Suitcase put to the test: the top models from Stiftung Warentest

Not all travel cases are the same. There are clear differences, as Stiftung Warentest shows – pollutants have even been detected in some travel suitcases.

The Stiftung Warentest tested 18 suitcases, including seven hard and soft-shell suitcases with four wheels and four travel bags with two wheels. By far the most expensive model, the Rimowa Essential Trunk Plus, came out on top of the hard-shell suitcases with the grade “Good” (2.2). According to the test, however, the selection of “good” products among the soft-shell suitcases is larger overall. Here it was Samsonite X’Blade 4.0 for around 200 euros front (grade 1.9). The testers saw the Travelite Crosslite as the price-performance winner for 120 euros (grade 2.5).

For a “good” travel bag, consumers have to spend between 140 and 250 euros. The biggest disadvantage of these pieces of luggage: their owner always has to pull them, which can be tiring.

Because of too many harmful substances, two suitcases and a branded travel bag received the rating “poor”.

You can read the detailed test results for a fee at

Hard shell, soft core: that’s how robust the cases are

As soon as you can travel safely again, the suitcase has to endure a lot.
As soon as you can travel safely again, the suitcase has to endure a lot.

Photo: Clara Margais / dpa

If you value a robust, relatively rain-resistant and theft-proof case, it is best to choose a hard-shell model. However, these cases cannot be stowed as flexibly as soft-shell models or travel bags with wheels. They are also more prone to breakage. This is shown by a study by Stiftung Warentest (“test” edition 4/2021).

For the test, the suitcases were, among other things, fully loaded and dropped from a height of one meter onto a steel plate, on all four corners and on the rollers. This endurance test put the hard-shell cases under severe strain, only the models from the premium manufacturers survived unscathed. On other models, the housing sometimes broke on all four rollers. The soft-shell suitcases were at most slightly deformed. The travel bags performed best in the drop test.

During the shock test, the suitcases were sent over a treadmill with bumpy bars. In the case of several soft-shell suitcases, the roles loosened here after six kilometers. A little later the handle broke on some hard-shell models. Travel bags are easier to pull over bumpy cobblestones.

Repair instead of buying new

However, no case has to be replaced because of a defective roll or a broken handle: Basically, parts that are particularly stressed can be replaced in almost all tested cases, according to Stiftung Warentest – sometimes even on your own. Most providers have undertaken to deliver spare parts or repair the case free of charge during the two-year statutory warranty or in the event of a guarantee.

Test winner: View the Samsonite X’Blade 4.0 on Amazon

Categories:   General