Shopping Guide: What Is ‘Good Luggage’ And How Much Does It Cost?

I ask because I have no idea! So we’re using the term “guide” loosely here.

Recently, I took a flight and realized that my suitcase was a complete piece of shit. Tattered, old, cheap, poorly made and (maybe worst of all?) really ugly. Since then, I’ve become curious about “good luggage:” what does that mean exactly? I can spout about handbag quality ad nauseum… but I don’t know up from down when it comes to suitcases or travel chests or even duffel bags. How much do you have to spend? What kind of lifespan should you expect?

Here are various pieces at various price points that I thought at least looked interesting or unusual or not bad, but really, what I want to know is: who makes your luggage and are you happy with it? Tell me about your experiences and the brands with which you’ve had good luck (or otherwise).

(Yes, that’s the Alexander McQueen for Samsonite collection that I always thought looked pretty cool)

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    • Lindsey

      I think one of the most important things is that is stands out! My family has obnoxiously bright lanyards on our luggage to separate it from the rest of the large-ish black suitcases and smallish red ones on the luggage claim area thing.

      • Kate

        I actually think having luggage stand out in the crowd is a bad idea. I don’t want to make myself a clear target for theft and robbery, especially traveling to Europe, Southeast Asia, or around the country by bus…

      • Lindsey

        I can see that. But it does help when the turnstile has a million pieces of luggage that look identical to yours. Maybe remove it when in transit to places that have high incidences of luggage theft?

    • sickgirl

      I’ve had the same Diane Von Furstenberg signature brights collection for about 8 years. It’s in great shape and still looks brand new. A good luggage set should last at least 10 years. I am planning to buy a new one before my next long plane trip though. I purchased this set with the intention of making sure every bag qualified as a carry-on since I do a lot of short business trips, but now that airlines charge a fee per bag the set has become impractical.

    • Erica

      You forgot the most important luggage brand of all…Goyard. Yes, it’s expensive, but their pieces are amazing and you’ll keep them for life.