Choosing A Suitcase: 5 Criteria To Consider
If you're planning a trip, especially an airplane trip, you may need the right size luggage. Whether it's a cabin bag or a bag to be placed in the hold, the choice of a model deserves some thought. We have listed for you 5 criteria to take into account when choosing a suitcase.
1- Pay attention to the dimensions
When deciding to choose your suitcase in anticipation of a plane trip, you need to be particularly vigilant about the dimensions of the luggage.
Before you even compare different brands or models, be sure to find out about the maximum dimensions allowed by the airline you will be traveling on.
There are no international standards in this area and the required dimensions can vary greatly from one airline to another.
The choice of dimensions also depends on :
- the length of your stay (a 65 cm high model may be sufficient for a one or two week vacation but it is better to choose a 75 cm or even 81 cm luggage for a 3 week stay)
- the climate of your destination because winter clothes take up more space than summer clothes.
2- Think of the solidity
Another important criterion to consider when choosing a suitcase is the strength of the materials.
In the suitcase department, there are mainly two types of models:
- the soft suitcases lighter
- the rigid suitcases more solid
The soft models are interesting as carry-on luggage. They are lightweight and sometimes feature expansion gussets to maximize interior space. On the downside, soft suitcases are less protective of the contents of the luggage, which can cause quite a bit of discomfort when placed in the hold.
For checked luggage, we will therefore prefer a rigid suitcase that better protects the contents against shocks when handling at the airport but also against theft attempts. Rigid models are more suitable for this purpose because they are stronger, more waterproof and usually equipped with a padlock.
3- Go for lightness
While sturdiness is an important selection criterion, so is lightness since the weight travelers can place in the hold and cabin is limited.
So to choose your suitcase well, you need to find the best possible compromise between strength, lightness and price.
Opting for an ultra-light luggage allows you to save a few hundred grams. This may not seem like much, but it's a nice weight savings when you want to take more stuff with you or bring back more souvenirs from your trip.
To lighten its models, the Samsonite brand adopted the Curv, a material that is both strong and very light. But of course, this technological innovation comes at a cost. It is necessary to count between 300 € and 500 € for a suitcase Samsonite Curv (the price varying according to the dimensions).
If you don't have such a budget, you can opt for a suitcase made of polycarbonate or polypropylene, which are also lightweight materials, although not as high end.
4- Test the handling
To choose your suitcase properly, you also need to ask yourself the question of the number of wheels. With the exception of backpacks, all luggage today is equipped with wheels, but sometimes they have 2 and sometimes 4.
The models with 4 multidirectional wheels are the most practical because these wheels make the suitcase very maneuverable. It follows you everywhere while staying close to you.
Conversely, the 2-wheel models have to be tilted and pulled behind you. However, they have the advantage of having more interior space and wheels that are better protected from shocks.
Once you've done some initial scouting online, don't hesitate to go test several models directly in store. That way you can roll them around and check the handling and vertical stability of each piece of luggage.
5- Don't forget safety
For air travel, it is best to prefer luggage equipped with locks. This security prevents the suitcase from being opened by unscrupulous staff or from opening itself under pressure (if you have overfilled it).
If you are traveling to the United States, you should know that since September 11, 2001, customs officers have the right to open your luggage and check its contents for security reasons. In your absence, they don't hesitate to cut the lock or even turn in your suitcase.
To avoid this hassle, the solution is to choose a model equipped with a so-called TSA lock (for Transport Security Administration). This is a padlock that U.S. customs officials can open and close with a special key.
We don't always think about it, but the presence of a TSA padlock is an important criterion for choosing your suitcase!