Getting kids ready to go on vacation takes a lot of work. In addition to just their clothing, you’ll also need to consider toys, shoes, food, toiletries, and other things to make them happy and comfortable. In order to make packing easy, you need the correct luggage.

Children and adult suitcases are bascially the same thing, but they are different sizes to accommodate different luggage needs. They also need to be more resistant, because children don’t take care of things like adults do, and they should be colorful, playful designs that kids will love. The below guide will help you find and pick out a great suitcase for your little one.

Key Facts

  • Children’s suitcases are basically the same as adult ones, but they are made with children’s needs and sensibilities in mind. They are also more sturdy and should be able to withstand being dropped and scuffed. They come in a range of different shapes and materials, with some being softer and some being more sturdy and rigid. Children’s suitcases have the same function as those of adults, but they are adapted in size, weight and appearance to be attractive to children.
  • Before going out to buy a suitcase for your child, consider the dimensions. This will depend on the age and height of the child and the type of trip. Some of the best children’s suitcases on the market are “Trunki Suitcase Riders” or “Metz Trolley for children for cabin luggage”.
  • Giving your child a suitcase also provides them with a sense of independence as they are allowed to pack and navigate the traveling experience more on their own terms.

Ranking: The best kid’s suitcases on the U.S. market

Below we have put together five of the best kid’s suitcases on the U.S. market. This will help you decide on which product is best suited for your little one. It will show you some of the main features of these products, and help you factor in things like their age and personalities, as well as what kind of trips you will be taking them on.

No. 1: Trunki – Tipu

The Trunki by Tipu is a hard-wearing and lightweight plastic kid’s suitcase and trunk. They are made in both the UK and China and feature an award-winning design that can be either ridden on, towed behind them, or carried around by your child. Ideally suited for weekend trips, family vacations, and sleep-overs at friends houses. This is a multi-purpose suitcase that can be used both for traveling and also as a toy. Capable of holding up to 75 pounds, this is a very durable item that will stand up to the sometimes rough wear and tear of travel.

The wheels on this suitcase are specially designed to ensure that this item can only move in a straight line, making it easier for kids to control. The secure catch is eas for toddlers to open and the inside design is all soft rubber to make sure that small fingers aren’t caught or scraped. This luggage is made for children three and up. It measures 17.5 x 8 x 12.2 inches, so it is ample enough to fit most of what a young child would want to take on a trip with them.

No. 2: iPlay, iLearn – Hard Shell Kids Dinosaur Luggage

The iPlay, iLearn Hard Shell Kids Dinosaur Luggage features a hard plastic scratch-resistant coating that will stand up to falls and spills while en route. This luggage set also features a nearly identical backpack so your little one can either take both or pick and choose which one they take with them on certain trips. The luggage measures 11.5 x 18 x 8.5 inches, so it has enough space to comfortably fit quite a bit of clothing and other personal items your child may want to take with them.

This is a great unisex luggage set that makes a good set for either a boy or a girl. Your kids will enjoy this travel set because of the fun design and how easy it is to pull around, and you will love it for how durable and safe it is. Another nice feature of this product is the thick and adjustable handle which can be raised and lowered based on your child’s height and adapt with them while they grow. The backpack does not have to be exclusively for traveling and can double as a school backpack as well.

No. 3: Yodo – Zoo 3-Way Kids Rolling Luggage

Yodo’s Zoo 3-Way Kids Rolling Luggage can be either a handbag, a rolling luggage or a backpack, making it ideal for any and all traveling scenarios. the 11.8 x 6.1 x 15-inch compartment provides sufficient space for your little boy or girl to be able to choose some of their favourite things to pack, as well as include things like clothing and toiletry items. This kid’s suitcase also features several padded pockets throughout to make storage easier and more accessible for little hands.

This product comes in seven different designs, each featuring a similar, but different cartoon character designed into the bag. A nice feature of this bag is that the wheels can be covered by the hide-away wheel cover when you want this luggage to double as a backpack. The premium Yodo zippers can be pulled from either direction so your little one doesn’t have to struggle to open and close this bag. For this price, this product offers a lot of great features and is durable enough to last your little boy or girl for years.

No. 4: Rockland – 2 Piece Printed Luggage Set

Rockland’s 2 Piece Printed Luggage Set is designed for both older children and adults alike. It comes in a wide range of great colors and features both a checked bag and a carry on bag. It is made with super durable 600 denier fabric, so you can rest assured this will stand up to the wear and tear of travel. This is a more complicated bag that most of the other kids’ luggage looked at so far, but because of how customizable it is, there is something there for everyone.

This luggage is also more “adult” sized, measuring 19 x 13 x 7.5 inches, so it is intended more for older children. The carry-on tote bag measures 14 x 11 x 5.5 inches, so it also provides ample space for carry-on items. The more serious colors and patterns are ideal for adults and teenagers, while the owl pattern (along with others) are better suited to the sensibilities of a child. This is a great first luggage set for a school-aged child that will make him or her feel grown-up and comfortable traveling.

No. 5: iPlay, iLearn – 18″ Hard Shell Rolling Luggage Set

iPlay, iLearn has two products featured on this list, and their 18″ Hard Shell Rolling Luggage Set is certainly deserving. It is a completely scratch resistant and waterproof luggage set that is made to with little travelers in mind. The scratch-proof exterior is made from polycarbonate, ABS and nylon, so it is capable of standing up to pretty much any scrape or fall your little guy or girl is likely to put it through. The luggage measures 11.5 x 8.5 x 18 inches, and the secondary bag measures 13.5 x 10.5 x 4.5 inches, so between the two, there is sufficient room to pack all of their belongings.

The luggage design features fire engines, planes, trains, and an assortment of other vehicles your child will love. iPlay, iLearn has so much confidence in this product that you can buy it 100 per cent risk-free. If you aren’t completely satisfied, you get your money back. Another nice feature of this luggage set is that it comes with a small dust bag that protects the suitcase from dust while not in use. A great way to introduce your child to travel and to help them build the responsibility necessary to travel safely and travel well.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about kid’s suitcases

There are some things to keep in mind before purchasing luggage for your children. You should know what’s out there. There are a wide range of different features and models, but they can generally be classified into two groups. To make an appropriate choice you should know more about the world of kid’s luggage, but also about traveling with children.

Kids’ suitcases need to be highly resistant because kids can be rough with them, but can be soft or hard cases.
(Source: Irina Schmidt: 27510989/ 123rf.com)

What types of kids’ suitcases are there on the market?

Suitcases vary across a range of factors, but they can be best separated into two main groups: ones according to wheels, and others based on materials. The below will provide you with a table that gives you a breakdown of all the different features:

According to form According to material
Suitcase with four wheels: These cases utilize four wheels which means you are able to carry more and put more strain on them. Hard suitcases: Rigid suitcases are more resistant to shock and more durable, but less flexible.
Suitcase with two wheels: These don’t accommodate as much weight, but they are much lighter and can be carried on the side. Semi-hard suitcases: Semi-hard suitcases are hard, but with a coating of fabric, so it combines resistance with flexibility.
Soft suitcases: Soft suitcases are made of fabric or leather and is lighter but less durable, and they break more easily.

Kids’ suitcases can also be divided according to their use:

  • Travel backpacks: These are made for shorter trips, hence why they are smaller and meant to be worn on one’s back.
  • Suitcases: These are usually larger and sturdier as they are designed to be pushed around by kids.

What size suitcase does a child need?

This largely depends on the kind of holiday you’re taking and what your kids will need. Every trip varies. Weather and your kid’s unique personality dictate most of this. A suitcase must also be appropriate for a child’s height.

You also need to consider how long a trip is going to be. You will not need the same amount of clothes, toys and other luggage and to go on a weekend trip than for a trip of a fortnight or so. Different seasons and temperature fluctuations, like the kind that are commonly found in many parts of the U.S. in spring and fall, also must be factored in.

When preparing for a trip, there are countless things to arrange, but without a doubt packing is one of the most important.
(Source: Deklofenak: 45036276/ 123rf.com)

If you are going away for the weekend and don’t require a bunch of clothes, a backpack should suffice. If the weather is a major variable, then a small suitcase would be better. For a short trip that you would not need a lot of clothes, a backpack will be sufficient. If we are unsure about what the weather will do, it would be better to opt for a small suitcase, about 5.3 to 8-gallon capacity. For longer trips, 8 gallons is best.

What are the advantages of buying a child’s suitcase for my child?

There are a number of advantages to buying a kid’s suitcase. They create extra space and makes your kid feel more like his or her belongings are really theirs. Most kids like suitcases that features their favorite characters or heroes.

Children will be able to carry their own suitcases as these are adapted to their height and strength. They are also stand up better to bumps and scrapes. Letting kids take their own bags with them provides them with a sense of independence and responsibility.

Caroline CostelloTravel blogger

“Choosing the right luggage can help prevent these minor tragedies, in addition to other inconveniences like pesky baggage fees”.

There are so many great kid’s suitcases out there with fun designs that you can make traveling fun anywhere you go.

What materials are used to manufacture kids’ suitcases?

As touched upon before, kid’s suitcases are made from a range of different shapes and materials. You should keep in mind how your child is and what they like before getting him or her one. You need to consider their personality, on top of what kind of trip you’re taking.

Harder and more rigid suitcases are typically manufactured using ABS, which is an impact-resistant plastic; or they are made from polycarbonate, a lighter, but much more expensive material. Conventional suitcases using polypropylene are also still common, but they can be quite heavy for kids. They are also very resistant.

Susan FeinsteinConsumer blogger

“In a recent survey of more than 52,000 Consumer Reports members, 23 per cent of respondents chose hard-sided luggage for their medium- and large-sized suitcases and 15 per cent chose it for their carry-on suitcases.

Conversely, soft suitcases are made from polyester. This material is heat and scrape resistant; nylon is also popular for the same reasons. Some are even made from polyurethane, a plastic composite that is frequently used to fill and seal insulation gaps.

How are children’s suitcases used?

You can pack a child’s suitcase without exhausting yourself. Ask your kids to pitch in. You can make them feel important this way. Below is a checklist of things to do when packing kids’ suitcases:

  • First off, let your child know you’re going to start packing their luggage. Put it down on a flat surface and keep it open.
  • Next, decide which garments you will pack for them. Place the underwear inside the small inside pockets in the suitcase so it’s easily accessible. As for the rest of the clothes, you should fold it as small as possible to save space, you can even roll it up.
  • Next you should fit in the personal items and toiletries they’re going to need (books, toys etc.).
  • Close the suitcase up and ensure you haven’t left anything out. Hook the fasteners, zipper, or locking mechanisms properly so that it stays fully secure during the journey.

What can I carry in a kid’s suitcase?

Before you get your child a suitcase, know what it, and your child’s limitations are. It shouldn’t be too heavy. Below are some of the most common things a kid should take with them when traveling.

  • Clothing: You should also pack more clothing than you think you will need to account for any unforeseen circumstances. It’s also a good idea to pack something for warmer weather when going somewhere colder, and something for colder weather when going somewhere warm – just in case.
  • Footwear: It’s always a good idea to include an extra pair of shoes, or maybe some waterproof shoes depending on the occasion.
  • Documentation: ID, medical cards, passport etc. are must-haves when traveling.
  • Toiletries: Apart from soap and toothbrushes/toothpaste, take anything that is going to be necessary for certain activities/climates
  • First aid: It’s always good to take things like gauze, bandaids, disinfectant, after-bite cream etc. to make sure you’re covered
  • Personal objects: Children will want to include some of their favourite things in their bag to entertain themselves while they’re traveling (books, toys, blankets etc.).

Shopping criteria

Now that we already know a lot about the world of children’s suitcases, it is time to start looking for the most suitable one for our child and for our trip. It is fundamental that you keep some important criteria in mind when buying a kid’s suitcase, especially so that it stands the test of time and gets a lot of use.

  • Appropriate size
  • Space
  • Closures
  • Design
  • Wheels

Appropriate size

We have already mentioned the size of kids’ suitcases, but in this case we will not delve into the dimensions, so much as what is the appropriate size for our little one. If you don’t want to have to constantly be helping your child lug their bag or suitcase around, it needs to be an appropriate size for them. It should be right for their height, as well as simple to lift, drag, and push. Keep in mind that you should never make the suitcase unmanageable for your child, or they are likely to start to make a fuss. Anything you think they can’t manage on their own can be packed into your suitcase.

Space

To make it possible to pack the bag with the child’s help and then, during the trip, have some autonomy to choose their own things, a suitcase should be very neat. Small pockets and compartments are great for smaller pieces of clothing, personal effects etc. You can also put shoes, underwear, and toiletries in them. They are great places to store dirty clothes throughout the trip too.

Closures

You need to make sure that your child’s luggage is safely fastened and secured when travelling, especially if you are traveling by plane or anywhere where their luggage will be kept in a trunk for extended periods of time. Luggage typically comes with a range of different closure types and securing mechanisms.

The easiest thing to close for a child is usually the zipper. They are easier to use, but you should still make sure everything is doubly secure with a small padlock. Airport security locks are ideal, but children can find them too complicated.

When going on a trip, whether with a kid’s suitcase or a regular one, it is important to make sure the locks are strong and secure.
(Source: steven thompson: 259080/ unsplashPhoto.com)

Design

If the child doesn’t like the way the suitcase looks, it might be difficult to convince them to carry their own luggage. This can be quite a hassle while on the move. There are some great suitcases out there with really fun designs on them featuring superheroes and beloved cartoon characters, as well as ride-on suitcases and ones with animal features.

Wheels

You can find suitcases with four, three, or two wheels. This makes it easier to move them about. Typically most suitcases either have four or two wheels. The best kids’ suitcases are the four-wheeled options that can roll in different directions. Wheels are optional for kids, but they make sense when traveling (especially in airports). It is easier to wheel around a heavy suitcase than carry it.

Summary

Going on vacation takes a lot of planning, but packing luggage is among the most important. This is especially the case when traveling with kids. You need to find them a great suitcase with fun designs, that is easy to pack, and easy to carry. There are many suitcases that fit these criteria. Some of them have two wheels and some have four. Some are hard and rigid, while others are soft. They can be made of polyester or plastic.

If you enjoyed the above guide to kids’ suitcases informative, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment below and let us know what you think.

(Source of the featured image: Yarruta: 38259947/ 123rf.com)

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