The Top 10 Best Luggage Brands clearly reveal our cosmopolitan and interconnected world. France, Britain, Germany, and Switzerland dominate the world market for uncompromising excellence in luggage. Four of these companies – Louis Vuitton, Globe-Trotter, Rimowa, and Victorinox – were all founded prior to 1900. They prove that style, audacious vision, and uncompromising craftsmanship stand the test of time.
Samsonite, Travel Pro, Briggs & Riley, and Tumi are the four U.S. brands that join the four luxury giants of Europe. A young British upstart, Luggage X, and another French staple, Delsey, round out the international roster of ten companies whose universal standards of excellence, innovation, and value create exceptional luggage.
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Here are the top ten Best Luggage Brands 2017.
10. Luggage X
Luggage X, a British newcomer, leapt to the forefront of great value luggage by outperforming leading brands in a series of tests by a global travel search company. Skyscanner tested eight suitcases to destruction. Luggage X surpassed its more expensive counterparts for durability, weight and manoeuvrability.
Made of Makrolon polypropylene, Luggage X survived having a car dropped on it by a crane. yLuggage X is light weight and glides easily on 4 multidirectional spinning wheels. Luggage X comes in multiple colors, is fully lined, and is equipped with a TSA lock. It can be purchased as a 22″ carry-on (£39.99), a medium-sized 26″ suitcase (£69.99) or a 30″ large checked bag (£79.99). A nesting 3 piece set costs £150.00.
9. Travel Pro
Travel Pro begin in 1987 when a Northwest Airlines pilot invented the original Rollaboard wheeled luggage. This innovation helped transform modern travel, and Travel Pro became the brand of choice of flight crews and frequent travelers.
Known for its durability, functionality and stylish lines, Travel Pro offers both durable nylon and hard side polycarbonate luggage. Travel Pro has wheeled duffels, briefcases, garment bags and totes. A 22″ expandable Rollaboard in nylon, with leather top and side handles, 2″ expansion capability, and a full length front pocket retails between $111.99 – $139.99.
A two-piece inflight, 21″/25″ luggage set can be purchased for $500.00, while a 29″ expandable spinner runs $309.99. The hard side spinners come with external USB ports, zippered wet pockets and interior divider panels. The brand features limited lifetime and/or repair warranties.
CasesSamson was founded in 1910 in Denver, Colorado. Samsonite, as it became known in 1969, is a well-designed, sturdy, mid-priced luggage brand. Its luggage must pass four tests: 1) Zip, 2) Drop, 3) Tumble, and 4) Lock. As of December 31, 2015, Samsonite reported net sales for the year increased by 11.9% to a record $2,432.5 million.
Samsonite may be purchased in luggage sets or independently. The Samsonite line offers hard side, spinner, glider, duffels and garment bags. Prices range from $49.99 to $999.99. Small rolling duffels are priced from $129.99 (26″) to $164.99 (35″), carry-on’s range from $129.99 – $400.00, while the garment bag run $329.99.
Delsey is a Parisian luggage manufacturer that began business in 1946, shortly after the end of World War II. Delsey offers a full line of stylish, but moderately priced suitcases, back packs, duffels, briefcases and messenger bags,
Prices range from €27.30 for the U-Lite classic wetpack; back packs from €49-€55; carry-on’s in Delsey’s stylish Chatelet line, either soft or hard sided, for €139.30 or Helium Air 2, at €249.00; the medium sized Helium Air 2 for €209.30, and its large suitcases for €265.30.
Victorinox luggage is a division of the famous Swiss Army knife manufacturer. Founded in 1884 in Ibach, Switzerland by Karl Elsener, Victorinox naturally expanded its product line into the travel arena. Victorinox’s luggage is split into the Lexicon Professional and Spectra lines.
The Spectra 2.0 carry-on was included in a Top 10 Best Carry-On’s list for its sleek styling, price, and quick access door for electronics. The carry-on is 100% polycarbonate, is 55 cm high, 41 cm wide, and meets IATA carry on regulations, with a 10 year warranty. It costs around $239.99. The 10.3 Spectra checked luggage expands up to 47% and can be purchased for $429.99. All interiors are fully lined, 100% nylon, with lockable coil zippers and custom pulls.
5. Briggs & Riley
Founded in 1993, Briggs & Riley patented its version of wheeled luggage. Currently owned by parent, US Luggage, LLC, other patents include its Outsider grooved handle and its CX expansion/compression system. The CX is the only hard sided luggage compression system that allows up to a 33% expansion in suitcase volume. Like Tumi, Briggs & Riley bags offer a unique luggage registration code. Briggs & Riley bags come with a lifetime repair warranty.
Hard sided Briggs & Riley luggage is also molded from a Makrolon polycarbonate shell, but Briggs & Riley luggage carries a heftier price tag than Luggage X. The international wide body spinner retails for $320, the carry-on is priced at $479, while the 30″ expandable spinner, costs $649. A large upright duffel or the domestic carry-on upright garment bag both are priced at $499.
A relative youngster among well-recognized luggage brands, Tumi Inc. was formed in 1975 by Charlie Clifford after he returned home from a Peace Corp tour in Peru. Tumi is named for a semicircular sacrificial ceremonial blade associated with pre-Inca cultures. Tumi is is known for its signature black-on-black ballistic nylon, unique 20 digit registration, and a five year warranty. On March 4, 2016, Samsonite acquired Tumi in an all cash buyout valued at U.S. $1.8 billion.
Tumi manufactures extremely durable, stylish luggage, totes, briefs, duffles, satchels, and garment bags. Voted No. 1 in Top 10 Best Carry On’s, the Tumi Alpha 2 Continental is 100% ballistic nylon, with bumper guards, a telescoping handle, dual front zipper pockets, and an add-a-bag strap. It retails for $627.75 used. The less expensive International Tumi v3 may be purchased for $475.00. Tumi also manufactures luggage in 19o polycarbonate and 19o aluminum. The 19o polycarbonate carry-on’s start at $595.00, while 19o aluminum begins at $995.00.
Rimowa luggage is synonymous with excellence in innovation. Founded in 1898 in Cologne, Germany by Paul Morszeck, Rinowa created the world’s first aluminum trunk in 1937. In 1950, the aluminum luggage was etched with parallel grooved lines that became the brand’s iconic, and much imitated, look.
In 1976 Dieter Morszeck modernized the line by creating the first waterproof light weight metal cases. The Rimowa system effectively protected film and became the luggage of choice for reporters, photographers and film crews. In 2000 Rimowa again revolutionized luggage by offering a new polycarbonate luggage to supplement its aluminum brand.
Polycarbonate offered a lighter weight but strong, impact resistant material, at a more affordable mid-range price. Rimowa followed that in 2001 with its multi-wheel, ball bearing wheels, and in 2006 with itsTSA lock. The Rimowa polycarbonate Salsa series begins around $495 for a cabin carry-on. Its aluminum luggage can be purchased starting at $1,095 – $1,250, while the titanium series start at $1,375.
David Nelken founded Globe-Trotter in 1897 in Saxony, Germany. The square edged, vulcanized fiberboard, leather strapped trunks became famous in the early 1900’s. An early 20th century Globe-Trotter ad depicts a two-ton elephant standing on an uncrushed Globe-Trotter suitcase. In 1932, Globe-Trotter moved to Hertfordshire, England. The vulcanized fiberboard suitcases are still handmade to the same specifications with equipment dating to Victorian England.
It is the luggage of queens, explorers, statesmen and the discerning. Queen Elizabeth chose Globe-Trotter for her honeymoon luggage in 1947. Sir Winston Churchill had a Globe-Trotter briefcase. Sr. Edmund Hilary, who conquered Mount Everest chose Globe-Trotter, as did Cpt. Robert Falcon Scott.
Prices range from £655 for an 18″ Trolley, £740 for a 26″ suitcase, £845 for a 30″ suitcase, and £960-£1,400 for a 33″ classic ivory Safari. Globe-Trotter added its Jet and Propellar lines to modernize its offerings in the area of purses, satchels, duffels and carry-on’s. Prices for these sleek, elegant offerings ranging from £905 to £1,480 and up.
1. Louis Vuitton
Founded in 1854 in Paris, France, the enduring quality and quintessential style of Louis Vuitton leather goods rank it as No. 19 on the World’s Most Valuable Brands. Its handbags, suitcases, trunks, shoes and other accessories yield profit margins north 30%. Louis Vuitton left home at age 14 to travel to Paris to train as a carpenter. His artistry and audacious vision led to the creation of the first flat trunk, followed by the first S lock, and then the mini trunk.
Louis Vuitton’s soft sided canvas line, with the signature embossed LV, starts at $1,300, the Keepall line starts at $1,370, Bandoulieres for $1,740, or a capacious Steamer for $5,400. Hard sided luggage options range from $7,950 to $8,250.00. The craftsmanship and savior-faire of Louis Vuitton’s Asnieres artisans continue to delight and hold a devoted fan base.
From No. 10, Luggage X, to No. 1, Louis Vuitton, what do we learn from the Top 10? Branding counts! Long a symbol of the independently wealthy, luggage always demanded excellence in materials and manufacturing methodologies. It had to withstand battering, rain, snow, heat, humidity, mud, dirt, and insects. As times and travel changed from horses and ships to cars and airplanes, luggage design had to be modified to meet those demands. These Top 10 Luggage Brands prove some things only get better over time!