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Best softside luggage of 2023

Georgie Wileman/Getty Images

If you're looking to invest in a new piece of luggage for the new year, you have a lot of options. While some people may prefer pricier polycarbonate luggage or aluminum luggage, like Rimowa's luxury grooved options, many shoppers opt for softside luggage. Made with materials such as polyester and woven nylon, soft-sided luggage provides decent protection at a much more affordable price.

Here are some of the best soft-sided luggage options available online, based on user reviews and CBS Essentials testing. 

Top products in this article:

Best soft luggage on a budget: 24" Samsonite Bartlett medium checked suitcase, $130

Best soft luggage value: 29" Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner (black), $400 (reduced from $470)

Most splurge-worthy soft-sided luggage: Briggs & Riley Baseline, $700

Softside luggage vs. Hardside luggage: How to choose

Should you buy a softside suitcase or a hardside one in 2023? While both types made our best luggage of 2023 list, it all comes down to personal preference.

Hard-sided suitcases offer more protection for breakables. If you're only traveling only clothes and other non-fragile items, soft-sided luggage offers more give while packing.

Price is a major factor, too. Hardside luggage tends to be more expensive than nylon softside luggage. That said, there are plenty of budget hardside options, and plenty of high-end softside luggage options made from leather and other premium materials.

One con to soft-sided luggage: Their fabric can be prone to tearing. That's why we think it's important to choose a well-constructed, well-reviewed suitcase.

The best soft-sided luggage of 2023

We rounded up some of the most highly rated softside duffles, carry-on and checked bag options from brands like Samsonite, Travelpro, Hartmann, Delsey, Briggs & Riley, Ghurka, Filson and SwissGear. 

Travelpro Platinum Elite 


Available in two checked sizes, 25 inches and 29 inches, the Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner has a luxury look. Constructed out of a stain-resistant fabric with stylish leather accents, the Platinum Elite features an internal tie-down system, a built-in foldable suiter, and a removable, TSA-compliant wet pocket for toiletries.

Need more room? The suitcase also boasts a tapered expansion, offering an extra two inches when needed. Prices vary by color. 

29" Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner (black), $400 (reduced from $470)

Travelpro Maxlite 5


A less expensive (but highly rated) option from Travelpro, the ultra-lightweight Maxlight 5 offers a smooth ride on four spinner wheels and expanding capability (up to two inches) for when you need extra space. Available in two carry-on and two checked sizes, and in a variety of colors. 

21" Travelpro Maxlite 5 (blue), $170

Samsonite Bartlett medium check-in spinner


The soft-sided Bartlett is one of Samsonite's most affordable suitcases -- and one of its bestselling suitcases, too. The polyester, soft-shell suitcase features multi-directional spinner wheels, a retractable handle and interior organizational pockets.

On sale for just $100, it's a terrific value.

24" Samsonite Bartlett medium checked suitcase, $130

Briggs & Riley Baseline

Briggs & Riley

The Briggs & Riley Baseline is one of the sleekest and most luxurious soft-sided suitcases you can get on Amazon. It features shock-absorbing spinner wheels, a one-touch expansion system and a tri-fold garment folder that holds up to two suits without wrinkling. The bag also boasts a power pocket for storing a battery pack. and shock-absorbing spinner wheels for gliding through the airport.

Available in a bunch of sizes, the suitcases come with straps so you can stack and secure them together for easy transport. Get the carry-on spinner for $35 off by clicking on the Amazon coupon. 

Briggs & Riley Baseline, $700

Ghurka Cavalier II No. 97


Want to invest in a classic, leather carry-on? The luxurious Ghurka Cavalier comes in three sizes and color options (walnut, chestnut and black). Get it monogrammed for an extra $40, or add a brass luggage tag for $195. 

Ghurka Cavalier II No. 97, $1,995

SwissGear Sion


Travelers on a budget should check out the SwissGear Sion, a highly rated softside suitcase. The no-frills model offers multiple front pockets to stash travel documents, a telescopic handle and spinner wheels. Available as a carry-on, in two checked sizes and in several colors. 

29" SwissGear Sion checked, $128

Hartmann Ratio Classic Deluxe 2


Hartmann, a luggage company since 1877, has upgraded its trademark look with the Ratio Classic Deluxe 2 collection. Crafted out of ballistic nylon and trimmed with leather, the Ratio Classic Deluxe 2 offers neutral elegance with modern features like TSA locks, a 12-position contoured telescopic handle and a smooth wheel system. Some sizes even come equipped with USB ports. 

Hartmann Ratio Classic Deluxe 2, $397 and up (reduced from $660 and up)

Filson small duffle bag


Rugged luxury brand Filson makes an impressive line of duffel bags. Constructed of heavy-duty, industrial-strength twill and waxed to prevent abrasion and to wick water, the bag protects your valuables, even when exposed to the elements. Durable bridle leather handles, straps and accents, plus solid brass hardware, add a refined touch.

Filson small duffel, $475

Best way to find lost luggage: Apple AirTags

If you're shopping for piece of luggage, you'll want to take extra care protecting your investment from loss or theft. One of the best ways to find lost or stolen luggage is with an Apple AirTag. (We recommend hiding the AirTag inside your luggage so thieves don't know it's there.)

Apple AirTag
Apple via Amazon

Stolen or lost luggage is an increasingly common complaint for air travelers. Apple AirTags will keep track of your bag's location as it makes its way through the airport, and can help you find a lost suitcase, or at least narrow its location to a specific lost-and-found or storage area.

(For more about how Apple AirTags work, check out our article Apple AirTags: How to find your lost or stolen luggage.)

Apple AirTags (4 pack), $99

You'll get the best per-AirTag price when you buy a four pack. But if you need only one, single Apple AirTags are available.

Apple AirTag, $29

More top-rated luggage options

Are the above softside suitcases not quite right for you? No worries -- your friends at CBS Essentials have compiled a number of luggage roundups designed to help you shop for your next bag or suitcase. Check out our luggage coverage here:

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