The 10 Best Aluminum Suitcases

Jun 22, 2021

Category: Gear

This summer is shaping up to be one of the biggest traveling seasons in recent memory, with a vaccinated population ready to shake off more than a year’s worth of cabin fever and take to the skies. So with travel being the premier activity du jour, there is no better time to buy a new suitcase. And if you’re looking for the absolute best in luggage, then an aluminum suitcase should be at the top of your list. To help you navigate purchasing one of these enduring (and expensive) symbols of luxury and good taste, we’ve put together a guide to the best aluminum suitcases that will make your next trip your best ever.

There’s a lot to love about a good aluminum suitcase. The material is rigid, hard, and durable, and can take more of a beating than other suitcases. It’s also lightweight for how strong it is, and the zipperless locking-latch designs of the best aluminum suitcases provide better security than their zippered counterparts. They also have a clean and classic design that exudes a sense of luxury without being precious. After all, there’s nothing better than adding a few dents to your aluminum suitcase to help you recall your past adventures. We’ve rounded up ten of the best aluminum suitcases currently on the market, so get your passport ready and decide which of them you’ll be taking on your next trip.

LEVEL8 Gibraltar

Our budget pick doesn’t skimp on quality, as it’s made with aluminum from U.S.-based Alcoa. An aluminum frame provides a sturdy base, while an aluminum-magnesium alloy makes for a strong shell and a clean minimalist design. An ergonomic grip on the telescoping aluminum alloy handle and a slow-releasing side rubber handle both ensure the suitcase stays secure in your hand, and the TSA-approved locks keep your belongings safe. Plus, it’s all backed by a lifetime warranty.

Purchase: $300

MVST Select TREK Carry-On

A more rugged and industrial design helps this affordable option stand out on a luggage carousel, and thankfully, it has the specs to back up its looks. Rubber seals and TSA-approved locks keep anything nefarious from getting inside your luggage, while a smartly designed pocketed and divided interior makes packing a breeze. MVST Select describes the TREK’s aluminum-magnesium alloy shell as “unbreakable,” and the reinforced corners and aluminum telescoping handle add further sturdiness to its incredibly solid build.

Purchase: $395

Ricardo Beverly Hills Aileron Carry-On

If you’re taking to the skies, you might as well have a suitcase that’s qualified for flight, right? The Aileron’s shell is made from aerospace-grade aluminum that’s nearly indestructible — it is made of the same stuff as the outside of a plane, after all. But this suitcase is just as much of a beauty as it is a beast, with a fashionable exterior that paves the way to a luxe interior featuring a metallic weave, adjustable compression straps, a tracker technology pocket, a clip-in privacy partition, and a genuine leather logo patch.

Purchase: $480

Away The Bigger Carry-On: Aluminum Edition

Away is arguably the internet’s favorite luggage brand, and it isn’t hard to see why. Sure, their marketing is pretty slick, but they also make one seriously nice product. The Bigger Carry-On boasts a beautiful aluminum design with smooth-riding 360° spinner wheels and a trademark built-in interior compression system that almost transforms packing into a joyful experience. There are also tons of extras that show superior attention to detail, such as a genuine leather luggage tag and an available built-in phone charger that’s TSA-approved and can charge your phone up to 4 times.

Purchase: $495

Arlo Skye The Frame Carry-On Max: Aluminum Edition

Another popular online-only brand, Arlo Skye trends a bit more upmarket with a more luxurious feel and a stronger focus on design — two things that make a lot of sense once you learn that the brand was founded by alums from Tumi and Louis Vuitton. The aluminum used in the shell is aircraft-grade. The specially designed anti-microbial interior lining inhibits germ growth. The spinner wheels are 15% quieter than the industry standard. The handles are made of full-grain leather. And the super-fast included phone charger will top up your phone in just 30 minutes. What more do you need?

Purchase: $575

Samsonite Xylem 2.0 Carry-On Spinner

If you’re not interested in trying out an internet-based startup, then you may want to check out Samsonite. The famed American heritage brand has been churning out quality luggage since 1910, and their modern-day aluminum offering sits at the top of their range. A high-quality and ultra-strong anodized aluminum shell protects the premium interior’s embossed jacquard lining, while loads of proprietary tech you’ll only get from Samsonite — like Aero-Trac suspension wheels and Click-Pop TSA combination locks — go the extra mile to reinforce the quality you’re getting.

Purchase: $700

Zero Halliburton Pursuit Aluminum Continental Carry-On Case

ZERO Halliburton has been in the aluminum business for a long time. Known mainly for their iconic aluminum attaché cases — like the one that houses the president’s “nuclear football” — the brand also makes some of the highest-quality luggage in the world from their trademark material. Their latest carry-on features their usual quality construction, with a brushed aluminum exterior reinforced by patented ZH Concave Edging for added strength. Other highlights include performance-enhancing ball-bearing wheels, the patented ZH Chassis that allows for easy transport, and elegant new design language that recalls the brand’s mid-century offerings.

Purchase: $945

Rimowa Original Cabin

If you want a true original, then the only choice for you is RIMOWA. The German brand invented the aluminum suitcase and debuted their trademark parallel groove design way back in 1950, and it’s been an icon ever since. These days, RIMOWA is a globally-renowned luxury brand as well, and arguably no suitcase carries as much cachet. The Original Cabin is their most classic offering, with its timeless and unmistakable form, its high-end anodized aluminum construction, and its near-perfect engineering.

Purchase: $1,080

Tumi 19 Degree Aluminum Continental Carry-On

One of the main competitors to RIMOWA is Tumi, a name that is synonymous with luxury travel. While mainly known for their ballistic nylon luggage, the nearly half-century-old American brand debuted its first collection of aluminum luggage in 2016 with the 19 Degree line — and it was well worth the wait. Displaying a gorgeous fluid-like flowing design, everything from the handles to the wheels to the packing dividers has been plotted with the utmost care, and the included extras, like a hanger bracket and vintage-style destination stickers, help make this carry-on even more special.

Purchase: $1,095

FPM Milano Bank Spinner 53

If even RIMOWA and Tumi are too gauche for you and you demand the ultimate luxury experience from your aluminum suitcase, then Italian leather goods brand FPM Milano has what you’re looking for. Their Bank line was designed by renowned furniture designer Marc Sadler, who was inspired by vintage trunks. But there’s more to the Italian-made Bank than head-turning looks. It boasts a 10 micron-thick 100% aluminum shell, a handle and interior organizing straps made from supple leather, a non-slip rubber service handle, silent sliding wheels, and two special Maxi butterfly closures with TSA-approved locks.

Purchase: $1,690

The 20 Best GMT Travel Watches For Men

A good suitcase is far from the only accessory you’ll need when traveling, and one of the handiest purchases you can make is a solid GMT watch. GMT watches make for great travel companions, as they’ll not only simultaneously tell you the time at both your current location and your home, but will also act as a stylish and loyal friend on all of your excursions. Check out our guide to discover the 20 best GMT watches you can buy today.

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