If you ever looked for luggage that’s in the “middle of the range,” chances are you ran into at least one of the following three brands: Samsonite, Delsey, or American Tourister.
They are not as cheap as some of the pieces you could get at your local hypermarket, but they are generally better built and will last longer. At the same time, they are nowhere near as expensive as luggage made by high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton or Rimowa.
As such, these brands are oftentimes the right choice for casual and even frequent travelers. Deciding which of them to go with, though, can be a bit more challenging.
And so, in this article, I’ll look at a brief overview of each of the three brands, how the three brands compare against each other, as well as what some of my favorite products from them are.
If you are looking for a quick tip on a good suitcase to start your search with for each of the brands, I recommend the following three all of which are available in a variety of sizes including the carry-ons I link to:
- Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Carry-On Spinner
- Delsey Alexis Expandable Carry-On Spinner
- American Tourister Curio 20-Inch Hardside Spinner
A Brief Overview of the Three Brands
Before getting to the actual comparison, let’s take a quick look at the three brands’ history and other basic information.
While the company itself was founded in 1910, it wasn’t until 1941 that the “Samsonite” brand was introduced. Since then, it’s grown in popularity and has turned into one of the best-known luggage brands in the world.
Besides the “Samsonite” brand itself, the company it also owns several other luggage brands including Tumi and American Tourister. All in all, Samsonite is the world’s largest manufacturer of luggage.
Although the company is considering moving some of its manufacturing to the United States, its largest market, currently, it makes all its products in China, India, and Hungary.
Two “fun facts” about the company:
- While it was founded in the United States, it’s currently registered in Luxembourg and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
- In the 1960s, the company was manufacturing and distributing LEGO building blocks
Unlike Samsonite which is essentially an American brand, Delsey is a French brand headquartered in Tremblay-en-France in Paris. The company was started in 1946, and is currently the second largest manufacturer of luggage after Samsonite.
The name “Delsey” comes from the names of its founders – Émile Delahaye who owned a company manufacturing camera, typewriter, and record player cases before, and the Seynhaeve brothers.
Throughout its 70+ years of existence, Delsey has manufactured dozens of suitcases some of which were fairly innovative at the time. For example, Delsey was one of the first companies to make suitcases with wheels. Among other achievements, it claims to have manufactured both the lightest luggage and the strongest zip case.
American Tourister was founded in Rhode Island by Sol Koffler as American Luggage Works. The company, which was founded in 1933, was – as mentioned earlier in this article – acquired by American was acquired by Samsonite (back then called Astrum International) in 1993.
While not as popular as Samsonite or Delsey, American Tourister is still one of the most popular luggage brands in the world.
Samsonite vs. Delsey vs. American Tourister
Now that you’re familiar with each of the three brands, let’s take a look at how Samsonite, Delsey, and American Tourister compare against each other when looking at a variety of factors including price, warranty, and product selection.
Overall, all three companies offer a similar selection of luggage types. While each of them offer a wheeled duffel bag and some smaller accessories like luggage tags or laptop bags, they’re mainly focused on offering suitcases.
As far as suitcases are concerned, all of the brands offer both hard and soft-shell cases in a wide variety of sizes – both carry-on and checked. You can buy them individually or in sets which often present a good value, especially if you need luggage for your family as well.
While all three brands offer designs ranging from simple all the way to cool and fancy, arguably neither American Tourister nor Samsonite can match the stylishness of some of Delsey’s designs.
After all, it’s a French brand. And, its products are named after Paris landmarks.
Product Quality & Warranty
Generally, it’s hard to go wrong whether you pick a suitcase that is made by American Tourister, Samsonite, or Delsey. That said, American Tourister is towards the lower end of the market whereas Samsonite and Delsey are slightly “better” brands.
As far as warranty is concerned, while Samsonite and American Tourister offer 10 or 3 year warranty depending on the product, Delsey’s warranty period is either 10, 5, 3, or 2 years depending on the product.
Each of the brands also offers authorized repair service in case your suitcase gets broken in transit, etc. (To avoid having to cover the repair costs yourself, you might want to consider getting a travel insurance – for example from World Nomads.)
In many cases, Delsey will be more expensive than Samsonite which in turn will be more expensive than American Tourister. However, the actualy prices really vary from product to product, and so before picking any single brand out of the three, I recommend comparing the prices of the type of suitcase you are looking for on Amazon.
Just to give you a quick idea, below are three similar carry-on suitcases – one from each brand – including their prices on Amazon.
And below is a similar comparison of larger soft-shell suitcases.
3 of My Favorite Products from Each Brand
Finally, let’s take a look at three of my favorite products from each of the brands.
They are in no particular order, and there are also many others that didn’t make it into the list yet are worth checking. The list should offer you a good starting point if you are looking to buy a piece of Samsonite, Delsey, or American Tourister luggage, though.
3 Best Samsonite Products
Starting with Samsonite, the three products I’m going to take a closer look at are the Centric Expandable Hardside Carry-On Spinner, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Carry-On Spinner, and the Flite Hardside 28-Inch Spinner.
Samsonite Centric Expandable Hardside Carry-On Spinner
The first of the three Samsonite products I will talk about, the Samsonite Centric Expandable Hardside Carry-On Spinner, measures 22.5 x 15.5 x 9.5 inches. However, if you happen to buy way too many gifts, or end up with more luggage than expected for some other reason, the suitcase can be made 1.5 inches wider.
While the suitcase’s distinct design should be enough to make it fairly easy to spot on the luggage belt in case you check it in, you can also opt for one of the brighter colors its offered in including “burnt orange” and “Caribbean blue.”
The suitcase also comes with a TSA-approved numerical lock to protect your belongings, and a 10-year limited warranty.
In case you are looking for larger suitcases, the Centric series is worth considering as well. Or, you could get a set of three Centric suitcases that’s on the picture above to be prepared for all the possible trips you might be taking.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Carry-On Spinner
While the shape of the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Carry-On Spinner might not be as unique as that of the Centric suitcase, it is still a good looking – and good quality suitcase.
What makes it stand out is its brushed pattern design that covers the suitcase’s shell, giving it a stylish look. That’s especially the case if you combine it with one of the more interesting color options such as burgundy, charcoal (pictured), or orange.
The suitcase is equipped with a TSA-approved lock, and it measures 23.0 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches. It weighs 6.7 pounds. Its one downside is the fact that it cannot be expanded like the Centric. That said, it should still provide enough space for shorter trips where you would prefer to avoid checking a bag in.
Talking about checking it in, similarly to the Centric series, the Winfield 2 suitcase is also available in larger (24-inch and 28-inch) sizes, or as a set of three.
Samsonite Flite Hardside 28-Inch Spinner
The above two suitcases use zippers and have a relatively “soft” shell even though technically they are a hardshell luggage. While that is absolutely fine for carry-ons, for my checked bags, I prefer suitcases with a truly hardshell and latches instead of zippers – such as the Samsonite Flite Hardside 28-Inch Spinner.
Even though the suitcase is very sturdy, and so will perfectly protect your belongings, it weighs just 9.8 pounds. As far as its size, the suitcase is 28 x 10.5 x 20 inches including its wheels.
One thing to keep in mind before buying it is that because of its construction, it is basically one big compartment with a smaller compartment in the lid. And so, if you like to have your belongings neatly organized, you might want to get a set of packing cubes together with the suitcase.
Other than that, though, I can only recommend getting this suitcase as your checked luggage since it is sturdier – the one thing that I believe matters the most when it comes to checked luggage – than many of the other options.
3 Best Delsey Products
The three Delsey products I am going to introduce here partly overlap with those mentioned in my article about the seven best Delsey pieces of luggage. More specifically, the two that overlap are the Chatelet Hard+ 21-Inch Spinner and the Alexis Expandable Carry-On Spinner.
The one that I decided to add here – both because I think it’s a really nice piece of luggage and to add some variety – is the Belfort DLX 23-Inch Spinner.
Delsey Chatelet Hard+ 21-Inch Spinner
As I mentioned in my Delsey article, if there is one suitcase that you can describe with the words “French elegance,” then it’s definitely the Delsey Chatelet Hard+ 21-Inch Spinner. The suitcase comes in “champagne” and “chocolate” colors, and features a very distinct, slightly retro design.
The suitcase measures 23.5 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches, and it’s equipped with a TSA-approved lock to keep your belongings safe. Inside, the large compartment covers include a couple of pockets that will make organizing your items easy.
What I find to be the most unique – and very useful – is the suitcases ability to lock two of the four wheels, thus preventing it from rolling away. I can’t remember how many times I had to quickly grab my suitcase on a train to stop it from “running away!”
While the suitcase is available in larger sizes as well, personally, I feel like it would be a waste to check in such an elegant suitcase. Instead, if you like the design, I would recommend getting this one as your carry-on suitcase and getting a different suitcase model to check-in.
Delsey Alexis Expandable Carry-On Spinner
The Delsey Alexis Expandable Carry-On Spinner is, perhaps not as elegant as the Chatelet – although it certainly is very stylish. However, it’s a bit more versatile as, just as its name suggests, it can expand – and so it can be useful in cases where, for example, you take gifts with you and leave with an emptier suitcase or vice versa.
When collapsed, the suitcase measures 21 x 10 x 13.5 inches. One of its downsides is the fact that it’s not equipped with a built-in lock. That’s fairly easily solved by getting a standalone lock, though.
On the inside, one of the compartments features tie-down straps, while to other is zippered and covered by a mesh.
Overall, if you are looking for a stylish Delsey suitcase, but are not a big fan of Chatelet’s design, this is the one to go with. And, while the Chatelet can get dirty and show wear and tear quite easily, the Alexis series is suitable for use as checked luggage too.
As such, you might even consider picking up a complete set featuring the carry-on, as well as 25-inch and 29-inch checked suitcases.
Delsey Belfort DLX 23-Inch Spinner
The Delsey Belfort DLX 23-Inch Spinner is similar to the Samsonite Flite in that it is a “true hard case,” and that it is closed using a set of three latches rather than with a zipper.
Besides the 23-inch version, the suitcase is also available in 26-inch and 30-inch versions. And, it’s also available in purple color besides the pictured anthracite grey.
On one side, it features tie-down straps, while on the other side it is equipped with an organizer with a couple of open and closed pockets.
Overall, this is a great suitcase if you want to make sure the items in your checked luggage stay intact. And, I certainly recommend getting this one (or the Samsonite Flite) for your checked luggage over suitcases that use zipper.
3 Best American Tourister Products
American Tourister Curio 20-Inch Hardside Spinner
While in general, American Tourister bags seem to be simpler and not as well designed as Samsonites and Delseys, that cannot be said about the American Tourister Curio 20-Inch Hardside Spinner which features a cool design with “circular waves.”
Given that it’s made out of polypropylen, it is not much stronger than a soft shell suitcase, and so I would not recommend getting the larger, checked suitcases from the series.
That said, it will serve perfectly well as a carry-on, and so, if you like the design, you shouldn’t hesitate about ordering one.
American Tourister Tribus 25-Inch Spinner
If you are looking to buy an American Tourister to check in, then the American Tourister Tribus 25-Inch Spinner is the one you might want to start your search with.
Just like the two rugged Samsonite and Delsey suitcases that I introduced earlier, this one is equipped with a true hard shell and a three-point latch locking mechanism as well.
Because of that, it is – at 10.4 pounds – slightly heavier than similarly sized zippered suitcases might be, however, the extra weight is well worth the increased strength. The suitcase is available in three sizes – besides the 25-inch version, there is also a carry-on version, and a large 29-inch one.
Unless you are planning to transport some fragile equipment in your carry-on, I wouldn’t recommend getting the carry-on version, and would opt for one of the other suitcases in this list instead. However, if you are looking for a checked suitcase then this one is a good one to get.
If you would like one that is easier to spot on the luggage belt, you might want to opt for the red version instead of the pictured black one.
American Tourister Disney Mickey Mouse Softside 28-Inch Spinner
For the last one in this list of products, I decided to feature a fun one – the American Tourister Disney Mickey Mouse Softside 28-Inch Spinner.
This series, as its name suggests, is a collaboration with Disney, and there are several different versions of it including the pictured two.
The distinct designs will surely standout on a luggage belt anywhere in the world, and so, if you are a Disney fan and like to be able to spot your luggage easily, I can only recommend getting one from the series.
The suitcases feature single spinner wheels, and measure 31 inches x 19 inches x 11 inches on the outside. The interior dimensions are 28 x 19 x 11 inches.
The series also comes in carry-on size in case you would like to show off your Mickey Mouse onboard rather than on a luggage belt.
One thing to keep in mind before getting a suitcase from this series is that they don’t have built-in locks. As such, you will have to get a separate, preferably TSA-approved, one. Other than that, though, it’s a perfect suitcase series for Disney lovers.
While Samsonite has the longest history of the three companies, you cannot go wrong with any of the three. They all offer a wide variety of luggage – especially suitcases – and, whether you choose a Samsonite, an American Tourister, or a Delsey, you will most likely be satisfied with your purchase.
As such, the actual choice of brand, and specific model, will eventually come down to your preferences in terms of design. The one thing I would stick by, though, is to get a softshell or zippered hard shell carry on, and an actual hard shell suitcase with latches rather than zippers as your checked luggage.
Each of the three brands has their own online shop, however, if you are not particularly keen on any one of them, I recommend comparison shopping on Amazon where you can get a wide range of products from all three.
To start with, I recommend checking one from each of the brands and then seeing the suggested products. As for the three suitcases to start your search with, I recommend the following: