Things to Consider When Buying Luggage

Things to Consider When Buying Luggage

If you’re on the hunt for new luggage, there are a few things to consider aside from looks alone. And with so many options on the market, finding the perfect pieces to fit your travel needs can be a bit challenging. Not to worry. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you learn how to choose a suitable suitcase for your next trip — and trips to come. 

Determine The Type of Traveler You Are

“What type of luggage should I buy,” you ask? Well, are you a road warrior, business traveler, pleasure-seeker, or both? Before anything else, think about what type of traveler you are. Do you tend to take weekend getaways, or does your wanderlust regularly take you overseas? Also, are you a minimal packer or the type of person who can’t leave anything behind? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether you need smaller pieces or a full-fledged luggage set complete with a checked bag, carry-on, and personal item. 


“What size luggage should I buy?” is a common question. If you regularly fly with a particular airline so you can keep racking up those miles, check to see their luggage size requirements. The airlines determine this size — not TSA — so making it past security doesn’t necessarily mean the airline will accept your carry-on bag. The standard allowance ranges from 45 linear inches to 55. If you aren’t dedicated to a particular airline, keep in mind that American, United, and Delta aren’t as generous as Southwest and Virgin when it comes to size allowance. 

Hard Shell or Soft-Sided

Choosing between hardshell and soft-sided luggage is a matter of preference, but there are some distinguishing features to consider when contemplating the two. Soft luggage typically features practical internal and external pockets. It’s more resilient, has flexible space allowance, and has more organizational options than hard shell luggage. However, it’s not as easy to clean. 

multiple pieces of soft sided luggage

While hardshell luggage often gets a bad rap, rest assured our modern-day versions are a far cry from the bulky bags of the past that would crack easily. Our hardshell luggage is made out of 3-layer, 100% virgin Makrolon® polycarbonate material. It’s high-strength, lightweight, and provides elasticity and resiliency. Another common complaint about hard-sided luggage is that it doesn’t have as much flexibility to jam-pack extra items as soft-sided models. However, our hard-sided expandable spinners are designed with the Briggs & Riley CX™ system, which means they expand for 25% more space, then compress to their original size.

multiple pieces of hard sided luggage

Four Wheels Versus Two

Do you prefer spinner or upright luggage? Again, consider what type of traveler you are. If you frequently travel for business or take regular weekend getaways, then the spinner is an excellent option because it can help you stay on the go with ease. If you are a globetrotter, then the vertical roller is a better selection as it can withstand the different types of terrain you’re visiting. It’s also easier to get on a train, bus, boat, or ferry with an upright. Ideally, it’s nice to have one of each so that you can adapt your luggage to your travels. Here are some additional points to consider: 

  • The spinner is the perfect bag for travelers who want to glide through the airport with ease. With four wheels instead of two, it provides optimal maneuverability as you navigate to your next destination.

multiple pieces of spinner four-wheel luggage

  • The upright perfects the art of utility in design. Because it only has two wheels, it provides you with a few extra inches to fit your things.

multiple pieces of upright two-wheel luggage

  • Spinner luggage is more susceptible to breakage because the wheels move in different directions. This is especially true when you’re rolling over uneven surfaces like cobblestone. The wheels on upright luggage, on the other hand, tend to be more durable because they don’t move around as much. Not to mention the wheels are affixed close to the luggage, so they are less stressed.

Extra Features 

The extra bells and whistles a bag has can significantly influence your decision. All of our pieces are designed with additional features to make your packing and travel experience as stress-free as possible. For example: 

  • CX technology expands the bag by up to 25% when more packing space is needed, then compresses back down to the original size for overhead storage.
  • Padded laptop compartment.
  • HideAway™ ID tag conceals personal information.
  • The Outsider handle provides greater interior capacity and a flat interior surface for packing, so clothing arrives wrinkle-free.
  • Built-in tri-fold garment folder with foam roll bar neatly holds 1-2 suits and prevents wrinkling.
  • SpeedThru™ pocket for hassle-free airport security luggage checks. Orange lining alerts when the pocket is open.
  • RFID blocking pocket with two hidden credit card slip pockets protects personal data from digital pickpockets; also holds a wallet, passport, etc.
  • Various sized pockets and compartments to easily organize everything from your electronics to business essentials. 

Brands and Warranties 

We know that you have many different brands to choose from, but when you buy one of our bags, you’re also forging a steadfast relationship with Briggs & Riley. We’ll be there to help you with all of your travel needs, big or small, near or far, business or pleasure. That’s why we offer a lifetime guarantee that comes with each piece of Briggs & Riley luggage. Like the memories that will last you a lifetime, so do our products: “Engineered for Reality, Guaranteed for Life.” 


Now that you know what to consider when buying luggage, it’s time to search for your next Briggs & Riley bag!


  • Barry Milowitz

    A great explanation and comparison of products.

  • Jeff Shebesta

    Hard sided if you’re gonna check it, soft if you’re gonna carry on. (I’m an Airline professional, plus very frequent passenger)

  • Charlotte Wolfe

    BEST luggage EVER

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