handy links below to go straight to a section that interest you. Alternatively, please read through this page, to get a full understanding of the many choices available.
Research can certainly help all of us make better decisions. Buying luggage is like most purchases, in that you get what you are willing to pay for. The price range of luggage varies wildly. The more you are willing to spend, the higher quality you will be able to buy. Mind you, the way some airport handlers treat our luggage, you do wonder is it worth the expense.
Your choice will come down to the following thought process. Do you want to buy a high quality set that will last for years? Do you simply want a case to use right now? Do you want a decent set that will last for a few years? If you travel on business, you may simply want a good piece of cabin luggage that holds your laptop. The good news is, that there is a suitable piece of luggage for all of those scenarios and more. Let's check what is available in the UK market.
What are the Different Types of Luggage?
There are many types to pick from. We will try and narrow this down into the various types. We think that is as good a place to start as anywhere else. There are ten different types, which we have shown below. They fall into three broader categories which we have described below.
Checked in Luggage
Checked Luggage - this is luggage, usually suitcases (hard case or soft case) or larger duffle style bags that you have to check in at the airport. These will go in the hold of the aircraft. These are always restricted by weight, and each airline have their own rules on the size and weights that you are allowed.
Typically these are used when going on longer holidays, where you need more luggage. Always check before flying if there are any size or weight restrictions with your chose airline. That will help you avoid expensive extra weight charges when checking in for your holiday.
Carry On Luggage
Carry On Luggage - This is also called hand luggage or cabin luggage. In essence a bag that you are allowed to take on board. This needs to be able to fit in the overhead cabin space, or under the seat in front of you.
The sizes and weights allowed are determined by the company you are flying with. These can vary a lot, so always check with the company who you are flying with.
Other Luggage - This includes items like garment bags and backpacks,
Now that we know the three broad types of luggage, we can have a closer look at each type that sits within that category. There are, believe it or not, EIGHT different types of luggage options.
Eight Different Types of Luggage
These are also known as shell cases and offer better protection for your items.
These suitcases are made from a canvas material and are lighter than a hard case.
The hard cases can be bought in sets of varying sizes for matching luggage.
The soft cases can be bought in sets of varying sizes for matching luggage.
Now you know the choices, it is a matter of deciding which you actually need. Underneath I have given a description of each type of luggage. I have also included a short review of what I believe to be the best for each category. There will also be a link to a more detailed page on each type, where you check what is available and how they compare to each other. That will be done in terms of buyer rating, price and brand.
Best Hard Sided Suitcases
People who buy hard sided luggage do this for two main reasons. They know that it will last a great deal longer than the soft side counterpart. they also know it will help protect the contents of the case. Those are indeed both true. Typically hard cases are more expensive than soft ones.
They are however a better choice for most people. Typically these will be used for going on holidays, and especially should be considered, if you are planning on an International destination. The slight disadvantage of using these is that they usually weigh a little more than the soft sided suitcase.
These days I do go for a hard sided suitcases because they can stand the abuse and are tough. This does mean sacrificing a bit of packing weight, but I figure that is worth it. They used to be crazy expensive when they first came out, but these days, they are in and around the same price as soft-sided luggage.
They look great, wheel very easily and are made from the same materials as crash helmets, so pretty tough. They are also better in my opinion for people who are fortunate enough to take a few holidays each year. This year I have been away three times, and having this type of case, kept my clothes and other accessories well protected.
BEST CHOICE - American Tourister Bon Air 4 Wheel Suitcase
In my opinion, this hard shell sided suitcase from the American Tourister brand, is the best one currently available in the UK market. The one shown to the left is their plain black model. It does however comes in 13 different colours, so plenty of choice there.
These come in three different sizes of small medium and large. The prices vary depending on what size you pick and what colour you pick. The small measures 55 x 40 x 20 cm and holds 31.5 litres, the medium measures 66 x 46 x 25.5 cm and holds 57.5 litres and the large measures 75 x 54 x 29 cm and holds 91 litres.
This shell case is made of 100% polypropylene which is super tough. This one has 4 wheels that move in all directions. There is an address label cleverly hidden at the back of the suitcase.
The bottom compartment has ribbons and it has one zipped side pocket. There is also a 3 digit TSA combination lock for secure travel to the USA and to protect your personal belongings.
Best Soft Sided Suitcases
These soft sided cases are the most common that you will see in airports up and down the United Kingdom. They are generally used for holiday travel. They are cheaper than the hard side or shell case and for most people, they do an excellent job.
One of their main advantages is that they are lighter than the hard versions, and that means you can get more clothes into them. Given the weight restrictions of many of the airlines, that can be an important consideration.
BEST CHOICE - Eastpak Suitcase Tranverz
In my opinion, this soft sided suitcase from the Eastpak brand, is the best one currently available in the UK market. The one shown to the left is their very nice denim model. It does however comes in 27 different colours, so plenty of choice there.
It has all the important features of this type of case. There is a side handle, a top handle that is padded for comfort and a telescopic handle for pulling the case around.
It measures 24 x 32.5 x 51 cm and weighs 2.4 Kg. It has a capacity of 42 litres.
It fits into the cabin as hand luggage and can also go into the hold It is very well made. It comes with compression straps that pull an over-packed bag back to a cabin sized bag! There is a handy front pocket for travel documents. It can also be locked if required.
Best Hard Sided Suitcase Sets
Rather than buy just a single hard sided case, many families will go for a set of these. For example you can get a simple 2-piece set with one main case and a hand luggage case. There are also the very popular 3 piece sets with 2 larger bags and a hand luggage. These come in all shapes, sizes and designs and are a good purchase for those who want to protect the contents of their cases.
BEST CHOICE - Aerolite ABS Hardshell Luggage Suitcase Travel Trolley
In terms of pure value for money, this 3 piece hard shell luggage set will be very hard to beat. Of all the luggage that I looked at, this set shines out from many of the others. There are a lot of brands that sell these sets in the UK.
You get three hard shell quality cases for under £85, and that will be hard to beat.
You can also pick out the ones that are suitable for either Easyjet or Ryanair, and that is always useful, depending on who you mainly fly with.
You get the 21", 25" and the 29" cases, which are all 4-wheel spinners, and they come with a 5-year guarantee. They come in this charcoal colour only.
Best Soft Sided Suitcase Sets
Like the hard sided suitcase sets above, you can also buy suitcase sets with soft sides. These are available in many different styles and from all the leading luggage brands. When buying a set like this, you will always get much better value, than if you bought them as separate products.
BEST CHOICE - Aerolite Super Lightweight 4 Wheel Spinner Luggage Suitcase
Like the hard shell side recommendation above, this soft sided set is also from the very popular Aerolite brand. In terms of pure value for money, this 3 piece luggage set is great value at under £80 for all of the cases.
You can see there is not a huge difference in the price between the soft side and the hard shell options. The big difference here is in the weight, as these are very lightweight.
You can also pick out the ones that are suitable for either Easyjet or Ryanair, and that is always useful, depending on who you mainly fly with.
You get the 21", 25" and the 29" cases, which are all 4-wheel spinners, and they come with a 5-year guarantee. They come in this black/grey colour only.
Best Hand/Cabin Carry On Luggage
This is the category with the most wide and variable choice. The typical carry on comes in many different types. Those include the hard shell, soft shell, laptop bags and many other choices. Generally speaking though these are aimed at people who want to pack enough for a few day's travel, but do not want the wait in the baggage reclaim area of the airport when they arrive.
BEST CHOICE - Cabin Max Manhattan Flight Approved hand luggage
This is one of the better sellers in this very competitive luggage categories. Cabin Max are a well known brand, and this Manhattan model does tick all of the boxes. There are many cheaper options available, but none of them are this high quality.
The tough outser shell is made from a Twill material with suede effect that is tough and long lasting. It can hold around 44 litres of capacity. The main compartment can be locked.
The inner main compartment has a compression strap to keep everything in place. It has integrated integrated pockets and a key clip.
It comes with padded backpack straps if you prefer to use those. There are also 5 exterior pockets, an ID card holder and a range of grab handles to aid lifting into overhead lockers. If all that were not enough there is also a padded 195x245mm iPad/tablet slot on the inside of the bag.
The 55x40x20cm dimensions are perfect for airlines like Ryanair, Thomas Cook and Thompson and also a good fit for Easyjet, British Airways, Lufthansa and many more.
Best Backpacks for Travel
A lot of UK travellers simply want to get from A to B. They do not want to be held up waiting on bags. Almost always they will have some type of laptop and other devices. One great way of doing that, and keeping your hands free, is to travel with a backpack.
Put the straps over your shoulders and take the weight off your arms, and also keep your arms free. Many business people use these. They are also very popular with travellers who like something more casual, backpackers, hikers etc.
BEST CHOICE - Cabin Max Backpack Flight Approved Carry On Bag
This backpack has sold in its thousands. I own it myself and I have yet to find anything better on the UK market, when it comes to a great backpack option.
The black colour may not be for everyone, but worry not. There are over 35 colours available, so there is sure to be one ideal for your own taste.
Priced at under £30, the value for money should be pretty obvious, considering the high quality that you are getting.
It has a 44 litre capacity and it measures 55x40x20cm. Good news as this backpack will suit Ryanair, EasyJet and many other budget airlines
It is VERY light weighing in at just 660g. It comes with adjustable padded shoulder straps, side straps and internal packing straps. There are three main compartments and 2 internal compartments. All of those are zipped. Comes with a 3 year guarantee and is shower resistant.
Best Garment Bags
Garment bags remain very popular with business travellers. With one of these you can carry suits around. Likewise you can carry dresses of various types. One of the most popular uses of these is for wedding parties travelling abroad to get married.
They are also very useful at protecting your suits and coats, when left hanging in a wardrobe. They do help keep the moths away.
This set of three garment bags is I think the best value on the market today. That fact that you get three bags, for under £14 is just plain good value.
These offer good protection to your clothes when flying or on a cruise. They are also great for storing your suits and coats at home. They come with a full length zip for easy opening and closing.
A hole at the top allows the hanger to pop out. Then a small metal hole at the bottom, allows the bag to be carefully folded in half, when being carried
They also look smart and are breathable which is a necessity when storing clothes of any kind.
Best Duffle Bags
And last but by no means least, is the humble duffel bag. People like these because they are light in weight. You can quite literally get all your clothes and other accessories in there, pick it up and go. Normally these are carried over the shoulder. Some are suitable for carry on. The larger ones will normally go into the hold.
If you are looking for a good hold all type of bag, for around £20, then this one should do your job nicely. This type of bag is ideal for a long weekend, or an overnight stay.
It weighs just under 1 Kg and measures 66 x 31 x 31 cm and holds a full 65 litres capacity.
It zips up quickly and has an adjustable shoulder strap. At both ends of these duffel bags there is a useful zipped pocket. In addition there is also a flat zipped pocket on the front of the holdall.
It is made from polyester and nylon. The two carrying handles Velcro together. The zips can be locked. There are 4 studs on the base and the internal base board is semi soft, so the bag can be folded and stored easily.
Some visitors to our website may prefer to find what they are looking for, by different methods. We have included below some familiar ways that people prefer to search for their luggage and travel needs. These are popular with younger people and students. Some people will refer to these as wheeled bags, or holdalls.
Best Lightweight Luggage
Given some of the ridiculous weight restrictions imposed by airlines, many travellers simply want to buy the best lightweight luggage. if you are one of those, then I have a section dedicated to the various types of lightweight luggage. That includes carry ons, hand luggage and luggage sets.
BEST LUGGAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
People in the UK travel regularly to International destinations such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Antigua, Barbados, Chine, Hong Kong, Cancun, UAE, India and more. We review the best luggage for that type of traveller. That includes carry ons, hand luggage and luggage sets.
BEST LUGGAGE FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLERS
If you have to travel with work, then having the right luggage is important. It could be a simple day return meeting, an overnight stay, a conference or a training course. Each can last for different lengths of time. What all business people want is speed and efficiency. Having the right luggage helps a lot.
Which Luggage Brand is the Best?
Now there are some people who just prefer to stick with a good brand like Samsonite. There are many other brands of course and if you like one, then that is a good way of getting the right type of luggage for you. Let's face it, we all like different products, and luggage is no exception. Some people like to travel in style, and some just like to put some things in a holdall and just go.
Other luggage brands include Aerolite, Jeep, Eastpak, Travelite, Skypak, IT Luggage, DK Luggage, 5 Cities, Dakine, Delsey, Everest, Kipling and many more. The one that you pick will mainly come down to the price range that you can afford, and the particular style that you like.
Don't Forget the Kids Luggage
If you have a look around most airports in the UK, you will see that many children now have their own small bag. It's a great idea to keep their bits and pieces in and it really does help them feel like they are going on holiday.
Best Travel Accessories
Almost everyone enjoys travelling. I do understand that some people like just getting to the sun and the sea. They could well skip the plane journey or the boat trip. What can help all travellers is having the right travelling accessories. I have put together what I believe to be the most important ranges of travel gadgets. They will all make travelling that little bit easier.
USEFUL TRAVEL LUGGAGE ACCESSORIES
I have completed an article here on the best luggage scales to pick. Many airlines and travel companies charge £x per kilogram that you are over.
They also restrict the amount of hand baggage that you can have and the weight of that as well. Just don't get caught out and prepare before you go.
If you travel and like to take your pets with you, then having a pet carrier, that is airline approved is a very important thing to have. These make your pets travelling a great deal more comfortable.
Only some of these are approved by airlines so make sure to find out the best ones available.
Personalised Luggage straps are a great way of making your luggage secure, and also making it very fast to identify when standing at the baggage reclaim area.
These also make your case very personal and make them stand out in hotel lobbies, on cruise ships or in busy airports
Should You Buy Expensive or Cheap Luggage?
If you have travelled a lot, you have probably asked yourself this question a lot. In the past we have bought expensive luggage and been furious when we saw it coming off the conveyor belt at the airport. If you ever have time to kill at an airport, it is worth having a look at how your baggage is taken to the aircraft. You check it in, and get a few labels attached, and then it disappears behind the wall. The next time you see it, it is coming off in the arrival's lounge at your destination airport.
The journey for your luggage is a lot more hectic than your own travel experience and that's for sure. When it "disappears" behind the wall, it goes on a conveyor belt and handlers then pick and stack into wire trolleys, which are then driven out to the plane, onto another belt and then into the hold of the aircraft. Did you know.....
Every single year, more than two million checked in bags are lost, damaged or destroyed!!!
I know it is a frightening statistic and small wonder when you see videos like the one just below:
Small wonder that complaints are up 40% year on year. It may seem like I am knocking all baggage handlers but thankfully they are not all like that. In the video above you can see a quick snapshot in a day in the life of a normal working baggage handler at Schiphol airport which serves Amsterdam in Holland.
All of that said, personally I avoid any type of really cheap luggage, because quite simply it will take no abuse, and if you are lucky you might get a few trips out of it. After that it will come apart at the seams. Usually they are not waterproof so if it rains then the cases are useless at keeping your clothes dry. I have bought some in the past and would never do it again.