10 Best Softside Luggage Options for Any Kind of Getaway

They may be soft, but they travel hard.


a red suitcase on a beach

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Fact: Some travelers like the beach and the mountains, but it’s beyond rare to find travelers who like hardside and softside luggage. You’re either a hard-shell or a soft-shell girlie, but never both. And in the “I travel for a living” world (which, hi, I’m a part of as a travel writer!), the decision to go hard or soft is as divisive as which seat you book on an airplane (obv window, right?!). Sure, window seaters may dabble in the aisle and vice-versa, but they’ll always come back to their tried-and-true. Same with luggage. 

Me? I’ve played around with some hard spinners throughout my travels on all seven continents—and some duffels and trunks, too—but I always end up going back to a softside suitcase. In my opinion, no shiny shell can compete with the extra packing space I get with something on the softer side—and I love always having room for souvenirs. I’d also go as far as to say that hard shells aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Mainly because they crack often, but also because they’re easy to scuff. I’ve found that the top-of-the-line softies out there are equally as durable as their polycarbonate counterparts, and often last longer and cost way less. 

Click here for our top picks for the best softside luggage in 2024.