Luggage Buying Guide: What You Should Consider

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Home

When it comes to traveling, having the right luggage is essential. The following tips will help you choose the best luggage for your personal needs.

1. Material

Luggage should be made of durable, tightly woven fabric that can withstand rain and rough handling. Leather used to be popular, but its tendency to absorb water makes it less desirable in damp climates.

Nylon is lightweight and resists weather better than polyester or vinyl but may snag when rubbed against rough surfaces. Be sure that the zippers are durable and well-made.

Some luggage has a flap of fabric to cover the zipper so it can’t be opened accidentally by sharp objects such as pens in your bag.

2. Handles

Handles should be sturdy and securely attached to the luggage. Check that they are at least 1 inch wide with enough room for your fingers to fit under them comfortably. 

They should be made of nylon or other strong material, not brittle vinyl or thin leather. Some luggage has two sets of handles to be pulled by hand or rolled on its wheels.

3. Wheels

A good set of two wheels, each made of ball bearings or bushings to allow easy movement in all directions, is the best option on most types of luggage. If you are buying a carry-on bag for an airplane trip, it should have small wheels to fit within the space allotted for carry-ons.

4. Size

Luggage size is determined by the number of cubic feet it contains. A bag with about 24 to 30 linear inches should be large enough for an overnight business trip; one with 32 to 36 linear inches can handle a 2 or 3- night stay.

If you are gone longer than that, check measurements carefully because luggage tends to grow in size as you add items. You can buy a piece of luggage that is slightly too big for your needs, but it will be much more difficult to find a little bag.

5. Shape

Luggage usually comes in one of two shapes-rectangular or expandable. Rectangular bags are best for efficient packing because they stack well and fit easily into overhead compartments and car trunks.

Expandable bags are more versatile because you can compress them to reduce their height and bulk, but they take up more space when open.

6. Carry-on or Checkpoint Luggage

A carry-on bag is one that you will not check for your flight; it must be small enough to fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat. A typical carry-on bag is about 22 x 14 x 9 inches and weighs less than 26 pounds.

Carry-ons are usually vinyl, which resists rain and stains, but they do not last as long as fabric luggage. If you choose a vinyl bag with one interior pocket, make sure it is a zippered pocket, so all your items do not fall out when the bag is turned upside down.

7. Locks

Just about all suitcases come with locks, but you may want to buy a set of luggage locks for extra security. A TSA-approved lock will allow airport inspectors to open your bag without damaging the zippers.

You can open them after your flight as well. If you’re concerned about someone snooping in your bags while they are being handled, choose a padlock with a special key that is available only to you.

These are just some of the features to look for when choosing luggage. If you still aren’t sure which type is most appropriate, your best bet is to test-drive a few different bags before you buy.

This way, you will be certain they meet your needs and feel right in your hands before making any purchases.