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 2018, 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 2018! Oh and btw, we also have our favorite picks for light softsided spinner sets if you prefer those!
For a carefuly curated selection of best lightweight hardsided luggage, check out the following reviews!
Delsey Luggage Helium Shadow 3.0 Spinner Trolleys
The Helium Titanium collection was selected as a part of our best spinner hardcase luggage overall and that collection is also quite light, but the Delsey Luggage Helium Shadow 3.0 Spinner Trolleys are even lighter and have a few useful features to go with that.
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 three 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.
Cheap Lightweight 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.
Merax Travelhouse Luggage Set 3 Piece Expandable Lightweight Spinner Suitcase
You’ll definitely find a color you love among the wide array from the Merax Travelhouse 3 Piece Luggage Set. You get a 20″, 24″ and a 28″. Taking the wheels into account, the 20 inch measures 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 9.1″ and weighs 5.8 lbs, the 24 inch measures 25.6″x16.1″ x 11.2″ and weighs 8.1 lbs, and the 28 inch measures 29.6″ x 18.5″ x 13.2″ and weighs 9.7 lbs. All are expandable for up to 25% more packing capacity. Each smaller suitcase nests easily in the larger one, making storage easy.
The outer shell is made of ABS and the color has a matte finish from PC color masterbatch with a pattern that hides scratches and scuffs. The 3 step position telescopic handle is made of aluminum and is sturdy. The top and side carry handles feature metal clamps for the handle, thus eliminating the old problem that some customers had with them breaking off. The spinner wheels are smooth and durable as well and can even handle rough ground and carpet. There are 4 feet on the opposite side of the side grab handle so you can set the suitcases down anywhere without fear of getting them dirty or wet.
The interior space is very simply designed so don’t expect lots of organizational features. The lid section is separated from the main section by a full zippered divider panel. The main section has crosswise restraining straps and one zippered pocket.
Note that while there is a 3 dial combination lock, it is not TSA approved. If having that is important to you then consider the Merax Dreamy 3 piece set. The difference here is that the finish is glossy and you only have a choice of 3 colors.
Hauptstadtkoffer Alex Luggage Sets – Expandable Glossy Hardside Spinner Trolley
For something very similar to the Merax set but with a bit more durability and from a popular German brand, the Hauptstadtkoffer Alex Luggage Sets also come in various colors but with a combination ABS and polycarbonate shell with glossy finish. The measurements including the wheels are : 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches and 7.1 lbs for the 20″ carry on, 25.6 x 16.1 x 10.2 inches and 9.3 lbs for the 24″ checked suitcase, and 29.5 x 19.7 x 11.8 inches and 11.5 lbs for the 28″ checked suitcase. Both the checked in sized pieces can be expanded by about 15% for more packing space and the pieces nest into each other for convenient storage.
In addition to the multi-step telescopic handle, you also have grab handles on the top and side with 4 feet on the other side to allow you to set them down anywhere. The spinner wheels are dual for extra durability and easy manoeuvering. The corners are reinforced, as they are most vulnerable to damage on impact. The combination lock is TSA-approved.
The inside of the Alex cases is divided by a flexible panel that is secured by two side release buckle straps to the lid section to keep that side neat and tidy. The panel holds two zippered mesh pockets. The main compartment features crosswise restraining straps.
The pieces come with a thin plastic film wrap to protect them which you have to peel off before using to reveal the true color of the pieces.