Last Updated: January 16, 2020

Best Suitcases For Teens (And Young Adults)

best luggage for teens tweens

Ahh to be 16 again. Life was much more simple and fun, and stress was barely even a factor. And particularly when travelling – in my teenage years all I worried about when going away was who my companions were going to be and the amount of cash that I had managed to save up. Choosing the right suitcase never even crossed my mind.

That is why I wish that, when I was a teenager, somebody told me what I’m about to tell you, about finding the perfect suitcase.  There is so many different things that need to be considered, but I know you young folks don’t really care about those. The one thing you care about the most is having fun.

And so in this review we will check out the best suitcases for teenagers that are definitely fun. I will leave out those boring, expensive hardshells that my fellow grown ups will love. Today, it’s all about fun and affordability.

So, whether you are teenager, or you are shopping for one, scroll down to see what my top suitcase picks are for teens!

Softshell Suitcases

Softshells are a good choice for teens because they are usually cheaper and more practical. When I say practical, I mean that they almost always have a ton of exterior pockets, so that you can stash something there that you will need during your trip. Or just something that you forgot to pack in the main compartment. So, in this section, we’ll check out the most fun and practical softshell suitcases for teenagers.

Ever Moda Luggage

These Ever Moda suitcases are a great choice for teens. They look fun and young, but they are also very practical and functional. The softshell suitcases are made of polyester, with nylon lining. And their corners are rubberized, which enhances their durability.

In terms of storage space, they feature a single main compartment that is very spacious. And they have compression straps in the main compartment, so you can be sure that everything will stay in place. There are also exterior pockets on all of these suitcases, as well as a couple of interior pockets for great organization.

Both of the suitcases are expandable, which is a really cool feature you’ll love. It allows you to add a couple more inches of storage space to your suitcase, which I find to be a particularly useful feature when I am travelling back home. And obviously, these suitcases also have inskate wheels and a telescopic wheel handle that will give you great mobility.

The owl suitcase is a 20” carry-on, and it’s the perfect size for a shorter trip. The other Ever Moda luggage I showed you is actually a two-piece set. The smaller suitcase is 24”, and the larger one is 27”. But the set is still very affordable and it’s great value for money.

You can also check out a few other colorful Ever Moda suitcases:


TravelCross Luggage Sets

These luggage sets are an excellent option for teenagers who own absolutely no luggage. They are incredibly affordable, and if you are a teen on a budget, you will get great value from these. How does 5 luggage pieces for less than $100 sound? I think it sounds awesome!

With the Dublin set you will get 5 pieces of luggage for every opportunity. The 27'' suitcase is great for longer trips, while the 21'' one and the duffel bag are awesome options for some shorter trips. And the two bags you get in the set are perfect for storing your phone, passport and everything that you will need by your side during the actual trip.

But that's not the best thing about this set. In fact, what I like the most is that both suitcases are expandable and feature a TSA lock. Those are some very useful features, and they make up for the lack of spinner wheels. The alumunim telescopic handle and the inskate wheels will be just fine for non-airplane travel.

The other set, the Springield one is slightly more expensive. It might seem like a lower value for money, but it's actually not becuase you get three suitcases – a 29'', a 25'' and a 19'' one. And you can choose between 3 different colors of the sets, which is really cool. Granted, they don't look nearly as exciting as the Ever Moda ones, but you will get a lot of use out of all three.

The suitcases in the Springfield set are also equipped with TSA locks and are expandable, just like the Dublin set. But, the main differences between that set and this one is that these 3 suitcases all have spinner wheels. So, if you want to get some high-quality softshell suitcases for under $150, I would definitely suggest this TravelCross set.


American Tourister Disney Minnie Mouse Polka Dot Softside Spinner

American Tourister Disney Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Minnie Mouse Polka Dot, Checked-Large 28-Inch

AMERICAN TOURISTER MINNIE MOUSE 21"

AMERICAN TOURISTER MINNIE MOUSE 28"

Who isn't a fan of Mickey and Minnie Mouse? This suitcase is a great option for teenage girls (who are Disney fans). It is an obvious reference to Minnie Mouse, but it is in no way childish. The red color is also a real showstopper, and polka dots are timeless! And I actually know a few adult women that would kill for this suitcase – but in the hardshell version.

You can get the suitcase in a 21'' and 28'' versions, so choose the size that is more appropriate for your travel needs. Both suitcases are equipped with single spinner wheels and a pull-handle that can be locked once extended. And, both of them also feature a large packing compartment with two mesh pockets, as well as two exterior pockets. But the best thing about these suitcases is that they are expandable – a feature that girls will appreciate much more than boys.


Lucas Luggage Adrenaline 21 inch Carry On Softside Expandable Spinner Suitcase

Lucas Luggage Adrenaline 21 inch Carry On Softside Expandable Spinner Suitcase (21in, Cobalt)
Lucas Luggage Adrenaline 27 inch Large Softside Expandable Spinner Suitcase (27in, Gray)

This one from Lucas Luggage is more for the teenage boys. And it’s a great example of how a suitcase can look fun and cool without having a crazy print all over it. This suitcase is actually one of my favorites because it is incredibly affordable, but has a lot of really great features.

For one thing, it is equipped with double spinner wheels, which is something we don’t see often on softshell luggage. Additionally, it is expandable, which goes hand in hand with its smaller size and 35L capacity. This softshell suitcase features one main packing compartment, and several exterior pockets.

And the Lucas Adrenaline suitcase has a really sleek design. I really love the placement of the zipper of the exterior pockets, because it is something unusual. But, it looks good and that’s the most important part. You can get this luggage in several different colors, but keep in mind that the Cobalt one is $30 cheaper than all others. So, shop smart (just click on the left image). :>


Hardshell Suitcases

Hardshell luggage is my favorite luggage, for several different reasons. Mostly it is because I fly often, and hardshells hold up much better in airplanes. And they are usually more durable than the softshells, because of their sturdier designs. So, in this section of the review, we will check out the best and cutest hardshell suitcases for teenagers!


AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage

I won’t go into too much detail about AmazonBasics Luggage because I already have a very detailed review of it. But, what I will tell you is that this luggage is very affordable and actually very good. It is available in both a matte and shiny finish, and in several different bright colors.  Additionally, you can choose between three different sizes of these suitcases – 20”, 24” and 28”.

All of these suitcases are expandable and have double spinner wheels. In addition, they also have two packing compartments, with a zippered divider in the top compartment and compression straps in the bottom one.

The AmazonBasics luggage is made of ABS plastic which has great impact resistance and is much cheaper than polycarbonate luggage. Overall, these suitcases are a great choice for any teenager because they are very affordable and practical.


Revelation Maluku BQ Max 27" Expandable Hardside Checked Spinner Luggage

Revelation! Antigua Ba Max Palm Trees Hardside Coral 27' Expandable, Color: Pink, Size: Medium
Revelation! Anchor Cq Max Hardside Navy 22' Expandable, Color: Blue, Size: Cabin

I really like this luggage. For one thing, you can choose between a lot of designs, so there is something for both males and females. And, all designs are very fun, but not all childish, which is perfect for teens.

In addition to that, the colorful outer shell is coupled with colorful lining inside the suitcase. But enough about the way they look, you can see that for yourself. What is really impressive about these suitcases is that you get a 27” hardshell suitcase for less than $100. And all of them are expandable, and have spinner wheels and a telescopic wheel handle.

Some suitcases are made of ABS, and others are made of Polycarbonate. But, all of them have two packing compartments with a zippered divider on one side, and elastic straps on the other. Overall, I am kind of in love with the navy blue suitcase.  It just looks so elegant and grown up! I’m sure that all teenage boys would love it. :>

Revelation! Maluku Bw Max London Hardside Navy 27' Expandable, Color: Multi, Size: Medium
Revelation! Maluku Cb Paris Hardside Pink 27' Expandable, Color: Multi, Size: Medium
Anchor Blue

Songren 2PCS Luggage Sets

Womens ABS Spinner Luggage Candy Color Hardside Rolling Zipper Suitcase - 20 Inch Rose Gold
Womens ABS Spinner Luggage Candy Color Hardside Rolling Zipper Suitcase - 20 Inch Green

I think this is a great choice for teenage girls. It is a little bit more on the expensive size, but it is still great value for money because you will get a cosmetic bag along with a suitcase. That is particularly useful because women tend to carry more cosmetic products with them, and this bag removes the possibility of any shampoo explosions in the main suitcase.

But I don’t mean to discriminate; I am sure that plenty of teenage boys would also appreciate the addition of a cosmetic bag. So, it’s very convenient that this luggage also comes in colors other than pink and purple. :>

Songren Unisex Travel Luggage with Cosmetic Bag 2PCS Set ABS Suitcase Sets - 20 Inch Black
Songren Unisex Travel Luggage with Cosmetic Bag 2PCS Set ABS Suitcase Sets - 20 Inch Silver Gray

You can get this luggage in 4 different sizes, ranging from 20” to 26”. And it’s available in 7 different colors, but I’m sure the teenage girls will just adore the rose gold one. But pastel colors are also very trendy, particularly in the spring.

All of these suitcases have double spinner wheels and a telescopic wheel handle. And they also feature two packing compartments with a zippered divider in the top compartments and elastic straps in the bottom compartment. And there is a TSA lock on the main suitcase, which always a bonus.


TravelCross Hardshell Luggage

TravelCross Philadelphia 20'' Carry On Lightweight Hardshell Spinner Luggage - Silver

These TravelCross suitcases are your best option for shorter airplane trips. They are carry-ons (20 inches), and they each cost less than $50. They aren’t as interesting as some of the more colorful ones that we previously checked out, but in this case, affordability and functionality have the upper hand over design.

Every one of these suitcases has spinner wheels and a TSA lock, which is basically a must for airplane travel. They are made of ABS plastic, but feature corner guards for reinforced durability.

In terms of packing space, the TravelCross luggage also features two packing compartments. The bottom compartment is equipped with elastic straps that will keep its contents in place, while the top compartments conveniently has a zippered divider. Overall, these suitcases are very sleek, and they are perfectly suitable for both teens and adults. And you will see in the next section how you could easily make them just a little bit more interesting.


Suitcase Covers

Since we are talking about best suitcases for teens, I have to mention the amazing suitcase covers that you can get on Amazon. They are usually priced around $20, which really isn’t a lot of money. And, they will not only protect your hardshell suitcase, but also completely transform it.

So, you could get a cheap hardshell suitcase in a boring color, and bring it life with some of these awesome covers. Also, you could switch them up, so it feels like you have a new suitcase each time you go on a trip. Pretty cool, right?

Giant inflatable flamingos were all the rage last summer. And, it looks like they aren’t going anywhere, because every store is full of flamingo t-shirts, key chains, bags etc. So, why not stay in trend and decorate your suitcase with a cool flamingo cover?

On the other hand, if you don’t really like to go with the flow and prefer to stand out, there are plenty of other options for you. Check out some luggage covers that will really show your unique sense of style:

You can also show your love for animals with a luggage cover. If you have a pet, why not choose a luggage cover with a cat or a dog:


Which Suitcases Are The Best Ones For Teenagers?

It is really hard to choose between all of these different suitcases. I do like them all, but I have to admit that some of them really stand out.

For guys, I would suggest something sleek and cool. The Lucas Luggage Adrenaline is definitely my favorite softshell, because of its modern design and excellent functionality.

On the other hand, my favorite hardshell is the Revelation one, and particularly in the Anchor Blue color. It is very appropriate for boys, but it doesn’t look childish at all. And, it is very affordable, which is one of the most important factors.

For girls, I would definitely suggest the Songren hardshell two-piece set. You not only get the items for the price of one, but you also get to choose between a lot of very fun and beautiful colors.

In terms of softshell suitcases, I would have to say that the American Tourister is my favorite one. For one thing, it has all the features that an expensive, high quality suitcase would have. But it also has a very fun design that will definitely make you stand out wherever you go.

And if you are someone who likes to switch things up and owns about 20 different cases for your phone, a suitcase cover is a great choice for you. You can get a really cheap suitcase, and then transform it for each trip. And you can choose between a ton of cool designs; I only showed you the teeniest fraction of them.

So, whichever suitcase (cover) caught your eye, be sure to check it out on Amazon! And also check out these unique suitcases; maybe you will find something that you like even better there.

What You Need To Pay Attention To

Softshell vs. Hardshell

This is one the most common debates among frequent travellers. But, I’ll do my best to be really clear and not waste your time.

If you are looking for a suitcase that is going to hold up well in an airplane, I strongly recommend that you go for a hardshell one. Particularly if you want to get a larger piece of luggage that will have to be checked. Softshells just don’t handle the tough love of baggage handlers very well, and they are much more likely to end up squished or torn.

On the other hand, if you are travelling by bus, train or car, then a softshell suitcase will do just fine. One benefit of softshells is that they are usually cheaper than hardshells – and I know that teenagers are always looking to save as much money as possible.

So, I’ve divided the review into two parts – Softshell suitcases and Hardshell suitcases. Just jump to the section that interests you most with the quick navigation above.

Affordability

… is a very important factor. When I was a teenager, spending $300 on a mere suitcase seemed ludicrous to me. Because of that, I will do my best to pick luggage that is not only fun, but also really affordable.

And if you are a parent shopping for your teen child, you definitely don’t want to get them a really expensive Samsonite, only to have them throw a fit because it’s not even the color that they wanted (sorry mom). So for now, we’ll focus on saving you a few bucks, but still finding something that looks very chic and cool.

Durability

Unpopular opinion coming: most teenagers are irresponsible. Sorry, but they are; and that is not really a bad thing. And they are not necessarily incredibly irresponsible, they just handle responsibility in a different way than adults. If you are a parent and are thinking “Oh well my child is nothing like that”, let me just ask you one thing; would you lend a $400+ suitcase to your teenager?

I didn’t think so. :> And because of that, I will only show you suitcases that I know are very sturdy and durable. And that can handle being treated by teens, and I am pulling from my own experience here. When I was teenager, I didn’t see an issue with rolling a suitcase down the stairs – what’s the worst that can happen? Well, don’t ever do that, if you want all 4 wheels to remain attached to the suitcase.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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