How to choose the right hard case suitcase for travel November 21, 2021 – Posted in: Announcements, Tips, Travel – Tags:

I know I’ve said it before, but travel is back and it’s going to be back in a big way! Although we are a limited to domestic travel, I’m sure after the last two years we’ve endured, we are more than happy to travel anywhere! Booking your next adventure also means purchasing new luggage! In our latest blog, the Bags Only team will help you choose the right hard case suitcase for travel.

Factors to consider when choosing Hard Case Suitcase

If you’re in the market for luggage, there are several factors to consider when choosing your next hard luggage case. Which material is better and the lightest? Does the type of travel or the destination influence the decision? These are all valid questions when choosing your next luggage case for travel. Let’s take a deep dive and find out!

Luggage Protection

Keeping your packed items secure is important. The protection provided by a hard luggage case is two-fold.  The tough and durable exterior is the choice for travellers when packing breaking breakable and fragile items.  Hard cases also provide greater security of your packed items compared to soft luggage. Hard luggage can’t be ripped or cut open by a knife and often feature integrated locking mechanisms.


There’s no question that the way we travel will be different. It’s important that we do everything we possible can to travel safely. Social distancing and hygiene will play an important part.  A hard shell suitcase can quickly be wiped down, enable you to maintain a safe distance (1.5 metres), and manoeuvre quickly from the tarmac to the terminal.


Technologies and materials used to construct today’s hard-shell or hard-sided luggage have come a long way since the first rolling suitcase. Luggage is made with hi tech plastics such as ABS, polypropylene and polycarbonate, that are incredibly lightweight and durable. ABS cases are the lightest on the market, however each material provides consumers with a great lightweight luggage option.  Aluminium mounts a strong case for the best protective suitcase, but its not as popular as plastics as its slightly heavier, expensive and dents easily. You also can’t over pack an aluminium case!

Weight & Size

Opting for a lightweight option is key to getting on and off the plane as quickly as possible. It also allows travellers to easily lift their case in and out of the overhead compartments. The length and type of trip will determine the size of the suitcase that you need. Traditionally, cases come in three sizes, carry on (20″), medium (25″) and large (29″). Weights do vary slightly depending on the materials used, but you’d be hard pressed to find a case that isn’t lightweight.  Size wise, there is often little difference in price between large and medium sized cases. Ensure your case has an expander.  Expanders allow you to fit in those extra items and are available across all sizes.

Tip: Make sure you know the carry-on luggage restrictions and carry-on allowances for the airline you’re flying.

Design & Colours

Different colours and patterned options are more common with hard cases. Hard Luggage is created using a mould, so the scope for engineering a stylish and eye catching design is much greater. American Tourister and Samsonite have released some bold and amazing hard luggage cases, that appeal to travellers of all ages. Let’s take the Curio for example, lots of bold bright colours that were popular amongst younger travellers who wanted cool luggage. If you’re after you more traditional colours like black, charcoal or navy, you’ll find most hard cases are available in those tones.

Here are some tips to make your choice easier

Deciding what fits your needs is key. How long are you travelling for? How often do you plan on travelling? What’s my budget? Do I tend to overpack? These are all questions you must ask yourself when choosing your next case. For lengthy trips, the bigger and lighter the case, the better. If you like to pack plenty of clothes or bring items back, ensure your luggage case has expanders.  The same applies for those packing fragile items, a good hard shell case will provide superior protection for your items. ABS, polypropylene and polycarbonate are all high quality materials.  If its not one of those, reconsider your choice.

Final Words

Choosing the best luggage piece will depend a lot on your reason for travel, the destination(s) you’ll be travelling too and ultimately what you feel most comfortable with. Price can also be a major consideration, purchasing multiple large cases for the family can be quite expensive.  Talk to staff in-store, often they are keen travellers themselves and can share their insights and product knowledge when helping you decide on the best choice for you. There’s often high quality luggage available, with the exact same features made from the exact same materials at a lower price point.

We might sound a little biased, but supporting Australian owned companies is also something you might consider when making your purchase. Australia’s own luggage brand TOSCA has a terrific range of hard luggage options, that are modern and stylish and perfectly priced in the market.


We hope we have answered all your questions and when you’re browsing in-store or online, you can choose the right hard case suitcase for travel.

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