Choosing your digital nomad luggage carefully is essential for easy full-time travel. Whether you’re a digital nomad, remote worker or frequent traveler – you’re going to need the best luggage that suits your needs and travel style.
But it doesn’t matter which digital nomad luggage you choose…right?
There’s a huge difference between packing for a holiday and packing for the digital nomad lifestyle.
If you’re on a holiday for a weekend or week, almost any bag will do because it’s such a short amount of time and you just need to chuck your clothes in.
But if you’re a digital nomad? Your whole life has to fit into that luggage! You are going to need the best digital nomad luggage to be lightweight, functional, durable enough to go through multiple flights a year and ultimately protect all your valuables.
As full-time digital nomads since 2018, we sold all of our stuff and our whole lives fit into our 50 lbs (23 kgs) digital nomad luggage. While we didn’t give it much thought when we started the digital nomad lifestyle, we quickly saw the need to get better luggage. I mean…our whole lives were in it – there was no way we were going to get just ANY luggage. And it’s been a worthwhile investment.
After traveling full-time since 2018, we have been able to personally test and see what factors make the best luggage for digital nomads. Here are our recommendations!
Quick Overview of the Best Luggage For Digital Nomads
Which is the best digital nomad luggage? Well, it depends! Remember this honestly comes down to personal taste. But as we’ve been digital nomads since 2018, we have our own opinions. Here’s a short list of the best digital nomad luggage for full-time travel:
- Best Hardshell Luggage: Away Medium Checked
- Best Softshell Luggage: Osprey Ozone Wheeled Luggage
- Budget-Friendly Luggage: Coolife Expendable 28″ Suitcase
- Best Carry-on Luggage: Caarany 20″ Carry On Luggage
- Best Designed Luggage: Beis Medium Checked
- Best Overall Digital Nomad Luggage: Away Travel Medium Checked Suitcase
What Will You Use Your Digital Nomad Luggage For?
The most important question you need to ask yourself. There are really only 2 answers to this question:
- Will I use my digital nomad luggage for check-in luggage?
- Will I use my digital nomad luggage for carry-on luggage?
Both are valid ways to travel – it all depends on how you want to travel and manage all of your stuff. We know digital nomads who have decided to cut everything down to carry-on luggage around 7lbs (4 kgs). We have found most digital nomads are like us who have 1 checked bag whether that’s a roller suitcase or a bigger travel backpack.
For Matt and I, we have 1 suitcase each and 1 backpack each. After our 2nd year being digital nomads, we decided we could definitely cull more of our stuff and so we did and we’ve found this combo works well for us!
Want to live the carry-on ONLY life? We applaud you! It’s such a freeing way to travel full-time as you only have about a week’s worth of stuff but it’s also very hard to pack because you have to be very precise. Either way, we have included a section for carry-on luggage that will work for full-time travel!
Read This Next: 10 Best Digital Nomad Backpacks For Everyday Use
How Long Are You Looking To Travel As A Digital Nomad?
- 6 months?
- 1 year?
- 2+ years?
This is a hard question for any digital nomad to answer – mostly because we never plan that far ahead. Matt and I never really said we were going to be digital nomads for X amount of years. However, we did know we wanted to pursue this for at least a year – and that’s what we packed for.
We believe that if you are a full-time digital nomad traveling for 6+ months, you are likely going to have 1 piece of check-in luggage and 1 piece of carry-on luggage.
Should My Digital Nomad Luggage Be A Suitcase Or A Backpack?
The most important and defining question – should you have a suitcase or a backpack?
This debate has swept through the digital nomad communities and it’s honestly probably never going to come out as one is better than the other. It’s all up to your personal taste – you are the one traveling with your digital nomad luggage so just choose what you feel is best for YOU.
Personally, we have always been team suitcase! We have our own digital nomad packing list and found that it’s much easier to organize and repack our things with a suitcase. Plus we wanted to be easier on our backs.
But before you can answer that question, take the time to imagine what kind of digital nomad travel you’d like to do. There’s plenty of different kinds and you can be more than 1 of them.
- Are you an adventurous digital nomad?
- Are you a chill digital nomad?
- Are you a foodie digital nomad?
- Are you an off-the-beaten-path digital nomad?
- Are you looking to do every little thing in a new country?
- Are you trying to focus on work or building your business?
What does this have to do with choosing your digital nomad luggage? LOTS!
Depending on your travel style, some digital nomad luggage might suit you better than others. For example, if you’re an off-the-beaten-path digital nomad – you might prefer a big travel backpack because you will be walking around (maybe even dirt paths) with your luggage more often. While if you’re a work-from-home, chill digital nomad – you might prefer a suitcase that you can easily roll from the airport to your Airbnb without any fuss.
Figuring this out will help you choose the best luggage for digital nomad travel.
Should You Get Soft or Hard Shell Luggage As A Digital Nomad?
There are good and bad sides to both of these types of digital nomad luggage. Ultimately, you can decide what’s more comfortable for you and suit your travel style.
|Hard Shell Luggage Pros:||Hard Shell Luggage Cons:|
|Offers extra protection for valuables||Tends to be heavier (extra lbs)|
|More aesthetically pleasing||Harder to fit into tight, cramped spaces|
|Easier to repack your things||Scratches much easier|
|More colors and designs are available|
We chose hard shell suitcases because we find it easier to pack and repack, roll around everywhere and gives us peace of mind with the extra protection. We’ve gotten our digital nomad luggage weight down to a fine art and so it’s okay for us if the hard shell is a little heavier. If you’re traveling full-time like us, we found this to be the best type of digital nomad luggage for us (even if we are strolling through the cobblestone streets in Europe).
What about soft shell luggage? It’s got it’s on pros and cons for digital nomad luggage, these are what we think they are after years of traveling:
|Soft Shell Luggage Pros:||Soft Shell Luggage Cons:|
|Tends to be lightweight||Fabric can be torn open|
|Durable material||Easier to break through|
|Fits into tight spaces easier||Might not be waterproof|
|Susceptible to stains and smells|
A soft shell luggage is great if you want to make the most out of your weight. A hard shell luggage usually takes up to 10lbs which can add up if you’ve got a lot of stuff! However, we feel they usually only have 2 wheels which can be quite annoying!
Whichever one you choose, we highly recommend getting one with high-quality wheels. You will be traveling to lots of different digital nomad destinations with a variety of terrain. If your back starts acting up and you’re feeling tired at least you’ll be able to roll it along instead.
Digital Nomad Luggage: 3x Best Hard Shell Suitcases
Hardshell suitcases are a wonderful digital nomad option. You get extra protection for your valuables, it’s all nice and tucked in (you won’t have anything fall out) and it’s so easy to organize everything you own.
1. Away Travel: Medium Checked Suitcase
Away is a travel company that produces some of the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing luggage collections. Through their sleek design, lifetime warranty and thoughtful marketing, Away has soared since their launch in 2015 taking over and leading the travel luggage industry.
The minimally designed hard shell suitcases have become popular in recent years. There are 4 sizes available for purchase: Carry-On, Bigger Carry-on, Medium and Large. If you want to keep your weight below 50lbs (23 kgs), I’d say the Away Medium Checked (Classic Redesigned version) is a perfect size. Anything more than that and it’s probably best to order a Large.
The best part?
Away has recently redesigned their classic hard shell suitcases with improved features based on customer feedback. It’s the perfect time to get an Away luggage as they have also launched 10 colors to choose from!
The hard shell is made out of polycarbonate which keeps it durable through any flight and their 360 high-quality wheels make it easy to roll through any kind of floor. The TSA-approved combination lock keeps your belongings safe and secure. While the Away suitcase is a little heavy (9.9lbs or 4.4 kgs), you can tell this digital nomad luggage was built to last.
Now, I might be a little bit biased here but Away suitcases are my literal dream! I haven’t had the chance to snag one myself because my old Delsey just won’t die. Until then…I’ll just have to keep dreaming of owning Away luggage.
Prices start at $295 for a Medium; 100-day trial; Free shipping; Limited lifetime warranty Dimensions (includes wheels): Exterior 26” x 18.5” x 11”, Interior 24” x 17.5”; Weight: 9.9 lbs (4.5 kg).
2. Coolife Luggage Expandable: 28″ Large Suitcase
This is a budget-friendly option that still gives you great value for money. The Coolife Luggage Expandable has ABS + PC hardshell material which keeps it durable and strong even though some of the rigors of baggage handlers. The 4 wheels move easily through 360 degrees of motion and this digital nomad luggage comes in 4 different colors.
With 2 years of warranty and an in-built TSA lock, this is a great, lightweight and budget-priced suitcase that will help you have peace of mind during your digital nomad travels.
For long-term travel as digital nomads, we recommend getting the Large (28″) suitcase. It’s important to note that only the Large size is expandable giving you extra space.
Prices start at $139.99 for a Large; 2 Year Warranty; Free shipping; Dimensions: (20.5 x 11x 29); Weight 7.65 lbs (3.46 kg).
3. July: Medium Suitcase
Born in Melbourne, Australia, this luggage company has recently launched in The United States. July is known for having an elegant, simplistic design while having the highest protection for your valuables. This digital nomad luggage comes in 9 different colors and you can also add personalization to your suitcase for an extra $50.
Don’t let the beauty fool you because this bag is made out of a tough German polycarbonate shell to give you peace of mind for your valuables in transit. The unique design feature by July is the aluminum corner bumpers which also add the extra layer of protection from being thrown around by baggage handlers.
Unfortunately, we have seen in recent reviews that these suitcases actually dent fairly easily. When I was about to purchase these, I just didn’t feel confident in the lifetime warranty as I read some pretty bad reviews on their physical store listing. I’ve also seen very good reviews, it’s best to weigh up the options for yourself!
You can tell this July has thought of almost everything. The interior is water-resistant and lined with stain-proof nylon material. The July Checked is the best size for long-term travel. They have even trademarked their propriety SilentMove wheels that can glide across any surface without making a sound. Now that’s cool. When you purchase this digital nomad luggage, it also comes with an odor-proof laundry bag and y-shaped compression straps.
While it is a little heavier than the bags on the list here making you have some extra weight, you can totally understand it’s because of how strong, durable and secure it is. The ‘Checked Luggage’ is the perfect size for long-term traveling digital nomads.
Prices start at $275; 100 Day Trial, Ships Next Business Day; Lifetime Warranty; Dimensions (26″ H x 18″ W x 11.5″); Weight: 8.3 lbs (3.8kg).
The Hard Shell Suitcases We Use As Digital Nomads
I can’t really put our suitcases on this list because ours aren’t the best. Matthew has the Samsonite Freeform suitcase and I’ve got a Delsey Red suitcase. Both of our suitcases broke during baggage handling and we were both able to get replacements!
Qantas Airlines broke mine and they gave me my Red Delsey 28″ one which is ok, but I probably wouldn’t have paid for it. Matthew’s seemed to be a manufacturing problem and he was able to get a replacement with the Samsonite Freeform which proves the warranty holds up and he’s been really happy with it so far!
If I was to buy new digital nomad luggage, I’d go with Away or Beis because it’s a great long-term investment that should last a couple of years! But if I had to choose one (which I’ll be purchasing soon), I’d choose Away Medium Checked! My friend has had good experiences with their lifetime warranty which seals the deal for me. But honestly, any of these two are probably the best luggage for digital nomads who travel full-time.
Matthew is a big fan of Samsonite and said he would stick with his Samsonite Freeform!
Digital Nomad Luggage: 3x Best Soft Shell Suitcases
Soft shell suitcases are a great option for long-term travelers because of their flexibility and lightweight material. If you have an inkling weight that could be a problem for you, soft shell suitcases might be the way to go. These digital nomad suitcases are slightly bigger and therefore will need to be check-in luggage and not suitable for carry-on luggage.
While most soft-shell suitcases come without wheels, we recommend always getting digital nomad luggage with wheels so if you ever get tired or your back hurts – that option is still available to you. In this list, all soft shell suitcases have wheels included.
1. Eastpak CNNCT Wheeled Luggage
Traveling through the cobbled streets of Antigua, Guatemala? Or simply a busy gravel road?
This Eastpak Tranverz M Luggage is perfect for busy and bumpy streets with its smooth two-wheeled system and telescopic handle.
The coating material is unique to Eastpak and offers extra protection from stains and includes durable water-resistant fabric. While it’s not the most elegant or intricate design, it comes in few different colors.
Always running out of space?
This is where the Tranverz M really shines! It has tons of room and lots of compartments to make organising your digital nomad luggage. It’s also super lightweight which is a huge bonus.
As digital nomads, we are always on the move. The ability to pack up quickly is a huge advantage. The Tranverz M lays flat which makes packing so much easier for you!
Prices start at $180; 30 Years Limited Warranty; 30 Day Free Returns; Free Shipping; Dimensions: 26.38″, Width: 13.98″, Depth: 11.82″; Weight: 6.86 lbs (3.12 kgs)
2. REI Rolling Duffel
REI has backpacks for any kind of traveling. The REI Rolling Duffel comes with 2 wheels that easily glide over any gravel or cobblestone street making it easy for you to go literally anywhere! The Rolling Duffel bag is made of recycled nylon to give it a tougher exterior, protecting your things from most damage.
For a soft shell suitcase, this digital nomad luggage has plenty of handles on the side, front and end to make the ease of access really simple to simply pick up and go if you’re in any rush. This suitcase is eco-friendly through the use of recycled material and bluesign approved materials.
The price is a little steep if you ask me but this is a soft shell suitcase that was made to last. This digital nomad suitcase is also 2 inches bigger than what we usually recommend (28″) and it’s definitely something you can factor in. If weight might be an issue for you, this could be the perfect digital nomad suitcase that’s lightweight and can pack more in because of the extra 2 inches.
Prices start at $269; 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed; Free Shipping; Dimensions: 30 x 16 x 14.5; Weight: 9.7 lb (4.3 kgs)
3. Osprey Ozone Wheeled Luggage
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, high-quality and straightforward digital nomad suitcase, this could be the one for you! The Osprey Ozone Wheeled Luggage comes in a 26″ medium-sized digital nomad suitcase that suits any kind of traveler.
While there is only 1 color option, the digital nomad luggage fits everything very tight and compact for a sleek, minimalist look. The lockable zippers, rear panel pocket and compression straps should keep your belongings safe and secure. Osprey also offers their own branded packing cubes which is an essential item on our digital nomad packing list.
Prices start at $250; Free Shipping & Returns; Dimensions: 6H X 16.9W X 13.6D; Weight: 5.14 lb (2.3 kgs)
Best Digital Nomad Luggage: 2x Best Carry-On (Wheeled)
Matthew and I lived the carry-on ONLY lifestyle when we traveled Europe for 7 months. In this time, we visited 8+ countries and only had a week’s worth of clothes. That’s it! Traveling with only a carry-on backpack or suitcase isn’t easy.
When we prepared to do this, we had to lay out each outfit combination making sure we had a good capsule wardrobe. More than that, we had to give up some of the comforts we had in our checked luggage combination like bigger bottles of my skincare or our stainless steel cups.
In our experience, the carry-on only life is extremely freeing because at this point – you are the epitome of a minimalist. You only have enough room for the essentials! This is an admirable way to travel and it can save you so much money (because you don’t have to pay Ryanair’s ridiculously high checked baggage fees).
Here are the best digital nomad luggage for the carry-on only lifestyle:
1. Caarany 20″ Wheeled Carry-On
How to describe the Caarany carry-on luggage?
Three words: Smart. Sleek. Functional.
There are several reasons why this stands out as a carry-on option. First of all, it just looks beautiful. If you’re like me and you care about the design or aesthetic – this luggage definitely looks great! Second, it’s got a lot of practical features that you wish you had (but didn’t know you needed it until you saw it on this luggage i.e. a cup holder). Third, it’s a good size at 20″ – you’ll be able to fit at least 10 days worth of clothes which is a lot when this luggage is all you have! Here are some more features that stand out:
- Convenient mobile phone holder (on the handle)
- Built-in USB and USB-C port
- Cup holder (for your coffee, obviously)
- Easy open side compartment
- Clip lock = no broken zippers later
The only thing I would double check is the sturdiness of the Caarany Wheeled Carry On. It seems like it can be a little flimsy on the material as some reviews have said. If you want a decent carry-on luggage, this is a solid option for a more affordable price.
2. Béis Carry On Roller
Wanting to invest a little more cash on your carry on?
Béis is the perfect solution – they are priced very competitively (only $28 more than Caarany)! But that’s just the beginning of the long list of reasons Beis might be the perfect carry on for digital nomads.
This luggage company was the brain child of actress, Shay Mitchell. It first launched in 2018 and has only soared to become one of the top luggage companies in the industry. Why? I think it comes down to 3 things:
- Design (trendy and classic colors available)
- Practical (lots of functions you wish you had included)
- Value For Money (competitively priced but lots of extra features)
The 360* wheels, expander and built-in TSA locks but that’s not even the coolest part! The overpackers will love this feature and we think it is the most innovative thing we have seen in a while and it is…
…a built-in weight indicator!
That’s right – if your bag is over 50lb (23kgs) the bag will display a red line on the luggage handle. This tells you whether you need to take out a couple of jackets to make sure you don’t pay those ridiculous over-weight baggage fees! The bottom line? You get a beautiful looking luggage with Béis that’s practical and functional no matter how far or wide you travel!
3. Sterling Pacific Luxury Carry-On
Looking for a luxury luggage option?
Sterling Pacific brings a new meaning to luxury luggage with the functionality you need while traveling.
Their luggage is known for its stylish aluminum structure and sleek leather accents on the handles. The whole design screams ‘luxury’! But when you’re spending nearly $1,500 USD on a carry on, it’s got to have more features than that right?
This aluminum luggage offers a lifetime warranty and repair service. If anything goes wrong, it seems like their customer service is more than happy to help! The quality of materials, thoughtful design and good service make it a worthwhile investment! Here are other key features to consider:
- Leather care bag included
- No zippers = no chance of being broken
- 2x TSA built-in locks for extra security
- Silent roll-on wheels
The only downside for us was that it doesn’t have spinner wheels, as they are only 2 wheels on the backside. Our personal preference is 4 spinner wheels but it does have a stopper in the front. This makes it much more stable when it’s idle. Sterling Pacific is a much bigger investment but it can be worthwhile for some because they offer a lifetime warranty and service repair, giving you some peace of mind!
Click here and use promo code TWOTICKETS at checkout to get $300 off your Sterling Pacific luggage.
Digital Nomad Luggage: 2 Best Travel Backpacks (Check-in Luggage)
If you’re on the fence about buying a hard shell suitcase or a backpack with wheels, then a travel backpack could be the option for you. Travel backpacks are the easiest to carry around because they simply fit on your back and they can provide support through things like a hip belt, waist strap or chest straps.
Some definitely prefer a backpack if they were traveling the world for one year…but for being a full-time digital nomad? We think it could become too hard on your back and just uncomfortable to travel with overall. But again – it all depends on personal taste.
Here are the 2 best travel backpacks for digital nomads who travel full-time.
1. Osprey Renn 65 Women’s Backpack
Sleek. Compact. Functional. The Osprey Renn 65 Travel Backpack is a great size for long-term travel and its ventilation technology makes it very comfortable for any traveler. There are 3 colors available: grey, purple and blue.
The highly ventilated backpack and Airspeed back panel make it a great backpack for comfort allowing you to walk around and carry for longer periods. The travel backpack includes a compartment for a sleeping bag and an integrated rain cover to protect your bag from any water. The waist strap comes with dual mesh side pockets for quick access.
Prices start at $164; Free Shipping & Returns; Dimensions: 26.4 x 14.6 x 14.2; Weight: 3.44 lb (1.56kgs)
2. Thule Landmark Travel Backpack
If you’re looking for an all-in-one digital nomad luggage solution – the Thule Landmark Travel Backpack could be the perfect backpack for you! Why?
This check-in backpack also includes a 20l carry-on bag in the one price. That’s an awesome combo! They’ve also designed it so you can attach the carry-on luggage to your main backpack. You can choose from 3 different sizes available: 40L, 60L and 70L depending on your needs. Note: this includes the 20L carryon bag e.g. 70L bag is actually 50L for the main + the 20L carryon.
This digital nomad luggage includes anti-theft pockets to store cash, passport and other valuables. You’ve also got a safe-zone compartment for things like sunglasses, your phone or anything you want to protect. And if you’re worried about keeping your bag secure, Osprey has added innovative loop locks to help deter theft from unzipping your bag.
If you’re looking for a travel backpack without wheels, this is one of the best travel backpacks for digital nomads.
Prices start at $227; Free Shipping & Returns; Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 24.8; Weight: 4.56 lb (2.06kgs)
Which Is The Best Digital Nomad Luggage For Long-Term Travel?
The only thing you need to keep in mind is how much check-in luggage you want or not at all. Since 2018, we’ve been traveling full-time and we believe the best digital nomad luggage combination is 1 checked luggage and 1 carry-on backpack. Simple, uncomplicated and easy.
Matthew’s Answer: Samsonite Freeform Hard Shell Suitcase
Ashley’s Answer: Away Hard Shell Suitcase
If travel has (or is) becoming your lifestyle, choosing the right luggage is a worthy investment. Remember: The best luggage for digital nomads like yourself is totally up to you and what you will feel comfortable traveling with! You don’t need a huge 70L backpack to feel like a legit traveler. If a hard shell wheeled suitcase is easier for you to move around and pack with – then get that! After all, you are the one that has to travel with it!