[Editor’s note: this article has been modified from its original to reflect changes in product availability at Best Buy Canada. The original author’s opinions have remained unchanged.]
If you do a lot of travelling, it’s often worth buying your luggage in sets. Having two or three pieces at your disposal opens up a lot of options both in functionality and in availability, and sometimes lets you save a few dollars while getting matching pieces.
Why buy a luggage set?
As with anything, buying in bulk is a great way to cut costs while still getting the same great products. I notice this less than usual in the luggage industry (sets are often priced exactly at the cost of their individual components), but with one exception. When a luggage set goes on sale as compared to a single piece, it’s easy to save hundreds of dollars in a single purchase without needing to mix and match your items.
More than anything else, though, buying a luggage set offers convenience. It guarantees that you’ll be able to store all two or three pieces together, like a set of nesting dolls, saving space and simplifying your life. And, when you travel, all of your pieces will match, satisfying your inner Adrian Monk.
I’m just kidding–having matching pieces is handy in other ways, too. It’s easier to find a set than a mish-mash of pieces at the luggage carousel, which helps ensure that you won’t lose any of your checked items. Plus, matching luggage pieces can help members of a traveling party stick together and pick each other out from a crowd, just like wearing matching t-shirts at a family reunion does.
A 2 piece luggage set that’s great for business trips
The 2 piece luggage set that I tested out for this post is the SWISSGEAR Sosto 2-Piece Hard Side 4-Wheeled Luggage Set, which comes in sleek silver. With its ridged design, its aesthetic is reminiscent of an aluminum attaché case. It’s very spy movie/corporate powerhouse, and very gender-neutral. The Sosto 2-piece is currently sold out, but the similar SWISSGEAR Tannensee 2-Piece Hard-Side Expandable Luggage Set is currently available at Best Buy Canada.
A 2 piece luggage set is great for those who travel a lot, and it allows you to pack for both an extended family vacation and a weekend business trip. (This set includes a 28-inch upright suitcase and a 20-inch carry-on.) The Sosto in particular features a hard side design, which again is great for those travelling long distances or with fragile electronics.
It also features a fully lined interior, and (as I’ve come to expect from Swiss Gear), 360-degree spinner wheels. The two pieces are very much just different sizes of the same design, so you can expect the same features from both, like elastic tie-down straps that close with Swiss Gear’s elegant interlocking system. There are no traditional buckles in their straps, so you never risk pinching your fingers in a closure.
The Sosto collection is also expandable, giving you slightly more space for your gift-laden trip there, or your souvenir-packed trip back. The retractable handle allows for ease of travel between your destinations, and each piece also features a side carry handle. I much prefer a side handle to a bottom one, as bottom handles can be hard to grab or slippery upon contact, if it’s wet or snowy outside.
What stuck out to me about these pieces is their reinforced corners and side studs, which you don’t typically see. The corners of bags and luggage pieces often wear through first, so the reinforcements serve both an aesthetic purpose and a functional one.
3 piece luggage sets perfect for a family trip
I always buy my luggage in threes, so as cool as the Sosto set is, it doesn’t really tempt me. My family tends to travel all together, so we share a set. My dad takes the biggest piece for his belongings, anything big, and his work stuff. My mom takes the mid-size piece, packing for herself and my sister.
Finally, I’ll take the carry-on, and then immediately declare ownership of it for all future travels, because I quite frankly hate having to remove luggage from the carousel at my destination.
The SWISSGEAR EVO II 3-Piece Hard Side 4 Wheeled Luggage Set is one that has appeal for all of us. It’s a simple purchase (you do it once and you’re done for the whole family!), which is the biggest thing for my dad. It’s red, which my mom will love. And it’s super shiny and smooth, which I can’t get enough of.
The EVO II set is beautifully designed, and it functions just as well. The interior looks much the same as that of the SWISSGEAR Sosto Luggage Set, with a full nylon lining. The lining is zippered, of course; I’m never sure why linings are zippered, but it feels rather sneaky and I’m a fan. It also features a sectioned-off top, and handy elastic garment holders.
The exterior, for all that it looks different from the Sosto set, is also pretty similar. Both are made from a durable ABS plastic, and both feature side carry handles along with a retractable push-button handle.
That being said, EVO is smooth and lacquered while the its 2 piece compatriot is textured and ridged, making the EVO lighter and more visually appealing but less durable over time. The silver SWISSGEAR Sosto luggage set will hold up to more wear and tear (one of the things that makes it so great for business travel), but I almost always opt for lightness over durability. It makes a big difference in lifting and using each piece, and that’s a worthwhile tradeoff for a few visible nicks and scratches over time.
Why not buy a 2 or 3 piece luggage set
I’ve done a lot of talking up for luggage sets, but they’re not your only option. If you’re on a budget, or if you’re very specific about how you want each piece of luggage that you own to look, then solo pieces are always an option. Best Buy offers many options for single luggage pieces, which is a more cost-effective way to purchase your luggage if you know you’ll never use all 2 or 3 sizes.
If you only take weekend trips, for example, you’re best off simply buying a carry-on now and investing in bigger pieces in the future, if it ever becomes an issue. You know your needs best, so don’t be afraid to invest in a luggage set if that’s what suits your lifestyle–or to buy your luggage piece by piece when the need arises.