10 Best Luggage | March 2017
- oversized easy-to-grasp zippers
- interior has cross-straps
- handle can break if overloaded
- includes a hanging bag for suits
- durable 1500 denier fabric
- backed by a lifetime warranty
- handle is nice and strong
- zippers open and close smoothly
- good value for the price
- combination lock for added security
- upright freestanding design
- bungee cord to attach another bag
- tapered 2-inch expansion
- zippered side mesh pocket
- duraflex anti-break buckles
- large easy-access front compartment
- recessed one-button locking handle
- four double spinner wheels
- integrated tsa lock
- retractable top carry handle
- rolls very smoothly on uneven ground
What's the History of Luggage, Anyways?
This first suitcases were steamer trunks made for carrying--you guessed it: suits! These were generally produced out of wood, leather, and iron. The best were waterproofed with tree sap or canvas; ocean journeys were no joke.
Rolling trunks were first patented in 1887, but that style didn't catch on. The first modern rolling luggage was invented twice, first as a rolling trunk, and then as rolling suitcase, by a traveler in the 1970s and a pilot in the 1980s respectively.
People were slow to adopt this newfangled means of transporting their goods, as it was seen as a masculine thing to lug a lot of shit everywhere in the airport like a chump. Thankfully, attitudes have changed and you can get to Terminal B without throwing your back out, because we know you just sold out that Duty Free Shop.
Do I Need Hard-sided or Soft-sided Rolling Luggage?
Hard-sided versus fabric is a personal choice. Rigid sides can protect your things better up to a point, but there's no play in the material after a certain point.
Don't use it as a step stool, and, sorry, you can't put a large person inside (hint: people always use soft luggage for this anyways). There's usually no waterproofing in soft-sided luggage, though, so your tears and sweat will show. Both have advantages, is what I'm trying to say.
Here are some things to consider when making your choice.
When it comes to their strengths, hard-sided luggage will better protect delicate items, they are more lightweight, and they are more water resistant. Soft-sided luggage has pockets on the outside, is more easily repairable, is more easily compacted, and can more often be expanded.
When it comes to drawbacks, hard-sided luggage can crack under too much or the wrong kind of strain, will not compact, and can scratch easily.
Soft-sided luggage is more likely to absorb odors, tear, take on liquids, stain, and can be cut by thieves. Those damned rascals.
Again, if you are hiding in a suitcase, you'll need to go with soft-sided luggage, obviously. But you're totally going to get caught.
If you're curious to see what happens to your luggage after you check-in, check out what happened when this guy Go-Proed his bag.
If a Train Leaves Boston at 4:45, How Big Can My Luggage Be?
Most forms of transportation will give you the dimensions for your carry-on, and two measurements for your check-in: the weight (usually 50 lbs), and one distance, around 50-60 inches. To determine the maximum size, add together the length, height and width, including the wheels.
This can be tricky; not all sellers or manufacturers include the wheels in their specs, so measure yourself when you get your case in hand. You don't want to end up with an oversize baggage fee, especially on an international flight. Unless, of course, you have a couple hundred in your pocket ready to burn.
Different airlines have different size restrictions, and here's a chart of most of them, including carry-on, check-in, and their fees.
If you travel by bus, here's the Megabus luggage chart and the Greyhound luggage chart. For train travel, here's the Amtrak baggage information. For pirates and others traveling on the high seas, here's most of the cruise ship baggage information.