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Choosing Between Hard And Soft Cases

Apr 1, 2008
The problem with luggage these days is we are given so much choice, it's hard to know exactly what type to buy and use for our various journeys. As well as a staggering array of different sizes, many bags come in different materials. There are, of course, the obvious differences. Some cases are made of a very hard, rigid plastic, whereas other bags are made of woven materials. The plastic which is used to make the hard cases can be one of two different types.

The first is the cheaper option, and is the same kind of material used to make the bumpers of cars. This is strong and sturdy, and can withstand the knocks and scrapes which any suitcase is likely to encounter on its journey through baggage handling. The second type of plastic case is more expensive, and looks much shinier. It is the same kind of material used to create motorcycle helmets, and is strong and sturdy. It is slightly lighter than the other type, but being more rigid is can be prone to cracking if exposed to rough knocks.

Although hard cases are robust and durable, and can look very attractive, they pose the problem of storage. There is no disguising them once you are back home, and unless you have a convenient loft or garage, they end up being displayed prominently on top of your wardrobe. Many people have purchased such cases, fully intending to store them in the loft, only to get home and discover that the loft hatch is too small, and the case won't fit. Because cases can be made to be both strong and light, they can be made larger than older cases used to. Combined with the general trend amongst builders to create smaller loft hatches, this can pose an unexpected problem.

In addition to which, by the time you realise this problem, your luggage is probably already used. Most people buy luggage specifically for a planned holiday, and leave it out until ready. It is only then after your fortnight away that your storage dilemma is realised.

The alternative to hard cases is of course to opt for the flexible material bags. These can still be made in quite large sizes, and are often made from very durable nylon based fabrics. The better made ones have a special manufacturing method which prevents tears and rips from lengthening, which can be a valuable saver of your precious items. As well as the advantage that these bags have over hard cases in being easily stored when not in use, they are also very likely to have a number of extra pockets. These extra storage flaps and compartments can be hugely advantageous when it comes to storing your passport, tickets, wallet, map and other essentials. However, one always has to be careful that such important items are not too easily seen or snatched by other interested parties. Usually these flaps are hidden under the main opening, and may be zipped closed themselves.

The one disadvantage to bear in mind though with these flexible bags is that they are often harder to transport. Whereas hard cases usually have wheels and a handle, material bags have shoulder straps or carry handles. A shoulder strap can feel fine on your way to the car or bus stop, but after a fortnight of lugging it around, your may find your back is not as delighted with your choice. If you have any kind of back condition, don't even consider anything unless it has wheels and an adjustable handle.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for cases, luggage, hotels, cruises, and shopping.
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