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There have been a vast range of travel luggage options over the years. Many of these options, like cardboard cases for lighter weight, have been superseded by more modern materials and modern designs. Today travel luggage is made to be long lasting and easy to transport, with carbon fibre materials and built in wheels. Yet the designs vary. We do well to look at the available options.
This is fast becoming universal. Wheeled travel luggage is so much easier to carry then had held bags, even if the wheeled luggage is heavy and the hand held is light be comparison. A pair of wheels or two, and a handle, prove very ergonomic.
4 wheels bags are easy to pull or push in any direction. And we feel very little weight. But the downside it that they may be hard to control in a few circumstances; a 4 wheel bag can easily roll down a slope, or be hard to pushy up an incline. But if we pull the bag behind us there is rarely problem.
2 wheel bags are a good option. We feel a little more of the weight inside the bag. But they are easy enough to control in almost all circumstances, and easier than 4 wheel bags on rough surfaces and curbs.
Some wheels rotate in one forward/backward direction, others spin in 360 degrees. The single direction rotations are more stable, but perhaps less manoeuvrable.
Fixed wheels that rotate in one direction seem to suffer less wear than rotating wheels. And tend to be recessed.
When surveys look at the customer satisfaction ratings for bags the durability is always at or near the top of the list. This is to be expected, at least in the long term. Nobody likes a product that breaks. But it may take several years before we realize how durable our travel luggage is, or isn’t. So it is best to look at what has proved durable for other travellers.
Zips– metal zips with a chain design are best. They are long lasting and hard to break into. The cheaper alternative is polyester/plastic coil zippers
Wheels – recessed wheels are less likely to break off.
Handles– This needs to be secure. A handle that completely retracts is less likely to be damaged.
Size – airlines will have size and weight restrictions. Don’t trust any baggage labels that claim to be ‘official size’. These are often wrong. 30 inch for the largest measurement is a good general expectation.
Hard or soft – This use to be a distinction between heavy and light. But both hard and soft bags are now quite light. Look for strong material, whether you prefer hard of soft.
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Good travel luggage is a long term investment. It might be advisable to physical inspect large bags before making a decision.