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Question: Hard Shell luggage or fabric what do you think? I worry about contracting bugs through fabric luggage. I know it sounds crazy but that is how I feel....What do you think? 
and what brand do you recommend?

Re: Luggage

  • Question: Hard Shell luggage or fabric what do you think? I worry about contracting bugs through fabric luggage. I know it sounds crazy but that is how I feel....What do you think? 
    and what brand do you recommend?

    Hard shell won't be an advantage over fabric; they'll hide in any crevice they can find. I make sure everything stays off the floor or bed when I'm traveling.
  • I was excited to have a hard shell, but was disappointed when I first traveled with it. I checked it, and it came down the luggage belt significantly dented on two corners, but it was not necessarily the best built piece of hard shell luggage. I went back to my ol' faithfuls after that.  I believe the suitcase was by Dome, but it's been probably 7 years, so things may have changed.

    For soft fabric, my family members are all huge fans of Kipling.  They're fairly water resistant, lighter in weight than a samsonite, and very durable, and generally easy to clean.  I still use a large (I can fit inside) duffle on wheels I got in the 90's for long trips.  Growing up, my aunt and uncles traveled all over the world for the family business.  To this day, the brand is the one they use consistently, and have never had to make any repairs.

    My mom has a vera bradley carry-on rolling piece, and it's great.  It's easy to spot, easy to clean, and has lots of pockets to keep organized.  It is heavier, and easy to pack a lot of weight.  Mom has to be careful about the weight if she travels, as she is4'9" and struggles to reach overhead bins.

    My sister bought herself a samsonite set for graduation.  Again, it's great for organizing and easy access. In general, they have nice features, like a grab bar on the bottom for easy maneuvering.  It's not as unique, so it's easy to mix them up on a luggage carousel. 

    All 3 brands are available for better prices at shopping outlets.

    We've never had a bug problem, and our luggage has been everywhere.  If you are worried, I don't think a hard shell is any less likely to attract insects. 

    What are your other concerns with luggage? Organization? Durability? Water resistant? Weight? Functionality? Mobility? Depending on what your answers are could lead to a different answer.

    *Full disclaimer: my family purposefully selects colored/printed luggage to prevent any mix up.  we took a family ski trip to CO when I was a kid.  somebody got to the baggage claim and took my checked bag before we got there.  it was a huge mess, and took about 2-3 days to be resolved. 
  • Thank you Victim328 and everyone else for taking the time to answer my question!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I was looking into hard shells at one time, but didn't like the fact that the suitcase was pretty much split in half when open.  So I'd have to pack both sides.  In the end, I've stayed with soft suitcases.  They're flexible to overpack a little if needed too.  I don't buy anything terribly expensive as we travel alot and seem to have to replace one every few years.  I usually pick up a Samsonite at TJ Maxx.
  • I too always wonder if I should travel with a hard shell or fabric suit case 
  • So, I used to work at a luggage store; I'd recommend hard luggage only if you're going with polycarbonate, which can be expensive. It's ultimately more durable. I saw a lot of cracked, broken suitcases that were not polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can dent, and get scratched, but it holds up. It's also very light-weight.

    I personally travel (a lot) with a nylon Tumi suitcase; it's ballistic nylon, and very tough. My carry-on is 9 years old and the handle is only just beginning to wear out vs a Victorinox my mom gave me about 5 years ago, which is falling apart. For context, I fly about 10 times a year for business/fun. Tumi is pricey but given my experience and my customers' experiences I really would recommend it (or at least another brand with that same tough nylon). 

    While my apartment did fall victim to bedbugs due to a neighbor a couple of years ago, no bugs invaded my suitcase and I've never had trouble with having a non-hard shell case. 
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