Suitcases for travel. (Image credit: Pinterest)
1. View the material
There are two types of luggage: soft and hard sides. Soft sided bags have more give and are better if you want to fill them all the way or a little more. To keep everything dry, make sure the inside is waterproof.
Keep in mind that even the most robust textiles can rip, but they are often easy to repair with duct tape or the like. Some tour operators require soft-sided luggage, especially when hiking or traveling overland when the luggage is carried by animals or placed on cars.
Hard-sided enclosures are typically rigid and designed to withstand significant impact. However, if you put more knick-knacks in them, they can unpack more heavily and be harder to close.
2. Count those wheels
Wheeled luggage used to have two wheels, but now many suitcases have four. With four wheels, you can easily push and drag your suitcase in different directions; each wheel can be a ‘double’ for added stability. It should be noted that all vehicles tested here are four-wheeled.
The two-wheeled bag has the advantage of staying stationary and not rolling away once it’s upright – not a deal breaker, but useful if you’re on an incline. In addition, two-wheeled bags may perform better on harder terrain.
3. Check how much it weighs
Since the usual hold baggage limit on long-haul economy class flights is 23kg, the weight of the bag itself is critical; every kilo the bag weighs empty is one less for your stuff.
4. Think about the handle you need
The most common variant are telescopic handles, which can be folded away when not in use. However, the handle system consumes some bag capacity, so a larger system requires less packing space. Single-pole handles are more durable, while double-pole handles offer superior balance.
Check that the handles are made of sturdy materials and that the length of the handle is suitable for you so that you do not have to bend over to use it.
5. Looks inside and number of pockets
Some suitcases are divided into many compartments, which is helpful for organization, but adds weight. Ventilated areas are especially useful for distinguishing between clean and dirty garments. Look for compression straps to help with packing. Pockets, usually located on the outside of soft-sided suitcases, provide extra space but are not suitable for valuables as they are not lockable.
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