We have had quite a few customers come in to the store recently asking about the advantages and disadvantages of hard-sided and soft-sided suitcases. Hard-sided suitcases are already trending in Europe and Asia and the sleek design factor has more people wondering if they should make the switch. We still sell more soft-sided. Is that because people go with what they know or does that soft exterior give travelers an edge in that overhead bin?
First, I should explain the differences between the two. A soft-side suitcase is usually made of a nylon or polyester fabric, allowing the suitcase to be somewhat flexible depending on the style. This flexibility helps with stuffing the suitcase full but also stuffing the suitcase into smaller spaces. In contrast, hard-sided luggage can be lighter with a much more protected exterior usually made of polycarbonate. If you are going to be checking your bag with something worth protecting, this is the type of suitcase you should consider. The polycarbonate doesn’t really allow for exterior pockets and can be prone to marks, our trick to remove scuffs is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. In a hard-sided suitcase the orientation for packing shifts to be two-sided versus packing in one deep well. Some people like the organization this gives while others prefer having one large area to use for packing aides, etc. How important is an expansion system? Although we do sell some hard-sided luggage with great expansion and compression systems, a lot don’t offer expansion.
Here at the store, we believe that the best luggage really depends on your specific travel needs. There are a host of questions to get you on the road to deciding if a hard-sided or soft-sided suitcase is best for you. Everyone here at the store is a packing specialist and we ‘re here to help you make the best decision on hard versus soft-sided luggage. Plan a pop in visit or schedule a personal appointment at 434-977-1415. We might have some questions you haven’t been considering.