Written by Esmee

Hardside or softside suitcase?

I go on vacation and I take with me: a soft suitcase. Or is it smarter to take a hard suitcase with you? Every traveler asks himself this question. Of course, this differs per occasion. Do you travel by plane for example? Do you pack the car to go camping? Or is it important to you that your fragile items are well protected? In this article, we compare soft and hard suitcases and which occasion suits these models best. Because even if it's still the journey that counts: you still want to buy a suitcase that lasts for a long time.

In short

Which suitcase should I choose? Hardside suitcases Soft suitcase
I bring fragile items with me. Yes No
I want the suitcase to be expandable. No Yes
I mostly take a lot of clothes with me. Yes Yes
My suitcase must be as light as possible. Yes Yes

Traveling by plane

Traveling by plane hard suitcase

Traveling by plane and with a hard suitcase

Your belongings are indestructible in a hard suitcase. Your luggage is safe and protected against moisture in a hard suitcase. Your items survive the baggage carousel at the airport with ease. The materials currently used for the production of hard suitcases are almost indestructible. An example of this is the Samsonite Curv material. This material is also used in bulletproof vests and skis. That should be fine. Naturally, there are also disadvantages to a hard suitcase. For example, a hard suitcase is often a bit heavier than a light suitcase and you'll definitely experience some scratches. But it's better to have a scratch on your suitcase than to have one on your souvenir, right?

Traveling by plane soft suitcase

Traveling by plane and with a soft suitcase

What are you going to transport? A soft suitcase on the plane is safe, too. It only depends on what you transport. Fragile stuff? Maybe better not. Of course there are possibilities that allow you to transport fragile items in a soft suitcase. Try to divide these between your clothes, for example: this offers extra protection. The biggest advantage of a soft suitcase is that the volume is often expandable. Its light weight is also pleasant. Many airlines limit the maximum number of kilos that you can take with you. In this case, it's nice if your suitcase without luggage is lighter. Soft suitcases are often also equipped with several storage compartments on the exterior. Handy for your passport or boarding pass. So are you traveling by plane and taking a lot of clothes with you? If so, a soft suitcase is a good option.

Traveling by car

Traveling by car hard suitcase

Traveling by car and with a hard suitcase

When you have enough space. Traveling by car and the choice of a hard suitcase go very well together. Especially if your luggage needs extra protection. But you can't cram your car with a few hard suitcases. When you choose a hard suitcase, it's important that you have enough luggage space. Hard suitcases may provide your belongings with protection, but they're absolutely not flexible. Certainly something to keep in mind.

Traveling by car soft suitcase

Traveling by car and with a soft suitcase

On vacation with the family. A soft suitcase is flexible and it fits much more than a hard suitcase. Often, soft suitcases are also expandable. Pretty useful for when you return, for souvenirs. Traveling by car often means limited luggage space. When you're packing the car for the holidays with the whole family, it's nice if the suitcases are a little cooperative. 2 suitcases on the left side of the trunk, a few sleeping bags, too. That tiny chair and that folding table have to go in at the final moment as well. No problem! They'll still fit.

Durability and a hard or soft suitcase

Does a hard suitcase last longer?

A hard suitcase is often higher in price than a soft suitcase. But when you travel by plane a lot, a hard suitcase can be the most sustainable option. Suitcases have a lot to endure, for example on the baggage carousel. When you use the suitcase a lot, the surface of a soft suitcase will wear out faster than the surface of a hard suitcase. That's why a hard suitcase is a must.

Does costly also mean cheap?

For a soft suitcase, you generally pay less than for a hard suitcase. That doesn't mean that a soft suitcase doesn't last as long. Especially when you don't travel that often, a soft suitcase is perfectly fine. Nowadays, soft suitcases are made of very sturdy and light polyester and as far as firmness goes, they are almost equal to hard suitcases.

Which suitcase should I choose?

A hard suitcase is not necessarily better than a soft suitcase or vice versa. The choice for a hard suitcase or a soft suitcase depends on the type of journey you're going to make. It's also important to make an inventory of what you're going to transport. A hard suitcase gives more protection to fragile items and a soft suitcase can easily be crammed full. In terms of durability, hard and soft suitcases are not very far apart. The development in material is fast and the differences in sustainability are getting smaller. A soft suitcase shouldn't last less long than a hard suitcase. Do you travel a lot by plane? If so, a hard suitcase is a must. Do you always travel with your own transport? If so, consider a soft suitcase.

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