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Last updated on May 22nd, 2024

When planning a trip, the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination with a broken piece of luggage, which can ruin your whole journey.

So, what type of luggage is best for air travel?

To avoid this, it is essential to consider size, weight, and features when choosing a piece of luggage for air travel.

Don’t screw yourself over by buying cheap luggage, especially if you’re flying with Ryanair, known for damaged luggage.

Here are some tips on finding the best luggage for your next trip. 

Related: Top 10 Luggage Brands

Carry-On Luggage 

When deciding on carry-on luggage, paying attention to size and weight restrictions is essential. Different airlines may have varying limits, but generally, most airlines will accept carry-on bags that are 22 x 14 x 9 inches or smaller with a maximum weight of 30 pounds.

Look for a cabin suitcase with a laptop compartment to easily access your technology during your flight.   

Checked Luggage 

For checked baggage, the size limit is usually 62 linear inches in total and 44 to 50 pounds in weight. Many airlines charge extra fees for checked items over these limits, so always double-check before packing.

It is also wise to choose something durable that will stand up against harsh weather or rough handling by baggage handlers.

It would help if you also looked for bags with multiple compartments to keep everything organized while traveling.

What Type of Luggage is Best for Air Travel?: Hardside vs Softside for Frequent Travelers

What type of luggage is best for air travel? Woman pulling suitcase at the airport.

Are you a frequent traveler? If so, you know that one of the most important decisions you must make is which type of luggage to bring. Should you opt for hardside or softside luggage?

Both types have their benefits and drawbacks, and it can be difficult to decide without considering all the factors.

To help you out, we’re going to take an in-depth look at both options so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to choose your next luggage set. 

Related: Best Luggage for Frequent Travelers

Hardside Luggage Overview 

Hardside luggage is typically made from polycarbonate or ABS plastic. It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its durability and lightweight.

In addition, it’s also resistant to scratches and dents, making it ideal for frequent travelers who may be rough on their bags.

One of the most significant advantages of hardside luggage is that it provides more protection for delicate items such as electronics or fragile souvenirs. It also offers more flexibility with its expandable storage compartments. 

The downside of hard-side luggage is that it offers less versatility than softside bags do when it comes to packing.

Additionally, since the material is rigid and not adjustable, there’s no way to squeeze extra items into the bag if needed — something that can be done with soft-sided bags.

Softside Luggage Overview

Softsided luggage usually consists of nylon or polyester fabric with a zipper closure at the top.

This type of bag offers several advantages over hard-sided luggage, including more packing flexibility since they can “give” and accommodate additional items if necessary.

Additionally, some models feature external pockets for quick access to items like tickets or passports — a feature that isn’t available with hard-side suitcases.

They are also generally lighter than hard sides and easier to maneuver through airports or crowded streets.

The downside of soft side suitcases is that they tend not to provide as much protection against impact damage as their rigid counterparts do; this makes them less suitable for carrying delicate items like cameras or electronics on long trips where there may be significant handling involved in getting your belongings from point A to point B safely and securely.   

When choosing between hardside versus softside luggage for air travel, consider your needs carefully before selecting; each type has its distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on what kind of traveler you are and how often you fly.

If protecting fragile items is essential, opt for a hard-sided suitcase; if convenience and flexibility are vital considerations, use a softer material option instead. 


Whether you are an experienced traveler or a first-time vacationer, selecting the correct type of luggage is vital.

With the right bag in hand, you won’t need to worry about exceeding size or weight restrictions on airplanes or having your possessions damaged while being handled by baggage personnel.

Don’t let broken luggage stop you from having a fantastic trip — follow these tips and find the best luggage for air travel today.

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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