Hard Side Vs Soft Side Luggage

When choosing the right luggage, the person pays attention to many criteria but which of them are the most important? Which of them play the most significant role? Having read dozens of reviews, I have noticed that the major difference is in the softness or hardness of the luggage. And for some people it does play the key role when buying a suitcase.

But understanding at the first glance which suitcase is hard and which is soft, it is still not that simple to opt for the best one as even in such kind of an easy task, one will face with many details and nuances.


The Soft Side

The tendency in choosing the suitcases is the following – the majority of people tend to buy soft side luggage because of many different reasons that will be described below. Even though such soft suitcases can be pressed by something whereas with hard sided ones that would never happen. All this happens because the soft suitcases are made of Nylon or Canvas-like. While the hard side luggage is made of aluminum or polycarbonate.


Of course it is clear that soft side luggage is more flexible due to the materials it is made of (canvas and Nylon). When packing such suitcases it is much easier to fit something into a tiny place, in case with the hard side luggage one would never be able to do that. Apart from that, the soft side luggage has an ability to expand. Some suitcases can expand to more than 2 inches. This feature is especially good and unique when you know for sure that you are going to come back with more stuff than you have planned. That’s why in order not to buy a second suitcase, you can easily buy an expandable soft side luggage.


Soft yet tough

Even though the luggage sometimes might look like the soft side one, it is not always like that. Sometimes there are special reinforced shells hidden beneath the fabric so that the luggage had a chance to stand and not fall. An example of such a luggage can be the Travelpro Maxlite Spinner – it belongs to the soft side luggage category though it does have some reinforces to keep the shape of the suitcase.


Luggage trauma?

Very often if not to say always the luggage holders are not very careful with the luggage and this is the reason why sometimes the suitcases we get, might be with some marks or something else. But in case with the soft side luggage – it is very easy to clean them, one just needs a wet tissue or a towel and the job is done. Whereas in case with hard side one it will not be so simple, unless it is covered with some texture that hides the blemishes.


Hard options:

There exist two types of the hard side luggage: hard cases and the hard sides.


The hard sided luggage is less flexible comparing with the soft one. This is because its exterior looks like a shell. Yes, it is not the toughest and most solid material in the world but still it does have much less chances to be pressed and the items inside squeezed or damaged.

There are more chances with the hard sided luggage that you belongings will be safe. A great example of such a luggage can be the Rockland Melbourne 3-piece set – in this particular model the sides are hard and moreover made of different texture.

Sturdy, solid, and tough

The hard sided luggage in most cases is made of polycarbonate and, therefore, it is inflexible. A good example of such a luggage can be the Samsonite Luggage Fiero. One more important factor is that buying a hard sided luggage you will be able to pack fewer items and clothes though all of them will be protected and safe during the whole journey even if the luggage is pressed by something or other suitcases.

Rigid means rigid

The hard sided luggage doesn’t offer the outside pockets whereas the soft ones do. Additional pockets mean additional space which is sometimes very important.  These outside pockets are really significant as you can put there the most necessary things like a laptop, documents and papers, chargers etc, and when you need them, simply unzip the pocket and take it off instead of opening the whole suitcase and start searching for what you need. It will save you a lot of time. In case with the hard sided luggage, the only chance to get what you need is to open the whole bag.

The majority of soft sided luggage has an opportunity to unzip some extra space, whereas in hard sided one – no chances to do that. Though there are a few hard-sided sets, for example, Delsey Helium Expandable Spinner that has such an option, giving its owner an ability to put more items.

Complaints about the hard sided luggage

The most important and main issue about the hard sided luggage was about its wear and tear. If and when by accident you bang your soft sided luggage into the wall or something hard, it will get its shape back in a few seconds. Whereas in case with the hard sided luggage it will not happen and the mark you get will remain on it forever. Hard-side suitcases simply get dents in case if it gets bumped into something. Therefore being an owner of such a luggage, you should always be careful with it if you want it to look good and presentable.

Level of flexibility

The technology never stops and the innovations made by the manufacturers of the luggage are not an exception. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what luggage you opt for, hard or soft sided. The point and factor that matters is the exterior of the suitcase. If it is some cheap luggage then it is most likely to tear apart very soon, whereas if you do a careful research and select a well know brand with good reputation – then this suitcase will serve you at least a few years. That’s why before saving money, always think twice.

Another tip – select the luggage according to your purpose and needs. If you know that you have something precious inside then you’d better buy a hard sided luggage. Meanwhile, if you put only clothes and regular items in the suitcase –then a soft-sided luggage is ideal for you.

Knowing all this information – the choice is after you.

Hard Side Vs Soft Side Luggage
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Michael Parker

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