Luggage - Hard vs Soft Case

By Rectangle | May 08, 2018, 09:44 AM
There's not a lot of information on an important part of the travel on this site which is the luggage.

After 5 years of heavy (10 per year) international travel my Samsonite soft case is on it's last legs.

Currently looking at a few options in hard case on soft case. Not having used a hard case what are peoples opinions on these and are they worth getting over a soft case?

Is it worth splashing some extra cash and going up to a Rimowa?
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By StuParr | May 08, 2018, 09:54 AM
I would not go back to Samsonite, I have had to replace mine too many time, under warranty though. I would buy the Rimowa. Hard shell is the best in my humble opinion.
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By rckjiang | May 08, 2018, 10:23 AM
My wife has had a lot of trouble with the zips on her samsonite hard shell lately. I’ve had to replace 2 soft Samsonites in the last 2 years and I wouldn’t get another one either. Recent threw some (a lot) $$$ down for a full-size aluminum Rimowa. It’s built like a tank but also weighs like a tank. There are a lot of reports of dings and scratches etc on the Topas (aluminum) range when checked-in, so if you prefer your suitcases squeaky clean then the Topas is probably not for you.

Whether the polycarbonate Rimowa suffers from the same problem as hard shell samsonite I’m not sure.
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By xtfer | May 08, 2018, 10:34 AM
I bought a hard-shell Delsey to replace soft-shell Samsonites. The wheels fell off and zip disintegrated. Took it back and swapped it for a 3 set of cheap, light Antler hard shells and they are solid. I've thrashed them around Asia for a year now and they haven't broken a sweat. If you strip down the features you can get a very light, simple hard shell for a lot less than the fancy new ones.
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By ChrisCh | May 08, 2018, 11:12 AM
Hard shells are tricky because you don't want one too hard and firm, otherwise it can crack on impact, and you don't want one too soft, otherwise the contents can be squashed.

These days when I do have to check a bag in, I use an Antler Juno 2 Medium case. RRP is $279 but bought mine on sale for around $160 during the Boxing Day sales at David Jones. So far, 17 flights and counting with no problems. Also considered a similar-sized Samsonite Firelite but this was more than twice the price, even on sale, so for me (particularly when I don't check a bag in on most of my travels, including international), the Antler is more than fine.
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By daniesut | May 08, 2018, 12:03 PM

Rimowa are very good, you don't need the shiny aluminum version, they are build like tanks, the older version have more metal components and do weight up more, the newer versions have more plastic, so fair bit lighter......, agree, but after a while do start looking aged, depends if you like that look or not...


if you want something in between I recommend the TUMI Alpha 2 wheelie, its got a semi hard shell, with a aluminum frame and rugged corners, but actual a soft nylon coating, its pretty light and very durable, mine still looks good after a few years of some hard travel to some challenging places.....



Last edited by daniesut at May 08, 2018, 12.03 PM.
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By Joe | May 08, 2018, 03:44 PM
Don't waste your money on Rimowa. It's tarted up Samsonite as that's who owns them.
Go for a Samsonite Lite-Locked and you'll never look back. Best of all worlds.
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By 346 | May 08, 2018, 04:06 PM
Call me old fashioned but I prefer the soft.
I use the Antler.
Reason I like soft is the fact its got pockets,
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By asw | May 08, 2018, 04:11 PM
Don't waste your money on Rimowa. It's tarted up Samsonite as that's who owns them.
Go for a Samsonite Lite-Locked and you'll never look back. Best of all worlds.

My Rimowa Topas has been flawless for over 10 years. BTW: Samsonite owns TUMI... Rimowa is majority owned by LVMH.
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By sid | May 08, 2018, 07:05 PM
TravelPro is the best.
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By Bollen | May 08, 2018, 09:00 PM
I have a Samsonite Ultralite for when I need check in luggage and a Samsonite Octolite as a carry on. Both have been excellent.

With the Rimowa and Tumi aluminium carry on luggage, over half of your weight allowance is gone before you put anythting in the case! They both look awesome though :)
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By rckjiang | May 08, 2018, 09:22 PM
Don't waste your money on Rimowa. It's tarted up Samsonite as that's who owns them.
Go for a Samsonite Lite-Locked and you'll never look back. Best of all worlds.

My Rimowa Topas has been flawless for over 10 years. BTW: Samsonite owns TUMI... Rimowa is majority owned by LVMH.

Check-in or carry on size?
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By Dredgy | May 08, 2018, 11:48 PM
So this a left of field option - a hybrid I use an Away carry on and bigger carry on. Is a great hard shell that’s flexible and expandable without being too soft, and the interior layout is very clever (I was able to do 3 months on the one carry on suitcase, doing laundry once a week or so). Have to buy online though, and they do up to large suitcases. Resonanly priced and very distinctive on a carousel.

The only problem I had (also my first hard case) was no pocket on the front for stashing my iPad quickly, and they addressed this by releasing a hard case with a soft front pocket. Not the most stylish of things, but at least you’ll know what one is yours. The carry ons include an ejectable battery bank too, which can be considered a nice bonus.

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By Phil Young | May 09, 2018, 06:55 AM
My Antler soft-sided 2-wheeler is still going strong after 20 years of many international trips.

The soft-sided bags don't crack open when dropped by baggage handlers, and they keep on expanding as much as required, especially if there's an expansion zipper. And 2-wheelers let you pull your bag across cobblestones without too much trauma. Most importantly, the 2-wheelers don't start moving off by themselves if you leave them on a surface that has even a mild slope.
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By patrickk | May 09, 2018, 08:05 AM
I have all Lanchamp (hand luggage, suit pack, and Large case) soft but not too soft. Lasts forever as well and looks good
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By watson374 | May 09, 2018, 01:54 PM
My Antler soft-sided 2-wheeler is still going strong after 20 years of many international trips.

The soft-sided bags don't crack open when dropped by baggage handlers, and they keep on expanding as much as required, especially if there's an expansion zipper. And 2-wheelers let you pull your bag across cobblestones without too much trauma. Most importantly, the 2-wheelers don't start moving off by themselves if you leave them on a surface that has even a mild slope.


+1 for two-wheelers, especially in international carry-on size (115cm).

Cheers,
The fool who once had to chase a runaway four-wheeler down the rather steep footpath on Bathurst St in Sydney's CBD.
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Frank

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