- Aluminum edition suitcases provide added durability for travelers with an aluminum shell and organizational features for every travel excursion.
- The same features you expect for luxury travel are available at budget prices.
- TSA-approved locks, an interior compression system, and aircraft-grade aluminum provide added durability and peace of mind for your trip.
- Choose the right size, storage capacity, and recognizable color when choosing a carry-on vs. a suitcase.
Are you looking for the best aluminum luggage without the Zero Halliburton 4-digit price tag? Plenty of aluminum suitcases have all the features you are looking for. Aluminum luggage is gaining in popularity due to its incredibly durable design. It is the suitcase of choice in the luggage world, but there is much to consider besides the exterior.
Look for a suitcase that offers a combination of security and style. Your suitcase should be practical and make traveling a cinch with features like USB ports, telescopic handles, and the size to accommodate all your essential travel items.
So, what is the best aluminum luggage for you and your travel needs? We reviewed 10 of the aluminum frame options available online. Many of them come in sets of two or three for your family and are considered the best aluminum suitcases at a reasonable price.
Why Choose Aluminum Luggage?
Aluminum suitcases offer durability and added protection for your valuables. They can last longer than a fabric suitcase which may be prone to ripping and excessive damage. Let’s look at some top choices!
Keep in mind that prices vary depending on the chosen size, the manufacturer, and possible promotions.
TravelKing is an aluminum carry-on that comes in three sizes and different prices ranging from $279 and above:
- 20″ carry-on
- 24″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
The TravelKing aluminum edition luggage comes in classic black, silver, grey, and metallic colors. Its hardshell zipperless locking latch designs mean you will never have to worry about the contents of your suitcase making their way onto the luggage carousel during transit.
We love the sturdy, sleek design and ergonomic grip side handle that make carrying it from any angle a breeze. However, this design comes with a drawback due to its weight. At over 13 pounds for the 28″ size suitcase, you’ll have to give up a healthy portion of your packing weight. You may need more space if you bring home souvenirs or take a few extra pairs of shoes.
- 3-year warranty without additional fees
- Keyless and zipperless, with TSA-approved combination locks
- Waterproof interior and travel organizer with interior compression system
- Aluminum may become dented during airline handling
- Possible problems with the handle retracting and wheels popping off
Rickland offers start as low as $76 and offer the following possibilities:
- 3-piece set (20″ aluminum carry-on, 24″ and 28″ suitcases)
- 24″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
This brightly colored trio comes in several fun colors. The pieces are lightweight, coming in at 6, 8, and 10 pounds, leaving you plenty of packing weight. All three pieces are expandable for an extra 2 inches in depth of roomy interior. Rockland offers a 5-year limited warranty to cover the quality of the manufactured parts. At one of the most budget-friendly prices we compared, this aluminum luggage has just as comparable comments as most aluminum luggage regarding the handle and wheels not holding up. This proves that a more expensive luggage set does not guarantee quality.
- Interior mesh compartment and compression straps for easy organization
- Aluminum telescoping handle and spinner wheels for convenient maneuvering
- Colorful designs available for quick pickup at the luggage carousel
- Handle and lining do not hold up to repeated use
- Possibility of wheels popping off with rough handling
3) Bamboo Wolf
For a price of $279.99 or $289.99, Bamboo Wolf has the following available options:
- B-20″ black carry-on
- B-24″ black/silver/light gold suitcase
- C-24″ black/silver/light gold suitcase
The aerospace-grade aluminum magnesium alloy makes for a strong and attractive luggage piece from Bamboo Wolf. The rare silent spinner wheels make for smooth airport traveling, and this model also includes a handy side handle.
Bamboo Wolf has installed TSA-approved combination locks and a zipperless design. Top and side ergonomic grip handles and telescoping handles make it easy to pick up the suitcase from any angle. Some customers have had difficulties with the aluminum telescoping handle, the locking mechanisms, and the wheels. However, the zipperless locking latch designs mean no exterior zipper issues.
- A 3-layered hard aluminum shell case (aluminum magnesium alloy, anti-ash, and a shading layer for color)
- Protective bumper-reinforced corners
- Waterproof interior and travel organizer with interior dividers
- The suitcase alone weighs 13.44 pounds
- Possible functionality issues with the lock
A bit on the expensive side, with prices starting at $549.00, Choose one of the following Briggs &Riley suitcases:
- 21″ or 22″ carry-on
- 27″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
- 30″ suitcase
- 32″ suitcase
The rustic design of this piece comes in hunter green, stealth, and granite. Perhaps the best feature of the luggage is the rare lifetime guarantee. Organization features include a garment suiter and plenty of interior zippers and straps with a built-in compression pad.
It may be rustic on the outside, but it still maintains a lightweight at only 6.9 pounds. The zipper may be difficult to open and close due to being too sturdy or the zipper breaking off completely. The 22″ carry-on includes a USB port for convenient charging.
- Excellent organizational features and easy to handle
- The lifetime guarantee offers complimentary maintenance
- Durable 3-layer Makrolon polycarbonate exterior
- Possibility of zipper breaking off or difficulty opening it
Choose between the Traveler’s Choice colorful options starting at $88.63:
- 2-piece set of 22″ carry-on and 26″suitcase
- 22” carry-on
- 26″ suitcase
Whimsical colors like pink, baby blue, and navy make this a fun and stylish choice for anyone. It’s lightweight, only 6.3 pounds, and has a 5-year limited warranty. The 22’’ inch carry-on includes a convenient Type C USB charging port.
Top and side carry handles are designed for easy pickup in any situation. Although they boast an abrasion and scratch-free surface, it is not dent-free. There may be issues with the zipper and telescoping handles. Some buyers may find the reasonable price point enough of a trade-off to give it a go.
- Abrasion-, scratch-, and water-resistant polypropylene hardshell
- Organized interior zipper compartments
- Quality ergonomic telescopic handles
- Possibility of denting or breaking
- USB port is not 100% reliable
6) Ben Sherman
Starting at $99.97, make the following combinations with Ben Sherman’s suitcase options available in numerous colors:
- 2-piece set of 20″ carry-on and 28″ suitcase
- 3-piece set of 20″, 24″ and 28″
- 20″ carry-on
- 24″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
The stylish checked metallic aluminum case will turn heads and sports colors like rose gold, light gold, cobalt blue, and raspberry. You have plenty of organized interior zipper compartments for easy packing. Best of all is the limited lifetime warranty without the premium price.
The smaller-sized options are not too heavy. The 20″ is 6.65 pounds, the 24″ is 8.9 pounds, and the 28″ comes to 10.35 pounds.
- Offer excellent maneuvering
- Rip-resistant lining provides greater interior durability
- Molded reinforced corners
- The larger suitcases are a bit heavy
- Possibility of the wheels becoming jammed and broken off
7) Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole offers the following choices at affordable prices:
- 20″ carry-on and 28″ suitcase 2-piece set
- 20″, 24″ and 28″ 3-piece set
The Kenneth Cole bags also have gorgeous colors like deep and smoky purple, magenta, kelly green, and teal. These aluminum suitcases have all the convenient features one would expect, such as interior compartments for effortless packing. Weights of 6.25 lbs, 8.4 lbs, and 9.6 lbs give you great packing capacity.
Note that although the luggage is branded ‘Kenneth Cole,’ the manufacturer is Merit. Should you encounter a problem requiring the warranty to be activated, contact Merit.
- ABS exterior, guarded corners, and superior maneuvering
- Tear-resistant lining and organized interior zipper compartments
- 10-year limited warranty
- Possibility of the zipper breaking or wheels breaking off
- Possibility of the exterior cracking
The well-known Samsonite offers the following quality selection of suitcases at affordable prices:
- 20″ carry-on
- 24″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
- Three-piece set of 20”, 24” and 28” suitcases
- Two-piece set of 20″ and 24″ suitcases
Aside from your standard colors, the sharp geometric design offers Caribbean blue, purple orchid and emerald green. Quite lightweight, they weigh in at 7.5, 9.0, and 10.8 pounds. Samsonite offers expander zippers on all their bags for greater packing capacity and organized interior compartments. Samsonite is synonymous with luggage quality, but do their newer bags hold up to the hype? Some problems with the lining and broken zippers have been experienced, so it’s a good that they offer a 10-year limited warranty.
- A polycarb exterior for a scratch-proof suitcase
- Greater and improved maneuverability and security
- USB ports for ease of charging
- Possibility of ripped lining and broken zippers
- The exterior can become dented
Delsey is a brand that offers the widest selection, but they tend to be a bit pricey, starting from $113.30:
- 19″ and 29″ 2-piece set
- 21″and 25″ 2-piece set
- 19″, 25″ and 29″ 3-piece set
- 21”, 25” and 29” 3-piece set
- 21″ carry-on
- 25″ suitcase
- 29″ suitcase
The Delsey aluminum suitcases have a classic and elegant style yet still offer many exciting colors. Among the ten options are bronze, black cherry red and hunter green. The carry-on models have a front pocket for easy access to your laptop when it is stored away in the overhead bin.
The interior has plenty of straps to secure your belongings, while the interior dividers make packing easy on your next trip. The titanium models offer a 10-year warranty.
- Polycarbonate shell and scratch-resistant layer
- Spinner wheels and TSA-approved combination lock
- Organized interior and additional 2-inch expanding space
- Possibility of the wheels breaking off
- Possibility of handle getting stuck zippers breaking
Another provider offering pricey suitcases, Travelpro gives you the following options:
- 20″ carry-on
- 21″ carry-on
- a 2 -piece set of 21” and 25”
- 25″ suitcase
- 28″ suitcase
Although the color scheme is quite neutral on these suitcases, you still have some nice metallic choices, such as metallic sand and dark sky blue. Genuine full-grain leather trim on the exterior adds sophistication. It also has USB A ports for the aluminum carry-ons.
The weight is 8.8-12.3 pounds depending on luggage size. The 28″ suitcase has TSA-approved locks. It also has organized zipper and waterproof interior compartments, as well as expansion capabilities.
- Telescoping handle and spinner wheels provide easy handling
- Stylish polycarbonate shell, leather trim and aluminum corner guards
- Limited lifetime warranty, 5-year coverage against the airline or common carrier damage
- Possibility of the interior mesh tearing or zippers breaking
- The exterior can be scratched and the wheels can break off
Popular Tips for Buying Aluminum Luggage
When selecting your aluminum luggage, choose the proper size and storage capacity. Consider color and style to make finding your suitcase at the luggage carousel easier. Choosing a suitcase with an excellent warranty and something within your budget will help you to feel confident in your selection.
Choosing the right size for your aluminum suitcase depends on several factors. Packing too little in an oversized bag will make your items rumpled and unorganized during transit. If the suitcase is too small, you may be restricted in the items you can take.
Aside from the amount you can pack, there are regulations you need to consider from the airline. Let’s look at some of the most important things to consider when deciding which luggage size is best for you.
Which size is right for the next trip
Here are some tips to follow on choosing the right size:
- Are you traveling internationally or domestically? Your carry-ons should be 21″ for international flights and 22″ for domestic. This will allow the suitcase to be safely stored under your seat or in most overhead bins.
- Make sure you have accurate measurements of your luggage before you travel. This includes everything that sticks out, like the wheels and telescopic handles.
- Choose lightweight suitcases, so you have weight remaining for your personal items. Most airlines restrict the weight of checked luggage, while others also restrict the weight of carry-on luggage.
- Be aware that budget airlines may be more restrictive in your suitcase’s size and weight limitations. You may incur costly baggage fees if your suitcases exceed the accepted size.
Dealing with Suitcases and oversized bags
- Consider the duration of the trip you are taking and how you pack. You’ll want to invest in larger sizes if you are an over-packer. Your carry-on luggage will likely last longer than checked bags since only you will handle it.
- Choose aluminum luggage you will be comfortable carrying around after leaving the airport. If you are using public transport after your arrival, a more comfortable suitcase for carrying will be even more important.
- Airlines consider any suitcase larger than 62 linear inches as oversized. These are generally 29-30 inch suitcases, maximum.
- If you need to adhere to a 23 kg (50 pounds) weight limit for your checked bags, 29 inches would be the largest suitcase you could expect to get.
- The color of your suitcase matters! If you choose basic onyx black – good luck finding it at the luggage carousel. Select a recognizable color so it will be easier to spot after you arrive at your destination.
It’s always important to check the suitcase size regulations of your airline before you travel, as the dimensions allowed change frequently and vary from one airline to the next.
Organizational zippers, straps, and pouches inside the luggage are useful for easy sorting and finding your items and can make things easier for airline handling. Most all luggage can offer you many internal pockets to provide you with many organizational options when packing. The ultimate choice will provide waterproof options, like laundry bags or a hanger bracket. These features will help ensure that your items arrive the way you have packed them once you arrive at your destination.
Although most aluminum suitcases do not offer the convenience of an external pocket for storing your laptop or other frequently used items, we have reviewed some which have. Accessing your laptop and charging your phone using your carry-on are small features that can make a huge difference when you are in transit.
Carry-On vs. Roller Aluminum Suitcases
Aluminum suitcases come in carry-on options and roller suitcase options. The max capacity of an aluminum frame carry-on will be 16 kg instead of the 23 kg max of a suitcase. Any frequent traveler will tell you that carry-on is the way to go in the luggage world. So how do you know which one is right for you? We’ll look at the pros and cons.
Pros of the carry-on
- No luggage carousel – simply collect the carry-on from the overhead bin and head directly to your next destination.
- Don’t worry about lost, stolen or delayed suitcases keeping you from enjoying your trip.
- The aluminum carry-on suitcase often includes USB A ports and fits in most overhead bins.
- Has a front pocket for your laptop and has organizational features.
- No need for TSA-approved locks.
- The carry-on suitcase makes packing easy due to the limited amount you can bring.
- A smaller suitcase makes for easy maneuvering in the airport and as you move about a new city.
Cons of the carry-on
- Unsuitable for families traveling with children due to restrictive space.
- Inability to walk about hands-free and relax during layovers – you’ll need to carry it and keep your eyes on it.
- Wheels and telescopic handles can limit the space in the overhead bin.
- Restrictions on liquids and sharp items for carry-on suitcases.
Pros of Roller Suitcases
- Room for up to 50 pounds of belongings (minus the suitcase’s weight).
- Checked luggage – no need to handle it until the arrival at the next destination.
- There is more space for easy organizational features.
- Pack all required toiletries without concern for liquid limitations.
- Knives or guns can be packed in checked suitcases with the proper licenses (if traveling for hunting, fishing, etc.)
Cons of Roller Suitcases
- Roller suitcases must be checked, taking additional time and requiring a visit to the luggage carousel.
- There is a high possibility for a suitcase to be lost or delayed.
- TSA may open your bags during security checks without your presence.
- Your items can arrive crumpled and disheveled if you cram too much stuff in the suitcase.
- The suitcase may be heavy when moved and maneuvered onto public transportation or in and out of vehicles.
- When exploring a new city, you will need to store it at the airport, bus, or train terminal in temporary luggage storage.
- A larger suitcase means it may come with a high price tag.
- The aluminum frame may become inflexible and not accommodate a larger capacity.
- Stuffing aluminum suitcases to the brim is not possible.
- Aluminum suitcases are heavier than their softer counterparts and thus decrease the weight of items you can pack.
Choose the most durable suitcase you can. An aluminum frame suitcase helps to protect your belongings as opposed to plastic ones. Once you receive your new aluminum suitcase, check the mechanisms carefully for any missing components or deficiencies.
Remember that suitcases undergo rough handling during your travels, so durability is often questioned. However, quality does not necessarily come with the highest price tag. Sometimes the most basic suitcases can offer the most durability for your travel.
Although you may think that locking your suitcase will prevent theft, that is not necessarily true. Having a TSA-approved lock on your suitcase may be a nice feature, but it should not be your greatest concern. If you are traveling with items of great value, it’s recommended you keep them with you in your hand luggage or carry-ons.
Remember that lost or delayed suitcases are rather common. Of the 28 million mishandled suitcases each year, 5% are lost permanently, and 77% are delayed.
Suitcases with TSA-approved locks are handled with more care by airline workers. Also, if your aluminum suitcases should come open, the lock will help to keep the contents safely inside.
Numerous Styles and Colors
Color does matter and will reflect your personal style. An easily recognizable color will make it easier to find your aluminum suitcase. It can also add fun and flair to your trip, like rose gold or vibrant teal blue.
Consider the purpose of your trip, whether you will have a checked suitcase or a carry-on, and the individuality you want to portray when selecting the color and style for you. Maybe choosing a basic color and decking out your suitcase with stickers of all your favorite destinations is just your style.
You will want to be sure that your chosen aluminum luggage can comfortably hold the items you want to take. Many options have extenders, giving you about two inches of extra space. You still need to be able to fit your suitcase in the overhead bin or come within weight limitations if checking your bags. Measure your luggage fully packed if you choose to use extenders to be certain you are not exceeding the maximum sizes dictated by your airline. Here is a list of the various suitcase sizes and their capacity in liters:
- 19” carry-on: 30-40 liters
- 20” carry-on: 40-45 liters
- 22” carry-on: 40-50 liters
- 24” suitcase: 60-75 liters
- 27″ suitcase: 100-117 liters
- 32″ extra large suitcase: 120-130 liters
When selecting your luggage, we strongly suggest an option with a solid warranty. With that said, most warranties are “limited” and cover the durability of the parts of the suitcase. If the distributor offers complimentary maintenance, this can be a great relief. Warranties can range from 3 years to a lifetime warranty.
For your warranty to be valid, you’ll need to have proof of purchase. It is also a good idea to have photographic evidence of the condition of your aluminum case before and after traveling. Although your aluminum luggage is remarkably durable, it is not indestructible.
With so many budget-friendly options, you will surely find the best aluminum luggage suited to your travel needs at a price you will feel comfortable with. Whereas style is important, there are many stylish and affordable options.
Rockland, Traveler’s Choice, and Samsonite are our top three choices for a budget-friendly option with a great warranty and quality features. The 2 and 3-piece sets from Rockland and Traveler’s Choice give you an added bang for your buck!
Aluminum suitcases have come a long way in terms of their organizational features and convenience options. They are accessible to everyone and can offer your fragile items an added layer of security and make your next trip more relaxing and enjoyable.
Whether choosing a suitcase for business or pleasure, you can find the perfect choice for you without breaking the bank. Always check the airline regulations for carry-on and checked luggage size. You can expect additional fees if your luggage is oversized or overweight.
Your next trip awaits, and there are many reasons to take advantage of the travel benefits this year. So passport holders, get ready! A little bit of research and careful decision-making when choosing your next luggage set will help you make the right choice!
1) Which is better: Aluminum or polycarbonate luggage?
Polycarbonate is basically plastic. Plastic will be susceptible to dents, scratching, and cracking. If you want to extend the life of your suitcase, aluminum is a better choice because it will offer you better security.
2) Is aluminum luggage worth the investment?
Aluminum suitcases offer you unparalleled strength and durability. Only you can decide if it is worth the investment, but the modern features of aluminum suitcases offer you all the organization and convenience of a soft fabric bag. If a suitcase meets all your needs, then it is definitely worth the investment.
3) How to protect aluminum luggage from tarnishing?
You can clean the exterior using a damp cloth and gentle soap. You can also use a soft cloth with vinegar to cleanse the exterior. Afterward, dry the aluminum with an additional dry cloth. But a bit of tarnish shows you have had travel experiences!
4) Can an aluminum suitcase be used as a carry-on?
Yes, absolutely! There are plenty of carry-on options in aluminum suitcases. Many of the carry-on aluminum edition even offers a front zipper pouch on the front to store your laptop and a USB charging port to make your transfer even easier.
5) How often should you clean aluminum luggage?
You can clean your luggage after each travel experience – the decision is yours. It is a good idea to clean out the interior after each trip. You can use a vacuum cleaner and soft cloth to clean any debris left from your adventures.