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Hard Side Vs Soft Side Luggage

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 189

When purchasing your new luggage bag, there are various factors that you need to take into consideration, it's not just about the size, the capacity, the number of wheels, or TSA regulations. You also need to choose what your luggage bag will look like. You need to decide whether to choose a soft-side or hard-side luggage bag. You need to choose what luggage bag will best suit your travel requirements.

Soft-Side Bags

Obviously, soft sided suitcases provide huge flexibility. The tops aren't rigid so it is easier to squeeze them into tight spaces like crowded airplane overhead bins even if you have over packed a little. To add to their flexibility, a majority of these types of luggage bags are capable of expanding to allow for even more packing capacity. Their flexibility makes them durable in a different way compared to their hard-side counterparts. These luggage bags won't give in to pressure from being tossed onto luggage conveyor belts or the occasional baggage handler getting rough with it, because it can withstand many of the bumps and bruises from travel. These bags also come well protected with skid guards and corner guards. The inside of these bags have pockets or special dividers to store the items that you may need to pack to accommodate your travel needs. Lastly, these bags also tend to be lightweight because of the fabric used to construct these bags like nylon, polyester etc. These materials are considerably lighter than the plastic needed to build a hard-side bag. With saying this, it does depend on the structure of the suitcase. The variables depend on the frame, hardware, and the accessories that are included in this particular kind of luggage bag.

Advantages of Soft Side Luggage

  • Flexible, easy to maneuver and lightweight.
  • Can be lighter both empty and full and a majority of the luggage bags are easily expandable compared to the hard side luggage bags.
  • Easier to store in overhead compartments in airplanes, cars, trains and buses because of the flexibility provided and is able to change itself to irregular shapes spaces.

Disadvantages to Soft Sided Luggage

  • They are less water/moisture resistant than the hardsided bags. These bags will stand up to a bit of rain. The contents of the bag will be slightly damp or worse if they are in contact with any significant amount of water.
  • Valuables or breakable items are not as well protected in a softside bag due to their flexibility and the fact that you can squeeze them into compartments easier than hardside luggage.

Hard-Side Bags

Hard-side luggage can be made from a variety of materials, these include ABS plastic and highly durable polycarbonates. In numerous ways, their features are no different than the soft-side bags - fairly light weight, durable, designed for simple organization. One reason travellers purchase hard side luggage is to enhance their individual and personal preference. They can be more visually exciting than the standard black rollaboard models. Hard side luggage bags are available in a variety of colours and are available in flashy printed patterns, solid colours and even textured patterns. Their surfaces can come in a gloss or matte finish. Some hard side bags really stand out, which can determine a travellers personality and also makes it a lot easier at baggage claim. Unfortunately, the hard side luggage is more apt to get scratches, blemishes and more structural damage from rough baggage handlers and normal wear and tear of pushing them into overhead compartment bins. Your belongings are more protected in a hard side suitcase as they don't flex as much.

Advantages of Hard Side Luggage

  • Rigid shell that's created generally from aluminum, ABS plastic or polycarbonate which is one of the main reasons most travellers will choose it.
  • More durable. They are not likely to break, tear or otherwise come apart. The added durability and strength comes with the disadvantage of additional weight, but with the modern technology of today a number of lightweight luggage bags are offered, providing a larger weight allowance for packing.
  • Hard side luggage also wins over soft sided luggage when it comes to the protection of valuable items and water/moisture resistance. There are many models that are waterproof to everything but being submerged or dunked in water.

Disadvantages of Hard Side Luggage

  • There are less choices for expandable hard side luggage but there are some luggage bags that do have that option.
  • A rigid shell does not make it possible for 'squeezing' making it more difficult to pack into cars, buses and airplane overhead bins.Bumps and bruises of travelling are more obvious in a hard side luggage bag. Nothing worse than finding a dent, or even worse a hole.
  • If you are thinking about purchasing affordable hard side travel luggage, it is possible that the material construction is brittle. It is advised to purchase a trustworthy brand and if available, a lengthy warranty.
  • Most hard side luggage comes with a glossy finish. It looks awesome on the first trip but following that first trip, you have to prepare yourself for the noticeable scratches and dents that may occur or the glossy finish wearing off.

Of course, your choice of luggage depends on your own personal preference and your travel requirements. What you choose should fit your budget, your style and the reason you are travelling, whether it be for business or pleasure. The vast variety of luggage outlets out there, whether they be online or brick and mortar, you will always find the right luggage to meet your needs. We offer the best selection of Travelpro luggage, carry on luggage and wheeled luggage at discount prices. Visit our website to check out our selection.

Source: EzineArticles
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