Best Luggage Not Made in China

Best Luggage Not Made in China

Is there still luggage not made in China?

The answer is…kind of.

Since China was given permanent MFN status, it seems that most big brands fell over themselves to outsource to China. It seemed that you couldn’t find a brand that hadn’t moved all of their production there. By 2019, more than 82% of the luggage sold in the US was imported from China.

As of 2022, it looked like the 2018 tariffs on China were making a difference. While China still had the lion’s share of imports to the US at $643 million, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia were starting to catch up.

The problem is that China has been allowed to dominate manufacturing to the point where it has achieved massive economies of scale, helped as always by a government with its fingers on the scales. And while China’s government continues to be shrewd, America’s government continues to be incompetent.

Evidently, right on the heels of the 2018 tariffs on China which convinced many brands to move from China to developing countries, Congress allowed the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, to lapse. This meant that tariffs that had been waived were now put back in place on developing countries like, you guessed it, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia—in many cases completely negating the benefits that the 2018 tariffs brought. This was enough to convince at least some brands to move back to China.

You would think this would be something that the entire Congress could get behind in a bi-partisan way, but they continue to drag their feet. As they do, China continues to get more and more powerful.

The good news is that there are signs that some brands have diversified their production, hedging their bets by having production in both China and developing countries. The danger, of course, is that the longer the 2018 tariffs on China continue to be undermined by things like the failure to pass the GSP, the more brands will decide to shift production back to China for good.

How do I guarantee that a suitcase I buy is from a factory not in China?

Unfortunately if you’re shopping online, you really can’t, especially if you’re buying from a big brand like Tumi or Samsonite. I based my list below on the best information I have as of the time I’ve writing this, but many brands produce out of multiple factories or change their manufacturing on a dime depending on where the tariff winds are blowing.

As always, your best bet is to visit a physical store and look at the box yourself. If that fails, take my suggestions below as a starting point, but try to verify with the retailer or seller

1. TUMI 19 Degree International

TUMI has been my brand of choice for years, but my heart broke a few years ago when I could no longer find a single model that wasn’t made in China.

I literally let out a vocal “yip” when I saw that Amazon was selling this carry-on luggage, and that the country of manufacture was listed as Indonesia. If you need something bigger, this larger version holds a ton of stuff and can be checked. It’s also listed as made in Indonesia.

My guess is that after the 2018 Tariffs and the 2020 lockdowns in China’s factories, TUMI decided to move some of its production (finally) out of China.

Be careful, the vast majority of TUMI luggage still seems to be made in China. But you can send a message to TUMI by buying one that was not.

2. Victorinox Airox Hardside Carry-On

I was happy to see this hard shell suitcase from Victorinox is made in Taiwan. These are the folks who make the Swiss Army knife. The Amazon product page rather foolishly states unequivocally not once but twice that this is Made in Switzerland, which a reviewer called out. It’s possible that at once time Victoronix made this out of Switzerland, and then changed their factory.

What’s ironic is that in their complaint, they divulged that this is made in Taiwan. I wish that more marketers would become educated that “Made in Taiwan” is actually a sign of high quality nowadays and that it’s something they should be shouting from the rooftops instead of cowering apologetically. Consumers are a lot smarter than a lot of these marketers. When my current suitcase wears out, this is one I will definitely be getting.


At over $1400 this suitcase is not for everyone. But RIMOWA has been an iconic German brand since 1931, and they produce all of their suitcases out of their own factories in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Canada. This original aluminum suitcase called the Cabin series is their iconic design.

These are among the best suitcases you can buy anywhere. They’ll last forever, and they’re built with solid German engineering. They became part of the LVMH, the holding company that also owns Louis Vuitton (another brand that is staying away from China), which gives me hope that they’ll resist the urge to outsource to China for a long time.

4. ROAM Luggage

ROAM Luggage was founded by Charlie Clifford, the founder of TUMI, and Larry Lein, TUMI’s former Executive Vice-President.

Clifford left TUMI in 2004, as it was being sold to a British private equity firm. TUMI went public in 2012. During that time, TUMI moved virtually all of its production to China, while at the same time raising its prices to exploit on its popularity. This led to ridiculous profit margins that led to TUMI being acquired by Samsonite in 2016 for $1.8 billion. Samsonite, of course, doubled down on China manufacturing as well.

Clifford and Lein looked to create a product priced below TUMI that was also made in the USA. They are careful to say “Assembled in the USA”, so chances are a lot of their materials and components are still coming from China (they do confirm that their pure polycarbonate is extruded and molded in the USA).

5. Tough Traveler “Wheeled Trekker” Rolling Suitcase

At $290, this Tough Traveler suitcase finally gets into more affordable territory. On their Web site (where there are more models available such as the “Clipper” and “Samoyed”) they state that over 95% of their raw materials are made in the USA. Their bags, as well, are designed and made out of their factory in Schenectady, NY.

This is the real deal. A small business based in one of the oldest cities in America still hanging on to its roots

6. Samsonite

I almost hesitate to mention Samsonite. They bought American Tourister in 1993, Hartmann in 2012, Tumi in 2016, and by 2022 controlled 85% of the market for hard luggage in the United States.

Like other brands like Apple and Purina, Samsonite was in a dominant position in its industry during the 1990s and 2000s to effect positive change by encouraging manufacturing in America and in developing countries. Instead, it shuttered its factory in Denver, Colorado which once employed over 4,000 Americans in 2001. Then it outsourced its manufacturing to the lowest bidder, which more often than not meant China.

Today, Samsonite manufactures out of a number of countries, including China. They don’t make it easy to find country of origin on its suitcases, but here are a few models that I’m reasonably sure aren’t made in China.

I based my assumptions above on comments I read from Samsonite’s customer service department to customers asking questions on the site, but remember that some of this information might be outdated as Samsonite finds new factories around the world and closes old ones. Again, your best bet is to visit a physical store to check for yourself OR to avail yourself to Samsonite’s customer service to double-check before you make a purchase.

There are a bunch of Samsonite products listed on Amazon, but some of the information is so outdated I would question some of it. For example, their listing for Centric Hardside Luggage says it was made in Myanmar, but their reviews say it was made in China (likely before they changed factories).

7. Bric’s Luggage

Bric’s has sold Italian travel bags out of Italy since 1952. While they’re more known for their handbags, their hardshell luggage is certainly top quality as well.

Bric’s sells a whole line of carry on and checked luggage. They’re all designed in Italy. While you can still shop for Made in Italy handbags and suitcases on their site, you can go to Amazon for more affordable options. Happily, they achieved these lower prices not by outsourcing to China, but by outsourcing to Indonesia.

Here are some of the more popular models.


LOJEL was founded in Japan in 1989. They soon expanded rapidly due to their elegant, practical, and efficient design. They come in two basic models:

Cubo – A suitcase that stores a huge amount of stuff efficiently and allows for easy access to your stuff. Comes in multiple sizes for carry-on or check-in.

Voja – A suitcase without zippers; you lock it securely with a latch. Also comes in multiple sizes for carry-on or check-in.

The suitcases are all made in Tangerang, Indonesia.

The one thing that gives me pause is that the company was once headquartered in Japan, but now is headquartered in Hong Kong. Hong Kong companies don’t pay taxes to mainland China, but of course as we’ve seen with the CCP’s promises around press freedom, China can swoop in anytime and change the rules. Take that into account when deciding on this brand.

9. Proteca

If you’d like a Japanese brand with zero ties to China, Proteca is a great one, and here in the United States you can order them from their parent company, Ace Bags. The design and craftsmanship are exactly what you’d expect. Some commenters on online forums say that they prefer Proteca to Rimowa.

10. Eminent Luggage

Eminent is a suitcase brand out of Taiwan that still manufactures in Taiwan. I was sad to see that they don’t distribute to the U.S., but if you’re in the EU, UK, Switzerland, or Norway you’re in luck, as they do have a site where you can order their products. They offer carry-on and checked luggage, are very reasonably priced, and are of exceptional quality.

11. Pelican 1615 Air Travel Case

The Pelican 1615 Air Travel Case is no ordinary suitcase. If you have delicate camera gear, dive gear, electronics, drones, research equipment, or anything else you can’t carry on and wouldn’t trust the airlines not to break, this is the travel case for you.

It’s got a hard case that will amounts of abuse that would crush most suitcases. It’s one of the travel cases of choice for professional photographers and videographers, which is why shops like B&H Photo stock foam sets and dividers you can use to organize and further protect your delicate equipment. It’s lockable, and TSA-approved. And while some of their lower models are made in China, this model they’re keeping made in the USA.

12. Korchmar Hudson Wheeled Carry-On

This gorgeous suitcase with American leather trim comes from Korchmar, who’s been in the business of crafting leather goods for over 100 years and produces products only out of their facilities in the United States and the Dominican Republic. It looks like the majority of its bags are produced in the Dominican Republic, but they do advertise which of their bags is made in their United States factory as well.

Do you know of other suitcase brands worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Good to read that you managed to find some very nice alternatives!

    Another brand that is certainly worth mentioning is the Swedish brand Thule.
    I have a carry-on spinner of this brand that was made in Vietnam.
    They also sell suitcases and carry-on spinners (Thule Revolve) made in Europe (Poland).
    Very good quality and solidly built.

    Another brand that I really like is DSPTCH.
    They don’t sell suitcases, but they do sell daypacks, totes, pouches, etc…
    Made in USA.

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