Travelpro vs. Samsonite: Which Is Right for You?

With both brands offering plenty of choice, deciding on one over the other will come down to your packing needs.
Jennifer Calonia
By Jennifer Calonia 
Published
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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Investing in quality luggage can make packing for a trip more organized and allow you to maneuver seamlessly through the terminal, onto the aircraft and at your final destination.

But with so many luggage brands and models to choose from, deciding on the right type of luggage for your traveling style can take time and effort. Learning more about the different luggage brands on the market is a great place to start.

Two brands — Travelpro and Samsonite — are common options among travelers. Whether you’re going on vacation or a business trip, here’s how Travelpro versus Samsonite compare.

About Samsonite and Travelpro

Samsonite has been around since 1910 and is one of the older luggage brands in the industry. Travelpro is a relatively younger brand founded in the late 1980s and is known for its impact on the way people travel today.

Travelpro’s founder, Bob Plath, invented the first vertical Rollaboard luggage bag with a retractable handle that made carrying baggage easier for airline crew and passengers to manage.

Today, Travelpro and Samsonite both offer various products. The distinctions range from luggage size (e.g., carry-on versus checked luggage) to hard-sided versus soft-sided, and more.

Samsonite vs. Travelpro comparison

For simplicity, this overview offers a side-by-side comparison of a product that offers the following features:

  • Correct carry-on size.

  • Hardshell exterior.

  • Spinner wheels.

  • Retails under $200.

The products that meet this description are Samsonite’s Freeform Carry-On Spinner and Travelpro’s Maxlite Air Carry-On Hardside Spinner. Here’s how they compare.

Features

The Freeform and Maxlite Air options both have smooth gliding wheels that turn at a 360-degree rotation. They also have built-in, three-digit TSA combination locks so airport security can open and lock your luggage again.

Both also have dual-sided interior organization with an extra zippered compartment. However, instead of the cross-ribbon buckle in the Samsonite Freeform, the Maxite Air uses a zippered mesh to keep your things in place.

Samsonite’s Freeform expands up to 1 inch using a zipper feature, while the Maxlite Air can expand up to 2 inches.

Warranty

You can expect multiyear limited warranties from Samsonite and Travelpro. Travelpro luggage, however, has an extra edge in this category.

Depending on the product, Samsonite products offer the original purchaser or gift recipient a three-, five-, or 10-year global warranty from the date of purchase. The warranty for Samsonite’s Freeform Carry-On is 10 years.

This warranty only covers manufacturing defects in the craftsmanship or materials; it doesn’t apply to accidents and other misuse. At the company’s discretion, it offers a repair or replacement of defective items.

Conversely, Travelpro provides a limited lifetime warranty for its Maxlite Air Carry-on. However, depending on the product, the warranty may cover defects in build quality and materials for the luggage’s wheels, zippers, extensions and carrying handles. Like Samsonite, it offers to fix or replace items at its own discretion.

Price

In terms of retail pricing, both Travelpro and Samsonite intentionally fell under $200 for illustrative purposes. However, the Samsonite luggage price is slightly higher at $199.99 retail, not including tax and fees. Travelpro retails for $169.99 plus taxes and fees.

As of writing, both sites offered a promotion that reduced the base price further. Based on the sale price, Samsonite’s Freeform Spinner was the more affordable of the two.

Since promotions change, shop around for discounts and sales.

Samsonite

Travelpro

Product

Freeform Carry-On Spinner.

Maxlite® Air Carry-On Hardside Spinner.

Features

  • Built-in TSA lock.

  • 1-inch expansion.

  • Built-in organization.

  • Side handle.

  • High maneuverability.

  • Built-in TSA lock.

  • 2-inch expansion.

  • Built-in organization.

  • Side handle.

  • Smooth-gliding wheels.

Warranty

Limited 10-year.

Limited lifetime + 100-day trial.

Retail price

$199.99.

$169.99.

How to choose between Travelpro vs. Samsonite luggage

Although the two luggage competitors might seem similar, Travelpro and Samsonite products have subtle differences.

When choosing between Travelpro or Samsonite, consider your packing needs and preferences and your travel style.

For example, my leisure and business trips are four to seven days long, on average, and generally, I don’t over-pack more than an extra shirt and a pair of socks. Since I’m often a solo traveler, I also prefer a compact option that I can easily haul through the terminals, into overhead aircraft compartments, and onto shuttles or Ubers.

Based on my travel habits, I’ve used a Samsonite hardshell 22-inch carry-on Omni PC Spinner carry-on as my primary luggage. It fits essential clothing, toiletries and other personal items for my trips without using its expandable zipper feature.

It’s a reliable workhorse that I’ve taken along on my travels since 2017 and has held up impressively. There are no dents or cracks on the shell and no signs of noticeable wear from a reasonable distance. The wheels and retractable handle also move as smoothly as when I first got them.

However, its lower price point compared with other Travelpro or Samsonite luggage options means there are some compromises. For example, it has minimal interior pockets compared with other models and doesn’t have a side handle which can be inconvenient. Additionally, when at full expanded capacity, it has a tendency to catch and topple on the carpet.

To help you choose between Samsonite versus Travelpro, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s your budget?

  • What special features are nonnegotiable (e.g., built-in USB charger)?

  • On average, how long are your trips?

  • How many items do you prefer to bring with you?

Narrowing down your needs and preferences can help you determine the type of bag that’s right for you — and chances are, Travelpro or Samsonite (or both) will have an option.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a go-to, middle-tier luggage brand that offers a range of products, Travelpro and Samsonite are both great places to start.

If you're interested in a more affordable option (excluding a sale) without compromising features, more room for expansion and a longer warranty, Travelpro may be for you. If you like a cross-ribbon buckle for organizational purposes, don't need extra expansion and can hold off for a good sale, consider Samsonite.

When shopping around, be sure to check for available retailer sales or credit card promotions so you get the best value for your purchase.

Frequently asked questions

Travelpro is a midtier luggage brand that’s best known for its founder, Bob Plath, who invented the two-wheeled, upright Rollaboard luggage design with a retractable handle. It’s been in business since the late 1980s and continues to be a popular luggage brand for travelers.

Whether Travelpro is better than Samsonite depends on the model and features you’re looking for. The two brands offer entry-level luggage options that are very similar in their features and workmanship, but the difference might be more stark with their pricier models.

Samsonite is a midtier brand that was founded in 1910. It offers products at various price points, and depending on your budget and the model you choose, it might be considered a moderately spendy option.

Depending on the model, Samsonite offers various tiers of limited global warranty. Its products offer a three-, five-, or 10-year global warranty that protects against manufacturing defects in the craftsmanship or materials, and the company will repair or replace defective items at its discretion. Its warranty doesn’t protect against misuse.


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