The best hard cases in the UK 2023

A few years ago, a study conducted by a travel website showed that 46% of English people fly for their vacations. This year, you have decided to do the same? In this case, your priority will be to find the ideal luggage to equip you! For a plane trip, we hear a lot about hard cases being the most recommended... Our guide will help you make the right choice based on the essential criteria and by offering you the best hard cases on the market.

Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner 1

Best value for money

Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner

The best hard case in 2021

Best value for money, the Samsonite S'Cure Spinner hard case is this year's favorite among vacationers, and it could be yours too!

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Trendy design, summer color, very good volume, excellent sturdiness... This model is one of the best sellers of the brand! With a height of 75 cm, this travel equipment has a capacity of 102 L ideal for a stay of more than 15 days. Moreover, its interior is also functional: low crossed straps, zipped separation tray with large storage pocket; what more could you ask for for an optimal organization? The whole thing is then secured by a TSA lock with waterproof seal. But the greatest asset of this rigid suitcase remains its quality of manufacture, because it combines lightness with resistance. It is made of Flowlite, a polypropylene blend that keeps it as strong as possible and reduces its weight. In the end, you get a sturdy hard-shell suitcase that is also easy to handle, as it has double wheels and a double-tube pull handle.

Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase 2

Best value for money

Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase

The best entry-level hard case

This is the best affordable model on the market: users are full of praise for its lightness and practicality!

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Going on a short trip and looking for the most practical hard-sided luggage? There's no better way to travel light and keep your essentials close at hand than with the Aerolite hard-sided rolling suitcase. Plus, you're sure to make maximum savings without minimizing the quality of your purchase. Made of ABS, the case is both shockproof and scratchproof. It is extremely light, because for a height of 55 cm and a capacity of 33 L, it weighs just 2.5 kg. Practical, isn't it? In addition, the case has large, solid closures that you can fit with a keyed padlock to secure the interior. You'll also notice that it has holding straps as well as internal compartments that close with zippers. The transport is the most modern, with multidirectional wheels.

Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL 3

A great choice

Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL

The most voluminous hard case

Need a huge storage space? You are fully served with this model signed Delsey Paris!

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If you're a big fan of the brand, you'll know that its Moncey collection best describes the security, maneuverability and sturdiness that users really want in a piece of luggage. These three criteria were perfectly thought out in the design of the Delsey Paris Moncey XL hard case. Made of 100% polypropylene, it is solid and waterproof, both for the shell and for the secure closure with a TSA lock. In addition, its multidirectional wheels are ready to travel over any terrain. But most importantly, don't miss out on the amazing volume this case offers! Globetrotters love its 82 cm height combined with a 136 L capacity. If you're going on a family trip, this is definitely the right suitcase for you! Inside, you'll find a functional storage space with a lining, adjustable straps, a pocket, a removable divider and a lined and zipped compartment.

Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner 4

Very good choice

Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner

The strongest hard case

It's impossible to resist the perfectly shaped design of Samsonite's Lite-Shock collection. But beware, its assets go beyond its aesthetics!

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Samsonite has been impressing its followers for ages and this magic is not likely to fade away anytime soon with its famous Lite-shock collection! Although expensive, this Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner hard case is one of the most recommended on the market. It's a model that features the formidable Curv material, a specialty of the brand. Its robustness is impressive, its lightness is incredible. It weighs 2.8 kg when empty, is 81 cm high and has a capacity of 124 L. Its maneuverability and safety level do not disappoint at the same time. In addition to its 360° rotating wheels, it is also equipped with a single-tube pull handle and an integrated TSA lock.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best rigid suitcase

Any specific needs?

The best hard case in 2021

The best entry-level hard case

The most voluminous hard case

The strongest hard case

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best hard cases

Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner 5
Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase 6
Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL 7
Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner 8
Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner
Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase
Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL
Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner
Best value for money, the Samsonite S'Cure Spinner hard case is this year's favorite among vacationers, and it could be yours too!
This is the best affordable model on the market: users are full of praise for its lightness and practicality!
Need a huge storage space? You are fully served with this model signed Delsey Paris!
It's impossible to resist the perfectly shaped design of Samsonite's Lite-Shock collection. But beware, its assets go beyond its aesthetics!
Excellent value for money
Very large capacity
Modern design and above all very robust
Sturdy, lightweight, modern shell made of Flowlite
Ergonomic and functional interior
Extremely light
Ergonomic and functional storage space
Shock-resistant/anti-scratch hard shell
Very sturdy and above all waterproof
The shell has been reinforced to absorb exactly all shocks
Easy to carry
Security guaranteed by the TSA lock
Very good capacity
Waterproof closure
Bottom of luggage bulges due to trolley which reduces comfort of use
The suitcase is already heavy even when empty
High price

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Buying guide - rigid suitcase

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How to choose your rigid suitcase

To travel with peace of mind, you must first and foremost prepare your luggage according to the standards. The only problem is that you haven't yet found the right hard case. Don't panic, because if you follow the criteria below, you'll be able to find the right one for you!

#1 - the size

It is not easy to find yourself in front of a vast choice that we have on the market of rigid suitcases! So, to get the best out of it, start by choosing the right size so that you can turn to one category. In fact, the size of your future hard case depends on the amount and type of stuff you plan to take with you. In turn, these criteria are related to the nature of your trip (family vacation, romantic vacation, business trip...) and the duration of your stay (a weekend, a few days, several weeks...). Once you have clarified these details, you will then have the choice between two types of hard cases, namely :

  • Carry-on suitcases are generally small (XS or S). They measure between 40 and 56 cm in height and have a capacity of less than 50 L. These models are ideal for a short stay of less than 4 days.
  • Hold luggage, which is generally medium (M or L) and large (XL or XXL). Some measure between 60 and 75 cm and others over 80 cm. Their capacity varies between 50 and 120 L depending on their size. These models are perfectly suited for a long stay of 4 to 10 days, and can extend to more than 3 weeks.

#2 - the material

Hard-shell cases are generally made of ABS, polypropylene and polycarbonate. In addition, some brands are turning to high-end materials such asaluminum or Curv. Brands essentially rely on one of these robust and waterproof materials to meet a concern of resistance. That's the difference between soft and hard cases, because hard cases can withstand shock, humidity, high temperatures and frequent use. Of course, not all four materials are equally strong and each has its own specificities. ABS, for example, is not as chemically resistant as polypropylene, although it is strong. So, the choice of material will depend mainly on the level of strength you want to have. To decide, consider that a hard-sided checked bag should be stronger than a hard-sided carry-on bag because of the handling it has to go through before it is returned to you.

#3 - lightness

Knowing that manufacturers use strong and hard materials, it goes without saying that hard cases are a bit heavier than normal. This is the main drawback of this type of luggage, knowing that once filled with your belongings, yours can be even heavier than it already is. In fact, some hard-shell suitcases can weigh up to 9kg when empty. Nevertheless, designers always try to find the right compromise and after a specific treatment of materials, we find more rigid suitcases of 5 to 6 kg, even 4 kg when empty. To avoid unpleasant surprises that could lead you to pay an excess of luggage once at the airport, we advise you to pay close attention to the weight of the rigid suitcase of your choice. Without minimizing the quality of the material, prefer the lightest versions available on the market.

#4 - Handling

In addition to size, material and weight, maneuverability is also a key consideration when choosing a hard case. If you choose an XS, S or M model, you will certainly have no trouble moving it. However, a larger hard-shell suitcase must be easy to handle to avoid cluttering up your luggage. Since ease of transport is the main concern, it would be best to opt for models with wheels. Depending on their size and consistency, they can be equipped with either two or four wheels. However, we recommend only those with wheels that can turn 360° and are made of rubber. These multidirectional supports are much more comfortable and solid and are not likely to give way under the weight of the suitcase. Also, for more convenience, choose rigid suitcases with stabilizers.

#5 - practicality

Last but not least, the practicality of the rigid suitcase. It is thanks to small technical and practical details that you can benefit or not from a good ergonomics, and in this sense, we recommend you the rigid suitcases equipped with :

  • A profitable storage space. What's the point of choosing a suitcase that can't hold a lot of stuff? So choose one that has more than one trick up its sleeve, even if it's a hard-sided carry-on: multiple compartments, zippered interior pockets and pouches, mesh divider, etc.
  • A telescopic handle that allows you to pull the suitcase as you wish. Of course, it must be as comfortable as it is strong to support the weight of the suitcase and the intensity of your movements.
  • Flexible straps that can keep your belongings in place during the handling and transport of the rigid suitcase.
  • A secure closure that can keep your belongings safe. Whether it is for a rigid cabin suitcase or a rigid hold suitcase, the rule is the same: equip it either with a key lock or a code lock system also called TSA. The latter offers a much more reliable level of security than the former.
  • A waterproof closing system so that your personal belongings are protected from humidity. Indeed, although the shell is waterproof, this is not necessarily the case of the closure, which unfortunately risks letting water penetrate the suitcase. To remedy this problem, manufacturers now offer hard cases with a polyurethane closure, a material that is especially waterproof.
  • A label holder in which you can slip your personal information so that you can be contacted if your suitcase is lost. Note your name and contact information.

How to maintain a hard-shell suitcase?

As with any other product, the maintenance of a hard-shell suitcase is a crucial step that contributes to its durability. It is even more important if you travel by plane frequently. But rest assured, there's nothing easier than maintaining hard cases, and that's one of the reasons consumers prefer them over soft cases. Want to get rid of the black marks left by stickers at the airport? All you need is a a damp, soapy cloth to remove everything. Likewise, dirt accumulated in the hold can be cleaned without any difficulty. Finally, to avoid bad odors and humidity, nothing beats a good airing in the sun. good ventilation in the sun. This will also prevent the appearance of mold and the infestation of dust mites.

The different types of hard cases

Rigid cases differ according to the material they are made of, which has a different level of resistance. Discover quickly the characteristics of each of these materials in order to make the most judicious choice.

Rigid ABS suitcases

ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, was the first material that hard case manufacturers turned to. It has enabled them to create lightweight, affordable models with a particularly captivating design. The consistency of this material is easy to shape, so there are all kinds of hard cases ranging from original to elegant. That said, the chemical resistance of ABS is more or less correct, which often causes harm to this type of hard case. Most of the time, they yield to rough handling in airports. Also, their color gets yellowed and faded over time and use.


  • Lightweight
  • Elegant
  • Affordable price
  • Impact resistant material
  • Modular material

Disadvantages :

  • Fair level of resistance
  • The shell of these cases loses color and turns yellow over time

Who is it for?

ABS hard cases are suitable for people who travel infrequently to avoid frequent use that may reduce its durability. It is a material that is recommended especially for a carry-on suitcase that does not risk to go through rough handling. Moreover, if you have a small budget, you should definitely choose this type of rigid suitcase!

Rigid polycarbonate suitcases

Just like ABS, polycarbonate is a shockproof material with the only difference being that its level of resistance is a little higher than that of the former. The particularity of polycarbonate hard cases is that they are truly rigid and light. In fact, it is the lightest version of this type of luggage. On the other hand, you can be sure that your belongings are perfectly safe because of the rigidity of the shell. Not to mention, you can send your suitcase in the hold without worrying that the contents will be damaged or soaked in case of shock and humidity.


  • Very light
  • Extremely rigid
  • Good waterproofing
  • Good protection of the contents of the suitcase

Disadvantages :

  • Average level of resistance
  • Not at all compact

Who is it for?

Do you have a medium budget in mind when buying your new hard-shell suitcase? If so, go straight to the polycarbonate category for good strength and water resistance. Whether you're looking for a carry-on or checked bag, you can choose this material at any time.

Rigid polypropylene suitcases

It is the most popular material among manufacturers and also among frequent travelers. The chemical resistance of polypropylene is impressive: it offers excellent strength and a very good seal to protect the most fragile objects in your luggage. Very flexible, a rigid polypropylene suitcase will not accumulate dents or cracks regardless of the conditions of use, handling and temperature. However, when opting for this type of luggage you must necessarily be content with its bulky and heavy weight.


  • Very flexible and adaptable to the shape of its contents
  • Very robust
  • Very waterproof
  • Extremely durable


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Who is it for?

Looking for the best quality to protect your belongings from the hazards of travel in the hold? Head for the rigid polypropylene suitcases whose resistance and sturdiness are no longer to be proven. It is the best choice for a hold suitcase.

Other types of hard cases

Some well-known brands whose reputation is well established in the minds of consumers have turned to their own materials. Samsonite, for example, has launched the Curv, which combines excellent resistance, refined design, incomparable flexibility and lightness. This material is exclusively composed of polypropylene fibers, which explains the unparalleled properties of Curv hard cases.

On the other hand, aluminum is also the main material used in high-end hard cases. Although it is not durable, it is still a very elegant and strong material.


  • Elegant and refined design
  • Tough as nails
  • Flexible and ultra-light for Curv cases


  • Very expensive
  • Aluminum ones are not durable

Who is it for?

This category of hard cases is reserved for the big players, especially those who are looking for the top of the line and are willing to pay top dollar, especially if they travel quite often.


Pack your suitcase well in advance

As they say, there is nothing better than being prepared, and that is the least we can say when a trip is on the horizon. In order not to forget anything and to sort things out more easily, we strongly recommend that you pack your suitcase well in advance. Even if you want to be ready in time, don't hesitate to prepare it a week in advance so that it can be packed in time.

Always remember to close your suitcase properly

As soon as

you're done with the dreaded preparation stage, immediately close your hard case and don't open it again unless it's really important. Once you get to the airport, always remember to check that it is not accessible in any way before you go to the check-in counter.

It is essential to choose a rigid suitcase with a label holder


your luggage gets lost on landing or at the hotel where you are staying, a tag that shows your name and contact information will always be the first clue officials look for to contact you

. Likewise,

it will be a great help to you in case another traveler has the same model of suitcase with the same design.

Avoid leaving your ABS suitcase in the sun at all costs


weather is not controllable and you can never know when the heat might rise. For this reason, always remember to keep your ABS hard case out of UV rays as much as you can. Only take it out of your car when you actually intend to check in at the hotel or airport. Once at your destination, never expose it to high temperatures so it never turns yellow.

Pull your hard-sided wheeled suitcase with care


being strong, a hard-shell suitcase will never be a cart. So even when you're in a hurry or running late, always pull the handle carefully lest you get a nasty surprise before you even leave.


What is the best hard case?

The best hard case depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide to find out more.

TSA lock or padlock?

Modern and in accordance with the current security standards, the TSA lock is the best option to equip a rigid suitcase. Indeed, it is the best way to avoid being a victim of theft and to protect your personal effects. That said, people who have a poor memory will prefer key locks. You just have to reserve a special place for them that is not likely to be missed.

What to do if you forget the code of a TSA lock?

Do you have a hard case with a TSA lock and have unfortunately forgotten your code? Don't waste time and immediately notify the services affiliated with this request by visiting the brand's website. In addition, you can also go online and consult the frequently asked questions on the brand's official website.

Where can I find cheap but quality hard cases?

Need a new hard case at a low price? Visit specialist luggage stores which often have sales. You can also find some real gems at affordable prices at private sales. Finally, to buy a hard case at the best price, the most advantageous alternative is to visit reputable e-commerce sites.

What are the most reliable hard case brands?

The leading and most reliable brands in the hard case market are: Samsonite, Delsey, American Tourister, Alistair, David Jones, AmazonBasics, 5 Cities...


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner 9
Hard case Samsonite S'Cure Spinner
Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase 10
Aerolite Hard Carry-On Rolling Suitcase
Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL 11
Valise rigide Delsey Paris Moncey XL
Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner 12
Valise rigide Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner


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