Whether you are going on a business trip or a family vacation, or to a conference or a school reunion, you have to travel with a least a tiny bit of your home closet in tow. And, finding the right container to bring your clothes and personal items along in is just as important as deciding on what to bring. That is why the following article should help you determine which travel suitcase is best for your needs based on a variety of factors.


Choosing An Appropriate Size

It is important to keep size restrictions and requirements in mind prior to choosing an ideal bag size. In the United States, the carry-on restriction is 45 linear inches and the checked baggage limit is 62 linear inches. But, don’t fear. There are several sizes of bag that fall under both these requirements.

For carry-ons, there are two general sizes, 18 to 20 inch luggage and 21 to 22 inch luggage. The 18 to 20 inch bags are thought to be the average international carry-on size, since most flights around the world allow them. They are ideal for short trips of a couple of days. They should have adequate room for two changes of clothes, a pair of shoes, and toiletries.

21 to 22 inch luggage is more suited to weekend trip-takers and business travelers. They may even contain a removable garment sleeve for carrying a suit or dress and have additional room for extra pairs of shoes, if needed. Some even have an expanding feature, which provides up to 4 inches of extra capacity. Of course, if used, the bag will have to be checked.

There are three distinct sizes of checked baggage. These are the 23 – 24 inch size, the 25 – 27 inch size, and the mammoth 28 – 32 inch bag. 23 – 24 inch bags are popular with travelers looking for a light bag that is checkable. While they may be too large to carry on a plane, they are ideal for trips up to 5 days. You could get three outfits, multiple pairs of shoes, 2 suits or dresses, and toiletries inside without crowding.

25 – 27 inch luggage is possibly the most popular size to check. These are good for a trip that last about a week, with a large capacity for countless pairs of shoes, multiples outfits, toiletries, and even changes in outerwear. They are great for their ease of movement while still containing a large volume for tons of packing room. However, if you feel that you may require a greater capacity, there is always the 28 to 32 inch bag. These are usually required for trips that exceed a week’s time. They can be hard to maneuver and could exceed the United States weight limit if they are over 50 lbs, so be careful of what you pack if you choose this option.


Do You Need A Hard Or A Soft Bag?

There are advantages to both, so it really depends on your needs and preferences. Hard shelled luggage is typically made from a polycarbonate that may be a bit flexible, but not usually malleable enough to cram into a limited space. Many travelers seem to prefer such cases for their durability when traveling with high-tech gadgets. Hard shells are also built to withstand all types of weather, including temperature extremes and various forms of precipitation. They usually come in fun colors and patterns for those that are style-savvy.

Conversely, there is soft-shelled luggage, which is typically made of leather or some other type of thick fabric. It is handy and versatile and can be easily squeezed into overhead lockers. With multitudes of zippered pockets, it is also easy to carry small, vulnerable items like jewelry or watches. It is also lighter to carry for those that do not prefer wheels.


Is Waterproofing Necessary?

Waterproofed baggage is now more popular than ever because most travelers bring their gadgets along with them on trips to keep them company. Whether you are packing a laptop, a tablet, or an extra phone, you might need that extra protection from the elements.

While all hard bags are waterproof by default, most softer bags are made of polyester and nylon and are considered waterproof as well. You shouldn’t have to worry about these bags getting waterlogged and damage occurring to your items, or the bag getting heavier from retaining water. Most water will drip right off. However, if you still do not feel completely comfortable, you can always line your luggage with garbage bags prior to packing.


What You Need To know About Wheels

Wheels may be underrated as far as being an important luggage feature. They need to withstand rough treatment in airports, bus and train terminals, and outside. They also need to bear the weight of your bag without buckling or breaking off. Good, strong wheels should maneuver easily and quickly without fail.

Smaller bags and totes tend to come with two wheels that are utilized when the unit is tipped to its side. However, most larger bags, especially those with hard outer covers, tend to have 4 wheels. With one wheel on each corner of the bottom of the baggage, it is pulled in a fashion similar to the way one pulls a wagon. This assists travelers with toting extra weight in an upright manner.


The Benefits Of A Telescoping Handle

A good ergonomic luggage handle is a lifesaver that is often overlooked. Most times, we don’t realize how crucial a well-working handle is until it no longer works properly. But, what exactly is a “telescoping handle”? It is exactly as it sounds – a handle that is extendable and re-collapsible, not unlike its namesake. These types of handles lock in place when they properly adjusted for the height of the traveler, usually via a single control button, and they make it easy for a bag to be pulled around on its wheels by only one hand. It should be said that if you do not adjust the handle properly in conjunction with your height, you may be adding unnecessary strain on your back, so try to purchase the longest handle extension available if you are exceptionally tall.



For men, deciding on appropriate luggage is both a stylistic and functional decision. While you need to purchase a bag that matches your tastes and your traveling outfit, you also need a utilitarian vessel to lug around all your necessities. Therefore, you need to decide what criteria is most important to you and purchase your perfect travel suitcase based on what you want and need for your personal travel.


Image by Sandrine Z (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons