Consumer Reports surveyed thousands of its subscribers to identify common luggage problems and the best luggage brands.
Checked bags can get tossed around a lot during travel, so it’s no surprise that Consumer Reports found “durability” to be a top concern for 62 percent of those surveyed. Broken zippers and damaged fabric are problems for about 10 percent of the survey respondents.
Travelers also want luggage that’s easy to handle. Consumer Reports found that people with four-wheel suitcases are much happier than those who used suitcases with just two wheels.
Which brand is the best? Based on a survey of more than 3,400 of its subscribers, Consumer Reports rated 10 brands. People were not as happy with some of the biggest names in luggage. American Tourister and Samsonite fell near the bottom of the list.
Among the best brands as rated by subscribers: Eagle Creek and Briggs & Riley. Costco’s Kirkland brand and Tumi are also good. All got high marks in every category, from durability to appearance.
No matter what bag you ultimately buy, check the size and weight limits on the airline you’ll fly. To make sure your carry-on bag isn’t too big, measure it in the store. You can’t always go by the tag. Be sure to include the handle and wheels in your measurements.
There’s no such thing as a standard size for carry-ons.
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Every U.S. airline has its own rules. However, American, Delta, and United/U.S. Airways have settled on a uniform size for now. It’s 22 inches high by 9 inches deep and 14 inches wide.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.