When people choose luggage, they don’t typically have a specific destination in mind. Usually they compare price, features, and perhaps the aesthetics of how good the suitcase looks. But some destinations require a bit more consideration. For example, you wouldn’t want to go backpacking across Southeast Asia with a giant rolling suitcase – you’d choose a great backpack for that. Similarly you wouldn’t use a backpack for a tour where your luggage is transferred for you; you could use a rolling suitcase no problem.
London actually has some considerations worth keeping in mind as you choose luggage for London travel. In particular, London is a very walkable city – which is to say, you will end up walking a lot! London also has lots of stairs in and out of Underground stations, so you need luggage with good handles that’s easy to carry (and hard to overload so it’s not too heavy).
In this post you’ll find five suggestions for what I consider to be the best luggage for London, based on my many trips there. I actually own two of the products on this list (the Calpak carry-on and Patricia Nash weekender) and am investing in a third (the Monos laptop luggage). I’ve ‘road tested’ these bags in London and know how well they hold up; choose any of these that match your travel style and budget and you’ll be all set for a great trip with no lugging your luggage around.
Carry-On: Ambeur by Calpak
The Ambeur by Calpak is an affordable hard-sided carry-on. It is only $195, making it a perfect option if you need new, practical luggage for your London trip, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Despite its accessible value, the Ambeur features a sleek and stylish design.
The case is all plastic, except for the aluminum corners, making it extremely lightweight at only 6 pounds. The top features a top handle with an ergonomic rubbered cushion underneath for comfortable grip plus another handle on the side.
It also comes with an extendable trolley handle, spinner 360 wheels, and a built-in TSA lock. The interior features two pouches on the left side for shoes and a mesh pouch for toiletries, whereas the right side has one big compartment with safety straps. It comes in four colors: silver, black, rose gold, and gold.
Rolling Duffel: Black Hole 40L by Patagonia
Patagonia is famous for its high-quality and practical products, and the Black Hole 40L is no exception to the rule. The Black Hole screams convenience. Its design combines the best of both worlds: it becomes a rolling bag for when you’re walking on smooth surfaces, and a duffel for when you’re climbing staircases out of the Tube.
As for the aesthetics, the Black Hole boasts an outdoors look, which I think would appeal to most backpackers. It features burly haul handles, recycled polyester fabric, and thick zippers. Its sturdy build not only makes it a perfect carryon for London travel but for less glamorous destinations as well.
This piece of luggage has a large opening, making packing and unpacking a breeze. You’ll also find two mesh pockets inside and compression straps to keep everything in place. Outside, it features a small zippered pocket for easy access to personal items. Its stout wheelset makes for smooth travel no matter if you’re racing through a terminal or finding your hostel on London’s cobblestone streets.
Weekend Bag: Milano Weekender by Patricia Nash
The Milano Weekender is a piece of luggage you’ll want to keep for years to come. This travel-inspired duffle bag boasts a beautiful design and quality. It is all leather with the brand’s stunning signature vintage map print with a high-end zipper. The bag also features pockets on each side for your passport or wallet. Inside, it comes with gorgeous faux suede lining.
The Milano Weekender is perfectly-sized for quick trips (think 5 days or less). Although, if you have top packing skills, you could fit clothes for a fortnight. Don’t let the absence of a wheels deter you from purchasing the Milano Weekender. I own it and love traveling with it even though it doesn’t have wheels and has become an integral part of my luggage for London travel. Besides the top handles, the bag comes with a long cross-body strap.
Fresh Off the QE2: The Diplomat by Steamline Luggage
The Diplomat by Steamline Luggage is so astonishingly gorgeous that I could go as far as cataloging this suitcase as a piece of décor. It is an exquisite old-world style suitcase, whose design nods to the vintage travel glamour of the 1930s – perfect for fashionable London.
The Diplomat features a luxurious green leather case with gold hardware and rich brown leather straps to buckle it closed. It also comes with an extendable trolley handle and four silent-glide wheels. The interior is a bit smaller than most carry-ons, given the walls are thicker, but is a compromise you make for its craftsmanship and stylish design. You’ll also find zippered lid compartments to organize your toiletries and shoes.
All in all, while it might not be the most practical, The Diplomat is undoubtedly the most stylish piece of luggage for your London trip. A true head-turner, it will win you uncountable compliments on any airport line.
Smart Suitcase: Carry-On Pro by Monos
Monos offers the Carry-On Pro for people who always travel with their tech devices. It comes with a clever compartment for easy access to tech and documents, saving you the inconvenience of also bringing a personal item.
Given the Monos is a hard-sided carry-on, the outside pocket makes an incredible difference – if you’ve ever tried to take out your laptop or passport from a hard-sided suitcase you know it’s practically impossible without opening it completely.
The interior’s left side features mesh zippered pockets while the rich side comes with a cover panel secured with straps. I’d personally like to highlight this carry-on versatility. It doesn’t matter if it is a business trip or leisure trip; it doesn’t matter if it is a weekend trip or a month-long trip, the Carry-On Pro it’s up to the task. So, if you’re looking for practical luggage for your London trip, the Carry-On Pro could be a good contestant.
Have any questions about this luggage for London, or about a piece of luggage you’re considering using? Let me know in the comments!