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The Best Hardshell Luggage Set

Last updated on October 14, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Hardshell Luggage Sets and dug through the reviews from 139 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Luggage Today, Closeup Check, Jetsetter, TenBestProduct, Paramatan and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hardshell Luggage Sets.

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Our Picks For The Top Hardshell Luggage Sets

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Bang for Your Buck

Coolife

Luggage Set

Overall Take

Tough Yet LightweightThe Coolife Luggage Set comes with wallet-friendly hardshell suitcases that won't crack under pressure.

  Best for Frequent Travelers

Samsonite

Winfield Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Overall Take

Rugged LuggageThe Samsonite Winfield Luggage with Spinner Wheels is a set of gorgeous hardshell luggage that won't crack, dent or scratch.

  Best for Style

Kenneth Cole REACTION

Lightweight Luggage Set

Overall Take

Trendy for TravelingThe Kenneth Cole REACTION Lightweight Luggage Set is a slick set of luggage that will keep you organized.

  Also Great

Samsonite

Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Overall Take

Sleek and SturdyThe Samsonite Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels is a quality set from that won't scuff during your trip.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hardshell luggage sets available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

139

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

45,895

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 5 others.

The Best Overall

Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell

Our Expert Score
8.6
13 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,419 user reviews
Our Take

This set's whisper-quiet spinner wheels and telescoping handles make the most stressful trips a breeze. The lined interior has plenty of pockets. The luggage's stunning colors will also set it apart at any baggage claim. We especially liked the locking features of these suitcases during our testing.


Our Findings

Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Best for Frequent Travelers

Samsonite Winfield 2 Expandable Hardside Luggage Set with Spinner Wheels, 3-Piece (20/24/28), Charcoal (Apparel)


List Price: $569.97 USD
New From: $265.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $265.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: Our top pick has a tough polycarbonate shell with a brushed finish to protect from scratches. The 360-degree spinner wheels move easily through crowded airports. It looks great, and it’s built to last. In our testing, we were impressed by how lightweight and roomy these suitcases were.

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Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell

Best Bang for Your Buck

COOLIFE Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell Lightweight TSA Lock (Orange) (Paperback)


List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $139.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $139.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: This set’s whisper-quiet spinner wheels and telescoping handles make the most stressful trips a breeze. The lined interior has plenty of pockets. The luggage’s stunning colors will also set it apart at any baggage claim. We especially liked the locking features of these suitcases during our testing.

Simplemost Media

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 3-Piece Lightweight Hardside 4-Wheel Spinner Luggage Set

What We Liked: This elegant set from Kenneth Cole will earn you style points at the airport. Reinforced corners protect your investment. Multiple lined compartments and garment restraint straps keep your clothes neatly packed.

Simplemost Media

Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Also Great

Samsonite 3-Piece Set, Black (Apparel)


List Price: $469.97 USD
New From: $237.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $237.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: This Samsonite set has a micro-diamond texture to prevent scratches. The TSA-approved lock will keep your belongings safe and sound. A durable retractable handle and spinner wheels make this a great find.

Our Expert Consultant

Brittany Anas
Travel journalist

Brittany Anas is an award-winning investigative journalist turned freelancer who now specializes in travel and lifestyle topics. She is a former reporter for the Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Her travel writing has been featured in American Way, USA Today, AAA magazines, Simplemost, Better, Livability, Apartment Therapy, Men’s Journal, Austin-American Statesman, TripSavvy and other outlets. She’s carved out a niche in adventure travel writing and has a column with Forbes that’s focused on outdoors travel. She logs about 75,000 airline miles a year and has mastered the art of napping in airports and finding the best spicy cocktails in whichever city she visits. She treats travel like a scavenger hunt, finding what makes cities special. Brittany is based in Denver, and loves exploring Colorado’s hiking trails with her gremlin that the rescue described as a “Boston Terrier.”

Our Hardshell Luggage Set Buying Guide

If you’ve been enviously eyeing your friends’ photos from their latest trip and daydreaming about your dream beach vacation, it’s time to make that dream a reality and hit the friendly skies. A good first step is investing in luggage that can withstand long walks around the airport and hours in cargo storage or an overhead compartment. If you’ve always used soft suitcases, it’s time to upgrade and buy some hardshell luggage. 

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Hardshell suitcases have rock-solid exteriors made from different types of ultra-strong plastic. The tough-as-nails outer shell is a better option for protecting your belongings. Most of these suitcases have lined interiors with pockets and compartments to keep you organized.

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Hardshell luggage is usually too heavy to carry, but almost all brands install spinner wheels at the bottom of the suitcase to help you pull it through the airport and beyond.

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“Smooth-rolling spinner wheels come in handy when you reach your destination,” notes Brittany Anas, our resident travel expert and an award-winning journalist who specializes in travel and lifestyle. “In a lot of European countries, you’ll be commuting from ferries to taxis or buses on older, uneven streets. Having wheels that can handle the terrain is essential.” 

Hardshell suitcases are a little pricier than soft luggage, but the added protection from bumps and drops makes them well worth the extra cash. 

Simplemost Fun Fact

Your new hardshell luggage is built to withstand dents, drops and scrapes, but even the toughest suitcases can fall into the dreaded purgatory of lost luggage. 

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It’s very rare for a suitcase to disappear forever: Almost all lost bags are found and returned to the owner within two days. If an unlucky bag isn’t reunited with its owner within 90 days, the airline can buy it and ship it to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. The airline chooses items from the lost luggage to clean up and sell. Anyone can buy these choice picks at a steep discount from the Unclaimed Baggage Center’s brick and mortar store. 

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Your hardshell suitcase will likely be with you for years to come, but at least your belongings will find a happy home if it does go missing.

The Hardshell Luggage Set Tips and Advice

  • Hardshell luggage offers more protection for your belongings than soft-sided baggage, but it won’t do you much good if it’s too heavy to carry. Take a look at your suitcase’s weight before you buy, and make sure you can handle that piece of luggage when it’s at capacity.
  • Hardshell luggage is usually made from either polycarbonate plastic or ABS plastic. Polycarbonate is lightweight and resistant to high temperatures and impact. ABS is a blend of three types of plastic. It’s even lighter than polycarbonate and less expensive, but ABS suitcases aren’t quite as durable. If you travel frequently, investing in polycarbonate luggage is a good bet. If you only go on the occasional vacation, save yourself some cash with ABS hardside luggage.
  • Certain finishes will protect your luggage from scrapes and dings better than others. Brushed polycarbonate is great for maintaining that brand-new look, and microdiamond texturing also hides any damage. 
  • The inside of your luggage is just as important as the outside. Multiple compartments will help keep you organized, and mesh pockets are great for separating small accessories. Garment straps will keep your clothes in place during bumpy flights. Check out pictures of the inside of your dream suitcase to make sure it has enough compartments for your needs.
  • No one’s expecting you to haul hardside luggage across the airport without a little help. The best hardshell luggage will have 360-degree spinner wheels that move smoothly in all directions. Check out your luggage’s specs, and make sure it has this type of wheels before you buy.
  • You’re already taking an extra step towards protecting your belongings with hardside luggage. You can add to that effort by choosing a hardshell suitcase with a built-in, TSA-approved lock. Pieces with combination locks will offer more security than key locks (and you don’t have to worry about losing a tiny key). 
  • It’s the little things that make the difference between a good suitcase and a great suitcase. A built-in slot for a luggage tag will give you peace of mind when you hand over your checked bag. Make sure that the hardshell suitcase you’re eyeing has one before you buy.
  • You can also look for high-tech add-ons when you buy your luggage. “Many pieces have ejectable batteries that can charge you’re phone when you’re on the go,” says travel pro Brittany Anas. “You’ll come to love this because the airport outlets are in high demand.”
  • The quality of your hardshell’s zippers and spinner wheels will tell you a lot about its longevity. The last thing you need is a zipper breaking as you’re closing your suitcase or a spinner wheel catching and snapping as you’re rushing to make a flight. Look closely at any photos of your luggage’s zippers or wheels, and consider returning it if they look weak upon closer examination.
  • Hardshell luggage tends to be a greater financial investment than soft luggage, and you should do what you can to help maintain it. Purchasing luggage straps to wrap around your hardshell suitcase will reduce strain on the zippers if you’ve packed a lot for a long trip.
  • Take a look at your hardshell suitcase’s warranty before you hand over your cash. If you travel infrequently, you’ll put less strain on your luggage and it will last longer. Frequent fliers will want to carefully read over any warranties to make sure they’re covered if something happens to their hardshell suitcase while globetrotting.

About The Author

Abby Stassen
Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen has a bachelor's degree in English language & literature from the University of Michigan. She's been writing professionally for over a decade. Home is where the heart is, and it's also where Abby spends time hunting for the perfect appliances, decor and more. She also has a lush Floridian backyard that doubles as a test lab for garden products. Abby recommends home and garden products based on her rigorous online research and personal experiences with the products.