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On our last cruise my wife and I discovered we were in dire need of a luggage upgrade, as ours was falling apart.

What brands does everyone recommend? I found some "American Tourister" (who are apparently owed by Samsonite) sets at Costco, has anyone used or owned this brand?  Any other recommendations? I'm trying not to spend an arm and a leg.

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I've bought a set of Travelpro Platinum Elite suitcases (22" expandable wheeled carry-on and 25" expandable checked spinner), and while I haven't used them for an actual trip yet they are very sturdily built and come with a lifetime warranty on all parts -- wheels, zippers, handles, everything. Bought them after reading a review on The Wirecutter, and while I would say they're not an arm and a leg compared to some brands they're definitely not cheap. You could see about getting 

Will say that I bought them both using saved rewards points from my Amazon Rewards card, so my personal out-of-pocket was zero (well, apart from the credit charges that got me that many rewards points 😏). If you have that card and the requisite time / patience, you could take that route with pretty much any luggage you wanted to get.

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My husband had a set of American Tourister. It's not as good as Samsonite, but it worked alright for him. He traveled (flew) once or twice a month for work for awhile, and the pieces held up for about a year. So 12-18 flights maybe. We have a Samsonite outlet near us so we've been upgrading piece by piece over the last couple years.

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I just bought a Samsomsite set and it broke the first use.  Found out that the warranty requires you to either take it to a Samsonite dealer/shop which there isn't one closer than a 4 hour drive for me.  Or I have to ship it to them on my own dime to determine if it's a warranty fix.  Fortunately I purchased from Costco which has an excellent return policy. 

Just be aware of what it actually takes to take advantage of a warranty repair if you aren't located in a major metro area!

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The one item that I didn't look at the first time I bought luggage was how the wheels on the bottom of the suitcase are protected. The first cruise and two of the four broke. If you have ever seen how your luggage gets onto the ship you will quickly see how much torture it takes. Make sure you look at those things that protrude from the case itself and think how it will stand up to the pressure of movement. They take a lot more torture going onto the ship than they will ever do at the airlines which toss them around pretty good as it is. I'm trying a new one this time that protects the wheels but we shall see. I wish there were wheels that can be retracted back into the case and you can lower them only when required. 

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I've had too many great suitcases ruined by baggage handlers - not blaming but it's a reality - that I no longer spend a fortune on suitcases.  

I now go to TJ Maxx or Marshall's and buy a case of the right size  and know that it will be with me for a while but not forever.  

And I made a pledge to never again but a black bag.  Get something bright or a funny print and you'll spot it right away on the luggage carousel.  

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Total recommendation: Briggs and Stratton luggage.  Expensive, but total guarantee.  I traveled for business for many years, and have sent luggage back four times for free (except outbound shipping) repair. Ownership of first set goes back twenty+ years, with multiple weekly airline flights.  Wheels, expandable, durable.  No regrets!  Once in a great while a sale price is offered.

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16 hours ago, spursfreak21 said:

On our last cruise my wife and I discovered we were in dire need of a luggage upgrade, as ours was falling apart.

What brands does everyone recommend? I found some "American Tourister" (who are apparently owed by Samsonite) sets at Costco, has anyone used or owned this brand?  Any other recommendations? I'm trying not to spend an arm and a leg.

I have compared warranties and haven't found much difference among the brands sold in department stores, so I get what is on sale and has the features I want.  Over the years, one or two have been ruined by airlines, but one of those was replaced at the airport with a new one from stock.  Royal actually lost one of our suitcases on disembarkation, so I try not to be emotionally invested in my suitcase brand.  Had American Tourister, and it was fine for years.  If I were independently wealthy I might pay more for an indestructible brand, but most of us don't fall into that category.  Whatever you choose, have a great cruise!  Just remember to cross-pack clothes for the eventual loss or luggage delay!

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2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

I just bought a Samsomsite set and it broke the first use.  Found out that the warranty requires you to either take it to a Samsonite dealer/shop which there isn't one closer than a 4 hour drive for me.  Or I have to ship it to them on my own dime to determine if it's a warranty fix.

Isn't this when you'd have @CGTLH photoshop a letter from Samsonite CEO saying the costs are covered by the company?

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I've given up trying to buy luggage that can't be damaged by an airline.  Hard shell, soft sided, they've all been damaged when flying.  My latest hard shell had the corner cracked open so I went back to my older soft sided Samsonite that had the expandable zipper torn off once.  It remains my current luggage but I have large straps that I put around it in two directions for added protection.  They help for ID purposes as well.

I have a Tumi carry on sized hard shell that was very expensive but given to me for reaching a milestone.  I won't ever check it despite all the lifetime warranties and claims of invincibility.  I know an airline would damage it first time I check it.  

No luggage is indestructible and warranties are designed to be a PITA to file.  I won't buy hard shell again, seen way too many damaged hard shell on luggage carousels.   I've looked at the Costco sets and usually search for that model on Amazon for reviews.  

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I have a hard top Olympia USA luggage that is about 23" and I use that for my less than one week trips. I have had it about 4 years now and it has survived many bumps and bruises. I brought into the hype and got an Away Travel Medium size luggage in Eggplant in 2018. I took it one trip so far and don't have anything good or bad to say about it yet. My go-to is still my Samsonite 26", which I have had for almost 8 years and only has a smidgen of fringe issues. I have heard good things about Tumi and Swiss, but it really comes down to need and style.

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2 minutes ago, twangster said:

I've given up trying to buy luggage that can't be damaged by an airline.

Agreed. I think the days of luggage lasting years and years is over. If I can get a piece of luggage to last a year, that's a win for the Mattster.

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18 hours ago, spursfreak21 said:

On our last cruise my wife and I discovered we were in dire need of a luggage upgrade, as ours was falling apart.

What brands does everyone recommend? I found some "American Tourister" (who are apparently owed by Samsonite) sets at Costco, has anyone used or owned this brand?  Any other recommendations? I'm trying not to spend an arm and a leg.

I love American Tourister.. can't go wrong with that brand.

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I agree with Kris10May and Twangster.  I used to pay many hundreds of dollars for a piece of luggage and even the best I had (Travel Pro with lifetime warranties) were constantly being repaired.  ....and like AshleyDillo, it was quite a long drive for me to the closest Travel Pro repair shop (not 4 hours, but still, a nuisance).  As I replace my bags now, I just buy something I like, realizing that it will not last.  I have the same philosophy with cookware, BTW.

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1 hour ago, TXcruzer said:

We invested in bags from Away travel- lifetime warranty and have been very pleased. We had an interior zipper on one bag break, called the company and 2 days later a new bag was at the house. We placed the “broken” bag in the box the new one came in and attached the pre paid return label. 

We also have the Away luggage and are very pleased. One of our carry on bags has a charger that "clicks into the bag" that can be used while you are at the airport waiting to board your next flight. We have found them durable but like most, after travel you will see a nick or bump here or there, but nothing so far to render them unusable. I am glad to hear the warranty was as easy to use as you described.

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I also use Travelpro, but I have the 21" expandable crew spinner one because the 4 wheels make it WAY easier to navigate with. Also this one has magnetic wheels that helps the bag roll straight without any effort from you to keep on it on track. I bought it back in 2016 and while I don't travel a ton, I've been on at least 10 flights since then and checked it half those times. It's still going strong. 

 

 

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