Good luggage is the foundation for any successful travel. We’re talking pieces that won’t fall apart after a few rough landings on the bag carrousel, and that won’t leave you stranded with broken wheels, ripped handles, or busted-open zippers.
Of course, you’re looking for more than durability. You want something that, in addition to holding up over time, will also make a statement, showcase your personal style, and even appreciate in value. This kind of luggage – luxury luggage – comes with a higher price point than the average traveler is used to. And buyer beware: not all options billing themselves as “luxury” are up to the task.
If you’re ready to purchase your elevated luggage set, here are 7 luxury luggage brands that are worth the investment:
You’ll likely recognize RIMOWA’s signature look of grooved aluminum hard-sided luggage – this brand is extremely popular with discerning travelers. In addition to their classic aluminum siding, they also offer equally durable polycarbonate options, as well as a range of elegant colors and different styles and sizes depending on the type of travel you’re undertaking (categorized as “short trip,” “business trips,” and “long haul” on their website).
Large bags will generally cost between $1,000-$2,000, so it’s definitely an investment. But RIMOWA, which was founded in 1898, is truly travel-tested and worth it.
With a higher price tag than RIMOWA, and an even longer history, Louis Vuitton luggage is truly a luxury travel icon. Their distinctive “LV” motif makes these pieces instantly recognizable, and this brand is renowned for its investment value. In fact, Vuitton is one of a select group of brands whose items can even increase in value over time.
If you really want to up your luxury experience when purchasing your Louis luggage, shop their flagship store in Paris. Located on the famed Champs-Élysées boulevard, they offer appointment times, concierge service, and an exceptional shopping experience that will only add to your love for your investment luggage set.
Staying with French luxury luggage (but coming down quite a bit in price) you’ll find Delsey, whose bags are identifiable by their centrally-placed round logo. Founded in post-war France, Delsey bags are quintessentially French, with names like the “St. Tropez,” “Montrouge,” and “Chatelet.” Watch for collabs with other classic French brands, including a current option whose interior color evokes the clay courts of Rolland Garros, the site of the annual French Open tennis tournament.
Traveling across the English Channel you’ll find U.K.-based luxury luggage brand Ghurka. This brand keeps it simple: rich, warm leathers in vintage British shapes and styles instantly elevate your look. The opposite of a DTC influencer brand, Ghurka is classic and timeless. Each bag features a unique registration number and is hand cut and hand stitched. As they say on their website, these are pieces that are “meant to be inherited.”
Check out their “Bespoke” and “Lifestyle” collections for smaller leather items that complement your travels, such as jewelry cases, camera bags, and wine bottle carriers.
Globe-Trotter is yet another European luggage purveyor founded in the 19th Century. Started in Germany and eventually moving to the U.K., their vintage-looking pieces are still hand crafted in England using a material innovated in the Victorian era: vulcanized fiberboard. They claim a loyal following by the U.K.’s most famous personalities of the time, both then and now (a photo on their website shows Winston Churchill holding one of their bags), and even offer “bespoke appointments,” where you can work with a member of their team to create a personalized bag that’s unique to you.
If you’d prefer to invest in an American luggage company, don’t overlook TUMI. While this brand’s ubiquitous airport shop appearance might lead you to doubt its quality, that would be a mistake. Their mostly leather, ballistic nylon, and innovative SRPP ballistic material pieces are built to last and many feature modern touches like USB ports, media storage pockets, and expandable sections. TUMI also offers one of the widest selections of styles and sizes in the luxury luggage and travel accessory market.
Interesting fact about TUMI’s founder: he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru in the late 1960s.
Travelpro’s claim to fame is just what you’d think: it’s a favorite of aviation professionals. Pilots, flight attendants and other airline industry frequent travelers need practical pieces that are in it for the long haul, and Travelpro delivers. They’re serious about durability, rigorously stress test their pieces (no broken wheels, here), and offer a lifetime “worry-free” warranty. And with their extensive offering of travel accessories (packing cubes, toiletry bags, etc.), you can outfit your entire luggage set with one purchase.