Luggage set

Best Lightweight Luggage Sets for International Travel

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When it comes to international travel, choosing the right luggage set is crucial for a comfortable and hassle-free trip. A lightweight luggage set will not only make it easier to navigate through airports and hotels, but it will also save you money on baggage fees.

In this post, we will discuss the most important factors to consider when choosing the best lightweight luggage set for your next overseas trip.

We will end the post by recommending luggage sets that meet each of these criteria. You’re sure to find the perfect luggage for your next trip!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Luggage Set

Size and Weight

The first and most obvious factor to consider is the size and weight of your luggage pieces. This is especially important when traveling internationally, as many airlines have strict weight and size limits for carry-on and checked luggage. A lightweight luggage set will make it easier to stay within these limits and avoid any extra fees.

Before we continue to talk about the size and weight of luggage, we need to discuss carry-on baggage. For those of you who haven’t traveled beyond North or South America, you’re accustomed to not having your carry-on baggage weighed at check-in. However, when traveling through or within Europe and Asia, you can expect to have your cabin baggage weighed at check-in. Airline ground staff sometimes weigh your carry-on bag at the gate. For itineraries with connections, this can occur for each flight.

Hot Tip: It is always important to familiarize yourself with the carry-on and checked luggage size and weight allowances for each of your flights. Your flight booking email will have this information. It will also be displayed on your ticket. If you do have further queries, contact the airline(s) that you will be traveling with.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue our discussion on your luggage size and weight.

Luggage Size

Let’s discuss luggage size first, as it’s the least problematic factor.

Carry-on Bag Size

Traveling within the U.S., most airlines limit your cabin baggage up to 45 linear inches. This usually equates to a piece of luggage up to 22 inches (56 centimeters) high.

In my experience, having traveled on dozens of flights both Europe and Asia, my carry-on bag’s size has never been measured at check-in – however, airlines have often weighed my cabin luggage at the counter.

Checked Bag Size

When traveling overseas, virtually all foreign airlines adopt a maximum checked bag size of 62 linear inches (158 centimeters). This is calculated by measuring your suitcase’s outside height, width and length, and adding these measurements together.

If you’ve flown domestically in the U.S. before, this size limit will be familiar to you.

Luggage Weight

Carry-on Bag Weight

Most foreign airlines impose a weight limit of sometimes 22 pounds (10 kilograms), but most often 15 pounds (7 kilograms). It gets worse folks – many airlines weigh your personal item and consider its weight a part of your total cabin weight allowance. As you can see, traveling with lightweight luggage is very important to maximize your cabin baggage allowance.

Checked Bag Weight

Depending on your itinerary and cabin class, you can expect to see checked baggage weight allowances ranging between 44 pounds (20 kilograms) and 70 pounds (32 kilograms).

So, when shopping for luggage, you should look for sets made of lightweight materials, such as polycarbonate or nylon, which are both durable and lightweight.

Additionally, consider the size of the luggage in relation to the length of your trip. For a longer trip, a larger luggage set may be necessary, but for a shorter trip, a smaller set may be more appropriate. All the luggage sets that we are recommending in this post have two checked bags – one smaller and one larger. You can choose the most suitable size for your trip.


Consider how easy it is to move the luggage around when you are traveling. Look for luggage sets with spinner wheels, which make it easy to maneuver through airports and hotel lobbies. This also makes it easy to navigate cobblestone streets, dirt roads and other uneven terrain. Also, look for luggage sets with telescoping handles, which make it easy to pull the luggage behind you, instead of having to carry it.

All the sets that we are recommending contain at least four-wheeled spinner luggage.


Next, consider the functionality of the luggage. Look for sets with multiple compartments and pockets to help you stay organized and make packing and unpacking easier. A luggage set with a built-in TSA-approved lock will also help keep your items secure while you travel.


Something else that you should consider when shopping for luggage is how durable it is. Travel can be tough on luggage, and you want something that can withstand the wear and tear of being tossed around by baggage handlers and traveling through different climates. Look for luggage sets made of durable materials such as polycarbonate or hard-shell ABS. These materials are known for their strength and durability and are also lightweight. Another feature which can further protect your investment is luggage with reinforced corners and reinforced zippers.

Something else that you should investigate is the manufacturer’s warranty on the luggage – this can vary anywhere from a year to a lifetime.

Style and Design

Consider the style and design of the luggage. While function and durability should be the primary considerations, you will also want luggage that looks good and reflects your personal style. Many luggage sets come in a variety of colors and designs, so you can choose one that matches your personal style.

The choice of color is especially important. It’s a good idea to choose a color that is easy to spot on the baggage carousel or in an overhead bin.

Another benefit with traveling with luggage that is part of a set is that it’s easier to keep track of, due to the common design and color.


When buying a luggage set, consider the price in relation to the features and quality of the set. While it may be tempting to buy the cheapest set available, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. Investing in high-quality, lightweight luggage will save you money eventually, as it will last longer and require less maintenance or repairs.

Our Recommendations

Lightweight Hard-Sided Luggage: SunnyTour Expandable Hardside Luggage Set

What we liked:

  • All suitcases include a mounted TSA combination lock.
  • All pieces of luggage are expandable.
  • Available in four vibrant colors.
  • The spinner wheels are large, making the suitcases easy to roll and navigate uneven footpaths.

What we didn’t like:

  • No external pockets
  • Some customers raised concerns about the quality of the zippers. We would recommend avoiding overpacking the suitcases. Thankfully, all the luggage pieces are expandable, if more storage space is required.

Lightweight Soft-Sided Luggage: Coolside Softside Luggage Set

What we liked:

  • All suitcases include a mounted TSA combination lock.
  • Each suitcase comes with handy external pockets.
  • Elegant and distinctive design.
  • Very sturdy, despite being soft-sided luggage.

What we didn’t like:

  • Sets available in only black and navy blue.

Stylish Hard-Sided Luggage: NZBZ Vintage Luggage Set

What we liked:

  • Distinctive retro look!
  • Available in eight tastefully coordinated designs.
  • Well made, with much of the design handcrafted.
  • All suitcases include a mounted TSA combination lock.

What we didn’t like:

  • All the pieces are slightly smaller than average. Not a set for over-packers.

Stylish Soft-Sided Luggage: Steve Madden Designer Luggage Collection

What we liked:

  • Affordable designer luggage.
  • Available in five gorgeous colors.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • All suitcases are expandable.

What we didn’t like:

  • Suitcases do not include TSA locks.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion about lightweight luggage sets for international travel. As I mentioned earlier, the most important factor when traveling internationally is to be mindful of the carry-on luggage weight limits that many foreign carriers enforce. This may come as a shock to some, but it’s not as bad as it seems. As we have mentioned in our checked baggage vs carry-on post, traveling with lighter cabin luggage can be quite liberating, especially when traversing through airports during connections. All it requires is some preplanning when packing.

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