Our 5 Picks for the Best Minimalist Travel Luggage

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Minimalist Travel Luggage

If you’re anything like me, one of the most appealing and advantageous aspects of adopting a minimalist lifestyle is gaining more time and more of the means to travel. 

For me, there’s nothing quite like adventuring to new places, and experiencing new cuisines and cultures. 

And one of the most important aspects of traveling, even for a minimalist, is the ability to bring certain essentials along on your adventure. Pockets and purses are not always big enough, and even minimalists like a spare set of socks, or to take along a toothbrush. 

Whether minimalist travel luggage to you means it’s lightweight, a simple suitcase with strictly the essentials, or packing as little as possible, all of the luggage on this list combines at least two of these appealing attributes. That’s why we consider them some of the best minimalist travel luggage options available.


1. GoPenguin Hardshell Carry On Suitcase

The GoPenguin Hardshell Carry On Suitcase is as stylish as it is practical. 

This carry on has a protective, polycarbonate hardshell with a sleek, beautiful, matte finish that comes in your choice of 10 colors (black, blue, gray, green, red, white, light blue, light green, pink, and yellow). So there are plenty of color choices to help you express your personal style, or to help you easily identify it at baggage claim. 

And, despite having an unbreakable hardshell, this carry on is only 6 pounds. Surprisingly spacious, the 20 inch interior is fitted with four separate mesh pockets for optimal organization, and is perfectly sized for packing your minimalist travel essentials. 

Plus, it’s small enough to store securely within your cabin (if you’re flying to your destination). 

Its four silent, 360 degree, multi-directional spinner wheels give you full control to turn in any direction, to glide smoothly over many terrains, and enable you to push it upright. No need for titling or dragging! (Which is so much easier on your arms.)

But, one of my favorite features of this carry on, (and I may be a bit biased because I’m an absolute animal lover) is that the box the suitcase arrives in can transform into a cat playhouse! How cool is that?


2. Samsonite Freeform Expandable Hardside Luggage

The Samsonite Freeform Expandable Hardside Luggage combines confidence, durability and innovative functionality.

Offering multiple capacity options, this luggage comes in three sizes (carry on, checked medium, or checked large), can expand to maximize your packing power, and yet meets most carry on size restrictions.

Travel with confidence and peace of mind, as the built-in, recessed, TSA compatible combination lock means no one but you has easy access to your personal items, and there’s no need to worry about losing your key! Plus, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of these pieces, as they are available in 6 eye catching, visually impactful colors (black, mint green, navy, sage green, tangerine, and white). 

Like to keep yourself organized? A cross ribbon, multiple pockets, and a zippered divider help you keep your items neat and organized, while compression keeps your clothing neatly pressed.

Spacious and well constructed, these pieces are only six and a half pounds, and are equipped with four, multi directional, double spinner wheels for maximum maneuverability, and minimal weight on your arms and shoulders. 


3. Coolife 3 Piece Luggage Set

The Coolife 3 Piece Luggage Set includes three matching pieces in three different sizes. The smallest piece is 20 inches, the second is 24 inches, and the third is 28 inches, while upright. This gives you multiple sizing options for you to use, depending on what you need to bring, the length of your trip, and whether or not you want to check a bag. You can easily choose to use a larger suitcase if you are in need of more items, or if multiple people would like to consolidate down to a single bag. Save storage space by storing them inside one another.

Each 3 piece set is available in your choice of three of the same matching color (ice blue, grey, or wine red). The ice blue is eye catching and elegant, the grey is appealing and (professional), and the wine red is vibrant and stylish. Plus, their unique surface design allows them to stand out, and is easily identifiable at the airport.

Maneuverable in tight spaces, the adjustable, 3-step telescoping handle with push-button comfort grip and four, 360 degree dual spinner silent wheels provide effortless, multi-directional movement. And the durable, PC + ABS hardshell offers the most desirable qualities of the materials, bringing together lightness and durability.


4. GinzaTravel Anti-Scratch 3 Piece Luggage Set

The GinzaTravel anti-scratch 3 piece luggage set is available in your choice of 5 easily identifiable colors (black, dark green, red wine, royal blue, silver) and is able to accommodate all of your traveling needs.

The set is made up of three pieces that start with a carry on that is 20 inches, and then increase in size to 24 inches and then 28 inches. All three pieces have a luxurious, large capacity interior that is expandable and can increase item accommodation by 25%. Plus, the fixed buckle will prevent your clothes from shifting, and multiple layers of space allow for easy organization.

Long lasting and dependable, this set is made from polycarbonate materials that are wear resistant and anti scratch. They can also withstand 50lbs of force and temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. So you won’t have to worry about how far you travel, and the typical traveling wear and tear.

Outfitted with a wear-resistant, explosion-proof, anti-fracture, metal zipper, a strong, comfortable carrying handle, 4 silent & smooth multi-directional spinner wheels, and a key free TSA combination lock, these pieces keep your items secure and make traveling a breeze.


5. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage

The American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage is highly functional and very beautiful. 

Available in 6 sleek colors, including 4 patterned or 2 solid color options (anthracite, ascending gardens, rose gold, marble, palm trees, rose gold, or silver) these suitcases are sure to stand out. 

Even their interiors are beautiful. They are fully lined with patterned, polyester that offers fun flair. Also in their interior are tie-down straps to hold garments in place, a zipper pocket for small items, and a zip around divider that creates two separate packing areas that make for easy organization. 

This luggage is available as a 3 piece set, a single carry on, a checked large, a checked medium, or as a 2 piece set. So there are plenty of options for your own personal, or your family’s, packing needs.

The added features on these beautiful bags are: a convenient multiple push button handle with an exceptionally comfortable grip, single spinner wheels for effortless mobility, a top grab handle for easy lifting, and 1.5 inch potential expansion. So this luggage is not only stylish and fun, but is high quality and practical as well.


Quick Buyer’s Guide

Buying travel luggage may seem simple and straightforward, but there are actually a few things you may wish to consider before purchasing that can make or break your traveling experience. 

This quick buyer’s guide outlines a few of the factors that it would be wise to consider before committing to a purchase.

Is it carry on capable?

Many minimalists like to travel lightly, which often means opting out of checking a bag. 

If this applies to you, make sure you verify whether the luggage piece you are considering meets the sizing requirements that are necessary for you to follow in order for a bag to be considered a “carry on.” This can vary among domestic and international flights, and even among airlines, so taking into consideration where you are planning to go, how you’re planning to travel there, and what the specific sizing requirements are would be worthwhile.

Materials & Weight

Materials matter, and can make all the difference in a piece of luggage. 

The material determines how much it weighs, how much it may show damage, how durable it is, how long it may last, how it stands up to or shows wear and tear, how much different weather may affect it, etc.

How much a suitcase weighs plays a part in determining how easy it is to travel with and how much you are able to pack in it while remaining underweight restrictions.

Different materials weigh different amounts.

The most popular materials used for hardcase suitcases are: aluminum, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and ABS.

Aluminum is a classic choice, but it is the most expensive, and is limited in colors and styling.

Polycarbonate is made of molded thermoplastic polymers. It is lighter than aluminum and is known for being especially impact resistant. It also offers more style choices than aluminum and is extremely resilient to rough handling.

Polypropylene (or polypropene) is also a type of thermoplastic polymer. It is the lightest of all of the thermoplastics, while also offering significant protection and resilience.  

ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) is another thermoplastic. ABS is lighter than polycarbonate, but it is not as durable. However, ABS is the cheapest hard material, and is frequently added to other stronger luggage materials, making it more durable than when its on its own. 

Does it have a built in lock?

Being able to lock your luggage is a big deal. 

It means you’re less likely to lose something via it being removed by someone other than yourself, it helps secure your zippers from accidentally opening, and it helps give you peace of mind. When a combination lock is built in to your luggage, it spares you from having to remember where you put a key! And one less thing to worry about is always appealing, especially while traveling. When procuring a piece of luggage, take note as to whether or not it has a built in lock.


Final Thoughts

Whether you yourself are looking to travel with as little as possible, or you’re packing for a family of four, the means by which you carry your travel essentials can make a big difference in the ease of your adventure. Checking less luggage can mean spending less money, or getting to cut out the task of waiting in line at baggage claim, and smooth wheels and built-in locks can be a lifesaver in many situations.

That’s why all of the luggage on this list combines durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. Any of these suitcases would be an awesome minimalist option to use on your next outing or adventure!