Shopping for new luggage? Two suitcase brands you’re likely considering include Samsonite and Travelpro. Both are reputable companies whose bags have recently landed at the top of SmarterTravel’s Editors’ Choice Awards for the best carry-on (Travelpro took first place in 2019, while Samsonite topped the list in 2018). But when comparing Travelpro vs. Samsonite, which one is the best fit for you?
The answer depends on your specific luggage needs. Below we compare the two brands in a variety of categories including features, price, warranty, and more.
Editor’s note: In addition to comparing other luggage styles and features, our editor tested the Platinum Elite 21″ Expandable Carry-On Spinner and the Platinum Elite 25″ Expandable Spinner from Travelpro and the Voltage DLX 20″ Spinner and the Armage 19″ Spinner from Samsonite. All listed prices were accurate at the time of publication.
Samsonite’s Claim to Fame
Samsonite is one of the world’s most venerable travel brands, having been founded more than 100 years ago in Denver, Colorado. It started as a maker of sturdy wooden trunks for world travelers and now offers a wide range of suitcases and other travel accessories.
Travelpro’s Claim to Fame
Travelpro may not have been around quite as long as Samsonite, but its launch made a splash when its founder, pilot Bob Plath, designed the world’s first rollaboard suitcase in the late 1980s. He first sold the new design to pilots and flight attendants before making it available to the flying public, and the company’s bags are still popular with flight crews today.
Travelpro vs. Samsonite: Design and Features
Winner: Both companies offer a range of durable, attractive suitcases as well as backpacks, packing organizers, totes, and more. If you’re a fan of softside suitcases, we give the slight edge to Travelpro for its sleek, clean designs, most of which coordinate well with each other—so it’s easy to buy a checked bag, a carry-on, and a personal item that look good together. For hardside fans, Samsonite’s greater selection of colors, patterns, and styles gets our vote.
Both companies incorporate innovative features into many of their bags such as TSA-approved locks, USB-charging ports, and built-in organizers.
One thing to watch out for when shopping for a bag you can fly with: Both Samsonite and Travelpro sell quite a few “carry-ons” that don’t fit the standard carry-on size limit on most U.S. airlines (22 by 14 by 9 inches). Out of 59 bags that show up under the “carry-on” category, just 13 are displayed after you click on Samsonite’s fits 22″ x 14″ x 9″ filter.
There’s no such filter on Travelpro’s website, so I manually clicked through every bag listing and found only six out of 26 total carry-ons that fit this common size requirement. One that doesn’t, the popular Platinum Elite 21″ Expandable Carry-On Spinner, says on its label that it’s “size bin tested,” and it’s close enough to the limit that you may never be questioned by an airline about it—but it’s worth keeping in mind when selecting a bag. Remember: Airlines count wheels and handles in their size limits, not just the measurements of the case itself.
Travelpro vs. Samsonite: Versatility
Winner: Samsonite comes out ahead here with a much larger collection of suitcases overall, including ultra-lightweight options—such as the Black Label Cosmolite 3.0 20″ Spinner, weighing a measly 3.7 pounds—and an eco-friendly line made of recycled plastic bottles. In particular, fans of hardside luggage will have a lot more choices when shopping at Samsonite; Travelpro’s website currently lists only eight hardside pieces of any size, while Samsonite has more than 100.
However, Travelpro does have a handful of collections that cater to different types of travelers, including the affordable and lightweight Maxlite 5 line, the Crew Versapack collection (which works with optional zip-in organizers to keep your suitcase in order), and the elegantly designed Platinum Elite line.
Warranty and Return Policies
Winner: The edge goes to Travelpro in this category thanks to its generous 100-day trial period: “If your Travelpro luggage fails to meet your expectations for any reason, you may return it for a full refund within 100 days, no questions asked. We’ll even pay the return shipping.” (Note that you won’t be refunded the shipping cost on your initial order, and that this guarantee only applies to purchases made on the Travelpro website. Purchases made on other sites such as Amazon or eBags are subject to the return policies on those sites.)
Samsonite allows returns within 30 days and does not reimburse the cost of shipping in either direction.
When it comes to warranties, both companies have multiple versions depending on which product you buy. In general, they will cover defects in materials or workmanship either for a certain number of years (three to 10) or over the life of the bag. You can read Samsonite’s warranty policy here and Travelpro’s warranty policy here.
Travelpro vs. Samsonite: Price
Winner: It’s impossible to choose a winner in this category, as prices range widely depending on the type of suitcase and the features you’ve chosen. Samsonite has options from inexpensive to exorbitant and everywhere in between, while Travelpro’s prices are clustered more in the middle of the pack—so the winner really depends on how much you’re looking to spend.
Samsonite’s carry-on bags range in price from $80 to $550; Travelpro’s carry-ons cost $90 to $320. For checked bags, there’s an even bigger spread: Samsonite’s cheapest starts at $120, while its most expensive is $700. Meanwhile, Travelpro’s checked bags range from $180 to $400. (Note that these prices include single bags only, not luggage sets.)
Overall Winner: Samsonite
While both luggage brands make high-quality products, we give the slight edge to Samsonite due to its breadth of offerings at a wide variety of price points—with plenty of choice for travelers who prefer hardside or softside suitcases.
You Tell Us: Which luggage brand is right for you? Comment below and let us know your favorite suitcase. Have another face-off you’d like to see? Tell us and we’ll do an in-depth comparison.
More from SmarterTravel:
- How to Choose the Perfect Suitcase
- How to Pack a Suitcase: The Ultimate Guide
- The Best Affordable Carry-on Luggage Under $150
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
Some products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.