I get it: travel can be expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the airfare, hotels, transportation, and meals, but the travel gear can really add up in cost, especially luggage. If you’re gearing up for a big trip and need to cut costs, shopping for affordable luggage sets can save you big.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a cheapskate. I used the same suitcases for months in Europe even after their wheels disintegrated. If there’s a way to save money on travel gear, I’ve probably tried it, and I’m always searching for luggage that is less expensive without sacrificing too much functionality.
What’s more, buying a luggage set is a fantastic way to save money if you need multiple suitcases. Sets will pretty much always cost less than individual pieces. I’d recommend trying to find an affordable luggage set that still delivers decent quality and durability. In my mind, it’s better to pay just a bit more to get gear that will last longer than one or two trips.
I’ve searched far and wide to find affordable luggage sets that still perform well in real life. In this list, you’ll find sets for any budget. These are my top ten picks:
Odds are you already know about AmazonBasics and possibly have some product with its logo somewhere in your house. Amazon’s in-house budget brand is known for selling a massive range of products, from shirts to laundry detergent, at great prices. While quality can be hit or miss, I’ve found that their luggage is simple, functional, and well-built, especially for the price.
In my experience, the best affordable luggage keeps it simple, skipping on fancy features and focusing on basic functionality. If you want a built-in battery pack and USB port, a detachable laptop sleeve, and IKEA-level organization, you’ll want to spend more money. Tons of features at a cheap price usually means the manufacturer skimps on materials and quality, leaving you with a suitcase that will fall apart after a few uses.
I want luggage that does the job without any pretensions of being more than it is.
The AmazonBasics 3-Piece Softside Spinner Suitcase Set is just that: no-nonsense softside luggage set that does what I need and holds up surprisingly well considering the price.
In this set, you get a carry-on and two pieces of checked luggage—25-inch and 30-inch. The suitcases are all identical in terms of design, features, and layout; size is the only difference. Each suitcase has a wide-opening main compartment, an expandable zipper design that lets you add about an inch of depth when you need it, an easy-access external pocket, and three interior zipped pockets.
They roll on a set of four 360-degree spinner wheels. These spinner wheels are surprisingly smooth and feel like they’ll hold up well. If you’re taking a trip to Europe, I might recommend getting something a bit more heavy-duty for the infamous cobblestone streets, but on smoother surfaces, these wheels perform well.
My favorite part of this set is the carry-on. I personally think softside luggage is vastly superior to hardside for carry-on suitcases (I just really like having external pockets on my carry-on). This little bag is very functional without any extra frills. It’s also quite lightweight.
The weak point of these suitcases is definitely the zippers. They’re pretty cheap and easy to snag. I haven’t seen them break yet, but you’ll want to be careful with them.
With three solid suitcases at an amazing price, it’s hard to be disappointed with this affordable luggage set. Packing light and don’t need so much space? Some good affordable carry-on luggage may be enough for you.
AmazonBasics 3-Piece Softside Spinner Suitcase Set Specs:
|Dimensions||21” x 14.7” x 9”||25.9″ x 16.1″ x 10.6″||30.9″ x 17.5″ x 12.9″|
|Weight||5.5 lbs||6.8 lbs||7.9 lbs|
COOLIFE started as a luggage manufacturing factory that was founded in 1986 by Ivan and Vivian Freeman. They have worked with several of the worlds top luggage brands to build quality suitcases.
In 2008, they started their own luggage brand, COOLIFE, to provide the same high-quality manufacturing and design at approachable prices. Their luggage is beautiful, thoughtfully designed, and surprisingly tough.
This COOLIFE 2-Piece Luggage Set includes a 20-inch carry-on and a 28-inch checked case. Both are
These suitcases start with a sleek molded hard shell. Most cheap hardside luggage is built with ABS, which is inexpensive but prone to cracking with impact. Higher-end suitcases use polycarbonate (PC) which is much more impact-resistant.
COOLIFE says their suitcases are made with a hybrid ABS+PC material. While they aren’t super specific on what that means, it should be better than ABS, but not quite as tough as polycarbonate. It definitely feels a bit tougher than ABS suitcases I’ve used.
In terms of features, this set competes with some of the best hardside luggage out there. They have sturdy telescopic handles, smooth and quiet double spinner wheels with ball bearings, a built-in TSA lock, and great interior organization with a zippered divider, multiple pockets, and compression straps.
My biggest complaint with most hardside luggage is that you typically don’t get external pockets. This isn’t really a problem for checked bags, but I really like my carry-on to have an accessible place for electronics, books, and passports.
The carry-on in this COOLIFE set stands out by having a zippered external pocket on the front of the case. It opens up with room for small laptops and tons of smaller compartments for keeping essentials organized.
I can’t emphasize enough how big of an advantage this is. You typically only see hardside cases with pockets in high-end models from top brands.
It’s not the absolute cheapest option out there, but if you want a pair of quality, feature-packed hardside suitcases at a killer price, this is a great pick.
COOLIFE 2 Piece Luggage Set Specs:
|Dimensions||21” x 14” x 9.5”||28.6″ x 20.2″ x 13.8″|
|Weight||6.7 lbs||10.5 lbs|
Samsonite is probably the most well-known luggage brands in the world. You’ll find Samsonite products everywhere from big box supermarkets to
The thing I like most about Samsonite luggage is that they make a great range of suitcases for a variety of budgets. You can get a super high-end luxury case or more affordable budget bags.
The Samsonite Bartlett 2-Piece Set is a bit more expensive than some of the other luggage sets on this list, but it gets you a high-quality softside carry-on and checked luggage that should last for years of travel.
The slight price increase over even cheaper options does shoe in the build quality and durability of these bags. They are made with a heavy-duty 1680D polyester that should be nearly impossible to wear out or tear (assuming you aren’t chucking these things off a three-storey building). All the corners are also heavily reinforced with rubber guards to protect from rough handling.
With the burly materials and construction, both these bags are on the heavy end. If you’re worried about staying under airline weight limits or want to cut the amount of weight you have to roll through the airport, this may not be the best bet.
Both bags have an external pocket which is great for keeping essentials within easy access. If you haven’t caught on yet, external pockets are one of the main features I look for in carry-on suitcases.
They also are expandable should you need extra packing space.
The high-quality construction, brand-name reliability, and functional design make this one of the best luggage sets you can buy.
Samsonite Bartlett 2-Piece Luggage Set Specs:
|Dimensions||22” x 14” x 9.3”||30.5″ x 19″ x 11.5″|
|Weight||9.1 lbs||14.8 lbs|
Swissgear is a brand owned Victorinox, the maker of the iconic Swiss army knives. Swissgear is the company’s more budget-oriented brand focused on selling functional and affordable luggage, backpacks, and other travel gear.
The Swissgear Sion 3-Piece Set includes three durable softside suitcases that are well-built and packed with functional features. They have smooth-rolling spinner wheels, durable materials, and lots of pockets for keeping things organized.
Swissgear products definitely put functionality over aesthetic. I definitely wouldn’t say these suitcases are ugly, but they also won’t be winning any style awards. If you’re more worried about utility, you won’t be disappointed with these.
Spinner luggage is super convenient and easy to roll through the airport, but cheaper models often suffer from poor durability. The Swissgear Sion bags have spinner wheels that are impressively smooth and that hold up well even with harder use.
Each of the suitcases in this luggage set nests perfectly inside the larger one. This means they take up less space when you pack them away at home.
Swissgear Sion 3-Piece Set Specs:
|21″ Carry-on Spinner||25″ Checked Spinner||29″ Checked Spinner|
|Dimensions||22.8” x 14.3” x 10.3”||26.3″ x 16.8″ x 11″||30″ x 18.5″ x 12.5″|
|Weight||8 lbs||8.5 lbs||11.1 lbs|
Maybe when you say you’re on a budget, you mean you’re living off rice and beans and turning off your water heater to save money for a vacation. If things are really tight, you may be looking for the absolute cheapest luggage sets you can find.
In general, I always recommend people invest just a big more money into their travel gear. It’s not worth saving some cash if it just means your luggage falls apart after one trip.
That said, maybe you have a vacation planned and just need to make do for now. In that case, having a junky suitcase won’t be as big a problem as if you’re a frequent flyer.
The Rockland Softside Upright Luggage Set isn’t anything fancy, but it works. You get a wheeled carry-on and a compact boarding tote for an insanely low price. This combo doesn’t offer tons of packing space, but you can avoid checked luggage fees by bringing one as your carry-on and the other as your personal item to keep under the seat in front of you. If you’re flying on the cheap, that’s definitely the way to go.
To be clear, you shouldn’t expect anything too impressive from under-$50 luggage sets. The carry-on isn’t super durable, and it feels a bit flimsy, and neither of the bags use very high-quality materials. They should do the job for at least a few trips though.
Both of the pieces are pretty basic softside bags. They come in a wide range of color choices, so it’ll be easy to find something that fits your style.
The carry-on has two external zippered pockets and a big internal mesh pocket. I love pockets, so that’s a win.
One of the main selling points for me on this set is that the main suitcase rolls on two wheels instead of four. Swiveling spinner wheels are one of the first things to break on a suitcase. I always recommend two-wheeled rolling luggage if you want the best durability.
If you can stretch your budget any farther, I recommend trying to get something a bit higher quality, but I haven’t been able to find anything better than this cheap combo for less than $50.
Rockland Softside Upright Luggage Set Specs:
|14″ Tote||19″ Luggage|
|Dimensions||14” x 11” x 5.5”||19″ x 13″ x 7.5″|
|Weight||1 lbs||6 lbs|
My pick for the under $100 price range is another Rockland product. I don’t know much about Rockland other than that you can find cheap Rockland luggage from many big retailers including Amazon and Walmart. They offer some great budget luggage sets though.
The Rockland Melbourne 2-Piece Set is one of the more stylish offerings from the brand, with clean ABS hardshells (though I definitely wouldn’t call these stylish compared to higher-end brands). In this set you get a 22-inch carry-on and a big 28-inch checked luggage that has plenty of room for longer trips.
The suitcases roll on double spinner wheels that are surprisingly smooth. I don’t expect them to last long on rough surfaces, but as long as you’re steering clear of cobblestones, you should be okay. Generally for rougher surfaces and overall durability, I recommend two-wheeled suitcases over those with spinner wheels.
The biggest downside for me? You guessed it—no external pockets. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it certainly makes things less convenient.
Rockland Melbourne Hardisde 2-Piece Set Specs:
|Dimensions||23.2” x 15.3” x 10”||28″ x 17″ x 12″|
|Weight||6 lbs||11 lbs|
Packing for a family? If you need a lot of space (and I mean A LOT), the American Tourister Arrival 5-Piece Set has you covered with two checked suitcases, a carry-on suitcase, a garment bag, and a boarding tote. Seriously, if you need more space than this you might want to look into getting into the travel retail business and buying luggage wholesale.
These are all softside bags, and the suitcases each have two external pockets and a big internal mesh pocket, so you have good organization and access to small essentials while you’re on the go.
American Tourister has been building luggage since 1933, and their products are pretty reliable overall. I definitely wouldn’t call these the most durable suitcases on the market, but they shouldn’t fall apart on your first trip.
The biggest downside for me is that, at the time of writing, this set is only available in a frilly black-and-white patterned color that looks like it was pulled straight from another century.
The fact that this set comes with a garment bag makes this some of the best luggage for men needing to travel with a suit. Though not everyone will be able to pull off the style.
This 5-piece set from American Tourister gives you a ton of versatility for different trips and is perfect for traveling families who need a lot of packing room.
American Tourister Arrival 5-Piece Set Specs:
|Boarding Bag||Garment Sleeve||20″||25″||29″|
|Dimensions||15” x 10” x 6”||41″ x 22″||23″ x 15″ x 9″||26.8″ x 16.4″ x 10.4″||30.1″ x 19.5″ x 12.8″|
|Weight||1.2 lbs||1.5 lbs||7 lbs||8.2 lbs||10.1 lbs|
Technically this COOLIFE Spinner Luggage Set is marketed as a 3-piece set, but it has 4 pieces with the included boarding tote bag. You also get a carry-on, a medium 24-inch suitcase, and a big 28-inch bag.
These softside bags have smooth-rolling spinner wheels, sturdy telescopic handles, interior organization, and two exterior pockets. All the standard features you’d expect on a good suitcase, and no unnecessary frills.
These bags use a super durable 1680D polyester fabric that should stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
Bonus? This set comes with a 2-year warranty that covers damage to any of the main functional components. This is much better coverage than you get with most budget suitcases.
COOLIFE Spinner Luggage Set Specs:
|Dimensions||15” x 10.4” x 6.9”||23″ x 15″ x 9.5″||25.8″ x 17″ x 11″||31.5″ x 19″ x 14″|
|Weight||1.4 lbs||6.9 lbs||8.3 lbs||9.6 lbs|
If you’re traveling with kids, fun, colorful luggage of their own can be a great way to get them excited about travel (and convince them to help drag luggage around the airport).
The Wavebreaker Disney Set from American Tourister gives you two hardside suitcases with matching designs of either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. One is a compact little case that’s perfect for the kiddo, and the other is a large checked bag that has room for packing for a family.
The overall design of these cases is pretty simple. Each has an ABS hard shell with a wavy design, spinner wheels, an internal zippered divider with a mesh pocket, one smaller pocket inside the hinge area, and elastic compression straps.
The built-in TSA lock gives you some extra security and is way easier to use than standalone locks. Plus, there’s no way to lose it.
The smaller case is very lightweight, making it perfect for little travelers. The smooth-rolling spinner wheels make it easy to roll through the airport.
If your kids are getting old enough to start taking some responsibility for their own stuff while traveling, this fun Disney set is perfect.
American Tourister Wavebreaker Disney Set Specs:
|Dimensions||21” x 15.5” x 7.8”||29.5″ x 19.8″ x 10.5″|
|Weight||5.8 lbs||9.6 lbs|
If you do your shopping at Target, it can make a lot of sense to shop there for luggage. They have low prices and a good return policy, and you can try items out in-store before buying them.
The Skyline Softside 5-Piece Set includes three spinner suitcases (20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch), a packing cube, and a small zippered pouch for organizing small items.
Really there’s not much out of the ordinary with this set, either good or bad. These are basic, functional suitcases that do what you need them to. The build quality isn’t outstanding, but it’s good enough. The organization is adequate. The aesthetic is simple and understated.
I love that all the suitcases have two exterior zippered pockets. This gives you space to keep important items like your passport, boarding passes, phone, and other electronics.
I’d keep an eye on the common durability trouble spots: zippers and spinner wheels. Occasional travelers shouldn’t run into problems, but if you’re flying frequently, don’t expect these to hold up as well as higher-end suitcases. If you know you’ll be dragging your luggage over rough surfaces, I’d definitely recommend getting something with more durable spinner wheels.
Compared to other luggage sets, there’s not a lot to set this one apart, but the price is outstanding, and I think they deliver great value for casual travelers.
Skyline Softside 5-Piece Set Specs:
|20″||24″||28″||Packing Cube||Toiletry Bag|
|Dimensions||22.8” x 13.5” x 7.5”||26.8″ x 16″ x 9″||30.8″ x 18″ x 10.5″||11″ x 7″ x 3″||9″ x 5″ x 4.5″|
|Weight||6.2 lbs||7.3 lbs||8.6 lbs||0.2 lbs||0.2 lbs|
How to Choose the Best Cheap Luggage Set
Shopping for affordable luggage sets involves more than finding the best price possible and clicking “buy.” There are several factors you need to consider to make sure you get the absolute best value, and sometimes that means spending just a bit more for better quality.
Here are some of the top things to consider when shopping for an affordable luggage set:
Quality and Durability
It may seem odd to emphasize quality when we’re specifically talking about cheap luggage, but I think it’s more important than ever to take build quality into account when you’re looking at saving money on luggage sets.
With higher-end brands, you expect a certain level of durability and quality control, but when you start to look at cheaper options, it can be hit-or-miss. Many brands mass-produce products super cheaply, with inferior components and shoddy construction. Occasionally, though, you’ll find a diamond in the rough: a tough, well-built suitcase that is still offered at a great price.
Here are some of the top things to look for to tell if a suitcase will last:
- Spinner wheels are one of the first things to break. Look for thick, sturdy zippers that slide smoothly and don’t snag.
- Spinner wheels are notorious for falling apart at the worst possible moment. The best ones are a bit oversized and use stainless steel ball bearings. Yes, you can still find good spinner wheels at a low price, you just have to look harder. When in doubt, two-wheeled suitcases will almost always be more reliable.
- Materials make a huge difference in how well a suitcase holds up over time. For hardside cases, polycarbonate is the gold standard (though a bit more expensive). For softside, look for thick, high-denier polyester or nylon.
Features vs. Simplicity
You always have to make a tradeoff between having loads of convenient features or a simpler, more fool-proof design. While high-end suitcases offer some awesome bells and whistles, for cheap luggage sets, I recommend sticking to tried and true designs with less to go wrong.
Take Your Time
You’ll have better luck finding good quality luggage sets for sale if you aren’t in a hurry. If you can, don’t rush in and make a purchase right away, keep an eye out for sales so you can get better luggage cheaper rather than buying cheaper luggage full price.
Cheap Luggage Accessories
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes
It’s easy for my suitcase to turn into a jumbled mess during a trip. Even if luggage has good pockets and organization, the main compartment can be hard to keep neat and organized.
Zippered packing cubes can be a fantastic way to help tame the chaos. These packing cubes from AmazonBasics are one of the best affordable options available. They come in a four-piece set with different sizes for packing different items.
The simple zippered design is lightweight and easy to use while the mesh front panel lets you immediately see what is in each one.
Samsonite Combination Luggage Lock
Many of the bags on this list don’t come with an integrated TSA lock; instead, they have interlocking zippers that let you use a separate lock to secure them.
If you still want the peace of mind that comes with securing your luggage with a lock, a separate TSA lock can be a great inexpensive addition to your travel gear.
This Samsonite combination lock is an inexpensive, lightweight, and compact way to prevent people from tampering with your luggage. It lets you set your own three-digit code and easily locks luggage zippers so they can’t be opened.
REI Co-Op Laundry Bag
When you are living out of a suitcase, you want a way to keep dirty clothes separate from the rest of your items. This laundry bag from REI is a fantastic solution that is simple, lightweight, and packable.
My favorite feature is that it comes with shoulder straps so you can carry it like a backpack for trips to the laundromat while traveling.
Why Trust TravelFreak?
The TravelFreak team is made up of lifelong travelers and adventurers, and while we believe in investing in high-quality gear that will last a lifetime, we also have had our fair share of scrimping and saving. Many of us either travel full-time or have done so in the past, and we’ve learned how important it is to stay within a budget.
Fortunately, we don’t think you have to buy cheap-ass products to save money. We’ve spent years searching for durable suitcases that will go the distance without breaking the bank.
We’ve done our homework on the best budget luggage sets so you don’t have to. Each of the sets on this list hits a different balance between price and performance. We’ve tested dozens of suitcases on trips all around the world so we can give you real-life insights into what to look for.
Cheap Luggage FAQs
Is soft luggage better than hard?
Soft luggage is often better for carry-ons because it is lighter, more flexible, and has more pockets.
What is the best luggage for minimal travel?
Where is the best place to buy luggage online?
Amazon is a great place to shop for affordable luggage, like most things.
What type of suitcase is best?
A softside suitcase makes the best carry-on, while hardside luggage is better for big checked bags.
What weighs most when packing a suitcase?
The heaviest items include shoes, toiletries, and items like hair dryers or straighteners.