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The 8 Best Aluminum Suitcases For Travel

Best Aluminum Suitcases 00 Hero
Photo: MVST Select TREK Carry-On

Summer is in sight, which means we can’t wait to set out on all those vacations we’ve had planned for months. And 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.

Best Aluminum Suitcases

Is Hard-Sided Luggage Really Worth It?

Pros And Cons

Although it’s heavier, bigger, and more expensive than its soft-sided counterpart, hard-sided luggage has some important benefits too. It goes without saying that the material has more rigidity, hardness, and durability, even if that comes at a cost. Likewise, it can take more of a beating than other bags when it comes to drops, punctures, and other various impacts.

In terms of an aluminum suitcase, there’s a lot to love. It has a better strength-to-weight ratio than other hard-sided options, 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.

LEVEL8 Gibraltar

  • Clean minimalist design
  • Great ergonomic handle setup
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Surface gets scratched easily

Best Budget Suitcase: 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.

Capacity: 36L
Weight: 10.14lbs
Lock Type: Combo

MVST Select TREK Carry-On

  • Lightweight
  • “Unbreakable” aluminum-magnesium alloy shell
  • Reinforced corners
  • Intuitive interior organization
  • Weather-sealed
  • N/A; it’s the best option under $400

Most Rugged: 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.

Capacity: 34L
Weight: 9.6lbs
Lock Type: Combo

Away The Bigger Carry-On: Aluminum Edition

  • Lots of interior space for a carry-on
  • Best interior compression system
  • Powerful built-in phone charger
  • 360-degree wheels
  • Went up a lot in price recently
  • Latch can get finicky

Best for Commuters: 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.

Capacity: 40.9L
Weight: 10.6lbs
Lock Type: Combo

Arlo Skye The Frame Carry-On Max: Aluminum Edition

  • Beautiful exteriort
  • Full-grain leather handles
  • Built-in super-fast phone charger
  • Very spacious
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • N/A

Best Overall: 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?

Capacity: 45L
Weight: 10.5lbs
Lock Type: Combo

Zero Halliburton Pursuit Aluminum Continental Carry-On Case

  • Patented wheels are incredibly smooth
  • Wider profile helps it fit in most overhead compartments
  • Concave edges make it stronger
  • Can get damaged cosmetically

Easiest to Roll: 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.

Capacity: 39L
Weight: 12.5lbs
Lock Type: Combo

Rimowa Original Cabin

  • Classic & iconic aesthetic
  • Quality hasn’t ever gone down, as evident by heavier robust build
  • Stepless handle adjustment
  • Maneuvers really well
  • Price has increase significantly

Best Upgrade: 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.

Capacity: 39L
Weight: 12.5lbs
Lock Type: Combo

Tumi 19 Degree Aluminum Continental Carry-On

  • Unique design on the side
  • Comes with vintage-style destination stickers
  • Great interior organization
  • Poor weight-to-capacity ratio

Most Expressive: 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.

Capacity: 35L
Weight: 11.8lbs
Lock Type: Combo

FPM Milano Bank Spinner 53

  • Inspired by vintage trunks
  • Aluminum shell is thick
  • Interior straps and handle made of Italian leather
  • Unique Maxi butterfly closures
  • Silent wheels
  • You won’t want to check this in (if you have to)

Most Luxe: 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.

Capacity: 36.6L
Weight: 11lbs
Lock Type: Combo

The Best GMT Travel Watches For Men

Photo: Lorier

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 travel watch. Check out our guide to discover the best GMT watches you can buy today.