5 Factors You Must Consider When You’re Purchasing Luggage

August 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Luggage, Travel News & Tips

Have you ever gone shopping for luggage and glanced around the store and thought, where do I begin? There are a plethora of luggage shapes, sizes, and brands so as to leave a prospective buyer puzzled. Choosing the right luggage is an important decision for any traveler. Not only will a good piece of luggage last a long time, but it can make your traveling experience a lot more enjoyable and worry-free. When you’re on the road and away from home, that means a lot. Here are some tips to consider when purchasing new luggage.

Identify your Traveling Needs
You should buy luggage for your most demanding traveling needs. If you’re primarily a business traveler, your needs will differ from a leisure traveler or a backpacker. If you’re planning to use one case for a mixture of travel, determine what’s most important to you. For example, is it more important to be able to carry on your luggage during business travel or have extra room for souvenirs from your family vacation? If you need help deciding what luggage might be best for you, talk to the sales associate. Explain what type of traveling you’ll mostly be doing and they can offer suggestions.

Luggage Color
You’ll find that most luggage comes in black and this is because most people like black – black cars, black motorcycles, black clothes, and black luggage. The nice thing about black is that it hides dirt, scuffs, and general wear and tear better than most other colors. The not so nice thing about black is that it can be tough to pick it out of a line up. You know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to pick your luggage out from among the hundreds of other black cases on the luggage carousel. While there are ways to mark your luggage such as by using luggage tags and luggage straps, manufacturers are making more luggage colors available in bright colors. The bottom line is to choose a color that is pleasing to you.

Luggage Weight
Luggage weight has never before been such a key factor when considering what luggage to buy. Luggage weight can vary from a few pounds to over 10 lbs. Hard sided luggage will tend to weigh more than soft sided luggage due to the framing. Choose the lightest weight luggage that has all or most of the features you want. If you’re purchasing luggage specifically for carry on, make sure that you can lift the case overhead when packed.

Luggage Quality
You want to purchase good quality luggage that offers durability and reliability. Remember the old saying ‘you get what you pay for.’ This is especially true with luggage. Beware of cheap or low quality luggage. Luggage parts must be durable and this includes things like handles, wheels, zippers, and fabric. Here are some things to look for –
1. Handles: Handles should be comfortable and durable. They should be well fastened to the frame of the bag. If you have a tele-handle, it should lock in the up and down position and should be flush with the bag in the down position. Handles should be ergonomic and comfortable and offer quick, on-the-go use.
2. Wheels: Wheels are essential for good handling and maneuverability. Wheels should be made of polyurethane or in-line skate material so that they can withstand hundreds of miles on pavement without wearing out. Wheels should be securely fixed to the frame of the bag with screws or rivets and non-recessed wheels should be extremely durable.
3. Zippers: You want sturdy zippers that will not wear out, break off, or snag your clothes. Look for luggage that has nylon coil or polyester coil zippers. Zippers with larger “teeth” tend to be better quality than zippers with smaller “teeth.” Look for luggage that has two zippers with pull tabs that come together so that you can lock your case.
4. Fabric: Choose fabric that can withstand abrasion, stains, and tearing. Look for Cordura or ballistic nylon materials. The measure of denier will depend on how durable you need your luggage to be. 1000-denier Cordura will provide maximum durability whereas 500-denier may suffice for moderate use.

Luggage Warranty
Regardless of what luggage you purchase, be sure to check the luggage manufacturer’s warranty and know what is covered. Manufacturer defects such as failed handles, wheels, and zippers are often covered whereas normal wear and tear is not. Choose retailers and manufacturers that will be able to service your luggage quickly if you need it.

Good luggage equals happy travelers. Take your time and do your research before buying luggage. A wise decision can last many years and hundreds of miles.

Sima Kimble

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...