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Hard or soft luggage?

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32 replies to this topic

#1 livelifelovehappy

Posted 26 June 2019 - 06:40 PM

And how much for a family of 5? I am buying a whole new set and not sure what sizes to get. I like the idea of the protection with hard, however there's no outside pockets, which we always use to stow things in.  What do you think?

#2 livelifelovehappy

Posted 26 June 2019 - 06:56 PM

did people find their hard luggage cracked?

#3 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 26 June 2019 - 06:59 PM

We found hard expandable ones good. We go for the mid size as the large ones if full end up weighing too much. Some airlines have limit on individual bags as being 20kgs for OHAS reasons. So although in theory you have 100kgs combined, you cannot do 2 x 32kgs large cases.

We have America Tourister bags which have gone well.

#4 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:05 PM

We have had a hard luggage corner popped inwards once but simply popped it back out from the inside. Suitcase still going strong 9 years later and used twice a year.
My must is 4 wheels so you don't have to tip a suitcase when rolling. Sadly airport trolleys seem to be more and more pay to use so being able to roll is very important.

#5 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:10 PM

Yes agree 4 wheels good

#6 livelifelovehappy

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:14 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 26 June 2019 - 06:59 PM, said:

We found hard expandable ones good. We go for the mid size as the large ones if full end up weighing too much. Some airlines have limit on individual bags as being 20kgs for OHAS reasons. So although in theory you have 100kgs combined, you cannot do 2 x 32kgs large cases.

We have America Tourister bags which have gone well.

would mid size be 71 or 78cm, do you think?

#7 Let-it-go

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:15 PM

I don’t like hard luggage for 2 reasons.  
Once it’s full, it’s full, you can’t keep squishing especially with shoes like in a soft case.  I’m a shopper so always come home with more than I leave with.
The other reason is they need to opened out flat as the top will be too heavy and carries half the luggage to just open the lid and rest it against the wall.  My DD has one and you need twice the space when you open up.  Mine, I just sit on a bench or one of those luggage racks and the lid rests against the wall.

#8 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:27 PM

We like soft. Easier to pack, as it can squish out of shape. Easier to over-pack should you need to.
Easier to pack also because you aren’t forced to have your luggage divided into each half. And like a PP said, it’s easier to just pop the top open when you are in a cramped hotel.

And even a standard suitcase isn’t that soft, it’s still hard enough to protect things, it’s not a duffle bag.

We easily fill 3 large suitcases for 2 adults and 2 kids under 5. DH is big though, his shoes alone fill half a case. For a family of 5 I’d say take 4 suitcases, assuming you have 2 kids big enough to wheel one along. But take home 5, one filled with shopping and overflow ;)

Edited by ~LemonMyrtle~, 26 June 2019 - 07:27 PM.

#9 dadwasathome

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:29 PM

Soft, medium (68-70cm), spinner (4 wheels). Light, easily manoeuvrable and expandable. Tightly packed still around 20-22kg.

We could manage 3 for 4 of us, but a fourth can give a bit of flex for purchases - or buy another at destination if you need it

Edited by dadwasathome, 26 June 2019 - 07:31 PM.

#10 Goldenash

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:30 PM

I think it depends on your personality type.

I like the ability to squish, particularly at the end of my holiday, so a soft shell works best.

But I know lots of people that like hard shell. Total random generalisation but they all tend to be neater people than I am that wouldn’t try/ contemplate over packing......

#11 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:37 PM

I like hard shell because damp luggage and contents seems to happen to me otherwise! Clearly I attract rain!

#12 Quick hedgehog

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:52 PM

We have soft.  A couple of years ago our family of 4 spent 12 months travelling and living out of our suitcases. Mid price brand. They are still going strong, I don't think you need hard cases for hardwearing ability.

You might want to check out Aldi this weekend.  :)


#13 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 26 June 2019 - 07:58 PM

View Postlivelifelovehappy, on 26 June 2019 - 07:14 PM, said:

would mid size be 71 or 78cm, do you think?

We have 66 and 68cm bags. Would not go above 71cm. Our 78cm bags we only use now if we are packing ski clothes (large volume light on weight).

View PostNotBitzerMaloney, on 26 June 2019 - 07:37 PM, said:

I like hard shell because damp luggage and contents seems to happen to me otherwise! Clearly I attract rain!

Yes if it is raining your bag gets wet while being loaded and unload.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 26 June 2019 - 08:00 PM.

#14 laridae

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:04 PM

We have soft. One that can go carry on in size each. Soft is much lighter.
We also have a bigger case (also soft) that we take for stuff when we need more than carry on. It fits 2 of the smaller bags so we can reduce the number of bags to make it easier to carry and still have enough space to go shopping.

#15 blackcat20

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:16 PM

I prefer soft, you can squish more in. I also prefer two wheels as they don't run away from you.

#16 Sentient Puddle

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:20 PM

We have both - have found the soft a little lighter but the most important thing is the wheels - they must be good quality and the kids must be able to help wheel them.

#17 Stuffed Olive

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:20 PM

I'm with Let_it_Go, when you are in a tiny hotel room in Paris you don't need suitcases that have to be opened out into two halves. I like soft expandable luggage with packing cells that can be removed and shoved into shelves or drawers.

#18 FEdeRAL

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:21 PM

I like hard - and it’s too bad that I won’t be needing any new luggages in the near future because now they come with built-in compression system.


#19 BornToLove

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:24 PM

We have an assortment of both hard and soft cases. The largest one is hard case but has the ability to expand another 4-5cm so no issues squeezing in extra shopping, shoes and whatever else 😉

We also have two medium cases - one hard and one soft. The hard case gets used more than the soft case, but the soft one has held up well. We tend to use the soft one for shorter trips or road trips as it can pack a lot but isn’t too heavy.

For carry on bags, we also have one of each. Just from our personal experiences, when the airline is looking to restrict baggage on the plane, the hard case will get nominated, the soft case isn’t given a second look. The hard case will be replaced with a soft one when the time comes.

#20 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:26 PM

I'm another vote for soft.

I thought I liked hard, and spent a lot of time looking at them before my last luggage purchase, but eventually went soft, mainly for the reason mentioned - not having to lay it out flat to open, and being able to squash more into it.

I prefer the look of hard, but not practicality.

Can't comment on how much for a family - We tend to travel very light - 2 medium sized suitcases between 4 (Plus carry-on bag or backpack each) has done us long holidays.

#21 gracie1978

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:30 PM

I got sick of my luggage getting wet.  I also had several issues with getting my bag after customs and finding all the front zips open.
Prefer hard, less risk of taking bed bugs home with you.  I get one with a built in TSA lock.

Personally have a large 78cm expandable suitcase that I don't have to jam everything into.  My last one made it to about 8 years before it got eaten by a luggage carousel.  Agree with having 4 wheels.  It's also rose gold, so pretty

My 4 yo and I have half each and I'm pretty good at packing just what we need, so if I do a little shopping I can expand the suitcase and fit it in.

DP is a nightmare over packer, so he just has his own medium suitcase and invariably by the end of the trip I'm taking some of his stuff home with us.  He has a medium because you can't physically get more than 22kg in one.

#22 Romeo Void

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:30 PM

I'm with PP, I dislike hard because managing the two halves of the shell is tricky in confined spaces. I like being able to flip up the top and dig through the contents as needed.

#23 FEdeRAL

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:33 PM

As for how many to get, depending on climate, length of trips, size of humans.

On our most recent trip, 2 adults and 2 primary school age children, tropical and snow, we went with 2x full large suitcases, 1x full medium suitcase, 2x empty cabin size and 1x empty duffel bag.

One of the large suitcases had just ski helmets and ski boots though.

#24 jayskette

Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:35 PM

hard for airports, soft for other situations.
all the drug smuggling into strangers luggages happen at unsecured outer pockets of soft ones. too many keys etc required to seal all zips. handlers throw luggage from great heights and I do see that happening. not weatherproof.

for cruises then definitely get soft ones. hard are a PITA to stow. protection is not that much a factor.

Edited by jayskette, 26 June 2019 - 08:37 PM.

#25 Apageintime

Posted 26 June 2019 - 11:05 PM

I am  hard suitcase supporter.

I travel fortnightly for work and we head overseas a couple of times a year. We have hard samsonite ones and I LOVE them. They have survived so much.

The number of times they have been unloaded in the pouring rain and travelling companions have had stuff ruined and soaked.

I'm a very light packer so the thought of squashing more in doesnt even cross my mind.

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