Shopping for Travel Luggage: What to Lookout For

When it comes to buying a suitcase, it’s worth spending some effort to find the best one for your needs. After all, your selected travel luggage is going to be manhandled and has to be able to withstand the hard knocks. Plus, not all suitcases are made equal and similarly, no two individuals travel alike. We all have our requirements and quirks, and different luggage types suit different personalities. Here, we focus on how to buy wheeled trolley cases.Two or four wheels?

Most people prefer four-wheel spinners these days. Indeed, what’s not to like? They swivel 360 degrees and are easy to manoeuvre, especially around corners and along tight spaces like airplane aisles. And while two-wheelers have to be dragged behind you, four-wheeled suitcases glide easily alongside or in front of you, and can also be pulled on two wheels when necessary.

Which brings us to the downside. Four-wheelers glide easily on smooth surfaces like shiny airport floors or tarmac. Along city streets with cobblestone walkways, curbs and potholed roads, suitcases on two wheels can be moved with better ease.

The difference is not just ergonomic but also wheel design. Four-wheelers generally have externally-mounted wheels that are more susceptible to snapping off after one too many bumpy rides on uneven surfaces. Two-wheelers, on the other hand, typically have recessed wheels, which make them better protected against rough handling and challenging terrain.

Whichever your choice, check that the wheels are securely attached. Jiggle the wheels with your hands and take the suitcase for a spin around the store and on carpeted surfaces to get a sense of how smoothly it glides. If you are buying luggage online, check that the wheels are attached with screws and not just rivets. Where possible, peruse product reviews to get a sense of how durable the suitcase is.

Hard versus soft

A soft-shell suitcase like this roomy one with external slots is generally more lightweight than a hard case of the same size. It also has more give, so you can literally stuff it till it’s bulging at the seams. A hard case, however, will better protect your items, especially if you have packed anything fragile in it. Handbags and shoes, for instance, will not get squashed and misshapen when properly packed in a hard suitcase. Plus, if security is your priority, it’s not so easy to rip open a hard-shell suitcase with a knife.

Either way, you want the suitcase to be made of a sturdy material. For soft cases, opt for high-dernier fabric, or fabric that is of a heavy weight. When it comes to hard cases, you want a durable shell that is not going to crack when tossed around. Aluminium is a good choice if you don’t mind the extra weight in exchange for peace of mind. The fact that you can find plenty of sleek and stylish options like this or this doesn’t hurt.


Measure the suitcase yourself

Note that when it comes to luggage size limits, the guidelines provided by airlines include the space taken up by external protrusions such as wheels and handles. However, many manufacturers give measurements of only the case itself, and the dimensions provided can be inaccurate. This is not much of a problem if you are shopping for check-in luggage, but if you’re looking to buy a carry-on, it’s best to bring along your own measuring tape to be absolutely sure.

Zoom in on the zipper

If you are buying a zip suitcase, opt for one with chain zippers made of metal. They are stronger, more durable and much more difficult to pry open than coil zippers that are made of spiral plastic elements like nylon or polyester. The zipper is also a good indication of the overall quality of the suitcase, since the devil is in the details. Plus, it’s one component that is easily visible even when you are shopping for luggage online.

Luggage used to be one of those things you need to buy in a physical store, because it’s simply too heavy, bulky and cost-ineffective to be shipped. Nowadays though, it’s hard to resist the myriad choices available online. And with offering Prime shipping for just $2.99, it’s even more convenient.

Looking for some travel guides? Visit ezbuy for your essentials checklist!

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