The best suitcase?

One thing a lot of us forget about until the last minute is our suitcases. We carefully plan out our trip, selecting the right airline, picking a comfy seat for the flight, reviewing hotels, worrying over activities at our destination, but… we neglect that important accessory, our suitcase.

A tough case to survive a few flights

The rough ride our suitcases go on when they travel in the hold of an aircraft is hard to imagine. The baggage is loaded very quickly so that our flight can get under-way without delays. This fast loading means that your suitcase is often thrown about more than you’d like.  A tough durable suitcase means that it can withstand being tossed about like an awkwardly shaped football, and hopefully survive more than 2 or 3 trips.


Something I’ve noticed after many flights for work and vacations is that those cheap suitcases you pick up at the shopping mall or the discount shop do not last so long. A few trips and the handles are starting to tear off, it has somehow been squashed in one corner, the seams in another are starting to split, and a wheel is missing. You really need a suitcase that can last a few more trips, and that means doing a little selective shopping.

Two or four wheels?

You can get a wide range of wheel types on suitcases, and it can be tough to choose. I’d recommend you pick one that has rubber wheels that can survive rolling on different surfaces, and they also are significantly quieter than the hard plastic wheels.


Sometimes you think… bigger is better! That is not necessarily true though. All airlines have a weight limit per suitcase. Go over that limit and you end up paying ridiculous fees. A very large suitcase makes it way too easy to go over the weight limit. I’d recommend a medium sized case with an expandable section to handle those extra gifts you bought.

my suitcase

Should it have a telescoping handle?

Definitely! The telescoping handle makes pulling your suitcase much, much easier.  Almost all suitcases come with these handles nowadays anyway, even the hard cases.

Hard case or canvas?

This is a tough one. Initially I preferred the canvas cases, but after many flights, I’m changing that opinion. A hard case is much more durable than a canvas case, and this is a good thing. Your hard case means that your possessions are better protected and you won’t get home to discover that your suitcase was squashed in the airplane hold bursting your shampoo bottle, spilling soap all over your clothes.  This alone is enough reason for me to say… go with a hard case.

© Paul Lowry/
© elitatt/

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