Luggage is a critical element to every successful trip. If you have a bad bag, chances are, you’ll have a less-than-enjoyable trip. Your luggage should be purchased, first and foremost, for its form and function. After all, you’d like to buy it once and buy it right, rather than buying a new suitcase or carry-on bag every three years.
Do not purchase any suitcase, duffel, or garment bag without checking the functionality of the zippers! These hold your items in the cavity of your case and must be made of high-quality materials and operate smoothly. I don’t know which would be worse, a zipper that won’t open, or one that won’t close. And if you get a cheap bag, there’s a good chance you could figure that one out for yourself. All TravelPro luggage features high quality zipper systems, so they open and close right every time.
Not only is the sturdiness of the extension handle of utmost importance — how well does it retract, is it ergonomically correct, will it support other bags — but the design, construction, and hardware used to attach the other carry handles on the sides of the bag must be sturdy and high quality. Give these careful attention because, while you may only rarely use them, the baggage handlers will use the handles on the sides of the case exclusively.
Just like you know within a few steps if you have a bad cart at the grocery store, you will be able to tell immediately if the wheels are well-built on your suitcase. Spinner wheels are an industry standard now, but not all are created equal. If you have to fight to steer your case or detect wobbling, you don’t have good wheel construction, and you’ll grow to hate your bag if you have to roll it through a few big airports.
Here is where many are led astray by the beauty of their bag. Pretty fabric is somewhat useless if there aren’t skid guards and corner guards strategically placed to keep that fabric from ripping or tearing if it’s dragged. Skid guards and corner guards are plastic protrusions that provide abrasion protection on the lower back, upper back, and corners of the body of the bag.
Many manufacturers have cut corners when it comes to the frame of the bag. Luggage without a frame may collapse or become deformed, and if that happens, your bag can be ruined forever. Feel the interior of the luggage for the existence of a frame system, and check the hangtags to make sure they’re made of high quality materials and construction.
What do you look for in your bags? What tells you whether a bag will be a dream or a dud? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page