Right around the $300 mark you can find a great selection of suitcases that offer a fine mix of quality and durability. Suitcases around this price point also tend to bring better materials to the table, as well as additional features that are usually not found in cheaper products. Suitcases that you can purchase for this amount of money are considered to be somewhere towards the upper end of middle class when it comes to quality, but they also offer the best price to performance ratio.
We'll take a look at our picks for top 5 suitcases under $300, and compare them to see which one offers the best bang for the buck. The sizes of the suitcase we chose are pretty similar, although not always the same, but they all fall into a rolling suitcase category.
A minimalist solution from Nautica whose elegance comes from its simplicity. Nautica's Ahoy is truly a gorgeous piece of luggage. The build quality is excellent and the only ways Nautica could improve this model is by adding corner guards and a combination lock. Otherwise there is nothing to complain about when it comes to Ahoy. However, it is on the expensive side of the scale, but is well worth the money.
Maxlite 3 comes across as an average soft-body suitcase that isn't to thrilling to look at. However, what it lacks in aesthetics, it compensates in functionality and durability. Maxlite 3 is full of compartments both inside and outside, that add extra storage space. It's light and very well built suitcase that is suitable for frequent travel. The only downside to Maxlite 3 is the fact that you would expect a more exciting design for the price you are paying.
Very stylish suitcase that makes you look forward to traveling even more. It's one of those pieces of luggage that make the packing easy with its simple layout and abundance of space. It's reasonably prices and the only real issue with Aero is its size. Depending on which airlines you chose to fly with, this suitcase may exceed their luggage size limitations. The manufacturer lists Helium Aero's dimension to be 29" x 19.5" x 12.5", but with wheels included they are actually 29" x 21.5" x 13".
It's attractive, it's shiny, and it offers a lot of space. That's one way to describe the Samsonite Winfield 2. The body is made of durable materials and features a very unconventional design. The brushed-metal texture really adds to the appearance of this suitcase. Winfield 2 offers a lot of space, and comes with the ability to expand that space, which is something you don't see too often. However, with so many exposed surfaces, scratching this suitcase is very easy and if you're not careful you can quickly have it ruined. The quality of certain components like the handle, make this Samsonite more suited for occasional travelers.
Out of Bounds sports a very conservative design that is simple and functional. There are not outlandish contours or features on this suitcase. It comes with reinforced corner guards and hard-body that is not easy to damage. It's well priced and is a good value for the money. The only place where it could have been improved is the quality of the zippers used. Being extra cautious when packing should solve this problem.
We've used the information we had to decide which one of these suitcases is the best one for less than $200, however the suitcase that will fit you best may best may not be what we choose. It all depends on how often you travel and how much of your belongings you usually carry with you on those travels. With that in mind lets see which one of these is the best option for our set amount of money.
When it comes to size, Delsey's Helium Aero is definitely the best option being 29" high, however that has proven to on the edge of what some airlines allow, and when you include the wheels, the overall size may cross the limit. It's a risk, but having that extra space is definitely nice. The Travelpro Maxlite 3 is the smallest one on our list being only 25" high, but it compensates that lack of space with additional compartments and a very friendly layout. The Samsonite Winfield 2, Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds, and Nautica Ahoy are all comfortably 28" inches high, which we think is the optimal height.
All of the suitcases we've mentioned sport a hard-body design, except the Travelpro Maxlite 3. The actual design of the five suitcases is very different and mostly depends on ones taste. Our choice for the best overall design goes to Nautica Ahoy for its simplicity and great color schemes. Those of you who like to be inconspicuous during your travels will probably appreciate the Travelpro Maxlite 3 a bit more.
When it comes to build quality, Nautica Ahoy again is our top choice. Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds comes with questionable zippers which can definitely create a problem should they fail, and Samsonite Winfield 2 is too prone to scratching for frequent use. Delsey's Helium Aero has a somewhat fragile inner liner, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem if you use it normally. When it comes to Travelpro Maxlite 3, the fact that it's a soft-body design means that it's prone to tearing if you catch it on a sharp object.
From all of the suitcases we've listed, Travelpro Maxlite 3 is definitely the best value for the money. It's not shiny nor is it too exciting of a suitcase, but it will do the job it's intended for and it is a great solution for someone who travels a lot.
Our choice for the best suitcase under $300 goes to Nautica Ahoy. It offers a great design, great quality and is just an all around well made piece of luggage. Even though it's on the more expensive end of the scale, we think that the extra cost is absolutely worth it.