After a recent trip across the country, I realized that my favorite carry-on duffle was starting to look really worn. It’s a great bag that’s served me well over the years, but it’s definitely seen better days. The holiday shopping season is approaching fast, so I’m officially on the lookout for a suitable replacement and wondering if I should use this opportunity to upgrade to something a little more lavish.

The way I see it, my carry-on luggage is certainly a bag I use a lot, so why not opt for something nicer if I’m able? However, I still have some doubts and am having trouble deciding if getting designer luggage would even be worth it.

Mainly for two reasons:

1. Fear of Theft

It’s commonly thought that it’s better to have luggage that stands out because it reduces the chances of your bag getting mixed up with those of others. It’s just easier to spot a vibrant one when hurriedly fishing through the sea of bags that were moved by a stewardess or had been stored under the plane at the last minute.

Something bright and bold seems ideal, and that gives me the option to choose from some pretty funky pieces. (I LOVE this Fendi embossed logo duffle, even though I don’t usually go for monograms.)

But at the same time, the thought of carrying something that is both designer and kind of ﹘ loud ﹘ makes me worry that it would increase the chance of my bag being a tempting target for someone with sticky fingers.

Honestly, it’s not really the thought of being in the airport with it that concerns me, but the thought of walking from a car or train drop-off to wherever I’m staying that does. The world is big, and not everywhere is as safe as we wish for it to be, so I try to be mindful of how I come off when moving through certain areas.

2. Quality Vs Price

A big reason I buy luxury bags is that, for me, the quality justifies the price (on top of them being cute.) I’m not afraid to admit when the quality of a bag is subpar or doesn’t meet my needs, no matter how expensive or revered its brand might be.

This makes finding a cute designer bag that can also handle being thrown around for years without falling apart seem like I’m asking for a lot. To increase my odds of getting something long-lasting, I’ve also considered getting a piece from a more trusted luggage brand.

But which? Even with this consideration, I’m still left with a few options:

  • Option 1: Get a bag from a fashion brand with a history of making luggage (Louis Vuitton; Goyard, Fauré le Page, etc.)
  • Option 2: Get a bag from a collab collection with a luggage brand. (Tumi X Missoni; Rimowa X Dior)
  • Option 3: Get a bag from an outdoorsy fashion brand that is now trying its hand at making luggage. (Moncler)

Decisions, decisions…

The options already seem endless, and I’m even open to getting a style that’s technically made for men.

Who knows. Maybe I’d just be better off scrapping the idea altogether and hitting up my local Macy’s for a new carry-on. Thankfully, I’ve still got time to decide.

But what do you all think? Is designer luggage worth it?

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Marissa
Marissa
1 month ago

If you have a private plane, then buy it… otherwise, no! 😂

Passerine
Passerine
1 month ago

We bought our Rimowa luggage in 2011. It cost much less than it does now (even accounting for inflation) and still looks great with no broken wheels or other damage. However, we don’t use the larger pieces for flights to the U.S. — for that we use beat up soft Samsonite suitcases. We reserve the Rimowa bigger pieces for train travel or for flying business class with certain airlines like Singapore. For any other brand of designer luggage (Goyard or LV), we’d buy in carryon size only.

Ela
Ela
1 month ago

Sooner or later, you will have to check that bag. And when you do, it will be hurled into dirty carts, slammed with other people’s bags, and then loaded on a conveyor belt that never gets cleaned.

Buy a sturdy bag in ballistic nylon. I like Tumi.

Passerine
Passerine
1 month ago
Reply to  Ela

Fortunately, we fly seldom. But we travel by train a lot throughout Europe (we live in Switzerland), almost always in first class. We stow the luggage ourselves, usually above our seat. So it’s not hurled around by strangers, slammed, or loaded onto filthy conveyor belts or carts. Which is probably why our Rimowa luggage looks almost as good as new, more than a decade after we bought it.

nechama
nechama
1 month ago

To be honest, I think something like Rimowa qualifies as luxury within the luggage world, even outside of its designer collaborations, even though it doesn’t have logos. People who know know it’s nice. That’s personally what I would do, but I travel alone a lot and I personally would be a bit paranoid walking around alone in pickpockety places like Italy with flashy luggage. I think it really depends on how you travel though… if I wasn’t a big solo traveler I might feel differently.

Joan
Joan
1 month ago
Reply to  nechama

My issue with Rimowa (which is now own by LVMH by the way) is that the classic aluminum case quickly shows wear and tear. It does have its charm—it looks lived in. But you have to be okay with that from the start.

Passerine
Passerine
27 days ago
Reply to  Joan

Yes and Rimowa seems to take pride in that. At the Rimowa boutique in Bon Marche (Paris), a battered old aluminum case is prominently displayed.

Babette
Babette
1 month ago
Reply to  Joan

Yes, my husband has the 3 pieces aluminum set, and it’s all dented and scratched. I think the airline does not take care the luggages even if he always travel in business class.

Cate
Cate
1 month ago

No, I’d never buy designer luggage. I just purchased a beautiful piece of luggage and the airline threw it around and there are dings etc. on it. If they are this rough with less expensive luggage then how will they treat expensive luggage? They don’t care so why waste my money.

Gayle
Gayle
1 month ago
Reply to  Cate

I know how this feels like. Im already having a tough time seeing my pink samsonite luggage with scratches. I cant imagine entrusting designer luggage to the airline same as i wont let anyone else hold my designer handbags.

Fabuleux
Fabuleux
1 month ago

As a frequent traveler, I take great pleasure using my Louis Vuitton suitcases! That’s how I got into the brand in the first place. However, for luggage I intend to check in, I prefer hard-wearing and no-fuss pieces from Tumi and Victorinox.

Sandy
Sandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Fabuleux

Agreed! My large Tumi suitcase is my favorite. Unless you fly private you have zero control over your suitcase, even your carry on, many times the carriers make you check it. I cannot justify the price of designer suitcases when they will end up thrown around by the baggage handlers.

ClovesBalenciagas
ClovesBalenciagas
1 month ago

When I travel, I like to stay nondescript and low key. Nothing worse than being targeted and followed. *PTSD* however! I do love admiring people who aren’t afraid to wear their best out!

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
1 month ago

I’m in the market for a new suitcase, but I doubt I will get a designer one. I’ve seen the way luggage gets treated. No. Thank you. However, I wouldn’t mind having something like a Keepall 45.

Mel
Mel
1 month ago

Definitely not! I see how awful my brand new luggage looked after just checking my baggage once. Maybe I would consider a carry on in designer, but I absolutely hate putting stuff on the floor on the airplane or even stashing it in the overhead. Planes are gross, and unless you can easily clean and sanitize the luggage, I avoid it.

A handbag you have control over how roughed up it gets, luggage not so much.

Ali R.
Ali R.
1 month ago

I have Tumi for a wheeled carry on and backpack and Samsonite for larger bags.
i saw a lady one time who was literally shoving people out of the way to be the first to get off the plane because her LV carry on was too big to go in the overhead so had to be put in the luggage compartment of the smallish plane.
i don’t ever want to be that fearful my luggage might be stolen.

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