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Suitcase Shopping: Questions To Ask When Buying a Rolling Suitcase

This blog post was updated on October 25, 2018.

You will frequently find me loitering in the luggage sections of department stores or scouring luggage sites online. I am forever in search of the perfect rolling suitcase. The quest for the ideal rolling suitcase for a vacation or a trip around the world can be a long road to disappointment. You purchase a suitcase and find its pockets pointless. The bag weighs more than an elephant when empty. After years of searching for luggage and trying different bags and brands, I have discovered what travelers should look for in order to score the perfect rolling suitcase.

How Much Does It Weigh?: When you are looking for a rolling suitcase for travel, don’t just look at its pocket features and characteristics. Find out how much the bag weighs without anything in it. I have made this mistake on more than one occasion. I fall in love with a bag that is heavy before I put anything in it. Especially for those travelers looking to avoid baggage fees, you will want to make sure your luggage is lightweight. You should look for a bag that either boasts of being lightweight or tells you just how much it weighs. A bag that starts out heavy will be impossible to finagle on an airplane to Hawaii or through train stations in Europe.

Does it have a warranty?:
Many travelers select a bag based on price, looks and features. The trouble with this system of buying is that you aren’t getting security with your purchase. If you find a bag you like, see if it is under any sort of warranty. Travel can be a messy process of rushing through airports while dragging luggage behind you and observing massive drop offs at the baggage claim. If your bag doesn’t hold up to the normal wear and tear and is defective, you will merely be out the cash if your bag isn’t under warranty. My current suitcase has a 10-year warranty. If anything goes wrong that shouldn’t, I won’t have to cough up more cash for a bag.

Is the rolling handle double barred?: If you prefer to travel with a rolling suitcase, you know that the handle for which you roll your bag is one of the most important elements of the suitcase. However, some brands are still making luggage with a handle that is not a double bar, but rather a single bar you pull. These single bar bags tend to not be as sturdy as the double bar rolling bags. If this feature gives out on you while you are rushing across an airport, you will find yourself in the midst of an impromptu arm workout as you carry your bag. You can avoid this fiasco by buying a bag with a sturdy, double bar handle.

Are the inside pockets useful?: Luggage should contain your clothing and personal items without being a big mess. Some bags feature a multitude of pockets that are poorly placed in the bag and end up serving no purpose. Before you click purchase or head for the cashier, think about how you like to pack. If a giant lid compartment that zips all the way around is important to you, be sure your bag has one that is a good design. If you like compartments for shoes, seek out suitcases that specifically have pockets for footwear. You want to get the most out of your bag’s space and if its features don’t make sense, your bag won’t either.

What other tips do you have when shopping for a rolling suitcase?


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