Best Cheap Luggage: Target vs Amazon – Updated February 2020

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Shoppers love Target because of its classic value proposition, promising good quality and reasonable, if not downright cheap, prices on just about anything your household needs. And, generally speaking, one of the best and most reliable ways to save at Target is by buying the private label from the retailer – you know, the store exclusives you can only buy at Targetincluding food labels like Archer Farms, Simply Balanced and Market Pantry, as well as clothing and household brands like C9 Champion, Opal House, Room Essentials and Hearth & Hand.

Target kicked off 2020 by launching two more of these house brands: All in motionan affordable alternative to sports leisure brands such as Lululemon and Athleta, and more recently a stylish new brand of luggage and travel gear called open story. The target describes the open story as a “premium” brand, and its suitcases and handbags include features like built-in USB ports (you must provide your own power bank), durable polycarbonate shells, sturdy zippers, and a warranty 10 year limited.

Target also promises that Open Story gear is priced 25% to 30% lower than comparable luggage brands. We’re not sure what Target means by “comparable” brands. But in our comparison shopping experiences, Open Story items were often much more expensive than similar items. travel products from AmazonBasicsAmazon’s house brand.

Admittedly, these are not apples-to-apples comparisons. Target’s Open Story products are arguably sleeker and come in cuter colors than their counterparts sold by Amazon. Amazon’s products may be made of different materials and may not have all the same features as Open Story either – AmazonBasics bags don’t have built-in USB ports, for example.

But if you’re looking for a mix of low price and solid quality, AmazonBasics travel gear seems to have the edge over Open Story. The 21 inch AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry Bagfor example, has a 4.5-star rating based on nearly 11,000 reviews and is priced at $54.99, compared to $149 for a similarly sized hardside carry-on from Target’s Open Story.

We’re not saying you should buy AmazonBasics travel products, or anything from Amazon for that matter; we’re just browsing through what Amazon’s private label has to offer for comparison. If you’re in love with the new Target travel brand but put off by the high prices, it’s worth the patience: Almost everything goes on sale at Target sooner or later, and its house brands often carry particularly deep discounts. Once the initial excitement around Open Story wears off, we suspect Target will start to steadily scale them back — perhaps even as summer travel season rolls around.

Best luggage for the money from Target and Amazon

Here is how many Target open story items currently cost at list price and (if applicable) how they compare to similar products sold under Amazon’s private label, Amazon Basics:

21 inch hard carry-on bags with wheels

Open Story Hardside Carryon Suitcase: $149.99 at Target

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase: $54.99 at Amazon

AmazonBasics 21.5-inch Geometric International Carry-On Luggage: $66.05 on Amazon

29″-30″ Hardside Checkered Trolley Suitcases

Open Story 29″ Plaid Hardside Luggage: $179.99 at Target

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Suitcase: $96.49 on Amazon

Backpacks and Laptop Backpacks

Open Story City Mini Backpack: $49.99 at Target

Open Story Day Trip Backpack: $79.99 at Target

Open Story Traveler Backpack: $119.99 at Target

AmazonBasics Carryon Travel Backpack: $49.99 at Amazon

Set of 4 Open Story Packing Cubes: $29.99 at Target

AmazonBasics Packing Cubes, 4-Pack: $19.97 at Amazon

Passport Holder Travel Wallets

Open Story RFID Travel Wallet: $24.99 at Target

AmazonBasics RFID Blocking Leather Passport Wallet: $16.37 at Amazon

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Sarah J. Greer