Do you feel like your luggage and travel bags are taking up too much storage space in your home? If you’re a family where each member has his or her own pieces or if you live in a small apartment, this is probably a bigger problem. Most wheeled luggage or hardsided pieces don’t nest into one another unless they’re designed like that and you buy the set, so what can you do besides getting rid of most of it? The answer is you buy the best collapsible bags for traveling that you can find.
Foldable carry on luggage can easily be stored in bigger suitcases or they can even go into drawers or regular closets. Check in sized suitcases can be stacked one on top of the other and stored under a bed or in a corner of a walk-in closet. What is important is that the folding feature doesn’t cause weak luggage that will break down more quickly that regular pieces. Hinges and struts have to be strong and move smoothly too.
You can find a wide range of collapsible carry on luggage and checked luggage online, with foldable duffels being most widely available, but we’ll focus on the collapsible suitcase with wheels. Our recommendations are tried and tested by enough customers. In a later post, we’ll also look at an exciting new entrant that combines the collapsible feature with smart features.
Lipault Foldable 0% Pliable Luggage
The Lipault 0%Pliable line is made up of 4 pieces of two-wheeled luggage – 22″, 25″ and 28″ upright suitcases and a 30″ upright duffle. They come in 4 colors – black, navy blue, duck blue and purple. Each bag is very lightweight yet durable.
The shell is made for PVC reinforced nylon for durability and water resistance and the inside is completely lined. Because of their two wheels instead of four, they collapse to a much thinner state than the others and can be kept almost anywhere at home. They come with their own clear plastic with matching trim storage cases with a handle so that they can be stored easily in their collapsed state.
The two wheels are inline skate and housed in reinforced corner guards, as is the bottom of the bag. There is a bottom stand on the front so that the bag stands upright and doesn’t tip over. The telescopic handle retreats back into its own zippered pocket when not in use and there are padded top and side grab handles for easy lifting. The long side opposite the grab handle features 4 small feet so you can set it down on its side without fear of it getting wet or dirty.
Inside the uprights are simple organizational features. The inside of the lid has one large zippered pocket, and the deep side has one full length zippered pocket and restraining straps. There is one zipped pocket on the exterior front of the bags.
There are few differences with the wheeled duffel bag. To keep it balanced, there are two feet opposite the inline wheels and there is a top grab handle in front of the telescopic handle on the opposite end. The long front of the bag features a u-shaped opening into the main compartment and two duffel handles with button wraps to keep them together. One side of the duffel has a full length zipper for quick access items. Inside the main compartment is a single zippered pocket along one side.
These bags come with their own luggage lock but you may want to use your own if it feels flimsy.
Biaggi Contempo Foldable Luggage with Wheels
We have reviewed the Biaggi Zipsak collection that became famous through Shark Tank, but that line is not best suited for rough baggage handling. Foldable carry on luggage, yes. Checked luggage, no. For a more robust alternative, Biaggi also makes Contempo foldable luggage. The line consists of two 18 inch cabin bags – one two-wheeled and the other four-wheeled, one 22 inch 4-wheeled carry on, one 25 inch 4-wheeler and one 28 inch 4-wheeler. All of them are foldable to about 50% of their original depths so that they can be conveniently packed into their own zippered storage bags.
Even though they are foldable, there are elements in their construction that make them ready for rigorous travel. Under the nylon shell is EVA foam padded lining, and the corners and bottom feature reinforced guards. What makes the bags easy to maneuver are the cushioned top and side grab handles, the telescopic handle and the four spinner wheels on all except the two-wheeled bag. This one features two inline skate wheels at the back and two feet in the front to prevent it from tipping over when stationary. You can wheel it using the telescopic handle or carry it using the dual tote handles.
The two-wheeled cabin bag opens like a tote via top dual zippers and there are two large slip pockets on the front and back. The 4-wheeled uprights open like regular book style suitcases. There are two zippered pockets on the front and an ID tag slip pocket at the back. The inside features elastic straps on the deeper side while the lid side features a single large zippered flap to keep things in place. There are also two mesh zippered pockets for small items. The entire bag can be expanded by just a pull of the zip that goes all around the opening.
These collapsible travel bags with wheels come in black as well as a variety of bright colors like, orange, purple and red.
While not all that light or cheap, Biaggi Contempo luggage is very durable.
Delsey Luggage Solution Spinner Trolley
This luggage line is made of polyester and the lining is in nylon. The Delsey Solution line of 4-wheeled spinner uprights consists of 3 pieces – an 18″ carry on, a 23″ and a 27.5″. All of them collapse via a patent-pending folding system that reduces the size by 75%. You can then store them in their own PVC cases and pack them into a small space at home.
There is a telescopic handle for easy manoeuvring on the 4 spinner wheels, a top carry handle and dual carry handles on the side. These carry handles are not padded, so they can become uncomfortable to use for more than a few minutes if the case is heavy. PVC protection on the bottom of the bag protects it from wear and tear, especially if dragging it over curbs and cobblestones.
A zipped lid compartment helps keep items separated from the larger space on the other side, which has restraining straps. This lid panel is made of mesh on the carry on. The front exterior of the bags has a vertical zipped pocket and there’s an integrated ID tag at the back.
The zippers on these cases aren’t very big, so care must be taken while using them. While it may seem flimsy when you first see it, that’s because it is in the folded state. Once you fold down the bottom and side boards and stick the rods in place, it will feel just like a regular softside suitcase.
Bellino Leather Folding Laptop Carry-On 21″
It’s rare to find carry on luggage in leather these days but the Bellino leather collapsible carry on bag is a special find that just happens to be easy to store as well. This 21″ Napa leather collapsible carry on luggage is also the only one on this list that comes with a dedicated padded laptop sleeve with Velcro fastening in the front zippered compartment.
There are two more zipped compartments on the front panel and the main compartment opens like a regular upright softside bag where the main section features restraining straps and 2 long zipped mesh pockets. The inside of the lid has a large mesh zipped panel.
Other features include 2 inline skate wheels with two front feet, a smooth telescopic handle and a top grab handle. Once you empty the bag out, it can fold completely flat.
Vera Bradley Luggage Foldable Roller
The Vera Bradley Foldable Rollers are two-wheeled bags with soft unstructured sides that fold completely flat when they are empty and can be packed away in the provided clear plastic storage bag. The material used is water-resistant polyester that can be wiped clean. They are available in two prints and a plain black, the former having black interior lining, while the latter has a contrasting print lining.
For transport, you have a telescopic handle and a padded top and side carry handle. When not being wheeled about on its inline skate wheels, it stands upright on its two front feet. However, you must be careful while packing the bags, as they tend to tip forward because they don’t have their own structure. Put the heaviest items at the bottom near the wheels and as far back as possible so that the bags don’t become top heavy.
For organization, there are two zippered exterior pockets on the front. The top one is u-shaped and meant for easy access to last minute items and travel documents, while the bottom one is larger with a hidden zipper. On the inside is a large zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the lid and a full length zippered mesh pocket along one long side. A pair of restraining straps keep your clothes tidy.
The large foldable travel bag is check in size, measures 17 x 26 x 11 inches and weighs 5.75 pounds. The small roller is carry on size, measures 14 x 20 x 9 inches and weighs 4.8 pounds.