The Best Hard Shell Luggage Options for Travelers

When it comes to travel, it pays to have the right luggage. Hard shell suitcases offer a level of protection for your belongings that soft-sided bags simply can’t match. Whether it’s the rigors of air travel or the jostling of a bus ride, hard shell luggage can help keep your clothes, electronics, and personal items safe and secure. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose which one is best for you? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best hard shell luggage options available, and help you find the one that’s perfect for your next adventure.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Hard Shell Luggage

When choosing the best hard shell luggage for your travels, there are several factors that you should consider. Here are some of the key things to keep in mind:

1. Size and Capacity

One of the first things to consider is the size of the bag you need. This will depend on a variety of factors, including how long your trip will be, how many people you’re traveling with, and what types of items you need to pack. Most hard shell suitcases come in a range of sizes, from small carry-ons to large, checked bags.

Another important consideration is the bag’s capacity. Some hard shell luggage may look roomy, but have limited packing space due to their hard exterior and bulky internal frames. Look for bags that maximize interior packing space without sacrificing the strength and durability that a hard shell provides.

2. Material and Durability

Of course, one of the main selling points of hard shell luggage is its durability. While most hard shell suitcases are made from durable materials like polycarbonate or ABS plastic, not all materials are created equal. Look for luggage made from high-quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of travel, including scratches, dents, and other impacts.

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You should also consider the type of hard shell suitcase you want. If you’re looking for maximum durability, consider bags with reinforced corners and other features that provide extra protection against impact damage. If you’re more concerned with weight, look for bags made from lighter materials like aluminum or carbon fiber.

3. Maneuverability and Features

When it comes to hard shell luggage, maneuverability is key. Look for bags with well-designed handles and wheels that make it easy to navigate through airports, hotel lobbies, and other travel destinations. Some suitcases come with four wheels that can rotate 360 degrees, making them especially easy to maneuver.

Other features to consider include the type of locking mechanism the bag uses, and whether the bag has any additional pockets or storage compartments. Many hard shell suitcases now come with built-in TSA-approved locks, making them more secure and easier to travel with. Additional pockets and compartments can be helpful for organizing items like toiletries, electronics, and documents.

4. Price

Finally, price is always a consideration when choosing the best hard shell luggage for your needs. While premium brands like Samsonite or Rimowa can be quite expensive, there are also many affordable options available. Just be wary of extremely cheap hard shell suitcases, which may be made from lower-quality materials and lack important features like reinforced corners or high-quality wheels.

Ultimately, the best hard shell luggage for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, including your travel habits, budget, and personal preferences. By considering these factors carefully and doing your research, you can find a suitcase that will serve you well for many trips to come.

Top Picks for the Best Hard Shell Luggage

When it comes to buying luggage, durability and protection are essential factors. Hard shell luggage is known for its ability to withstand rough handling, making it a popular choice for frequent travelers or those looking for long-term luggage investment. However, with so many different models available, choosing the right hard shell luggage can be challenging. Here are the top picks for the best hard shell luggage:

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Away is a well-known luggage brand famous for its sleek design and functional built. The company offers hard shell luggage in three sizes (carry-on, medium, and large) in their popular “The Bigger Carry-On” and “The Large” collections. Away luggage is made from polycarbonate, which makes it durable, lightweight, and scratch-resistant. The interior is efficiently designed with multiple compartments and a compression system, allowing you to pack more in less space. Away luggage also comes with a built-in USB port, allowing you to charge your devices while on the go.


Tumi is a luxury luggage brand that offers high-quality hard shell luggage suited for both business and leisure travel. Tumi’s hard shell luggage is made from high-grade polycarbonate and features a reinforced frame, providing added durability. The interior of Tumi luggage is intelligently designed, with multiple compartments, shoe pockets, and tie-down straps to keep your belongings organized. Tumi’s luggage also comes with TSA-approved locks for added security.


Samsonite is one of the most trusted luggage brands in the market. Their hard shell luggage collection is made from lightweight and impact-resistant material, making it perfect for frequent travelers. Samsonite’s luggage features spinner wheels, allowing you to move around easily, even in crowded places. The interior of Samsonite’s hard shell luggage is equipped with a divider and multiple pockets, ensuring efficient packing and easy access to your belongings. Samsonite also offers luggage with inbuilt USB ports, allowing you to charge your devices while on the move.


Rimowa is a German luggage brand that offers high-end hard shell luggage known for its impeccable design and durability. Rimowa’s luggage is made from either polycarbonate or aluminum-magnesium alloy, making them strong yet lightweight. Rimowa’s hard shell luggage features multi-wheel systems, providing effortless maneuverability across all types of terrain. The interior is also thoughtfully designed, with customizable compartments and divider systems for easy packing and unbeatable organization.

In conclusion, when buying hard shell luggage, it is crucial to consider factors such as durability, functionality, and design. The above-listed brands offer top-quality hard shell luggage that meets all these requirements, making them a good investment for any traveler seeking a long-term luggage solution.

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Q: What is the best hard shell luggage?

A: There are many great hard shell luggage options out there, but some of the most popular ones include Samsonite, Rimowa, Travelpro, and Away. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Q: What are the benefits of using hard shell luggage?

A: Hard shell luggage is known for being durable and resistant to scratches and impacts, which can protect your belongings. It also tends to have more organized compartments and is often waterproof.

Q: Are hard shell suitcases allowed as a carry-on?

A: Most hard shell suitcases are allowed as a carry-on, but it’s always best to check with your specific airline’s policies before you travel.

Q: What’s the difference between polycarbonate and ABS hard shell luggage?

A: Polycarbonate is known for being more lightweight, scratch-resistant, and flexible than ABS. However, ABS is typically cheaper and more impact-resistant.

Q: What’s the ideal size for hard shell luggage?

A: This ultimately depends on your travel needs. If you’re taking a short trip or using it as a carry-on, a smaller size like a 20-inch suitcase would likely suffice. If you’re going on a longer trip, a larger size like a 28-inch suitcase might be more practical.

Q: What features should I look for in a hard shell suitcase?

A: Some important features to consider when choosing a hard shell suitcase include the size, weight, durability, number of compartments, spinner wheels, built-in locks, and handles.

Well, that’s all for now! I hope our article helped you choose the best hard shell luggage for your travel needs. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just an occasional vacationer, having sturdy luggage can make your trips comfortable and hassle-free. We’ve sifted through the best options available in the market for you, and we’re sure you’ll find one that suits your preferences. Thanks for reading our article and do come back later for more exciting travel-related information. Safe travels!