Soft vs Hard-Shell Luggage: Which is Better?

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Buying a suitcase comes down to more than choosing a pretty color. Luggage goes through a rough time between leaving you at the check-in counter and meeting you on the conveyer belt at your destination, which is why it’s important to choose a bag that is durable and will keep your contents safe.

Durability and Protection

People say that you have to develop a hard shell to deal with life’s challenges. It’s much the same concept when it comes to luggage. Hard-shell luggage is typically made from polycarbonate or ABS plastic which holds up better against impact and compression. Not only are fragile items safer in hard luggage, suitcases like this are often water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about damaging electronics or other belongings.


Airlines are often quite rigid when it comes to weight restrictions, so every pound counts. Soft-sided luggage tends to be lighter than hard, meaning there is room to include a few more items. In addition, soft suitcases often feature compartments where you can stuff in little things. 


This is where soft-shell luggage takes gold. Many soft bags come with collapsible features or can be compressed, making them easier to store in closets or under beds when not in use. The flexibility also makes it less complicated to fit in overhead compartments.