One of the most important decisions that you may make as a traveler is the luggage that you will use on your travels. There are a wealth of options available to you, and often, it can be overwhelming. You must choose among different features, brand names, and price points. While you may feel comfortable about one piece of luggage at the beginning, your mind may quickly change. Or you may face analysis paralysis, where you have two options in mind but have trouble making a final decision.
Whatever the case may be, we are here to help. Below you will find our guide on how to select the best luggage. By using the guide below, we hope that you will be much more confident when purchasing your new luggage.
The guide is broken up into four parts. First, we are going to discuss some of the materials in luggage today. Then we will proceed to luggage handles. Next up will be a debate between two or four wheels for your luggage. And finally, we will discuss the different types of locks that are available for your luggage.
To start this guide, we are going to speak about common materials that you will find in luggage today. Naturally, this leads to the debate over whether hard or soft luggage is better.
Obviously, much of this will depend on your personal preference. But generally speaking, hard shell suitcases are better suitcases in terms of protection. In other words, they are more durable and can take more wear and tear. They are impact resistant and also water resistant. For instance, if you are outside, and it starts pouring, hard shell suitcases will still offer you protection.
Having said that, you may have one question in mind: what is the best material for hard shell luggage? Hardshell luggage can be made of ABS, PC+ABS, PC, aluminum, and carbon fiber. These materials are slightly different and will impact your overall experience owning hard luggage.
In this discussion of whether hard or soft luggage is better, we also have to look at the pros and cons of soft luggage. Softcase suitcases, compared to hard luggage, are expandable. Because of this, they can fit more items. That said, they are less durable and offer less protection. They aren’t as protected from wear and tear compared to hard luggage.
Here are several different materials that are the basis for soft luggage:
Next, let’s move on to handles for your luggage. You have two choices here. You can choose between are multi-stage and all-stage handles.
Multi-stage handles have limited settings of height (usually three settings) while all-stage handles allow you to stop at any height. However, the user experience of the multi-stage handle is smoother. You can feel and hear the friction of gear teeth when using some all-stage handles. We improved the all-stage handles that we use on our carbon fiber series. Through our improvements, the handles can be used smoothly like multi-stage handles and can stop at any height.
One Bar & Two Bar Telescoping Handles
There is also the distinction between one bar and two bar telescoping handles. Two bar handles are easier to maneuver while one bar handles provide you with a little more space. Also one bar handles are lighter than two bar handles. However, we believe the difference is trivial.
Next, you will need to consider the differences in wheels among suitcases. The main difference is between four wheel and two wheel luggage.
Four Wheel Versus Two Wheel Luggage
Some luggage has four wheels while other pieces of luggage have two wheels. In general, we prefer four wheels over two wheels because four wheel luggage allows you to pull or push the luggage however you want. This is especially helpful when your luggage is heavy. In the meantime, two wheel luggage can only be pulled. However, two wheel luggage does break less often because there are fewer number of wheels to break.
In addition to the above, the wheels of some four wheel luggage are actually made of two wheels in order to provide better stability and silent gliding. When selecting your luggage, ensure that the wheels are covered with PU (rubber) which reduces noise.
You may also want to consider wheels with brake functionality. The advantages are that they can be helpful when commuting via public transportation. Essentially, you do not need to hold onto your luggage in order to prevent it from sliding away from you. One disadvantage, however, is that you may forget to unlock your luggage and pull or push it with force, which may cause your wheels to malfunction.
The last factor that you should consider is whether your desired luggage contains locks. TSA-approved locks, for instance, allow the TSA to inspect your luggage without cutting open your lock. The TSA has a universal key to open TSA approved locks.
As for the particular kinds of locks, you may want to think about closure. A zipperless closure aluminum frame is stronger than a zipper. Also, the aluminum frame reinforces the construction of suitcases, so keep this in mind when you are making your purchase.
Ultimately, these are some of the most important factors that you should consider when purchasing a new piece of luggage. By accounting for our tips and advice above, you will be in a much better position when you are shopping online or in a store. We wish you the best of luck!