Choosing the right luggage is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. One of the most significant decisions you’ll need to make is whether to opt for hardshell or softshell luggage. Both options have unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your travel style and preferences.
Benefits of Hardshell Luggage
- Durability – Hardshell luggage is renowned for its durability and protection. Constructed from materials such as polycarbonate or ABS plastic, hardshell suitcases are more resistant to impacts, scratches, and water damage compared to their softsided counterparts. This makes them an excellent choice for travelers who want their belongings to stay safe and secure.
- Security – The rigid shell of hardshell luggage provides enhanced security for your belongings. These suitcases often come with built-in combination locks or TSA-approved locks, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access your belongings. This added level of protection can be particularly appealing if you’re concerned about theft or tampering during your travels.
- Organization – Many hardshell suitcases are designed with organized packing in mind. They often feature compartments, dividers, and zippered pockets, helping you keep your items neatly organized and minimizing the risk of wrinkled clothing. Some models even come with built-in garment bags or compression straps to further optimize packing space.
- Mobility – Hardshell luggage typically comes with multidirectional spinner wheels, which provide smooth and effortless maneuverability through airports and crowded streets. The rigid exterior also helps maintain stability when standing upright, preventing your suitcase from tipping over easily.
Cons of Hardshell Luggage
- Weight – Hardshell luggage is usually heavier than softshell options, potentially limiting the amount of belongings you can pack.
- Less flexibility – The rigid shell doesn’t allow for expansion, which may be a drawback if you tend to overpack or bring home souvenirs.
- Limited accessibility – Hardshell suitcases typically have fewer exterior pockets and compartments, making it less convenient to access essentials during travel.
- Susceptible to dents – While they are durable, hardshell suitcases can still develop dents or cracks under extreme pressure or rough handling.
- ORGANIZER SET INCLUDED. LEVEL8 4 packing cubes of different sizes to help you enjoy your travel with easier and smarter packing (Only available for LEVEL8 Elegance Matte Series Luggage).
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT hard shells made of 100% PC materials. Carry on luggage 3-Layer PC Matte surface makes case stylish and sturdy, also provide protections to suitcase belongings.
- MULTI-DIRECTIONAL double spinner wheels and retractable handle for smooth handling. Recessed TSA Lock for security when checked belongings during international travel.
- SPACIOUS FULLY-LINED INTERIOR features a zipper divider and multiple zipper pockets for optimal packing.
- 20-Inch Carry On OVERALL DIMENSION: 24.7 x 16.8 x 10.7 Inch (54.5 x 37 x 23.5 cm, including wheels and handles). WEIGHT: 8.71 lbs. PACKING CAPACITY: 41L. Perfect for 1-3 days trips!
Softshell luggage, also known as soft-sided luggage, is a popular choice for travelers. This type of luggage is usually made out of durable fabric instead of plastic or metal.
Benefits of Softshell Luggage
- Flexibility – Softshell luggage offers greater flexibility in terms of storage capacity. The fabric exterior can expand to accommodate extra items, making it a suitable choice for travelers who tend to overpack or bring souvenirs home. Additionally, the soft sides allow you to fit your suitcase into tight spaces more easily.
- Lightweight – Softshell suitcases are generally lighter than hardshell ones, which can be a significant advantage when it comes to adhering to weight restrictions imposed by airlines. A lighter suitcase means more room for your belongings without exceeding baggage limits.
- Versatility – Softshell luggage is often considered more versatile than hardshell luggage. Its pliable design allows you to stuff it into overhead compartments or squeeze it into tight spaces more easily. This can be especially beneficial if you frequently fly on smaller regional airlines with limited overhead space.
- Accessibility – Many softshell suitcases feature exterior pockets and compartments, offering quick access to essential items like passports, boarding passes, or electronics. This can save you time during airport security checks and while on the move.
Cons of Softshell Luggage
- Durability – Softshell luggage may not offer the same level of protection against impacts or rough handling as hardshell options.
- Security – They may be more vulnerable to tampering or theft due to their fabric exterior.
- Organization – Softshell luggage may not have as many internal dividers or pockets, making it challenging to keep your items organized.
- Stability – The soft sides of these suitcases may make them prone to tipping over when standing upright.
- Outer dimensions (including wheels): 14.7 x 9 x 21 Inches (21-Inch), 16.1 x 10.6 x 25.9 Inches (25.9-Inch), 17.5 x 12.9 x 30.9 Inches (30.9-Inch); Interior dimensions: 13.7 x 7.8 x 17.32 Inches…
- Interior capacity: 31 Liters (21-Inch), 50 Liters (25.9-Inch), 77 Liters (30.9-Inch)
- Weight: 5.51 lbs. (21-Inch), 6.83 lbs. (25-Inch), 7.87 lbs. (30-Inch)
- Softside spinner set – ideal for trips of any duration; set includes the 21-inch, 25-inch, and 30-inch luggage
- Softside design can collapse a bit to fit more easily into tight spaces (compared to hardside)
In the hardshell vs. softshell luggage debate, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The choice between the two depends on your specific travel needs and preferences. If you prioritize durability, security, and organized packing, hardshell luggage may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you value flexibility, lightweight options, and easy access to your belongings, soft-shell luggage might be the way to go.
Consider your travel style, destination, and the types of trips you frequently take when making your decision. Ultimately, the perfect luggage for your journeys will be the one that best suits your individual requirements, making your travels more comfortable and enjoyable.
What do you prefer? Leave a comment!