About 30 years ago, hard-sided luggage was the in thing. Nothing short of a hard brick hauled right at the luggage would break it. But the downside was in the weight. Those things weighed a tonne! In the 90s, travelers discovered the soft-side and a significant shift threw hard-side luggage out of favor. Unfortunately, the soft kind would not handle pressure like the hard one, but the market still preferred it.

Fast forward to present day: makers found new lightweight and even eco-friendly material that sealed the loophole. Now your hard-sided luggage is as light as its softer counterpart.

Why Hard-Sided Luggage?

The dominant materials ABS and polycarbonate, are both resilient and lightweight. Some manufacturers will use aluminum which is extremely durable but heavier. This luggage will not cave in even when a heavy load is placed on top of it, and so it is excellent for transporting fragile items. In case it caves, it’ll pop right back up when the load is moved. Both materials also handle temperature variations quite well.

The inner compartment is roomy and usually split equally so that you can pack your items in both the lower and upper parts of the luggage. It is not expandable, seeing as the material is rigid, but the flatness and hollowness of the luggage make it possible to pack just enough. The brighter side is that it prevents over packing.

Check out the following luggage sets which meet the above criteria:

Best Hard-Sided Luggage Sets:

Luggage NameDimensionsWeightSize 
[azrev_link_text asin="B0161EDSUC" store="travel-kgr-20"]1. Samsonite Omni PC 3 Piece Spinner Set[/azrev_link_text]1. 19″ x 14.5 x 9.75
2. 24″ x 17.5 x 11.5
3. 28.5″ x 20.5 x 13.5
1. 6.8 lbs
2. 8.3 lbs
3. 10.4 lbs
1. Intl. Carry On
2. Checked “Medium”
3. Checked “Large”
[azrev_link_button asin="B0161EDSUC" store="travel-kgr-20" text="Check Price"]
[azrev_link_text asin="B071KDB59T" store="travel-kgr-20"]2. Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 3 Piece Spinner Set[/azrev_link_text]1. 21″ x 14.5 x 9
2. 25″ x 17 x 10
3. 29″ x 19.5 x 11
1. 7.9 lbs
2. 9.3 lbs
3. 10.8 lbs
1. Domestic Carry On
2. Checked “Medium”
3. Checked “Large”
[azrev_link_button asin="B071KDB59T" store="travel-kgr-20" text="Check Price"]

1. Samsonite Omni PC 3-Piece Set Spinner 20 24 28 Review:

This set is 100% Polycarbonate and hard-side. The three pieces range from small, which measures 20 inches, and the largest one being 28 inches. They all meet international and local standards. Seeing as the material is rigid, these pieces are not expandable. What you can expect though, is a roomy interior that can accommodate fragile items, seeing as the case does not cave in even when handled carelessly.

The exterior is what Samsonite calls micro-diamond textured. It is a bit rough and textured and at the same time classy, unlike plastic. Even though it feels hard, you can tell that it is unbreakable. The top is covered with nylon which gives it that unique look and further keeps moisture at bay. Of course, it is not scratch-free, but then the nylon top acts as a shield.

The interior is portioned 50/50, meaning that the top part of your luggage has the same capacity as the bottom one. In the middle of the luggage is an elastic band that keeps items in the lower compartment intact. The upper part is zippered and separated by a mesh partition in case you want to separate dirty items of clothing from clean ones.

The compartments are roomy, seeing as the surface is flat and there is only one pocket inside for your toiletries.

The 4 spinner wheels on each of these 3 bags are multi-directional. They spin 360 degrees to make turning and gliding an easy task. They are narrower than you would expect for luggage that size (regarding the largest one), but they get the work done. One note among users is that the wheels do not last long, but Samsonite makes it easy to replace. A set goes for about $10, and you will only need a screwdriver to replace.

Roomy compartments
Comes in a variety of colors (6)

Not expandable
The spinner wheels do not last

2. Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 3 Piece Spinner Set Review:

The set is the ideal kind when ferrying fragile items because it absorbs impact. It is 100% polycarbonate. The material feels plastic-like to the touch, but the nylon cover on top changes the texture as well as the looks.

The set has three bags, all of different dimensions. They measure 21”H x 14.5”W x 9”D (small), 25”H x 17”W x 10”D (medium), and 29”H x 19.5”W x 11”D (large). The maker says that the diameter expands to about 2 inches (in each of the three), but we don’t think that’s the case seeing as the material is quite rigid. What we know is that you can squeeze in a few more items because the edges can handle pressure.

The material, polycarbonate, combines two leading characteristics. It does not crack even when subjected to the baseball test. As for resilience, a 50lb weight test shows that it can take some rough handling. We also like the fact that it can handle temperatures over 100 degrees F and as low as -4 degrees F without melting or freezing.

The TSA locks are easy to reset, and they lock well enough to prevent any incidences. The multi-stage lock handle system has four heights, and it locks well at each of them.

The dual-wheel spinners add to the good qualities of this luggage set. They will spin at 360 degrees and move in all directions without jamming. They do well on smooth terrain such as the tiled airport floor, but cobblestone is a bit tricky.

The set comes in various colors, featuring navy, teal, blue, red, and purple. It is also quite cheap for a set of three dependable bags.

Several color options
Withstands impact and extreme weather
360-degree spinner wheels
The nest into each other for storage

The wheels are a tad flimsy
Minimal pockets

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