TravelTrained is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. See our disclaimer.

10 Best Luggage for European Travel (2023 Review & Guide)

Discover the top choices for the best luggage for European Travel, including lightweight suitcases, carry-ons, rolling, and spinner bags.

 Best Luggage for European Travel

As a seasoned traveler, I know the importance of having durable luggage that can withstand the demands of European travel.

We conducted extensive research and testing to bring you the top 10 best luggage options, taking into account factors such as durability, maneuverability, weight, storage space, and airline size restrictions.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 best luggage options for European travel.

Best Carry-On Luggage
Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 21-Inch, Black
Best Checked Luggage
Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30" Hardside Spinner Trunk Luggage, Expandable, Navy
Title
Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30"
Dimensions
10" x 15.25" x 21.25"
17" x 14" x 30"
Weight
6.5 pounds
13.77 pounds
Features
10-year warranty, Ultra-Light, 360 degree upright rolling
Protective corner, T-Cruiser handle system, Dual Cyclone Spherical spinner
Best Carry-On Luggage
Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 21-Inch, Black
Title
Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Dimensions
10" x 15.25" x 21.25"
Weight
6.5 pounds
Features
10-year warranty, Ultra-Light, 360 degree upright rolling
Best Checked Luggage
Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30" Hardside Spinner Trunk Luggage, Expandable, Navy
Title
Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30"
Dimensions
17" x 14" x 30"
Weight
13.77 pounds
Features
Protective corner, T-Cruiser handle system, Dual Cyclone Spherical spinner

Best Carry-on Luggage for European Travel

Solo New York Leroy Carry-On Wheeled Duffle Bag

Sale
Solo New York Leroy Carry-On Wheeled Duffle Bag
solo Leroy Carry-On Wheeled Duffle Bag, 49L Capacity, Grey, 22 Inch

The first one on our list is a classic wheeled carry-on luggage, that is also a duffel bag. This is a good option for the European traveler because it has the right measurements and it’s super lightweight.

Upon testing, we found this bag featured a spacious main compartment with multiple interior pockets, a zippered front pocket, and sturdy wheels for easy mobility.

Its compact size meets most airline carry-on size restrictions, making it a convenient option for travel. However, some users have reported issues with the bag’s handle and zipper durability over time.

It’s also very stylish and well-made, and the bag itself feels very durable and rugged.

Product Dimensions 22 x 12 x 12 inches
Item Weight 6.04 pounds
Manufacturer SOLO New York
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Right size and
  • Lightweight Luggage
  • Durable materials
  • Very stylish
  • Roomy and full of pockets
  • No shoulder strap

Samsonite Freeform Hardside

Sale
Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, Black, Carry On Suitcase 21-Inch

The second on our list is wheeled luggage. This model is from Samsonite, one of the best luggage manufacturers in the world; a brand we can rely on.

Other than that, it’s just a great piece overall: extremely rugged, with 4 wheels that spin 360°, and a combination lock.

What I love about this small hard-shell suitcase is that I can bring my hiking camera and some other photo and video equipment without being afraid of damaging it.

Our investigation demonstrated that it has a lot of internal space, and it can be expanded if you need more room. Also, Samsonite offers a 10-year limited warranty against defects. This spinner luggage comes in 12 different colors to choose from.

Product Dimensions 10 x 15.25 x 21.25 inches
Item Weight 6.5 pounds
Manufacturer Samsonite Corporation
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Very durable
  • Modern features (lock, 4 wheels)
  • Expandable
  • Many different colors to choose
  • No external pockets
  • Expensive

Timbuk2 Wingman Travel Duffel Bag

Timbuk2 Wingman Travel Duffel Bag
Timbuk2 Wingman Travel Duffel Bag

The Timbuk2 Wingman is one of the best carry-on luggage for men, due to its versatility. It’s a duffel bag with padded shoulder straps and carries a handle design. It’s possible to carry it like a backpack, and you can remove the shoulder strap if you want to.

This particular model is good for international travel because it’s extremely lightweight luggage (good for flying with weight-restrictive companies).

It has handles on all four sides. As an expert in the field, I can confidently recommend the Timbuk2 Wingman, made from top-of-the-line 450D Poly Hex Ripstop material, ensuring exceptional durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Additionally, the manufacturer, Timbuk2, stands behind their products and offers a lifetime warranty, giving travelers added peace of mind.

However, this carry-on bag doesn’t have wheels.

Item Dimensions 15.7 x 7.9 x 20.9 inches
Item Weight ‎2.2 Pounds
Brand Name ‎Timbuk2
Country of Origin ‎Vietnam

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Very versatile
  • Lightweight luggage
  • Duffel bag that doubles as a backpack
  • Extremely durable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No wheels
  • Quite expensive.

Samsonite Underseat Carry On

Sale
Samsonite Underseat Carry On Suitcase
Samsonite Underseat Carry On Spinner with USB Port, Jet Black, One Size

Another Samsonite bag, but this time it’s in an under-seat format and a softshell. This one will fit under the seats of most airline companies in the world, including Europe.

Because of the size and format of this bag, it’s actually perfect for traveling in Europe. As far as wheeled carry-on bags go, not many can fit under the cabin seat, so this is a very good option.

In our extensive testing of this bag, we were impressed by its ample internal space and well-designed external pockets, making it easy to stay organized while on the go.

We also loved the convenience of its four wheels and long handle, as well as the handy USB port for charging electronics on the fly. Available in three stylish color options, this bag is a great choice for any traveler seeking a functional and versatile piece of luggage.

Samsonite Underseat is a sure bet as it fits the carry on size for most airlines if not all of them.

Product Dimensions 9 x 13.5 x 16.5 inches
Item Weight 5.5 pounds
Manufacturer Samsonite Corporation
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Small under seat format
  • Samsonite made
  • Lots of rooms and clever pockets
  • Wheels and handle
  • Three colors to choose from
  • Smaller than other options

Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage Set

Sale
Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage Set
Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage Set, Black, 2-Piece

This is the best budget carry-on luggage on our list. Especially because it comes with not one, but two different travel bags and both are excellent soft shellbags.

The large one is a wheeled suitcase, and the small carry-on bag is a lovely tote for Europe travel, especially since it fits under the seat. Both are within standards for Europe travel, and some airlines may even let you carry both together in the economic class.

The bag also impressed us with its ample storage space, including an expandable option for larger luggage. Additionally, the bag is available in a wide variety of eye-catching colors and patterns.

It’s worth noting that the Rockland Fashion set offers excellent value for its price point, making it a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.

However, this affordable carry-on luggage doesn’t have a warranty.

Product Dimensions 8 x 13 x 19 inches
Item Weight 6.74 pounds
Manufacturer Fox Luggage
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Budget option
  • 2 for the price of 1
  • Good quality
  • Comes in a lot of colors and patterns
  • Overhead & under-seat combo
  • No warranty from the manufacturer

Best Checked Luggage for European Travel

Samsonite Freeform Hardside

Sale
Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, White, Checked-Large 28-Inch

Yes, the same line as the previous Samsonite carry-on luggage will get our favorite spot and possibly the best luggage for international travel.

It’s hard to say that is the best carry-on suitcase, but it definitely makes the top. The reason is the same: it’s lightweight hard shell luggage.

As someone who has personally used the Samsonite Freeform Hardside for a few years, I can confidently say that is a durable and reliable suitcase.

The hard-shell exterior provides exceptional protection for delicate items, while the interior compartments make organizing belongings easy.

I also found the suitcase to be incredibly lightweight and easy to maneuver, thanks to its smooth-rolling wheels and telescoping handle. Overall, the Samsonite Freeform Hardside exceeded my expectations and is a top-performing European luggage that I would highly recommend.

This expandable carry-on luggage comes in many different colors and it has a built-in lock, making it one of the best luggage for Europe.

Samsonite also offers a 10-year limited warranty.

Product Dimensions 10 x 15.25 x 21.25 inches
Item Weight 6.5 pounds
Manufacturer Samsonite Corporation
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Samsonite quality
  • Lightweight
  • Very rugged
  • Modern features
  • Many colors to choose from
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Cumbersome to carry without the wheels
  • Expensive

Traveler’s Choice Maxporter II 30″

Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30
Traveler's Choice Maxporter II 30

Continuing on with a hard shell trunk option from one of the best suitcase brands, Traveler’s Choice: the Maxporter II.

This wheeled bag has a very customizable interior, with partitions on one side that can be removed completely or repositioned using a velcro system. It’s very spacious too, with good internal pockets.

The suitcase is divided by a 30/70 opening, meaning one side is larger than the other, which makes life easier for opening a fully loaded suitcase. There are two extra handles on the front side, making it very easy to pick it up even when fully loaded and very heavy.

The 360° are great and very resistant, and the proprietary T-Cruiser handle greatly improves the control of movement for this luggage.

However, some buyers on Amazon report that the topside handle is a little flimsy and can break with a fully loaded and very heavy suitcase. They also reported that the zipper can be a problem sometimes as it’s not the strongest one around.

Product Dimensions 17 x 14 x 30 inches
Item Weight 13.77 pounds
Manufacturer Traveler’s Choice
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Made from very durable polycarbonate
  • Corner guards
  • T-Cruiser handle system
  • Great 360° wheels
  • Customizable internal space
  • Four colors to choose from
  • Double extra handles
  • The main top handle is a little flimsy
  • Zipper can be problematic sometimes

Amazon Basics 26-Inch Hardside Spinner

Amazon Basics 30-Inch Hardside Spinner
Amazon Basics 30-Inch Hardside Spinner, Black

If you are not interested in the duffel bag, we also include a hard-shell luggage budget option. It made our list of the best luggage for traveling to Europe because is not just a cheap hard-shell suitcase, but it also has good quality and decent weight.

With 4 spinner wheels, a fully lined polyester interior, with 3 zippered pockets inside, it may be the best alternative if you just want to save money.

It comes in 4 colors, and it’s expandable. The only downside is that it’s not as strong and durable compared to other brands, such as Samsonite.

Product Dimensions 21.06 x 12.79 x 30.71 inches
Item Weight 12.21 pounds
Manufacturer Amazon Basics
Country of Origin China

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Hardshell
  • 4 colors to choose from
  • Expandable
  • Not the strongest
  • Not very durable

Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel

eagle creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel
eagle creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel, Black, X-Large

If you are looking for the most versatile, light luggage, this is it. The “No Matter What” duffel bag can be used in any situation, for any country you want to visit in Europe.

It’s a duffel bag, so with better customization than traditional suitcases, and it has wheels, it’s better than traditional duffel bags. It can hold up to 128L, and they made the wheels extra-large to be able to handle almost any terrain. Perfect for off-road travelers.

It’s extremely durable, too: the material used is very high quality. They are so confident their product is one of the best duffel bags, that they have a lifetime warranty for it. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a supporting structure.

Item Dimensions 36 x 14 x 15 inches
Item Weight ‎4.19 Pounds
Brand Name ‎Eagle Creek
Country of Origin ‎Vietnam

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Great wheels can be used outdoors
  • Duffel bag: very versatile
  • Strong materials
  • No supporting “spine”

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels
SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Dark Grey, Checked-Medium 25-Inch

Sometimes, the hard shell format can be cumbersome, and accommodating things inside them can be troublesome. This is probably the best soft side luggage, made by SwissGear, another luggage manufacturer giant.

The materials are extremely durable, and the wheels are strong, but what shines here is the internal space. Because it’s soft side luggage, the internals can be manipulated more easily.

It comes in many different colors, too. The only downside to this is that it doesn’t have TSA locks, you will need to buy external ones yourself.

Product Dimensions 26.25 x 11 x 16.75 inches
Item Weight 9 pounds
Manufacturer SwissGear Luggage

Check this product reviews »

Pros

Cons

  • Soft side luggage
  • Internal space is better optimized
  • SwissGear quality
  • Rugged and durable
  • Made from the best materials
  • Many colors to choose from
  • No internal TSA lock

Features to Consider When Buying Luggage for Europe Travel

Before we go through the lists of our favorite travel bags for Europe, let’s review some of the main things you should consider when purchasing any type of luggage for your European travels. 

1. Size 

Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Samsonite Freeform Hardside

You want to make sure that you choose luggage that easily fits all of the necessary items for your trip without getting overstuffed.

However, you don’t want luggage that is too big that it’s difficult to maneuver around the airport or carry onto trains, buses, or taxis when you arrive at your destination.

We recommend having a carry-on that will easily fit in the airplane’s overhead compartment and a larger bag that you can check with the airline before taking off. 

2. Compartments 

Compartments can help make your packing more manageable, especially for your carry-on bag. For the carry-on, consider one with separate compartments for your laptop, cell phone, water bottle/snacks, passport/wallet, and other items.

That way, you won’t spend time searching for what you need at the airport or on the plane. Also, your fragile items (like computers or cameras) won’t get easily damaged. 

3. Weight 

Consider that whatever you pack, you will have to carry and lift. Even if your carry-on bag has wheels, you will need to be able to lift it into the overhead compartment.

For your checked luggage, ensure it meets the airline’s weight requirements for checked baggage, or you may pay extra fees. You will also have to lift this bag when you arrive and possibly take it with you on a bus or a train. 

4. Straps 

matein rolling backpack

Some carry-on luggage has straps attached so that you can also wear them as a backpack or messenger bag.

This option is helpful if you need to maneuver your baggage in areas where you cannot roll it, such as if you need to walk upstairs to get to your lodging or if you will also carry your bag while sightseeing or backpacking around at your destination. 

5. Handles

Make sure your luggage has durable handles that won’t easily break. Carry-on bags should have a telescoping handle that you can expand when rolling and push back in when storing it in the overhead compartment.

For your checked luggage, you also want a telescoping top handle for rolling it through the airport. However, it would help if it also had durable side handles to help you lift it in and out of vehicles and carry it up flights of stairs. 

6. Material 

You want to purchase luggage made of lightweight but durable material. For soft-sided luggage, look for ones made out of nylon or polyester, which are the lightest materials.

For a hard-sided suitcase, choose one made out of polypropylene, polycarbonate, or ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). 

7. Wheels

Samsonite Underseat Carry On
Samsonite Underseat Carry On

Wheels make maneuvering your luggage through airports, train stations, and sidewalks much easier than carrying it.

Your checked baggage should definitely have wheels.

Look for one with 360-degree spinning wheels to make it easy to navigate around corners and small spaces.

Most likely, you will want to take a carry-on with wheels also. The exception is if you plan on using it to do a lot of backpacking.

In that case, wheels might get in the way, and you should opt for a non-wheeled option. 

Our Nr Product

Samsonite Freeform Hardside

FAQs

What Kind of Luggage Should I Take to Europe?

Choose luggage that suits your specific needs and can withstand the demands of European travel, taking into account factors such as durability, weight, storage space, maneuverability, and airline restrictions. A lightweight carry-on suitcase with sturdy wheels or a spacious backpack with comfortable straps are good options to consider.

What Size Luggage Is Best for Europe Trip?

Your luggage size for a Europe trip should align with your travel preferences, but note that many airlines have strict carry-on size restrictions. Smaller suitcases or backpacks that meet the requirements are recommended, with a typical size of 22 x 14 x 9 inches for carry-on luggage in Europe.

Is It Better to Take a Backpack or Suitcase to Europe?

The decision between a backpack or a suitcase for a Europe trip is a matter of personal preference and travel style. A backpack is ideal for mobility and hiking, while a suitcase offers better organization and accessibility for city travel.

How Heavy Can a Suitcase Be in Europe?

The weight limit for suitcases in Europe varies according to the airline and fare class. Most airlines allow a maximum weight limit of 50 pounds (23 kilograms) for checked baggage and 22 pounds (10 kilograms) for carry-on baggage, but be sure to check your airline’s specific weight restrictions to avoid additional fees or baggage removal.

More travel accessories

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API