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Luggage Buying Guide

If you are travelling for business abroad or a weekend getaway, you are going to need something in which to stash all of your stuff.  Luggage  nowadays comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes with so many different manufacturers from which to choose.  To start your selection process, it is important to evaluate your travel needs  and then select the type of luggage that works best for you.    

  • Those travelling once or twice a year will want to look for something with long-term durability (preferably a life-time guarantee) and affordability. 
  • Those travelling several times a year or even several times a week will want to invest in a very durable piece of luggage; expandable luggage  is the most flexible for various needs. 
  • Commuters looking for a bag to in which stash their stuff will want to find something lightweight and durable, with compartments or pockets for cell phones and other personal items.   

 Evaluate the Details

  • Fabrics- Quality luggage should come with a tag describing the outside fabric's resistance to abrasion and tearing.  "Denier" is luggage lingo for durability, and basically, the higher the denier, the better off you are.
  • Frames- The stronger the frame, the longer the luggage will survive years of rough handling.  Most quality frames have a honeycomb composition to create the flexibility needed for the frame to bounce back into shape after enduring impact.  With suitcases being thrown around, you want the sturdiest frame possible and will want to look for this design.  
  • Zips- One of the easiest ways to test the quality of the luggage is to evaluate the zip.  Size does matter, and it's best to have larger "teeth."  Make sure that the luggage has multiple rows of stitching and off the corner of the bag.  This is a tell-tale sign that the luggage will not wear out in a short period of time. 
  • Wheels- Wheels mounted to the case with screws are much stronger than wheels held in with rivets.  Also, look for a full-corner wheel protector, and keep in mind that wheels composed of high-tech resin are built to last through hundreds of miles on the pavement. 
  • Handles- Top quality handles are screwed into the frame of the bag and stow with the luggage.  Try a handle that expands higher for taller lengths. 
  • Pricing- A good tip is to divide the number of trips you hope to make with this luggage by the cost of the bag. 
  • Warranty- Luggage is on warranty against defects in the materials for the duration that the manufacturer declares.  This does NOT include damage caused from the mishandling at the airport, etc.

Shop Luggage by Type

Large Luggage

Large suitcases  (also called Pullmans ) are generally around 0.5 to 1.0 meters per side.  Luggage this size will suffice for a week of travel or longer. 

  • Hard-sided suitcase : Most are constructed of metal or plastic, with some having a metal interior frame covered with a soft leather or fabric exterior.  These are especially durable against wear and tear!
  • Semi-soft suitcase : These lightweight suitcases  offer more room for expansion and can be easily transported.
  • Soft-sided suitcase : Versatile and lightweight, these suitcases normally have stiffeners inside instead of a solid framework. 

Small Luggage

Small luggage  items are designed for overnight travel, short trips, or airplane use.

  • Backpack : Designed for more casual travel and outdoor trips, this bag is for the light packer.
  • Business case : This can hold your computer, important papers, and the occasional change of clothes.
  • Carry-on bag : This bag is small enough to fit underneath an airplane seat and meets regulation sizes. 
  • Duffle bag : This bag is large and roomy enough to carry clothes and accessories.  Look for one on wheels  and with a handle for easier portability.
  • Garment bag : Transport a special suit, dress, or special occasion outfit on a hanger.  This bag comes in lengths averaging 1.0 meters, and can be on wheels  too.
  • Tote bag : This casual bag  comes in many sizes and is ideal for day trips.  Some models feature compartments  for specific items and a shoulder strap  for comfort. 

Trunk

This is not recommended for the average traveller.  A trunk is made of steel  or wood  and can be very heavy! 

  • storage trunk  is good for shipping.  It is ideal for folks who are moving or for longer stays, such as a student going away to college. 
  • Due to their large size, you may want to invest in a luggage cart, or simply look for a trunk with wheels . 
  • A trunk is not recommended for airline travel, though it will suffice on a bus or train.

Luggage Set

A luggage set  is fashionable and functional, transporting and organising everything you could possibly need.

  • A standard luggage set  includes 2-3 suitcases along with a duffle bag, a garment bag, a tote bag, and sometimes a make-up case. 
  • Luggage sets can come in 3-piece ,4-piece ,5-piece ,6-piece , and sometimes 7-piece . 
  • Designer luggage  can usually be found in sets.
  • A great alternative for families!  Luggage sets provide all of the shapes and sizes that families will need for their travels.

Shop Luggage by Brand

Check out these popular brands of luggage:

Related Guides

We know that you have many travel needs and concerns.  Explore our guides to help you plan.

Travel Organisation

Travel Essentials

Products Onboard

Kids Travel Essentials

 

External Links

  • LuggageGuides.com: A comprehensive review of every piece of luggage out there.
  • RoadandTravel.com: Smart packing tips and advice for packing luggage.
  • TSA.gov: Stay updated on the latest travel safety rules and regs.