Hard luggage or soft luggage: How to choose

Luggage manufacturing has developed no end since I was a young lad in the 1970s. Yet, the luggage-buying public is still faced with the same dilemma, that being whether to go for soft or hard luggage.

Rimowa Salsa AirTraditionally soft-sided luggage has been more flexible, good for chucking in that extra pair of trousers or blouse and lighter in weight.  But nowadays, some of the lightest luggage is zip around, no pockets and hard sided, made from lightweight polycarbonate, for example the Salsa Air range from Rimowa, or made from CURV, developed originally by Samsonite for their Cosmolite range.

These newly developed, ultra lightweight cases are a response to calls from the airlines to make weight savings. While weight is a major consideration for travellers today, it is not by any means the only factor when choosing whether to go for hard luggage or soft.

If one is going on a shopping trip, say to New York, travelling there with an almost empty case with the intention to fill it up with goodies on arrival, then a soft sided case is certainly a better bet than the ultra light weight cases which tend to rely on them being packed full to the rafters to function as well as they do.

Samsonite S'CureIf security and peace of mind is your main concern, then you may well consider a hard-sided case with locks rather than a zip around case. These cases are typically slightly heavier than the ultra lightweight cases, but not by much…typically no more than a kilo in most cases, often less than that. These provide a more secure environment for your possessions, are often made of polypropylene (which is very hard wearing), and don’t rely upon being full to the brim like polycarbonate cases. An example to look at would be the Samsonite S’cure range.

For lightweight polycarbonate cases built on a frame, you couldn’t do better than examine the Rimowa Limbo range.

Finally, for the ultimate in chic, durability and peace of mind, you need look no further than Rimowa Topas. Constructed from Aluminium, a tool of the trade for so many professional travellers who live out of their cases week in week out, while not cheap, these are certainly worth a good look.

Rimowa TopasTo conclude, nowadays, good luggage is available at all price points. You have to decide whether weight or perhaps security is the overriding factor. You have to consider whether you tend to travel with a full case or whether there is always room for more inside. Lots to think about; I hope this short guide has been a help…

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