Child on vacation
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Getting kids ready for a family vacation (even just up to the cottage, or to a relative’s place across town, can be a lot of work. In addition to clothing and shoes, kids also need their favourite toys, snacks, toiletries and other things. To make packing and travelling easier, you are going to need a kid’s suitcase for them.

Luggage specially designed for kids are basically the same as adult-sized ones, but they are made for smaller everything. They also need to be highly durable because they tend to get scraped and bumped a lot. They come with fun designs that kids like, and can often even be sat on and ridden. The below guide will make choosing a child’s suitcase simpler and help you find the best one for you and your kid.

Key Facts

  • Children’s luggage is the same as adult luggage in its function, but it is specially made to be attractive to children’s sensibilities. They are sturdy and stand up to rough wear and tear that kids are likely to put them through. They often come in both soft or rigid materials and can be made of polyurethane and polyester materials.
  • Before going out to buy a suitcase for your child, consider the dimensions. This depends on how old and how tall the child is, as well as the kind of trip. Some of the best on the market include “Trunki Suitcase Riders” or “Metz Trolley for children for cabin luggage”.
  • Getting your child their own suitcase also helps them develop a sense of independence and will allow them to help carry their own belongings when you travel.

The best kid’s suitcases on the Canadian market

Below we have curated a list of the best-selling and most popular kids’ suitcases on the Canadian market. Getting the right suitcase depends on the kind of trip you’re going on and your little one’s needs. You should also factor age into the decision.

i-baby – 3D Animal Rolling Luggage

i-baby’s 3D Animal Rolling Luggage is a waterproof rolling suitcase that is ideal for toddlers. it is a carry-on suitcase that stands 18 inches when upright and has a hard, durable side that is designed to stand up to falls and scrapes. It comes in a variety of fun animal designs that your child will love to take with them on trips, and is meant for children from 2 to 10 years old. The front is knitted fabric fortified with waterproof EVE. The back is a 300D polyester. It measures 12 x 7.5 x 7.1 inches, so it is easy for little guys and girls to lug around with them.

The zippered pocket is large enough to accommodate some personal items and clothing and will give your little one a sense of responsibility while travelling. Easy to clean, and satisfaction guaranteed, you have likely already seen one of these kid’s suitcases at the mall, on a plane, or being pulled through an airport. The handle system is completely adjustable so it can change based on your child’s height, making it easier for them to tow. The handle is also rubber and easy to lift, so it won’t hurt little hands.

Yodo – 3-Way Toddler Backpack With Wheels

Yodo’s 3-Way Toddler Backpack With Wheels is a great little rolling suitcase/hybrid backpack that features a comical and fun dinosaur design that your kids will have a blast pulling through the airport and packing their personal belongings into. Your little one can either use this as a suitcase, a backpack, or a handbag, depending on the situation and how much they are taking with them. The spacious zippered compartment measures 30 x 15.5 x 38 cm, giving you and them ample space to take some clothes, toys, toiletries and personal belongings for a weekend away.

The padded front pouch is also great because it gives you quick access to things like snacks, wipes, or toys. The thick padded panel at the back is a great feature because it allows you to completely hide the handle when using it as a backpack. This can be used for school, for weekend trips to friend and family, or just for going around town. The fun design will be a big hit with your little one, and the comfort really is second-to-none. Start building travelling skills and confidence early with the Yodo 3-Way Toddler Backpack.

Stephen Joseph – Little Boy’s Classic Rolling Luggage

Stephen Joseph’s Little Boy’s Classic Rolling Luggage features a fun dinosaur design and bright red, blue, orange, green, and yellow colour scheme that is sure to be a fast favourite of a little boy (or girl). It is made from 100 per cent nylon, making it both durable and lightweight. It measures 18 inches high by 14.5 inches wide. One of the many nice features of this bag/luggage is that it comes with convenient extendable handles and zippered pockets, which makes towing and packing easy on little hands.

The main compartment is also surprisingly roomy, so your little guy or girl can fit quite a lot of personal belongings and clothing in it. Ample enough for several days worth of clothing, but not cumbersome, your little tike will love hauling this scaled-down version of the adult carry-on through airports, on planes, and anywhere your family travels take them. A nice combination of cute and durable that you can feel confident giving to your kid.

Trunki – Ride-On Suitcase

If you’ve seen a lot of kids on ride-on suitcases in Canadian airports (and around the world) lately, there is a good chance it was a Trunki. Their Ride-On Suitcase is the original ride-on luggage and one that has become incredibily popular in recent years. This luggage is made from leightweight, but hard and durable plastic that is designed to stand up to the many tests your kid will invariably put it through. It is an award-winning design that is made in the UK and can be ridden on, towed along, or brought on-board as a carry-on suitcase.

This product comes with a five year warranty and is capable of supporting weights up to 110 pounds. It is a great kid’s suitcase because it encourages play and helps keep little ones stimulated during often long, sometimes very boring trips through airports. It also provides them with a place to sit down in lines, which is, as any parent knows, where much of the fussing and complaining often takes place. It comes in 5 great designs and is something that is durable and robust enough to be used frequently and also passed down from generation to generation.

Rockland – Polycarbonate Carry On Luggage Set

Rockland’s Polycarbonate Carry On Luggage Set comes in 12 great patterns that are meant for both children and adults. This 20-inch polycarbonate carry on is the epitome of durable, while still being incredibly lightweight and easy to manage. The multi-directional spinning wheels let you take this compact carry on with you without hassle. The sturdy and comfortable chrome telescopic handle is fully adjustable and makes long-walks through the airport easy on your arms and hands.

Polycarbonate is a great way to go when it comes to children’s luggage (and all luggage) because it allows you to maximize on the items you are bringing without going over baggage weights. Many other bags’ materials end up taking up much of your weight allotments. It measures 20 x 13 x 10 and fits comfortably into overhead compartments. The inside pockets are lined with soft material, and the mesh pockets are great for storing smaller items like socks, underwear, or even provide quick access to essential toiletries like toothpaste and brush.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about kid’s suitcases

You should keep a number of important factors in mind when getting a suitcase for your child to make sure you have a great trip. There is a wide range of different models out there, but they can generally be categorized into two distinct groups. To better understand how to go about selecting one, it is beneficial to learn more about both the luggage market, as well as the needs of children while travelling.

Two brother boys going on vacations trip at airport

Whether hard or soft case, a kid’s suitcase needs to be able to stand up to the punishment kids are likely to put it through (Source: Irina Schmidt: 27510989/ 123rf.com)

What types of kids’ suitcases are there on the market?

There are a  large number of models and variants of children’s suitcases, but they can in general be divided into two groups: Those categorized by wheel type, and those by the materials they are manufactured with. They below table goes into more detail on both:

According to form According to material
Suitcase with four wheels: These feature four wheel on the base, making them easier to move around and able to carry more weight/volume. Hard suitcases:More shock-resistant and more durable, but less flexible.
Suitcase with two wheels: Lighter and designed to carry less weight by can be carried on their sides. Semi-hard suitcases: Semi-hard suitcases are hard, but with a coating of fabric, so it combines resistance with flexibility.
Soft suitcases: Soft suitcases are made of fabric or leather and are lighter but not as durable, and tend to break and rip easier.

Kids’ suitcases can also be divided according to their use:

  • Travel backpacks: Designed for shorter vacations and since they are smaller and lighter they are made to be worn like a backpack.
  • Suitcases: These tend to be bigger and sturdier and can be pushed, pulled, and even ridden on by children.

What size suitcase does a child need?

The answer to this question largely depends on where you’re going and for how long. You will need different sorts of luggage for different trips. The weather and your child’s personality also factor in. Always make sure to get something that is suited for their height.

You need to carefully consider the duration of the trip. Going away for the weekend requires less packing and fewer items than going away for a couple of weeks or a month. Unpredictable weather at certain times of the year in Canada in places like the West Coast also means you should pack for different weather types. If your kids like to get out and get messy, you will need to bring extra changes of clothing too.

Young family at the airport

A la hora de emprender un viaje hay que organizar una multitud de cosas, pero sin duda la que más es el equipaje. (Fuente: Deklofenak: 45036276/ 123rf.com)

Going on a trip requires planning a lot of things, but getting your luggage ready is definitely one of the main tasks. (Source: Deklofenak: 45036276/ 123rf.com)A weekend getaway will likely only require a backpack. If you don’t know what the weather will be like, a small 15-20 litre suitcase will likely do the trick. Longer trips require suitcases of around 30 litres.

What are the advantages of buying a child’s suitcase for my child?

There are a lot of reasons to get a kid’s suitcase. It creates additional space you can take advantage of. It makes a kid feel more like their things are their own and helps them be more independent. They also feature images and designs that kids love.

Children also get to carry their own luggage, because they are made for children’s height and strength limitations. They are also more robust and survive drops and scrapes better. Letting your child take control of their own suitcase will help them feel more grown up.

Caroline CostelloTravel blogger

“Choosing the right luggage can help prevent these minor tragedies, in addition to other inconveniences like pesky baggage fees”.

Modern kids’ suitcases are designed to be fun and entertaining, and some even allow your child to ride on top of them.

What materials are used to manufacture kids’ suitcases?

As mentioned, kids’ suitcases come in different shapes and material. It is a good idea to take your child’s personality, age, and the nature of the trip into account before selecting a suitcase. You should also get feedback from your child before making a purchase as it will be theirs for years to come.

Rigid and solid suitcases tend to be made of ABS, which is an impact-resistant plastic; or polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is not as heavy but it’s costlier. Most traditional suitcases are made from polypropylene, but these can be heavy for young kids. They are durable and tough.

Susan FeinsteinConsumer blogger

“In a recent survey of more than 52,000 Consumer Reports members, 23 per cent of respondents chose hard-sided luggage for their medium- and large-sized suitcases and 15 per cent chose it for their carry-on suitcases.

Soft suitcases are manufactured with polyester. This material is heat-resistant and difficult to scratch; nylon is another great lightweight and robust fabric. Some luggage is even made with polyurethane, a plastic compound that is sometimes used as a gap filler in insulation.

How are children’s suitcases used?

Packing for children doesn’t have to be exhausting.  Ask your children to help. This will include them in the planning of the trip and give you peace of mind. Below is a packing list to help make it easy:

  • First, tell your child that you are now going to pack their suitcase. Put it on a flat surface and leave it open.
  • Second, decide what clothing you’re brining. Once you’ve decided on underwear, put it in the small pockets inside for easy access. Fold the rest of the clothing as small as possible to conserve space.
  • Finally, pack other personal effects like toiletries, books, toys, etc.
  • Close the suitcase once you are certain you have included everything and then securely fasten it with the zippers and locking mechanisms to keep it safe during travel.

What can I carry in a kid’s suitcase?

Before deciding which suitcase to buy for your child, first consider what needs to be packed in it, and also how much they can realistically carry. A kid’s suitcase shouldn’t be that heavy. The below list includes the most frequently included things in a child’s suitcase when going on vacation:

  • Clothing: Take more clothing that you plan to wear each day to account for unexpected events, weather, and in case some get dirty or ripped. Make sure to have sufficient bed-time clothes.
  • Footwear: When travelling with kids carrying extra shoes is always smart, and in the summer, water shoes.
  • Documentation: Make sure you have all the essential documents necessary for travel before going anywhere.
  • Toiletries: Apart from the basics like soap and toothbrushes, take anything else (including medications, bug spray etc.) that you will need.
  • First aid: Always pack basic first aid, including bandaids, gauze, disinfectant, eye drops etc.
  • Personal objects: Your child will likely want to include several things of their own when travelling (books, games, toys, blankets etc.).

Shopping criteria

You are now quite informed on the world of kids’ suitcases, so it is time to start getting ready to purchase one before the big vacation. It is essential to know some of the necessary criteria so you can make the best purchase decision possible, and one that stands up to travelling with children.

Appropriate size

We have touched on size already, but now we will focus more on the appropriate size for individual children. If you don’t want a suitcase to be a hassle for you and your child, you need to get one that is suitable for their age, size, and unique requirements. It should be suited for their height, a well as being light enough to effectively push, pull, and carry around. If their suitcase will be unmanageable once packed full, help them out by packing some things in your own luggage.

Space

To make sure that you include all of the necessary things while still giving your child the opportunity to make some decisions, you will need to economize on space well. Making sure a suitcase has separate pockets and comparments for storage is key. You can even use such compartments to put dirty clothes and keep them separate from the clean stuff. More pockets tend to mean better organization.

Closures

When travelling, with any suitcase it is essential that you have secure and strong closures, especially when you travel by plane or in situations where the luggage will go in a car boot.  Most luggage tends to have a range of closing and locking mechanisms, and some are tailored for kid’s luggage.

Zippers are the easiest for kids. Zippers are the easiest, but they are not the most secure, so adding to the security with a padlock is recommended. The airport security locks are the best, but they are hard for children to operate.

Kid´s-suitcases

Regardless of whether it’s a kid’s suitcase or an adult one, the locks and securing mechanisms should be reliable..
(Source: steven thompson: 259080/ unsplashPhoto.com)

Design

If the child doesn’t like the way the suitcase looks, it might be difficult to convince them to carry their own luggage. This can result in great inconvenience when travelling. There are suitcases that feature superheroes, animals, cartoons, and even ones – like the Trunki – that are made to look like cars, scooters and horses and can, indeed, be ridden.

Wheels

Suitcases come in three, four, and two-wheel variants. This makes it easier to move them around. Most kids’ suitcases have four or two wheels, but you can find ones that have three. Get a suitcase with well-made wheels that roll easily in any direction. Getting suitcases that can be wheeled around is not obligatory when travelling with children, but it makes it easier for them and you.

Summary

Getting everything in order for a vacation takes a lot of organizing, but one of the most important things to get right is the luggage. This is especially the case when travelling with kids because they aren’t as strong or experienced. You need to find something right for them that incorporates great design, material, space, closing mechanisms, and features to entertain them while on the go. You can find a wide range of different products, some with two, three, even four wheels. Materials can be rigid, soft, and semi-rigid. Most kids’ suitcases are manufactured from polyester and hard plastic.

If you liked the above guide to kids’ suitcases and found it useful, share it with friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment in the below section and let us know what you think.

(Source of the featured image: Yarruta: 38259947/ 123rf.com)

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