Best Suitcases – What is better Soft or Hard Shell ?
For many travelers a suitcase is an investment and needs to be carefully selected to suit its owner and travelling style. Listed below are key points to consider when deciding on a soft or hard cover suitcase.
Hard Cover Suitcase Pros:
- Strong construction and lightweight
- Better security
- More packing space in bag as its only a thin plastic shell
- More protection of belongings in bag as will adsorb knocks
Hard Cover Suitcase Cons:
- Both side of suitcase must be opened so you will need more room in your hotel room
- Most are 4 wheels, not ideal if dragging a suitcase on cobblestone or uneven terrain
- Harder to put in taxis/cars as they are a fixed size and cannot push in
- They are not indestructible, the hard covers can still break
Soft Cover Suitcase Pros:
- They take up less space when open (can put one side up against a wall)
- Most soft cover suitcases have expander zips for extra luggage space
- Easy to store when not travelling
- Easier to pack in taxi’s/car’s
- Most are on two wheels
Soft Cover Suitcase Cons:
- Less security, a fabric suitcase can be cut into
- Water can get inside and more prone to wear and tear
- If you have fragile items in your bag the soft cover suitcase might not be able to protect them, a hard cover will absorb the bumps/knocks
Personally I prefer the soft cover suitcase’s as they suit my style of travel where I am always in and out of taxi’s, walking on uneven surfaces and its much easier to store away when at home and in hotel rooms.
You do however need to make the investment in your chosen suitcase, if you purchase a cheap suitcase with a soft or hard cover it may be completely unreliable and break mid holiday. Take the time to go to luggage stores and pay that little bit extra to ensure you are purchasing a reliable and durable suitcase that will last for many years.
Tip – Don’t get a big suitcase, remember on most flights the checked luggage restriction is 23kgs. You can always find a launderette to do your washing no matter where you are. Pack for 1-2weeks and plan in advance so by the time you are running out of clean clothing you are in a town to do laundry.
Tip – Most travellers at the luggage carousel will have a plane black suitcase, mix it up a bit. Why not purchase a coloured suitcase and put some ribbon on it so its easy to identify when at the luggage carousel.
Suitcase brands to consider include Samsonite, Victorinox, Antler and American Tourister
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