American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

Last updated date: March 17, 2020

DWYM Score
9.3


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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top Hard Shell Suitcases and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Hard Shell Suitcase you should buy.

Overall Take

An added 2-inch expansion provides maximum storage space for a carry-on. Fun and unique designs include stylish fabric interiors. Rest easy with a 10-year global warranty. In our analysis of 26 expert reviews, the American Tourister American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 17, 2020:
Checkout The Best Hard Shell Suitcase for a detailed review of all the top hard shell suitcases.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,083 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Maximum amount of storage space for a carry-on item with added 2-inch expansion. Fantastic 10-year Global Warranty.
- Luggage Spots
Unique colorful design options.
- Luggage Portal
Good looking luggage that comes in some fun and stylish designs and colors, and features stylish interior fabrics. The rollers are easily maneuverable and tough.
- BestReviews
Ideal as a carry-on luggage. Cute and lightweight. Expandable. Affordabe.
- Travel Efficiency
What experts didn't like
Spinner wheels aren’t nearly as durable as in-line skate wheels.
- Luggage Spots
Scratches easily.
- Luggage Portal
Some users noticed a chemical smell when the case is first opened. A few scratches on the exterior were noticed. No TSA-compliant locks.
- BestReviews
Scratches relatively easily, so its best as a carry-on instead of checked-in.
- Travel Efficiency

From The Manufacturer

Available in a variety of solid colors and allover prints, this hardside carry-on spinner offers style and function for every trip. The American Tourister Moonlight 20 Expandable Hardside Carry-On Spinner Luggage is constructed from durable ABS and PC material and features a sleek look with a push button telescoping handle, single spinner wheels for effortless mobility, and a top grab handle for easy lifting. The interior is fully lined and detailed with 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 and offers increased organization.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 5
2. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 4
3. Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 2
4. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Betsey Johnson Expandable Hardside Carry On, 20-Inch
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 1
6. DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage, 29-Inch
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 2
7. Kenneth Cole Renegade Hardside Suitcase, 28-Inch
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 1
9. Ben Sherman Nottingham Hardside Luggage, 24-Inch
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 1
10. Rockland Melbourne Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 1

An Overview On Hard Shell Suitcases

Hardshell suitcases can be durable and lightweight. They are frequently available in standard sizes for carry-on bags or checked luggage, making them a practical choice for traveling by plane or cruise ship. Learning about features to consider and look for will help you select the best hard-sided luggage for your needs.

Consider the type of material used in a hardshell suitcase you are considering. Many are made from high-tech plastic. ABS is the most lightweight, although it is not as sturdy as polycarbonate, which is a bit heavier. Luggage made with an aluminum shell will stand up to the most wear and tear, but it is also the heaviest material used to make hard-sided suitcases.

Many hardshell suitcases open much like a clamshell, with two distinct, equal sides in which to pack. While this can be helpful to keep items separate, it also requires more room when unpacking as you must spread it open entirely. Others have a “lid” that opens more like a traditional suitcase, so if you will use it in a small space, consider this option.

Hard-sided luggage can be more challenging to store than soft-sided luggage is. You will need ample space, as squeezing a suitcase into a tight area might result in scratches or damage. Some hardshell suitcase sets come in graduated sizes that fit inside one another, make storage less difficult.

DYWM Fun Fact

By the late 1800s, travelers had essentially two choices for carrying their clothing and other items. Massive waterproof trunks were most often used for lengthy trips, such as those by steamship, train, or stagecoach. On the other end of the spectrum were carpet bags, which were small, top-opening travel bags made from carpeting material, such as oriental rugs (think Mary Poppins).

Suitcases were in use by the 1900s, but they were merely cases to hold suits, much as the name suggests. As travel changed, trunks went out of fashion and suitcases evolved into the handled luggage used today.

In 1970, Bernard Sadow dreamed up putting wheels on suitcases after traveling with his wife and kids. A Macy’s vice president was impressed with his idea and the rest is history.

The Hard Shell Suitcase Buying Guide

  • To clean your hard-sided luggage, dip a soft cloth or sponge in warm, soapy water and wipe it gently. Follow up by rinsing it with a clean, damp cloth. Dry the suitcase completely before storing it.
  • The easiest way to remove sand, dirt, dust or crumbs from the inside of your suitcase is to vacuum it. If there is any sticky or caked-on grime, remove it with a damp cloth and then allow the interior to dry completely before putting it in storage. You will be grateful for clean, fresh luggage when planning your next trip.
  • As hardshell luggage is prone to scratches, dents or dings, consider purchasing luggage covers for extra protection when not in use.
  • Check the wheels on your suitcase before and after you travel. Removing gravel, dirt or other particles in the wheels will keep them moving smoothly for years to come.