To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase review: The best children’s luggage to make travelling fun

Our Rating :
£47.99 from
Price when reviewed : £40
inc VAT

The Trunki is a robust, lightweight and playful suitcase that helps take the stress out of travelling with young children


  • Ride-on design relieves tired legs
  • Bright, characterful designs
  • Lightweight but durable


  • Not overly spacious
  • Kids quickly outgrow it

Most of the brands featured in our best suitcase and best hand luggage roundups now make luggage for children, so you won’t be short of options when taking your tot on holiday. But one children’s suitcase stands head and shoulders (knees and toes) above the rest, at least in terms of profile: Trunki.

The Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase launched in the UK in 2006 and received the infamous “I’m out” from the TV investors of Dragons’ Den. Since then, it’s become a ubiquitous sight at the airport and spawned many imitators. But with a Trunki suitcase costing over £40, is it too expensive for something your child may outgrow by primary school?

For this review, I enlisted the help of my neighbour Jan (5), his sister Maria (7) and their mum Eva to put a bright green “Dudley the Dinosaur” Trunki through its paces. We set out to discover whether Trunki is a cute gimmick or could genuinely transform the travel experience for young families.

Trunki Ride-On Suitcase review: What you need to know

The Trunki website and Amazon’s Trunki store sell a range of children’s luggage and travel products, including car seats and lunch boxes, but the Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase remains the brand’s biggest seller and best-known product. Indeed, it’s Amazon’s best-selling children’s luggage product.

Aimed at ages 3 to 6, the Kids Ride-On Suitcase is currently available in 14 bright, characterful versions. Along with Dudley the Dinosaur, which I tested, you can also get Amelia Aeroplane, Frank Fire Engine, Tipu Tiger and more, covering a good range of animals, colours and toy styles. You can also design your own via the Trunki website.

All versions of the Trunki Ride-On Suitcase are the same size and basic design. The hard plastic shell measures 47 x 32 x 21cm (WDH), which is small enough for nearly all airlines’ carry-on baggage allowances, and has an 18l capacity. That’s plenty for a few changes of children’s clothes, but less than half the capacity of some standard cabin-size wheeled suitcases we’ve reviewed, such as the Antler Icon Stripe Cabin.

The original USP of the Trunki was that your child can ride on it – a brilliant spin on the wheeled suitcase concept, and a clever way to help your young child traverse endless airport floors. Its sturdy shell and curved shape enable small children to straddle it with ease and safety, and the four wheels are designed for maximum stability. The included “Tow & Carry” strap snaps securely onto the Trunki to enable you, or a sibling, to pull Trunki and its passenger along while they hold onto its two smooth, rounded “horns”.

The case has a locking fastener on each side, which is unlocked using a plastic key on one end of the Tow & Carry strap. There’s no internal lining or compression strap, but there is an elasticated strap to help keep packed belongings in place.

Given that it doubles as a vehicular toy and is built to withstand a ride-on weight of up to 50kg, the Trunki Ride-On is surprisingly light, weighing in at just 1.6kg. It’s also built to last and comes with a five-year guarantee.

READ NEXT: Best backpacks

Trunki Ride-On Suitcase review: Price and competition

The Trunki Ride-On costs between £40 and £50 from Amazon, Trunki and Argos, depending on which design you choose. That may not seem cheap, but it’s at the low end of the price range for children’s suitcases.

For example, the colourful ride-on Trunkryder from It Luggage costs £40. Samsonite’s similar Dream Rider cases start at £78 when not discounted, while multi-function products like the Stokke BedBox JetKids ride-on suitcase and in-flight bed are much more expensive at £179.

Some rivals offer more packing space and more features than the Trunki, without costing much more. The Aerolite MiniMax costs around £57 but it has a larger 29l capacity; comes with a neck pillow, drawstring bag and stickers; and has a less gimmicky design that may appeal to your child for longer than the Trunki.

You can save money – and get a suitcase that your child may want to use well into their “tween” years – by buying a children’s suitcase with a telescopic handle. The Costway Kids Rolling Luggage collection and It Luggage’s Kids Underseat collection both start from £30, while Kono’s backpack-suitcase hybrid costs just £26 – and glows in the dark.

READ NEXT: What items are not allowed on a plane in hand luggage?

Trunki Ride-On Suitcase review: Features and design

Before I took my Dudley the Dinosaur Trunki to meet my young neighbours, I gave him a try myself. I’d recently tested far more expensive wheeled suitcases by Antler and new premium brand July, and Trunki was obviously a very different kind of case. But its smooth wheels and robust shell performed surprisingly well by comparison.

The Trunki’s wheels only go forward and backwards, unlike the 360 spinner wheels that you’ll find on the best wheeled hand luggage for adults, but I found them to be smooth, quiet and reliable. The case moves along quickly and without toppling when being towed using its strap, and its hand-carrying handles are fairly comfortable – they’re not a patch on the comfort handles you’ll find on premium cabin cases, though.

There’s no telescopic handle, but you can use the tow strap as a shoulder strap. I found this more comfortable than carrying the case by hand, especially once I’d loaded it with heavy books (a load it coped with very well). The strap is extremely durable, and the carabiner-style clip that attaches the strap to the Trunki is secure but easy to use.

I love the big colourful fasteners on each side of the Trunki. These keep the case securely closed in the absence of zips, and you can lock them using the ingenious plastic key on the carry strap. 

Inside, the case is fairly spacious and has enough room for a few changes of a child’s clothes, but its 18l capacity is much smaller than other bags you can take onto the plane for free.

There are no internal pockets unless you count the elasticated bag that attaches across the hinge of the case. My young neighbours decided to use it for socks and undies, but it may not be big enough for that; you’d be better off adding a travel laundry bag (£7 for two from Amazon) to help you keep clothes sorted inside the case.

Another internal feature I disliked was the clasp on the white elasticated strap. Unlike the clunk-click fasteners you get in most cases, this one fastens using a tricky twist-and-pull action. Perhaps this is a safety decision, but I just couldn’t get it to work.

Here’s where I turned to Jan (5) and Maria (7) for help. Jan and his mum Eva couldn’t work the internal clasp either, but Maria approached it like a puzzle and quickly found the knack of sliding the semi-circles together and apart. She enjoyed that, but many people will struggle. You may well decide to keep it closed. Not a deal-breaker, but frustrating.

Internal clasp aside, the kids loved the Trunki. Jan is the ideal age for a Trunki user and loved it so much that he kept it in his bedroom. He was keen to show me how well he could lock and unlock the big colourful locks, and Maria showed me how she could attach the strap securely and pull Jan along while he rode.

Maria admitted the Trunki was too young for her, and said her dream suitcase would be a wheelie case with sea creatures on it. But the fact that she enjoyed towing her little brother demonstrates that Trunki can engage older siblings too.

Eva said she sees Trunkis at the airport all the time, and can’t wait to try it with the kids next time they travel. But she suspects Jan will have outgrown it within a year.

I wasn’t able to test the Trunki with younger children and toddlers, but I was impressed by the way the case stayed firmly balanced even when Jan was playing with it vigorously. So I would expect it to perform well when being ridden by a wriggling three-year-old, albeit with close supervision.

Trunki Ride-On Suitcase review: Verdict

The Trunki Kids Ride-On suitcase is a fantastic invention that deserves its ubiquity in hotels, stations and airports. It’s durable, fun and brilliantly usable in a way that makes children much happier on long journeys – and parents less stressed as a result.

The case is very well designed, by and large. The internal stretchy bag and twist clasp could be improved upon, but these details are more than made up for by the sturdy locking fasteners, tow strap and wide-set wheels that are such a pleasure for kids to use. The wide range of designs give your little ones a chance to express their own budding identities, and the bright colours help you keep sight of them.

The main problem with Trunki, as with so many children’s products, is that children grow fast. Trunki is perfect for kids around four or five, but after that, they will aspire to have their own “proper” wheeled suitcase. However, Trunki is affordable enough to be worth buying if you intend to travel a few times with your child during their peak Trunki years. It will certainly make them less likely to cry “Are we nearly there yet?”

Read more