When your kids are little, it is easy to just pack what they need for a trip, in your suitcase. However as they get older it makes more sense to buy your kid their own luggage. Buying a child his or her own little suitcase can help teach them responsibility, and help you to keep their stuff separate from your own. Without further adeiu, here is the best luggage for kids on wheels for 2020 broken out by category:
Top Kids Luggage on Wheels
Should my kid have their own suitcase?
Yes, letting children own and pack their own suitcase helps teach them responsibility at an early age. Once your child is old enough to wheel their own luggage, or wear a small backpack, they are old enough to own and pack their own suitcase.
Should I let my kid pick their suitcase out?
Yes, again! Letting your child pick out their own suitcase can get them excited for the trip they are taking, and they will like the freedom of having it be their choice. Of course you don’t need to sit them down at a computer and let them browse through hundreds of bags, you should preselect a few that you think they may enjoy and let them pick from that group. That way they won’t fall in love with a bag that’s out of your price range.
As you preselect the kids’ luggage, keep in mind what they like. There are tons of options out there for children, so if they like a certain Disney character, sports, or any other interest, there’s probably a suitcase out there they would enjoy.
What to look for when buying your child’s luggage
Functionality: There’s no set age that a child is ready for their own suitcase, but using your best judgement and following these guidelines is the best route.
- Weight: First off, we suggest something light-weight. Traveling can be very tiring, and you definitely want your child to be more than able to carry or pull his or her own suitcase.
- Wheeled: Just like adults, children will come to prefer rolling their luggage, or being able to wear it like a backpack as some styles allow. Your kid will emulate you and roll their suitcase behind them just like you do, and they won’t get tired as easily as if they would if they had to carry their luggage.
Appearance: As we stated above, children’s luggage comes in so many fun designs even some adults may get jealous! If you don’t want to guess, go ahead and ask your child what designs they’d prefer, and then let them choose from a few that you preselect. It’s also a good idea to go with a bright and colorful, unique design. A unique design will make it easy for you and your child to spot your suitcase if you are waiting at the baggage claim, or even if you lose track of it.
Price: Before your child falls in love with a suitcase out of your price range, make sure to pre select some options that are within your price range. Kids’ luggage is generally cheaper than adult luggage, so you’ll probably be OK.
What are ride on suitcases and are they a good idea?
There has been a fad over the past few years involving ride-on suitcases for kids. Upon first hearing about them we were very confused and thought it was a silly gimmick that would soon pass, however after surviving in the long-run, it seems like they are a niche that is here to stay.
Best ride on suitcase brands
Brands like Trunki, Milliard and FOME have established some dominance in the ride on suitcase for kids market, with Trunki being the best brand.
Trunki is our favorite brand of ride on luggage for kids. Trunki is the best reviewed brand and also offers the most variety of luggage over anyone else. Trunki doesn’t stop there as they also offer lots of travel accessories for children such as neck pillows, swim bags, booster seats, harnesses and more.
Generally, owners love ride on suitcases however there are some negatives. Parents have complained that at times they are pretty bulky and thus take up more space than what’s desireable.
The positives outweigh the negatives and users online give these suitcases an average of 4.5/5 or greater. Along with the great reviews, these types of suitcases are just a lifesaver at times. We all know that traveling alone can be frustrating and exhausting sometimes, and having a cranky kid walking with you around the airport does not make matters better. Letting your kid ride on the suitcase will stop them from complaining about walking. At least if the child is enjoying a free ride they have one less thing to complain about, right!?
Rolling Luggage vs. Backpacks
The debate will rage on forever, but sometimes you have to decide between a kids suitcase on wheels or a backpack. If your child is school aged, they may already be used to wearing a backpack. In this case you may just let them use their backpack so you don’t have to buy anything new. However given the choice, your child may prefer a rolled suitcase just like you! There are tons of great options including some in the table at the top of this article.
What we prefer is the hybrid option. Luggage manufacturers have identified this debate and decided to step in and create something that combines the two. Some of the best selling children’s luggage is in the style of the backpack with wheels. When it comes to this hybrid style we love what the Skip Hop Zoo brand offers.
Hard vs Soft Sided Kids Luggage
Similarly to regular luggage, kids’ luggage seems to be split down the middle of being offered in either hardsided or softsided options. This can come down to personal preference, really. But if you are curious, there are some perks to both styles.
Hardside pros: Kids are messy, and if you have an extra messy kid, you may prefer a hard suitcase for them. Hardsided luggage is much easier to clean than softsided. If anything at all is spilled on it, hard luggage can just be wiped right up and everything will be OK. Soft luggage has been known to stain when juice or anything else gets spilled on, or inside the bag.
Softside pros: Softsided luggage is much easier to travel with in regards to the space it takes up. Soft luggage overall has a malleable form and can fit in smaller areas than a hardshell suitcase of the same size. Especially if your soft bag is empty, or close to it, it will collapse and be super easy to store.
Again, it comes down to personal preference. When the bags are as small as they are, there really isn’t a winner in terms of which weighs less. Some designs are only offered on hard and others on soft, so in the end, you and your child may just want to select the “coolest” looking suitcase, if you don’t really have much of a preference.
Traveling with your kids is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll cherish forever. An easy way to make their experience more enjoyable is allowing them to pick out and pack a bag their size which they can call their own. Your child will learn lessons in responsibility when they have to think about what they should and should not pack in their own little bag with finite space. They may want to only pack toys, but they will learn that packing other items as well is much more important.
So enjoy your trip, and many trips to come – and take lots of pictures! You’ll be glad you did.