Best smart suitcase

Luggage

Smart suitcases use battery power to keep your devices charged and track your suitcases on the go, giving you more travel freedom.

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Which smart suitcase is best?

With travel opening up again throughout the world, many travelers are looking for solutions to minimize the stress and difficulties of travel. Smart suitcases make travel smoother, boasting high-tech features that allow travelers the freedom not to worry about locks, chargers and other inconveniences while they’re on the road. 

Smart suitcases have been around for a few years, but some airlines initially banned them. Today, most smart suitcases are acceptable for air travel as long as any lithium batteries are removed and powered down. The Travelpro Crew Carry-On is an excellent balance of features and functionality for a modern, restriction-compliant smart suitcase.

What to know before you buy a smart suitcase

If you’re looking for a smart suitcase, it’s essential to know ahead of time what features you want and don’t want, as well as what will be allowed for travel. In addition to having the characteristics of most high-end suitcases, smart suitcases offer useful, powered features. Most commonly, these suitcases have electronic charging ports, but many also offer GPS tracking, digital locking, auto weight sensors, RFID protection and more. Most importantly, the battery should be easily accessible and removable.

Features of a smart suitcase

At the minimum, most smart suitcases will come with a charging cable and a battery pack that is removable for plane travel. Some come with other features, like built-in scales in the handles to check baggage weight and GPS tracking to avoid the tragedy of the lost suitcase. Smart suitcases range from the simple, providing locks and charging ports, to the complex, with cupholders and or seats for transportation.  However, these more complex models are often too bulky to fit airline weight restrictions. Look for the same things you’d look for in any suitcase: durability, aesthetics and ease of transportation. 

Charging cables

Most smart suitcases offer charging cables or at least a spot to stick a battery pack. Many only offer USB ports, so if you need a USB-C port, be aware of which cables and ports are included in the product, or make sure you have the proper adapter.

GPS Tracking

Some smart suitcases allow you to track the luggage from your phone, which you could accomplish in many ways. This is useful not only with lost luggage but also in crowded airports, train stations and bus depots.

TSA-approved locks

These aren’t necessarily smart features on their own unless they’re digital, but many suitcases have them. These built-in locks comply with TSA regulations, so they’ll keep your valuables safe, but in case your bag is inspected, agents won’t have to break your lock. 

How much you can expect to spend on a smart suitcase

Smart suitcases, like all luggage, have a considerable price range depending on size, features and general suitcase quality. They range in price from as low as $95 to as high as $460. Brand name, features and quality of the suitcase all factor into the price.

Smart suitcase FAQ

Will the TSA allow me to travel with a smart suitcase?

A: As of 2018, some airlines don’t allow travel with smart luggage, so check restrictions before traveling. However, most smart suitcases are approved for air travel with the removal of any battery packs. It’s still crucial to remember to take out power sources, specifically any lithium batteries, before attempting to take them through security or checking them. 

What features do I need in a smart suitcase?

A: The most valuable and standard feature smart suitcases offer is a place to charge your devices. Necessary features are the ones that impact your travel, like battery life, GPS tracking or even a place to set objects.

Smart suitcases we recommend

Best of the best smart suitcase

Travelpro Crew 11

Travelpro Crew 11

Our Take: Branded as the civilian version of the bag that flight crews use, this is a lovely, serious piece of luggage.

What we liked: Made of tough, heavy-duty nylon with leather carrying handles, this suitcase is both rugged enough to handle the elements as well as good-looking. 

What we disliked: The suitcase is slightly larger than its purported 21-inch size, causing potential problems as a carry-on bag for international travel.

Sold by: Available at Amazon

Best bang for your buck smart suitcase

Wrangler Smart Luggage Set 

Wrangler Smart Luggage Set

Our Take: It’s not feature-heavy beyond the charging port and cup holder, but it’s hard to complain at this price point.

What we liked: The low price is great, and it comes in a slightly better-than-usual selection of colors.

What we disliked: The three-in-one cup holder, USB charging port and device holder appears a little gimmicky, and it’s prone to breaking. A power bank isn’t included.

Sold by: Available at Amazon

Worth checking out

DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage 

DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage 

Our Take: The Delsey luggage is a stylish option with built-in tracking functionality and TSA-approved lock. 

What we liked: The retro design is the most unique on this list, and the built-in, TSA-approved lock, GPS tracking capability and wheel brakes make it useful, as well. 

What we disliked: Unlike most of the smart luggage on this list, it has no built-in charging port or even a spot to stick a power bank. 

Sold by: Available at Amazon

 

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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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