Best Travel Luggage Bags – Suitcases Under $200

A suitcase is a necessary luggage when traveling. There are 3 common elements found in all the suitcases: handles, wheels and zipped interior. Although, they might look the same, there are few important features that you need to take a look at before a decision is made to invest in one (more on this in the next section).

Early suitcases back in the 1900s used to be light but not spacious since the idea was that these are there to only carry the suits and few other light clothing. Today, the suitcases are light-weight, but leaps and bounds more spacious and more convenience features are added to them as well.

My today’s topic is about the best rated travel luggage (particularly 3 suitcases that are the highest on my list) available to you today which are not only easy to use and spacious but also are very affordable.

What You Need to Look At?

There are 5 aspects of a suitcase (mentioned below in no order of importance) that you need to take a careful look at before making a decision to buy one.

  1. Weight – You would have to check with your local airline but usually the weight limit per cabin ranges from 35 lbs to 50 lbs per suitcase depending on if it’s a domestic or international travel. Therefore, a light-weight luggage (weight < 10lbs) is usually preferred especially if a group of people or big family is traveling together (on top of the # of pieces of luggage that need to be carried around when traveling, weight should not be another factor adding to the “stress-level”).
  2. Size/Space – Here again, you will have to check with your local airline what size restrictions do they have in place (i.e. this depends on the size of the aircraft, how much room it has for storage etc). As far as the space is concerned, you need to take a look at the “pocket potential” of the suitcase. You need to find bags with deep pockets which cover most of the size of the suitcase so you can use these to keep various items (i.e. flat shoes, light clothing, chargers, medicines etc). Just a side note, please make sure that the zippers on these pockets are of good quality (i.e. medium to heavy-duty).
  3. Durability – Along with zippers and wheels (discussed next) on the suitcase, another decision related to durability that needs to be made is if it’s a hard shelled case or soft-sided. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each:

Hard-Shelled Cases (Pros and Cons):

  • Water-resistant (i.e. you can easily carry fragile items such as iPads, iPhones, cameras etc) and today they are coming scratch-resistant as well.
  • Easier to maneuver as compared to soft-sided suitcases since most of these come in four wheels which makes it easier to carry around congested areas.
  • The most significant drawback that I believe there is with hard-shelled cases is if these hard-shelled suitcases are not checked-in since they are difficult to put underneath the seats or in the overhead bins.

Soft-Sided Cases (Pros and Cons):

  • The biggest advantage of a soft-sided case is that it’s very flexible in terms of pockets so small items such as chargers, medicines, kids toys, pacifier etc are easily accessible.
  • The 2 most significant drawbacks of soft-sided cases are that they do not absorb water well and since these are available mostly in two wheels, they are less easy to maneuver.

4. Maneuverability – Wheels can be a very important aspect of making a decision on which suitcase to buy. Two types are two-wheelers (mostly common in a soft-sided case) and four-wheelers (mostly common in a hard-shelled case). Before buying a suitcase, please make sure that the wheels are firm in place and easy to roll. As has been mentioned above, the four-wheel suitcases are easy to maneuver since they can spin 360 degrees and are especially useful when carrying heavy loads of luggage. On the other hand, the two-wheelers have recessed wheels which are less prone to damage/breaking but are less convenient when carrying heavy load and going through congested areas.                                                                          5. Price – Of-course price is another important if not the most important factor for you when buying any item. Good news for you, I will be only providing the reviews for best travel luggage bags (i.e. 3 best suitcases) which meet the aforementioned criteria and at the same time fall in the price range under $200 (very reasonable price for luggage bags).

In the next section, we will go right into the pros and cons of the 3 best travel luggage bags (i.e. suitcases) that I believe are right now available for you in the market. We will check-off the aforementioned buying criteria as we move along the evaluation process in the next section.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner Review

Today, we will only focus on size 24″ and 28″ since our topic of today is on suitcases. The picture below is of size 28″.

Samsonite Omni Pc

Pros

  1. Depending on your travel requirements and needs, Samsonite Omni PC Hardside comes in a couple of suitcase sizes (28″ and 24″) and also in various colours (currently available on Amazon are black, teal, caribbean blue and radiant pink).
  2. This luggage bag is extremely durable, it’s a four-wheeler with wheels having the ability to spin 360 degrees hence to move this bag even on rough surfaces is rather easy and you would not have to pull any heavy weights around the airport. The zippers and handle are sturdy and the fact that it has a hard-shelled case, it does a pretty decent job to protect your goods (especially the more fragile items) from damages, keeping them dry. Also, the micro-diamond texture helps in keeping this suitcase scratch-resistant as well thus lasting longer for you.
  3. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside is a light-weight luggage bag (~10lbs) and you will also be happy to know that it includes TSA locks so you will be less bothered when going through security checkpoints.
  4. This luggage bag is pretty big, both the 24″ and 28″ should easily last for your 2-week vacation trips. It has a fully-zipped interior with dividers and cross-straps that will help you when organizing your travel items. With the zipper expansion feature (according to few consumer reviews on Amazon, this can add 15-20% to capacity of the suitcase), you can be sure that you can carry as much belongings as you want.

Cons

  1. The only con of Samsonite Omni PC Hardside is that it is not a small-sized suitcase, both the sizes are big and hence they are very difficult to put underneath the seats or in the overhead bins, but if you check-in these bags, you should be just fine. If you are looking for small and compact travel bags, unfortunately Samsonite Omni PC would not fit your needs.

On Amazon Canada, Samsonite Omni PC Hardside 28″ and 24″ size price range is $130 – $160 CAD which is well below our under $200 price threshold. Its customer rating is 4-5 stars on Amazon. 

Please do not forget to watch this video:

Do click the Amazon link below and buy the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside (Amazon.com link is also provided), you cannot go wrong with this suitcase!!

28″: https://amzn.to/2NA3PJ7 (Amazon.ca)

24″: https://amzn.to/2pPoFdY (Amazon.ca)

28″: https://amzn.to/2yClomb (Amazon.com)

24″: https://amzn.to/2Pzynwr (Amazon.com)

Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside Spinner Review

Again, the focus will be on 24″ and 28″ suitcase sizes. The pros and cons are similar to Samsonite Omni PC Hardside, I wanted to display another product to you taking into consideration any brand preferences. The picture below is of size 28″:

Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside

 

Pros:

  1. Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside comes in variety of suitcase sizes (28″ and 24″) and colours (blue and silver), both colours are elegant.
  2. Similar to Samsonite Omni PC Hardside, Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside also is very durable. It has four-wheels spinning 360 degrees which makes it easy to maneuver through rough surfaces/congested areas and helps you when carrying heavy loads of weight around. I am an owner of one of these and trust me on this that the zippers and handle are of very good quality, no issues and I have had almost 40 trips with this luggage bag already. Along with doing a good job with more valuable items in the suitcase, its hard-shelled case ABS texture is also scratch-resistant making it very handy for you in a long-run.
  3. It is lighter than Samsonite Omni PC Hardside (~8lbs) which makes it easier for you to travel with.
  4. Just like Samsonite Omni PC, this travel bag is big with inside having the ability to expand by ~3inches extra according to some Amazon customer reviews. It has fully-zipped interior and cross-straps making it convenient for you when arranging items in the suitcase and carrying a large quantity of travel items with you. Good for a 2-week vacation trip.

Cons:

  1. There is a slight inconvenience that comes with its big size (28″ and 24″) and that is it is difficult to put aside Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside in the aircraft, so you would have to check-in this suitcase.
  2. Also, the fact that it does not have TSA locks, going through security checkpoints could be a slight hassle.

On Amazon Canada, Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside 28″ and 24″ price range is $120 – $150 CAD which is well below our under $200 price threshold.  Its customer rating is 4-5 stars on Amazon. 

Please do not forget to watch this video:

Do click the Amazon link below and buy the Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside, you cannot go wrong with this suitcase!!

28″: https://amzn.to/2CIWfek (Amazon.ca)

24″: https://amzn.to/2CfVico (Amazon.ca)

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner Review

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner is the only softside luggage bag that I will talk about today since my personal preference is a hard-shelled case due to reasons I have mentioned above but the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner is a real good one when it comes to softside luggage bags available globally today. The large suitcase sizes (29″ and 25″) will be discussed today.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner

Pros:

  1. Travelpro Maxline 5 Softside Spinner comes in a couple of suitcase sizes (29″ and 25″) and three decent looking colours (black, azure blue and slate green).
  2. Similar to Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner and Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside Spinner, Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner is also quite durable. It is also a four-wheeler spinning 360 degrees and the fact that it is light-weight (<9lbs) only adds to its easy maneuverability especially important when traveling with a group of people and during the busy traveling season. It has a bottom tray design which is unique thus providing great stability on the wheels resulting in increasing the steering flexibility of this luggage bag. Its texture is polyester fabric which is both stain and water resistant (difficult to find in a softside luggage bag).
  3. It has fair number of pockets (exterior front pocket, side pocket and full-sized interior pocket which can expand by 2″) with cross-straps which provide you with convenience of carrying all your belongings with you instead of leaving some behind when going on a few weeks trip.

Cons:

  1. Similar to Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner and Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside Spinner, Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner is also big thus difficult to keep with you during your flight. Check-in is required.
  2. Just like Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside Spinner, this luggage bag does not have TSA locks so going through security checkpoints could be a bit of a bother.

On Amazon Canada, Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner 29″ and 25″ price range is $185 – $198 CAD so slightly above the other two but below our under $200 price threshold.  Its customer rating is 4-5 stars on Amazon. 

Please do not forget to watch this video:

Do click the Amazon link below (Amazon.com link added as well) and buy the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner, you cannot go wrong with this suitcase!!

29″: https://amzn.to/2yMbMWn (Amazon.ca)

25″: https://amzn.to/2pU1Yp4 (Amazon.ca)

29″: https://amzn.to/2pROF8z (Amazon.com)

25″:  https://amzn.to/2ye6QtG (Amazon.com)

It Should be Clear Now

By looking at all the needs of the consumers on what they require from a travel bag (weight, durability, maneuverability, size/space and price), Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner, Swiss Gear Chrome Hardside Spinner and Travel Pro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner fit the bill. On top of meeting the buying criteria, they look fairly good and belong to the “top echelon” of luggage manufacturers/providers of the world.

So before you make your next long trip and if you are in need of the most important travel necessity, do consider buying any of the above by clicking the Amazon links above, I am sure you will not regret them!!

Hopefully, I have helped you through this post in making a decision on which luggage bags to invest in.

Thank you for your time!!

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below, I will respond as soon as I can. See you in a bit!!

 

 

 

 

18 Replies to “Best Travel Luggage Bags – Suitcases Under $200”

  1. Hi!

    I usually have three problems when I travel with my travel Luggage bags.

    1. Those that I check-in are always getting scratched.

    2. I always manage to get some water or likely on my hand luggage.

    3. They always are hard to maneuvering at some point.

    That’s why I was happy to read a review that wrote about those annoying things and how to think about it. Another thing a liked was that this review discusses both the pros and cons.

    Thanks, Jan

  2. This is a well written post and I want to thank you for taking the time to prepare and write it.

    I am not familiar with the “TSA locks” feature. Could you explain this in more detail — what is it, how does it work, and what are the advantages of it?

    Are you ware of any good carry-on luggage pieces by chance? How frequently do you travel?

    1. Thanks Drew for liking the post.

      TSA stands for “Transportation Security Administration”, it is mainly a term used in United States. As you might know, nowadays, all the airlines have been advised by the local transport authority of their respective countries to inform travelers to not put any locks on the luggage for security reasons as the transport authorities of the world have full right to break these locks to look for content inside. Apparently, TSA has the master key of all the TSA locks so they can open these locks without breaking them so you will get your luggage at the destination without any damage.

      I am going to write a post in the next few weeks on the best carry-ons out there so please do view the post and feel free to comment.

      I try to travel 3-4 times a year, each time to a different place.

      Thanks again for liking the post. Talk to you soon!!

  3. I work at an airport doing maintenance on the baggage handling systems. You absolutely don’t want bags with straps in any way. I have watched how luggage gets handled by every airline and all I can say is you want protection for your luggage. Your luggage might sit in the cold, rain, snow, wind. It may be dropped or kicked. The luggage systems themselves are hard on luggage. Do yourself a favor and get one of these bags. The Swiss gear is always amazing gear. I also use their laptop bag. you have to have something that won’t break open and can take a beating. Thanks for the great product reviews!

  4. Thank you so much for this detailed review. I’ve never used the hard shell cases before I always stick to soft sides. And love the convenience of a carry-onc. I usually send and anything else via snail mail. But, think I am going to think about the larger soft side. For my next trip.
    Thank so much for all your hard work on research making my decision easier. As you’ve done all the work for me.
    Blessings,
    Scarlett

  5. I have to say I prefer the Swiss Gear Chrome. But my problem is that all suitcases look alike when you’re waiting at the baggage claim, and I am impatient to get my suitcase and get going. I tend to tie ribbons or string around handles to make them stand out a bit. I like that you cover all aspects, weight, size, durability, and price, very good to know.

    I was wondering if you plan on doing any research on old-fashioned suitcases, specifically where to still find them. I’m talking about the hard leather looking ones. I absolutely love those and would love to get one!

    Thanks for a great article.

    1. Thank you so much Cris for your detailed response. I am glad that I can be of help!!

      I was not planning on doing any research on old fashioned suitcases, I know exactly which ones are you talking about. Let me know where you are based of and I can do some research!!

      Regards,
      Nabeel

  6. I am a strange one. I like to change out my suitcases quite frequently actually. I actually just cleaned out my closet this morning, and have old luggage to take to the food and clothing drop. But, I do want to say that I only own the hard shell now. The overhead spaces are so much bigger now then they used to be. I am actually quite surprised how some luggage (huge to me) fits up there and they were allowed to bring it on board…just a pet peeve of mine. Anyway, I am getting ready to set sail, and since I cleaned out my closet, I am ready to a new set 🙂 I really like the Samsonite Omni. I will click on the link and check it out. Thanks! and glad I found this info.

  7. Great detail here about luggage and very knowledgeable!
    I’m not a fan of the hard case luggage either. For me it’s important to have luggage that’s durable and will last.
    It’s important that the wheels work properly because it makes transporting the luggage so much easier. The TravelPro Maxlite looks like an excellent choice for me!
    What is the best piece of luggage that is lightweight?

    1. Yes, if you want to go with a softside luggage bag, Travelpro Maxlite is the best piece of luggage as it meets all the consumer requirements and is also light-weight for suitcases; less than 9lbs. Thanks for the comments Rob.

  8. I never thought buying a suitcase would be such a lengthy project. When you think about our travel requirements during this modern age is amazing.
    Great article, well researched.

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