It is important to understand the differences between soft side and hard side luggage. The names might highlight what each type is all about but there is more to pay attention to as you shop.
Here we go:
Soft side luggage
Any luggage without a firm structure is referred to as soft side and mainly features materials like canvas and nylon. Many travelers prefer such luggage which is highly flexible enough to hold more load yet can collapse down when there is little to carry. This would be ideal when you are going for a long journey and know you will be bringing many items back. An expandable soft side bag means the difference between having to carry two bags during your travels.
It is worth noting however, that not all soft side cases are entirely flexible. Such luggage have reinforced shells right beneath the exterior fabric to provide more strength and preserve the soft, stylish look. An admirable feature of soft side luggage is that the material is not prone to permanent defacing. It is easy to wipe off anything that gets onto the surface and the materials are also resistant to scrapes.
Hard side luggage
Hard side cases on the other hand have more solid exteriors intentionally designed to avoid flexing. The main aim of hard side luggage is to protect contents inside as opposed to simply allowing for storage of several items. They are ideal for breakables but remember that many hard cases have only one compartment which can be a major hassle especially in the airport. Such luggage isn’t expandable and tends to show signs of damage rather easily. A scratch, dent or blemish is more noticeable on hard side cases compared to soft sided luggage.
Choosing the best case
As more brands enter the luggage scene, travelers have more options to choose from but the variety can be overwhelming. To decide on soft side or hard side cases, it is important to define the intent of your journey. Establish the items you will be taking on your journey to decide whether a hard case is necessary. If you will be taking delicate cameras, lenses or breakable gift items, hard side luggage is most ideal. However is you only need to pack a few dresses for an overnight stay, an expandable case is much ideal just in case you find something to bring back home. The length of your journey and the terrain also determine the luggage you should take along. Hard cases would be cumbersome for trail hikers which is why they would rather carry a soft side case that can be adjusted to handle more or less contents.
Lightweight luggage brands
· TravelPro Maxlite
TravelPro Maxlite Spinner is a smooth professional companion with grooved handles for better grip. You can make it bigger by unzipping the hidden compartments and even better, it comes in 4 different sizes without counting the rollaboards and totes. It is the ideal, inexpensive carry on for the regular traveler who needs something small enough to fit in the overhead compartment but with ample space to carry a few days’ worth of clothes.
. Samsonite Expandable Lift
Samsonite Expandable Lift Spinner is much sought after for its ingenious design featuring a special pocket for small items like boarding passes, charging cables and others which would be difficult to find if you have to open the whole case. Besides the black option, you can choose between the bright red and blue so nobody accidentally walks off with your luggage. Samsonite is a very durable case that would suffice for your travels but be careful about overstuffing it else your luggage will fall over and the zippers might also snap.
· American Tourister Splash
American Tourister Splash is just perfect if you loathe waiting at baggage claim because it works so well as a carryon. Its wheels move pretty smoothly so you don’t have to feel the weight of your load as you try to make way through packed airport lobbies. This luggage has several pockets to keep your stuff neatly separated and two handles make it easier to carry the case without using its wheels. While the 21’’ case is most efficient as lightweight luggage the entire set also comes in handy when you have no choice but take some extra bags.
The lightweight luggage brands featured are excellent for regular travel but they are also excellent choices for someone who simply needs a reliable carryon.