Best 80/20 Hardside Luggage 2024

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It may be hard to believe, but there are very few hardsided suitcases that address the significant packing problem that travelers have with most of these types, and that is not having 80/20 hardside luggage lid openings.

While hardside luggage has become more popular than softside in recent years, there are some problems usually associated with it. One such problem arises with the way you have to pack the suitcase. Because of the 4 spinner wheels, they have to be designed to open with the front pair attached to one opening side and the back pair attached to the other. This means that most hardshelled luggage will open “clam style”. This means the top and bottom sections are divided 50/50 in volume and your belongings have to be packed equally between them.

When you’re unpacking in tight hotel rooms you don’t have space to lay your suitcase flat open. I’ve actually had to keep the lid vertically open with the divider panel still zipped closed and unpack one half before spinning the suitcase around and doing the same with the other half!

Not the pieces that we’ve chosen below, though. These collections feature either the 70/30 or the 80/20 style opening that makes most softside luggage so attractive.

With an 80/20 split or top lid opening hardside luggage, you can just pack accessories like toiletries, chargers and shoes in the shallow lid compartment with the divider panel fully or partially closed and lean the lid against the wall so that the suitcase doesn’t take up much room on the floor or can just about lie on a small luggage rack that some hotels room have.

Alert: In the last 3 years there are other options available for hardside luggage with lid opening or front compartment. These don’t necessarily open in the 80 20 configuration, but they provide an external compartment or lid from which you can access your laptop or other important possessions that you may need to always be within easy reach of.

Top Picks for Best 80/20 Hardside Luggage

  • Our top pick: Lojel Cubo
  • Runner up: Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside Spinner Luggage
  • Budget pick: Hanke Luggage Hardside Suitcases
  • Best 80/20 Split Hardside Luggage

    When you first see the Lojel Cubo, you’ll appreciate its sleek, understated look – it doesn’t immediately scream “tourist!” which you’ll like when trotting around foreign cities. But where this bag really shines is in versatility and storage capacity, making it the perfect companion for all your trips near and far.

    That ingenious flat-top opening is a total game changer – you’ll have full access to items no matter how crammed full you’ve packed it. Super handy for digging around that tiny hotel room abroad! The expandable body easily fits extra souvenirs and purchases with room to spare. Ah, but beware stuffing too much while fragile items are buried deep, as the front zipper did stick once when overloaded.

    Gliding 360 degrees over even cobblestone streets, the dual spinner wheels make you feel like a pilot effortlessly cruising down the runway. Though the handle felt a smidge unstable fully extended when loaded down super heavy.

    The textured polycarbonate shell repels scratches and resists weathering in warm and cold climates alike – no need to baby this bag! The awesome luggage zippers have a super compact design with special woven threads. This means the zippers are extra tough against wear and tear, giving you extra peace of mind that your stuff is totally safe and sound.

    You can choose from 4 different sizes.

    Overall, with its clever customizable storage and understated styling, the versatile Lojel Cubo carries all your gear on any kind of trip without losing any coolness points!

    Andiamo Classico Suitcase with Built-in TSA Lock - Zipperless 20 Inch Hardside Carry On Bag

    The dimensions with wheels and handles: 22 x 14 x 8.5 inches

    The dimensions without wheels and handles: 20 X 13 X 7.5 inches

    The storage capacity: 35L.

    The weight: 10.4 lbs

    Andiamo is known in the industry to produce collections with a few innovative features, so it stands to reason that they have a hard shell suitcase that features the rare 80-20 split. That’s the Andiamo Classico Carry on Suitcase. It also boasts another sought after feature – zipperless locking.

    The Classico scores high in design and style, sporting a glossy finish in three colors – black, ruby red and royal sapphire. The strong aluminum frame with polycarbonate shell and aluminum-magnesium alloy bumper corners make the piece extra durable. Instead of zipper closures, there are two TSA locks built into the aluminum frame, which is an added security feature.

    The dual wheels and aluminum handle work smoothly.

    For travelers that constantly need to charge their devices, there’s an external USB port that’s connected to an inner pocket where you can keep your own power bank. This allows you to charge your phone or tablet at anytime in the airport or station. Another inner pocket boasts RFID protective lining so that your passport and cards are safe from personal information theft.

    There is a handy removable computer and accessories padded sleeve inside the shallower section that’s useful if you’re not inclined to carry an extra laptop bag. If it’s not needed on a trip, just unfasten the Velcro strap and remove it to make more room for your other belongings. 

    The deeper packing section is separated from the shallow one by a divider panel with its own inbuilt zipped mesh pockets. There’s a lid support strut on one side of the suitcase that helps keep the lid open about 100°, which is perfect if you don’t place it in front of a wall for unpacking. This can be unfastened if you prefer the top lid to lay flat instead.

    While this is a great carry on for frequent travelers, it’s not one of the lightest, weighing about 10.4 lbs with the laptop sleeve.

    Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside Luggage

        Choose from 6 sizes

        Sizes: All the way from 21 inches (international carry-on) to 32 inches (X-large trunk)

        Weights: From 3.1 kg to 4.7 kg

        Storage capacity: From 38 liters to 123.9 liters

    For high end luggage, you can’t go wrong with the Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside Spinner Luggage collection. Any B&R fan will attest to how robust and feature-rich each piece is and who doesn’t love their full lifetime warranty? The Torq collection comes with an 70/30 split opening on the 21″ international carry on, 22″ domestic carry on and the medium, large and extra large checked sized suitcases. The two carry on hardsides feature an external front pocket that’s hinged at the bottom.

    The external pocket is feature packed with two padded sleeves to hold a laptop and tablet and another pocket to hold a battery pack, which in turn can be plugged in via the integrated cable to the integrated external USB port. This means you can use your phone or tablet’s USB charging cable to plug the device into the port from the outside to juice it up anywhere, anytime. The external pocket also has a pen loop and several small pockets to hold more cables, SD cards, and more. There’s even an RFID-blocking pocket for your credit cards, wallet or passport.

    The 100% virgin Makrolon® polycarbonate material is high strength, lightweight, and provides resiliency. You have great color options in black, graphite, ruby and cobalt.

    The YKK zippers of both compartments lock into a TSA approved combination lock and the aircraft-grade aluminum pull handle extends to three different heights. As with all B&R hardside pieces, this handle is placed on the outside so that your packing space inside is flat and free from interference. The dual spinner wheels roll smoothly over any surface.

    Business travelers will love the built-in hanging garment section in the lid with a loop to lock hangers into place. Once the garment is carefully folded into place using the foam roller to avoid folding creases, the divider panel can be zipped up and its mesh zipped pockets can hold some accessories. The deeper section also features a compression panel to keep your clothes in place.

    These pieces nest into one another for easy storage. We reviewed this collection in detail when it first appeared in the market.

    Hanke Hard Shell Suitcases with Wheels

        Choose from 4 sizes

        Sizes: All the way from 18 inches to 26 inches

        Weights: From 8.2 LB to 10.91 LB

        Storage capacity: From 43 liters to 72.6 liters

    At 18, 20, 24 or 26 inches and with a stunning finish, this suitcase is more than just eye-catching!

    The innovative front opening design allows for effortless access to your belongings and makes packing a breeze. It’s a game-changer compared to traditional luggage that opens like a book. Plus, the press-button TSA lock ensures convenient and secure traveling, keeping your essentials safe without needing a key.

    Besides the unique design, the suitcase is made of premium polycarbonate material, making it more durable than ABS+PC counterparts. The diamond-shaped texture also protects against scratches, ensuring your luggage stays looking new for many adventures to come.

    Maneuvering this suitcase is a dream, thanks to the high-quality YKK zippers, smooth 8 multi-directional spinner wheels, and adjustable 4-step telescopic handle system. This luggage is perfect for any occasion, be it a family vacation, business trip, or even just a weekend getaway.

    The Hanke Luggage Hardside Suitcase ticks all the boxes for both style and functionality. Its front opening design, high-quality materials, and easy maneuverability make it an all-around excellent choice for your traveling needs.

    Pelican 1535TRVL Air Travel Case

    Carry on size: 21.96 x 13.97 x 8.98 in 

    Storage capacity: 27 liters

    Weight: 10.35 lbs

    Tired of struggling with old luggage at check-in lines or during your adventures in remote base camps? The Pelican™ Air Travel Cases offer a smart solution for your travel needs. The lid organizers feature zippered compartments for storing larger items, while the see-through mesh pockets provide secure storage for passports and cables. Additionally, the packing cubes ensure that your gear remains tightly bundled and give you the flexibility to arrange your items by stacking or grouping them side by side.

    These travel cases are designed for versatility, allowing you to easily swap out the packing cubes for optional Trekpak™ dividers, padded dividers, or Pick N Pluck™ foam interior solutions (available separately). Not to mention, they meet the maximum airline carry-on size requirements, providing added convenience for your travels.

    When it comes to durability, these cases have you covered. They are waterproof, crushproof, and dustproof, thanks to their super-light proprietary HPX²™ Polymer construction, which makes them up to 40% lighter than other cases. The Press and Pull™ Latches, retractable extension trolley handle, and quiet rolling stainless-steel bearing wheels ensure smooth and hassle-free transportation.

    Moreover, the Pelican™ Air Travel Cases come with a range of additional features such as lid mesh and zippered storage compartments, Press and Pull Latches with TSA Key Locks, a fold-down over-molded handle, a business card holder, automatic pressure equalization valve, stainless steel padlock protectors, and are IP67 & MIL-SPEC certified. Plus, they are backed by a limited lifetime warranty (where applicable by law) and are proudly made in the USA.

    If you’re in the market for a reliable and versatile travel case that offers peace of mind and convenience, the Pelican™ Air Travel Cases are definitely worth considering. Just be sure to check with your airline for their exact measurement requirements. 

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