Buying a suitcase can be overwhelming. Do you want a hard case or a soft suitcase? How big do you want it to be? Do you want two wheels or four? The options are endless and so too are the price points. You can buy an $89 suitcase from Kmart, through to a nearly $2k one from Rimowa.
When shopping for a suitcase, the best place to start, in my opinion, is by familiarising yourself with some of the main luggage brands in Australia. With that basic knowledge, you’ll be able to more easily sift through their ranges, knowing what generally to expect from the pieces, in terms of quality, functionality and style.
So, ahead, I’ve rounded up some of what I, a current avid traveller, not to mention a travel writer for two years, think to be some of the country’s biggest luggage brands. Just keep scrolling.
Melbourne-based July was founded in 2018 by Richard Li and Athan Didaskalou who were after suitcases that looked sleek, but wasn’t outrageously priced. Today, July has three stores in Melbourne and two in Sydney (Bondi Junction will open in May), as well as four across China and Hong Kong. The brand is known for its personalisation — you can add to a bag your initials or even your pet’s face, often free of charge if on promo.
As far as price points for luggage go, Rimowa’s have to be up there. That said, their pieces are all designed to last a lifetime (they have an actual lifetime guarantee), so if you calculate cost-per-use, you might even call them a bargain. Each suitcase is individually inspected, and the brand’s site makes it easy to look through the range, letting you search for bags for short trips, long trips, business trips, best-sellers or gifts.
Founded in 1927, Strand stocks big-name travel brands including Antler, American Tourister and Samsonite. It has an online store and over 300 physical stores around the country and in New Zealand. In addition to luggage, it also stocks handbags, backpacks and wallets. All its luggage pieces come with pockets, dividers and combination locks, as well as expander zips and Y-straps so you can pack more inside.
Founded and designed in the US, Away luggage is manufactured responsibly with high-performing, durable materials like polycarbonate and aluminium, all guaranteed to last a lifetime and therefore reduce waste. While Away’s luggage is designed to comply with airline standards, they’re still lockable. Helpfully, some carry-on models even come with portable charging devices.
Aidan aims to sell a lifestyle, rather than just a suitcase. Its Signature Cases come in three different sizes, all with the brand’s patented push-and-release braking system, a polycarbonate shell and aluminium framing and 360-degree, silent wheels. Aidan also stocks soft goods, including backpacks, duffels and pouches.
If you’ve ever shopped for luggage before, you’d have heard of global brand Tumi. The brand is easily one of the most known in the country, priding itself on creating luggage that showcases elevated craftmanship, durability and resilience.
Another very known global luggage brand is Samsonite. It was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1910 when travel was reserved for an exclusive few. Samsonite has a wide range, but you can easily search through it by size, colour and features.