How many times have you seen someone dragging a suitcase with a missing wheel? Or clothes spilling out of a bag with a busted zipper on the luggage carousel? Chances are high that that bag was from a brand that doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty.
Sure, it’s tempting to buy a $79 suitcase at a discount store and hope for the best, but you often get what you pay for when it comes to luggage. If you invest in a quality piece of luggage, however, it’s unlikely it will ever let you down. That’s how you save money in the long run.
A good travel bag can take whatever you throw at it. Quality luggage should last you at least 50 trips — if not more — no matter how many abusive handlers and stacked runway carts it encounters. There are budget travelers who’ve taken three-year-long trips around the world with the same backpack. And many business road warriors have been leaving the house each week with the same suitcase for years.
That cheap suitcase from the discount store is just not going to perform at the same level. Spending more now on one that’s made well could save you a lot of frustration — and an emergency replacement purchase down the line.
Look for the Warranty
The easiest way to see which companies really believe in their products is to look at the warranty. While online reviews may tell you who likes their purchase right after they bought it, the warranty policy lets you know whether that company’s products have a good chance of holding up over time.
If your bag is guaranteed for life, you know the people who designed it really believe it’s going to last. Otherwise, imagine how much they’d spend on repairs or replacements.
So which brands make luggage that lasts?
Here’s a list of our luggage companies with lifetime warranties, brands you can depend on to back up what they sell.
Our Favorite Luggage Brands with Lifetime Warranties
Price Range: $250 – $800
The luggage companies with a really strong lifetime warranty tend to come up with some catchy registered trademark name for it. Briggs & Riley describes its as “simple as that,” to say it will fix your bag for any reason.
If you ask a group of 10 business travelers who jet around on a weekly basis what kind of suitcase they use, there’s a good chance half of them will name Briggs & Riley. The bags are not designed to look pretty in fashion magazines or win prizes as the lightest suitcases on offer. Rather, they’re built to be functional and rugged.
If for any reason something fails on you years down the line, get in touch with the company and it’ll make it right. If you’re the DIY type, the company will even send a self-repair kit. From the maker’s mouth: “If your bag is ever broken or damaged, we will repair it free of charge, no proof of purchase needed, no questions asked.”
Price Range: $50 – $400
Just as Briggs & Riley is the clear winner with the business traveler crowd, Osprey is the champ with long-term globetrotters. Whether you’re in Bangkok, Marrakech or Tierra del Fuego, you’re going to see an Osprey backpack (or maybe 20).
Osprey’s catchy guarantee is the “All Mighty Guarantee” and if it can’t fix your bag, it’ll replace it. It doesn’t just make backpacks either.
I’ve got a rolling 26-inch Osprey suitcase I’ve used for seven years, and the only slight problem I’ve had is the rubber-and-cord zipper pulls dry rotted while sitting in a Florida garage for a few years. Otherwise, good as new. I’ve also got a few of the daypacks that have been going strong for even longer.
From the maker’s mouth: “Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday.”
Price Range: $150 – $430
When you buy from a brand that’s been around since 1975, there’s a pretty good chance it’s managed to make customers happy. Eagle Creek boasts a “No Matter What” guarantee, with a lifetime warranty backed by a return rate of less than 1%.
This is another brand I personally recommend from experience — in this case more than two decades of experience. Twice I’ve had to get in touch with the company after a suitcase crapped out on me.
The first time, a zipper failed on an old model it didn’t make anymore, so it replaced the whole bag with a comparable newer version. Later the rubber met the road on one of my rolling carry-ons and stayed there: one wheel still worked but had lost its tire. After we chatted by e-mail, it ended up sending me a new set of wheels, and I easily replaced both with an Allen wrench.
There’s one caveat with this company though: only its high-end luggage products are covered. The Pack-it cubes or packable duffel bags, for instance, are not. You have to make sure it lists the “No Matter What” guarantee on the page when comparing suitcases or backpacks.
From the maker’s mouth: “Our Lifetime Warranty covers workmanship and materials against defect for the entire life of the product.”
Price Range: $125 – $350
Red Oxx has one attribute that sets it apart from nearly every other company on this list: made in America. Its manufacturing facility is in Billings, Montana, and it stands behind everything that goes out the door. The catchy name for it? The “No Bull Lifetime Warranty.”
Its well-made, well-designed bags are meant to hold up to a hundred trips. You do have to pay for shipping both ways, but it’ll repair your bag or replace it if something has failed.
The guarantee is transferable too: no questions asked if you got it from your brother when he moved away. For new purchases, you need to buy direct at RedOxx.com. Being made in America, the company would have to double the price or manufacture abroad to get into retail stores.
From the maker’s mouth: “Our ‘No Bull’ Lifetime Warranty is, in a word, unconditional!”
Price Range: $70 – $300
Red Oxx isn’t the only brand making luggage in the USA. Tom Bihn of Seattle has been building up a loyal tribe of fans since 1972. I can’t say I’ve had its Aeronaut carry-on bag that long, but I have been using it for more than a decade on trips where cabin bin space is at a premium. I’ve also got a few of the packing cubes I’ve been using for that long as well.
The company apparently needs a consultant to help come up with a catchy warranty name because it’s simply listed as “Lifetime Guarantee” on the website. Buy direct at Tombihn.com, where you can also see photos of the people who made your bag.
From the maker’s mouth: “We often see Tom Bihn bags that are still solid and in use after five, ten, fifteen, even twenty or twenty-five years, with minor repairs needed here or there. But remember: only true love lasts forever.”
Price Range: $40 – $280
There’s no catchy name for a separate “from the maker’s mouth” for Eddie Bauer. That’s because there’s the least amount of text of any company on this list for its guarantee page. This is all it says:
“Our products are built to last. If your Eddie Bauer product fails to perform as designed, bring it back and we will replace it.”
Well, okay then! There’s not much more on the returns page either. Bring it back to the store or print out a pre-paid shipping label to send the item back. No legalese, no hedging.
Eddie Bauer is mostly known for its clothing, but it put out several heavy-duty duffel bags for adventure travelers, as well as some rolling suitcases meant for serious travelers, not runway posers.
Price Range: $70 – $310
When you hear Jansport, you probably think of kids heading off to school with their books. Heck, I used one of its daypacks all the way through college many years ago.
But the company actually started out making packs for backcountry hikers, and it still manufactures a few bags meant for more than a trip to a classroom. The 70-liter backpacks and 40-liter ones work well as a carry-on, laptop backpacks and a rolling backpack/suitcase with a handle. All of the bags come with a lifetime guarantee: if it can’t be fixed, the company will replace it.
From the maker’s mouth: “We stand by our packs for a lifetime and since we’ve been making packs since 1967, that’s a guarantee you can stand by.”
Price Range: $15o – $579
If your tastes run to leather more than nylon, straps over wheels, then Saddleback might be the brand to check out. Instead of a lifetime warranty, it offers a 100-year warranty. But, really, are you going to outlive a well-made leather bag? Visit some museums out west and you’ll see saddles that were crafted before Wyoming was a state. And the leather still looks great.
There are limits to a small company’s patience, however, and it’s seen it all. So it’s not a true “no questions asked” warranty if you’ve dragged your bag behind a motorcycle or left it out in the rain for days. (The warranty page is a fun read with some great examples.) If something wore out or broke down naturally through no fault of your own, however, the company will make it right.
From the maker’s mouth: “Just remember that before you die, get all your Saddleback stuff sorted out in your will, and if there’s ever an issue, just have one of your descendants contact me or one of my descendants and we’ll get you sorted out.”
Other “Lifetime” Guarantees
There are a few other luggage brands that have “limited” in their warranty and lots of legalese back-out language on the page, so these aren’t included here. You may be able to return a suitcase a few years down the line from Travelpro, Away or Samsonite if you paid enough.
Alas, most of the others only give you a year to return a bag, including expensive Tumi. Also, you may see a reference to a lifetime guarantee at LL Bean in older articles. Sadly it ended that in February of 2018 and reduced it to just one year, saying “We will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way” after that.
So if you want a true, lifetime guarantee, go with one of our options above. And if you set a Deal Alert, we’ll let you know as soon as your favorites go on sale.