In It for the Long Haul

Suitcases come in different shapes and sizes, but the best ones are the kind you pack up and go on a trip with. Here are some of our top picks for family (or solo) travel.

Tarmac AWD 22 (Eagle Creek)
eagle creekThis well-built carry-on-size bag comes with a ton of extras, including sturdy, 360-degree dynamic wheels that make navigating crowded airports a breeze, and lockable (and self-repairing) zippers. The Coat Keeper is an especially nice feature. How many times have you brought along a sweater or jacket just in case the flight gets chilly—and then left it on the plane or in the back of a taxi? The Keeper lets you clip your jacket to the outside of the suitcase. The AWD 22 also comes with a No Matter What warranty that really does cover damage from any cause. About $330. Eaglecreek.com

Pack-It System (Eagle Creek)
american touristerThe Pack-It System comes in a variety of styles. Folders help keep your clothes wrinkle-free and compressed; Cubes are great for t-shirts, pants, underwear, and anything else you can roll up; Sacs keep all your small stuff organized; and Mud Boxes are water-resistant and perfect for muddy shoes and scuba wetsuits. $25-$30. Eaglecreek.com

iLite Supreme Wheeled Boarding Bag (American Tourister)
american tourister2If you’re taking a short trip and are bringing your computer along for the ride, this bag may be just the ticket. Despite its small size, the iLite series sports sturdy wheels that allow you to push, pull, and turn any way you want. It also has a very comfortable retractable handle. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of pockets, straps, and zipper compartments, all of which make keeping your clothes where you put them. Samsonite/American Tourister have positioned the iLite as a laptop bag, but although the large exterior pocket has plenty of room for a computer, cables, and a few other gadgets, it’s not as well-padded as it could be. But that’s nothing a few extra pairs of socks couldn’t solve. About $75. Samsonite.com

Colora (American Tourister)
The most noticeable feature of the Colora series is the eye-popping colors (including raspberry, lime green, and orange), which make spotting your luggage on the baggage carousel quite easy. Even the handles and wheels stand out. Now all you have to do is find a stylish wardrobe to match. On the inside of the bag, you’ll find plenty of pockets, zippers, and cross-straps to help keep your belongings right where you pack them, something that’s greatly appreciated when bringing home souvenirs or trying to keep your things in any sort of order. $125-$145. Samsonite.com

Helium Garment Bag (Delsey)
delseyDelsey’s garment bags come in three styles: Covers (or sleeves) are lightweight and include a locking hangar clamp to keep your clothes from sliding around, as well as a few exterior pockets; Non-rolling bags are pretty much what the name indicates: they’re framed bags that you sling over your shoulder or hold by the top handle. They also have lots of pockets for shoes, toiletries, accessories, and maybe a book or two; Rolling bags will keep your clothes wrinkle-free and looking good, but they’re are a little bigger and heavier. Fortunately, they’ve got wheels—something to consider if you’re traveling in a group and you’re the designated Sherpa. The rolling bags come with an adjustable strap that allows you to connect them to other bags, freeing up your hands. One of our favorite features about Delseys is the built-in over-weight indicator, which lets you know if you’ve gone over the 50-pound limit of doom. $79-$150. Delsey.com

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