Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Defend Your Luggage With The Best Hard Shell Suitcase - 2022

Last updated on May 12, 2022

We looked at the top 13 Hard Shell Suitcases and dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hard Shell Suitcases.

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

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

Our Picks For The Top Hard Shell Suitcases

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Carry-On Hard Shell Luggage, 19-Inch

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

DELSEY

Paris Helium Aero Carry-On Hard Shell Luggage, 19-Inch

Overall Take

Easy to Maneuver This hard shell suitcase has an expander that adds 2-inches of extra packing space.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Trip Savvy and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The Delsey Helium Aero Hardside Luggage is made from 100 percent polycarbonate, making it ultra-lightweight and exceptionally resilient to cracks and fractures. It also looks great, with a high-gloss finish in a range of colors, including brushed charcoal, cobalt blue,..."
  Runner Up

kensie Alma Wheeled Hard Shell Suitcase, 20-Inch

kensie

Alma Wheeled Hard Shell Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Take

Expandable and TSA-FriendlyThis hard shell suitcase includes a recessed TSA lock system that provides secure travel.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Top Ten Collections. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This 20″ carry-on is the ideal size to meet regulation of most airliners. It comes with recessed TSA lock system and features four wheels that can spin on every direction for a smooth and comfortable ride."
  Strong Contender

Rockland Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Rockland

Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll find this hard shell suitcase comes in a choice of 35 different colors, including champagne, lime, yellow, navy and turquoise.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage Spots. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot.
Pros
" Available in many colors, Low cost, Expandable."
  Also Great

Travelers Club Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

Travelers Club

Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

Overall Take

Stylish ChoiceThe handles on this hard shell suitcase are adjustable and can be locked into place to make pulling them around the airport a breeze.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hard shell suitcases available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

24

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Top Ten Collections, Luggage Spots, Trip Savvy, Cold Turkey Now, Travel Gear Zone.

106,373

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Hard Shell Suitcases and also dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hard Shell Suitcases.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Carry-On Hard Shell Luggage, 19-Inch


Our Expert Score

10.0
2 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.4
3,643 user reviews

Our Take

Thanks to the eight multi-directional caster wheels and the telescoping handle, you won't have any trouble pulling this hard shell suitcase across an airport. The case is constructed from 100% polycarbonate and available in 10 fun colors. What you'll love most, of course, are the spacious main compartments and many built-in pockets, as they help you keep all of your items neatly organized.

What other experts liked

I like a travel suitcase to last me a long time. It’s not an investment I want to be making over and over again. I’ve traveled with many broken and worn out suitcases and it’s a gigantic pain in the...
- Y Travel
The Delsey Helium Aero Hardside Luggage is made from 100 percent polycarbonate, making it ultra-lightweight and exceptionally resilient to cracks and fractures. It also looks great, with a high-gloss finish in a range of colors, including brushed charcoal, cobalt blue,...
- Trip Savvy

What other experts didn't like

It can easily show dirt. The suitcase can be awkward in small hotel rooms as it opens like a clam end is hard shelled. It doesn’t go well on luggage racks. Can’t squeeze it into tight spaces as it doesn’t...
- Y Travel

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Travelers Club Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

User Summarized Score

9.4
3,470 user reviews

Our Take

You'll find this hard shell suitcase set is designed to meet all of your traveling needs. The set includes a toiletry bag that fits neatly inside either the 26-inch or the 20-inch carry-on spinner luggage. There's also a 10-inch boarding tote to hold your books, cell phone and medications.

Overall Product Rankings

2. kensie Alma Wheeled Hard Shell Suitcase, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 2

3. Rockland Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

4. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

5. Travelers Club Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 1

6. Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 3

7. Betsey Johnson Expandable Hardside Carry On, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 3

8. GoPenguin Lightweight Hardside Carry On Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 2

9. Kenneth Cole Renegade Hardside Suitcase, 28-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 3

10. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 6

11. Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 6

12. Ben Sherman Nottingham Hardside Luggage, 24-Inch

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 4

13. Rockland Melbourne Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hard Shell Suitcase Findings


DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Carry-On Hard Shell Luggage, 19-Inch

What We Liked: Thanks to the eight multi-directional caster wheels and the telescoping handle, you won’t have any trouble pulling this hard shell suitcase across an airport. The case is constructed from 100% polycarbonate and available in 10 fun colors. What you’ll love most, of course, are the spacious main compartments and many built-in pockets, as they help you keep all of your items neatly organized.


kensie Alma Wheeled Hard Shell Suitcase, 20-Inch

What We Liked: This hard shell suitcase includes a
recessed TSA lock system that provides secure travel. It’s also
expandable for extra packing capacity.


AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

What We Liked: This durable hard shell suitcase prevents crushing and is scratch-resistant. The interior is fully lined with three zippered pockets, making organization a breeze. The spinner wheels glide smoothly and make it easy to travel with.


Rockland Melbourne Hardshell Luggage Set, 2-Piece

What We Liked: The first thing you’ll notice about this hard shell luggage set is the ergonomic chrome telescoping handle. It’s comfortable to hold and extends to match your height. Each of the two pieces in this set also come with multi-directional double spinner wheels to make moving around the airport a breeze.


Travelers Club Midtown Hard Shell Suitcase, 4-Piece

What We Liked: You’ll find this hard shell suitcase set is designed to meet all of your traveling needs. The set includes a toiletry bag that fits neatly inside either the 26-inch or the 20-inch carry-on spinner luggage. There’s also a 10-inch boarding tote to hold your books, cell phone and medications.

Our Hard Shell Suitcase Buying Guide

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.

Simplemost Media

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.

Simplemost Media

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.

Simplemost Media

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, making storage less difficult.

DWYM 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.

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, an inventor dreamed up the idea of putting wheels on suitcases after traveling with his wife and kids. And the rest is history.

The Hard Shell Suitcase Tips and Advice

  • 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.

About The Author

Tricia Goss 

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator.