Annual leave is a precious thing. You work hard 9-5 (and the rest), five days a week so when it comes to taking time off, you have to do it right and for many of us that means hoping on a plane to some far-flung destination.
Any globetrotter worth their salt knows that there’s really only one way to travel and that’s in style. While we always live by the ‘treat yourself’ mantra over at ES Best, it’s never more important than when you’re OOO and abroad and that begins with your suitcase.
Packing is by far the most stressful part of your holiday planning, particularly with the ever-increasing luggage costs and strict decrees but with the right piece, you can minimise the aggravation and focus on what truly matters - getting your toes in the sand, sun on your face and cocktail in hand as quick as possible.
More and more, luggage has become a fashion statement in its own right - think back to pre-pandemic days on the frequency of the pieces on your Instagram feed - and brands have taken note. These are no longer items you sheepishly grab from the belt at your arrival, these are suitcases that you can be proud of as an extension to your travel aesthetic.
Louis Vuitton has long ruled the roost in the luxury luggage sphere where the French fashion house’s trunks have a perennially chic aesthetic that has stood the test of time since Vuitton himself opened up shop in 1854. While not the most practical as most often don’t have wheels, they set the tone for a sort of sophistication that many other suitcase brands aspire to and are often used as coffee tables in enviable interiors.
Technology and innovation have come a long way since then (even though the monogram pieces will always be en vogue) where smart add-ons offer increased ease. Some are kitted out with power banks to ensure your phone is never out of juice, electronic baggage tags, GPS tracking and TSA approved locks. There’s also a rainbow array of colours and so many styles to choose from that you’ll be able to spot your case a mile away.
We have gathered the best luxury luggage labels set to be your ultimate travel companion.
Price: £420 - £1800
For the discerning traveller, few do it better than Rimowa. The luxury label makes innovative storage solutions for your trips with designs that are oozing with industrial-style elegance. 120 years in the making, the signature style is instantly recognisable, featuring distinctive grooves and with a premium anodised aluminium construction. Since the suitcase was launched in 1950, the brand has been consistently adding to its collection and boasts many ranges designed for different purposes; Essential (function at the forefront), Essential Lite (minimal) and Essential Sleeve (for business trips) - all with lightweight constructions, Classic - with a retro heritage design, and Hybrid that combines aluminium and feather-light polycarbonate as well as so many colours to choose from and cabin, check-in and trunk sizes. You can customise and build your own from scratch.
You may know the brand best for its collaborations that paved the way to some hugely popular cases including with Supreme that sold out in just 16 seconds, Dior or more recently with Chaos that has a playful drip pattern.
The cases are engineered in Germany to stand the test of time no matter the knocks and bumps.
Price: £240 - £650
Take your suitcases into the realm of smart tech with Horizn Studios. Since the brand launched in 2016, it has been known and loved for its innovative design and hi-tech add-ons. Created for the modern traveller in mind, the suitcases are constructed with an aerospace-grade polycarbonate hard shell that is not only lightweight, but also has a sustainable edge and it has been recycled. The brand lives by a ‘buy once and keep forever’ mantra so you know these are suitcases built to last.
They tend to have four 360-degree spinner wheels, a TSA-approved lock and a removable power pack so you can charge up your phone as you go. The suitcases are available in a huge variety of colours and you can even get them monogrammed to ensure you’re picking up the correct one on the luggage belt or you can build your own from scratch with HoriznID. Look out for the brand’s Circle One range for an even more eco-conscious twist. The cases are made entirely from renewable materials but are still durable as they use a flax fibre weave that when suspended in resin is three times stronger than aluminium.
Price: £2,720 - £170,000
Travel in the utmost luxury with a monogrammed suitcase from Louis Vuitton. The brand origins began in travel boxes and the French fashion house still excels in the art to this day. You’ll find the very same unpickable lock that was created in 1886. The instantly recognisable LV print is adorned across the crop of cases. It has stood the test of time in fashion history and is still as covetable today as it was in 1896 when it was created. On clutch bags, trunks, jewellery boxes, trainer boxes, alcohol cases and even retro style travel wardrobes, it is prevalent throughout the trunk and boxes range.
Price: £215 - £535
This is one of the best roller cases you will ever own. Smart luggage label Away has thought of everything to make your travels as seamless with the many thoughtful features. Using top quality materials, the aluminium exterior gets better with age where the knocks and bumps add charm. Shop carry-on or checked, by colour or by material - between water-resistant nylon, lightweight polycarbonate and durable aluminium. All the cases come complete with four 360-degree spinner wheels, TSA-approved locks and an interior compression system so you can fit more inside. Depending on your needs, there’s also interior compartments like a hidden laundry bag, models with a pocket at the front or a whole Expandable range for those who just can’t seem to pack light.
Price: £425 - £1845
Tumi’s stellar reputation precedes it, the brand knows how to make great, reliable luggage. As you breeze through the airport, the cases make the ultimate companion so as not to weigh you down as you race for the plane. Combining function with innovation, they come with handy organisational features like a hanger bracket, tie-down straps or pockets galore if you like that sort of thing. Look out also for the Expansion system so you can pack more in for options while abroad. They are constructed from a hard textured aluminium to withstand the hard-wearing nature of travelling or nylon if you prefer the soft case constructions.There’s really something to suit all no matter your needs.
Price: £1,385 - £1,945
Modelled on 1920s luggage, the enduring appeal of the Globe Trotter cases never seems to waver. While the design is retro, the construction is cutting-edge with a vulcanised fireboard exterior that is durable, lightweight and will keep your possessions safe throughout your travels. Security is accentuated through leather straps and trims that add a fun but functional design detail. The brand was founded in 1897 in Germany but came over to the UK in 1932. Now the pieces are manufactured in Hertfordshire using a combination of timeold and modern techniques. You’ll even find the brand’s signature design adorned with Gucci’s GG logo embellishment as part of a collaboration with the Italian fashion house.
Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano
Price: £255 - £1,395
The clue is in the name, the durable suitcases from FPM boast the exquisite quality craftsmanship that Italy is known for where the utmost attention is paid to every little detail. While the label was founded in 1946, the designs are super modern and sleek with a futuristic feel even though they are inspired by retro trunks. They are constructed with Makrolon© polycarbonate that is lightweight or a robust aluminium where it is given an extra detail by hand-mounted rivets and made all the easier to wheel with leather handles and dual spinner wheels.
Marble has a timelessness that can’t be understated and it’s this striking pattern that makes up the Calpak range. The molted, milky design is unisex and attractive - set on a hardsheel exterior made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and polycarbonate. The LA-based label’s suitcases are lightweight and complete with four 360-degree spinner wheels. You’ll also find TSA-approved locks and handy internal organisation complete with buckles to secure your travel essentials in place.
Price: £597 - £1,495
The brand was founded in 1971 and is now one of the biggest fashion labels in the UK with one of the most hotly anticipated presentations come London Fashion Week. It began as a leather accessories label and this is still the predominant business for the brand where the products remain timeless and durable. The luggage offering includes chic weekenders, briefcases, medium duffles and trolley bags all complete with the label’s signature Scotchgrain textured construction with contrast detailing.