6 Things to Look for In the Best Travel Bag
Date Posted:22 August 2019
Shopping for the best luggage bag can be stressful. This guide will make the search for the right one easier.
There are very few things as thrilling as travelling. Even packing can bring a lot of excitement as you know that you’ll soon be stepping away from your everyday life. But the stress that often comes with preparation can put a damper on this feeling. And looking for the best travel luggage contributes to this stress more than most things.
A travel bag isn’t something you buy frequently, or at least you shouldn’t. If you get it right the first time, you can go years without having to think about buying another one.
As you know, there are all sorts of options out there and they offer features that you may or may not need. So, how do you pick the best travel bag for your specific needs? Here are the main things that you should factor into this decision:
1. Size and Weight
When it comes to travel bag sizes, many people think that bigger is better but that’s not always the case. In fact, a huge bag can often do more harm than good.
Take air travel as an example. Even if it’s not your next trip, you’re likely to travel by air sometime in the future. You definitely don’t want to bring with you to the airport a bag that’s too big. This can incur unnecessary fees and the bag is harder to handle.
This is why the best luggage bag needs to be of the right size. To future-proof your packing, it’s best to look at airline restrictions and go with a bag that falls under the limits. Most airlines that operate in Australia have a maximum carry-on bag size of 56cm x 36cm x 23cm, give or take a couple of centimetres. Unless you don’t mind paying extra to check in your luggage, stick to these dimensions.
Then there’s the matter of weight. Naturally, you’ll want a bag that weighs as little as possible so long as it’s able to hold all your items. This will allow you to bring more things with you and make carrying the bag around much easier.
If your airline allows a maximum carry-on weight of 23kg, which is the case with most of them, you don’t want to waste 3kg on just the bag itself. Regardless of how you pack, this excess weight can only hold you back.
There are all sorts of luggage bags for you to choose from. The right one will mostly depend on how long you plan on travelling and the kind of activities you have planned.
Here’s an overview of the most common travel bag types:
When thinking of the best travel bag, most people picture a large suitcase. This is not a surprise, as you’d be able to pack everything you’ll need for your travels. They’re often spacious and easy to handle since most of them are wheeled. But this doesn’t make them a perfect solution for everyone.
Suitcases are a great option if you’re going on a long trip where you’ll stay in one place most of the time. But if you’re going to do some exploring and move around a lot, they might not be the best choice. They’re bulky and usually heavier than other travel bags, so they’ll probably weigh you down.
Here’s the deal. If you’re planning a relaxing vacation, a suitcase might be the best luggage bag type for you. But if you’re looking for an adventure, you’ll be better off with another option.
Generally speaking, backpacks are much more versatile than suitcases. Whether you’re going away on a weekend getaway or a more exciting trip, they can be the best travel bag type. It’s much easier to move through nature or crowded cities with a backpack in tow on your back, and they’re lighter than the average suitcase.
Still, you can’t expect to organise the content as neatly as you can with a suitcase. Your clothes are more likely to wrinkle and everything will tumble around more easily. It all really depends on your priorities, so think about what matters to you the most.
For those of you who are always on the go, a travel pack might be the most suitable option. They have all the features of a backpack but with more storage options and features to suit those who move around a lot.
They’re more convenient than suitcases in terms of handling, and you’ll be able to reach the content much easier.
No matter the type, the best luggage bag needs to be high-quality. You wouldn’t want your luggage to break down when you’re far away from home. In addition, different materials are suitable for different environments.
In general, hard-sided bags offer much more protection than soft bags. They can keep your stuff neatly organised and hold up better against extended use and the occasional abuse. On the other hand, you can’t fold them up so storing them can be an issue.
Soft-sided bags fix this problem and bring other benefits. If you choose the right material, the bag can last for years without wearing down.
Some of the most popular choices include leather, nylon, and synthetic. While leather seems like a more premium choice, it will require care and maintenance, plus inferior leather may not last any longer than man-made materials. The good ones can be very expensive, so hauling one around on a rough-and-tumble adventure might not be the best idea.
4. Straps and Handles
How do you plan on carrying your bag? Does rolling it behind you sound like the best idea, or would you rather carry it on your shoulders or by hand? This decision is more important than you might think.
Let’s say that you have a wheeled bag with just a classic telescopic handle. Now imagine finding yourself on a cobblestone street with such a bag. Doesn’t sound like fun, right?
It doesn’t matter if you’re going soft or hard-shell, you’ll always want to have more than one carrying option. This is especially important for suitcases, as it’s well-known that luggage handlers may treat your bags like a pro wrestling opponent. The handle might not survive a particularly hard throw.
When it comes to travel backpacks, the best bag will have padded shoulder straps, a hip strap, and other straps that will help you balance the weight. Carrying the bag for hours on end can be tough, and you should try to make this experience as smooth as possible.
It goes without saying that you should go with a bag that has as many compartments as you need. However, you also need to ensure that they feature high-quality zippers, especially the external zippers.
The best travel bag should feature large metal zippers. Plastic zippers, especially those equipped with tiny and dense teeth, are far more likely to malfunction. In addition, they don’t offer anywhere near the kind of protection you need.
Speaking of protection, you might want to invest in lockable zippers to better protect your items. If they don’t come with the bag, you can always add secure locks to keep thieves away.
Even with the best security features, it’s never a good idea to store highly valuable items in your check-in bags. Put them in your carry-on where you can keep an eye on them the whole time.
As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to postpone buying a bag until you need it. This can make you go with the cheapest option that you feel will get the job done just fine. As a result, you might have to replace it not long after.
Instead, think of the best travel bag as a long-term investment. It’s not just a bag – your whole life will be in it while you’re traveling. As such, it should have all the features you need, even if you have to spend a little bit more.
On the other hand, you might want to steer away from designer labels. Think of it this way. If you’re buying a travel bag, does a company that specialises in bags and luggage inspire more or less confidence than a company that designs clothes? In any event, do your research and find a bag that offers the best value for your money.
Your Main Travel Companion
Now that you’ve seen what it takes to find the best luggage bag for your needs, think about what features you care about the most. Your bag should follow you on many adventures for years to come, so pick the one that checks all the boxes.
Remember not to rush this decision and not settle for less than you need. Take your time, do your homework, and find the best travel bag for your budget.
What better way to pick a travel bag than to have all of them laid out in front of you? Visit our website and you can accomplish just that.