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.
- 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″ of room for a capacity of 18.2Gal and 20Gal when expanded. (I would use that extra every time, just sayin’! 😂)
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” 😂 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.)
- 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! 👀😲 (Suzy: “Isn’t that my suitcase?”😂)
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” 😂, 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:
- Disney World
- Punta Cana
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:
- Expedia’s most popular destinations right now include Puerto Rico, Italy, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Greece. They have money-saving packages that will let you check some great destinations off your bucket list!
- Travelocity offers so many cool travel options, from Glamping and All-Inclusive to Pet-Friendly and Last-Minute getaways.
- Priceline has a great “Bundle & Save” section, with packages to lots of (mostly domestic) destinations.
- Trip Advisor, known for its traveler reviews and links to destination activities and restaurants, has great activities listed right now in Sydney, Australia, Riviera Maya, St. Thomas, and more!
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.