From lightweight suitcases you can lift onto the train to holdalls you can squeeze into an overhead locker, the type of luggage you choose all depends on how you travel. Here’s a guide to what to look for.
WHAT TYPE OF LUGGAGE SHOULD I BUY?
Suitcases come in a variety of sizes, so they’re suitable for both the cabin and the hold.
Normally made from polyester, nylon or both
Fabric is graded in denier and so the higher the denier, the thicker and more durable it is
Top-of-the-range suitcases have a high denier, tightly woven fabric for extra strength, are scuff and soil resistant and difficult to tear
Most fabric will have a waterproof PVC backing on the inside, though if left out in the rain, you may find some seepage occurs.
Less flexible than soft-sidedRigid rather than flexible
More durable than soft-sided cases and more likely to be waterproof
Most are made from moulded polypropylene or ABS plastic
Most have straps in the lid and base so the two parts can be packed separately
Frequent air travel
Protecting more fragile items
An oil-based plastic, also used to make car bumpers
Extremely strong with a tough surface and can withstand heavy impact
Things to consider:
Can feel a little on the heavy side, so you may prefer to look at ABS or polycarbonate alternatives.
Made from plastic and a rubber substitute
Very strong, is used to make crash helmets
Lighter and easier to manoeuvre than polypropylene
Available in attractive finishes and shine
Things to consider:
Not quite as strong as polypropylene
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.
Work bags and briefcases are perfect for everyday use thanks to their multitude of pockets and compartments
Made from leather, nylon or polyester
Normally have one or more document pockets, extra accessory and reinforced laptop compartments and a detachable shoulder strap
- Most laptop bags and cases will indicate in inches what size they can hold
Small suitcases designed for easy travel and will accommodate everything you need for an overnight business trip including protective space for laptops and papers.
Suit and garment bags
- Designed to transport and protect a suit or dress with minimal creasing
- Available in leather, polyester or nylon
- Depending on size, can carry enough for two or three days
- Great for business travellers
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 when you’ve picked up gifts and souvenirs on your trip.
Padlocks and combination locks
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 personnel to examine your suitcase without damaging the lock or your case
Protected zips and closures
Help reduce wear and tear.
Additional side handles
help to manoeuvre cases into boots and luggage racks
We offer a wide selection of bright straps and luggage labels to help you identify your case, as well as combination and padlocks in a range of colours to keep your luggage safe and secure.
You'll also find all kinds of handy travel gadgets, document wallets and electricals like mini kettles and hairdryers. Don’t forget an adaptor plug for all your electrical items and look out for our fold-up casual bags – great space savers and ideal for popping in the side of your case for all those holiday purchases.
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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