Travel

The Best Luggage for Kids

by Michelle Calcaterra


The Best Luggage for Kids
Shop Story

So you’re in the market for luggage for your littles? First, congratulations! This means you’ve decided to travel with your children, which is no small feat. But the type of trip you’re taking (an overnight adventure at Grandma’s house versus a voyage by air or sea to a tropical island) can impact what type of bag is best to buy. It’s also wise to consider what your kids roll with on a daily basis — in addition to clothes and shoes, maybe they take a stuffed turtle wherever they go or need a spot to stow their electronic devices. They probably also pack a snack (or several) and a reusable water bottle. This will help you decide how many pockets and compartments you’ll need.

 

Size is also a consideration: What your 4-year-old can carry varies greatly from what your 8-year-old can handle (especially if they’re going to be responsible for their own bag). And then, of course, there’s the design. Little kids may want their favorite cartoon character to adorn their luggage, while older ones may stick to bright colors or patterns.

 

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from, and we’re helping you sort through them to find the best luggage for your kids.

 

 

Best Affordable Luggage: Goplus 2 Piece Kids Carry-On Luggage Set

 

Best Backpack Luggage: Wildkin Kids Backpack

 

Best Carry-On Luggage: Crckt 18″ Kids Carry-On Suitcase

 

Best Rolling Luggage: Obersee Kids’ Rolling Luggage

 

Best Ride-On Luggage: Trunki The Original Ride-On Suitcase

 

Best Personalized Luggage: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Blue/Gray Glow-In-The-Dark Carry-All Travel Bag

 

Best Hard Shell Luggage: Mima Ovi Trolley Hardshell 18-Inch Kid Size Suitcase

 

Best Kids Luggage Sets: Crckt 2-Piece Carry-On Suitcase And Backpack Set

 

Best Disney Luggage For Kids: American Tourister Kids Hardside 18″ Upright

 

Best Kids Luggage For Boys: Pottery Barn Kids Spinner Luggage

 

Best Kids Luggage For Girls: Stephen Joseph Rolling Suitcase

 

Best Kids Luggage For Animal Lovers: SkipHop Zoo Kids Rolling Luggage

 

Best Trendy Luggage For Kids: Away Kids Carry-on

 

 

What Types of Luggage Are There for Kids?

Kids luggage falls into four main categories:

 

        • Backpacks

          If your child is school age, you are undoubtedly familiar with the array of backpacks available. Backpacks are often a cheaper kids’ luggage option and are ideal for short trips (like that sleepover at Grandma’s or a weekend excursion to an indoor water park) or as a carry-on for plane rides (their size allows them to be easily stowed underneath their seat). Backpacks are made of durable material, often contain pockets for water bottles, electronics and small items, and are easy for kids to carry.

 

        • Carry-On and Rolling Luggage

          Carry-on luggage is sized within TSA guidelines (a maximum of 9” x 14” x  22”) and usually comes in the form of a duffel or shoulder bag. There are also several luggage-on-wheels options, which are easy for kids to maneuver on their own (and for parents to take over when their tots tire out). Carry-ons and rolling luggage are often made from soft yet durable material, feature many zippered compartments and are available at several price points.

 

        • Hard-Shell Luggage

          Hard-shell luggage is made from material that can take a beating without damage. Look for luggage made from polycarbonate, which is scratch resistant and can withstand being dropped or thrown onto hard surfaces. While hard shell luggage has some flexibility, it doesn’t bend or flatten the way soft shell luggage will. But it’s ideal for kids to sit on when an actual seat isn’t available. And it’s durable, which is basically a synonym for kid friendly.

 

        • Ride-On Luggage

          Yes, this is a thing. Manufacturers actually make suitcases that your kids can ride on  like a toy. Some models look like animals, which kids can climb aboard when they get tired of walking. Others resemble scooters or standing strollers and have a footboard attached. (Genius!)

 

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Luggage

When trying to decide the best luggage to buy for your kids, ask yourself the following questions:

 

        • What is your budget?
        • How often do you travel? How do you get there? Car? Plane? Boat?
        • How old are your kids?
        • How self-sufficient are your kids?
        • How much gear (toys, electronics, food/water) do they need?
        • Will you be buying more than one piece of luggage?
        • What accessories or features are most important to you?

 

Here, we break down the best luggage for kids by category, including customer reviews. Safe travels!

 

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Affordable Luggage

Goplus 2 Piece Kids Carry-On Luggage Set

Price:$44.00

This hard-shell luggage on wheels also comes with a matching backpack — for under $50! The suitcase is lightweight, with easy swivel wheels, and the hard shell is durable. The design is playful yet chic — brightly colored owls, elephants, unicorns, zoo animals — and the backpack comes with easily adjustable straps. Whether you’re traveling for the weekend or for a week, this set will keep your child’s belongings in check — without breaking the bank.

Specifications:
Suitcase: 16” trolley with multi-directional wheels
Backpack: 12” with easily adjustable straps
Waterproof, easy-to-clean shell

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“The size worked well for a week trip, and the little backpack was just the right size for a mini iPad, headphones, some markers and a coloring book, and I could even fit her little blanket inside. The set looks cute, but it is also very practical.”

“The set seems to be extremely durable and, having the matching backpack is an added bonus.”

“Overall this set is well worth the money. Super cute, spacious, and it even has 360°wheels on the suitcase. Super smooth rolling”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Backpack Luggage

Wildkin Kids Backpack

Price:$25.00

These backpacks (also available in 16” and 17” sizes for older kids) have tons of compartments: large ones to hold books and clothes, and smaller ones for accessories and water bottles. The fabric, which is lead-, BPA- and phthalate-free, is available in more than 30 patterns — everything from trucks to to camo to polka dots — making it ideal for kids of all ages.

Specifications:
15” x 11” x 7”
Moisture-resistant nylon lining

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“It is really lightweight, has a good amount of pockets, it doesn't appear to be cheaply made and I like the tightener piece on the water bottle pockets because it makes it harder for her to lose her water bottle.”

“My favorite part are the smooth yet strong zippers. And the designs are in good taste. Childish, playful, but not overwhelming with unnecessary glitter. Exterior material is canvas like, so it is not stiff, which I love.”

Image Credits: Target

Best Carry-On Luggage

Crckt 18” Kids Carry-On Suitcase

Price:$40.00

There’s tons of room for toys and clothes in this rolling carry-on, which has numerous compartments to keep everything organized and easily accessible. A bungee cord keeps stuffed animals that come along for the ride safe, and each carry-on comes with its own little plush animal. Fun patterns such as unicorns and dinosaurs make it appealing for both boys and girls.

Specifications:
18” x 11.5” x 6.75”, 4.8 lbs., holds up to 30 lbs.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Got this dinosaur for my grandson and he absolutely loved it! It has lots of outside pockets and had a cuddly little dinosaur toy attached!! Great purchase!!”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Rolling Luggage

Obersee Kids’ Rolling Luggage

Price:$60.00

Made of durable fabric, with a sturdy pull bar, this lightweight bag comes with an insulated front pocket to store drinks and snacks (which is HUGE, though make sure to dump the drinks before boarding), a large interior space, a mesh pocket large enough for books, plus two side compartments for water bottles. And it comes in several colors.

Specifications:
11” x 6” x 16”, 3 lbs.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My daughter loved this suitcase! The snack compartment made it extra cool. It's also made without flame retardant which was super important to me.”

“This is the perfect kid's suitcase. Very cute and easy for my 4-year-old to pull. She loves it and it is just the right size for her little clothes.”

“Perfect little "rollie" bag for kids! The wheels glide smoothly, plenty of room for travel clothes, and an insulated snack pocket.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Ride-On Luggage

Trunki The Original Ride-On Suitcase

Price:$50.00

Trunki suitcases are made from durable plastic and are designed for kids to not only fill them with their favorite things but also ride on them. How cool is that? They come with wheels and a strap that allows them to be pulled along, and are available in a slew of kid-friendly designs, such as a unicorn, firetruck, tiger, dinosaur, ladybird and bumblebee. The suitcase also comes with a molded key for closure.

Specifications:
17.5” x 8” x 12.2”, 3.5 lbs.
Can accommodate up to 75 lbs.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I used this as a carry-on luggage for my toddler to put toys/books/stickers in to entertain him at airports and on our long haul flights. He loved riding on this through the airports and it was really great for those long treks from check-in to the actual gate.”

“The Trunki fits under the seat in front, so it does not take up overhead bin space, and we could easily get into it to get out toys, books, and snacks. So far it has held up to our travel, and we are pleased with the purchase! I recommend it for preschoolers!”

“My 2 year old daughter loved this! She adores it and takes good care of it. Since we didn't have a stroller or room for one on the plane, this was a life saver for her to sit on and ride.”

Image Credits: Pottery Barn Kids

Best Personalized Luggage

Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Blue/Gray Glow-in-the-Dark Carry-All Travel Bag

Price:$80.00

For an additional $9.50, Pottery Barn Kids will personalize any of the luggage in their extensive collection, like this luggage on wheels carry-on. Parents can choose between a monogram or their child’s name and have a choice of several font styles and thread colors, which PBK coordinates with the fabric. Personalization for this model is available in 6 thread colors and more than 20 font styles.

Specifications:
16.5" x 9" x 13.5"
Personalization for this model is available in 6 thread colors and more than 20 font styles

Image Credits: Bed Bath and Beyond

Best Hard Shell Luggage

Mima Ovi Trolley Hardshell 18-Inch Kid Size Suitcase

Price:$150.00

Made from easy-to-clean faux-leather — in sophisticated colors such as camel, snow white and black — this egg-shaped luggage on wheels is roomy and durable, has a telescoping handle and zip-around closure. Its sleek design makes it perfect for pre-teens who are so over cartoon characters.

Specifications:
9" x 13" x 19"

Image Credits: Macy

Best Kids Luggage Sets

Crckt 2-Piece Carry-On Suitcase and Backpack Set

Price:$160.00

This set, sized perfectly for pint-size travelers, comes with a rolling carry-on with tons of compartments to stow clothes and toys, plus a matching backpack. The backpack is perfect to take on board (or tote for an overnight excursion), and each piece comes with a little stuffed animal attached. The patterns are bright and cute (unicorns, stars, camo, animals) without being overly babyish, so they’ll appeal to kids of all ages.

Specifications:
Upright: 14" x 10.63" x 20.75"
Backpack: 16.5" x 12" x 5"

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“The great part is that it's a 2 piece that can both be carried on the flight, as opposed to having to use luggage claim. The design is pretty and chic. And the quality is very good.”

“My toddler really loved this luggage set! It is super cute and very spacious for a 3 year old. I definitely recommend this product for parents that need that extra space for their kids while traveling.”

“My kids are 7 and 8 and they love their luggage. The suitcases can hold probably 4-5 days of clothes. The loved the matching backpacks. They had many pockets and sections for books and snacks. The suitcase rolls very easy and the handle is perfect for little hands.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Disney Luggage for Kids

American Tourister Kids Hardside 18” Upright

Price:$50.00

These sturdy suitcases, which come in several varieties (Minnie, Mickey, Frozen and more) are bright, fun and easy for kids to handle. The side-mounted skate wheels make rolling the luggage a breeze, and its fully lined interior has a zip-around divider that creates packing compartments. But really, your kids will only care about their favorite characters, who are brightly displayed on the suitcase’s sturdy shell.

Specifications:
18” x 13” x 8”
4.35 lbs.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“It rolls smoothly, easy grip handle for a child, and plenty of room inside.”

“How can you not travel with your special toys and goodies as a child? We’re so happy our little guy can roll his own belongings through the airport and EVEN fit his clothes in the zippered compartment! Mommy and daddy don’t have to sacrifice space in our luggage!”

“This is such a cute suitcase. It’s bright and fun. It rolls smoothly and the handle extends effortlessly. I bought it for my six year old who loves it. He felt like Mr. Big Stuff with his suitcase and also got tons of compliments on it. It helped us get through the airport with ease.”

Image Credits: Pottery Barn Kids

Best Kids Luggage for Boys

Pottery Barn Kids Spinner Luggage

Price:$120.00

With an array of patterns available — everything from superheroes to solar systems to Star Wars (our favorite!), as well as stripes and solids—PBK’s line of luggage will appeal to boys of any age. This luggage on wheels comes in two sizes, 17” and 22” when upright, has five zipped pockets and can be personalized for an additional charge. Matching backpacks, duffels and lunchboxes are also available.

Specifications:
Small: 13" x 8" x 17"
Large: 4" x 9" x 22"
Interior lining is made of PEVA, an environmentally-friendly, chlorine-free vinyl

Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Kids Luggage for Girls

Stephen Joseph Rolling Suitcase

Price:$40.00

Fun, pretty patterns (unicorns, rainbows, butterflies) and a liberal use of pink make these adorable Stephen Joseph bags perfect for girls. The exterior mesh pockets can store toys and snacks, and the interior is roomy enough for packing leggings, tops, jeans and everything else.

Specifications:
14 ½" x 18" x 8 ½”

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Love this little luggage. I have bought a few for family members. They all love them. They all want to carry their own toys.”

“Fits most clothes and toys. Has a front pocket for a tablet or books. And two big side pockets. Very good price for what you get!”

“Great details and just the right size!”

Image Credits: Walmart

Best Kids Luggage for Animal Lovers

SkipHop Zoo Kids Rolling Luggage

Price:$35.00

SkipHop specializes in animal-themed products, and its line of rolling luggage is no exception. It comes in seven “species,” including owls, monkeys, butterflies, ladybugs, unicorns, dogs and giraffes, and is as functional as it is cute. The 13” handle is just the right size for little hands, and a front zipper pocket gives easy access to necessities. Plus, a removable shoulder strap makes it easy for parents to carry the bag when their littles lose interest.

Specifications:
12” x 5.5” x 16”

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“This suitcase is perfect for our family weekend getaways! It has plenty of room and extra pockets for all the accessories. The colors are beautiful and is the material is strong.”

“If you are looking for a travel bag or toy bag that your toddler can easily carry around this is the one!”

“My son absolutely loves his puppy backpack. He insists on taking it EVERYWHERE! It has been thrown, rolled on all types of surfaces, sat upon and laid on. It is very well loved.”

Image Credits: Away

Best Trendy Luggage for Kids

Away Kids Carry-On

Price:$195.00

This sleek suitcase brand is a favorite of celebrities, millennials and parents who can’t stomach cutesy kids’ stuff or just prefer a minimalist, clean design. These hard-shell rolling carry-ons come in eight colors, have super cool features like a built-in phone charger and laundry bag, and are made from unbreakable polycarbonate.

Specifications:
18” x 12” x 9”, 6 lbs.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Got this for my four year old granddaughter and it’s perfect in every way from the battery for her iPad to the size and ease of rolling it - love it !!”

“The size is perfect for short trips and it has great durability. I plan to use this for many years to come.”

“So well designed internally, the battery has been a lifesaver, and the case has proved itself sturdy enough to pull along a 4 year old on top when one journey proved too much. A great product.”