Best Baggage: The Smartest Suitcases in the Skies

Carry-on and checked luggage is getting a whole lot smarter—both in looks and functionality.

Louis Vuitton (3), Knomo Hudson, Voyager
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With 432 million bags checked and another 1.6 billion carry-ons screened by the Transportation Security Administration in 2015, savvy travelers are primed to welcome the arrival of a new breed of luggage: one that marries high style and durability with smart technology, all designed to make traveling easier.

This includes an increasing number of carry-on bags that incorporate battery chargers, so it’s easy to recharge a phone or laptop on the go—a feature that’s especially handy when travel time is longer than anticipated and you are far from a plug.

Bigger cases designed for check-in are pretty smart, too. A smartphone app from Rimowa allows travelers to electronically check their bags in advance so they are ready for drop off upon arrival at the airport, while new technology from Raden can track luggage gone astray and tell you how much your luggage weighs.

But not all improvements are technological: Some bags are outsmarting the system with clever design (squeezing out an additional square inch of packing space or offering the ability to reconfigure for more flexibility) while others incorporate special materials (like an anti-RFID signal blocking lining or extra lightweight aluminum), making it all the easier to manage your suitcases while on the move.

With all these options flooding the skies, there’s never been a better time pack up and go.