Jun 29, 2023
The Best Aluminum Suitcases of 2023
From checked bags to carry-ons to briefcases, these are the aluminum luggage pieces you’ll love. Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on
From checked bags to carry-ons to briefcases, these are the aluminum luggage pieces you’ll love.
Jump to a Section
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
Travel + Leisure / David Hattan
If you're ready to take your suitcase game to the next level, it might be time to consider an aluminum suitcase. They're not only beloved for their contemporary look (they come in classic silver as well as sleek black, trendy rose gold, and more) but also for their durability. Perhaps unsurprisingly, metal is sturdier than plastic, which is an important factor in a suitcase, given their proclivity to being tossed around in airports and cargo holds.
A few things to consider, though, are the price (aluminum suitcases are expensive) and the weight (they’re often heavier than polycarbonate or soft-shell suitcases). Still, aluminum suitcases might be worth your while — it all comes down to personal preference. To help inspire your aluminum suitcase selection, we've rounded up our favorite aluminum suitcases, as well as a few smaller aluminum bags.
The ripple-like pattern is contemporary cool.
It only has a five-year warranty.
You'll be able to tell this bag is a Tumi from three gates down — the signature wavy texture looks particularly striking on an aluminum-body suitcase thanks to the way it catches the light. Though Tumi makes this suitcase in multiple sizes (and multiple colors), we've picked the International Carry-on as our favorite aluminum luggage, as it can fit most overhead bins. It still has a reasonable amount of space inside, and a robust organizational system of pockets and compartments makes it easy to pack. We also like that each of its two latches has its own TSA-approved lock for added security, as well as four spinner wheels for easy transportation.
Price at time of publish: $1,195
The Details: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 11 pounds | 31 liters | 5-year warranty
It has a lifetime warranty.
It’s on the heavier side for the size.
Coming in at a reasonable price point in the grand scheme of aluminum luggage, this suitcase impresses with its interior compression system that allows you to pack more — a huge plus given the fact that the suitcase has no give. But perhaps our favorite thing about this suitcase is the fact that it comes in an oh-so-trendy rose gold hue. You can even add a removable charging pack, but remember that it will need to be taken out on flights. It also comes in a slightly larger size, the Bigger Carry-on, which is ideal for flying domestic airlines if you want more capacity for your things.
Price at time of publish: $625
The Details: 21.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches | 10 pounds | 35 liters | Lifetime
It's relatively lightweight compared to other aluminum suitcases of the same size.
Its shell is zipperless.
Most of an aluminum suitcase's weight is in its hardware, such as the handle and the latches, and not its actual shell. That's why when you get to checked-bag territory, aluminum bags aren't all that much heavier than plastic ones. Case in point: this chic medium-sized aluminum suitcase weighs 10.6 pounds, less than a pound heavier than an Away suitcase of the same size. One of its standout features is its antimicrobial interior lining, which can help reduce odors. Additionally, its price is fairly reasonable for an aluminum suitcase, especially for a larger suitcase that needs to be checked.
Price at time of publish: $395
The Details: 25.8 x 16.6 x 9.5 inches | 10.7 pounds | 62 liters | Lifetime
It has adjustable dividers to help you stay organized.
It's exceedingly expensive.
If you're an over-packer, you might want to consider a trunk rather than a carry-on suitcase. Fortunately, this trunk is set on wheels and has a telescopic handle, so it's still easy to move around. But it is a very spacious piece of luggage, with a 90-liter capacity to store everything you pack. It also has adjustable dividers to help you keep the cavernous space organized. Perhaps even more impressively, the suitcase only weighs 13.4 pounds, which means you have plenty of space before you hit the 50-pound weight limit set by airlines.
Price at time of publish: $2,125
The Details: 28.8 x 17 x 14.8 inches | 13.4 pounds | 89 liters | Lifetime
It has a smooth exterior.
Whereas most aluminum suitcases have grooved exteriors (most companies have a signature pattern) this one keeps things simple with a smooth exterior. That, in its own right, makes this piece of luggage stand out. What also makes it stand out is that it's on the lower end of the price spectrum for aluminum suitcases, though it still has many of the same features, including an all-aluminum shell, flex dividers, spinner wheels, and TSA-approved locks. Because of that low price, this suitcase frequently sells out, but don't worry: it's also frequently restocked.
Price at time of publish: $248
The Details: 15 x 8.5 x 22 inches | 10 pounds | 36 liters | 5 years
There's a lifetime warranty.
The smooth exterior will show dents and scratches more clearly than a textured exterior.
Made from aerospace-grade aluminum, or technically an aluminum-magnesium alloy, this suitcase is designed to last. And if it doesn't — we know baggage can be handled a bit roughly at times — there's a lifetime warranty for damage to the suitcase that impedes its function. While you won't be getting a replacement for dents in the shell, you'll be covered if the wheels stop turning or the zipper breaks. It comes in two colors, a classic silver and a dark gray, with a smooth shell. The suitcase is on the heavier side at 10 pounds for a carry-on, but it does have 36 liters of packing capacity.
Price at time of publish: $430
The Details: 15 x 8.4 x 21.8 inches | 10 pounds | 36 liters | Lifetime
It comes with a removable business organizer.
It won't fit a laptop larger than 13 inches.
Don't feel like dealing with fighting for overhead space? This tiny aluminum suitcase is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, depending on the type of aircraft and the specific seat you're sitting in. It's really more of a rolling briefcase than it is a suitcase — it opens from the top, and it even comes with a padded business organizer, which includes a pocket for a tablet or small laptop. It can even be attached to the top of a larger rolling suitcase and secured with an included elastic band.
Price at time of publish: $539
The Details: 16.4 x 12.5 x 6 inches | 7 pounds | 13 liters | 10 years
It comes with a removable battery.
You have to remove the battery for every flight.
If charging capabilities are important to you, this is the aluminum suitcase you'll want to buy. It comes with a removable 10,050 mAh external battery with USB-C and USB-A ports, allowing you to charge up a variety of devices, from phones to tablets to smartwatches (you might even be able to give your laptop a little pick-me-up). Other features of the suitcase include ultra-quiet spinner wheels, an antimicrobial lining in the interior, and an included laundry bag. One design detail we love is that the handles are wrapped in full-grain leather for added comfort.
Price at time of publish: $695
The Details: 23 x 15 x 9.6 inches | 10.5 pounds | 45 liters | 5 years
It’s incredibly durable and nearly impossible to break into.
Aluminum briefcases have such an air of mystery to them. Are you carrying cold, hard cash? Nuclear codes? Priceless gems? Chances are you're probably carrying documents, a laptop, and maybe some lip balm, but still — an aluminum briefcase certainly gives your look a little oomph. This compact attaché has a three-digit combination lock (again, air of mystery!), as well as a polyurethane lining and storage for pens and business cards. It also features a piano hinge, which ensures that the briefcase remains nice and secure. You can choose between silver and black colorways; the former a little more standout, the latter a little quieter.
Price at time of publish: $495
The Details: 11.5 x 16.5 x 3.5 inches | 5.5 pounds | 5 years
It can be worn crossbody or carried as a clutch.
It has a very limited capacity.
Elevate your purse game with an aluminum bag to match your aluminum carry-on or checked suitcase. This Rimowa crossbody has a removable leather strap, so you can also carry it as a clutch. The bag has something of a wallet setup — the leather interior has two main compartments that fold like an accordion with a small zipped section in between, which also has three pockets for cards. Keep in mind that while Rimowa suitcases have a lifetime warranty, this crossbody bag only has a two-year warranty. But since you won't be checking this bag, it will likely remain undamaged.
Price at time of publish: $1,575
The Details: 5 x 8.5 x 2.7 inches | 1.4 pounds | 1 liter | 2 years
As with all pieces of luggage, aluminum bags come in all shapes and sizes. Keep in mind that airlines have strict rules about luggage measurements, particularly for carry-on bags. Generally speaking, domestic airlines have larger size limits than international airlines. Checked baggage is often more flexible in regard to size, but stricter in regard to weight, though some airlines do set size limits. Consider how much you normally pack for a trip before purchasing aluminum luggage.
As with polycarbonate and soft-sided suitcases, aluminum suitcases have organizational features in the interior, such as pockets and mesh compartments. It's important to choose the right system for you, as you can't overstuff aluminum suitcases — there's no give to the shell.
Aluminum luggage is more durable than polycarbonate or soft-sided luggage, though it's still prone to scratches and dents. It's also more secure, as aluminum suitcases typically close via latches rather than zippers.
Yes, you can use an aluminum suitcase as a carry-on, as long as it's within the measurements set by your airline.
You can clean aluminum luggage as often or as infrequently as you like. Check your manufacturer's instructions to see if there are any cleaning recommendations for your specific bag. Generally speaking, aluminum luggage should be cleaned with a damp cloth and gentle soap.
Stefanie Waldek is a freelance travel writer with nearly a decade of experience. For this article, she evaluated aluminum suitcases based on their features and read dozens of customer reviews.
Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: Price at time of publish: The Details: