Best vintage suitcase

Luggage

Hard-shell luggage didn’t feature zippers until after the 1960s.

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Which vintage suitcase is best?

Sometimes, vintage doesn’t mean old and refurbished. For the safety of the items that you plan to pack for travel, there’s a vintage-looking alternative. Vintage-looking items with modern designs provide added durability and safety for your items without the need to restore them. 

Secondhand suitcases can be old and falling apart, but suitcases that look vintage keep the aesthetic alive while providing modern-day accessories such as wheels, zippers, adjustable handles and locks. When purchasing a vintage suitcase, consider the material of the bag, the security that it provides, the size and the added features that make it more accessible to travel with.  

If you’re looking for a vintage-style, lightweight, durable suitcase with added organizational features and security, the Delsey Paris Carry-On Hardside Suitcase is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a vintage suitcase

Material 

Vintage suitcases come in various styles with hard and soft materials. Before choosing the material of your vintage suitcase, consider how fragile the items are that you will be packing and if the bag is intended as a carry-on.

Hard-shell suitcases: Hard-shell suitcases can feature aluminum, polycarbonate, polypropylene or ABS, and they benefit you if you’re looking for added durability and security of your items. These suitcases are a durable alternative to soft-sided luggage, but can be significantly heavier and bulkier in build. What hard-shell luggage items lack in weight and storage, they make up for in durability. Depending on the material, some hard-shell suitcases are naturally water resistant and scratchproof.

Soft-sided suitcases: Soft-sided vintage suitcases are often made from faux leather, nylon, canvas or polyester. These materials are lightweight and durable, making them convenient to carry or wheel around an airport. Due to expandability, these suitcases can often fit added items when packing and can mold into any space for ease of storage. 

Security 

Before purchasing a vintage suitcase, consider how much security it will provide. Though your smaller bags will remain unchecked, it’s important for the larger bags to provide maximum TSA-approved security for the safety of your items. 

When searching for a larger vintage suitcase, consider one that features TSA-approved locks to shorten your check-in time and assure that TSA can get into your bag without having to destroy the lock. This feature also comes in handy when your bag gets lost or stolen.

Age

A product doesn’t need to be old to look vintage. It only needs to be old to be considered vintage. If you’re looking to save money, consider purchasing a vintage suitcase that contains elements of vintage items without being secondhand. This allows the luggage to be more durable and designed with new-aged features. 

If it’s the vintage look you desire, consider cream-colored luggage with dark brown faux leather straps. Off-white colors and straps that fasten make a bag look vintage with modern luxury accessories, such as TSA locks, adjustable handles and wheels.

What to look for in a quality vintage suitcase

Handle

A quality vintage suitcase features an adjustable handle. Whether this is expandable, locking or both, handle accessibility determines your level of comfort and convenience when transporting a suitcase. 

Many new-look vintage suitcase models feature a T-bar handle design for added grip as opposed to a rounded design. When choosing a vintage suitcase, consider one that features an extendable handle for carrying purposes as well as storage. If the vintage suitcase is smaller, it may feature straps for handles rather than a sturdy handle with wheels. The most conveniently designed handles are those that feature grip to provide a more secure hold. 

Wheels 

Wheels are important to consider when purchasing a vintage suitcase for your next trip, because they make it easier to transport luggage from one area to the next no matter the weight. True vintage luggage wasn’t designed with wheels, but because of the new-look vintage items available today, users can transport their luggage with added mobility. 

Small suitcases may not need wheels, however, this is a luxury for larger luggage when traveling a decent distance with your suitcase. Wheels also make the suitcase more stable and portable, depending on how many wheels the item has. Those with four wheels provide better stability and are easy to stand up hands-free, while bags with two wheels can tip easily but provide quicker range of motion when wheeling through an airport. 

Compartments

A good vintage suitcase features multiple interior and exterior compartments for better organization of clothing and other items. Inside compartments feature zipped mesh pockets or straps to hold and separate items. Exterior pockets are smaller in design and can store items that users may wish to keep separate from their clothing, such as a cellphone or charging cables. These compartments should not take up much space from the general packing area. 

How much you can expect to spend on a vintage suitcase

Vintage suitcases can vary in price depending on their material and added features. A less expensive model with fewer features costs from $120-$170, while a higher-end model with durable material and convenient features is approximately $200-$600. 

Vintage suitcase FAQ

Why are TSA locks necessary on vintage suitcases?

A. TSA locks are necessary because if the lock on your suitcase is not a TSA-approved one, the TSA security agents are authorized to break the lock to check the bag. Having a TSA lock is recommended for convenience during check-in as well as the safety and well-being of your suitcase.

Why should my vintage suitcase include a zipper?

A. Some vintage-style suitcases don’t come with a zipper, as most vintage models fasten shut with a snap. If you’re looking to purchase a vintage suitcase, make sure the suitcase has a thick zipper for added security and durability, rather than snaps that can easily latch open. 

What’s the best vintage suitcase to buy?

Top vintage suitcase

Delsey Paris Carry On Hardside Suitcase

Delsey Paris Carry On Hardside Suitcase

What you need to know: This suitcase features lightweight and durable polycarbonate that’s crack resistant. It has unique faux leather accents for a vintage look. The bag is under a 10-year limited warranty. 

What you’ll love: The interior features a removable hanger and laundry shoe bags as well as two large lined compartments with webbed straps to keep clothes secure and wrinkle-free. It has four spinner wheels for a stable base and multidirectional rollers. The suitcase also has a three-dial, TSA-approved combination lock for added security and a handle locking system for convenience when carrying.

What you should consider: The material scratches easily and the corners aren’t as durable as the rest of the bag. 

Where to buy: Amazon

Top vintage suitcase for the money

Steve Madden Carry-On Softside Expandable Suitcase

Steve Madden Carry-On Softside Expandable Suitcase 

What you need to know: This suitcase features a soft-sided, lightweight and expandable design. There’s no need to check this bag at the airport, as it fits all carry-on restrictions, even when expanded for extra packing.

What you’ll love: The item has four spinner wheels and allows for smooth, 360-degree movements over various terrain. It has a vintage look, and the lining is high-quality, polyester material. This bag features an ergonomic handle for easy maneuverability. 

What you should consider: Though the bag is fashionable, its wheels aren’t as durable as comparably cheaper brands. 

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

Travelpro Crew Versapak Softside Expandable Suitcase

Travelpro Crew Versapak Softside Expandable Suitcase 

What you need to know: This suitcase passes all carry-on restrictions, even when expanded for extra carrying capacity. It includes an exterior zipper compartment organizer for garments meant to be separate from other items.

What you’ll love: This Travelpro bag features an external USB port for charging on the go, as well as a precision glide system for maneuverability of the adjustable handle and the wheels. The wheels are self-aligning and magnetic and the zipper expansion on the inside of the suitcase allows you to increase packing space by up to 2 inches. 

What you should consider: Some airlines refuse this bag as a carry-on due to its size when fully expanded. 

Where to buy: Amazon

 

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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