Trolley and hand luggage | The best of 2023

Trolley and hand luggage | The best of 2023

Having the right trolley with you when embarking on a short trip is essential. Whether you travel by car or by train, by bus or by plane, you cannot help but carry comfortable and reliable hand luggage with you.

However, choosing your next trolley could prove to be more difficult than the expected. The web abounds in models that differ from each other in many aspects and, never as in this case, are the details that make the difference. Gathering some information, you will realize that there is no a priori ideal trolley: each model is in fact designed to meet different needs and habits.

Read also: Travel suitcases | The best of 2023 That's why we've compiled a guide to the best trolleys around. The models we present to you have been chosen by type and value for money, so as to help you choose the most suitable product for you without incurring unpleasant surprises.

American Tourister Soundbox Spinner S Hand luggage Bontour Samsonite Base Boost Spinner S Hand luggage ORMI Hauptstadtkoffer Spree

American Tourister Soundbox Spinner S | Best rigid trolley

Buying an American Tourister product means going on the safe side. And in fact it is practically impossible to remain dissatisfied with the Soundbox Spinner S: it is a trolley made of polypropylene equipped with a solid zip closure and expandability function for a total capacity of 41 litres. The material used for the external coating makes this hand luggage light and at the same time resistant, while the double sliding spinner wheels system will allow you to transport the trolley in total comfort wherever you go. All without sacrificing safety (the inevitable TSA 3-digit combination lock) and design (it is available in ten different colours).

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Hand luggage Bontour | Best quality-price trolley

For those who intend to get a quality trolley but have to keep an eye on the budget, Bontour's hand luggage works as the perfect compromise. With a reasonable expense, you will get a rigid trolley with a silent 360° wheel system and telescopic handle. The external coating is 100% in ABS, excellent both for avoiding scratches during tossing and to protect the load from shocks. The interior features a built-in buckle to keep objects in place, as well as a large pocket divided into compartments and equipped with a zip: you can separate your belongings as you prefer, without running the risk of finding them mixed up.

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Samsonite Base Boost Spinner S | Best soft trolley

If you are looking for a high quality trolley but prefer the soft type to the rigid one, the Samsonite Base Boost Spinner S is what you need. Samsonite has designed this model to guarantee travelers resistance, protection and lightness, without sacrificing style: the solid external coating of the trolley is embellished with the logo, pullers and some small metal decorations. The external pocket is very large and equipped with a special padlock. The main double zipper closure is instead reinforced by TSA technology. The interior, lined in soft but resistant fabric, is equipped with an elastic buckle and a large pocket with zip and protective net.

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Luggage by hand ORMI | Best cheap trolley

If you absolutely must get a trolley and your budget is limited, bet on Ormi hand luggage. For less than €40 you will have a polyester suitcase equipped with a telescopic handle, numerical combination lock and scratch-resistant, waterproof and ultra-light coating. The two-wheel system allows you to move the trolley with maximum comfort and, if you need to lift it, you can also rely on the support of the upper handle. The interior is composed of two buckles and a pocket with separate zip closure. The strength of the Ormi trolley consists in putting at your disposal each of the basic functions that a hand luggage should have, all at a bargain price.

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Hauptstadtkoffer Spree | Best trolley for flying

Here is the ideal proposal for traveling without taking anything on board! Thanks to its dimensions of 55 x 36 x 21 cm, it is ideal for small business trips, city visits or relaxing weekends. Last but not least, high-quality 100% ABS hard shell is shatterproof and shockproof. Transport will also be comfortable, as the trolley has a telescopic handle with button (on 3 levels) and 4 double wheels, for maximum practicality and stability.

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How to choose the trolley

Whether you usually travel for work, for leisure or you rely on the timeless last-minute holidays, you cannot help but own a trolley. And even if you don't travel often, having the right trolley at the right time is essential. Usually, when you think about choosing a hand luggage, air travel immediately comes to mind. Know that this is not necessarily the case: trolleys are excellent suitcases even for short weekend trips by car or train. They are practical, light and fit almost everywhere. Of course, they will allow you to carry fewer objects than a normal suitcase, but they are unbeatable for versatility.

Our first advice is therefore to choose the trolley according to your needs and habits, rather than simply relying on the brand most popular or the best reviewed product. Trolleys are very personal items, and for this reason you will need to know exactly what you are looking for before proceeding with the purchase.

If, on the other hand, you have to travel by plane and intend to use the trolley as hand luggage, it will be essential to take a look first to the precise standards set by the airlines. By eye, the ideal size of a hand luggage is roughly similar to that of a normal backpack, with a capacity of around 25/30 litres. However, for a more precise assessment of the measurements allowed for air travel, you will have to base yourself on the exact weight and dimensions of the trolley.

As for weight, most airlines allow you to carry a trolley that weighs between 8 and 10 kg. As we will see later, this variable is greatly influenced by the weight of the hand luggage when empty. Compared to the dimensions, the standard size of the trolley is approximately 55x40x20 cm (although we advise you to always consult the regulations of the flight company with which you will travel, since estimates tend to vary from one company to another).

Typology and material

The heavier the hand luggage is when empty, the less objects you will be able to insert. From this point of view, trolleys are divided into two large categories, rigid and soft. Regardless of the type of suitcase however, it is always good to rely on quality first of all: although basically compact, a poor quality rigid trolley will risk breaking if subjected to excessive pressure, while a too cheap soft trolley will risk getting dirty easily or, worse, to tear apart. In general, the outer casing of the trolley should always be firm enough to absorb shocks. Some airlines are very strict on the regulation for carrying hand luggage into the cabin, so if you happen to go overboard with the dimensions or weight and you have to check it in the hold, you will need to have a sufficiently resistant trolley with you.

Rigid trolleys tend to last a long time, but some models may be quite heavy for your taste. As a rule, they are composed of ABS, polypropylene or polycarbonate. ABS is the favorite material of those looking for lightness. Even if it does not offer maximum protection, this thermoplastic polymer will allow you to have a hand luggage with a less heavy structure and therefore, in terms of airport regulations, more capacious. If, on the other hand, you prefer to focus entirely on resistance and you don't have the problem of weight, you should take a look at the polycarbonate trolleys. Your hand luggage will contain fewer items, but you will keep them with the utmost care. Finally, the undecided will go without fail by choosing propylene, an excellent compromise that ensures considerable flexibility without sacrificing protection.

As for soft trolleys, the most common materials are microfibre, nylon, polyester and – for the most demanding – the skin. However, unlike their rigid cousins, soft trolleys do not present clear distinctions between the various materials – at least not to significantly affect the weight. Their main advantage is that, in addition to being light, they are almost all expandable (therefore they can increase their capacity up to 25% more).

Handles and wheels

What distinguishes a hand luggage from all other types of suitcases is without a doubt the practicality. A small trolley that can be carried with the same effort as a large suitcase is of no use to anyone. And to make sure that a trolley is easy to handle, you need to pay attention to two components in particular: the handles and the wheels.

It is not always said that a light trolley is also easy to lift or carry. For this to be possible, choose a model with sturdy and functional handles. The best option for lifting is the one with two handles, one on the top and one on the side. In general, the workmanship of the handles recalls that of the trolley: you will find them in plastic in the rigid models, in fabric in the soft ones. Similarly, the tow handle should be equally handy and solid, as well as high enough for you to assume a natural posture during transport. The top of the range in this case are the so-called telescopic handles, which, once closed, adhere completely to the luggage without protruding.

Wheels are a frequently underestimated feature when choosing hand luggage. We tend to believe that, since these are light suitcases, the bulk of the practicality concerns the handles. However, things are not exactly like this: the wheels are a fundamental component to decree the practicality of your next trolley. Regardless of the material (rubber or plastic) and the number (2 or 4), the wheels should always be smooth and silent, in order to facilitate the transport of the trolley and avoid annoying noises during travel. If you are at the airport and you need to move quickly from one terminal to another to change your flight, a good system of wheels will allow you to move more easily, so as not to risk missing the next plane.

Many models are now equipped with the 4-wheel spinner system with 360° rotation, ideal for maneuvering in narrow train corridors or when pressed in a check-in queue. A further advantage of the 4 wheels is that you will not have to lift or tilt the trolley, thus unloading all the weight from your back.

Safety and interiors

The closure of the trolley must be reliable: none of You want to risk being robbed or leaving your belongings on the street. Today, the best models on the market are almost all equipped with TSA technology, a 3-digit combination lock that can be opened with a special key by airport baggage control agents. But safety does not only concern the external surface of the trolley. To avoid the risk of damaging or scattering the objects you insert in your hand luggage, you will need a lining made of soft and elastic fabric: in addition to easily recovering what you need, a well-organized interior keeps the contents in order, not creases clothes and does not shake technological devices such as laptops or tablets. If you usually fill your trolley to the brim, equip yourself with a model equipped with compartments with zippers, you will gain order and flexibility of the load.

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