May 26, 2024
The Best Cheap Luggage: 7 Affordable Options Under $150

The Best Cheap Luggage: 7 Affordable Options Under $150

Some luggage comes at a steep cost that can make travel a financial challenge for the average person, but travel horror stories often put on the pressure to spend the big bucks. Cheap suitcases might make you think of shoddy materials and personal items strewn across tarmacs or luggage carousels, but today’s budget-friendly luggage brands offer quality construction at an attractive price.

We’ve put together a list of the best luggage options – from compact carry-ons to stylish soft-sided bags to heavy-duty duffels – with top-of-the-line designs and high-quality materials at prices under $150. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, these affordable luggage options are set to become your go-to bags for every type of trip.

(Note: Prices were accurate for this luggage at the time this article was updated; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues or other factors.)

Dimensions: 17.5 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 5.5 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Soft | Warranty: Lifetime limited

What sets it apart: This soft-sided Travelpro bag is fitted with a number of convenient features to make traveling a breeze. The sleek design includes an adjustable height telescoping handle and wide U-shaped front flap for easy packing. The numerous exterior and interior pockets – including a padded laptop sleeve, quick-access external pockets, and a removable hanging organizer for storing cosmetics or toiletries – will help you stay organized.

While two-wheel designs are often seen as less convenient, the sturdy front legs keep this bag upright even when packed to the brim, and the two high-performance wheels make traveling with this bag a breeze. If you’ve got multiple bags, use the convenient rear strap to secure this compact carry-on luggage on top of larger luggage.

Travelers appreciate: Recent travelers love this versatile bag’s spacious interior and clever pockets. Many also say the in-line wheels and sturdy handle make it easy to maneuver, including down narrow airplane aisles. Travelers who use the Maxlite 5 in addition to larger suitcases rave that it is a convenient height and stacks easily.

Dimensions: 21.46 x 14.76 x 9.45 inches | Weight: 6.53 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Hard | Warranty: One-year limited

What sets it apart: Perfect for short trips, this hard-sided Amazon Basics spinner provides travelers with the organizational benefits of larger luggage in a compact model. The extra-thick ABS hard shell protects a fully lined interior complete with a divider, clothing straps and three zippered pockets for small items.

These features pair with the suitcase’s full 180-degree opening and its ability to expand for up to 15% more packing space (though you should check airline size restrictions before doing so, as this may put the suitcase outside of size limits for some airlines). This hard-sided suitcase also has four double spinner wheels and a telescoping handle to maneuver through tight airplane aisles with ease.

Travelers appreciate: Adventurers have used this luggage everywhere from the rough cobblestones of Europe to the bullet trains of Japan, and there is one thing they all agree on: This hard-sided spinner moves like a dream. Recent travelers praise the durable wheels and easy glide for making movement across different surfaces smooth and effortless. While the spinner isn’t immune to scuffs and scratches, many travelers praised the hard exterior for holding up across multiple baggage handlings.

Price: $88 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Dimensions: 27.3 x 17.5 x 12 inches | Weight: 8.8 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Soft | Warranty: 10-year limited

What sets it apart: Easy to spot at baggage claim with its metallic accents, this American Tourister check-in spinner offers travelers easy mobility, a thoughtful design and a sleek exterior. The spacious interior has shoe pockets, a mesh pocket for valuables, a modesty pocket for more sensitive items and clothing straps to help keep everything in place. The separate pocket on the front of the suitcase also gives you space to store items, and the 180-degree front panel opening allows for easy packing with the option to expand up to 1.5 inches for added space.

The single airflow spinner wheels and push-button locking handle will help you maneuver through airports and train stations, while the integrated top, side and bottom carry handles make lifting it off the baggage carousel easy.

Travelers appreciate: This suitcase is a favorite among travelers for its easy-to-spot exterior, lightweight design and durability. Many recent users of the bag appreciate the affordable price, sturdy wheels and lightweight design.

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Dimensions: 29 x 20.5 x 11 (13.5 expanded) inches | Weight: 10.88 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Hard | Warranty: Two-year

What sets it apart: While many affordable hard-sided luggage options struggle to stand up to airport baggage handling, the ABS and PC material of this spinner provides a light and durable hard shell. Added design elements like the textured scratch-resistant finish and beveled upper edge increase the bag’s toughness. Built for durability and ease of use, this expandable Coolife suitcase has multidirectional silent wheels and a sturdy aluminum telescoping handle for smooth travel.

The incorporated TSA lock gives an extra level of security for personal items. The checked bag‘s interior comes fully lined with several pockets, clothing straps and a divider to ensure all of your items stay organized. This suitcase already has a large capacity, but it also offers an extra 2.5 inches of space when expanded.

Travelers appreciate: Recent travelers love this suitcase’s durable wheels and ease of movement, with many commenting on how easily it rolls across different surfaces. They also appreciate the spacious storage and built-in TSA lock, as well as the beautiful exterior and six color options that make it easy to identify your luggage at baggage claim.

Price: $139.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 7 inches | Weight: 3 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Soft | Warranty: Three-year limited or 10-year extended warranty upgrade when ordered through swissgear.com

What sets it apart: At the top of the backpack game for many years, this SwissGear travel backpack has padded shoulder straps and a back panel with breathable mesh fabric and built-in support. If you don’t want to carry it, you can slip it over a carry-on suitcase handle thanks to its add-a-bag trolley strap. One unique feature is the TSA-friendly laptop compartment with a padded 16-inch computer sleeve and a padded tablet pocket to help you breeze through security. What’s more, the backpack has a built-in USB outlet power port (with the battery pack sold separately) to charge your phone on the go.

Despite its compact design, the backpack has a large capacity main compartment, with an internal zippered panel – that, when unzipped, turns into a side-access shoe bag – plus multiple organizational pockets. Given its size, the bag is an ideal personal item on a plane.

Travelers appreciate: The SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Laptop Backpack’s compact profile, multiple compartments and technology-focused design make it a favorite among travelers. They praise the TSA-friendly electronics compartments, organizational features and how easily this backpack slides under plane seats.

Dimensions: 11 x 21 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Soft | Warranty: Five-year limited or 10-year extended warranty upgrade when ordered through swissgear.com

What sets it apart: While there are many duffel bags that meet carry-on size restrictions, the SwissGear 1900 duffel offers travelers some unique perks – including a separate shoe compartment. This section keeps your clothes and other personal items clean, and it crushes flat to add more cargo space when not in use. The duffel also has an internal zippered mesh pocket with a removable wet bag and a digital organizer panel with pockets for all your travel accessories.

Once you’ve gone through security, take advantage of the side insulated cooler compartment for storing hot or cold snacks and drinks. On top of all these unique features, this travel duffel has a plush grab handle and an attachable padded shoulder strap to make carrying it around airports easy and comfortable.

Travelers appreciate: Travelers love this SwissGear duffel for its durability, spacious compartments and insulated compartment. While many reviewers heaped on praise for the quality of SwissGear products, the shoe compartment stole the show for most. It fits larger shoe sizes than most other bags on the market, making it ideal for a wide range of travelers.

Dimensions: 32.4 x 15 x 14.8 inches | Weight: 7.9 pounds
Hard- or soft-sided: Soft | Warranty: Three-year

What sets it apart: Designed to maximize convenience and durability, the Samsonite Andante 2 takes duffel bags to the next level. This checked bag is constructed with water-resistant fabric, a locking pull handle, multiple exterior grab handles, corner protectors and bumper runners. There’s a separate water-resistant pocket at the end of the duffel to pack shoes or other wet items, so your clothes and electronics stay dry.

The main portion of the bag is broken into two parts, with a drop-bottom compartment that’s perfect for packing cubes and allows for extra organization when packing. The drop-bottom compartment is accessed by a 180-degree zip opening, and the U-shaped main compartment has a large opening for easy packability. An extra bonus of using this checked duffel bag is the lightweight design, which weighs in at slightly less than 8 pounds.

Travelers appreciate: Recent packers love the spacious compartments and durable materials of the Samsonite Andante 2. As a testament to its quality, travelers have put this bag through the wringer with heavy loads and multiple destinations, and still say the bag barely looks used by the end. They also praise the reliability and affordability of this bag, but some warn it doesn’t stand upright easily when filled, a trait common among rolling duffel bags.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following brands offer quality luggage at an affordable price. These brands also offer savings promotions throughout the year:

The difference comes down to the cost of materials. For example, a hard-sided suitcase like The Carry-On by Away is more expensive because it’s made of polycarbonate, a type of plastic that is virtually indestructible. Polycarbonate is more costly than materials like ABS, which is used in the Amazon Basics Hardside Carry-On.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Erin Vasta loved traveling as a student and, as a result, figured out quickly that not all budget luggage brands are created equal. Dealing with everything from broken wheels to stuck zippers, she’s had to improvise her way through a lot of luggage disasters. Those experiences helped her figure out what to look for when purchasing affordable luggage. Vasta hopes this article will help other budget travelers avoid her early mistakes.

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