In our view, every traveler needs a Travel Suitcase Buying Guide to get the best knowledge about the suitcases, which are our comrades during all trips. When buying a suitcase, you should pay attention to various factors. Having a suitable suitcase will make your travels less troublesome. Of course, understanding this may not be possible until you experience the inconvenience caused by an inadequate suitcase! For example, not having enough space for your belongings, difficulty carrying them in different conditions such as desert areas, mountainous regions, or airports, or easily getting damaged. These are the problems of an unsuitable suitcase. However, your choice will vary depending on your needs and how you use the suitcase. you wouldn’t want to be someone whose suitcase arrives at the airport baggage claim with some of its contents damaged, lost, or spilled. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to buy a suitcase that quickly gets damaged, forcing you to spend money again on a new one. For this reason, in this article from Eligasht, we have prepared a travel suitcase buying guide for you so that you can purchase your desired and suitable suitcase by knowing all the practical details.
Types of Suitcases
In this part of the travel suitcase buying guide, we intend to introduce you to the main types of suitcases, so you get more familiar with the world of suitcases.
Carry-on suitcases are designed to meet airline size restrictions for cabin luggage. They are compact, lightweight, and typically have a capacity of around 20-40 liters. These suitcases are ideal for short trips or if you prefer to travel with only a carry-on.
Checked suitcases are larger and have a higher capacity compared to carry-on suitcases. They are intended to be checked in at the airport and stored in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Checked suitcases range in size from 40-150 liters and are suitable for longer trips or if you need to pack more belongings.
Spinner suitcases are equipped with four multidirectional wheels that allow for easy 360-degree rotation. This feature provides excellent maneuverability and reduces strain on your arm while navigating through crowded airports or busy streets.
Hardside suitcases are made from rigid materials such as polycarbonate or aluminum. They offer superior protection for your belongings and are more resistant to impacts, scratches, and water. Hardside suitcases are ideal for travelers who require extra durability and protection.
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Softside suitcases are made from flexible materials such as nylon or polyester. They are lighter in weight and often feature external pockets for easy access to essentials. Softside suitcases are a popular choice for travelers who value versatility and expandability.
Things you should consider when buying a travel suitcase
Continuing with our travel suitcase buying guide, we will check all the important aspects of a good suitcase that is suitable for your needs.
Look for Quality Materials
The travel suitcase buying guide advises that whether you choose a hard or soft suitcase, the quality of the materials used in it is important. Apart from times when you see fabrics with scratches as a trendy choice, avoid buying polyester! Fabrics with rip-stop nylon are a better and more durable option. One important aspect to consider when buying a suitcase is the material of its body, which determines its durability and longevity. Whether the suitcase is made of soft or hard material, the quality of the materials used is of great importance.
A sturdy suitcase body has a higher weight compared to a lightweight soft-body suitcase, and it is more resistant to breaking or cracking upon impact. However, it provides greater protection for the items inside against impacts, moisture, and other factors. Note that if a hard-shell suitcase is made using materials such as polycarbonate, it can be concluded that it is a high-quality suitcase with a long lifespan.
Transporting soft-shell suitcases, which are made of various fabrics, is easier due to their lighter weight. Additionally, if soft-shell suitcases come into contact with something, they are less likely to sustain significant damage. However, there is a possibility of tearing or moisture penetration into the interior of these suitcases.
Pay Attention to Suitcase Handles
Breaking suitcase handles is a common occurrence with inadequate suitcases. If you don’t want to experience this, purchase suitcases with handles on both sides as they are usually stronger compared to single-handle suitcases. However, if you’re going to choose a high-quality, expensive suitcase, the single handles on them are likely as strong as dual handles.
Zipper, Another Point to Check
There’s an unwritten rule in the travel suitcase buying guide that says if a suitcase is not of good quality, its zippers will easily break, and replacing them can be costly. Buying suitcases that include zippers that can repair themselves is an excellent investment. Zippers are typically made in two types: coil zippers and chain zippers. Metal chain zippers have greater strength compared to coil zippers. Coil zippers do not offer much security and can be easily opened. Another feature that plays a significant role in providing better protection for the items inside the suitcase is the “double zipper,” which is often used in fabric suitcases. These suitcases, due to their flexibility, undergo pressure in the cargo area of an airplane, causing single zippers to open with tossing and shifting.
If you’re looking for a soft nylon suitcase, choose one where the zipper is completely embedded in the suitcase; it’s a good sign of quality. The zippers can match the overall design color of your suitcase or contrast with it, but in any case, the zipper should be proportionate in size to the entire suitcase. If you’re one of those people who tend to overpack their suitcase beyond its capacity, look for a case with zippers made of polyester coils. These types of zippers can withstand high pressure.
Check the Locking System
Even if you don’t have valuable items like gold with you, you still need to take care of your belongings. A suitcase without a lock is an invitation to thieves! High-quality soft suitcases usually have various built-in locking mechanisms that secure the zippers. Hard suitcases either have an automatic locking system built into their construction or they have locks. Look for suitcases with reliable security features such as TSA-approved locks or combination locks. These locks provide peace of mind and ensure that your belongings are safe during transit. In any case, pay attention to how well the locking system protects the suitcase. The more secure it is, the more durable it will be.
Know About Leather
One of the things to look for when buying a leather suitcase is the grade of leather used. For a durable material with enduring visual appeal, look for a Top/Full grain leather suitcase, which comes from the outermost layers of the hide. Avoid buying processed leather as it will crack over time. Processed leather is 100% leather but comes from the inner layers of the hide and is not as durable as Full-grain leather. Also, make sure to avoid suitcases made from leather scraps. They are made from leftover pieces of leather and glued together. Leather suitcases with leather straps may delaminate and crack over time.
Consider Different Compartments of the Suitcase
Another point from the travel suitcase buying guide is that if you prefer a suitcase with multiple compartments to easily categorize your belongings, you should consider how they are positioned. The compartments can be designed in a way that doesn’t take up much space or reduces the size of the main compartment, two issues that professional manufacturers avoid. If you’re looking for extra pockets, choose suitcases that have hidden layers with clean and sturdy stitching to ensure they won’t tear over time and won’t compromise the overall appearance of your suitcase.
Size and Capacity
Consider the size and capacity of the suitcase based on your travel needs. If you usually travel with just a carry-on, opt for a compact and lightweight suitcase that meets airline restrictions. For longer trips or if you tend to overpack, consider a larger suitcase with expandable features to accommodate extra items.
Maneuverability and Wheels
Ensure that the suitcase you choose has smooth-rolling wheels, preferably four-wheel spinners, for easy maneuverability. This feature is especially important if you’ll be navigating busy airports or uneven surfaces during your travels. Another consideration regarding suitcase wheels is the material of the wheels. The wheels of a suitcase are typically classified into two categories: “hard” or “soft.” Hard or plastic wheels produce a significant amount of noise during movement, and there is a higher chance of them breaking due to friction or impact. Soft or gel-like wheels generate less noise during movement and are almost silent. They have less vibration and are less prone to wheel breakage (not the wheelbase itself).
The weight of a suitcase is one of the most important criteria that we should mention in this travel suitcase buying guide. This factor holds significant importance in all types of travel, especially air travel, as one of the requirements for boarding an airplane is carrying baggage within weight limitations. If the weight exceeds the specified limit, it may result in paying additional fees for excess baggage or not being able to carry many of your belongings. Therefore, try to purchase a lightweight suitcase whenever possible. Additionally, a suitcase is one of the items that accompanies you throughout most of your journey, so this item should be lightweight to make it easier to carry. Choose a suitcase that is lightweight but still durable. The weight of the suitcase itself can affect how much you can pack and may also impact baggage fees on airlines that have weight restrictions.
Additional Features to Consider- Travel suitcase buying guide
Look for suitcases with adjustable telescopic handles that can be easily extended or retracted to your desired height. This feature ensures comfortable handling and helps prevent strain on your back and arms.
Some suitcases offer expandable features that allow you to increase the capacity of the suitcase when needed. This can be useful if you plan to bring back souvenirs or additional items from your trip.
USB Charging Port
Certain modern suitcases come equipped with built-in USB charging ports. This feature allows you to conveniently charge your electronic devices on the go, eliminating the need for bulky external power banks.
Removable Daypack or Laptop Compartment
If you need to carry a laptop or prefer to have a smaller bag for day trips, look for suitcases that come with a removable daypack or a dedicated laptop compartment. This feature provides added convenience and versatility during your travels.
Warranty and Customer Support
Consider the warranty and customer support offered by the suitcase manufacturer. A reliable warranty and responsive customer support can give you peace of mind and assurance that you’ll be taken care of in case of any issues with your suitcase.
For each type of trip, what kind of suitcase should we choose?
Considering the wide variety of suitcases in terms of shape and size, it is important to check the airline’s rules regarding the allowed quantity, dimensions, and pieces of luggage before making a selection. In this part of the travel suitcase buying guide, we created a useful list of the most common types of travel and the recommended standard dimensions of travel suitcases for them that we have compiled.
Carry-on suitcase for Business Trips
If you are someone who travels frequently for short business trips, a cabin-sized suitcase or a pilot suitcase will suffice. Additionally, you should get a backpack or laptop bag that is suitable for your electronic devices and documents, especially if you don’t need to bring clothes during the trip. If you need to carry extra clothing, organize the suitcase using packing cubes and arrange your belongings in them with a specific order to prevent wrinkling of clothes.
For trips that last from one to two weeks, a medium-sized suitcase is needed for each person. If it’s your first time buying a suitcase, we recommend purchasing a luggage set to make your purchase cost-effective and reduce expenses.
For young couples on their honeymoon, a medium or large-sized suitcase is necessary for each person. It’s always better to travel light, but we understand that you may need a lot of items for your long-term trip. Remember to always check the weight, dimensions, and allowed number of luggage pieces by your airline before traveling.
Family Trips with Children
Medium and large-sized suitcases are recommended for families with children. Additionally, suitcases with four wheels are the best option for them as they are easier to transport. Even buying a small suitcase for your child with their favorite character design for their personal belongings can be an interesting idea.
Thank you for reading a travel suitcase buying guide from the Eligasht travel agency. Choosing the right travel suitcase is crucial for a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience. Consider factors such as durability, size, maneuverability, security features, and organization when making your decision. Additionally, explore the different types of suitcases available, such as carry-on, checked, spinner, hardside, and softside, to find the one that best suits your specific needs. By taking the time to research and select the perfect travel suitcase, you can ensure that your belongings are safe, organized, and easily accessible throughout your journey. Happy travels!
1- What factors should I consider when buying a suitcase?
When buying a suitcase, consider factors such as size, durability, weight, wheels, handles, compartments, security features, and brand reputation. Think about your travel needs and preferences to choose the right suitcase.
2- What is the ideal size of a suitcase for carry-on luggage?
The ideal size of a carry-on suitcase varies depending on the airline’s restrictions. However, most airlines allow carry-on suitcases with dimensions around 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches (or 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm). Make sure to check the specific requirements of the airline you’re flying with.
3- Are hard-shell or soft-shell suitcases better?
Both hard-shell and soft-shell suitcases have their advantages. Hard-shell suitcases offer better protection for fragile items and are more resistant to water and impact. Soft-shell suitcases are generally lighter, more flexible, and have external pockets for easy access. Consider your travel needs and preferences to choose the one that suits you best.
4- What type of wheels should I look for in a suitcase?
Suitcases usually come with either two or four wheels. Four-wheel suitcases, also known as spinner suitcases, offer better maneuverability and allow you to move the suitcase in any direction, including sideways. Two-wheel suitcases, also called roller suitcases, are usually more stable on uneven surfaces. Choose the type of wheels based on your travel style and the surfaces you’ll be navigating.
5- Is it worth investing in a high-quality suitcase?
Investing in a high-quality suitcase can be worth it in the long run. A well-built suitcase with durable materials and reliable features will last longer, withstand rough handling, and protect your belongings. It can save you from the hassle and cost of frequent suitcase replacements. Consider your travel frequency and budget to determine the right balance between quality and affordability.