Last Updated on by Jamie Allan

If you haven’t shopped for luggage in a while, you may be overwhelmed by the variety of options available. We at luggage.co.nz have put a list together to help you buy luggage and decide on your purchase and de-mystify the options available to you!

  • What sort of traveller are you?

– If you travel a lot, tend to check bags on planes and carry fragile items, you’ll need to buy luggage that’s going to take the wear and tear. Hard-sided luggage is a great option for you.

– If you travel infrequently, a soft-sider case is probably for you. They are generally lighter, more flexible (i.e. Can be squeezed into the overhead bins) and more affordable than hard side.

SITTINGWITHCOS

  • How often do you travel?

– If you are the travel warrior and frequently on the go, you should see your luggage as your best travel companion. Invest in quality from an International Brand (Samsonite, Delsey, Thule). An investment in the luggage you carry will minimise failures, avoid travel hassles and will help you keep both sane and organised on trips. Higher quality luggage that is well-constructed and properly engineered will last longer, wears and looks better.

– If you are an infrequent traveller or looking for a budget friendly option, you may consider one of our national brands – New Zealand Luggage Co. They’re great value for money and offer outstanding products.

  • How much do you need to carry?

– The first Rule of Thumb is “Pack and travel light”. The reason most people have oversized luggage is because they take too much with them. The less you take, the less likely you are to run into issues! Choosing a lightweight luggage option will help you keep your overall weight down. Try the Samsonite Cosmolite or Tosca Comet.

CUBE

  •  Hardside or Softside?

Hardside – These options are moulded from materials like polypropylene and polycarbonate, to form a hard shell case. Samsonite has it’s own material called Curv Technology, this is extremely lightweight and hard wearing.

Benefits:

  • Protect fragile items.
  • As a generalisation they are usually more waterproof and dust-proof than soft-siders.
  • With the advent of new materials hard-siders have become lighter and stronger.

Drawbacks:

  • Because they are a rigid construction they do not offer any flexibility. This can be a problem when you are trying to squeeze your carry-on case into the overhead locker or under the seat.
  • Some can be dented with severe abuse.

Soft-Side – These cases are constructed from a range of materials such as polyester, nylon and ballistic nylon. Soft-siders usually have a metal or specialised plastic frame that gives and holds the shape of the case.

Benefits:

  • Within ranges, soft side is generally cheaper.
  • Soft-siders are more flexible, which can be advantageous in situations where you may need to squeeze the case into a limited space like the overhead storage locker on an aircraft or the boot of a car.
  • Soft-siders usually have exterior zip pockets which can be very useful for storing objects that you may want frequent and easy access to, like tickets, books, meds etc.

Drawbacks

  • If you tend to travel with items that could be easily damaged soft-siders do not offer the same protection as a hard-sider.
  • Depending on quality soft-siders may not be as waterproof as hard-siders
  • Again, depending on quality of materials, soft-siders may not be as abrasion resistant as a hard-sider.
  • Corners on cases are especially susceptible to wear and if they are not protected with additional mouldings this can be the first area a case will fail.

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  • Size:

Currently luggage under 55cm is considered carry-on, anything above this will need to be checked in (checked luggage). It is always safest to check with your specific airline regarding their specific requirements. At luggage.co.nz we go out of our way to ensure you have all of the dimension information you will need, if you require any additional information don’t hesitate to contact the team here at luggage.co.nz.

  • 2 Wheel or 4 Wheel?

Traditionally cases have had two wheels, but more recently the four wheel 360 degree spinner system is becoming very popular; this is due to superior manoeuvrability and therefore ease of handling your luggage.

Two Wheel Benefits:

  • 2 wheel systems generally have larger diameter wheels and this provides better manoeuvrability over rough terrain, such as cobbled streets and or where you need to negotiate different level surfaces.
  • Easier to stow as generally the wheels are part recessed into the case and therefore don’t protrude so far out from the case.
  • Wheels are usually more protected from damage as they are recessed into the case.

Four Wheel Benefits:

  • The No1 feature of the 4 wheel 360degree spinner is manoeuvrability. Having 4 wheels supporting the case provides effortless handling and effort.
  • This ease of handling is a great benefit when getting in and out of hotel rooms, negotiating lifts etc. A carry-on 4 wheel spinner is superb for getting down the narrow aisles of aircraft where all you need to do is spin the bag to its narrowest side and effortlessly push the case down the aisle.

HANDLES

Handles and Grab

Extra handles on the sides, bottom or top make it easier to manoeuvre bags into and out of luggage lockers. Retractable handles come in one or two bar construction. The two bar construction is generally stronger and provides better control, when wheeling the case.

Closing

Generally all cases with zips use nylon coil zipping.  These zippers do not have individual teeth and can take a great deal of pressure. If they do pop open, they can be rezoned or repaired by running the zip slider back over the opened area and then re-zipping it. The size of zip also influences the strength. Usually a No.8 size is used but you will find a larger no.10 size being available as well. International brands often use ‘YKK’ branded zips which are regarded as the gold standard in zipping. Check that the zip sliders are made of metal and are robust to take the large stress put on them. Clip-lock systems are starting to make an appearance on the luggage scene. They’re extra sturdy and secure!

TSA

Locks

The standard for locks is now a TSA (Transport Security Administration) approved lock. These are usually a combination lock that is built into the case or as a conventional padlock. Customs and security agents at borders need to be able to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA locks can be opened by security officers using a universal ‘Master’ Key. If you do not have a TSA lock, security can and will cut the lock to gain access.

Warranties/Service

All our product are covered by Manufacturers warranty. The warranty covers against any manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the length of time stated in the warranty. You will need to provide proof of purchase to substantiate it is within the warranty period. The warrantor reserves the right to repair or replace the damaged goods. Check carefully the length of warranty as this not only differs from brand to brand but also ranges within a brand.

Be very aware that the warranty does not cover the result of misuse or the actions of others. The most common issue here is the damage of luggage by airport baggage handlers and whilst in possession of carriers. If you notice damage to your luggage after being in the care of a third party, you should contact the carrier immediately (if possible, before clearing customs) and lodge a claim with them for resolution.

International brands such as Samsonite, Antler and Delsey have service and repair centres around the world. This could be advantageous if your luggage becomes broken or damaged while travelling. You should check the respective brands websites for availability.

DAMAGE

Now that you have all of the important options in front of you, create a list of the most important features you’re looking for and search luggage.co.nz using our filters or give the team a call and we’ll help you pick the perfect case! Happy searching!