The best smart luggage to help you enjoy the journey just as much as the destination

Don't travel harder, travel smarter.
By Dylan Haas  on 
All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Our Top 7 Picks

Delsey Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage (opens in a new tab)

Best for aesthetics

With a built-in brake system, a TSA lock, trusty spinner wheels and a gorgeous, easy-to-spot design, this smart suitcase roller bag makes airport travel a breeze.

The Good

  • Very stylish design
  • TSA lock
  • Built-in brake system
  • Great carry-on size
  • Easy to wheel

The Bad

  • No built-in charger
  • No USB port

The Bottom Line

If you're all about the style of your luggage, this roller bag is a fantastic choice — as long as you don't need quick access to device charging.
Pros & Cons

Wrangler Smart Luggage Set (opens in a new tab)

Best on a budget

It may not have the most tech features, but this smart luggage is certainly accessible to the masses.

The Good

  • 3-in-1 USB port, phone shelf, and cup holder
  • Great carry-on size
  • Spinner wheels
  • Expandable

The Bad

  • No battery pack
  • No location tracking

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a simple roller bag with smart features that won't break the bank, this is a great choice.
Pros & Cons

The Carry-On by Away (opens in a new tab)

Best bang for your buck

This direct-to-consumer brand allows for a high-quality yet affordable suitcase with tons of options for customization — and they all look great.

The Good

  • Ejectable battery
  • Combination lock
  • Internal laundry bag
  • Looks great

The Bad

  • No outside pockets
  • Can be too small for some

The Bottom Line

The Away Carry-On is sure to get your fellow travelers talking with its sleek looks and helpful features -- all at an unbeatable price.
Pros & Cons

Samsara Carry-On Suitcase (opens in a new tab)

Best mobile work station

The Samsara's flat-top design makes for a perfect mobile work station that'll best suit remote workers and those who send emails from their airport gates.

The Good

  • Flat-top design makes a great laptop desk
  • USB charger with removable battery
  • Interior LED lights
  • Smartphone app tracks when case is opened out of sight
  • Comes with organizational packing bags

The Bad

  • Aluminum outer scratches and dents too easily
  • Interior lights are cool, but seem unnecessary

The Bottom Line

The high-tech Samsara carry-on suitcase comes with some pretty unique smart features, but its doubling as a mobile desk is its true selling point.
Pros & Cons

Arlo Skye The Frame Carry-On (opens in a new tab)

Best for durability

Style meets substance with this durable and sleek smart carry-on from Arlo Skye.

The Good

  • Stylish design
  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Lightning-fast charger
  • Clasp locks instead of zippers

The Bad

  • Aluminum might not dent, but it'll get scratched easily
  • The all-chrome look may not be for everyone

The Bottom Line

Arlo Skye's Frame carry-on combines style and substance to make a durable yet sleek suitcase that packs in a decent amount of smart features.
Pros & Cons

ModernistLook Smart Pro Backpack (opens in a new tab)

Best for portability

Much easier to travel with than your average roller bag, the ModernistLook Smart Pro Backpack is lightweight and perfect for day-trips.

The Good

  • Water resistant
  • Holds more than you'd expect from a backpack
  • Clever hidden zippers for valuables
  • Wearable

The Bad

  • Not as many features due to size
  • Better for day trips

The Bottom Line

This backpack is perfect for the modern day-tripper who doesn't want to lug around a bulky suitcase.
Pros & Cons

Modobag (opens in a new tab)

Best for mobility

The Modobag is compact, speedy, and an efficient way to get around with your stuff — if you don't mind stares.

The Good

  • Can travel up to 6 miles on one charge
  • Backlit dashboard shows you voltage gauge
  • You can literally ride the thing

The Bad

  • Über expensive
  • Looks a bit silly when you're on it

The Bottom Line

This motorized bag will have you turning heads at the airport.
Pros & Cons

It seems as though everything’s getting the “smart” treatment these days, from phones and TVs to robot vacuums. And while some of these upgrades are more novel than others (do we really need a smart toaster(opens in a new tab)?), others are definite game changers — smart luggage included.

Whether you tend to travel for work or pleasure, these genius accessories pull double duty to haul your stuff from point A to point B while making the whole process of traveling that much easier thanks to their intelligent functions.

What makes a piece of luggage "smart?"

When most people think of smart luggage, they think of smart suitcases, smart bags, or backpacks that have been equipped with built-in charging capabilities. Many of them come with their own chargers within — typically powered by a lithium-ion battery — that can be easily accessed from outside the smart bag to charge devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

However, the wide scope of smart features on luggage does not stop there. Some smart luggage can weigh itself — usually via an integrated digital scale in the top carry handle — so you don’t have to worry about overweight fees on your checked bag. Other forms of smart luggage come with built-in luggage trackers so you can see where your luggage is via an integrated smartphone app. This genius idea to build a smart luggage tracker right into your bag can bring incredible peace of mind in case of lost luggage — one of the most dreaded travel scenarios. (However, you could always just pop something like a Tile Mate, smart luggage tag, or other GPS or Bluetooth tracker into any piece of luggage and essentially get the same benefit.)

Often, this crop of high-tech luggage will also have smart features like convenient TSA locks that allow TSA agents to open and re-lock your luggage for easy inspection without having to break your lock. Some smart luggage can even tell you when the smart suitcase has been opened when it’s out of your sight.

Which "smart" perks will be best for me?

The perks of smart luggage reach far and wide, but the best ones for you depend on how often you travel, why you travel, how long your trips usually are, and how much you typically pack. For example, if you tend to jet off on long flights or need to work while in the air, a carry-on with charging capabilities will be crucial to keep you connected and productive. On the flip side, if you tend to go on long trips and often overpack, a smart suitcase that can weigh itself will ease your mind and help you avoid overweight checked bag fees before you even step foot out the door.

So, which smart luggage is the best?

We're so glad you asked! After conducting some serious online research, we’ve rounded up some of the internet’s favorite smart luggage options to help you make a decision on your next trusty travel companion. The “smart luggage” trend is growing ever more popular with travelers, so now’s the time to hop on the bandwagon with one of the best smart luggage finds right here.

Best for aesthetics
Credit: DELSEY
  • Dimensions: 9.5” x 20.25” x 14.25”
  • Weight: 10.45 lbs
  • Capacity: 45L

If you're looking for some luggage that looks as smart as it functions, this lightweight yet durable choice from Delsey Paris(opens in a new tab) is sure to stand out on the luggage carousel. Its crack-resistant polycarbonate shell stands up to a beating while faux leather accents add a generous touch of style. Plus, four multidirectional spinner wheels help you get where you're going, and the built-in brake system makes sure your smart bag stays put when it gets there. It also has a TSA-approved combination lock, a one-button locking handle and a soft and luxurious interior with lots of compartments and dividers to keep things organized and in place.

Best on a budget
Credit: Wrangler
  • Dimensions: 20" x 13. 5" x 11"
  • Weight: 6.92 lbs
  • Capacity: 48.7L

Though it may not be the "smartest" bag on the block, this roller bag from Wrangler(opens in a new tab) (yes, the denim company) offers plenty of smart features to make your travel days a whole lot easier. It doesn't come with its own battery pack — you'll have to provide your own — but the easy-access USB port at the back of this smart bag offers a convenient shelf to lay your smartphone as it charges. That's a feature we haven't seen on even the priciest of smart luggage models! And, when you're not juicing up your device, the spot also functions as a cup holder so you can zap yourself full of energy for that red-eye flight, too. The smart bag also expands for extra packing capacity when needed, and it has double spinner wheels for easy movement as you run to catch your plane.

Best bang for your buck
  • Dimensions: 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs
  • Capacity: 39.8L

Definitely the most trendy and buzz-worthy piece of luggage on our list, the Away Carry-On(opens in a new tab) is the perfect choice for someone in the market for smart luggage who doesn't want to completely break the bank. (Although you can upgrade to The Bigger Carry-On(opens in a new tab) if you need a little extra space.)

Coming in a bunch of different colors, the Away Carry-On includes an ejectable, rechargeable battery pack that can be used to give your USB-capable devices some extra juice on-the-go — that means no more fighting over public outlets. This Away suitcase also boasts a durable hard-shell exterior with a retractable handle and a combination lock for extra security. The inside of the Away suitcase features two large compartments as well as a nylon laundry bag (which is also waterproof, so you can jet straight from the beach to your flight with no problem).

Best mobile work station
Credit: samsara
  • Dimensions: 22" x 13" x 9"
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • Capacity: 35L

Aside from its unique smart features, the flat-top design of this Samsara luggage(opens in a new tab) is its true selling point. Flip the carry-on smart suitcase on its side and voilá — you now have a mobile desk to get things done while on the go. In addition to that, the Samsara luggage also has a removable battery charger, a set of organizational packing bags, high-quality spinner wheels, and a lightweight, fireproof aluminum shell that’s as durable as it is sleek. 

Something we haven't seen before, though, is the inclusion of the smart bag’s interior LED lights that automatically kick on when your surrounding environment is too dark. You'll also have access to a companion smartphone app that taps into the built-in luggage tracker to keep tabs on the smart suitcase's movement and can alert you if anyone is opening it while out of sight.

Best for durability
Credit: Arlo Skye
  • Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9"
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs
  • Capacity: 40L

Super durable products are usually chunky, clunky, and every other non-graceful adjective you can conjure up. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between style and substance when it comes to The Frame by Arlo Skye(opens in a new tab) as the smart suitcase does both without skimping on any of the good stuff that makes "smart" luggage, well, smart. The roller bag is built with an aluminum frame that withstands drops and other punishments that airport staff put it through, and it also has a well-protected interior. Traditional zippers have been replaced with more secure clasp locks that require a code to open, and it boasts whisper-quiet, 360-degree spinner wheels, and high-quality leather handles. Don't sleep on the smart suitcase's charger, either; it's lightning-fast and can give your phone a full battery in under an hour (aka before you even leave your gate to board your plane), and has both USB-C and USB-A ports.

Best for portability
Credit: modernistlook
  • Dimensions: 17.7" x 12.9" x 5.9"
  • Weight: 2.31 lbs
  • Capacity: 22L

Though it doesn’t have all the smart features that you’d see in other items of this nature due to its smaller size, the ModernistLook Smart Pro Backpack(opens in a new tab) makes up for it with its ability to be taken anywhere. Included on the side of the smart bag is a USB charging port, which is a convenient feature when you're on the go and can't stop to use an outlet. (However, you’ll need to provide your own power bank.) The smart bag also boasts anti-theft hidden compartments to give you peace of mind knowing that your valuables are safe, and the interior organizers ensure that you don't create an inadvertent mess while on the move.

Best for mobility
Credit: modobag
  • Dimensions: 22” x 14” x 9”
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Capacity: 45L

This one is a little outlandish, but fascinating nonetheless. The Modobag(opens in a new tab) is the only piece of smart luggage that carries you — not the other way around. 

Yes, you read that right; the Modobag isn't just a smart suitcase, it's also a motorized scooter that can travel for an impressive six miles on one charge and clocks in at about eight miles per hour. Afraid you'll crush your items in the process? Don't be — the Modobag can carry riders up to 260 pounds and employs a crush-resistant aluminum chassis to protect everything inside at all times.

When traveling shorter distances, the Modobag can be converted into a regular two-wheel roller bag. This little powerhouse also includes a backlit USB dashboard where you can charge your devices and the smart bag itself, and check the smart suitcase's remaining power. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A smart suitcase is any piece of luggage that is embedded with some sort of electronic or otherwise high-tech feature that makes your life and your travels just a little bit easier. Whether that’s some juice to charge your phone mid-flight or tracking technology to keep tabs on your traveling pants (and everything else you packed), they help you enjoy the journey on your way to your destination.

Smart luggage is definitely allowed on airplanes, though there are some things to keep in mind. Because the battery pack inside smart luggage is usually a lithium-ion battery, it must stay in the main cabin of the plane — not in the cargo hold with the checked baggage — for safety reasons. (Damaged lithium-ion batteries have been known to catch fire, so they need to be kept in areas where the flames can be put out in these rare instances.) For this reason, you’re more likely to find built-in power banks on smaller pieces of luggage, as they’re intended to be carry-ons.

So what do you do if there’s a lithium-ion battery in your checked bag? Well, any modern piece of smart luggage should now make sure that it has removable lithium-ion batteries, so you can just pop it out before checking the bag at the gate, and then you can keep it with you as you fly. However, some smart luggage is now powered by AAA batteries instead of removable lithium-ion batteries to avoid this extra step, so keep an eye out for that option if you want to ensure your larger bags can be checked without issue.

Whether or not smart luggage is worth its sometimes high cost all comes down to the value you put on the convenience it brings you. The ability to stay connected, in particular, is a key perk that most people would place at the top of their list while traveling. Not only does it keep boredom at bay throughout the journey, but it can help you stay productive on a work trip and keep you in touch at your destination, whether that’s for a ride to your hotel or to meet up with friends.

But when your phone battery is plummeting and there’s no outlet or charging port nearby, that’s when the dreaded stress sweat sets in — and the ability to relieve that sense of panic is where it really comes in handy to have a smart charger built into your luggage.

That said, not every item you own needs to be “smart” per se, but we believe that most smart luggage serves enough of a purpose that it's probably worthy of all the hype. The truth is, smart luggage has the ability to reduce many of the biggest pain points when it comes to travel stressors. Whether it’s charging your phone, weighing its own contents, or setting off an anti-theft alert, a piece of smart luggage could do you well in many cases (suitcases, that is).

Dylan is a reporter for Mashable Shopping. Follow him on Twitter @iamdylanhaas, or send him an email at [email protected]

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