A trip always requires preparations that meet the requirements. Buying a new suitcase can be one of them. If so, how do you buy one that best suits your needs? Discover – through this guide – our selection of criteria to put forward to choose your ideal suitcase. These criteria depend on the duration of the trip, the means of transportation to be used, the type of luggage to be carried..
How to choose the size of your suitcase according to the duration of your trip?
Does the duration of a trip influence the choice of a suitcase? The answer is obvious: the longer the duration of your trip, the more you will need to take with you, and the larger the size of your luggage should be.
Traveling for less than a week? Consider choosing a carry-on suitcase. Relatively small in size, these types of suitcases make your trip comfortable and less cumbersome. With their height between 40 and 56 cm, cabin suitcases are indeed ideal for your weekends (among other short stays). They save you from the check-in fees usually charged by low-cost airlines, for example.
However, there are other formats beyond cabin luggage. This is the case of medium-sized suitcases, which range from 56 to 70 cm in height. Opt for this type of tool to carry luggage for a stay of up to 3 weeks. On the other hand, choose a large suitcase or hold suitcase (with a minimum height of 70 cm), when your trip is longer.
Nota bene note: give free rein to your needs. A short trip may require you to bring a lot of luggage. In this case, an expandable or slightly largersuitcase may be necessary. Conversely, a carry-on suitcase may be suitable for a long trip.
The chosen means of transportation
Can the choice of a suitcase be justified by the means of transportation you use? The truth is that you don’t have the same freedom and space to transport your luggage by car as you do by plane or train. Here are the criteria to consider when choosing your suitcase if you have to travel by one of the three means of transportation below.
Which suitcase should I choose when traveling by car?
You can store your luggage in the trunks and under the seats of your car. Alternatively, you can use a carry-on suitcase depending on the items you need to transport and the length of your trip. Unless you have a spacious vault, avoid XL suitcases at all costs (which are checked bags and are generally ideal for air travel).
What type of suitcase should I choose for air travel?
Choosing a suitcase to carry luggage on an airplane trip is an exercise. Between the nature and weight of your belongings, on the one hand, and the requirements of the airlines, on the other, things can be a little unpleasant for you:
- Unpacking (and re-packing) your entire suitcase for the security check: avoid this by opting for the convenience and quality of a carry-on suitcase with front pockets;
- Seeing your hold suitcase potentially brutalized: fortunately, choosing a strong and rigid suitcase can prevent this type of treatment by airport personnel in charge of baggage handling;
- In some countries, such as the United States, you may find your suitcase shredded (due to difficulty in accessing its contents) by the competent authorities: consider a suitcase equipped with a padlock or a TSA (Transport Security Administration) lock, which can be easily opened by the said authorities using a special key.
What type of suitcases should I choose for train travel?
Choosing a suitcase suitable for rail travel is not very complicated. The big companies are not very particular about the size of your suitcases. However, large suitcases are stored in an easily accessible space. So think about securing them with a lock, for example.
On the other hand, you may want to consider cabin size suitcases if you are traveling on low cost airlines. Large suitcases are not encouraged by the restrictive luggage regulations of these companies. This means that you will have to pay additional fees above the weight limit.
A word of advice stairs: Going up and down stairs can be a hassle when carrying your luggage through the station, so opt for a 4-wheeled carry-on suitcase to make your life easier.
Features: an important criterion in the choice of a suitcase?
As for any product, the characteristics of the suitcases are determining in the choice of these. How, indeed, to neglect the economic, practical aspect, etc., of the thing if you want to make your trip pleasant and comfortable? In other words, the materials that make up the suitcases make them flexible or rigid and make them light, solid and/or resistant luggage..
The soft suitcase is characterized by its lightness due to the materials that make it up (fabric, polyurethane, Teflon…). It is practical, economical and less expensive than a rigid suitcase; it lightens the weight of your luggage (you support, consequently, less transport costs). Opting for this type of luggage is a great idea if you’re flying low cost, for example.
But although they are practical because of their front pockets, soft suitcases are nevertheless fragile because of the flexibility of their fabric. They should therefore be handled with care. Manufacturers are aware of this and design models that are as resistant as they are strong and solid – which can be found on online stores.
The rigid suitcase is ideal for transporting fragile belongings, which therefore require reinforced protection. Quality, it is solid, resistant and robust. Note however that it weighs much more than the soft suitcase and may not be very economical for you if you have to make a long trip via a low cost flight. Therefore, choose rigid suitcases if you are traveling by train or car.
But there are rigid luggage whose material of manufacture (polycarbonate, polypropylene…), constitutes an intelligent compromise between robustness and lightness. In all cases, rigid luggage is easy to handle. They are shock resistant and increase the security of your belongings against theft.
The number of wheels: 2 or 4?
The number of wheels is one of the criteria to consider when choosing a suitcase, regardless of its size. The models of the 2 wheels suitcases and those of the 4 wheels suitcases have indeed their specific advantages.
- The 2-wheeled suitcase: unidirectional, it provides much more space for your belongings than the 4-wheeled model. It is equipped with studs on which its vertical stability depends. There are suitcases with ball bearing wheels (durable and comfortable); those with plastic wheels (ideal for rough terrain), etc. ;
- The 4-wheeled suitcase: suitcases with 4 wheels are multidirectional and can be transported in all directions. Their practicality saves you extra effort when carrying them. They are more expensive than two-wheeled suitcases, but they are well worth the money.
Ultimately, there are many parameters to consider when buying a suitcase. In addition to those listed above, we can mention the ease of opening and closing the suitcase, its ergonomics, its nature, its weight..
The list of criteria can be extended again and again, and you certainly have something to say about it. In the comment section of this article, tell us about your experience by revealing the criteria you put forward when choosing your suitcase.