Best Luggage to buy from Macy's or Bed Bath and Beyond?
November 15, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

We're in the market for new luggage, and we'd like a set of 3 suitcases that will last! Our options are below, and we're limited to Macy's or Bed Bath and Beyond. What's the best brand? What brands have you all had the best luck with? What brands should we stay away from?

Bed Bath and Beyond's Brands:
American Tourister
Travel Pro

Macy's Brands:
American Tourister
Diane Von Furstenberg
High Sierra
Kenneth Cole
London Fog
Olivet International Inc.
Travel Smart
Vera Bradley
posted by thankyoumuchly to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't remember what brand mine is - it might be an Atlantic, I got it from TK Maxx - but I find the hard shell ones to be very durable compared with soft frame. I really abuse my big suitcase when I go home for Christmas and it's lasted nearly five years.
posted by mippy at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2010

My Travelpro Platinum 5 22" roller bag is what I carry-on for all my flights. I travel for business frequently, and after years of heavy use, it still looks brand new. I particularly like the garment bag that zips into the top flap; for carrying a single suit and a few shirts, it works quite well. I paid $250 for mine between coupons and some sort of promotion a few years ago and would definitely recommend them.
posted by Lifeson at 9:01 AM on November 15, 2010

Since Briggs & Riley isn't one of the choices, I'll recommend either Travelpro (for a more affordable choice) or Tumi (for something higher end). I have experience with both, and both have held up well over the years. I know others who swear by Victorinox.

I would stay away from Delsey, personally -- the quality just isn't there.
posted by somanyamys at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2010

I've always been happy with my Samsonite. It's not as high brand as Tumi, but it's good, solid and has always met my light-to-moderate traveling needs.
posted by ninjakins at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2010

I received a Ricardo set of a largish suitcase and a carry-on for Christmas 2001. The suitcase especially took a beating back and forth across the Atlantic at least six times since then; it's still in great shape and I only wish I could use it more! No rips, tears, or broken parts; the frame is still solid. It can hold a ton but is itself lightweight and easy to pull. Love it!
posted by motsque at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2010

Came to say Tumi, Travelpro, or Victorinox, but somanyamys said it first.
posted by alb at 9:45 AM on November 15, 2010

Price-vs-durability-wise, I've had good luck with Atlantic, which is a Macy's house brand. I've owned a couple sets of all but the largest size (which isn't practical with airline weight limits anyway), and none have failed, other than the occasional busted zipper. The 4-wheel version is the way to go, too -- a revelation if you've never tried it. You can find these on sale all the time; there's no reason to pay retail. Some of the non-black metallic colors are pretty cool, and allow you to identify your luggage better at the carousel.

That said, the hardbacks will probably last you longer. But avoid any of the trendy solid colors. Nothing sadder than a cherry-red Mandarina Duck or turquoise Samsonite with black greasy smears everywhere, which is what's happened to every single one I've seen.
posted by turducken at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2010

Actually, unless you travel in a limo with a chauffeur, you should think of luggage as disposable. Buy some Samsonite or another medium-quality brand and use it as long as you can, but no luggage can withstand much tossing around by airline baggage handlers. During its first trip by air, my new rolling suitcase, a good design and a good brand, lost the long plastic "foot" that it is supposed to rest on when not rolling. And that part was bolted on in two places.

In any event don't spend extra for style or appearance because a relatively inexpensive bag is likely to last just as long--and look better longer--than a fancy one.
posted by Jenna Brown at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

(Consumer Reports typically does annual or semi-annual reviews not just of luggage but of specific pieces of luggage. And you probably have access to Consumer Reports articles through your local public library.)
posted by bluedaisy at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2010

How often are you traveling? I make (usually transatlantic) trips a few times a year, so not a constant weekend salesman type or anything, but I've had the same suitcase for more than 10 years, probably closer to 15, and it's just a $20 off the street deal (from back when Orchard Street was all about luggage). I really don't know that you need to overthink this.
posted by mdn at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2010

Tumi has been reliable for me. However, the repair service is not as stellar as it once was.
posted by jadepearl at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2010

I like my Victorinox luggage a lot; I have the lavender one which makes it easy to spot on a carousel. I didn't pay retail for it, though - I could only afford it because I got it at TJ Maxx. Prior to that, I used a Samsonite rolling bag, which is still usable but looks awful due to all sorts of handling scrapes and scuffs.
posted by catlet at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2010

I've had very good luck with Tumi and Hartmann; both wore well over decades of world travel.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2010

Are you limited to either of the two stores because of gift/wedding registry issues? If that's the case, add luggage from Bed, Bath and Beyond, return any pieces received for cash, then spend said cash on Briggs & Riley luggage. Tumi are dead to me ever since they decided to limit their lifetime warranty to some 5-years-only wankery and refused to honor the old warranty for a rolling duffle purchased a decade ago. You may also want to consider Red Oxx, who are the darling of the one-bag packers.

That said, my travel-for-work luggage consists of a B&R U418X and my purse/laptop bag. My travel-for-fun luggage is an ancient Coach leather duffle that's been beat up to hell and back.
posted by evoque at 12:30 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Between the handle on my mom's set that just stopped working one day and the plastic foot on my set that shattered and broke the wheeled portion, I would not recommend Ricardo.

I can recommend Samsonite and I think I've heard good things before on AskMe about TravelPro.
posted by librarylis at 3:21 PM on November 15, 2010

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