Best Full-Sized Luggage for Empty Nesters + What’s Up Weekend

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Can you believe it? Spring is right around the corner, and I’m totally getting cabin fever! I’m ready for warm weather, summer dresses, and travel! How about you? If you’re an empty nester, travel is probably something you love! Today, I’m running down the best full-sized luggage for empty nesters.

As always, click the pink text links throughout the post or any image (including ANY of the collages) for more information.

Back in August last year, Consumer Reports came out with their rating of the best carry-on luggage. I wrote a post where I shared their findings with you, and it was so popular! (You can read the best carry-on luggage post HERE.) This month, Consumer Reports came out with their list of the best full-sized luggage, and I thought it would be a great thing to share with you, as well!

The Best Full-Sized Luggage for Empty Nesters

Did you know that when new empty nesters are asked what they’re most looking forward to in the empty nest, the most common answer is travel? Yep! If you’re an empty nester, you’re hopefully taking advantage of “shoulder season.” (which is between peak and off-season.) It’s a win/win because destinations are still fully open, but pricing is good!

When it comes to “full-sized” luggage, we’re talking about mid-to-large-sized bags that don’t fit in a plane’s overhead carry-on bin. The best ones should be spacious, lightweight, and super-durable. (Checked bags can take a real beating as they move from airports to conveyer belts, carts, and cargo holds and back to airports again!)

When 13K Consumer Reports members were surveyed about their checked luggage, a few brands rose to the top, specifically for their superior durability and ease of movement (wheelability?! 🀣). Also, all four brands Consumer Reports recommended have generous warranties. (Think lifetime or limited lifetime guarantees.) While all of the bags are on the pricier end, Consumer Reports members said they were worth the price.

1. Away

  • Price range: $345-745
  • Warranty: Lifetime limited (covering damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers + more.)
  • Return policy: Return within 100 days if you’re not satisfied.

Away luggage aced every aspect of CR’s check-luggage brand rating, with a 100% rating. The company sells hard-shell suitcases with 360-degree spinner wheels and TSA-approved combo locks. I’m linking to their best-selling 26″ x 18.5″ Medium Flex ($395) which weighs in at 10.8 lbs. The flex feature expands to allow for an additional 1.75″Β of room for a capacity of 18.2Gal and 20Gal when expanded. (I would use that extra every time, just sayin’! πŸ˜‚)

Also, as a bonus, Away lets you pair a piece of checked luggage at a good discount with any of the smaller Carry-Ons, including best-selling The Carry-On Flex, which also flexes to fit more into every trip.

2. Eagle Creek

  • Price range: $299-489
  • Warranty: “No Matter What” lifetime guarantee on workmanship and materials.

Eagle Creek sells a small selection of nicely-priced checked suitcases (97% rating), including wheeled duffles, traditional spinner suitcases, and large two-wheeled trunks. Most bags are soft-sided, including bags from their best-selling Tarmac line. Their top seller, the Tarmac XE 2-Wheel 65L bag, is a roomy 26″ x 15″ x 10″ and weighs just 6lb 10oz, with a 17.2Gal capacity.

3. Rimowa Creek

  • Price range: $875-2400
  • Warranty: Lifetime guarantee on all functional aspects. (Exclusions apply.)

Luxury brand Rimowa earned top marks (97% rating) for “wheelability” πŸ˜‚ and durability in CR’s survey-based ratings. All of the brand’s suitcases and trunks are hard-sided and have Rimowa’s signature ribbed surfaces with integrated combination locks. They’re sold at department stores such as Nordstrom (carry-on only) and Neiman Marcus (both with free shipping/returns), and the brand’s best-seller is the Essential Check-In L Multiwheel bag. The bag specifications are 20.5″W x 11.1″D x 30.6″T, and it weighs 10.6 Lbs. Their medium checked bag is the Essential Check-In M Multiwheel bag. (17.8″W x 9.5″D x 26″T, and it weighs 9lb. with a 15.4 Gal capacity.)

4. Briggs & Riley

  • Price range: $379-1049
  • Warranty: “Simple as That” Lifetime guarantee covers the repair of all functional aspects for the life of the bag.

Briggs & Riley is the brand that Bob and I use! It earned great scores (94% rating) for ease of packing, “wheelability,” and durability. The brand offers mostly soft-sided spinner checked luggage with a patented “outsides handle, which gives you extra packing room because the handle is on the back of the case. (This is a feature I L❀VE!)

Bob and I use the best-selling hard-sided Torq collection, and we’ve actually claimed on the lifetime guarantee twice! Both times, our mishaps were completely the airline’s fault, not the fault of this incredibly durable luggage! One time the suitcase fell off the luggage cart onto the tarmac after being unloaded, and the cart ran it over (while we watched from inside the plane! πŸ‘€πŸ˜² (Suzy: “Isn’t that my suitcase?”πŸ˜‚)

Also, both times, the company was fantastic to deal with and made things right quickly and efficiently. Both times they sent us equivalent, brand-new bags because our exact models were discontinued. Our Torq luggage has been all over the world with us! Bob and I each own a Torq Large Spinner (30.5″T x 20″W x 12.5″D and 10.5lb. with a whopping 30G capacity), and a Torq Medium Spinner (27.5″T x 18.5″W x 11.5″D and 8.9lb. with a 22.2G capacity).

Best Destinations for Your Next Empty Nester Getaway

Now that we’ve got you all set to travel with durability and good “wheelability” πŸ˜‚, where should you go? I asked my friend, travel advisor, and fellow empty nester, Shannon Leyerle (of VacationsbyShannon.com), what destinations her clients were booking right now. Here’s what she said:

  1. Disney World
  2. Cruise
  3. Cancun
  4. Punta Cana
  5. Scotland

You can book a call with Shannon or learn more by visiting her website. I think using a travel advisor is a great way to go! They usually get paid via commission when you book, with no cost to you; they know where to find the best deals, and they can take care of so many details that you may not have even thought about!

Still, if you’re a committed vacation DIYer, here are some spots to check:

Where are you heading this summer? Let me know in the comments, okay? And if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others by using the icons at the bottom of the page.

Not up for new luggage right now, but want to save this for the future? Pin this image to your Pinterest page. (And while you’re on Pinterest, be sure you’re following me there!)

collage of best luggage for empty nesters

What’s Up, Weekend?

I hope you had a fun, green-filled St. Patrick’s Day with NO pinches! πŸ€πŸ’š It was great to have St. Paddy’s on a Friday, with the weekend right behind it!

2023 Spring & Summer Style Posts

I hope you’ve loved my past three fashion posts on all of the trendy warm-weather clothing, shoes, and accessory styles for 2023! On Thursday of this week, I spoke to a group of around 50 women, who were all 50+, about all the spring styles. Speaking is something I used to do a lot before the pandemic, even traveling to speak to groups! Speaking to groups – whether about finding your purpose in theΒ empty nestΒ or about style, my faith, or parenting adult kids – is one of my very favorite things to do!

On Thursday, I loaded up my car with a big ole’ clothing rack, lots of examples of the trends, and handouts and goodies from some of the brands I work with to share with the group I spoke to. I also created a dedicated shopping page on my website- just for them!

If you’re interested in potentially having me come and speak to your group, click HERE for more information about possible topics, and email me at [email protected] so we can talk further!

Target Spring Dresses

(This collage is clickable for more information on any dress you see!)

As usual, Target is bringing the good stuff on the spring and summer dress front! I purchased this (fully lined) white eyelet dress (which is great quality, BTW) and this darling A-line dress (in blue print). Both of them are on sale at Target right now, along with so many spring styles.

Attention Dallas-Area Friends

On Thursday, March 23, at 11 am, I’m modeling in the Spring Style show at the Preston Oaks Talbots store located on the Southeast corner of Preston & Royal Lane (10720 PRESTON RD, Suite #1010). It’s a big, beautiful store, with a large petite section, and I love the ladies who work there! Come and see me!

Coming Up on ENB

I love fashion, but I’ll be honest, I’m a little sick of writing about it right now! I’ve got some beauty and parenting adult kids posts coming your way (and today, I wrote about travel), so I hope you’re ready for a little variety!

Best Weekend Sales

The sales are really great right now! Brands are pushing Easter looks, which may work for your spring weddings, bridal & baby showers, and even for summer vacations. I’m highlighting the best of the best below!

ALLBIRDS | Take 40% off select styles of our favorite everyday sneaker brand. Their TREE RUNNER sneakers are our faves, and several colors are included in this sale! Not only are they machine washable, but they’re super comfy, and you can wear them without socks! (So cool! 😎) Bob loves them too! Shop women’s sale shoes HERE and shop men’s sale shoes HERE.

BAUBLEBAR | 20% off 2 stacking bracelets with code STACKING20.

EASY SPIRIT | I L❀VE Easy Spirit shoes! They’re the best if you need wide widths or extended sizes! Right now, they’ve got $25 off a $75 purchase or $50 off a $150+ purchase. THESE cute block heel sandals made my 2023 Spring & Summer Shoes post. They would be cute with skirts, shorts, dresses, or pants!

J.CREW | 25% off sitewide with code SHOP25. Check out their “Best Dressed Guest” selection of wedding, shower, Mother’s Day Brunch, etc. dresses HERE!

J.CREW FACTORY | 40% off sitewide! Be sure to use the filters on the left sidebar to narrow down your selections. You all know how much I love the cute styles at J.Crew Factory! The aesthetic of the styles is similar to J.Crew (sometimes items are nearly identical!), but the quality isn’t quite as good, and the prices are WAY better! I just added THIS DRESS to my cart!


KATE SPADE SURPRISE | Kate Spade at up to 75% off? Yes, please! If you’re looking for discounts on Kate Spade products, head over to Kate Spade’s flash sale website – surprise.katespade.com, which shows not only surprise sales on regular Kate Spade products but also has many discounted items you might find in Kate Spade outlet stores. Check it out HERE.

LANDS’ END | Up to 60% off your order with code BUOY. Yes, this sale includes their modest and great-quality swimwear! Check it out HERE.

LOFT | 50% off 3+ styles, 40% off 2 styles, and 30$ off 1 style with code YAY! This sale includes new arrivals! Start HERE for regular and HERE for petites. Ends 3/19. I’m loving their well-priced dresses this season! The ones below are a few of my faves.

MARK & GRAHAM | Up to 70& off select styles of the classiest handbag, travel, and gift items you’ve ever seen! Start browsing HERE.

TALBOTS | 40% off ONE item and 25% off the rest of your order with code SPRING.

TARGET | So many great sales at Target right now! Check out their women’s spring styles of clothing and accessories at up to 30% off. Unbelievable!

TORY BURCH | It’s Seasonal Sale time! There are SO many amazing deals in this sale on shoes, sandals, and handbags for warm weather!

ULTA | Ulta’s famous 21 Days of Beauty is ON! They offer best-sellers at a whopping 50% off! My moisturizing Shower Gel is included, and springy Essie nail lacquers are included. Check out the upcoming deals HERE.

Our Weekend Plans

Bob and I are obsessed with March Madness, so there’s tons of basketball πŸ€ in our weekend. We have a family bracket challenge going on right now, and Bob’s in 1st πŸ₯‡ place. (I’m in the middle of the pack so far πŸ‘πŸ»!) Does your family do that?
πŸ€πŸ†
We’ve also got some family time planned this weekend! GrandBob is completely crazed 🀣that LouLou had grandbaby time this week, and he didn’t, so we’re heading over there tomorrow so he can even the score!

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Suzy Mighell

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2 Comments

  1. Suzy, wonderful luggage suggestions! It’s great how far suitcases have come – I remember getting American Tourister when I graduated from high school. Nothing as convenient as what we have today. And thank you so much for the shout-out! I love working with empty-nesters.

    1. Shannon,

      Working with a travel advisor is always such a great idea, and I’m so glad empty nesters have you as a resource! I love your newsletter, and it always gets me fired up to travel! Thanks for all you do!

      xoxo
      Suzy

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