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What To Have In Mind When
Looking For The Best Travel Luggage?

The best travel luggage is based on your travel needs, e.g. where are you going, what is the purpose of your trip, what do you need and want to bring with you.

The answer to those questions will help you to decide which luggage features are most important for you. The main features you should consider - and choose between, are as follows.

Best Luggage Size

You always hear about the importance of travelling light. Why?

Stack of old luggage bags

Best Luggage Has Evolved
Greatly In Recent Years

Because space is limited when you are travelling - especially if travelling by air as airlines restrictions are getting more rigorous all the time. It's also easier to drag around lighter luggage.

It though does not mean that you cannot fully use your allowance. Your luggage should be spacious enough to hold everything you are likely to need on your travels. Most of us seem to fill all the luggage space we have available, no matter the size of the luggage.

Luggage size is classified as small, medium or large. Small is the ideal carry on luggage size. Medium luggage is usually considered suitable for one traveler travelling up to 2 weeks, or for two travelers travelling for 1 week or less.

Large luggage is great option when many people are travelling together. This is especially true for families with young children. It can make all the difference for the adults to have to maneuver as few pieces of luggage as possible.

The luggage size varies from brand to brand but the following range should help you to clarify the luggage size you are looking at.

Luggage Size Height
Small (Cabin Size) 52 - 56 cm
Medium 61 - 63 cm
Large 71 - 73 cm

Our Carry-On Luggage Size Guide and Check-In Luggage Size Guide provide more information about airlines luggage restrictions.

Luggage Weight Limit

Airline luggage restrictions are getting harsher all the time. You need to be aware of the luggage weight limits for both check-in luggage as well as carry-on luggage.

When choosing your best travel luggage don't forget to consider the weight of the luggage piece itself as well as the luggage size. It can vary greatly - the difference in the weight for same luggage size can easily be few kilos.

Wheeled or Non-Wheeled Luggage

The majority of luggage now comes with wheels, even duffel bags, backpacks and laptop cases. If you really prefer non-wheeled suitcases your choice might be somewhat limited. Wheeled luggage is so much easier to travel with - all you have to do is pull, reducing the strain and effort involved in lifting and carrying heavy bags around.

The wheeling system adds little bit to the weight of the luggage but the benefits of being able to wheel the luggage around more than makes up for it. Best travel luggage tips remind you to check the quality of the wheeling system, as you do want something that will last you for a while.

Best Travel Luggage Tips

If you want to be able to lock your suitcase, you might want to consider suitcase with TSA approved luggage lock.

TSA Luggage Locks are especially important if you are traveling to the USA as these padlocks enable security to examine the contents of your luggage without causing any damage to your case. Many of us know from experience how annoying that is - as well as expensive.

Soft or Hard Sided Luggage

Luggage comes in either soft or hard material. Soft-sided luggage is usually made of hardwearing polyester or nylon and therefore tends to be substantially lighter than a hard-sided luggage.

Old luggage bags on luggage carousel

Hard Case Bags Have Some Benefits

Soft-sided luggage is usually expandable and most feature zip compartments on the exterior of the case, giving you extra storage options and more flexibility. The soft structure makes it easier to store the bags when not in use, i.e. you can often fit them into other soft case pieces.

Hard-sided luggage is waterproof, does not get compressed while in transit and protects the content inside better. Hard case luggage is therefore ideal when traveling with fragile items.

Hard-sided luggage is usually considerably heavier than soft-sided luggage and can be more expensive. It also cannot expand which makes hard case luggage the less flexible option.


Durability can vary greatly between luggage types and brands. You will have to decide what durability you are looking for as the more durable the luggage is, the more expensive it is likely to be. The durability you need depends mainly on your travel style, i.e. frequent travelers are likely to require more durable luggage than other travelers are.

Best travel luggage tips recommends when evaluating luggage durability to look at the material, the quality of the wheeling system, handles, the zips and all other features that are important to you. In our experience, the zips are usually the weakest link, closely followed by handles and wheels.

Easily Recognizable Luggage

When you are waiting to pick up your bag at the airport baggage carousel, you are likely to notice that many bags have similar design and color, usually black. Customizing your bag not only makes it easier to spot it on the carousel, it will also reduce the risk of other passengers picking it up by mistake.

Just choosing a bag in another color than black will help, but there are many options to make your black bag stand out from the crowd. Colored tags, stickers or some personalized decoration can do the trick.

The Less Practical Stuff - Style

You might want a bag that “fits your personality”. You must though bear in mind that a bag that travels a lot will be “worse for wear” after few trips, especially if the bag is checked-in.

In our opinion - few travel bags have more personality than those that have travelled often and widely. The best travel luggage tells a tale... of distant and exotic places.

Last But Not Least - The Price

The best travel luggage not only comes in different shapes and sizes, it also comes at very different price. You can spend very little or very much on a similar shaped and sized piece of luggage. The price difference usually reflects the different features we have mentioned before, including the quality and durability of the materials used.

It is worth spending bit more for better quality luggage as you are unlikely to want to be buying luggage on regular basis. It tends to be very inconvenient when your luggage breaks down while you are traveling, e.g. if wheel falls off or the zip breaks. You might have to buy some last minute replacement, without the time or choice you would like to have when you are choosing new travel luggage piece.

Carry On Luggage Size Tip

When choosing a carry on luggage size make sure it is also suitable for international flights (many bags sold in the US are too big).

The maximum carry on luggage size for hand luggage can vary between airlines but it's usually:

- 56 cm tall or 22 inches

- 45 cm wide or 17.7 inches

- 25 cm deep or 10 inches

Airline luggage restrictions vary so the best travel luggage tips recommend always to check the exact dimensions allowed on the relevant airline web site