6 essential factors to consider when choosing new luggage

December 16, 2014

The right luggage set is an essential travelling companion. To determine what luggage works best for your travel plans, here are six essential factors you must consider.
1. Determine your needs

Luggage comes in different shapes, designs and sizes. Before anything else, you should figure out what you will use the luggage for, how often, and why you need luggage.

  • Suitcase: Intended for longer trips, standard suitcases range in size from 24 to 32 inches in height with a weight capacity of up to 50 pounds.Stand-up suitcases can be made from hard-sided or soft-sided material, and they are designed for packing efficiency and protection.
  • Hard-sided suitcase: This type of suitcase is defined by a rigid exterior made to withstand wear and tear. Hard-sided suitcases provide maximum protection, and they do not flex, expand, collapse or puncture under rigorous travel conditions.Constructed from a variety of solid materials such as aluminum, carbon fibre and polypropylene, they are still relatively lightweight and mobile.
  • Soft-sided suitcase: Usually made from polyester or nylon, fabric suitcases can expand to provide additional storage for extra goods acquired while travelling.Look for a higher denier number in a soft-sided suitcase, which indicates a more tightly-woven fabric for greater durability.Check for a waterproof PVC coating that offers moisture protection.
  • Carry-on luggage: A priority for air travellers, carry-on luggage can be stowed at your seat. Most carry-ons are designed to meet airline standards for overhead or under-seat storage.This small travel bag usually features plenty of extra pockets for easy access to documentation and personal items during the flight.
  • Duffle bag: Large, spacious and lightweight, duffles provide a mobile alternative to a suitcase.Most duffle bags feature double handles and adjustable straps. Some models also come with wheels or detachable pull carts.

2. Gauge the design

Look for luggage with interior compartments so you can separate clothing items.Consider special laptop storage, expandability and extra pockets.Interior straps are recommended for holding contents in place.Lockstitched seams are a sign of solid construction and durability.

3. Assess the size

Purchase the best size based on how much you intend to pack and the length of your trip.If traveling by air, take into consideration airline luggage limits. Luggage sets often consist of nesting bags including large and small suitcases and a matching carry-on.

4. Estimate cost

Bigger and higher-quality luggage will cost considerably more.When shopping for luggage, consider how you’ll be travelling (car, bus, train or plane) and how frequently.

5. Check out the zippers

Heavier zippers are easier to use and last longer than smaller ones.Tight stitching around the zipper reduces the possibility of fraying or splitting.

6. Look at wheels and handles

Be sure that the wheels are large and sturdy enough to support the maximum weight of the luggage and prevent it from tipping over.When looking at handles, ensure they recess properly and are not flimsy.

Frequent travellers are wise to invest in durable, high-quality luggage that’s easy to handle and has plenty of room. Your luggage should be the least of your worries when you’re travelling on business or during vacation.

6 essential factors to consider when choosing new luggage
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