Guide to Buying the correct luggage or suitcase for you

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Luggage 101
 Ironing out the meanings of those pesky bag names!

Carry-on - Can be various bags in various shapes and sizes, all of which are intended to be carried onto an airplane and measure small enough to fit under the seat or in the overhead bin.

Cosmetic Case or Vanity - Small case with a mirror and compartments to hold cosmetics. It usually has a spill-resistant interior. Composed of hard or soft sides. Often an "essentials bag" can double as a cosmetic case.

Garment Bag - Soft vertical bag with interior bar and hangers for garments and outside pockets for other apparel. Can be folded in half or thirds, lengthwise and fastened.

Overnight Bag - Traditionally a small rectangular suitcase, it's now any piece of luggage large enough to carry apparel and necessities for an overnight stay. A "shoulder tote" is typically just the right size!

Suiter - Today, this term usually refers to a built-in compartment in another bag, such as an upright, that holds two to four suits. It has hangers and suit-folding frames.

Upright - Also known as the pullman. A standard large suitcase-style case, this rectangular piece of luggage generally measures 24" to 27" wide with interior compartments. It may be hard or soft, feature wheels for easy movement and a telescoping handle on the opposite end for pulling the case behind you.



Hard or Soft-Sided Luggage--Carry-on baggage restrictions, personal preference and a packing list will determine the best bag for an individual traveler. Make sure the luggage selected will hold up under its most demanding use.

Leather--Is the bag "top-grain" or full-grain" leather? Is the leather less expensive because it is "split" or processed leather? Leather is widely used for luggage and business cases and comes in different qualities. Less expensive leather is more likely to show wear and have more finish to hide imperfections.

Fabrics--Is nylon, vinyl, or natural fibers used as the primary covering and trim? How strong is the fiber? What is the denier of the bag? Which urethane coating has been applied to protect the bag? Is the nylon supported by other material such as nylon taffeta or vinyl? Is the bag constructed of ballistic nylon?

Edges--Are the edges turned, bound, welted or burnished? Does the edge offer protection and attractiveness to the bag?

Handles--How is the zipper constructed? Is it manufactured using polyester coils, continuous molding, or brass? Will it self-repair? How is the zipper applied to the bag? Is the size of the zipper relative to the size of the bag? How durable is the zipper?

Locks--Is the lock made of plastic or metal? Is there a built-in combination lock? Is the lock mounted using a prong screw, or rivet?

Wheels--Are the wheels retractable or removable? Do the wheels provide stability and improved handling? Does the bag offer ball-bearing wheels? How are the wheels attached to the bag? Do the number of wheels correspond to the bag's size?

Special Features--Is there an accordion pleat on the sides of the bag for more flexibility and accessible storage space? Are there outside pockets? Does the bag or case contain a packing system for neat and wrinkle-free packing? Are mesh pocket dividers available? Does the bag have wetpacks for storage of wet and soiled garments?

Hopefully, you have found this guide helpful!

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