Travel News

The best hard suitcase brands in Australia for smooth travelling

Roll into your next holiday with these suave leaders in the hard suitcase game.

By Charlotte Wishart
Hard suitcase items among other travel bags.
Whether hurrying along Bali's chaotic streets or strolling through Kyoto's historic laneways, serious travellers need durable, hard-sided luggage to house all of their travel essentials. Enter the hard shell suitcase.
Hard case luggage is more durable and protective than soft suitcases, making hard shell suitcases longer-lasting travel companions. Plus, they help ensure all your items arrive undamaged.
But finding the perfect hard suitcase to fit your travel needs can be a journey on its own. Do you buy the luxury hard-sided luggage of your dreams? Or is there value in looking at hardside luggage sets?
We've taken out the guesswork and picked the best hard suitcase models available in Australia from the top luggage brands we love. Now, all you have to do is focus on what's most important: planning your next holiday - and what to pack in your luxe new hard luggage, of course.
Looking for the perfect carry-on luggage to keep close on the flight? Find what you're looking for here.


The Rimowa Check-In L Twist is the best hard suitcase for the serious traveller.

Check-In L Twist, Rimowa

Best for: serious travellers who are ready to lock in a suitcase for life
Rimowa is known for its timeless, sleek designs and suitcases that are built to stand the test of time (and baggage handlers). Now, one of their most iconic suitcases, the Check-In L, has been upgraded with a classy twist: leather wrapped handles and tags in bright accent colours. Not only does this little addition add a pop of fun to your classic suitcase, it also sets it apart from the crowd - you won't be mixing up your bag with another on the carousel anymore. Remarkably lightweight and encased in anodised aluminium to withstand even the harshest turbulence, this is a suitcase that you'll have for life. And with Rimowa's lifetime guarantee, that's not just hyperbole.
Key features:
  • TSA-approved locks
  • Multi-wheel system
  • Adonised aluminium case
  • 86L, size appropriate for 10 days of travel
  • Flex divider compartments
A spacious and sweet medium-sized hard suitcase perfect for domestic travel

Curio 2 Spinner 69cm in Powder Blue, Ameican Tourister

Best for: organised and compartment-loving travellers
American Tourister's bestselling hard case suitcase Curio collection just got a little bit sweeter with the a new aesthetic upgrade featuring a groovy concentric circle design, taking inspiration from retro vinyl records. Not to worry, this doesn't impact the iconic hardy polypropylene casing, rather ensures that your belongings arrive safely, but in style. The new upgrade also includes a sustainable recycled interior lining and a Duosaf security zipper for extra protection. Multiple pockets and dividers ensure that your luggage stays organised in transit, and an expandability zip ensures you have the freedom to pack everything you need, and even things that you don't.
Key features:
  • 3.7kg: lightweight for maximum packing capabiltiies
  • 10-year global warranty
  • Expandable with internal organisers
  • TSA-approved combination lock
  • Duosaf security zip
For those who love a pop of colour, this is the best hard suitcase for you.

Clifton large suitcase in coral, Antler

Best for: colour-loving, matching set enthusiasts
The new upgrade to Antler's Clifton suitcase range has these bright bags lasting longer, functioning better, and looking funkier than ever before. Typical of Antler luggage, the Clifton's polycarbonate casing is light but very strong, making this suitcase easy to navigate through bustling airports, but well protected from the hustle and bustle. The Clifton suitcases are colour-safe, ensuring that any scratches will take the colour of the case, preventing black and white bruising from scrapes and scuffs. And for those who can't resist a matching set, the cabin and medium sized suitcases are made to fit inside the large, for convenient storage.
Key features:
  • Twist grip handle
  • TSA-approved combination lock
  • Expander zip pocket
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Colour-fast finish to protect from discolouration
For the last-minute packers, expand July's new hard suitcase model from 80L to 90L with the flick of a zip.

Expandable checked suitcase, July

Best for: indecisive packers in need of extra room
Maximalist packers, rejoice. The July checked expandable suitcase grows from 80L to 90L with just the flick of a zip. Despite its carrying capacity, its sleek design means that it is slightly more compact than other suitcases of similar capacity, making it ideal for rolling through busy airports and streets. The multi-stop telescopic handles adjusts and locks to 20 different heights, making it easy to manoeuvre no matter your height, and smooth SilentMoveTM wheels make hustling for the plane easier than ever, no matter how much you've packed.
Key features:
  • Unzip and expand for 10L of extra space
  • YKK Japanese zippers
  • Integrated TSA lock
  • July patented SilentMoveTM wheels
  • Y-Strap compression strap

Which suitcase is better: hard or soft?

A hard or soft suitcase should be selected based on your travel needs. A soft suitcase has the benefit of weighing less, meaning that it is easier to carry from destination to destination, and also allows you to pack extra items without having to take a heavier suitcase into consideration. However, they offer less protection to your items, and are more likely to be worn down and fray with age and rough handling. A hard suitcase with a durable shell will last in good condition for years. A harder shell also protects your items, preventing leaks and other breakages.

Do airlines prefer hard or soft suitcases?

Airlines typically do not have preference over hard or soft suitcases. Airlines are concerned with weight and dimension of your luggage, rather than its physical appearance. A hard shell suitcase is typically less flexible and slightly heavier than a soft shell suitcase, so may be more likely to breach the airline's specifications. Both types of luggage are commonly used as both check in and carry on, and airlines are well equipped to handle both. Choose a suitcase that best suits your travel needs and provides features that will make your transit most comfortable.