Find the perfect Suitcases, Lightweight Small, Large Suitcases or Cabin Suitcases

Buying a Suitcase

A Handy Guide to Selecting a Sturdy Yet Lightweight Suitcase

Suitcases, carry-ons, and other types of luggage share a lot of things in common. They all have different compartments to keep things organised, handles and wheels to ensure good manoeuvrability, and locks and zippers to keep your belongings safe during travel.

But not all suitcases are created equal. Knowing the differences beforehand can save you from buying a suitcase that’s too big or too small for your needs.

So, whether you lead an adventurous and well-travelled life or you are going on an international trip for the first time, this guide will help you select the right suitcase for your needs by introducing you to different factors that you should keep in consideration when buying a suitcase.

What’s a Suitcase?

Generally speaking, the term ‘suitcase’ is used for luggage that is larger than 21 inches. This means that it does not matter if it is a cabin bag or a wheeled tote, as long as it’s larger than 21 inches, it will be called a suitcase.

Suitcases come in a variety of sizes and are described as small, medium, or large based on their length.

Type Inches Centimeters
Small 21 – 22 53 – 56
Medium 24 – 26 61 – 66
Large 28 – 30 71-76

Carry-on luggage, often referred to as cabin suitcases, falls in the small category. They are used by travellers to keep all their essentials within easy reach during a flight, while medium- and large-sized suitcases are preferred to pack clothing and other belongings for longer journeys.

What to Look for in an Ideal Suitcase?

Generally speaking, the term ‘suitcase’ is used for luggage that is larger than 21 inches. This means that it does not matter if it is a cabin bag or a wheeled tote, as long as it’s larger than 21 inches, it will be called a suitcase.

Suitcases come in a variety of sizes and are described as small, medium, or large based on their length.

  • If you are a light traveller — You might prefer a small suitcase that has multiple compartments to keep your things organised. On the other hand, someone embarking on a long journey is likely to invest in a 4-wheel suitcase with a sturdy construction to keep their belongings safe and protected during travel.
  • So selecting an ideal suitcase — Is all about determining your needs, the mode of travel, and the length of the trip, etc. Once you have achieved that, you are ready to browse through the luggage collections of companies like Samsonite, American Tourister, Easypak, and Antler, and invest in a suitcase that has the following features:

Sturdy and Durable Construction

Suitcases can be divided into two types based on their construction — hard and soft. As the name implies, hard-sided suitcases have a rigid exterior, while soft-sided suitcases are made with durable yet flexible material.

It is a common misconception that hard-shell suitcases offer better longevity than soft-shell suitcases. That’s not entirely true. Longevity depends on the quality of material. In addition, each of the two has its own pros and cons which should be kept in mind when making luggage-buying decisions. Here’s a quick review of the benefits and drawbacks of both types.

Hard-Sided Luggage


– A safer option for carrying fragile items

– Offers better resistance against damage caused by moisture and impact

– Looks more sleek and stylish


– Prone to scratching

– Non-flexible exterior may make packing a little troublesome

– More expensive than soft-shell suitcases

Soft-Sided Luggage


– Flexible construction makes it easier to fit in all the things

– Lighter in weight than hard-shell suitcases

– Often cheaper than its hard-sided counterparts


– Not as resistant to water and impact as hard-sided suitcases

– May be perceived as less stylish or cheap by some travellers

– Keeping things organised might become a hassle with soft-sided luggage

Effortless Multidirectional Manoeuvrability

Most suitcases sold today come with wheels. The challenge is to determine whether you should buy a two wheeled suitcase or a four wheeled suitcase. Two wheeled suitcases glide effortlessly on smooth terrains, but they can go only backward and forward. Four wheeled suitcases, on the contrary, offer you 360-degree manoeuvrability, which means you can pull them behind you or push in front of you with complete ease.

Handles for Carrying and Lifting

Always opt for a suitcase that comes with top and side handles for ergonomic carrying and lifting. This way, you can reduce the stress on your arm and easily lift your bag on to the conveyor belt or fit it into the overhead compartment of the plane. If you will be using your suitcase as hand luggage, make sure that the top handle retracts completely inside the bag. This way, you can avoid exceeding the luggage size restrictions imposed by your preferred airline and have a hassle-free journey.

Multiple Compartments for Easy Organisation

Compartments, pockets, and straps allow you to make optimal use of the space in your suitcase, keep your things neatly stowed in their place, and make the task of unpacking simpler and stress-free. Therefore, choose a suitcase that has multiple zippered and padded compartments to keep your valuable accessories organised and safe. In addition, if you are buying a large suitcase, always opt for the one that has webbing tie-down straps to keep packed contents secured in their place.

Compact Design to Ensure Compliance with Your Airlines Baggage Restrictions

If you are looking for a suitcase that you can use as hand luggage, make sure you consider your airline’s allowed luggage dimensions. Reputable luggage companies like Samsonite, American Tourister, and Antler offer cabin-approved luggage for a wide range of airlines. However, if you are unsure about the cabin luggage restrictions of the airline you are travelling with, you can read our comprehensive cabin luggage buying guide. The guide provides you a quick overview of the maximum size and weight limits of different airlines, including easyJet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Ryanair.

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Some Tips to Make Your Suitcase Buying Experience a Breeze

From duffle bags to spinners and roller cases, there are plenty of options available to anyone who’s looking for a super-sturdy, stylish, and lightweight suitcase. But with so many choices available, it is easy to get overwhelmed and buy a suitcase that does not suit your needs. To save you some time and hassle, we have compiled a list of tips that you can follow to make your suitcase buying experience fun and productive.

  • Always Buy from a Reputable Company — Don’t get tempted by a suitcase sale and make a purchase from a shady online retailer who doesn’t even have a physical store. Always buy from reputable brands that have a proven track record of manufacturing superior-quality and long-lasting luggage. Here are some key things to look for in a company:
  • – How long they have been in the business?
  • – Do they offer a guarantee on their products?
  • – Do they have a functional customer service department?
  • Read Online Reviews — High-resolution images of a product can provide you a fair idea about the design and colour of the suitcase, but when it comes to determining durability, ease of use, and comfort, reviews posted by customers who have bought a specific product are the most valuable resource.

    Reviews posted on Amazon should provide you a good idea about the quality and features of a suitcase you are willing to buy. Try not to focus on negative reviews only. Instead, give 4- and 5-star reviews a read as well to make the right buying decision.

  • Look for Bargains — Although price is an important factor for most purchase decisions, remember that buying a suitcase is like a long-term investment that will ensure hassle-free travel experience for years. Therefore, be ready to pay a bit more for a good-quality product by a reputable brand.

    You may also consider buying a suitcase set. Suitcase sets provide you everything you need in a single package at a more reasonable price. So, if you’re looking to buy a cabin bag and a large suitcase, you should consider opting for a 2-piece suitcase set to save some money instead.

These three tips should help you find the perfect travel companion that’s durable, lightweight, and stylish at the same time. Have more questions about buying a suitcase that need answering? Browse through our website and read comprehensive guides written by our experts to make luggage-buying fun, easy, and hassle-free for you.