The best kids luggage for toddlers to teens 2018 edition

best kids suitcase

This article may contain compensated links. See our full disclosure here

Family vacations and trips are lots of fun. Get your kids excited about their upcoming travels or trips to grandma’s house with our guide to the best kids luggage and travel bags for little ones to teens.

These days there is a wide variety of cute kids luggage to choose from but it also makes sense to think about practical bags for your travel needs and stay at home excursions.

Of course, what works for your littlest won’t appeal to your tweens and teens, so we found the best suitcases for kids by age group.

Click here for our top rated luggage for kids or browse the content to read our luggage buying guide, reviews and ratings.

Top 10 best kids travel bags: from toddlers to teens

ImageProductType and sizeFeaturesPrice

Best for little kids

Skip Hop Zoo kids rolling luggageRoll on
Soft side
12 x 5.5 x 16 inches
Front pocket
Bottle pocket
Animal designs
Parent strap
click here
Trunki ride-on suitcaseRide-on
Hard side
17.5 x 8 x 12.2 inches
Lightweight durable plastic
Tow/shoulder strap
6 fun designs
click here
Stephen Joseph classic rolling luggageRoll on
Soft side
8.5 x 18 x 14.5 inches
Extendable handles
3 outer zipper pockets
Roomy inside
click here
Heys America Travel Tots kids 2 piece luggage setRoll on + backpack
Soft side
18 x 13.5 x 9 inches
Matching 2 piece set
Adjustable handle
Lightweight
click here

Best for bigger kids

Yodo large convertible kids suitcaseBag / Back pack
Roll on
Soft side
11.8 x 7.1 x 17.9 inches
3 ways to wear
Snack pack
Bottle pouch
3 designs
click here
ZincFlyte kids luggage ScooterScooter case
Soft side
24.5 x 20 x 28.7 inches
Flip down scooter
Carry handle
Zippered pocket inside
click here
American Tourister Disney softside spinnerRoll on
Soft side
21 x 14.8 x 8 inches
Roomy inside
Mesh pockets
Lightweight
click here

Best for tweens

American Tourister Star Wars hard side spinnerRoll on
Hard side
21 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches
6 Star Wars designs
Interior mesh pocket
Cross straps inside
click here
Rockland 20 inch carry onRoll on
14.2 x 9.4 x 23.2 inches
8 designs
Spinner wheels
Interior zip pocket
Rockland 20 inch carry on
American Tourister Moonlight 21" spinnerRoll on
9.5 x 15 x 22 inches
8 designs
Expandable
Interior mesh pocket
2 or 3 piece set available
click here

Best for teenagers

AmazonBasics 3 piece luggage setRoll on
3 sizes
20-, 24-, 28-Inch Set
Expandable
Fully lined interior
Spinner wheels
click here
Delsey Paris 3 piece luggage setRoll on
Sizes - 20.5", 24",28"
Spinner wheels
TSA locks
Packing compartments
click here
Samsonite Andante Wheeled DuffelRoll on
28 inches
Multiple organization pockets
Carry handles
click here

Looking for a luggage set – click here for our round up and reviews

Reasons to buy kids luggage

These days more and more families are traveling with their kids. From long road trips, to sleepovers with grandma and adventures abroad, children are increasingly on the road.

So where do you put all their stuff? 

Sure you could keep all the family belongings together in a large suitcase but I think the kids deserve their own cute travel bag. 

Here are some reasons why:

Help children to feel involved

best childrens suitcases

Going on a big trip or spending some time away from home is exciting and nerve wracking for most people, let alone the smallest members of your family.

Packing their own bag helps kids build a sense of excitement about their upcoming trip. You can talk about the activities you will be doing and what clothes they will need. 

If you are going on a trip that has a lot of wait or transit time, talk about what toys or gadgets they can bring that will keep them busy for a few hours. 

Teens especially want to feel involved (even though they may not show it). Having a special travel bag means they can pack their private teenage stuff securely.

Build a sense of responsibility

cute girls suitcases - best girls luggage

As they get older, giving kids their own space to put their things helps to build a sense of responsibility.

They need think about what they need for their trip and how it is all going to fit into their space. Even if they are only packing a few toys.

This applies to all age groups. Teenagers will quickly learn they can’t take 30 outfits and their entire accessories collection. Choices have to be made.

Remembering to find and repack their things is also a good way to teach responsibility.

Tip – Passing the time waiting at the luggage carousel is a little easier when children are trying to spot their own bags.

Keep family gear organized

I’m a bit of a neat freak and can’t stand having all our clothes mixed up. Add toys, snacks and toiletries to the mix and it’s a fast track to a meltdown. 

When kids have their own cases you know where each family member has their stuff. No confusion.

We use these handy packing cubes to make sure our belongings are stored neatly within our big cases. The kids love to store their toys in them in their own cases too.

Spare clothes alert!

Do you only travel with a large suitcase or two between all family members?  That’s how we do it, and our preschool twins have their own carry on bag.

Inside we make sure there is a spare set of clothes, especially when we are traveling by air and on longer trips.

You just never know when your luggage is going to go missing or more likely, a spill or accident occurs. Having spare clothes handy helps get everyone back on track quickly.

What to know before you buy children’s luggage 

kids luggage on wheels

Here are the key things to consider when you are buying a luggage for the kids in your family.

Your traveling style and plans

Do you travel often or less frequently? Are you flying to your destination, driving or going on a cruise? Do you do short or long trips? Are your kids mainly doing sleepovers?

Think about how you will use your luggage to help you make your decision.

We travel in all these styles often so the children’s travel bags need to suit most of those trips.

zinc flytes in action

One of our major considerations is durability. We want our luggage to last many journeys through airports. If you are mainly using your luggage on road trips or for sleepovers then this may not be as important.

For short trips as a couple we only need a carry on bag each but for longer trips we need several suitcases to hold all our belongings. 

We usually check two large suitcases for the four of us for longer vacations. My husband and I take smaller carry on suitcases and we use these scooter cases for the kids – you can read our full review here.

Kids ages and needs

Luggage requirements change as your family grows. What worked for toddlers won’t work for teens. Of course! Sounds obvious but getting the luggage and packing wrong can be the start of a terrible vacation.

Preschoolers and little kids

When children are small you may want to keep their carryon for toys, books, tablet and headphones and a spare set of clothes plus toiletries. For longer trips pack their clothes in with your luggage or a separate suitcase.

Little kids love character travel bags especially those featuring Disney favorites – American Tourister make the best Disney luggage.

Tweens

Tweens  don’t need so many toys so could fit all their belongings for a week long trip in their carryon. By this age they wont want what they now think are babyish characters on their suitcase.

There are some great designs for tweens available including this fun Star Wars luggage

Teenagers

As your children reach college age, you may want to consider investing in a luggage set. This way your teen has full responsibility for packing their bag and options for different types of trip.

Matching luggage that will help them transition to college as well as be prepared their own adventures is a thoughtful and useful gift idea for graduation and birthdays.

A rolling duffel bag is a great option for weekend trips and moving to college that boys in particular might like.

There are a huge range luggage sets in colors and prints for your budding fashionista too. 

Who is going to carry it?

kids carry on luggage

Up until the age of about 10, the answer to this question is likely to be you, the parent. At least for some of your trip.

Think about how long and far you will need to carry everything, including your own gear. If it’s just a quick trip to the car then bulkiness and weight are not so important. If you need to walk distances, find a bag with sturdy wheels.

We decided to purchase scooter luggage after walking what seemed like miles carrying luggage plus children through air terminals.

Once our twins reached the age of 4, no amount of working out at the gym would solve that problem. And that’s when we bought scooter cases for the kids – you can read our full review here.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Size and weight

If you are flying to your destination, make sure to choose luggage that

  • meets airline requirements and
  • can hold a decent amount of weight

There is nothing worse than paying excess luggage charges or having suitcases break open due to overstuffing. 

Airline guidelines for carry on luggage vary so it is wise to check the sizes allowed on your favorite airline before buying a new case.

Restrictions change often but you can expect that for most passengers size of carry on bags must not exceed 22 inches long x 14 inches wide x 9 inches tall (56 x 36 x 23 cm).

Of course you will probably need to carry the luggage at some point so find a lightweight suitcase – see above!

Material – soft or hard case

This is always the hardest part about choosing new luggage if you ask me.

Soft cases are more flexible and you can be a bit less strict with your packing. The materials used for soft cases are synthetic and durable meaning you can clean them easily. Soft side cases are lighter than the hard case alternative but may be prone to rips and tears.

Hard cases offer greater protection for fragile goods and the weather. If you have ever had your luggage sat out on a wet and windy tarmac you will know that this is a big advantage. No one wants to deal with wet belongings at the start of a vacation. 

Type – backpack, roll on, ride on, carry on or scooter

These days there are several options on the style of bag for your children. Little ones in particular have all the luck with special ride on and scooter carry on luggage.

Type of luggageProsCons
Day back pack• useful for short trips and in flight
• both hands are free
• can be too heavy for small children
Carry on bag• useful for short trips and in flight• to heavy for child to carry
• can be hard to carry when you need to hold children too
Roll on luggage• useful for short trips and in flight
• easy to move
• hard or soft side
• can be hard to carry if there is no extra handles
Scooter luggage• kids love them
• great for long walks through airports
• not suitable for very small children
Ride on luggage• kids love them
• can pull children through airports instead of carrying them
• hard to move and steer

Read more about the ride on and scooter luggage in our reviews below.

Features

Additional features you may want to consider include – internal organization sections with zips, bottle holders and external zippered pockets.

Of course, more features generally drives the price up so if you are looking for a budget kids suitcase you may need to compromise on some of these features.

Price and quality

best kids rolling luggage

When it comes to luggage price generally has a direct relation to quality and durability. When I buy luggage for myself and the family as a whole I want it to last several years, preferably over 5 years, with extensive use. 

With that in mind I am prepared to spend a little more to get a more durable product. After all, the luggage is bound to get a bit of a beating as it dragged through airports and off and on conveyor belts. 

I have a slightly different approach to kids luggage. Yes it needs to be durable and stand up to the usual wear and tear kids throw at their things, but I am more budget conscious, knowing that a cute Frozen suitcase is not going to hold the same appeal for my daughter in a couple of years.

Nevertheless, I always look for durability and scratch resistance in external materials, handles and the wheel mechanisms. Zips and fastenings are also important.

Tip – If you plan to travel less frequently and through fewer airports, you may be able to get away with less durable luggage.

Best kids luggage brands 2018

All luggage needs to be durable, light and practical. For kids and teens, design is a big factor too.

Some luggage brands address these factors better than others so here is our list of the best kids luggage brands to consider:

American Tourister is a great brand for fun, affordable and durable luggage for the whole family.  The brand is owned by Samsonite so you can be sure that the innovation and design of their bags follow the market leading standards of their parent company.

>>Looking for a Disney suitcase? American Tourister has a wide range of Disney and Nickelodeon character themed travel bags – from Mickey to Paw Patrol, Frozen and Star Wars

Skip Hop – known for their fun styles and innovative design process, Skip Hop make colorful and practical travel bags and back packs for little kids.

Trunki – manufacturers of the original ride-on suitcases for kids, Trunkis come in fun designs and are popular worldwide.

 Amazon Basics retail giant Amazon entered the luggage market with a small but well regarded range of products. Amazon Basics offers both hard and soft side luggage sets.

Luggage and travel bags for kids reviews 2018

Best overall set – American Tourister Disney soft side carry on 

This super cute Disney suitcase by American Tourister is our top pick.

American Tourister is owned by leading luggage brand Samsonite and they deliver great value with this softside luggage.

Featuring single spinner wheels and a retractable pull handle, this suitcase is easy to move and turn. 

Inside there is plenty of room to store clothes and toys and a large packing compartment with a mesh pocket and cross straps to keep belongings tidy. Outside, 2 zippered pockets provide more staorage

This luggage is made from durable polyester fabric that can be wiped down to clean.

There are 5 adorable Minnie or Mickey Mouse designs to choose from. 

Size: 21 x 14.5 x 8 inches and 6.8 lbs

Cost: $$

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to move
  • Durable
  • Designs are fun but will transition nicely to tween years

Things to consider

  • May not meet some airline carry on restrictions – check before you buy
  • Small children will not be able to move or carry this case
  • A larger case – will not fit under seats on the plane – needs to be stored overhead

Click here for prices and more reviews 

Best roll on luggage for little kids – Skip Hop Zoo kids rolling luggage

The smallest member of your family will love this fun toddler suitcase from Skip Hop. This bag is perfect for carry on or overnight stays with grandma.

Made from sturdy poly-canvas fabric, the roll on has been designed for every day use. It has a 13″ retractable handle so your child can pull the case along on their own.

Since that is bound to get tiring after about 5 minutes there is a handy strap so parents can carry the bag hands free. This shoulder strap can be tucked away when not in use.

Skip Hop is known for their innovative designs. This bag features an external pocket for easy access to favorite items and snacks plus an elastic drink bottle holder. 

There are 6 cute designs to suit both boys and girls and the case is part of a range with matching accessories – drink bottle, lunch pack etc

Size: 12 x 5.5 x 16 inches and 2.25 lbs

Cost: $ –  >Click here to check latest prices

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight – can be pulled by child
  • Handy strap so parents can carry bag hands free
  • External pocket and elastic drink holder
  • Made from non toxic materials

Things to consider

  • Small bag not suitable as the main case for long trips
  • No inside compartments for organizing items
  • Not suitable for children under 3 

Click here for prices and more reviews 

Best ride on luggage – Trunki ride-on suitcase

You may have seen the colorful Trunki ride on cases at the airport. Kids love these fun carry on sized cases made from lightweight durable plastic because they can sit on them and scoot around. There is a special teddy bear seat belt to keep your child’s favorite toy safe.

For parents, there is a strap to pull the case along (with child on top) when they get tired, or carry the case over your shoulder.

The Trunki has a generous capacity with plenty of room to pack clothes and toys and they meet most carry on requirements. 

Despite the fact that they are very cute, we decided not to buy these cases for our children for a few reasons:

  • many reviews complain that they are difficult to turn
  • closing clasps are fiddly for children to open and close
  • difficult to open onboard flight

Nevertheless, many families love their Trunkis and swear by them for getting through airports. 

Trunkis come in 6 bright animal themed designs.

Size: 12.8 x 18.4 x 8 inches and 3.75 lbs

Cost: $$ >Click here to check latest prices

Pros

  • Kids love them
  • Can be used as carry on and to rest tired legs walking through the airport
  • Has strap so parents can pull the Trunki along
  • Free 5 year warranty

Things to consider

  • Difficult to turn – front wheels don’t swivel
  • Short time usage – kids will grow too tall for it quickly, takes up to 110 lbs weight
  • Limited internal storage organization 

Click here for prices and more reviews 

Best scooter suitcase – Zinc Flyte kids scooter luggage

We love our Zinc Flyte scooters. They were purchased when our twins were 3 for domestic and international travel and have been a big success.

We no longer have to carry everything plus kids through airports and on train stations. If the kids get tired of scooting they can stand on the board while we pull them along by the handle. You can also fold the scooter back up and move the bag like a traditional carry on.

They are lightweight and have a lots of room inside for toys, clothes and other essential items. There are straps and a mesh bag to keep items organized.

The scooter bags are carry on sized but must be stowed in the overhead lockers. This means taking things out mid flight can be a challenge. 

Sometimes moving the scooter in and out of position can be difficult and kids would struggle to do this on their own. This is due to a safety mechanism to keep the scooter locked in place so it is an annoyance I am prepared to put up with.

>Click here for our full review of the Zinc Flyte scooter bags

Size: 24.5 x 20 x 28.7 inches and 7.75 lbs (there is a smaller version for 2-4 year olds)

Cost: $$$ >Click here to check latest prices

Pros

  • Use as a scooter case or carry on
  • Has a top handle so adults can pick it up easily
  • Roomy inside
  • Kids love them

Things to consider

  • Scooter system can be hard to unpack and fold
  • Will your child stay close by in a crowd or scoot off!
  • Be careful not to overpack – this makes the scooter hard to move
  • Quite a bit heavier than other bags

Click here for prices and more reviews 

Best luggage for tweens – American Tourister Star Wars hard side spinner

American Tourister’s hard side Star Wars spinners are perfect for tweens who want something a little more grown up. I know quite a few adults who love them too!

The exterior is made from scratch resistant polycarbonate and it is a split case shell that design is easy to open and close. 

Single spinner wheels mean the bag is easy to wheel around for long distances in airports and train stations.

The themed design continues inside where there are straps and a mesh pocket to keep belongings organized.

This range comes in carry on (21″) and checked bag (28″) sizes as well as a set in 6 very cool designs – R2D2, C3PO, Chewbacca, Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren

Prepare to receive a lot of attention if you are traveling with these bags

Sizes: 21 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches and 6.88 pounds (carry on)

Cost: $$$ >Click here to check prices

Pros

  • High quality cases with cool designs
  • Easy to pack with thoughtful interior compartments
  • Spinner wheels make the bag easy to move around

Things to consider

  • Handle mechanism takes up a bit of interior space
  • On the heavy side
  • No TSA luggage locks

Click here for prices and more reviews 

Best luggage for teens – Amazon Basics 3 piece luggage set

Prepare your teens for college and a lifetime of adventures with a 3 piece luggage set that delivers on value and features, plus comes in several bright colors.

This Amazon hard side luggage set has three pieces – 20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch cases – that can be nested for easy storage. So there’s a case for quick weekend trips and all three to transport belongings to and from the dorm.

All cases are made from extra strong and thick ABS so it is sturdy, scratch resistant and will stand up to robust use and questionable teenage and airline handling practices.

Inside the cases are fully lined with tough polyester material and there are three zippered compartments for managing items so they don’t become loose in transit. 

All three cases expand up to 15% and belongings are secured with an ultra tough zipper. 

They are easy to move around thanks to the double spinner wheels and adjustable telescopic handles. 

Sizes: 20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch cases, heaviest is 11.8 lbs

Cost $$ >Click here for latest prices and reviews

Pros

  • Practical and durable – thoroughly tested in harsh conditions
  • 3 zippered interior pockets for organiztion
  • Telescopic handle and double spinner wheels ensure the bags are easy to move

Things to consider

  • 28″ is easy to overpack and may be too heavy for some airline checked bag allowances
  • No inbuilt TSA locks

Click here for prices and more reviews

Best luggage accessories

Here are a some extra luggage items that are very useful and worth investing in for your family travel kit.

Packing cubes

Packing cubes are the best things to have happened to travelers since the suitcase in my opinion.

These handy zipper pouches allow you to segment clothing and other items easily.

We have a different color for each family member but you can also use the different sizes for underwear, tops and bottoms.

>Click for more information

TSA approved locks

We all want to keep our belongings secure.

If your luggage does not come with inbuilt TSA approved locks we recommend you buy some locks like these with a 4 digit combination for peace of mind.

They enable TSA security to access your luggage without damaging your suitcase.

>Click here for more information

Luggage scale

Don’t get hit by excess luggage charges ever again.

This handy lightweight luggage scale is easy to use, accurate and lightweight.

We use our scales to help us redistribute weight among our cases. This way we can avoid overloading them which makes them more likely to get damaged.

>Click here for more information

If you are looking for a new hand bag for your next trip check out our guide to the best crossbody bags for travel here

The final word on the best kids luggage 2018

Kids are so lucky these days. From ride on carry on suitcases to scooter luggage, and bags in cute designs, there are lots of fun options to choose from to make their travels more fun.

I hope you found the perfect luggage for your child. If you are still trying to choose, then I really don’t think you can go wrong with our top rated bag by American Tourister – >click here for our favorite kids luggage


Untold Morsels assists our readers with carefully chosen product and services recommendations that help make travel easier and more fun. If you click through and make a purchase on many of these items we may earn a commission. All opinions are our own – please read our disclosure page for more information.

Untold Morsels is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca, amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.it and amazon.es. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

 
shares