Children's Luggage and Travel Accessories
Mark’s Summary: I love the official Star Wars suitcases range from American Tourister, for this review, I separated my love of Star Wars – focusing ...
Best Children’s Luggage: Suitcases & Backpacks for Children
Choosing the best children’s luggage for those younger family member solves two major issues.
First, it can help keep the child (at least partly!) entertained for the trip. Secondly, you get to pack the added bag with at least a few essentials – freeing up your own cases.
All the big movie and TV cartoon brands have produced branded children’s luggage – it is big business these days. In addition to the Disney cases, there are specialist items. The ‘Trunki’ ride-on cases have taken the world by storm in recent years. You can choose from wheeled luggage (the smaller equivalent of adult carry on cases), backpack styles and small shoulder type bags. There are even complete sets.
At some point every child will aspire to own ‘grown up’ luggage. With plenty of designs and colours available, a carry-on sized spinner could be an even better solution than those cases aimed exclusively at kids.
This page explains the main categories and options for the best children’s luggage, and gives you different examples of cases within each. I have incorporated a lot of the feedback left at online stores and review sites. When added together this is a useful barometer of exactly how child-friendly a case really is!
Best Children’s Luggage
Small cases which are lightweight versions of adult ones are the biggest single segment when it comes to picking the best children’s luggage. You will find everything from Darth Vader to a prancing unicorn on them. These are smaller and thinner than adult hand luggage. They are not generally built to last, though a better quality one can be used as a toy box back at home. The prices do reflect this – though the ‘extra’ for a branded case is noticeable.
Minimax Children’s Suitcases
An unbranded option which is a cut above the rest in terms of quality are the cases from Minimax. These have retractable telescopic handles, robust wheels and a pouch at the front which is perfect for that soft toy travelling companion. There is a meshed pocket, which is great for access to important travel items (like colouring books!). For a small extra, you can get on which comes with a teddy.
This brand is part of a bigger luggage brand Aerolite. This makes for better quality / parts compared to cases which are more like toys. You get a choice of colours. Blue and pink are separately in the children’s luggage best-seller lists.
Best Children’s Luggage: Disney Cases are Always Winners
What I like about the Disney range of wheeled trolley bags and suitcases are the broad character. With excellent value from the owner of brands like Frozen, Superman and the Minions – there is little incentive to go with a cheap and potentially bad quality knock-off.
These cases are within the cabin-luggage guidelines, typically measuring 43cms by 29cms by 14cms. There is a retractable handle and moulded plastic wheels. I like the Avengers one myself!
Positive feedback for these cases. The consensus is that they are great for the price. I find them great for storage when you are not on holiday too.
LATEST KIDS SUITCASE REVIEWS
Best Ride-On Children’s Luggage – Trunki and Beyond
If you have been in a UK airport over the last couple of years, you’ll have seen ride-along cases in bright colours with horns! These are usually Trunki cases. Sometimes you’ll see kids riding them, other times you will see them being towed along… still other times you’ll see the kids being carried by their parents, who are trying to tow their own cases plus the Trunki!
I love the designs, and the 18-litre carrying capacity is a plus too. Keep in mind that these are advertised as unsuitable for children under 36 months. This leaves a window of a couple of years before children will grow out of the concept.
All of the genuine Trunki cases come with a 5-year guarantee. They have secret compartments, and even come complete with a teddy-bear seatbelt. The horns you will see on the front have a dual purpose. These are design elements, which add a lot of character to the cases. They are also grips, helping the kids stay balanced while riding. You should note that Trunki are not the cheapest option – there are now alternatives from the bigger luggage brands (including Samsonite).
Pink and blue can be found at the top of the children’s luggage best seller list. These are complimented by a fire-engine model, hello Kitty branded one, a unicorn, dinosaur and many others.
You will find the full list (along with honest feedback from parents who have bought them) over at the Trunki Store at amazon.co.uk
Slightly older kids might appreciate (with a lot of parental supervision) a combination of a scooter and carry-on luggage bag. There are adult versions of this concept. The case handle doubles up easily as a scooter handle – so you only need the retractable scooter part to complete the concept.
These come in hard and soft-shell types. You can also find them themed on Disney Princess, Paw Patrol and more.
Backpacks: Ideal Children’ Luggage
Backpacks are the best pick for a case that works for both holidays and life back home. You can find themed backpacks, branded ones and plain / robust versions which will last the distance.
The key thing is not to get too big too soon, or you might just end up carrying that extra bag yourself. Disney have their range (the same characters as the wheeled kids luggage covered above), though you are by no means limited to this. Here are some examples of both fun and practical backpacks that your kids can take on holiday.
Kid’s Shoulder Bags: More Play than Practical
Hard shoulder bags can make the kids feel like they are equipped for the trip. Other than a few crayons, you will not be able to fit much in. The positive is that these bags give an early taste of being involved in the travel (they will have to be put through security after all).
You can also find themed bathroom bags, accessories and more.