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The Best Hard Shell Suitcase - 2020

Last updated on April 15, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Hard Shell Suitcases and dug through the reviews from 22 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hard Shell Suitcases.

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Our Picks For The Top Hard Shell Suitcases

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Samsonite

Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Overall Take

Perfect for Frequent TravelersThe roomy, durable Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch rolls alongside with ease.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Flapping Turtle, The Luggage List, Luggage Nexus, Luggage Spots, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" With this spinner, you won’t have to do any dragging; in fact, your Samsonite Omni PC will roll by your side like a perfect travel companion. Not only is this set durable and lightweight, but it also keeps you stylish..."
Cons
"While it’s a great piece of luggage and can pack several weeks’ worth of clothing, it can be quite challenging to travel with it. The suitcase is popular with owners although many lament that the lack of a side strap..."
  We Also Like

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

AmazonBasics

Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

Overall Take

Affordable OptionThe AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch is a budget-friendly option with many desirable features.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage and Suitcase, Total Travel Bag, Travel Gear Zone, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" If you are in the market for a low-cost suitcase, then this is a very viable option. The glossy versions are actually nice to look at and could easily pass as a more premium product. They are slightly more expensive..."
Cons
"Not made of PC, Only has one bag."
  Best Set

Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Coolife

Hard Shell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Overall Take

Lightweight Durability for the FamilyPack for your entire family with the Coolife Hard Shell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece set.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage Spots, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" 360-degree easy motion with spinner wheels."
Cons
"The TSA-compliant lock threw out some glitches and needed to be reset. The zippers are not expandable, and it's not entirely dent-proof."
  Stylish Pick

American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

American Tourister

Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

Overall Take

Spacious and StylishRoomy American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch comes in an array of stylish designs.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage Spots, Luggage Portal, BestReviews, Travel Efficiency. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Maximum amount of storage space for a carry-on item with added 2-inch expansion. Fantastic 10-year Global Warranty."
Cons
"Scratches easily."
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.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hard shell suitcases available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

22

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Trip Savvy, Cold Turkey Now, Travel Gear Zone, Best 10 Selling, Luggage Spots.

66,196

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Hard Shell Suitcases and also dug through the reviews from 22 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.

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

The Best Overall

Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch


Our Expert Score

9.2
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
3,698 user reviews

Our Take

This spinner suitcase has a durable hard shell yet is lightweight and rolls easily. It is available in a multitude of colors with something to suit any style. Large and roomy, you can easily pack for your entire trip.

What other experts liked

With this spinner, you won’t have to do any dragging; in fact, your Samsonite Omni PC will roll by your side like a perfect travel companion. Not only is this set durable and lightweight, but it also keeps you stylish...
- Flapping Turtle
The Samsonite Omni Luggage line is a popular choice for travelers. If you are looking for durable luggage, we recommend going with this set since it’s a great investment because it was designed to withstand even the harshest travel conditions.
- The Luggage List
Outer shell is extremely durable. Loads of storage space. Well-built handle.
- Luggage Nexus
Beautiful color options for everyone. 100% polycarbonate, durable and high-quality material.
- Luggage Spots
Durability with good looks and plenty of space.
- BestReviews

What other experts didn't like

It's not the most favorable suitcase for those looking for a compact piece of luggage.
- Flapping Turtle
While it’s a great piece of luggage and can pack several weeks’ worth of clothing, it can be quite challenging to travel with it. The suitcase is popular with owners although many lament that the lack of a side strap...
- The Luggage List
The Omni PC is a BIG suitcase. Very heavy build.
- Luggage Nexus
It is a bit pricey, if not available on sale. Less pockets and compartments, especially on the outside. The spinner wheels are single wheels.
- Luggage Spots
Although the exterior is highly durable, once it becomes dented, repairing it can be a hassle.
- BestReviews

The Best Bang For Your Buck

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

Our Expert Score

8.0
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
10,563 user reviews

Our Take

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.

What other experts liked

If you are in the market for a low-cost suitcase, then this is a very viable option. The glossy versions are actually nice to look at and could easily pass as a more premium product. They are slightly more expensive but at least you have the decision to make.
- Luggage and Suitcase
Hardside shell, ABS construction, Four double spinners, Smooth motion, Quiet wheels, Organization tools.
- Total Travel Bag
Hardshell with scratch resistant finish storage space expand up to 15 percent, telescoping handle.
- Travel Gear Zone
Fully lined interior and 3 zippered pockets to keep items organized. Spinner wheels glide smoothly and hard exterior offers protection. Very durable.
- BestReviews

What other experts didn't like

Not made of PC, Only has one bag.
- Total Travel Bag
Heavy, poor stitching.
- Travel Gear Zone
Not quite as lightweight as some competing models.
- BestReviews

Overall Product Rankings

Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

1. Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 6

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

2. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 5

Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

3. Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 3

American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

4. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 6

Betsey Johnson Expandable Hardside Carry On, 20-Inch

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

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 3

DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage, 29-Inch

6. DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage, 29-Inch

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

Kenneth Cole Renegade Hardside Suitcase, 28-Inch

7. Kenneth Cole Renegade Hardside Suitcase, 28-Inch

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 3

GoPenguin Lightweight Hardside Carry On Luggage, 20-Inch

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

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 2

Ben Sherman Nottingham Hardside Luggage, 24-Inch

9. Ben Sherman Nottingham Hardside Luggage, 24-Inch

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 4

Rockland Melbourne Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch

10. Rockland Melbourne Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hard Shell Suitcase Findings


Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner Luggage, 28-Inch

What We Liked: This spinner suitcase has a durable hard shell yet is lightweight and rolls easily. It is available in a multitude of colors with something to suit any style. Large and roomy, you can easily pack for your entire trip.

Simplemost Media


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.

Simplemost Media


Coolife Hardshell Lightweight Luggage, 3-Piece

What We Liked: This three-piece hard shell luggage set makes it easy to pack for a family vacation. Each piece includes a built-in TSA-approved lock. When not in use, you can store the smaller suitcases inside the larger one.

Simplemost Media


American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage, 21-Inch

What We Liked: 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.

Simplemost Media


Kenneth Cole Renegade Hardside Suitcase, 28-Inch

What We Liked: This suitcase features eight-wheel multi-directional spinners, making handling effortless. Numerous zippered pockets, elastic shoe pockets and a garment restraint panel keep your belongings tidy and safe. Corner guard reinforcements enhance the design while protecting the bag from damage.

Simplemost Media

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, make 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 (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 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

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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.