The best luggage for Italy travel: best carry-on bags for your Italy trip, best large luggage with wheels and best day bags for your Italy vacation
The question about the best luggage for a trip to Italy comes up often in travel groups and with good reason.
An Italy itinerary is likely to involve plane travel, train travel and a lot of walking and having the right bags with you will go a long way to make your movement easy and stress free.
I travel to and around Italy extensively and over the course of the years, I have owned bags that worked great and others that didn’t do quite as well.
In this guide, I share my best tips on my favorite luggage for Italy, the best day bags for Italy for practicality and safety and tips on what to look for when selecting the best luggage for your Italy vacation.
Need help with your packing list? Find our packing list for Italy here!
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The best luggage for Italy travel: best buys and best luggage brands at a glance
In my opinion, the best bags for an Italy trip are:
The best luggage for Italy: reviews of best bags and day bags
These are our reviews of the traveling bags we found best during our travels
Osprey Farpoint 40L :The best carry on travel backpack for Italy
The Osprey Farpoint 40L carry on travel backpack has been my loyal travel bag for years now and I simply cannot get over what an amazing bag it is.
The size is studied to comply with carry on policy of all airlines and the rucksack fits perfectly on the overhead bin on the plane.
The bag opens horizontally, like a normal suitcase, so you don’t have to fish out for stuff at the bottom of the backpack.
This is exceptionally handy and the main reason why I highly recommend a travel backpack for Italy travel rather than a hiking one.
The shoulder straps are nicely padded and there are a chest strap and hip strap to help distributing the weight on your back
Inside, you fit two packing cubes worth ot clothing, a pair of shoes and you have an inernal pocket plus two outside pockets for extra stuff.
This is by far my favorite carry on bag for Italy travel.
Samsonite Omni PC hard shell spinner: The best carry on lighweigth suitcase for Italy travel Hard shell
If you love hard shell luggage and prefer a carry on suitcase to a backpack, I recommend you look into the Samsonite Omni PC series.
These bags are sturdy, lightweight, they have great anti scratch exteriors and they look good too!
They have a carry on option (in the image above, learn more here) and a larger option (below and they are both excellent).
Their carry on bag is excellent at resisting scratched and bumps from frequent use such as taking in and out of train compartments and taxi trunks.
The bag has interior dividers with one side zipped up and the other with cross straps to keep your gear in place. I find this works well especially in combination for with packing cubes.
The bag spins of 4 wheels that means you don’t have the same strain on your shoulders and back compared with a normal rolling luggage.
This is an excellent bag that can work as carry on bag for your Italy trip in addition to your main one or as main bag for a long weekend trip to Italy.
I believe Samsonite to be one of the best luggage brands out there so if budget allows, I believe this to be an excellent purchase.
Specs from the manufacturer:
- Size: Overall Dimensions 22″ × 15″ × 9.75″ | Internal Dimensions 19″ × 14.5″ × 9.75″ | Linear Dimensions 46.8″
- Weight: 7.05 lbs
- Material: Hardside (Polycar) Material Definition
- TSA Lock: Yes
- Expandable: Yes
Samsonite PC Large spinner: best hard shell spinner luggage for Italy
The Samsonite Omni I mentioned above comes also in a larger size, meaning together they form the best hard shell luggage set for Italy you can ask for.
The bags look stylish, they are reasonably lightweight, have great wheels and telescopic handle plus anti scratch exteriors that makes them durable.
Find all info and specs here
Like its smaller sister, this bag has an excellent lock an internal dividers in the form of a zipped net on one side and cross straps on the other.
They come in different colors too so you can choose the style that suits you best.
According to manufactures specs:
- Size overall Dimensions 30.5″ × 21.5″ × 13.5″ | Internal Dimensions 28.5″ × 20.5″ × 13.5″ |
- Linear Dimensions 65.5″
- Weight: 11.68 lbs
- Material: Hardside (Polycar) Material Definition
- TSA Lock: Yes
- Expandable: Yes
In my opinion, this is overall the best suitcase for traveling in Italy for look, comfort and durability.
Best carry on lightweight luggage for Italy soft shell: Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
If you prefer a soft shell carry on option, then I recommend you look into the excellent TravelPro Max light 5, which is the best carryon luggage option if you are buying on a budget.
The main thing you will notice about the trave pro 5 series is how light is it and also how many carry handles it has!
There is one at the top, one at the bottom and one on the side and this is excellent if you think how awkward it can be to take the bag out of overhead bins or train compartments without a proper grip.
The inside has only one compartment which can be annoying but can easily be managed with inexpensive packing cubes (see also below).
According to manufactures specs:
- Interior dimension: 21 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches
- Exterior dimensions: inches x 14.5 inches x 9 inches;
- Volume : 46 liter
- 2 position adjustable handle with patented grip
- 4-wheel 360 degree rotating spinner
Best travel bag for kids
When it comes to children, there are 4 main types of bags we adore and that have proven excellent on all our family travels:
We have used it on all our travels with toddlers and worked perfectly both as a day bag when strolling around Rome or as a hiking pack when hiking in the Dolomites as a family!
This second backpack has a smaller main compartment but a large second pocket which is handy if you need to separate your gear in two categoris such as under parents/ top layer or dirty/ clean.
These are the bags the kids had on the Amalfi coast and they were excellent on those challenging alleys
This last option not only does the job but will also give you a lot of mileage as it has a more grown up look that can be a winner with tweens and children whose taste may change quickly.
The best day bags for Italy travel
When it comes to day bags, I have a first favorite for women and men and they are the bags by Gabs
I love them because they look stylish, thy do not scream tourist (they are Italian!), they are super sturdy and versatility.
The one I have goes from shopper, crossbody and to evening purse and the one my husband has goes from laptop bag to stylish backpack.
They are an excellent purchase as they work as a perfect day bag for Italy but also a wonderful purse for you everyday needs
What to look for when looking for the best bags for Italy travels
If you already have bags that have worked well for you in the past, then you may not need to invest in new luggage.
If you want to check if they can be a good choice for an Italy trip, then this is what I recommend you look for:
As I mentioned above, the choice of size of bags depends largely on your style of travel and duration of your trip.
If you go carry on only consider this:
In Italy, not all houses and B&Bs offer a dryer or washer/drier as most homes will dry line clothes outside.
If you need to wash clothes and get them dry fast this can be a problem – always ask your Airbnb host or hotel what type of laundry facilities they have or if there is a coin operated launderette nearby
If you opt for a large bag, make sure you choose one you can manouvre easily: large bags especially in train stations may attract the wrong type of attentions.
Good to know! Beware of people offering to help you with large bags at train stations. They usually do it for money so make sure you are happy to give them some cash or choose a bag you know you can manouvre easily so you can easily say no and send them on their way!
Style: wheels vs backpack vs duffel
When it comes to the best type of luggage I feel the world of travelers is divided in two categories: people who love wheelie bags and people who don’t!
I believe the choice depends largely on how much you pack and what type of trip you have in mind as well as potential issues you may have with your back and shoulders, that will inevitably affect your choice.
If you are planning on traveling light and even carry on only, I highly recommend you opt for a carry on only travel backpack.
They fit perfectly in the overhead compartment of the plane, leaving the space under the seat in front of you free for your handbag, they fit easily overhead on Italian trains and they are the best option when traveling along challenging terrain like the steep steps of the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.
Even in Rome a travel backpack can go a long way as wheels can break on cobbles and can be bulky if using public transport.
If you need more things that can possibly fit in a carry on bag, then bags with wheels are the way to go.
When you select them, make sure you have very sturdy wheels and possibly with a no-noise coating so you know your bag will survive the uneven streets of Florence and Rome!
If you are going for traveling bag with wheels, make sure you choose sturdy ones!
Italian streets are often uneven or cobbled and wheels can easily break.
If you opt for a wheelie bag, get a good one so you can be sure you can be sure it doesn’t abandon you at the worst time: the best luggage for cobblestones is durable and not afraid of a good few bumps!
Sturdy telescopic handle
Like wheels, a strong telescopic handle is also a crucial thing to have in a good traveling bag for Italy.
Many cheaper bags have handles that are too thin and snap or that are so poorly built they catch when you try to elongate them or close them.
As well as being annoying, this can add extra pressure when you are trying to board a train and store you luggage while others are waiting
When it comes to day bags, I believe versatility is key.
For day purses, I adore those by Gabs as they turn from shopper to purse and even evening bag in a flash!
The same can be said about the bags for my kids: their carry on rucksacks are the right size to also be day bags so when we are settled in a hotel, all they need to do is take their packing cubes out and the bag can come with us on our adventures
When selecting a good day bag for Italy, I believe less is more so if you get a versatile one, you can get one bag instead of two and travel much more easily.
More useful luggage for your Italy travel
As well as the main bags for Italy, I recommend you also add some traveling accessories.
Some I love are:
Packing cubes: magical stuff! They allow you to pack much more than if you have your clothes loose in the bag and they help keep them tidy and organized.
They also make it super easy to pack/ unpack your bag in the hotel as they prevent your clothes from spilling everywhere. My favorites are these ones.
Shoe bags (Check them out here): perfect to make sure the soles of your shoes do not touch your clean clothes when packed.
Wondering what shoes to pack for Italy? Find our guide here!
Toiletry bag: great for all your toiletry needs. Find a great one here.
If you opt for see through ones, they can also come with you through airport security so you can have your essentials at hand even when flying.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best traveling bags and it helped you decide what type of luggage to take to Italy. Safe travel planning!