We know that your time is precious, but it’s even more precious during summer vacation. You have all winter to hole up like a hot bog witch in your apartment, but your summer time travels should be devoted to maximizing your time on breezy coastlines, crystalline lakes, or at least that one section of the LA River where you have always wanted to go tubing.
That’s why you need affordable luggage. Every minute spent schlepping a heavy suitcase is a minute lost on the beach; every hard-to-distinguish carry-on that an uppity TSA agent (it’s not their fault; they’re over-worked) made you check is another moment of stress that you don’t deserve during your time off.
Whether you’re planning a blow-out B-day excursion to Costa Rica or just traveling to your least favorite Uncle’s summer function, we found the best affordable luggage to help you find that luxury massage and bon voyage without breaking a sweat (or the bank). We’re throwing down for rolly suitcases that go for as little $39 and entire 3-piece sets for just over $100 (and never over $300), because you ought to be spending your hard earned clams on sillier, serotonin-inducing goods.
The best affordable luggage
The big boi
One of Amazon’s bestselling jumbo suitcases, the Oxford expandable suitcase has earned a 4.5-star average rating from over 2,800 reviews. This 30-inch rolly boi has an interior capacity of almost 100 liters, and has a spacious, fully-lined interior with multiple zipper pockets. Most big, bougie pieces of luggage can easily cost over $300, so this piece is a steal at just over $100.
You’re an iPad baby at heart
Gone are the days when airplane travel meant unplugging and chilling with your book for several hours; JetBlue has WiFi, our iPhones will always need charging, and we somehow always end up working from our laptop at LAX’s bars anyways. This carry-on understands the needs of the
overworked modern citizen, and packs a built-in USB Port, and a cup holder-turned-smartphone-holder.
“Strong and Durable/Yet Light and Easy”
Fans of Shrek and affordable luggage will love this 45% off lime green carry-on. As one Amazon reviewer writes, “[It’s] strong and durable/yet light and easy [...] I normally travel with 28-inch luggage, but this seemed to hold more for some reason. And I was still under my 50 pound requirement when stuffed because it is very light.”
Cop a direct-to-consumer luxury suitcase
We love Quince, the direct-to-consumer luxury brand that is slinging linen bedding, leather goods, and BDSM horse masks (well, maybe one day), and the brand’s hard shell carry-on is a fraction of the price of its competitors; similar pieces from Away, Monos, and Paravel can reach into the $300 range. It comes in two neutral colorways, and Quince even includes a complimentary eraser for removing any scuff marks on the case.
This Rimowa dupe is $75 off
The classic Rimowa Cabin carry-on costs over $1,500, but this aluminum dupe is way less spensi and goes just as hard aesthetically. The lightweight, 20-inch rolly boi is also equipped with TSA-approved combination locks. You know, just in case you’re in a Mr. & Mrs. Smith—esque romance with your vacation buddy.
The most ~aesthetic~ carry-on
Just look at those handles. Have you ever seen anything more lickable? Shiny? This 20-inch carry-on by Temu did not skimp on the bougie details, which include a smooth hard shell exterior, a combination lock, and three relaxing colorways. Smash that order button while it’s 68% off.
Spot your luggage at baggage claim
With a 4.8-star average rating from over 24,300 reviews, this 24-inch ombré carry-on is one of Walmart’s bestsellers. The suitcase is $60 off right now, and reviewers praise everything from the quality of the interior lining and pockets to the ease with which they spot the carry-on while traveling. As one fan writes, “With [all] the bright colors available in this range, you certainly won't overlook your bag on the baggage carousel at the airport.”
The best affordable luggage sets
“Excellent for Wear and Tear (Moving A LOT)”
Just staring at this creamy 5-piece set makes me feel like a rich person who would order an Arnold Palmer at LaGuardia. It has a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon, and in the words of one reviewer, “[Is] excellent for wear and tear (moving A LOT) [...] These [pieces] do move smoothly and are excellent for packing a car.” For a little over $200, you’re getting 20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch suitcases, as well as a toiletry and duffel bag. Trust us: It feels good to upgrade your life from all of those mismatched, crusty toiletry and travel baggies that you normally shove in your suitcase.
The best affordable soft luggage set
Not into hard shell luggage? This lightweight, soft-cover 3-piece set is another Walmart bestseller. It has an impressive 4.9-star average rating on the site for its ample pockets, durable fabric, and easy steerability. Most importantly, it’s from a brand called “Paproos,” which sounds like the name of a delicious Mediterranean bean dip.
You’re Wes Anderson
This 3-piece luggage set has a 4.4-star average rating from Amazon reviewers, and was definitely an understudy for those custom Louis Vuitton bags from The Darjeeling Limited. At around $300 it’s definitely one of the pricier throuples in our round-up, but the gold hardware and strap details on the 20- and 26-inch suitcases and boarding tote are worth it for the serotonin.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.