Luggage Buying Guide

Selecting the right luggage is the first step to a successful business trip or family getaway. Size, materials, zipper types, castor wheels, and more are covered in this luggage buying guide.

Luggage 101

Luggage comes in all shapes and sizes, from stylish, lightweight tote bags for easy access to snacks and books to large suitcases on castors smooth navigation through busy hotels. Apart from appearance and capacity, there are a number of factors to consider when buying luggage. Durable hard-sided luggage will help keep your valuables safe from damage, while expandable soft-sided luggage allows you to add more space when you need it. And if you’re taking more than one suitcase on your travels, a coordinated luggage set may be the most economical solution. Choosing luggage that works for you and for the type of travelling you do means one less thing to worry about on your trip.

Luggage Options


Business Cases & Messenger Bags

Business travel can be a pleasure when your important items are stowed securely in a stylish and professional business case or messenger bag. These travel bags are small enough to be taken as carry-ons, so you can keep your laptop, sensitive documents, and delicate electronics close at hand. Lightweight and fashionable messenger bags can be worn across the body to allow for convenient hands-free carrying. For a more conservative look, a business case offers the traditional styling of a briefcase along with multiple compartments to keep you organized on the go.


Whether used in conjunction with checked bags or on its own for a short trip, your carry-on gives you quick access to belongings during travel. Carry-ons come in a variety of styles and materials, though more pliable fabric options are often preferred for ease of placement in overhead bins or underneath seats. Carry-ons feature multiple compartments to keep items organized and accessible, and some have wheels and telescopic-out handles for convenient maneuvering through busy airports. While airline restrictions vary and should be consulted prior to travel, most will accept carry-ons up to 22 inches in height.

Duffle Bags

Roomy and lightweight, duffle bags are an affordable way to transport items such as clothing, footwear, and sports equipment when travelling. Most duffle bags feature double handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for when you want to free up your hands. Choosing a bag with a wide, padded shoulder strap that distributes weight evenly can help make carrying heavier weights more comfortable. For added convenience, choose a duffle bag with wheels and a telescopic handle so you can roll your bag behind you.

Luggage & Travel

From kids' suitcases to large bags for extended holidays, there are sizes, shapes, and colours of luggage to suit all tastes and types of travel. Lightweight hard-sided luggage is a contemporary and durable choice that won't weigh you down and will help protect your belongings from damage. Soft-sided luggage is often more affordable and can usually expand to increase storage space for those extra souvenirs you pick up on your trip. Regardless of the material, suitcases with eye-catching colours or patterns not only look fashionable but will help avoid mix-ups at baggage claims.

Luggage Sets

Popular with families and frequent travellers, luggage sets feature a collection of suitcases in varying sizes. Luggage sets generally cost less than purchasing each piece separately. By buying a set, it's certain that the different pieces will be coordinated with one another. While the number of pieces in a luggage set varies, the most common configuration is a three-piece set containing one carry-on and two larger suitcases. Larger sets may also include a toiletry or overnight bag, a duffle bag or a laptop case. For convenient storage, choose a luggage set in which the cases nest within one another.
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Totes are a handy, lightweight travel bag, offering easy access to travel necessities while on the go. Smaller than many other forms of luggage, tote bags can be conveniently stored in overhead bins or under airline seats without taking up much space. Since they usually feature an open-top design rather than zippers, grabbing a book, a snack, or another item is quick and hassle-free. Some tote bags come with shoulder straps, wheels, or both for ease of transport, and their casual look is well suited to carrying bottles of water, guidebooks, and souvenirs on your travels.

Travel Accessories

Though often overlooked, the right travel accessories can help you relax, and enjoy yourself when travelling. Luggage tags are an affordable and simple way to identify your property, and help increase the likelihood that lost or stolen bags will be returned to you. Straps and locks are good options for preventing your bags from falling open and keeping your belongings from being lost, stolen, or damaged. A toiletry kit keeps clothing safe from leaking lotions and messy makeup, and a travel pillow provides comfort while you catch a few winks en route to your destination.

Luggage Buying Tips:

• Consider size and weight restrictions if purchasing luggage for air travel
• Choose luggage with adjustable handles or straps for carrying comfort
• Select a suitcase with an expandable compartment for added storage capacity
• If transporting delicate or expensive items, consider hard-sided luggage for increased protection from damage
• Look for extras like padded straps, wheels, and retractable handles for ease of transport
• The higher the denier factor (thickness of the material’s fibre) in soft-sided luggage, the stronger and more durable its weave will be

Luggage Features

Style +

With so many luggage styles available — from sophisticated and simple to fun and flashy — there's something to suit all types of travel and all types of travellers. Traditional colours like black, grey, and brown never go out of style, and it's easier add new pieces to a traditional looking set. Bright colours and patterns make luggage easier to spot on a crowded baggage carousel, and also reduce the risk of mixing up bags with other travellers. Multiple compartments, locks, straps, and handles keep cases fashionable as well as functional, while children's luggage depicting popular characters brings some extra fun to the little ones' vacations.

Size +

When determining what size of luggage to purchase, consider who will be carrying it, how long you'll be travelling, whether or not you'll have access to laundry facilities, and how much you plan on bringing home with you. In general, the maximum size allowed by airlines for carry-on luggage is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches. For checked luggage, bags up to 24 inches in length are easily manageable on shorter trips, while larger bags up to 27 inches in length are roomy enough to pack for vacations of five days or more. If you really want to take it all with you, bags up to 32 inches in length are available, but avoid overfilling them and exceeding weight limitations.

Material +

Leather is a durable material long used in making rugged soft-sided luggage. Full-grain leather tops the quality scale, while top grain is more affordable and stain resistant. Napa leather undergoes a tanning process to make it soft and can be dyed in a wide variety of colours. Nylon is another attractive material used to make soft-sided luggage. Lightweight and pliable, nylon suitcases are able to expand to accommodate more items when needed. Materials used to make hard-sided luggage include aluminum, polycarbonate, carbon fibre or plastic ABS and polypropylene. These materials resist bending and punctures, keeping your valuable and delicate items secure inside.

Compartments +

Multiple compartments create order and accessibility in your luggage. Outside pockets offer convenient access to smaller stored items, from gum to cell phones, without the need to open your case. Mesh pocket dividers keep your belongings organized while simultaneously providing quick visual reference of what's inside. A toiletry bag saves the contents of your luggage from potential shampoo, toothpaste, or beauty product leaks. Wet compartments isolate wet and soiled items so they don't contaminate the rest of your possessions, and shoe bags protect clothing from becoming dirty or snagged.

Handles +

Well-placed, sturdy handles make hauling your luggage a much more comfortable experience. Telescopic handles on wheeled luggage allow you to roll your bags behind you, rather than struggling to carry heavy or awkward suitcases. Adjust the telescopic handle to your height to make rolling your luggage that much easier. Luggage with handles on both the top and side give you the option of picking up your bag from the most convenient position. This is particularly important when loading it into a car or removing it from a baggage carousel, or when terrain is too rough for wheels. With a padded shoulder strap, you can go hands free while the weight of your bag is distributed evenly across your body.

Wheels +

A suitcase with wheels helps you to manoeuvre through busy airports and hotels with ease. Two-wheeled luggage is usually combined with a telescopic handle. Extend the handle and tip the suitcase onto the two wheels, you can then pull it behind you rather than carry it. A four-wheeled or "spinner" suitcase features four wheels mounted on castors that can rotate 360 degrees. The enhanced mobility of spinner luggage makes it exceptionally easy to navigate through tight spaces like airport gift shops. The weight distribution of two-wheeled luggage makes it a better bet on uneven surfaces.

Zippers +

A good quality zipper is important to prevent your suitcase's contents from spilling out and becoming damaged or lost. A sturdy chain zipper with two sets of metal interlocking teeth is very durable, while polyester coil zippers can take considerable pressure and are more easily repaired than chain zippers. Continuous molded zippers with plastic teeth are another hardwearing option, and nylon zippers, though not as strong, can be easily dyed to match luggage. Whichever zipper type you have on your luggage, remember to centre the zipper pull when travelling, because pulls positioned on corners have a higher risk of damage.

Expandability +

Soft-sided luggage with expandable construction means you won't have to worry about finding room for those new items you picked up on holiday. Instead of buying another bag, you can simply unzip the expandable compartment and gain access to additional storage space. The expandable function is convenient and allows you to bring less luggage along with you on your journeys. However, be mindful when travelling by plane not to overfill your bags to the point that they exceed maximum weight limits, resulting in additional baggage fees.

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Luggage Maintenance Tips:

• Avoid over packing suitcases to prevent damage to fabric and zippers
• Position zipper pulls in the centre of bag, not corners where they are more easily damaged
• Don't drag luggage up or down stairs — lift to avoid damaging wheels
• Store luggage in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew from growing
• Remove dirt and other debris from wheels to keep them functioning smoothly
• Check luggage for wet or soiled items before storing after use
• Vacuum luggage to remove dirt and dust
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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