American Tourister Kids’ Softside 18″ Upright vs Disney Pixar Cars 2 Rolling Lightning McQueen Luggage: Reviews

Product Overview

American Tourister Kids' Softside 18`` Upright
Disney Pixar Cars 2 Rolling Lightning McQueen Luggage Suitcase

Brand Comparison and Product Review

Travel can be especially taxing when you’re carrying all your luggage including your kids’ clothes, diapers, medications, etcetera; also, we know that pretty much every parent struggles with how to keep their children entertained during travel, especially during those long flights with multiple layovers. Well, many traveling families have started purchasing separate smaller suitcases and backpacks for their tag-along kids, and the more popular family travel has become, the more children’s suitcases have become available. In this review we’re looking at two Disney suitcase favorites from parent choice brands American Tourister and the Disney company itself. Where American Tourister is a well-known luggage brand, Disney is a little late coming to the game, but both of these companies feature friendly and fun Disney prints along with competing suitcase designs for your kids. Our question: which suitcase is best?

How we Organized our Reviews

For your convenience we’ve organized our reviews into two sections, the first analyzing an 18-inch Soft-Side Upright Suitcase from American Tourister, and the second reviewing Disney’s 17-inch Soft Side Rolling Upright. In each section we’ve divided our review into four segments: suitcase storage, materials/durability, additional features, and size/style options. For each category we’ve listed nothing but the facts and all the facts; it’s our hope that with both of these fantastic luggage options and their details laid out before you, it will be nothing but simple to choose the best suitcase for your little one and their travels.

In 1933 a founder and innovator named Sol Koffler invested his meager life savings to start a luggage company in Providence, Rhode Island. The idea behind his company was to provide luggage which was both innovative and durable, while also only costing one dollar – American Tourister was born. Since its founding and the initial goal of providing affordable quality luggage for all travelers from all walks of life, this brand has branched out to provide both lightweight soft suitcase’ designs as well as hard shell designs. Their goal of innovation has led them to producing top of the line children’s suitcases which are both affordable and include a ton of extras.

Suitcase Storage

American Tourister Kid’s Softside is an 18-inch carry-on size which can roll right behind your little one and straight onto the plane. This suitcase is designed to maximize on the space offered by utilizing the stretch of polyester for added packing space, as well as a manufactured rectangular-cube interior that can easily fit 7-8 different outfits + pajamas with room to spare. Exterior bonuses include a zippered deep pocket on the suitcases front, ideal for carrying diapers, pjs, tablets and games, coloring materials, and pretty much anything else you could think of. The interior of the suitcase itself further maximizes space with tie-down straps and a mesh stretch ceiling pocket.


For the sake of its fun print and lightweight tiny nature, this suitcase is made from polyester materials with a vinyl finish. What this should mean for the suitcases overall durability is that its medium-low (what you would expect from polyester) and is best used only as a carry-on and very rarely as a checked bag. The in-line skate wheels offer some added durability because they’re made from polyurethane and not as likely to break or chip like spinner wheels can; additionally, the telescopic handle does not jiggle or stick while being extended or retracted.

Additional Features

American Touristers Disney suitcase features in-line skate wheels, a telescopic handle, and even a 10-year warranty. When your son or daughter is done wheeling their suitcase onto the airplane or over to Grandma’s house, the suitcase includes a hide-away zipper for the telescopic handle. This suitcase also includes a top haul handle for safe lifting and storage into overhead bins; interior extras feature a fantastic watertight lining, crossbeam tie-down straps, and an extra interior pocket.

Size/Style Options

Measuring 18x12x7 inches this suitcase is small enough to zip along behind any child 5 and up, also its unique enough to use as a marker in crowded airports when you’re concerned about the possibility of your little one wandering off. The fun print features the iconic Mickey Mouse, but other character prints are available from Disney’s Elsa and Anna, to Disney’s beloved original princesses. There is a fun print option for any kid, just let them look at the online options and they’ll be ready to go!

We all know Disney for their fun rides and iconic animated characters! Their Disney luggage brand captures all sorts of elements for their television networks to their animated shorts, animated movies, rides, and everything else between. The specific Disney suitcase print under review is their unique Car’s Lightning McQueen Character rolling suitcase. This print actually pops out of the suitcase at you and actually looks like the hood of a car, it’s pretty cool, and it’s also guaranteed to get your little one excited about driving along behind Mommy and Daddy through the airport and off into the skies.

Suitcase Storage

Designed to rest upright at 17 inches this suitcase features a unique look which pops-out at you and provides extra packing space in width as well as height. The interior is built like a rectangular-cube and has great squared corners, a flush floor, and plenty of stacking space along with tie-down straps for fitting outfit after outfit inside. Any kid over 5 years old will have no trouble handling this little roller; it can fit around 7 to 8 outfits with room to spare for extras like diapers and pajamas. Exterior bonuses even include a wide front pocket for added organization that lends itself to fitting any toys, crayons, or other entertainment you might pack along to keep your son or daughter preoccupied during that long flight.


Disney has made their suitcase to help you and your child withstand the rigors of travel, this pop-out suitcase is designed from a blend of polyester and vinyl for a sleek look which is durable enough for extended use as a carry-on. Our suggestion though? Since this suitcase isn’t made from materials like cotton canvas or nylon (the more durable lightweight materials), this Disney original shouldn’t be used a checked bag; after all, sometimes airline personal are pretty rough when they handle your bags.

Additional Features

Designed with excellent strong mobility in mind this suitcase features in-line skate wheels made from polyurethane, these wheels are better than spinner wheels and great in the airport or even traveling on rough cobbled streets. The telescopic handle extends smoothly with the touch of a button and can extend long enough for an adult to roll it when their kid gets tired. Other extras include a wide exterior pocket, top haul handle for safe lifting into overhead bins, and a strong interior lining which is very watertight.

Size/Style Options

Measuring in at 17 x 12 x 6 inches this suitcase is fun to roll around and easy for any child 5 and up! Its style options are limited to the Lightning McQueen design from Disney Pixar’s ‘Cars’, but at a glance this is quite the fun design. While rolling along at whatever speed their little legs can carry them, this suitcase is crafted to look like the car is actually driving on its own wheels, turning a regular suitcase into a one-of-a-kind toy.

Luggage for Your Little One’s; Making Traveler Easier for You and More Entertaining for Them:

Comparing these two children’s originals may be best left to the parents who know best what their children will find entertaining, but just looking at them side by side it’s clear that the American Tourister brand has a little more to offer. This first brand is pretty similar to the Disney Car’s selection, they both have great packing capacity as well as an okay medium-low durability for a carry-on item. Where they diverge in value is the fact that American Touristers selection offers plenty of different style choices which include over 11 different unique prints of fun loving Disney characters.

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American Tourister Kids' Softside 18" Upright vs Disney Pixar Cars 2 Rolling Lightning McQueen Luggage Suitcase
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