The 5 Best Lightweight Luggage

Amazon / Bustle

When you're traveling, the last thing you want is more weight to lug around. That's why having the best lightweight luggage will make your trip easier and more carefree. But what should you look for?

Well, aside from weight, which is obvious, you want to first look at durability. It's often a challenge for manufacturers to make suitcases that are both lightweight and well-made, so look carefully at the materials and construction. Typically, materials that begin with "poly" will be pretty sturdy (for example, polypropylene, polyurethane, and polycarbonate). Also, look for handles and other components that are made from strong aluminum material.

After that, think about the wheels. There's nothing more annoying than trying to roll through the airport in a hurry when your wheels refuse to turn. Consider opting for a suitcase with spinner wheels, which rotate a full 360 degrees. Though, if you don't want to sacrifice packable space for wheels, then look for a suitcase with roller-style wheels that reviewers say operate smoothly and don't catch.

Lastly, consider bonus features like pockets, zippers, mesh sleeves, and elastic straps. If you're traveling with expensive belongings, you may also want to consider a built-in TSA security lock that will help prevent theft. Or, if you'll be doing a lot of walking, perhaps get one with straps that convert it into a backpack.

Given all of these considerations, I've made a list of the best lightweight luggage below. Take a look to find your next travel companion.

1. The Best Carry-On Luggage

Weight: 4.62 to 5.3 pounds (depending on style)

The beauty of this lightweight carry-on luggage is that it lets you take the maximum amount of things on your trip without having to check your bag. It's made with tough-yet-lightweight soft-shell material and a roomy main compartment with 38- to 40-liter capacity, depending on the color. The spinner wheels roll smoothly, and it has a simple three-digit combination lock for security. Just keep in mind that the measurements are on the upper-end of carry-on limits, so it may not be compatible with some airlines. However, it's compliant with many major domestic carriers, including American, United, Delta, and Southwest Airlines.

2. The Best Full-Sized Luggage

Weight: 14.2 pounds

If you're taking a longer trip, this lightweight checked luggage has more than 300 reviews and comes in four different colors. It's constructed with high-quality, hardshell polypropylene and an airtight closure system that prevents water, dirt, and other elements from seeping in. The smooth-rolling spinner wheels rotate 360 degrees and, like the carry-on piece, it has a sturdy TSA security lock. There's also a built-in ID tag and a handy organizational panel. At just 12 pounds, this pick is notably lightweight for its 31-inch frame.

3. The Best Full Set

Weight: 5.8 pounds (small), 6.6 pounds (medium), 7.2 pounds (large)

This three-piece set is among the best lightweight spinner luggage you can find. Specifically designed to be lightweight, the suitcases in the set all boast smooth, soft-shell polyurethane fabric with aircraft-grade aluminum handles. The combination means they don't have extra bulk yet they still offer durability and shock absorption. The multi-directional spinner wheels turn with ease, according to reviewers, and the interior compartments feature pockets for organization and storage. Best of all, the suitcases expand, so you can pack extra when you need to.

4. The Most Durable Luggage

Weight: 9.5 pounds

Durable and lightweight are indeed a difficult combination to find in a suitcase; however, this durable lightweight luggage piece manages to offer the perfect amount of both qualities. The strong blend of 300-, 420-, and 500-denier polyester materials make it robust yet smooth and bulk-free. The soft-shell design eliminates the chances of cracking, and the wheels feature heavy-duty casing around them and sturdy bumper protections. As a bonus, you can convert it into a backpack, complete with zip-away straps and a padded hip belt.

5. The Best Value

Weight: 6.3 pounds (small), 7.9 pounds (medium), 10 pounds (large)

Built with strong ABS plastic, the pieces in this cheap lightweight luggage set are tough and fairly durable too, given the price. The three-piece set features a hard-shell design that's smooth and sleek with 360-degree spinner wheels underneath. They have strong aluminum handles and anti-theft combination locks on the outside. Inside, there are compartments with zippered mesh on one side and elastic bands on the other. (Just note that this is a three-piece set, even though the product name mistakenly says "4 Piece" on Amazon).

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