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The best polycarbonate luggage in 2023

wera Rodsawang/Getty Images

In 2000, Rimowa introduced the first polycarbonate suitcase to the market. Ever since, hard-sided plastic suitcases -- like these top picks -- have grown in popularity. Polycarbonate luggage is highly durable, making it a top choice for many travelers.

We've found the best polycarbonate luggage options for all of your summer 2023 travels from top brands like RimowaAway, Monos and more.

Top products in this article:

Best luxury polycarbonate suitcase: Rimowa Essential Cabin S, $850 and up

Best polycarbonate suitcase on a budget: Samsonite Omni expandable luggage 24" checked, $156 (reduced from $210)

Protect your luggage investment: Apple AirTags (4 pack), $90 (reduced from $99)

Compared with leather and textiles, polycarbonate, a form of plastic, has major advantages. Polycarbonate luggage offers ample impact resistance, durability, scratch resistance and water resistance. Plus, it's lightweight. This makes poly a top option for both checked luggage and carry-on. Polycarbonite luggage travels well on roadtrips, too -- the suitcases are easy to get out of a car trunk.

Aluminum luggage offers benefits similar to polycarbonite. But polycarbonite has the advantage of being less expensive than aluminum.

Keep in mind that not all hard-sided, plastic luggage is polycarbonate. ABS, a blend of three plastics, looks strikingly similar to poly, but doesn't cost so much. The biggest con? The less expensive alternative doesn't fare as well in terms of durability. 

Best way to find lost luggage: Apple AirTags

If you're shopping for an expensive piece of luggage, you'll want to take extra care protecting your pricey 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), $90 (reduced from $99)

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

Apple AirTag, $29

The best polycarbonate luggage in 2023

We rounded up some of our top polycarbonate luggage picks from brands including AwayMonosRimowa and Samsonite, ranging from carry-ons to checked bags. All these picks are reviewer-loved, with four-star ratings or higher.

Rimowa Essential


The first polycarbonate to hit the market, the Rimowa Essential remains one of the most luxurious polycarbonate luggage pieces on the market. Available in different sizes and a bunch of glossy and matte color options, the sleek suitcase comes equipped with a TSA-approved lock, a telescopic handle and a smooth, multiwheel system. It weighs 6.8 pounds.

Rimowa Essential Cabin S, $850 and up

Is 6.8 pounds not light enough? Check out the lightest Rimowa polycarbonate suitcase, the Essential Lite, weighing 4.6 pounds.

Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin S, $625 and up

Royce & Rocket The Castle

Royce & Rocket

Anyone who struggles to stay organized while living out of a suitcase will appreciate the clever built-in shelving of this checked luggage piece from Royce & Rocket. Neatly stack clothing on the two shelves that emerge when the suitcase opens. There's a hidden zipper pocket for stashing jewelry and other valuables. Available in burgundy, silver and black exterior colors with the option of a pink or tobacco interior. 

Royce & Rocket The Castle checked luggage, $595

Samsonite Omni


The polycarbonate Omni, a highly rated and popular piece from Samsonite, offers high quality at a reasonable price. Features include TSA-approved, side-mounted locks, multidirectional spinner wheels, an interior mesh divider and cross straps. The Omni comes in two checked-bag sizes: a 24-inch suitcase; and, a larger, 28-inch version (which may fall into the oversized luggage category). Prices vary based on size and color.

Samsonite Omni expandable luggage 24" checked (white), $156 (reduced from $210)

Samsonite Omni expandable luggage 28" checked (silver), $184 (reduced from $210)



With cool features like a removable, rechargeable battery for on-the-go phone charging, Away Travel's spinner wheel bags have amassed a fast following. Their polycarbonate bags will get the job done in style, and at a reasonable price point. If you don't like it, return it within 100 days for a full refund. 

Away The Bigger Carry-On, $295

Away The Large, $375



Available in a bunch of designer colors, Monos' polycarbonate luggage features an effortless telescopic handle, lots of pockets and compartments with zippers and an easy-to-use lock. Choose from six carry-on options (including two aluminum and polycarbonate hybrids) and two check-in sizes. 

Like Away, Monos also boasts a 100-day trial period and lifetime warranty.

Monos 23" Carry-On Plus, $275 (reduced from $306)

Monos 30" Check-In Large, $355 (reduced from $394)

Paravel Aviator


Looking for a sustainable polycarbonate suitcase? The Paravel Aviator is made of all recycled materials, from its interior lining to its aluminum handle to its vegan leather accents. Geared with frictionless, carbon steel-bearing wheels, the Aviator offers 360-degree movement and a telescopic handle, which makes walking (or running) through the airport a breeze. Paravel offers three sizes: Two carry-on options and a larger check-in. 

Paravel Aviator, $395 and up

Roam luggage


Design your own polycarbonate suitcase with Roam. The company allows you to customize the color of just about every aspect of your suitcase, from the front and back panels down to the trim. Some of the bags are expandable, giving you extra room to bring home souvenirs.

Not feeling creative? You can also choose from pre-designed bags in appealing colorways. 

Roam luggage, $550 and up

Delsey Paris Chatelet 


With faux leather accents and rounded edges, the Delsey Paris Chatelet makes the perfect international travel companion. The lightweight polycarbonate suitcase offers durability plus multidirectional double spinner wheels, a USB port for charging electronics, a recessed, TSA-approved lock and an ergonomic handle. The suitcase comes equipped with laundry and shoe bags, as well as mesh-zippered pockets. 

Delsey Paris Chatelet, $285 (reduced from $330)

Calpak Hue

calpak hue carry-on

Available in carry-on and checked sizes, the Calpak Hue collection features a durable polycarbonate exterior, smooth spinner wheels and TSA-approved locks. The Hue collection comes in classic colors as well as more vibrant options that are perfect for summer. 

Plus, if you buy two or more items on Calpak's website, you can save 15% with code "MOM15".

Calpak Hue carry-on, $195

Calpak Hue mini carry-on, $165

Calpak Hue large check-in, $275

More top-rated luggage options

Are the above Away 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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