With checked-luggage limits among most airlines at 50 pounds—or up to 70 if you’re in a first- or business-class seat—travelers often must be smart to maximize a bag’s available space and weight. The good news is that the best checked bags put an emphasis on lightweight construction and easy wheeled transport, while also imbuing these cases with details that transcend mere utility. Here’s a look at five check-in bags, certain to suit a variety of needs; each offers its capacity in liters, the industry standard.
Best for Travelers Who Love a Cool Factor
The 29” Large Check-In Roller by Béis
Actress Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars fame founded Béis in 2018 because she was seeking luggage that was both stylish and functional for her travels. That latter desire resulted in cool features such as a weight-limit indicator on the side handle, which turns red while lifting the bag if the weight exceeds 50 pounds, as well as a detachable compression flap, a cushion on the trolley handle for comfort, and a separate pouch set for dirty or damp clothes or sneakers. The 11.84-pound polycarbonate bag offers a capacity of 112 liters and a two-inch zippered expansion. The brand introduced a hue dubbed Atlas Pink to its core collection in September.
In Atlas Pink; $298, at beistravel.com
Best for Travelers Who Want to Splurge on Timeless Design
The Centenary XL Trunk by Globe-Trotter
This coveted British brand of handcrafted luggage was founded in 1897 and introduced its Centenary collection to commemorate its first 100 years. Among the latest pieces in Cente-nary is this XL Trunk, which exudes the elegant vibe of a steamer trunk, especially in this combination of grey vulcanized fiberboard body with caramel-hued leather straps and corners and brass hardware. The largest piece in the Globe-Trotter line, it offers a 117-liter capacity and includes compression straps, a telescopic handle and four wheels for ease of movement. Each Centenary XL Trunk is made to order, so add in a minimum of three to four weeks prior to when the piece is needed.
In Grey/Caramel; $3,095, at us.globe-trotter.com
Best for Travelers Who Want a Luxe Look at an Affordable Price
Monos Hybrid Trunk
Monos expanded its popular Hybrid luggage collection to include three sizes, both a medium and large check-in bag and the new Trunk size, seen here. With a capacity of 89 liters, this elegant design stands 29.9 inches tall with wheels and weighs 13.2 pounds. Features on this polycarbonate hard-shell bag include vegan leather details, aluminum frame, corner guards and a laundry bag. But the design you get for this size and price may be what’s most impressive, with all elements color-matched from the tip of its telescopic handle to its locks and 360-degree wheels.
$445, at monos.com
Best for Travelers Who Want a Sturdy But Smart Piece
July Checked Plus
Melbourne, Australia-based Richard Li and Athan Didaskalou founded their July brand in 2018 because they believed consumers were seeking luggage that was tough but also fresh. That’s certainly true of three colors they added to their collection, a bold, neon-tinged red, a burgundy and the bright kelly green seen here. All are available in July’s Checked Plus, a 110-liter bag that’s crafted of a polycarbonate shell, weighs 10.5 pounds and stands 30.25 inches tall, including its 360-degree wheels. If you’ve ever looked on as your bag emerges onto the carousel a bit dinged up, July has crafted its design with anodized aluminum corner bumpers to prevent this annoyance. And while most handles offer only three height stops, July provides 20 stops to suit every passenger height.
$345, at july.com
Best for Travelers Who Want to Combine Style With Sustainability
The Tegra-Lite Extended Trip Expandable 4 Wheeled Packing Case by Tumi
Among the gold standard of luggage brands, Tumi created its Tegra-Lite collection as a blend of recycled materials with ultra-tough Tegris, a composite fabric that’s woven and heated and a stronger alternative to carbon fiber. This 13.2-pound bag offers a capacity of 118 liters and stands 31 inches tall, with features that include protective front and back corner bumpers, a zippered middle that expands an additional two inches, an interior hanger bracket, and a fabric lining also crafted of recycled materials.
$1,150, at tumi.com