Buying Luggage & Suitcases
Your luggage needs may differ for every journey. From an overnight holdall to a long-haul suitcase, here’s what to consider.
What type of luggage should I buy?
Up to 56cm
Perfect for short business trips when you only need a laptop plus essentials. Most airlines allow these onboard up to 56cm at no extra cost. Designed to be space efficient
The most popular for travellers wishing to check-in their luggage. Versatile, spacious and ideal for long trips especially if you need to pack for more than one traveller
Relatively lightweight and small enough to carry around. Easy to take onto public transport or into a taxi. Four-wheel options offer additional convenience
Soft sided suitcases
Usually made from polyester or nylon. The higher the denier, the thicker and more durable it is. Most have waterproof PVC on the inside, although if left out in the rain some seepage may occur
Hard sided suitcases
Ideal for frequent air travel and protecting your more fragile items. Most are made from moulded polypropylene or ABS plastic and are rigid rather than flexible
Built to protect your laptop or tablet while offering space to cleverly organise your other daily gear, the best options are padded
Think fun but functional, with adjustable straps and zips to keep valuables safe - plus enough room for school books, snacks and juice boxes
If you’re transporting your laptop, book and lunch to and from work, then choose a more compact option fitted with a protective compartment
Headed on a backpacking trip? Look out for a bag with a strong frame, waistband, padded shoulder straps and plenty of pockets
Holdalls & Weekend bags
Holdalls & Weekend bags
Lighter and more flexible than a trolley case while offering just as much packing space - but in a less protective shell. If you want to take the weight off your shoulders, opt for one with wheels and a telescopic handle
Briefcases & Laptop bags
Perfect for everyday use thanks to their multitude of pockets and compartments. Normally have a reinforced laptop area and a detachable shoulder strap. Most will indicate in inches what size they can hold
Travel & Luggage accessories
Think luggage labels, combination padlocks, mini kettles and hairdryers. And on your next trip might you need an adaptor plug? Also, fold-up casual bags are ideal for popping in the side of your case
Features to look out for
Cases with four wheels don’t need to be tilted when you pull them (unless you’re on very uneven ground) you can simply wheel the case alongside you.
An extendable handle allows your to pull your case with minimal effort.
Pockets and compartments
Built-in pockets and compartments are ideal for keeping your personal items separate.
Bumpers or skirts
A handy bumper or skirt at the rear base of a suitcase can help protect it from damage from kerbs and stairs.
Some cases feature panels than can be unzipped for extra space – perfect for when you’ve picked up gifts and souvenirs on your trip.
Padlocks and combination locks
These will add a level of security and give you peace of mind.
If you're travelling to the USA, then you should try to get your hands on a TSA-approved padlock. It allows American airline security to examine your suitcase without damaging the lock or your case.
Protected zips and closures
These will help to reduce wear and tear.
Additional side handles
Will make it easier for you to manoeuvre cases into boots and luggage racks.
All luggage is guaranteed against faulty workmanship and some of the brands we stock offer guarantees covering many years.
Note that manufacturers’ guarantees won't cover damage caused by overloading, mishandling in transit or airline damage. The exception is Briggs & Riley, where all products are covered by an unconditional lifetime warranty that includes all damage caused in transit, including airline damage.
Always take a moment just to look over your luggage as you take it off the carousel. Should there be any transit damage, you need to inform the airline or their representative before you leave the terminal, as they won't entertain any damage claims against them once you've left.
Weight and size restrictions on hand and checked baggage vary from airline to airline, so you need to check their allowances before you pack. Check the weight of your luggage before you leave too, as you may have to pay a hefty fine for each kilo it’s overweight.
There are also certain things you can’t carry in your hand luggage, including liquids over 100ml. Read the latest UK guidelines to find out what the current UK airport restrictions are.
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