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Hardside Luggage Vs Soft Side Luggage – The Pros, The Cons & Top Picks!

Hardside Luggage Vs Soft Side Luggage – The Pros, The Cons & Top Picks!

Hardside Luggage Vs Soft Side Luggage – The Pros, The Cons & Top Picks!

When it comes to choosing luggage for your travel adventures, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go for softside luggage vs hardside luggage. It’s important to know the differences between the two options to make the right choice for your specific needs. This article will easily explore the pros and cons of hardside and soft.

What is Hardside Luggage?

The best hardside and best hardshell luggage sets or hardcase luggage, is a type of suitcase made from rigid materials such as ABS, polycarbonate, aluminum, and sometimes a combination. These suitcases are known for their strong and sturdy exterior that protects your belongings from impacts and elements.

Pros and Cons of Hardside Luggage

Pros:

Durability and Protection: Hardside luggage offers excellent protection for your items, especially delicate or fragile items that need extra protection during travel.

Water and Weather Resistance: The hard shell of this luggage type makes it resistant to water and severe weather conditions, keeping your belongings dry and secure.

Easy to Clean: Smooth surfaces are usually found on hardside luggage. You can wipe off dirt, stains, and spills with a damp cloth.

Cons:

Flexibility: Hardside luggage needs more flexibility, meaning it won’t fit as easily as softside luggage in tight spaces.

Scratch Visibility: Although they’re durable, hard cases can show scratches and scuffs more prominently, particularly on glossy finishes.

Size: Hardside suitcases maintain their shape and size, regardless of how full or empty they are, making storage more challenging.

What is Softside Luggage?

The opposite is true for softside luggage, which is made from soft materials such as nylon, polyester, and leather. These bags are known for their flexibility, lightness, and expanding ability, providing more packing space.

Pros and Cons of Softside Luggage

Pros:

Flexibility: Softside luggage can easily squeeze into tight overhead bins or car trunks than hardside bags. This flexibility makes them a great option for those frequently on the go.

Expansion Features: Many softside suitcases have an expandable feature that allows you to pack more items.

Exterior Pockets: Many softside luggages have exterior pockets, making them convenient to store items you need quickly.

Cons:

Less Protective: Softside luggage provides less protection for fragile items compared to hardside luggage.

Susceptible to Weather: They are more susceptible to weather elements, such as rain, snow, and dirt, as they are not fully waterproof.

Wear and Tear: Softside luggage can show wear and tear more quickly, particularly if it’s made from lower-quality materials.

How to Choose Between Hard vs Soft Luggage

The decision between hardside luggage vs softside luggage primarily depends on your travel style and what you plan to pack. Consider the following factors when deciding:

Nature of Items: If you’re packing delicate or valuable items, hardside luggage might be the safer bet. But if your items are less fragile and need a little more space, softside luggage could be a good option.

Travel Destination: If you’re heading to a location with unpredictable weather, the water and weather-resistant properties of hardside luggage can come in handy.

Storage and Transportation: Think about where you’ll be storing your luggage and how you’ll be transporting it. If you are working with tight spaces, the flexibility of softside luggage might serve you well.

Top Five Picks: Hardside Luggage

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable

Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable

  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 16.5 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 8.4 pounds         
  • Colour: Blue Slate
  • Department: unisex-adult
  • Model Number: 102689-1101
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Best Checked In Luggage
Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds

  • Fitted with premium 4-wheel multi-directional spinners 
  • Lightweight hard ABS exterior 
  • Interior main compartment 
  • Equipped with a sturdy and user-friendly push-button
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Best Value For Money
Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable

Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable

  • Fully-lined interior with accessory pocket
  • Expands for extra packing capacity
  • Push-button recessed locking handle system
  • Double spinner wheels 
  • Multiple modern color options
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Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable

  • Product Dimensions: packing dimensions: 19″ x 14.5″ x 9.5″
  • Weight: 6.81 pounds
  • Department: Unisex
  • Model Number: N/A
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Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable

  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 32 inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Color: Champagne
  • Department: unisex-adult
  • Model Number: F160-CHAMPAGNE
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Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable
4.5

Overview

Samsonite, a trusted name in the luggage industry, presents the Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage, meticulously crafted to cater to the needs of modern-day travelers. With its sleek design, impeccable quality, and focus on user convenience, this piece is bound to make any journey smoother.

Features

  • Hardside construction for robust protection.

  • Expandable design for additional packing space.

  • Four spinner wheels for 360-degree mobility.

  • Classic black color for a professional and sophisticated look.

  • Designed for all adult travelers.

Best Checked In Luggage
Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds
4.4
  • Fitted with premium 4-wheel multi-directional spinners that allow for smooth effortless 360 -degree free-weight maneuvering.
  • Luggage is made of a durable, lightweight hard ABS exterior with reinforced protective molded corner guards that absorb shock for maximum impact resistance and durability.
  • Interior main compartment is fully lined with a tear-resistant lining and features double-sided packing, a zippered organization pocket, and garment restraint straps to hold your clothes in place.
  • Exterior features a top and side grab handle for easy maneuvering and four molded side feet that allow luggage to stand upright on its side.
  • Equipped with a sturdy and user-friendly push-button retractable trolley handle that extends to be 41 inches..Features a lightweight construction that helps you adhere to airline weight restrictions to avoid unneeded airport fees..[Overall Dimensions] - 26” H x 18.5” W x 10.25” D.. (Includes Handle + Wheels).[Packing Dimensions] 20" H x 13.5" W x 7.5" D..[Product Weight] 8.4 lbs..Backed by a manufacturer 10-year limited guarantee against craftsmanship and manufacturer defects.
Best Value For Money
Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable
4.3
  • Fully-lined interior with accessory pocket
  • Expands for extra packing capacity
  • Push-button recessed locking handle system
  • Double spinner wheels allow complete upright 360º mobility for free-weight rolling
  • Multiple modern color options
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable
4.6

Overview

The Omni PC combines scratch-resistant textures with the lightest 100% micro-diamond polycarbonate construction. This extremely lightweight and visually impactful luggage offers heavyweight protection riding on effortless 360 spinner wheels and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Special Features

  • It has four multi-directional oversized spinner wheels for effortless mobility and re-engineered lightweight.

  • It has a book-opening case with a mesh divider, cross straps in the main compartment, and a zipped modesty pocket.

  • It expands to allow for the packing of more items, and the compression keeps clothing neatly pressed.

  • The push-button locking handles provide easy manoeuvrability when extended from the suitcase and store neatly inside when not used.

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable
4.3

Overview:

Having the right luggage can make traveling more enjoyable. A perfect travel companion, the Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage is made of durable and robust material. ABS material makes this luggage durable and protects your belongings from the rigors of travel.

Special Features:

The Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage has several special features that distinguish it from other luggage options. These include:

  • Expandable capacity: With the option to expand up to 2 inches, you’ll have more space for your belongings when needed.

  • Spinner wheels: Navigating through airports and other crowded areas is easy with the four spinner wheels.

  • Telescoping handle: The telescoping handle is adjustable, making it comfortable for travelers of all heights.

  • Interior organization: The luggage interior is divided into multiple compartments and pockets for easy organization.

Top Five Picks: Softside Luggage

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Softside Luggage
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage

  • Ultra lightweight 21 inch carry on luggage 
  • 4 wheel spinners that rotate 360 degree for a smooth roll
  • Carry on suitcase expands up to 2 inch to maximize packing capacity
  • Carry-on luggage with spinner wheels
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Rockland Journey Softside Upright

Rockland Journey Softside Upright

  • F32 / 14" Tote & 19" 24" 28" Upright
  • Fully lined and expandable
  • Internal retractable handles
  • Skate wheels
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Samsonite Ascella X Softside Expandable Luggage

Samsonite Ascella X Softside Expandable Luggage

  • 21" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power 
  • 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY
  • PACKING Dimensions: 28.25" x 19.0" x 10.5"
  • WETPAK Zippered compartment 
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Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage

Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage

  • Upright: 20" x 13" x 7.5"
  • Tote bag: 13.5"x 11"x 5"
  • Inline skate wheels and stability bar
  • Telescoping handle
  • Ergonomic padded top and side grip handles
  • Fully lined
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SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable

SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable

  • Rolling Suitcase: Get through a crowded airport easily with this stylish check-in luggage with 360-degree multi-directional spinner wheels and a locking retractable push/pull handle
  • Multiple Front Panel Pockets: Featuring front pockets with a built-in ID tag, this ergonomically expandable luggage measures 30 x 18.5 x 12.5 inches including wheels and handles; packing dimensions are 28.5 x 17.25 x 12.5 inches
  • Secure and Durable: Expandable travel case gives you ample parking space and made from a durable, scuff-resistant polyester fabric with fully lined interior; also features adjustable tie-down straps for securing garments in place
  • Effortless Organization: This luggage bag maximizes packing efficiency with a removable zippered wet bag, large mesh lid pocket, and packing pocket for holding small items and accessories
  • Convenient Side Handles: With reinforced padded top handle with an integrated side and bottom handle, this roller suitcase makes lifting and carrying your luggage easy
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Best Softside Luggage
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage
4.5
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Color: Burgundy
  • Department:‎ Unisex-adult
  • Model Number: 401176109

A versatile and lightweight travel option, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage offers excellent value. Its dimensions of 21 x 14 x 9 inches provide ample space for your belongings while meeting most airline carry-on requirements.

Due to its lightweight composition and easy handling, this luggage will not add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Due to its sophisticated burgundy color and unisex-adult design, this bag is suitable for anyone.

Featuring four spinner wheels, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 offers smooth and effortless maneuverability, allowing you to glide through busy airports easily. The expandable feature provides additional packing capacity during longer trips or when bringing souvenirs back home.

The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels is a lightweight, versatile suitcase with excellent reliability and practicality.

 

Rockland Journey Softside Upright
4.1
  • F32 / 14" Tote & 19" 24" 28" Upright
  • Fully lined and expandable
  • Internal retractable handles
  • Skate wheels
Samsonite Ascella X Softside Expandable Luggage
4.5
  • 21" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and meets most carry-on size restrictions for those traveling domestically and looking to stay light
  • 25" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and is the ideal checked bag for longer trips
  • 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Samsonite products are rigorously tested to ensure our products meet stringent standards. This bag comes with a 10-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
  • PACKING Dimensions: 28.25" x 19.0" x 10.5", OVERALL Dimensions: 31.5" x 19.5" x 13.2", Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • WETPAK Zippered compartment which allows you to separately pack damp or soiled items
Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage
4.4
  • Upright: 20" x 13" x 7.5"
  • Tote bag: 13.5"x 11"x 5"
  • Meets these airlines' size restrictions: United, American, Delta, Southwest, Allegiant
  • Inline skate wheels and stability bar
  • Telescoping handle
  • Ergonomic padded top and side grip handles
  • Fully lined
SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable
4.5
  • Rolling Suitcase: Get through a crowded airport easily with this stylish check-in luggage with 360-degree multi-directional spinner wheels and a locking retractable push/pull handle
  • Multiple Front Panel Pockets: Featuring front pockets with a built-in ID tag, this ergonomically expandable luggage measures 30 x 18.5 x 12.5 inches including wheels and handles; packing dimensions are 28.5 x 17.25 x 12.5 inches
  • Secure and Durable: Expandable travel case gives you ample parking space and made from a durable, scuff-resistant polyester fabric with fully lined interior; also features adjustable tie-down straps for securing garments in place
  • Effortless Organization: This luggage bag maximizes packing efficiency with a removable zippered wet bag, large mesh lid pocket, and packing pocket for holding small items and accessories
  • Convenient Side Handles: With reinforced padded top handle with an integrated side and bottom handle, this roller suitcase makes lifting and carrying your luggage easy

Hardside vs. Soft Side Luggage: Making the Right Choice

How to choose between hard or soft luggage? Your travel experience can be greatly enhanced by selecting the right luggage. Hardside luggage versus softside luggage is one of the key decisions you must make. Each type of travel has pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your preferences and needs before making a decision.

Hardside Luggage

An outer shell of hardside luggage usually consists of polycarbonate or aluminum, as its name suggests. When deciding whether or not hardside luggage is right for you, consider these factors:

Durability: Hardside luggage is known for its durability. The hard outer shell protects your belongings, making it less susceptible to damage during transit. It is particularly useful when traveling with fragile items or when checking in your luggage.

Security: You can travel with peace of mind with hardside luggage protecting your possessions. The hard shell is more resistant to theft, as it is difficult for thieves to slash or cut through the material. Additionally, many hardside suitcases come with built-in TSA-approved locks, adding an extra layer of security.

Organization: Hardside luggage often comes with multiple compartments and built-in dividers, making it easier to organize your belongings. This is especially useful if you need to pay more attention to keeping your items neatly separated.

Soft Side Luggage: As opposed to hard side luggage, soft side luggage has a flexible fabric exterior, usually nylon or polyester. Let’s explore the advantages of opting for soft side luggage:

Flexibility and Maneuverability: As a general rule, soft-side luggage tends to be more lightweight and flexible than hard-side luggage. This makes squeezing into tight spaces, such as overhead compartments on planes or crowded car trunks, easier. Aside from providing easy access to frequently used items, soft side luggage often includes exterior pockets.

Expandability: The storage capacity of soft side suitcases can be increased by expanding the compartments when necessary. A packing checklist can be especially helpful if you tend to return home with more items than you originally planned to take.

Versatility: Soft side luggage is more versatile in its ability to fit into various storage spaces. When compressed, it can fit into small spaces. When expanded, it can hold more items. Soft side luggage is also more forgiving when it comes to fitting into size restrictions on different airlines.

What is Better Hard or Soft Luggage?

When choosing travel luggage, finding the perfect fit that aligns with your specific needs and preferences is essential. There are many options available when it comes to luggage, so choosing between hardside and softside can be a challenge. Considering the following factors will help you make an informed decision.

Considerations for Frequent Travelers:

Durability: Luggage that is meant for frequent travelers must withstand continuous handling and transportation. Hardside luggage, constructed with robust materials like polycarbonate or aluminum, offers superior durability, ensuring your belongings remain well-protected throughout your journeys.

Weight and Maneuverability: For frequent flyers, lightweight luggage is paramount to avoid exceeding airline weight restrictions. Soft side luggage, often made from lightweight fabrics, proves advantageous, making it easier to navigate busy airports and terminals.

Organization and Accessibility: Efficient packing and easy access to essentials can save time during your travels. Soft side luggage typically comes with multiple compartments, exterior pockets, and expandable features, allowing the better organization of your belongings.

Choosing Based on Travel Destinations and Activities:

Urban Adventures: If you frequently embark on city breaks or business trips, hardside luggage might be an ideal choice. Its hard shell protects electronics and delicate items, safeguarding your belongings during urban commutes.

Outdoor Escapes: For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, soft side luggage offers versatility and flexibility. Its expandable design allows you to pack outdoor gear, and the soft materials can adapt to tight spaces like tents or car trunks.

Beach Vacations: Soft side luggage with waterproof features is perfect for tropical getaways. It helps protect your belongings from sand, water, and unexpected rain showers, ensuring you enjoy your beach vacation without any worries.

Personal Preferences and Style:

Fashion-forward Travelers: If style is a priority, hardside luggage often boasts a sleek and modern appearance, making a fashionable statement during your travels.

Classic and Versatile: With its traditional look and various color options, soft side luggage appeals to those seeking a timeless and adaptable travel companion.

Final Verdict

Choosing between hardside and soft side luggage ultimately depends on your preferences and travel needs. If you prioritize durability, security, and organization, hardside luggage may be your best choice. On the other hand, if flexibility, maneuverability, and expandability are more important, soft side luggage would be the better option.

Consider the type of trips you usually take, the nature of your belongings, and the storage spaces you’ll encounter. Ultimately, finding the right luggage is about striking a balance between functionality, durability, and convenience. So, choose wisely and enjoy your travels with the perfect luggage companion!

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