Cases on wheels are specifically designed to make your travels easier – but only if you choose the right one. Here's the expert Wanderlust guide to buying the best wheeled suitcase for you...
We've tested the best suitcases for 2020, including wheelie suitcases, cabin-sized suitcases and roomier suitcases. There's something for every travel style and budget, given that the cases start from a reasonable £149.
How do we conduct the test? We asked gear manufacturers to send us hold bags with four wheels. From the selection we were sent, Wanderlust's gear expert Phoebe Smith, took them out on the road to see which performed best...
Don’t be fooled, this may look like your standard carry-on wheelie, but behind its exterior are a number of nifty features – a laptop compartment, several practical pockets to organise your kit, foldable straps so you can wear it on your back and… a bottle opener!
The verdict: A backpack/wheelie suitcase in one.
One for the tech-geeks and business travellers among us… this water and abrasion-resistant carry-on with four wheels allows two distinct ways of opening.
The first is an accordion-style quick-access pouch (detachable and separate from the rest of the bag) designed to hold a laptop/files/book. The other is zipped shut and for clothes and toiletries, keeping them out of sight. It even comes with personalised hand-painted letters – snazzy.
Large (123L) but not the heaviest (3.9kg), this strong plastic case has two grab handles and a TSA-approved combi lock; there’s a double zip to the main compartment that’s also lockable.
Inside are two compartments: the bottom one has compression straps and a zipped pocket; the top has no straps but features a zipped fabric compartment divider. Comes with a limited ten-year warranty.
The verdict: Massive!
Not only is this a bargain price for a lightweight piece of soft-sided hold luggage, it’s also good for the environment. Made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic, each one represents 27 fewer plastic bottles going into landfill.
So although it comes in black, blue and grey – it’s actually rather green. Available in a 69cm and 79cm version, the case is also expandable via a zip, giving you an extra eight litres of internal space to play around with.
It comes with a combi lock that’s TSA-approved, top and side grab handles, four multi-directional wheels, a telescopic handle and two front pockets.
If hard-sided roller suitcases are more your thing, here’s a nifty new offering.
Not only does this four-wheeled spinner boast an integrated TSA-approved lock, two divided compartments inside and a telescopic double-poled handle, it also has a handy front panel, ideal for a laptop, that can be opened and folded down for easy access.
Small (62L) but feature-packed, this 3.74kg bag is made of water-repellent, rip-stop fabric. It has three grab handles and a tough double telescopic handle.
There’s a bungy for attaching kit as well as two zipped pouches. The single wheels also have good tread. Inside, the main space has straps and a zipped section on the top. Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The verdict: Nifty; a bit heavy for its size.
This 4.2kg nylon-polyester water-resistant bag carries 69L – the double handle is external, so no inner capacity is lost. There are many outer pockets as well as two grab handles and a belt for attaching items.
The wheels are doubles. Inside, the main space has straps and there are two zipped pockets – one mesh. Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The verdict: Loads of good features.
At (3kg), this soft-sided, durable nylon bag has a 96.5L capacity. It has two padded grab handles and a double telescopic handle. Wheels are single but move smoothly.
The main compartment and zipped, padded pocket are lockable. Inside, the main space has two compression straps; there’s a zipped pocket on the smaller top compartment. Comes with a three-year limited warranty.
The verdict: A good soft-sided option.
This has a 100L capacity and is made from light, tough plastic yet is still the joint heaviest here at 4.2kg. It has two grab handles, a double telescopic handle and lockable zip but no external pockets.
Inside are two compartments with straps, plus a zip pocket and mesh pouch. An expander zip allows for more capacity. Comes with a limited three-year warranty.
The verdict: A sturdy value option.
Lightweight (2.6kg for 94L), this is simple but super-tough, made from high-impact-resistant plastic. There are two grab handles and a single tube handle that slides into the mould.
Wheels are single. Zips are lockable; there’s a TSA lock, too. There are no external pockets. Inside is a large space with straps and a zip pocket plus a fabric zipped section. Comes with a limited ten-year warranty.
The verdict: Delightfully light and simple.
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