Suitcases are a special kind of accessory. We usually don’t have several suitcases just like we have many shirts or dresses. With travel bags the case is different – we want to have a single, reliable piece that would serve us over time. This makes choosing the best suitcase a much more difficult task. To help you make the best choice we’ve created a list of 5 crucial features you should consider when going shopping.
Size and weight
First, take a minute to think about what kind of traveller you are. Do you travel only on holidays but for longer periods of time or are you a frequent traveller who goes on short business trips few times a month? Do you take a lot of items with you or is it enough to squeeze your hand luggage into an overhead compartment or under your seat? Narrow down your luggage search by focusing on the size, weight and capacity that will suit your real needs. Additionally, think about the means of transport you usually use for your travels. Luggage requirements sometimes differ even among different flights of the same airline so remember to check it in the itinerary beforehand.
Travelling is moving and you need to be able to move swiftly around the airport to run into the gate before it closes. That’s why your suitcase must be equipped with wheels – at least 2 of them but 4 are even better. There are some older models with only 2 wheels, but their disadvantage is that you must drag them behind you and this pulling motion can cause pain in your shoulders. It’s better to choose a four-wheeled model called a spinner which has wheels rotating 360 degrees. You can pull the bag in any direction, push it or roll it next to you.
When choosing the best suitcase, many people go for classic, subdued colors that match any outfit and don’t get dirty easily. As a result, all bags on the airport conveyer belt are either black, navy blue or greyish and it’s difficult to discern which one is yours. If you don’t want to miss the first go-around and loose time, choose a suitcase in a bold, characteristic color. If you still prefer classic black, and crazy colors don’t match your business outfit, add at least a colorful ribbon or a scarf to the handle and make it stick out.
Here you can choose from two options – your suitcase can be either hard-sided or soft-sided and both types of constructions have their advantages. Hard-sided bags are made from ultra-lightweight plastics that are durable and resilient to breakage. You can put more stuff inside and still not be bothered by flight luggage restrictions. You can also be sure that your belongings won’t get damaged during transport. However, as the name suggests, such bags are stiff and you may have problems with squeezing them into overhead compartments or under your seat. If you care more about flexibility combined with durability, soft-sided bags would be a better option. Such suitcases are expandable so you can squeeze in that very last dress you desperately need. Check if the fabric they are made of is waterproof, tear-proof and stain-proof. These bags also absorb shock better than their hard shell counterparts.Don’t forget to open your potential suitcase and take a look inside. Check whether the internal space is efficiently organized – divided into compartments of different sizes and zipped pockets. These additional divisions are useful when you want to avoid chaos in your bag and add an extra layer of protection for your laptop or other fragile items.
Last but not least look for retractable, resistant handles that are built into the inside of the bag and won’t come off when you pull them too hard. Test out the handles already in the shop – extend them to the full length, make sure it locks (and stays locked), and take the bag for a little walk. If you can roll it comfortably in any direction, you found the holy grail – your perfect suitcase.