, by

5 Must-Have Features to Look for When Buying a Suitcase

Photo Credit:

With seemingly never-ending styles, shapes and shades, selecting the right suitcase for your travelling needs may seem like a daunting task. To help you identify the selling points of a potential luggage purchase, we’ve listed exactly what to look for when it comes to casing out the perfect case.

1. Hard Shell

If protecting what’s inside your suitcase is a top priority, then skip the soft-case section and head straight to the hard shells. A bag is put through its paces at an airport — from being thrown onto the luggage belt to being tossed in and out of the cargo hold. Having that hard, plastic exoskeleton minimizes the risk of breaking precious, carefully packed camera equipment or thoughtfully selected gifts for your grandkids.

2. Expandable

One of the main reasons people have tended to steer clear of hard cases is their lack of flexibility or ability to “give” a little when extra items have been added into the mix (e.g. fragile souvenirs, fashion scores, frantically purchased emergency raingear). But advances in case design have solved this problem with the addition an extra panel of fabric that can be unzipped when more space is required. Always make sure your new hard case has that expandable option.

3. Built-in Compartments

Separate sections for clothing, elasticized security straps, and smaller pockets for electronics and accessories are features you’ll be happy you have when you get down to the business of packing for your next trip. Before you pull out your credit card, make sure to test out all the closures and zippers to confirm everything is functioning as it should be.

4. Hefty Zipper & Pull Tabs

Not all zippers are created equal. When perusing the luggage section look for larger-toothed zippers—their sturdier stature helps suitcases withstand the wear-and-tear of travel and minimizes the chances of them popping open during the journey. Also, seek out cases with good-sized pull-tabs for smoother zipping. When the airport taxi driver is downstairs hanging on your buzzer, anything that expedites that last-minute packing process is a bonus.

5. Buy a Set

Different travel itineraries require different packing plans; you don’t need a cavernous 100-L suitcase for an overnight business trip, just like a tiny carryon case isn’t going to cut it for a four-week sojourn around India. The upfront cost of buying a two-case set is well worth it for the packing options it affords you down the road. Just make sure the smaller case fits within the maximum size restrictions for carryon luggage on your preferred airline (WestJet: 23 cm x 38 cm x 53 cm; Air Canada and Porter: 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm)

Now with the right case in hand (literally), you are ready to take on the world…or at least travel it.


Pack your bags and tune into CBC for amazing airport stories Fridays 8:30/9NT on Hello Goodbye.

Tags: travel