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Travel Bags: Go Hard or Go Soft?

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Travel Bags

You’ve taken the plunge; the flights are booked, the hotel room is secured and you’re finally doing it – you’re finally going on holiday. But, before you can enjoy the fruits of a week away in the sun, you have a lot of preparations to make. 

Specifically, we’re talking about travel bags and the age old question of ‘go hard or go soft’. We’re going to take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of hard and soft suitcases to assist you in making your decision. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it! 

Hard sided suit cases have a rigid exterior, almost incapable of being flexible – boasting a tough outer shell, built to protect its contents during the rigorous journey of air travel. Soft sided luggage and suitcases are, on the other hand, a lot more flexible. This is largely due to the fact that the soft sided suitcases and luggage options are made from soft fabrics – rather than the rigid plastics of hard sided cases. 

Most of us, when travelling thousands of miles in the air would probably choose a hard-sided case. We seek to protect our belongings in the best way we can, for the best price we can. We see a hard-sided case as something that can withstand bumps, bashing around and clumsy baggage handlers in a way that soft-sided cases just can’t. But, it may just be time to throw your pre-conceptions about luggage out of the window. After all, this may not be the case (see what we did there?). 

The truth is, both soft and hard sided cases can be effective. It’s just all about the quality of the product you’re buying and what you’re buying it for. At the end of the day, the product you buy should suit your individual needs; how often it will be used, what you will be transporting in your luggage (whether it’s just clothes or you’d like to bring back souvenirs and other such trinkets) and your style. It’s just as important to find a luggage option you genuinely like the look of, as well as one you can reap the benefits of. 

To help you make your decision, let’s look at the pros and cons for hard-sided luggage! Hard-sided luggage options predominantly offer greater protection for more fragile items, due to their tough exterior and their resilience to scuffs and scrapes. Let’s be honest, airports don’t have your personal belongings and their protection at the forefront of their minds, they’re generally working very hectic days, working to very tight deadlines and luggage handlers in particular need to load and unload baggage as quickly as possible. To do this, they can’t employ the ‘softly softly’ method, they need to focus on speed and precision; getting the job done as quickly as possible for efficiency. This is one of the most important reasons to choose a hard case over a soft one – particularly if you have something you’d like to protect. 

It’s worth pointing out that if you’re fragile and/or valuable item is small, you may wish to consider putting it in your hand luggage. This way, you can keep it close to your person, know where it is at all times and you’ll likely reduce the risk of it being mishandled. 

Another pro to the hard suitcase is the glossy finish which has proved popular with many, seeing it as a more stylish alternative to purchasing a soft case. Now, this is probably a good point to move onto the cons; the first being the typically glossy finish of the hard case (ironic, right?). The glossy finish, though stylish, is easy to scratch. To add to that, they’re not the easiest to store either due to their hard, rigid exterior. 

So, is a soft case the option for you? Let’s see. Soft sided cases are typically the cheaper alternative, so if you’re working to a budget, this is probably the best option for you. Due to the flexible nature of the soft case, they’re also easily expandable, allowing for more freedom in how much you can store inside. 

Now for the cons… fabric is less water resistant than hard rigid plastic, so there is a certain element of risk when using a soft case rather than a hard one. But again, it’s all about what works for you. We hope this information has been useful to you and you can find the best suitcase for your needs. 

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