Luggage Brands – A Look Behind the Numbers
Before anyone starts writing their comment about how inaccurate this graph is, hear me out. This bar chart isn’t supposed to be pin-point accurate. All it is supposed to do is provide an idea of each brands’ price point relative to others.
For each brand, I went to Amazon and searched for “[Brand] carry on.” Upon seeing the results, I chose 5 carry-on bags. These bags were typically the company’s best selling or most highly rated models. I chose those conservative in design, usually black or grey, as opposed a loud, bright piece. I tried to avoid any apparent outliers whenever possible.
I didn’t discriminate between hard vs soft-sided luggage. Some companies only sell one or the other, while several companies sell both. So with all that being said, I believe this graph gives a good idea of where each brand is positioned in relation to their carry-on luggage lines. If you can’t see the labels on the graph, click on the image to enlarge it.
What the Price Points Mean…
The first thing you notice when looking at the graph is the big grey bar at the top, referring to Briggs & Riley. As I’ve mentioned in other articles, Briggs & Riley is really the gold standard when it comes to travel luggage for business professionals.
With travel luggage, you generally get what you pay for. However, that is not to discredit Rockland, US Traveler or the AmazonBasics brand. These are good starter, economic brands. If you only need them for a trip or two a year, these will do the trick just fine. Brands higher on this list will usually be better built, last longer, and be backed by better warranties.
Briggs & Riley | est. 1995 | Average Carry-on Price: $441.49
The United States Luggage Company acquired Briggs & Riley in August of 2000, and presently acts as the parent organization. Briggs & Riley is one of the best luggage companies on the market. They build a premium product backed by a legitimate lifetime warranty. Apart from the innovative features geared towards business travelers, their products tote some of the most spacious and well-organized layouts.
With a Briggs & Riley product, you will not be disappointed. Their tagline is “Engineered for reality. Guaranteed for life.” And it seems they truly believe in it. There isn’t anything flashy about their brand, just well-made, reliable products. In the event your bag is damaged, whether by you or the airline, they’ll get it fixed right away. Simple as that.
TravelPro | est. 1987 | Average Carry-on Price: $119.50
Bob Plath, a 747 pilot, is the face behind TravelPro. Having flown across the world on seemingly every route possible, it wasn’t long before his own luggage and body showed the wear and tear. Plath soon developed the first wheeled luggage, the Rollaboard. Which, at the time, was not widely accepted by the masses, but only by airline pilots. Years passed and the trend caught on; Plath had developed a game changing travel essential.
Plath’s innovation carries on through today. Today, TravelPro offers a variety of carry-ons, garment bags, backpacks, and laptop bags. Similar to Briggs & Riley, there isn’t anything flashy about their products. Rather, the value is built in the quality and durability of their products. All of their products are thoroughly tested and pushed beyond any usage a customer would put on them.
Delsey | est. 1946 | Average Carry-on Price: $93.94
Headquartered in France, Delsey originally started as a company that built custom cases for camera equipment and record players. Over time the company noticed an opportunity to shift their hard sided camera case designs to consumer travel luggage.
Today, Delsey offers a wide variety of soft and hard sided luggage in a dozen different colors. For either the casual or business traveler, there is something for everyone. Buyers looking for a little more style in a solid, well-built product will find that in Delsey suitcases.
Samsonite | est. 1910 | Average Carry-on Price: $83.22
As the oldest company on this list, Samsonite has a long history embedded in travel luggage. Founded in Denver, Colorado, Samsonite has roots in the United States but its reach extends to Hong Kong, India, Canada, Denmark and more.
Samsonite strives to offer quality luggage at an affordable price to the everyday consumer. You won’t find any $500+ bags here, but you will probably find a bag that fits your taste, size requirements, and preferred storage setup. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for with another company, you’ll probably find it with Samsonite.
If you’re not familiar with Samsonite, you may recognize some of the other brands they own such as American Tourister, Hartmann Luggage, High Sierra, Lojel, or eBags.
Athalon | est. 1973 | Average Carry-on Price: $81.78
Also founded in Denver, Colorado, Athalon is a bit different than the companies previously mentioned.
Athalon’s primary focus is not for business professionals. Rather, they are focused on the outdoorsman, the hiking enthusiast, and anyone who’d rather climb a mountain over the corporate ladder. In this area, they excel.
This company has a reputation for well-made products that are durable and practical. Each duffel has a specific purpose and is built to be efficient and as comfortable for that purpose. Every bag is built using a lightweight, water-repellant material, so whether it’s a ski trip or a rainy travel day, they have you covered.
If you’re traveling with running shoes over dress shoes, shorts over suits, or simply prefer a more casual bag, this company is your go-to.
American Tourister | est. 1933 | Average Carry-on Price: $68.68
Currently owned by Samsonite, American Tourister was founded in Rhode Island by Sol Koffler. Koffler’s
goal was to build a durable suitcase that could be sold for a dollar. Translate that goal into 2017 and a $20 suitcase fits the bill. Today, American Tourister offers a number of different suitcase lines for the whole family.
Their luggage designs are fun, colorful, and feature some of the same options as bigger brands. If you have kids, you won’t find a better option anywhere else. Marvel, Disney characters, Star Wars, and Finding Nemo are a few of the options available on their website.
US Traveler | est. 1984 | Average Carry-on Price: $63.42
US Traveler is a brand created by Traveler’s Choice, a large luggage manufacturer. US Traveler offers lightweight options with modern materials and features built in. A variety of finishes and colors are available along with hard or soft sided options.
US Traveler suitcases are moderately priced, although that doesn’t mean they’re poor in quality. Most U.S. Traveler options on Amazon boast hundreds of reviews averaging 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5. That’s no easy feat and most likely indicates their products are cost effective solutions for the occasional traveler.
AmazonBasics | est. 2017 | Average Carry-on Price: $52.49
If you’re not yet aware, Amazon has started their own in-house brand called “AmazonBasics”. Their products have been released across many different categories, luggage included. While they’re not trying to be the best product, they are trying to offer the best bang for your buck.
Note: Amazon only offers two carry-on options currently, each around $50.
Rockland | est. 1995 | Average Carry-on Price: $49.51
Being last on the list, doesn’t make them the least. As far as Amazon goes, Rockland is probably the leader in entry-level, economic luggage solutions. By far they have the most affordable luggage options and one of the widest varieties.
Many of their products have a couple hundred, if not a couple thousand, reviews that you can read through to learn about the luggage inside and out. Similar to American Tourister, there are both adult and kid friendly options available.
Also published on Medium.