You may be someone who does not go on long trips often, and casual, short weekend getaways are more your forte. In that case, having a large hardside suitcase can do more harm than good. Compared to softside luggages, hardside luggages are often bigger, heavier and take up more space. The best thing about lightweight luggage is that it is more convenient to carry around due to its less weight and low profile. Many of them can be folded when not in use so you can make space for other bags or belongings. Because of their versatile characteristics, softside lightweight luggages are a popular choice for the frequent traveler. In this article, we’ll share our 10 recommended best lightweight luggage.
Benefits of Lightweight Luggage
There are several benefits of choosing a lightweight softside luggage over a hardside one:
Softside luggages are cheaper than hardside luggages, which helps you to save on a lot of money if you have no use for the improved security and stability offered by hardside luggages. By being light, you will also be able to pack a lot of extra weight without having to pay high baggage fees for your flights.
Lightweight luggages can be easy to carry along during your travels. Because they are compact and light, you won’t feel bogged down as you navigate airports, railway terminals, and hotel corridors. They can be collapsed to take up less space, which lets you store them under the seat or inside overhead storage space. The less weight also makes it convenient to recover your luggage at the baggage belt.
3) Ergonomic Advantages
While you are on your trips and holidays, you can let your body relax and unwind without having to waste a lot of physical energy in lugging your suitcases. A softside luggage puts minimum strain on your arms, shoulders, back, and neck.
Softside luggages, because of their smaller size, are usually allowed as a carry-on on flights. This ensures that you get to keep your luggage with you at all times. Keeping your valuables with you promotes better peace of mind while traveling. You can also be sure that your luggage won’t be harmed due to rough handling while transferring on and off the cargo hold.
Because of their lightweight and small profile, softside luggages are better at withstanding the stress of traveling. They come with protective layers and reinforcements that not only keep your belongings safe but also secures the case itself. You won’t have to worry about your luggage falling apart while you are enjoying your holidays.
Things to Look for While Buying a Lightweight Luggage
While shopping for your luggage, you will have to consider several factors that will help you narrow down your choices. Which factors are important to you will be determined by your lifestyle and travel preferences. Some of the common factors to consider are resilience, quality, style, organization, and storage area. Another feature that will make a huge difference is the weight of the luggage. The other factors of the luggage such as material, design, and construction will help determine the overall weight of the luggage.
1) Construction and Material
Luggages that are known as soft sided or soft shell luggages are developed using nylon or polyester. Other combinations of materials are also used for these luggages. Polyester is one of the lightest materials that are used in softside luggage.
While nylon is not as lightweight as polyester, it is still a lot more durable. Suitcases that use this material are usually costlier and have better quality. However, generally speaking, both nylon and polyester make cases that are strong and long-lasting.
Frames are used in soft side cases to help them stand vertically. These frames should be of appropriate quality and standard since they will be bearing the weight of your belongings and the case. The frames are usually constructed using aluminum, fiberglass, or graphite. These are lightweight but durable at the same time. If you need something even lighter, you should go for luggages that have a honeycomb construction.
Suitcases with honeycomb frames ensure that your luggage has a balanced form while maintaining the rigidity of the frames. You will therefore be able to use the case for long periods without experiencing much wear and tear.
2) Durability and Comfort
Depending on your age, you might find that you are more or less comfortable with certain heavy or light luggages. Individuals who are physically fit and on the younger side will usually find it easier to use a hardside suitcase. However, carrying heavy loads might be a problem for many.
People who are suffering from chronic pain, cardiovascular or muscular diseases and other ailments might find it inconvenient to use heavyweight luggage. They would therefore prefer a lightweight suitcase that can carry their belongings well.
Using a heavy suitcase regularly might also lead to conditions such as back, knee, or shoulder pain which can be detrimental to the health of the body. All of these factors might lead you to consider luggages that have less weight.
Depending on the kind of travel you do, you might prefer a lighter suitcase. Traveling with luggage on a flight is less exhausting than traveling on the bus or the train. Hauling heavy luggage across several terminals while catching a train might put a lot of strain on your body. If you prefer to keep your trips stress free, you can go for a softside lightweight luggage.
A common feature in softside luggages is the ability to expand the storage space. The expandable function lends an element of versatility to your case. You can go for a compact size if you are traveling light. When required, the extra storage space can be a huge advantage especially while storing clothes. Your belongings will be much safer especially if they consist of fragile items.
To aid in packing, suitcases come with lots of pockets, dividers, compartments, and straps. These help in neatly separating the different kinds of items and keeping them secure based on their specifications. Wet pockets are provided for storing items such as swimwear and swimming gear. Compression straps are included for packing your garments. Mesh pockets and modesty pockets also promote better organization. Overall, they make your packing experience more convenient and less frustrating.
Your case will undergo a lot of stress during the boarding, unloading, and traveling process. It might also be exposed to unfavorable weather conditions. Softside luggages generally do not have waterproofing capabilities but can be damage and scratch-resistant. It will also be exposed to dust and dirt which might significantly reduce its longevity.
Most suitcases have carry handles on the top, bottom and side. They help in lifting and shifting the luggage while unloading or during baggage checking and claiming. These carry handles are sometimes padded to make sure that they are comfortable to hold. Often suitcases are provided with corner reinforcements that keep the luggage safe from bumps and thereby helping them last long.
3) Portability and Weight
Having a lightweight suitcase also means getting better performance in terms of portability. A lightweight luggage is not only easy to carry around without putting much stress on your body; it also means you get to pack more. Softside luggages comes with ample storage space that you can take full advantage of since the luggage in itself will not add much to the overall weight.
A softside luggage will also encourage you to pack mindfully, since adding more items means having to carry a larger load wherever you go. With softside luggages, you can easily pick up, move, and store your suitcase without much physical effort.
The quality of the wheels on your luggage is something to consider while making a purchase. They usually come in sets of two or four and have a 360-degree multidirectional functionality. Make sure that the wheels of your luggage are sturdy enough to not break apart under duress.
Good quality wheels will let you easily glide across uneven surfaces and will require minimum effort to move. Some cases include double wheels for extra security and stability. Using your wheels should feel effortless as you navigate the aisles and terminals during your travels.
Top 10 Best Lightweight Luggage for 2021
The AmazonBasics Belltown Softside luggage offers specifications that are perfect for anything from weekends trips to business travels and even extended holidays. The luggage is available in multiple different sizes based on the amount of space you require – you can choose between sizes of 31 inches, 26 inches, and 21 inches. The luggage not only offers a lot in terms of functionality but is also quite stylish. It comes in different colors namely Red, Black, Grey, Purple, or Navy.
This luggage from AmazonBasics includes a zipper that is durable and secure to make sure your belongings are stored properly. You can make use of the expandable design to get 25 percent more storage space if required. The extra space is great for storing your clothes as the compression would help them keep neatly packed. Being a softside luggage, it can be easily stored inside compact spaces.
The luggage has several organizational capabilities that help you easily store every large and small item. Two zippered pockets on the front have been provided to keep items that require quick access. The interior organizer of the luggage has been designed using 150D polyester. It comes with three zippered pockets that can be used for storing things like important cards, cables, and phone chargers.
Better structure and stability has been provided by the use of a mounted short handle and a telescoping handle. The short handle is secure enough for you to lift and move the luggage without breaking apart. You can easily extend the telescoping handle whenever you need to move the luggage and smoothly slide it back in when not in use.
The luggage can be maneuvered using the four 360-degree spinner wheels attached to it. You can efficiently move the luggage back and forth in all directions and over rough surfaces. The wheels are made of high-quality material that will last long even under extended usage.
- Storage space expandable by up to 25 percent.
- 360-degree multi-directional wheels.
- Securely mounted handle.
- Problems with the sizing.
- Issues with the handle have been reported.
This lightweight luggage from American Tourister is the perfect companion for your business and holiday trips. Weighing around just 7 pounds, it gives you ample storage space despite the low weight. The exterior packing pockets and the spacious interior compartment together can easily hold your clothes and other essentials for a quick weekend getaway. The luggage comes in sizes that are on par with the airline travel restrictions. The overall dimensions of the luggage case are 23.0” by 14.2” by 11.0”. It weighs around 7.1lbs.
You can expand the suitcase if you want to squeeze out some extra storage space. A large front panel interior pocket has been included for better organization and packing capabilities. You can also benefit from the deep main compartment with the mesh modesty pocket which can be used to securely store your items. Compression straps have been provided which can be utilized to keep the clothes neatly packed while on the move.
The suitcase comes with a wider pull handle that helps you have a comfortable grip while you carry the luggage with you. The handle has been manufactured using integrated multi-stage aluminum, which makes it both light and durable. It has been designed in a way that avoids putting any stress on your hands. For better mobility, the luggage comes with side and top retracting carry-handles. They help you to easily lift your luggage while shifting or storing the case, or during baggage checking.
The luggage makes use of 360-degree spinner wheels to deliver an effortless and trouble-free traveling experience. You can easily glide the luggage across the path with a simple push. The multi-directional feature of the wheels makes it all the more convenient to navigate.
- Better grip with the wider pull handle.
- Deep main compartment with mesh modesty pocket.
- Retracting carry handles on the side and top.
- Issues with the wheels.
- Gets dirty quickly.
This Aspire XLite softside luggage from Samsonite has been developed using durable polyester along with extra reinforcement with some flexible and lightweight steel wire. The luggage is sturdy enough to be an ideal companion for your frequent trips. The robust aluminum handle ensures easy handling of the luggage while the high-quality wheels help you to smoothly glide across surfaces. The organizational capabilities inside the luggage help you efficiently pack your belongings. You can make use of the wet pocket to quickly pack your swimming gear and clothes.
You can get the luggage in three different sizes – carry-on (20”), Medium (25”), and Large (29”). They come in three colors – red, black and blue dream. The overall dimensions of the 25” model are 26.5″ by 16.25″ by 10″. Its packing dimensions include 24.5″ by 16.3″ by 9″. The luggage weighs around 9.5lbs.
A quick-access zipper pocket has been provided on the front for storing frequently used items. Your belongings remain safe due to cross straps present inside. They keep the items stable and prevent them from being damaged due to excess movement. The luggage can also be expanded to get some extra storage space as required.
The luggage includes a wider pull handle that offers a secure and comfortable hold. It is also very light, thanks to the use of multi-stage aluminum. You get additional support through the use of the durable carry-handles on the side and top of the luggage.
The 360-degree spinner wheels provide great protection and ease-of-use to the suitcase. You won’t be held back by the weight of the luggage while you are running to board an urgent flight. Checking into hotels is also easier because of the ability of the spinner wheels to navigate rough roads and surfaces.
- A front zipper pocket for quick access.
- Includes a wet pocket.
- Steel wire reinforcement.
- Low-quality mesh.
- Might have problems with the airline restrictions.
This Kenneth Cole luggage utilizes a 1680D dobby polyester exterior along with zippers made of metallic hematite that makes for a durable design. The interior of the luggage is fully lined and is tear-resistant. The suitcase has been designed to withstand rough usage and frequent travels. The luggage comes in three colors – charcoal, navy, and black. The overall dimensions of the luggage are 22.5” by 14.0” by 9.5” ( expandable to 11.5”). It weighs around 6.85lbs.
The main compartment of the suitcase’s interior includes buckled restraints for storing your garments. The zippered pockets on the side can be used for smaller items. A full-length wet zipper pocket has been included to store wet items or containers with liquid.
A zippered ticket pocket has been provided on the front, along with two other zipper pockets. You can use these to store small items such as tickets, identification cards, small change, and so on.
The trolley handle on the suitcase has a locking mechanism that maintains a low profile when not in use. You can extend it up to a height of 41 inches with a simple click of a button. Further support has been provided by the grab handles on the bottom and top. The molded feet on the side helps you make the luggage stand horizontally.
You can expand the capacity of the luggage for up to 2 inches which can come in handy if you need to make some last-minute additions to your luggage. The expansion space is also great for neatly storing your clothing.
The luggage offers high-quality 8-wheel spinner wheels that can be rotated across 360-degrees and are multi-directional. You can easily carry your luggage across various kinds of terrain and quickly navigate corners without stopping or tripping up your luggage. The wheels on this luggage are sturdy enough to go through kinds of challenging situations.
- Expandable storage up to 2 inches.
- 8 wheel spinner wheels.
- Locking system on handle.
- Issues with wheels.
- Problems with zipper pulls.
The Swissgear Sion softside luggage includes a pull handle with a locking mechanism and 360-degree wheels for better mobility. It has been designed using scuff-resistant polyester fabric with a fully-lined interior. The packing dimensions of this luggage are 28.5” by 17.25” by 12.5”. Its overall dimensions comprises 30” x 18.5” x 12.5”. It weighs around 11.1lbs.
Tie-down straps have been provided with the luggage which are adjustable based on your requirements. It also comes with other useful features such as a large mesh lid pocket, a removable zippered wet bag, and a packing pocket for storing small accessories. You can also make use of the two front panel pockets to store more items for quick and easy access. An ID tag has been included for attaching some form of identity card or document.
The in-built tie-down straps keep your garments and other belongings safe and secure while you are traveling. The multiple compartments, dividers, and pockets on the luggage make sure that your items are properly organized. They save time by making your packing and unpacking process a lot faster.
The luggage comes with reinforced lift handles that are located on the side, bottom, and top. They have been padded for extra comfort. They help you easily lift and move the luggage while storing and unloading.
The 360-degree spinner wheels on this luggage provide an effortless traveling experience. They help take weight off of the luggage and from your hands, helping you to smoothly glide across all surfaces. You no longer have to face any inconvenience while navigating those narrow aisles and tight corners while boarding your flight, thanks to the multidirectional function of the wheels.
- Reinforced lift handles.
- ID tag feature.
- Zippered wet bag.
- Handle quality should improve.
- Problems with the wheel have been reported.
The American Tourister Zoom Turbo luggage utilizes a shiny polyester exterior for a durable and lightweight design. It features a book opening case and smooth performing dual spinner wheels. A large mesh pocket keeps your belongings properly supported along with the fully-lined interior. The cross straps help in binding the whole storage area together for better stability. Several pockets on the exterior and interior of the suitcase make sure your items are well organized. The corners of the luggage are reinforced to ensure that the luggage remains strong enough for extended periods of rough use.
You have the option to expand the capacity of your luggage as required. The extra space can help you store a few extra clothes or your holiday souvenirs. For additional organization, a large front panel interior pocket has been provided. You can use the deep main compartment with mesh modesty pockets for storing your personal belongings securely. The compression straps inside the luggage ensure that your clothes remain neatly packed together and do not suffer damage during movement.
You will be able to achieve a comfortable grip on your luggage thanks to the wider pull handle on it. It has been manufactured using an integrated multi-stage aluminum that not only makes it lightweight but also quite durable. The luggage also includes carry-handles on the side and the top for better handling of the suitcase. They are retractable and come in use while unpacking or during baggage checking.
With the 360-degree dual spinner wheels, you get an additional advantage while moving with your luggage. They help you to avoid getting bogged down by the weight of the luggage and let you glide across the roughest of tracks. They are also multidirectional, which means you can easily take turns or change directions without missing a beat.
- Shiny polyester exterior.
- Compression straps for better stability.
- Durable aluminum handle.
- The spinner wheels feel a bit bulky.
This softside luggage from DELSEY Paris has been developed using durable and lightweight MicroBallistec along with a vapor barrier to promote long term usage. The suitcase comes with protectors at the corners and skid bars that help reduce the stress on the case in the vulnerable parts. You can use the luggage for long periods of travels without it experiencing much wear and tear. The luggage, with its 21inch carry-on size, meets the relevant airline restrictions. It is compact enough to make it an ideal companion for your short business trips and weekend tours.
The luggage comes with several pockets and compartments to offer the best organization capabilities. On the lid, there are wet pockets and a mesh that can be used for splash-free storing. The main compartment of the suitcase has shoe pockets for you to effectively pack your shoes. The tie-down straps keep all your belongings safe from damage during transit. You can use the large pocket on the back for storing a jacket or your magazines.
If you feel like you are running out of storage space, you can expand the luggage up to 2 inches and squeeze in some last-minute essentials. The main compartment has high-quality self-repairing zippers that ensure that your items get the maximum security.
The luggage boasts several cushioned neoprene carry handles on the side, top, and bottom. They have been included so that it becomes convenient for you to lift and shift the luggage. An integrated ID tag has been included in case you want to assign some form of identification to your luggage so that there is a way for it to come back to you in case it gets lost.
There are spinner wheels attached to the luggage that use a dual-position trolley system. You can use 2 or 4 wheels based on your preferences and ease of access. The wheels are sturdy and ensure that the weight of the luggage is off your hands.
- Dual-position trolley system.
- Expandable storage up to 2 inches.
- Several pockets and compartments.
- Low-quality handle.
- May be too big for some airlines.
This AmazonBasics luggage is ideal for your weekend trips and business meets. It is compact enough to act as a carry-on. It has ample storage space for your essentials such as clothing, shoes, and toiletries.
The interior dimensions of this luggage are 13.7 by 7.8 by 17.30 (inches). Its outer dimensions including the wheels are 14.7 by 9 by 21 (inches). The interior capacity of this suitcase is 31litres. It has an approximate weight of 5.51lbs. The luggage is available in two colors – navy blue and black.
A durable zipper has been utilized to ensure that the luggage has reliable closure. You can make use of the expandable storage space in case you require some extra storage capacity. The luggage can be expanded up to 25 percent.
The fabric lining inside the luggage protects your belongings from scratches. Three interior storage pockets have been provided which provide added security to your items with their secure-closing zippers. The pockets help you to keep your items neatly separated and organized for easy packing and retrieving.
The luggage includes a user-friendly telescoping handle that can be swiftly extended or locked into place as required. When not in use, the handle sits inside the body of the luggage and does not get in the way while the luggage is being placed in overhead storage. A securely mounted short handle has been included for purposes of lifting the suitcase. It is sturdy enough to take the full weight of the luggage without breaking apart.
The four 360-degree spinner wheels on the luggage help you easily maneuver the luggage up and down rough surfaces with a simple push. The wheels have a multidirectional function, which means you can easily make turns and glide through narrow passageways.
- User-friendly telescoping handle.
- 25 percent expandable storage space.
- Fabric lined interior to prevent scratching.
- The container seams should improve.
- Handle quality is poor.
This Disney kid’s luggage from American Tourister has a trendy and sleek design that makes it popular among kids. It has a top grab handle for comfortable lifting, along with a monotube handle and single spinner wheels. The interior of the luggage is fully-lined. It has been detailed with crisscross straps that can be tied down to keep your clothes safely secure. The zip-around divider helps separate the storage space into different packing compartments. The case has a lot of colorful Disney proprietary graphics and designs that your kids will love. The overall dimensions of this luggage are 19.48″ by 13.18″ by 7.87″. Its packing dimensions are 18.0″ by 12.0″ by 7.0″. The case weighs around 3.86 pounds.
The luggage includes a deep compartment on the inside along with a mesh modesty pocket that can be used to safely store your items. You can use the compression straps to ensure that your clothes remain neatly packed. They prevent your clothes and other belongings from being ruined as the luggage experiences movement during traveling. The Disney zipper pulls are made of good quality material that works like new for extended periods of usage.
The push-button handle on the suitcase works flawlessly. Because of the wider pull handle, you can get a more comfortable grip on your case. It has been produced using integrated, multi-stage aluminum, which makes it both strong and lightweight. While lifting the case, you will find the carry-handles to be hugely beneficial. The side and top carry handles remain firm and do not break apart under excess pressure. They can be retracted to the side when not in use to give the bag a compact profile.
The in-line wheels provided exceptional mobility to the case. Since it is designed for kids, the wheels ensure that very minimal force is required to push the luggage. They are durable and help the luggage to easily run across different types of surfaces – rough or smooth. They take the stress off the arms and protect the child from injuries.
- Colorful and trendy Disney based designs.
- Wider push-button handle for a comfortable hold.
- Durable in-line wheels.
- Zipper quality can improve.
- A strong chemical smell has been reported.
The Solyte DLX softside luggage is a perfect suitcase for any modern-day traveler. It features an ideal mix of style and functionality. Some of the striking qualities of the luggage include a large storage capacity, durable construction, and a functional design that promotes better organizational capabilities.
The suitcase has been manufactured using a 100 percent rugged polyester weave. It consists of smart fix buckles that hold the tie-down straps while you are packing. A zippered mesh pocket helps to efficiently organize your belongings. The WetPak pocket can be used to store liquid containers or other splashable items. A USB port has been included which can be used to connect to a power bank for charging your smartphone and tablet devices. The packing dimensions of this luggage are 19.0″ by 13.5″ by 7.75″. Its overall dimensions are 22.0″ by 14.0″ by 9.5″. The luggage has an approximate weight of 7.1lbs.
The luggage comes with a Smart Sleeve system that lets you stack smaller luggages over it. This helps you manage more than one luggage by letting your carry-ons sit over your larger luggage without toppling over.
A robust handle has been provided with the suitcase that unlocks at the push of a button. It has a wider design along with contours that ensure better and comfortable handling. There are stops on the handle that helps you to customize the height of the handle based on your individual preferences.
The wheels on this luggage include hardened steel cartridges that improve the strength of the wheels. The 360-degree wheels promote superior mobility with its multi-directional function. They take off the weight of the luggage from your hands and let you maneuver the luggage using only a simple push.
- 360-degree wheel with steel cartridges.
- USB port for power bank and portable devices.
- Smart Sleeve system.
- Reports of broken zippers.
- Might be a bit costly.
The ideal softside luggage will act as a tool to make the best out of your tours and trips instead of being a burden. This buying guide will help you to make the best decision while selecting the perfect lightweight luggage for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which size of suitcases are allowed on planes?
The carry limits on most international flights are around 21 inches, including the wheels. The normal size of a check-through bag should be within 27 inches. These figures may vary with every airline.
Hardside or softside – which luggage is better?
Go for hardside luggages if you go for long trips and need to pack a lot of items. Hardside luggages are more durable than softside ones but are larger and heavier. Softside luggage tends to be cheaper, lighter, and smaller in size. They are collapsible and are much more convenient to store and carry.