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Choosing the Right Travel Luggage

choosing the right luggageYou’re standing in the airport terminal, watching a line of luggage move toward you on the conveyer belt. You eye each bag carefully, searching for your own and dreading two distinct and disappointing outcomes: your bag could either appear dented and mauled with your underwear hanging out of a gaping tear, or, like a blind date gone horribly wrong, it could simply fail to show.

Choosing the right luggage can help prevent these minor tragedies, in addition to other inconveniences like pesky baggage fees for an oversized piece or the embarrassment of trying to squeeze your massive nylon duffel into the overhead compartment as impatient passengers struggle to get by. Pick the right carry-on and experience the freedom of traveling without checked bags — you won’t have to worry about lost luggage or extra fees if you can pack what you need in a good-sized carry-on. If you do check a bag, you’ll feel confident that it will remain intact if you select a sturdy, reliable brand.

Q. What are my options?
A. Most bags, from backpacks to larger luggage pieces, can be purchased with wheels, back straps or retractable handles. While handles and back straps are consistently useful features, some travelers get frustrated by stiff luggage wheels, which can inadvertently lead a heavy bag across the foot of an innocent bystander. If this sounds like you, look for luggage with rubber spinner wheels that can twist 350 degrees, allowing for greater control and ease of movement.

Backpacks come in a variety of sizes, both with and without frames. They are a good option for anyone planning to camp, hike or do other outdoor activities. Even large luggage pieces can become backpacks when they have padded back straps. We love these bags — but make sure to tape down any wayward straps if you check your backpack to keep them from getting entangled in the baggage carousel.

Duffel bags are no longer just a device to cart your sweats to and from the gym. Modern duffels often have accessories like wheels or a retractable handle; these bags are often sold as “travel duffels.” While a traditional small or medium duffel bag will fit nicely in the overhead compartment, it may strain your arm or shoulder if you have to carry it for long distances. For extensive travel, always go for a piece that has wheels or back straps.

suitcaseTraditional luggage comes in two models: hard-side and soft. Hard-side bags are molded from hard-to-pronounce materials like polypropylene and polycarbonate. Soft bags can be made out of fabrics such as microfiber, leather, nylon, PVC or polyester. Some soft bags are expandable and can accommodate up to 25 percent more if you need the space.

Q. Should I choose a hard or soft bag?
A. Soft bags are more common than hard-shell luggage and are easier to squeeze into overhead compartments. These bags also absorb shock better than their molded counterparts. Soft bags are available in a wide variety of models; for example, you can purchase a carry-on with a zippered backpack attachment, or a duffel that can be either strapped to your back or wheeled through the airport.

Most ultra-lightweight luggage pieces are hard-side and may help you meet weight requirements for checked luggage. If your tightly packed bag often weighs more than you do, look into purchasing a lightweight bag, which can save you a few pounds. Hard-side bags also protect fragile items better than soft bags.

Whether you opt for a hard-side suitcase or a soft one, be sure that you’re paying for good quality. Flimsy hard-side luggage can break or crack under pressure, while cheap soft luggage can tear.

Entire Article at: Independenttraveler.com

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