Why spending more on your luggage is worth the investment
It’s a familiar shopping quandary. Do you spend more and hope it lasts, or spend less but risk compromising on quality? Luggage gets battered about more than anything else you own, so here we’ve answered some frequently asked questions on why it pays to invest in good quality luggage.
Does a more expensive suitcase guarantee better quality?
In short – yes. It’s actually very common for people to tell us that they’ve bought a cheap suitcase that has fallen apart or cracked the first time they’ve used it, so it’s definitely worth investing in a brand you can trust. Antler has over 100 years of history in the luggage industry (we were founded in 1914), and we’ve definitely got our trade secrets, especially since some of our product engineering team have been with the brand for over 30 years.
What does the rise of frequent flying mean for luggage?
Since flying became so much more accessible, luggage now gets bashed about far more than it ever did – more than any of your other belongings, no matter how carefully you look after it yourself. It’s completely out of your control what happens to your suitcase once you’ve checked it in at the airport, so it’s definitely worth having good quality cases.
What extra features can you expect from a more premium brand?
Look out for premium features like 360-degree double spinner wheels that make a suitcase super easy to manoeuvre; a strong but flexible hard case that will withstand getting knocked about (polycarbonate is one of the most robust suitcase materials you’ll find, which our Clifton cases are made of) and for security, a TSA lock, which means you can lock your case, but airport security staff can get in to it without damaging it if they need to.
What about the shell on a hard case? How does that differ with a premium brand?
There are features that help with strength that we engineer into our designs – the curved base of our hard-sided Clifton case creates inherent strength, for example. There are things you can’t see too – like the localised reinforcements that we build into our bespoke suitcase moulds. It’s this attention to detail that only a trusted brand will deliver.
There are plenty of other premium features you can find on more premium suitcases too, like a twist-grip handle to ease pressure on your wrist (also one of the newest features on our Clifton suitcase) and the expander zip on the medium and large Clifton, which is quite unusual in a hard-sided suitcase.
Does lightweight mean the suitcase is better or worse?
Don’t be fooled that a lightweight case is low quality – that can be the case, but done in the right way, impressive engineering can go into crafting a suitcase that’s both seriously robust but also lightweight, and that’s important if you’re not an A-lister with people to carry it for you! At Antler, we take weight away wherever we can, whilst always maintaining strength – for example, we’ve designed a hollow upright suitcase handle for our Clifton case that is just as strong, but even more lightweight.
What are the best quality hard-sided suitcases made of?
For hard-sided luggage, polypropylene is strong but also lightweight, so that’s a good bet if you’re looking to invest in a hard case that will last the distance. The same can be said for polycarbonate which, when used in its pure form like on our Clifton suitcase, is even stronger. We’ve also ensured it’s colour fast, so any inevitable scratches will stay true to the colour of the case and not show anything ugly underneath.
And soft-sided suitcases?
For soft-sided, a robust and water-resistant nylon suitcase will stand the test of time. Soft suitcases feature more external pockets simply as they’re easier to build in, so if you like to have easy access to your travel accessories, soft-sided might be the best for you, and they are usually even lighter than hard-sided. Lots of people now though, prefer the style and protection of a hard-sided case.
Want to do a bit more research? You can read more on what we have to say about finding the right suitcase for you in this interview in the Huffington Post.