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Luggage for College Students

Updated on December 16, 2014

Preparing to Pack for College? Which luggage for college students is best?

Whether you are the student, the parent, or a friend or relative in search of a great graduation gift for the college bound student, luggage is an important consideration, and picking out luggage for college is really picking out something that will hopefully last decades beyond formal schooling!

It may sound a little boring, to give luggage as a graduation gift. However, for the college bound student, this is going to come in very handy. It's a practical present, and it will be appreciated!

Luggage is one of those graduation gifts that signifies growing into adulthood. It's tough for parents to let go, but it's exciting, at the same time. That suitcase set is more than just a tool, it really is symbolic of the freedom and responsibility that come with adulthood.

Durability in College Luggage

As you consider modern luggage sets for your college bound freshmen or older college students, think about modern durability and the level of intensity with which your young person handles things. Dragging several suitcases through an airport can be rough on a suitcase set, but modern materials include hard polymers that are resistant to the bumps along the way. I find the unique option of expandability to be exceptional in hard luggage, and nesting is the best choice for storage in a dorm, frat or sorority house or apartment.

Travelers Choice Malibu 3 Piece Hard Case Luggage SetCHECK AVAILABILITY

As you consider luggage for college students, you want to take into account the frequency of use the suitcase set will get. There are both hard and soft case suitcase sets, and both can be really useful. If you are finding a luggage set for someone who tends toward lots of bumping into things, or carelessness with belongings, then hardcase luggage is an easy choice.

Travelers Choice Freedom 3 Piece Lightweight Hard-Shell CHECK AVAILABILITY

Soft luggage, however, is especially nice for the college student who needs flexibility. Most soft suitcases have additional zippers, to expand their capacity. A student can fill the luggage to the brim for travel at the beginning and end of a semester, while working with less bulky packing for mid semester trips at Thanksgiving, and Spring Break.

If you are giving luggage to a college bound graduate, as a graduation present, you can make it even more fun by hiding some interesting, small gifts, inside the luggage. You might want to include a set of towels and washcloths. Or perhaps, you will tuck a gift card for a pizza parlor that delivers to the student's residence hall. An assortment of basic stock up items, or a few rolls of quarters and sheets of stamps, to help prepare the student for some of the new responsibilities and challen

Hard Luggage Sets that Stand Up to the Rigors of College Student Travel

Some students have more to tote and some have less. I think that a 3-piece set is ideal because there are options for different travel needs. My daughter had a spring break trip last year that required a bit more luggage, but at Thanksgiving, she really only needed two pieces. Weekends out of town with a roommate's family were perfect for the large case in the set while a night with grandparents visiting only required a small spinner.

College Luggage with Pull Handles

Much of today's luggage is equipped with wheels and handles, something that was much less common during my college years. This would have been one of those top features, had I known how many overloaded trips I would make, walking through an airport with 3 suitcases and a purse awkwardly balanced.

Samsonite Versatility 360 4-Piece SetCHECK AVAILABILITY

Nesting luggage is really helpful, as a college student has limited space in his or her dorm room, and storage of suitcases is tough. If the pieces fit inside each other, then they can be condensed for storage. A suitcase set, thus nested, may fit under a college bed, or on top of a wardrobe. Many dorms also have a hallway storage room, where large items such as suitcases, can be located, with the assistance of the resident assistant.

Costs of Luggage Sets for College

Depending on the brand, and design, a college luggage set can start in the $50 range, and go up from there. A two-piece set won't be very costly, but will probably not be suffiecient for the student's travel needs. A 3 piece set is a better choice, particularly if you want a coordinating set which nests easily.

Soft suitcases will be a little less expensive than hard, but may not last as long. Name brands and designs will also be important. If you are thinking of something that will be used for years to come, stick with simple designs and colors.

Luggage Sets on Sale at Amazon

There are so many cute suitcase sets that are a great value for girls heading to college. There are plenty of subtle shades and designs for male college students. You'll find fashion and function in the versatile sets. You'll also find lots of individual bags to consider.

Travelers Choice US Traveler San Marino 4-piece Luggage Set - Chocolate
Travelers Choice US Traveler San Marino 4-piece Luggage Set - Chocolate

Look for attractive and contemporary color and fashion trends in your luggage choices.


Read more about college students living away from home...

3 of my 5 years on campus were spent as a member of the residential life staff, and my perspective is such that I've dealt with a lot of challenges and areas of dorm life from both sides of the coin. Some of my additional online articles about campus life are listed for your further research and reading.

College Luggage: Comments

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    • CaztyBon profile image


      5 years ago

      Very informative lens on luggage. I found myself liking some of the sets and I have been out of College for years.

    • k4shmir profile image


      5 years ago

      good one . thanks for sharing.

    • stephen edegree profile image

      stephen edegree 

      5 years ago

      Luggage bags are among few of the many gifts that can be presented for long lasting ultimately giving something to remember and make use of as well. Thanks for the idea, actually with this many other types of probable graduation gifts came to my mind which I think can be presented for using and remembering.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Quality luggage carriers can last for years, so buying good stuff will definitely ensure that.

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 

      6 years ago

      Some good ideas here, thanks for sharing x

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd say go with economy over trendy luggage because the kids will soon be in the job market, and good luggage can last for years.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great idea for a graduation gift - and so many cute sets to choose!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      good selection of items here I'd say.


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