Luggage Buyers Guide

There are literally thousands of different types of suitcases, holdalls and other types of luggage available offering a fantastic array of choice. But with so many different types of luggage out there, how can you be sure you’ll pick the right piece for your needs?

Our guide to luggage will tell you everything you need to know so you can pick the ideal luggage for you.

Trolley Suitcases

Trolley suitcases are available with hard or soft sides and are generally mounted on wheels with a telescopic handle that can be pulled out so the case can be easily manoeuvred. Suitcases stand upright which can make them easier to use than a carry case. You can also find trolley cases that you can attach additional luggage too so your hands are left free.

Soft sided suitcases

Soft sided suitcases have more flexibility which means they are generally easier to store. If you purchase different sized suitcases in the same range they can also fit inside each other so they take up less space in your home.

The fabric used on soft sided suitcases is graded by denier, so if you want a thicker material then choose a higher denier. Bear in mind that suitcases made of thinner material are more likely to rip or tear.

The majority of soft sided cases will also have waterproofing on the inside to protect your luggage from the elements.

Some of the features of soft sided suitcases can include:

  • Expandable feature so you can increase or reduce the amount stored within
  • Combination locks or padlocks for increased security
  • Protected closures and zips to reduce wear and tear

Hard sided suitcases

Hard sided suitcases are made from rigid materials such as metal or moulded ABS plastic or polypropylene. This type of case is designed to protect your luggage from the general wear and tear of travel and from the different ranges of temperature it will experience in flight.

About ABS

Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene or ABS is made from a rubber substitute combined with plastic. It’s also the material used to manufacture vehicle bumpers and crash helmets so it’s extremely tough and strong.

In general, luggage manufactured using ABS is at the more expensive end of the spectrum as it’s a more complex manufacturing process but it’s generally lighter and more manoeuvrable than other hard materials.

A hard case is perfect for protecting fragile items so it’s ideal for transporting those souvenirs back home. They come with locks and highly secure metal frames making them very difficult to get into without the key or combination. They also often include dividers and pockets so different items can be separated within the case.

Cabin suitcases

Cabin suitcases or flight bags are designed to fit into the luggage cabin of an aircraft and are ideal if you’re travelling light, although these days there are lots of cleverly designed bags that offer a lot more space than you may think.

It’s a good idea to keep any valuable or important items like flight tickets, money and passports with you and there are lots of pockets and compartments in cabin suitcases to store all your essential items in.

If you’re planning to use a cabin case on your travels then make sure you haven’t exceeded the weight limit and read the latest guidelines available about hand luggage policies.

Luggage accessories and business travel

The following table illustrates the different kinds of business travel luggage and luggage accessories available.

Children’s luggage and backpacks

There’s lots of different children’s luggage available from soft toy backpacks right up to trolley cases. If your child is transporting their own luggage then it’s a good idea to choose something durable to avoid any of their belongings being damaged.


Backpacks are a great choice for travellers or those who simply want to travel light. They’re a great idea for holidays or long trips because you can use them to transport luggage and for everyday use when you’re away because they have plenty of pockets and compartments for safely storing money, mobile phones, passports or anything else that you might need with you.

If you’re planning to use your backpack whilst you’re travelling around then choose one with padded shoulder straps, a strong frame and a waist strap so it can be easily transported.

However, if you only need your backpack to transport smaller items such as a laptop then opt for something more slimline that will be lighter and easier to carry.

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