How Much Should You Pay for a Suitcase? This Much!

By James Smith
how much to spend on luggage
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If you’re wondering like me sometimes about how much should i spend on a suitcase? Then here’s what I’ve learned.

Depending on your needs, you should expect to pay about 50 USD for a budget suitcase, about 100 USD for a mid-tier suitcase, and over 200 USD for a premium suitcase.  For most people, the mid-tier suitcase that will cost around 100 dollars will meet or exceed their needs.

One of the most important travel decisions you’ll have to make when planning a trip is what sort of suitcase you’ll need for your trip.  When doing this it’s best to consider several questions:

  • What will you be using this suitcase for?  For example, is this a weekend trip out of town or a weeklong trip overseas?
  • How long do you want this suitcase to last?  Do you just need something to hold your things for now, or do you want to buy a long-term suitcase?
  • How much can you spend?  Is your budget tight or is money no issue?

Depending on how you answer these questions, you’ll find yourself in one of three categories of suitcase buyer: the budget buyer, the mid-buyer, and the premium buyer. 

Let’s take a look at each.

The Budget Luggage Buyer:

Imagine you have a trip planned to the beach for the weekend.  You’re driving there. 

No need to drag it thought multiple airports and no one would be handling your luggage except for you.  Or maybe your taking a trip for work, but money is tight and you really need to keep costs down.  The point is that you simply need something to hold your stuff, and, perhaps more importantly, do it on the cheap.  You’re a budget buyer.

Budget suitcases are often made with cheaper and less durable materials to cut costs. In many cases, this can be an issue. 

However, when you are going to be in control of how the bag is handled, you can decide for yourself how durable it needs to be and then treat it accordingly.  Suitcases in this price range tend to be made of a synthetic fiber weave (nylon for example), which can fray it exposed to rough treatment. 

Cheap zippers present another possible failure point.  But generally speaking, these cases are suitable for light duty.

The bottom line: one can expect to pay somewhere around 50 dollars for a budget tier suitcase.  Anything less and you’re going to run the risk of buying a product that may be structurally unreliable. 

No one wants their suitcase bursting open while they’re carrying it inside.  So it would be wise to avoid going below. However, bear in mind that there are sometimes promotional deals, and it’s possible to get a steal from time to time if you know where to look.

The Mid Luggage Buyer:

Imagine you have a trip planned that takes you across the country, or even overseas.  You’re going to have connecting flights so you’ll be walking through airports, and you’re definitely not going to be the only one handling your bags.  In fact, there’s a possibility they’ll get thrown around in transit or by a less than careful airline employee. 

In this scenario or one like it, you can’t cheap out unless you want to run the risk of your suitcase bursting open or becoming otherwise damaged. 

If that ends up being the case, not only are your belongings at risk of being lost, but you’re going to have to replace that suitcase, ending up costing more in the long run.   However, you also realize you don’t need to throw your budget out the window to get a good piece of luggage.  If this is you, you’re a mid-buyer, looking for a sensible, reliable, mid-tier suitcase.

There are a lot of suitcases in this category that are made of synthetic fiber, much like the budget tier, however, the quality of the weaving tends to be higher, resulting in a more durable suitcase that can stand up to the rigors of air travel. 

Additionally, if you’re willing to pay a few extra dollars, you might be able to find a suitcase in this tier that has a hardened shell of aluminum or plastic.  This will offer even greater protection from any rough handling that may occurring between you checking your bag and getting it back from the luggage carousel.

When purchasing a mid-tier suitcase, you can expect to pay somewhere around 100 dollars.  

Again it’s best to look at this price as a guideline.  A good mid-level suitcase will have convenient features such as rolling suitcases with multidirectional wheels and telescopic handles. 

This makes navigating airport spaces with your luggage much easier.  Bottom line, expect to pay somewhere in the 100 dollar range give or take a few.  Shrewd shoppers will know that looking for sales on a mid-level suitcase could even get you a higher quality piece of luggage at a budget price!

The Premium Luggage Buyer:

Imagine that you have a large luggage budget, or perhaps you’re interested in investing in a very high quality suitcase that you can use for years to come and perhaps even pass on as an heirloom.  For this sort of buyer, money is no object.  Perhaps they’re part of the “Instagraming”, Jet-setting class and want a very photogenic luggage set to show off to the world.

Or perhaps they’re an executive that travels internationally on a regular basis and can’t skimp on build quality.  Regardless of why, they only want the best.  These are the premium buyers.

Luggage in this category might be made of leather or aluminum.  The materials are general of a higher quality are more likely to be durable and fashionable.  Give all of that, it is to be therefore expected that you’re going to have to spend extra.

The bottom line with premium suitcases is you’re going to be spending closer to 200 dollars.  Much more if you’re buying a large set, as premium luggage often comes as.  If you travel a lot, and take a lot with you, this may definitely be the route to go. 

However, thrifty shoppers shouldn’t see this as more than a luxury, and should realize that a quality suitcase can be obtained for less.  This is mostly for those who enjoy luxury brands or desire a very high quality and durable piece of luggage.

Conclusion

Knowing how much you should be spending on a suitcase comes down mostly to your needs and your budget.  Those who only have a very limited amount to spend on a suitcase, or only need one for short trips, may find that spending around 50 dollars is all that is necessary. 

Most people will have their travel needs met by spending around 100 dollars on a suitcase, and will be able to choose from a variety of materials and features to find the suitcase that is perfect for them. 

Finally, some will have a large budget or have exceptional needs in regards to suitcase quality and they can expect to spend over 200.  

With these general benchmarks, you’ll be able to find the suitcase that meets your needs without getting gouged on the price. Also, read more about some checked luggage I recommend here.

Thanks for reading and happy safe travels.

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Hi, I'm James Smith, I love traveling and always looking to optimize the traveling life to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible. I especially love to nerd out about choosing the right luggage.