Luggage Expertise

American Tourister Luggage: The WTP Review

Although it’s been on the scene since the 1930s, American Tourister has positioned itself as the fun-loving, trendy kid sister of major luggage brands. It’s known for its punchy designs and ultra affordable prices, and it has the backing of two mega companies: Samsonite (American Tourister’s parent company) and Disney (as Walt Disney World Resort’s and Disneyland’s official luggage). Given it's Mickey-approved, it’s no surprise that families and kids are drawn to these bags, especially when they can be decked out with famous characters from Nickelodeon or “Star Wars.” Darth Vader not your thing? Don’t worry. There are also more adult options in fun colors and edgy designs, plus loads of options in hard and soft-shell cases—often at half the cost of other top brands—though their durability might be half that, too.

Pros

  • Super fun pop culture designs, appealing to mega-fans
  • Broad range of options in terms of material and bag types
  • Some suitcases have integrated or recessed TSA locks
  • Interior panels and compartments to separate items

Cons

  • Cheap prices don’t always equal long-term durability
  • Reports of low-quality zippers and stitching on soft-shell suitcases
  • May not provide enough structural support for frequent flyers

Style Overview 

American Tourister takes center aim at kids and kids-at-heart with their pop culture-inspired suitcases and vibrant, candy-colored bags. And it’s hard not to smile at R2D2 carry-ons or ones with Mickey and Minnie on their front. You can roll through the TSA with bags representing superhero films like “Superman” and “Ironman” or cartoons from Nickelodeon and Disney. For aficionados, it’s a chance to fly their flag of mega-fandom.

That said, American Tourister doesn’t just create kid-centric pieces. They’re also going after the millennial market and business travelers on a budget with popular suitcases made of fabric or hard-shell plastics, both in subdued neutrals or bright styles with beveled designs. Most suitcases have four wheels that spin in 360-degrees, though some backpacks and smaller bags have two in-line wheels. Hands-down, our favorite aspects of these suitcases are the integrated or recessed TSA locks, giving peace of mind that your stuff is secure.

Three Items We’d Buy

American Tourister Technum Spinner Hardside 20
1

American Tourister Technum Spinner Hardside 20

Back in the day, you’d have to buy a dinky lock and key to prevent stolen items (no doubt losing the tiny key after the first or second use). That’s why we appreciate the American Tourister Technum’s side-mounted TSA lock that will keep prying eyes and hands from your things. If the TSA lock doesn’t sell you, there are loads of other commendable features: It’s lightweight for a carry-on (a pound lighter than Away’s hard-shell), with four smooth spinner wheels. The interior packing compartments are also ultra-helpful, decked out with handy zipper pockets sized for toiletries and a laptop, plus compression straps to squish in your goods—a must for the over-packers among us. That over-packing camp will also appreciate the 1.5-inch expandable center (often missing from hard-shell cases). But, to be real, the thing that won us over on this polycarbonate case are the ultra pretty shades of metallic blue, jade green, and gray-red combos.

  • Dimensions (including wheels and handle): 20 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Primary Material: Polycarbonate
$87.99 at Amazon
American Tourister Moonlight Spinner 21
2

American Tourister Moonlight Spinner 21

Color us happy! The Moonlight Spinner’s shades like rose gold, white marble, and a popsicle print make us smile, and its windowpane lining is beyond cute. But there’s more to this carry-on than its eye-candy looks. Its 360-degree spinner wheels will keep you rolling over through varying terrain, and its wider-than-normal handle provides a comfy grip. Like the Technum, there’s an expansion panel for when you need to stuff in one more sweater, plus an interior “modesty” pocket and compression straps. A mesh divide between the two sides also keeps everything in place, no matter how many times you upend this baby. It’s a good balance of practical and picturesque, perfect for that travel-inspired Insta post. #vacaymode  

  • Dimensions (including wheels and handle): 20 x 14 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Primary Material: ABS plastic
$89.99 at Amazon
American Tourister Belle Voyage Spinner 28
3

American Tourister Belle Voyage Spinner 28

Hard-shell suitcases are having a moment, and with their sleek, attractive look, it’s hard for fabric suitcases to compete. But the pretty Belle Voyage gives the soft-side crowd something equally stylish. The blue denim or floral indigo design looks especially sharp paired with a rose gold logo, zipper, and push button handle. This is also sporting a key feature often missing on hard-shell cases—a front pocket—far handier when you need to stash those toiletries post TSA inspection. Plus the fabric exterior doesn’t have the same risk of scratching or cracking compared to its hard-shell counterparts, so it can stand up to a bit more abuse. Smooth-rolling, multi-directional spinner wheels keep you motoring, and interiors feature compression straps, a mesh pocket, and even some shoe pockets, so your kicks can ride along safely. An expandable seam offers a bit of forgiveness if you’ve overdone it on the outfits. Note that these dimensions are for the larger, checked-luggage model, but the Belle comes in a carry-on size, too.

  • Dimensions (including wheels and handle): 41 x 19.5 x 13.4 inches
  • Weight: 10.5 lbs.
  • Primary Material: Polyester
$119.67 at Amazon

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