How to choose the perfect Suitcase
So, your suitcase has finally said goodbye as the liner tears for the final time. You’ve had some good times with it, but you and your suitcase know it’s time to move on.
Maybe it’s been a few months, a few years, or a few decades.
But now – where do you start?
Do you go for a soft-side or hard-side suitcase?
Do you get simple drag wheels, or do you get four 360 spinner wheels?
Is it too big or too small? If it gets ruined, what kind of warranty does it have?
Do you want it to be stylish and stand out, or do you want to sleek and masterful?
This article is going to give you an overview of what to look for based off of your thought process – your suitcase, after all, is going to keep all of your belongings safe and secure during your journey’s, and you’re going to want to choose the right one.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Soft Side or Hard Side?
Suitcases are generally made one of two ways – they are either soft, or hard, and both have their merits.
Generally, soft side suitcases can expand and are slightly lighter than their hard side compatriots, so if you’re good at keeping your valuables tucked inside your clothing, and want the ability to have an extra inch to two-inch expansion, soft-side may be the way to go.
Another great feature of soft-sided luggage is that they are normally made of canvas or polyester, so they can take some dings and scratches without showing any sign of wear and tear on the suitcase.
Hard-sided suitcases are normally made with ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene), polycarbonate, or aluminum, so they are much less likely to flex, creating a highly-sustainable option for those who like to bring back souvenirs for their friends, families, or significant others.
The hard-shell is great for those who don’t want to worry about throwing their suitcases into a train, plane, or automobile, and also for those who don’t want to have a second-thought if their valuables are being broken throughout their journey – whether that’s some rough handling by airline staff, or being dropped off of an open-concept bus.
Over the past few decades, many luggage manufacturers have come away from simple drag wheels, and have created 360 spinner wheels for maximum comfort.
We think spinner wheels are the better option for your adventures, especially if you are carrying around a lot of clothing, or some heavier items in your suitcase.
The great thing about the 360 spinner wheels is that they are multi-directional, and so you can drag the suitcase behind you, alongside you, and they can fit through narrow alleyways or small elevators (Paris, we’re looking at you), without having to pick it up and turn it sideways.
Keep in mind, the heavier the suitcase, the more wheels – this can range from 4 single wheels up to 8 dual wheels for added mobility.
The size of a suitcase is enormously important for travelers – whether they’re leaving for a weekend, or a year.
Choosing the right size can be daunting – do I want to check the bag in, or take it as a carry-on?
The great thing about suitcase selection and the internet nowadays is that most airlines have sizing standards posted online, and luggage companies often sell in sets – this is important because suitcase frames can start at 20 inches and go up to 44 inches, with everything in between.
For a better deal, we suggest you take a look at the sets – they normally offer them in 20”, 24”, and 28” frames and most luggage companies offer a discount on sets rather than buying different suitcases individually.
That being said, the most important aspect of the size is determining what you’re planning to do with it. If you’re going to buy a one-off suitcase, make sure the size is suitable - either for a carry-on, or checking your bags.
Most suitcases on the market offer an 8-10 year warranty on damages, but some companies – like ones from Briggs and Riley, Victorinox, Eagle Creek, and Osprey – have a lifetime warranty on them.
Lifetime warranty sounds pretty great, right?
Well, get ready to set some more money aside to buy them.
Lifetime warranties are generally given on higher-end suitcases. This makes sense since the manufacturer trusts that the material, frame, composition, color, and mechanics and the case will be around for a very long time.
This does, however, factor into the price – Briggs, and Riley, for example, has a smaller roller briefcase starting at $300, and their biggest piece, at 31 inches, coming in at $825.
Warranty is something you will want to consider during your search – if you’d like to spend a reasonable amount of money, expect to have up to a 10 year warranty; if you’d like to splash the cash on a beautifully made, well-crafted, reliable suitcase with all the features possible, then the lifetime guarantee could save you in the long haul.
Last but not least – what look are you going for?
Everyone wants to give off a different vibe, and with your suitcase, you can – anything from fashion designer to CEO.
For the fashion designer, and the chic, we’d recommend a nice, powerful color, whether that be in canvas or hard-shell – you can find some beautiful colors, intricate patterns, and stylish design with many companies (I’d recommend you go take a look at the Nicole Miller Collections).
For the CEO, the company we mentioned before – Riley and Briggs – is really the epitome of class. They normally offer bold colors, such as a rich navy, deep purple, or charcoal grey, and can really go hand in hand with your personality and image.
Whatever your goal, budget, and expectations are, finding a reliable suitcase that will make it through many years is something everyone strives for.
We, at Flapping Turtle, urge you (if you’re not in any particular rush) to sit down and go through reviews and take a serious look at what your suitcase has to offer – from colors to warranty.
Choosing a suitcase isn’t the easiest task, but once you have the right one, then it makes your experiences travelling that much more enjoyable.
Travelling from place to place
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