Top 5 Affordable and Best Hardside Luggage Suitcases 2018
Traveling shouldn’t be stressful. Here we can help with that.
Buying luggage can be overwhelming. There’s different kinds, styles, colors, and prices. Choosing the right luggage piece can be crucial to meeting your packing needs and avoiding carry-on restrictions and baggage-weight limits.
Long has been the debate of hard-shell vs. soft-shell luggage. Which kind will be right for my trip? Which carrier gives me the most bang for my buck? Well, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. We’re going to focus on best hardside luggage, and how this option fares for your upcoming travel plans. Here’s what we’ve found about those hardside carriers.
HARD-SHELL LUGGAGE: RIGHT FOR YOU?
Hardside luggage has come a long way in recent years. Today, hardside luggage is generally made with high-tech plastics, like polycarbonate and ABS. Polycarbonate suitcases have a high level of hardness, impact resistance, and flexibility. These suitcases have the highest level of strength. ABS is a combination of three different types of plastics; acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene.
The mixture of these three plastics creates a bag that is great for impact resistance, a glossy complexion, and temperature resistance. These suitcases are the cheapest and perhaps the best hardside luggage suitcases you can purchase. However, this makes it less durable than polycarbonate, which could be a factor in your buying decision.
Hardside luggage has very beneficial qualities when it comes to traveling seamlessly. Firstly, hard-cased bags are very durable and can protect your valuables. Almost everyone nowadays travels with some sort of electronics, such as a camera, iPad, or laptop.
The hard exterior will protect these delicates against bumps and bangs.
Secondly, the protective casing is more secure than a soft-shell case. The harder barrier and more difficult accessibility leads to less chance of someone opening your bag and sneaking something out. Some hard-shell cases also come with a combination lock for added protection.
Thirdly, hard-case suitcases are better at keeping items dry, even though they’re not fully waterproof. The water resistance hard-shell properties can keep your clothes, electronics, makeup, and precious cargo from being damaged.
Lastly, a hard-shell can better utilize space. We’ve all been there – we’ve over packed, and we don’t know how to organize everything. Hard-shell cases generally come with compartments in which best to store your luggage, which can be a huge plus when traveling when traveling with an almost-full suitcase.
Even though there are numerous upsides to having a hard-shell case, we must also explore the potential drawbacks from traveling with this type of carrier. The rigidity of this case, which can be a huge positive, also means that this case has less ability to fit into tight spaces, like an overhead compartment or below the seat in front of you. This stiffness also means an inability to bend or accommodate oddly-shaped packed items.
Additionally, the benefits of security also mean tougher access to your belongings. Most hardside suitcases don’t have an external zipper or small compartment to quickly store something, like your passport or ID. This added layer of security is a plus, but this means you’ll have to usually unzip your entire bag to place something inside.
Lastly, the firmness of the bag means you can’t condense it when it is not in use. This would only be an issue in certain circumstances, like if you have a rental car and are trying to fit numerous suitcases into the trunk.
Despite some disadvantages to the hardside suitcases, this type of luggage has many benefits and can be exactly what you need for your trip of a lifetime.
OUR TOP 5 CHOICES:
Samsonite Centric Hardside – 20, 24, and 28”
This option from Samsonite is an affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality. There are three different sizes of the Centric, depending on your packing needs. Each model is 100% polycarbonate, meaning high durability and hardness. It is strong, durable, lightweight, and expandable. It comes in 6 colors, has a TSA approved lock for added security, 4 spinner wheels for maneuverability, and two interior packing compartments for uniformity. At a low rate for each model, this one is a winner.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside 24”
For this model, we chose the 24” size – another affordable, and high caliber, Samsonite suitcase. Consisting of 100% polycarbonate material, containing 10 zippers and full-zip interior divider, and featuring a side mounted TSA lock, we love this medium-sized option. The Winfield has five color options, a square design, and front and back shells for full protection. Weighing in a 9.3 lbs, it won’t be too heavy for your travel needs while still providing maximal stability.
Delsey Helium Aero – 19, 25, and 29”
The Delsey Helium comes in 4 sizes, adding to its’ appeal and flexibility. Each option has 5 colors, with a glossy metallic finish, which diminishes the appearance of dings or scratches. The Helium divides into two compartments, with one side containing elastic tie down straps, and the other with a zippered panel. This suitcase, like the Samsonite options, is 100% polycarbonate, making it extremely light. Each option features spinner wheels, letting you maneuver quickly throughout the airport. Other features include a TSA lock, aluminum handles with a comfortable grip, a front compartment that allows for easier access to smaller items, and an expandable feature, letting you have an extra 2” for your suitcase. The numerous features on this line of suitcases sold us – and we bet it will for you too.
Coolife Luggage 3 piece set – 20, 24, and 28”
The part that sets this luggage set apart from the rest is the material – it is comprised of ABS, with a polycarbonate film. The ABS gives a nicer complexion to these suitcases, looking sleek and stylish. Even though ABS is less protective than a 100% polycarbonate case, the cases are still durable and lightweight. The sets come in 13 colors, allowing for individuality. Each case has a TSA lock, two internal compartments containing a mesh-lined pocket and elastic straps, four spinner wheels, and a telescopic handle, letting you have complete control over your suitcase. At just around $120 on Amazon, this is a great deal for a suitcase set, combining style with security.
For the whole set:
$139.99 USD – Buy on Amazon US
$295 CAD – Buy on Amazon Canada
Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner 20” Carry-On
At an extremely affordable rate, this suitcase has everything you need without breaking the bank. Coming in at $50, this 20-inch bag has a protective hard shell made of ABS, a fully lined interior with divider, 4 double spinner wheels, and a telescoping handle. With most airline companies having uniform size guidelines for carry-on items, this smaller hardside piece leaves the guesswork out of your packing decisions.
$49.99 USD – Buy on Amazon US
$62 CAD – Buy on Amazon Canada
Hopefully, this guide can help alleviate some of your anxiety about packing – because we believe no trip should be stressful.