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Choosing The Best Option
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Luggage Set Shopping Guide
You might be sitting at your office desk daydreaming about traveling to Italy. Just remember: every journey begins with the first step, and every vacation begins with a great luggage set.
Searching for your new luggage set will get the gears turning for your next vacation, especially when you see all the luggage options available.
Want to leave your travel agenda open, so not sure which outfits to bring? Bring them all. Get the luggage set that will make packing so much easier. Whether you’re a minimal traveler or you need space for the kitchen sink in your bags, you’ll find the right luggage set for you.
Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Luggage
The last thing a traveler needs is their suitcase busting open as they stuff it into the overhead bin. When you’re on vacation, you don’t want to worry about these things, so durability is a must.
Luggage manufacturers have mastered both the hard shell and soft shell outer materials, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Hard Shell Luggage: Even during the most docile trips, if you’re flying, airports are infamous for harsh treatment of luggage. From check-in to baggage claim, your luggage endures a journey of rough hits, so a tough exterior is vital for your belongings.
A tough shell will shield your fragile items inside, so if you plan to travel with fragile items, a hard shell is the way to go. To guarantee your belongings survive the trip, look for suitcases with a shell made with polycarbonate or ABS plastics.
Polycarbonate is a favorite for manufacturers because it is dent resistant, lightweight, and flexible, which means it can bounce back to its original shape despite the hits it takes.
ABS is another hard-shell material, and it’s usually less expensive than polycarbonate. With the price cut, you’ll have to sacrifice durability and it is not as lightweight. However, it is a great option for someone who is on a budget but still needs a durable luggage set.
You’ll get more weather protection and tougher security with a hard-sided suitcase, but you will have to compromise ease of access when you’re in the middle of travel. If you need to access something within the suitcase, you normally have to open the whole suitcase and find what’s inside.
Soft Shell Luggage: For the trips where you’ll need to cram several outfits into TSA space specifications, a soft-sided suitcase will give you more room because of its forgiving fabric. You can stuff the suitcase with clothing and it will give you a bit more wiggle room because it is soft and expandable.
Along with more give, suitcases with a fabric shell tend to have more organizational pockets. You can easily access medications, books, a toothbrush, and anything else you want to grab while on the move.
A traveler who is intending on exposing their belongings to the elements may want to reconsider a soft-sided suitcase since they’re a bit less resistant to weather. Security is also toughened up with hard-sided luggage since the fabric can easily be cut open. While this isn’t a common occurrence, if security is a deciding factor, soft-sided luggage might not be the option for you.
Let’s Get Back to Pockets
Are you someone who buys a car for the extra cup holders? Maybe your favorite dress isn’t your favorite color but it has pockets. If so, you might prefer a luggage set with lots of pockets too.
The American Tourister is perfect for last-minute pocket stuffers. You know the type: The person who needs things accessible at all times, so their pants pockets are bulging at the seams. The Tourister has outer pockets where you can stuff your headphones, boarding pass, passport, and cell phone as you’re moving through the airport.
Or, you could be on the other side of the spectrum. You could be someone who wants minimalism, and that trend extends to your luggage. All you need are two sections: one for the big stuff and one for the little stuff.
If you lean towards the more minimal side of traveling preferences, the Merax Travelhouse offers simple yet durable transportation for your things. Fewer pockets also mean fewer zippers and seams to worry about.
Less Weight, Less Stress
Most likely, your luggage will be traveling with you in an airport, and you’ll need to pass through TSA. With weight requirements, you’ll want your luggage to be as light as possible so your suitcase doesn’t exceed the check-in weight, costing you more money.
For carry-on bags, you’ll want an easy to carry and lightweight suitcase. When you’re tossing your bag in the overhead bin, you don’t want to feel like you’re lifting a boulder.
Lightweight luggage will make your trip easier and stress-free, so focus on the weight of each model before purchasing. Lighter models like the Merax Travelhouse sit at around 10 pounds, yet the typical weight of our top 5 picks averages at 30 pounds.
Start your Journey with Rolling Luggage
It’s not impossible to travel without luggage, but it is more annoying. You’re ready to start your travels, so grab your luggage and get packing. Compare our top 10 luggage sets, and knock the next travel destination off your list.
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