Travelling abroad is not as simple as it once used to be and while most people simply chose the best looking suitcase, nowadays there are a whole host of issues to consider. Baggage theft is on the rise, airlines are limiting the size and weight of your bags, while there seem to be more and more cases of luggage becoming damaged during transit.
Bearing the above in mind, picking a case that is durable is arguably even more important than appearance these days. We’ll now take a look at some of the factors that you should consider during the buying process – in a bid to help you find that great-looking suitcase that will last for years on end.
Hard-side or Soft-side?
Unlike a lot of the issues which we’ll discuss in this post, there’s no right answer here and it all depends on your own circumstances. If you are only going to be using your case as hold luggage, one of the hard-sided variety is advisable as it can withstand more impact than a soft-sided one. Admittedly, it is somewhat heavier, but modern methods of construction mean that this type of case is getting lighter by the year and there isn’t too much of a difference now.
If on the other hand your travel is reserved for car journeys, or if you are using it as hand luggage, the soft-sided option could be worth considering. The nature of the material means that it’s much flexible, which can work well for overhead storage on the plane, while it’s also light meaning that it can be easier to carry.
For a long time, leather was the premium material for baggage. Nowadays, many have seen its flaws and if you are a frequent traveller to warm countries, you could see your premium bag experience mould growth. Bearing this in mind, safer options are ballistic and Cordura nylon, both of which are regarded as being exceptionally durable and are waterproof as well.
Of course, if you’ve opted for a hard-side bag, you won’t be using any of these materials. Instead, you’ll need one made out of a polycarbonate material – which is regarded as one of the most lightweight hard materials out there.
Spinner Wheels v Stiff Wheels
There is no debate in this one – you’ve got to avoid the stiff wheels. Most of the cheap suitcases will make use of them, but by purchasing one of these you are putting other passenger’s toes firmly in danger as they tend to have a mind of their own. If you’ve loaded your bag to the max, it will prove very difficult to manoeuvre and this is why most people are now opting for the spinner option. Fortunately, there are a large number of affordable Holdalls with wheels that spin on the market at the moment and this means that price is no longer much of a barrier. There are other brands that specialise in cases with this wheel design as well.
Chain Zippers v Coil Zippers
One of the first things that will fail in a bag is its zip – with most making use of poor fittings that will break on the first sign of strain. Usually, there are two types that are included on a case – the chain or the coil zipper. The former is by far and away the best option, with this having a teeth-like appearance that makes it stronger and more resistant to wear and tear. Unfortunately, you’ll usually find that the coil zipper is included on a lot of modern cases, as this is much cheaper to produce.
Don’t Go Curvy
Curves always bring plenty of debate, but in relation to suitcases it’s definitely something you should avoid. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about hand or hold baggage – the curves will limit the capacity of your bag.
Subsequently, only choose a case that has a rectangular design, preferably with flat corners to again minimise the lost area.