Not only do most women like to travel with luggage that weighs little, but most also like to find practical, roomy and durable pieces. With airlines shrinking allowed dimensions for carry ons and many charging you for checked in bags, it’s no wonder that the luggage industry is taking pains to keep up. When sorting through the choices for best lightweight hardside luggage of 2016, we made sure to keep a few criteria in mind before recommending just a few.
We ensured that light does not mean less durable. We also picked those that still have a good number of features that enhance your packing and travel experience. The carry on or suitcase also needs to be roomy and not sacrifice on packing space just because the sides don’t expand. And lastly, lightweight hard case luggage has to be easy to travel with. They’re best for city travel, as wheel spinners aren’t the best over rough terrain.
We have already selected our favorite hardside luggage across categories, but we feel that in these modern travel times, the lightweight hardside category deserves its own space, so read on for the best of the best in 2016! Oh and btw, we also have our favorite picks for light softsided spinner sets if you prefer those!
For more options in best lightweight hardsided luggage, check the most popular brands on Amazon right now.
Delsey Luggage Helium Shadow 3.0 Spinner Trolleys
The Helium 2nd edition was selected as a part of our best spinner hardcase luggage overall and that collection is also very light, but the new Delsey Luggage Helium Shadow 3.0 Spinner Trolleys are updated versions with just a few improvements.
The lids on three of the pieces are traditional top opening like with softsided luggage instead of clam style, which make them easier to pack if you have little space in your hotel room or if you have to open them up in the airport to retrieve something. The two carry ons now have an extra side handle so it’s easier to hoist them up into an overhead bin. This collection features dual spinner wheels instead of single, so transporting is a bit easier.
There are 4 pieces in this collection and you can buy each separately or you can buy the 21″, 25″ and 29″ as a set. The 19″ international carry on is the lightest at 7 lbs 8 oz and differs from the standard 21″ by having an extra front compartment that opens like a vertical hatch instead of sideways. This compartment holds a padded pocket for a 15.6″ laptop plus two zippered pockets for accessories. The 19″ does not have the top lid opening style, as it instead has this laptop hatch. If that’s more important to you, then get the 21″ instead.
All the pieces feature a suiter in the inside of the lid. Several pockets and restraining straps keep everything neat and tidy. The main compartments on all pieces expand by 2″.
Keep in mind that the dimensions stated do not include the wheels. Add an inch and a half to get the true height, however, most customers have said they have not had a problem taking the carry ons on various flights.
The big positives of this collection are the well designed packing features and roomy interior and the lightness of every piece. The negative is that the zippers seem to be slightly weak if not used carefully.
Samsonite Luggage Winfield 2 Fashion HS Spinners
For the lightest hard sided luggage option to earn high marks, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion HS Spinner collection has been very popular for the last two years. A bonus is that it is of great value for such a good brand.
There are several chic colors to choose from and the brushed-stroke metallic finish on the body cleverly hides scratches and scuff marks that hardsided luggage naturally collect over time. There are three sizes available – 20, 24 and 28 inches, with the smallest weighing just 6 lbs 11 oz.
The pieces open clam style and the lid section features a full zippered flap to separate the upper half from the lower half, which features restraining straps. This flap also holds two zippered mesh compartments to store accessories or delicates.
Customers like the smooth rolling wheels for both hard and carpeted areas, the smooth zippers and telescopic handle and ample packing space.
So why the low price? That’s because you won’t get a front pocket or side handle on the carry on like there are on the Delsey carry ons above and there is no zipper expansion feature. However, the larger suitcases do have a 2″ expansion feature and side handle. We have thoroughly reviewed the 28″ Winfield here.
We would also recommend the overall top rated Samsonite Omni PC collection, as the bags weigh about the same. Have a much bigger budget and like Samsonite? Have a look at the even lighter Black Label Cosmolite collection.
eBags EXO 2.0 Hardside Spinner 2PC Set
The eBags EXO 2.0 hardside spinner collection has been around for two years now and it’s still going strong. There is a 20″ carry on spinner (22″ with wheels) and a 24″ checked spinner (27″ with wheels). You can get the two pieces separately or as a set, which is pretty perfect for most female travelers. The carry on weighs 7 lbs 4 oz.
What’s good about this hard shell is that it’s not glossy. The light cross hatch texture means that it will only collect minor scratches over time. So it’s not the most glamorous of luggage collections, but for those who can sacrifice looks for practicality, the eBags Exo can’t be beat.
In addition to the sturdy three height points telescopic handle, there are two carry handles – the top handle is recessed and the side handle sits flush to the side of the case. The spinner wheels are dual caster. You have two ways to lock the bags – there’s a TSA approved key lock and a TSA approved combination lock. The latter engages only once you push in the cross-over X zipper pullers into each slot. This does make locking the bag a bit fiddly and there’s a chance that TSA agents won’t know how to actually lock the bag if they open it for inspection.
The interior is divided into two sides with the top lid side separated from the bottom by a full zippered mesh lid. The other side features restraining straps and a feature that is unique to many eBags luggage pieces – a removable and adjustable divider shelf. This shelf can be placed across the width of the suitcase at any point along the length with the help of Velcro fasteners. This gives you the ability to separate items according to size or function and if two people share the same bag, you can keep your belongings separate too. This also helps with neatness, especially if you don’t pack the bag completely full, which means a lot of shifting of stuff during transit. If you don’t want the shelf, just remove it or fold it down. The drawback of the interiors is that there is no smaller pocket or compartment for small accessories, etc.
Lojel Octa Medium and Large Hardside Spinner Upright Suitcases
While there is no carry on sized spinner in the Lojel Octa collection, medium and large checked in sized suitcases are nice and light, with the former weighing 8 lbs 12 oz and the latter weighing 11 lbs.
These pieces are unique in this list because they close via two TSA combination latch locks instead of zippers. This makes it tougher for luggage thievery because a ball point pen can’t be used to open a zipper. It therefore made it onto our list of best luggage without zipper locking.
Your possessions will be the neatest ever after transit because the interior space is separated by two partition flaps. The top lid’s space features a zippered flap and the bottom one features large snap buckled overlapping wing flaps.
All the external components such as the handles and locks sit recessed, so nothing is likely to get caught anywhere. The only downside is that the interior is not fabric lined.
Inexpensive Hard Case Luggage Sets
Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 4 Wheel Uprights
If you’re looking for the least expensive but quality pieces, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds collection is our pick. In fact, it made our list of best hardside spinners of the year even without factoring in how light the pieces are.
The 20″ spinner weighs 7 lbs and you can also get a 24″ and 28″ piece or a set of two or three. All the pieces have side and top handles and a nice addition are the side molded feet to allow you to rest a piece on its side. The interior organization is good, with a u-shaped zippered flap that separates the packing space of the clam style lid from the bottom space. There is also an attached zippered pouch along one side of the bottom space and restraining straps to hold things in place.