Hardcase Luggage that Can Take a Pounding

Keep your stuff safe with a tough bag that will last through many vacations.

luggage on airport carousel
No one can predict what one flight can do to your luggage.Shutterstock

Baggage handling and tracking is vastly improved; over 99% of all luggage reaches its final destination. But even with that ratio, your average piece of luggage is in for a beating when you travel, something hardcase luggage helps mitigate. Here’s what you should know about luggage that takes a licking and keeps on rolling.

Delsey luggage
Delsey Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage with Spinner WheelsAmazon

Materials matter. Generally hard bags are made of polycarbonate or ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) plastic. Both are tough, strong, and light, so the main difference really boils down to what kind of abuse they can take. Polycarbonate is generally more flexible, so it’s better able to take impacts, but ABS plastic is generally lighter and cheaper. Both can handle your typical baggage handler with ease, but consider polycarbonate if you’re roughing it.

Samsonite luggage
Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Luggage with Spinner WheelsAmazon

Make sure your bag is both security and airline friendly. Bags should be sized to within the limits of checked baggage or carry-on rules for airlines, for example, and the fittings, like locks, should be TSA-compliant for easy opening and getting you through the line with a minimum of fuss. Remember that sizing rules usually include the wheels, so measure from the wheels up.

Coolife Luggage
Coolife Luggage 3 Piece SetAmazon

Pick a bag that makes your traveling life easier. Even the simple touches, like quiet wheels that easily spin and handles that slide smoothly into the bag, are going to make a big difference when you’re sprinting for the gate. Other features, like USB chargers, internal pockets designed to hold your toiletries in place, and expanding side panels, should be part of your consideration. After all, why go on vacation with a suitcase that’ll stress you out?