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The Best Hard Shell Suitcase - 2021

Last updated on May 3, 2021

We looked at the top 11 Hard Shell Suitcases and dug through the reviews from 22 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hard Shell Suitcases.

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Our Picks For The Top Hard Shell Suitcases

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Our Take
  Best Overall

Rockland Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Rockland

Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll find this hard shell suitcase comes in a choice of 35 different colors, including champagne, lime, yellow, navy and turquoise.

  Stylish Set

Travelers Club Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

Travelers Club

Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

Overall Take

Attractive Rose Gold ShellThe handles on this hard shell suitcase are adjustable and can be locked into place to make pulling them around the airport a breeze.

  Best Value

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

AmazonBasics

Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

Overall Take

Economical OptionThis hard shell suitcase is a budget-friendly option with many desirable features.

  Spacious and Hardy

Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Samsonite

Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Overall Take

Perfect for Frequent TravelersThis roomy, durable hard shell suitcase rolls alongside with ease.

  Family Pick

Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Coolife

Hard Shell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Overall Take

Lightweight Durability for the FamilyPack for your entire family with this hard shell suitcase.

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.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hard shell suitcases available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

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

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22

Expert Reviews Included

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

105,862

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

The Best Overall

Rockland Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Our Expert Score

9.7

Our Take

The first thing you'll notice about this hard shell luggage set is the ergonomic chrome telescoping handle. It's comfortable to hold and extends to match your height. Each of the two pieces in this set also come with multi-directional double spinner wheels to make moving around the airport a breeze.


Our Hard Shell Suitcase Buying Guide

Hardshell suitcases can be durable and lightweight. They are frequently available in standard sizes for carry-on bags or checked luggage, making them a practical choice for traveling by plane or cruise ship. Learning about features to consider and look for will help you select the best hard-sided luggage for your needs.

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Consider the type of material used in a hardshell suitcase you are considering. Many are made from high-tech plastic. ABS is the most lightweight, although it is not as sturdy as polycarbonate, which is a bit heavier. Luggage made with an aluminum shell will stand up to the most wear and tear, but it is also the heaviest material used to make hard-sided suitcases.

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Many hardshell suitcases open much like a clamshell, with two distinct, equal sides in which to pack. While this can be helpful to keep items separate, it also requires more room when unpacking as you must spread it open entirely. Others have a “lid” that opens more like a traditional suitcase, so if you will use it in a small space, consider this option.

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Hard-sided luggage can be more challenging to store than soft-sided luggage is. You will need ample space, as squeezing a suitcase into a tight area might result in scratches or damage. Some hardshell suitcase sets come in graduated sizes that fit inside one another, make storage less difficult.

Simplemost Fun Fact

By the late 1800s, travelers had essentially two choices for carrying their clothing and other items. Massive waterproof trunks were most often used for lengthy trips, such as those by steamship, train, or stagecoach. On the other end of the spectrum were carpet bags, which were small, top-opening travel bags made from carpeting material, such as oriental rugs (think Mary Poppins).

Suitcases were in use by the 1900s, but they were merely cases to hold suits, much as the name suggests. As travel changed, trunks went out of fashion and suitcases evolved into the handled luggage used today.

In 1970, Bernard Sadow dreamed up putting wheels on suitcases after traveling with his wife and kids. A Macy’s vice president was impressed with his idea and the rest is history.

The Hard Shell Suitcase Tips and Advice

  • To clean your hard-sided luggage, dip a soft cloth or sponge in warm, soapy water and wipe it gently. Follow up by rinsing it with a clean, damp cloth. Dry the suitcase completely before storing it.
  • The easiest way to remove sand, dirt, dust or crumbs from the inside of your suitcase is to vacuum it. If there is any sticky or caked-on grime, remove it with a damp cloth and then allow the interior to dry completely before putting it in storage. You will be grateful for clean, fresh luggage when planning your next trip.
  • As hardshell luggage is prone to scratches, dents or dings, consider purchasing luggage covers for extra protection when not in use.
  • Check the wheels on your suitcase before and after you travel. Removing gravel, dirt or other particles in the wheels will keep them moving smoothly for years to come.

About The Author

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Tricia Goss 

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator.