Six easy tips to
the right luggage
YOUR LUGGAGE CAN HELP ensure that your clothes and other critical items
will get safely to their destination. Here are six considerations to help you buy
the right luggage that will meet your needs for years to come.
1. Lightweight luggage can be too light
Don’t let the luggage’s weight affect your purchasing decision. Most pieces
of luggage weigh within 2 pounds of each other, and when it comes down to it
48 pounds feels just as heavy as 50, unless your arms have built-in scales.
Luggage with wheels and telescoping handles requires a reliable frame and
construction. Some lightweight or partial frames are failure prone and compromise on durability and reliability. The stronger the frame, the more likely your
new luggage will survive years of rough handling. Premium luggage utilizes
space-age composites that combine light weight with strength and rigidity.
2. Look for organization features
A fully removable garment carrier is useful to pack your hanging garments. This will help to reduce their wrinkling during your travels. Laundry
bags are great for separating wet or soiled garments from clean ones. Shoe
pockets will keep shoes in a secure location away from your clothing. And
probably most useful these days is a removable 1-quart clear zippered pocket—
perfect for those 3-ounce travel-size liquids. No more sandwich bags!
3. Wheels and handles are key
Are the wheels equipped with lifetime sealed, rust-resistant ball bearings?
Are the handles and wheels mounted to the case with screws through solid
framing? Most manufacturers only partially mount the handles and wheels to
the frame, and the balance of the mounting is simply through the fabric.
4. Luggage needs to be “thick-skinned” to resist abrasion,
water, stains and tearing
A common description for luggage material is “ballistic” nylon. Don’t b e
misled by this term. Ballistic is simply a weave, not a specification. Quality
luggage should always come with a product information tag that includes the
results of material strength and abrasion testing. These two factors affect a
fabric’s long-term durability. Compare resistance factors before you buy.
5. Poorly sewn seams are guaranteed to fail
Tighter stitching makes for stronger seams; only the highest-level manufacturers stitch more than five stitches per inch. Double-stitching makes
even stronger seams. Nylon thread is substantially stronger than polyester
thread. Very few luggage manufacturers use nylon thread and even fewer
double-stitch their seams.
6. Make sure the zippers will stay zipped
What good is luggage if it doesn’t stay closed or if the zipper breaks?
One of the quickest ways to judge luggage quality is to check the brand of
the zipper. Look for the YKK brand, the best-made zippers in the world. A
This article sponsored by Kirkland Signature™
luggage, available in a variety of sizes and
colors exclusively at Costco. This luggage
features a five-sided lightweight GE Lexan
polycarbonate honeycomb frame (the same
material used in bulletproof glass), top-
quality component choices such as YKK
zippers and wear-resistant
construction to provide years
of maintenance-free use.
Most luggage expands, but not all
luggage also adjusts. An expansion
system that will adjust to meet your
individual travel needs increases the
usefulness of your luggage.