Your holiday is coming up and you still haven't found the right suitcase for you? Hard shell suitcases are now the trend. They are available in many different designs. They differ primarily in material and size. With the right hard suitcase, you can take all your favourite things with you on holiday.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Hard Shell Suitcases: Our picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for hard shell suitcases
- 5 Decision: What types of hard shell suitcase are there and which is the right one for me?
- 6 Guide: Frequently asked questions about hard shell suitcases answered in detail
- 6.1 What is a hard shell suitcase?
- 6.2 Is it worth buying a hard shell suitcase in a set?
- 6.3 What size hard shell suitcase should I buy?
- 6.4 What are the alternatives to a hard shell suitcase?
- 6.5 Can I use a hard shell suitcase as hand luggage?
- 6.6 Is it worth buying a hard shell suitcase?
- 6.7 How do I care for a hard shell suitcase?
The most important facts
- Hard cases are made of various plastics and are known for their robustness.
- Different materials can be used for the production of hard cases. This is how the different hard shell suitcases are made. The most popular materials are: Polycarbonate, Polypropylene, Aluminium, ABS and Curv.
- Hard cases are characterised by their lightness, break resistance, durability and resistance.
The Best Hard Shell Suitcases: Our picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for hard shell suitcases
To help you find the right hard suitcase for your holiday, we have selected and briefly explained the most important criteria.
The criteria that you can use to compare hard suitcases with each other include:
Hard shell suitcases come in many different sizes. It can be difficult to find the right size for you. Many factors play an important role. The length of your trip is important, but it also depends on how much you plan to take with you. The individual sizes and recommendations are presented below.
- Hard suitcase size S: These suitcases are mainly suitable for hand luggage. You can also take them on short trips. The packing volume is approx. 20-49 litres.
- Hard suitcase size M: The medium size is particularly suitable for trips lasting up to 7 days. The height of the medium suitcase is 68 cm and it has a volume of 50 litres to 69 litres.
- Hard suitcase size L: This is a very popular size and suitable for trips lasting up to 14 days. The volume is 70 litres to 89 litres and the suitcase is 74 cm high.
- Hard suitcase size XL: The XL size is suitable for long trips of up to 21 days. It fits approximately 90 litres to 119 litres.
- Hard suitcase size XXL: This is the largest hard suitcase you can buy. This size is perfect for long international trips, and you can also fit your holiday shopping in it. The packing volume is over 120 litres. The XXL hard suitcase is recommended for trips of 21 days to 28 days.
The weight of the hard shell suitcase also plays an important role when travelling. First of all, you have to pull your suitcase behind you and there are also airline regulations that have to be adhered to.
Hard-sided suitcases are generally heavier than soft-sided suitcases. However, hard-sided suitcases are more robust and shock-resistant than soft-sided suitcases.
This is important for air travel. A large hard shell suitcase can weigh between 3 and 4 kilograms. Many manufacturers now make lightweight hard-shell suitcases.
Almost every hard shell suitcase is equipped with wheels. There are models with 2 wheels and models with 4 wheels. Which one is right for you?
Models with 4 wheels are especially suitable for commuters. If you are often at the airport or train stations, these suitcases are perfect for you. The hard shell suitcase with 4 wheels is flexible and manoeuvrable. Even on the train, you can push it in front of you and don't have to drag it behind you.
However, if you know that the ground on your trip is uneven, you should get a hard-sided suitcase with 2 wheels. 4 wheels tend to get stuck on the uneven ground and hold you up on your journey.
Hard cases come in many different designs, colours and patterns. There is something for everyone. You also have the option to have a hard shell suitcase printed according to your preferences.
With locks you can protect the contents of your hard case. This protects your suitcase from theft, which is important when travelling.
Many hard suitcases have pre-integrated TSA locks, so all you have to do is set a combination of numbers. The special thing about a TSA lock is that it can be opened at customs or at the airport with a master key if your suitcase needs to be searched.
In some countries, such as the USA, officials are allowed to open your suitcase without your permission, and if you don't have a TSA lock, they will break your lock.
If your hard suitcase does not have a built-in TSA lock, we recommend you get a TSA padlock.
Decision: What types of hard shell suitcase are there and which is the right one for me?
Hard shell suitcase can be made of different materials. Due to the different materials, hard cases can differ in quality, weight and many other characteristics. Hard cases are made from the following materials:
|Polycarbonate suitcases||Light weight, robust||High price|
|Polypropylene suitcases||High durability, inexpensive||Temperature resistant|
|Aluminium suitcases||Protects the contents perfectly||High own weight|
|ABS hard suitcases||Resistant||Hard to recycle|
|Curv hard suitcases||High durability||High price|
In the following, the individual hard cases are explained and the advantages and disadvantages are presented.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about hard shell suitcases answered in detail
What is a hard shell suitcase?
Hard-sided suitcases can be made of different materials. Popular materials for hard cases are:
Hard cases are very robust and shockproof. Your contents will not be damaged easily. Many manufacturers now make lightweight hard cases. You can easily transport the hard case because of its telescopic handle and cleaning is also easy.
Is it worth buying a hard shell suitcase in a set?
A set has many advantages. You have the perfect suitcase for every type of trip. It is usually cheaper to buy a set than to buy all the suitcases separately.
For families a set can be very advantageous, the parents can use the larger hard suitcases while the children use the smaller hard suitcases. The uniform design of the hard cases in a set, is also very nice to look at.
What size hard shell suitcase should I buy?
Before you buy a hard suitcase, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How long will I be travelling?
- What am I taking with me?
- Do I want to bring anything back from my holiday?
- What are the airline requirements?
In the following table, you will find a small orientation. This is only based on the length of stay.
|Size of the hard case||length of stay|
|Size S||3 days|
|Size M||1 week|
|Size L||1-2 weeks|
|Size XL||2-3 weeks|
|Size XXL||3-4 weeks|
What are the alternatives to a hard shell suitcase?
Soft-sided suitcases have a lower tare weight than hard-sided suitcases. They are also more flexible. So you have the option of packing the suitcase a little fuller than specified.
Soft-sided suitcases are cheaper than hard-sided suitcases. Soft-sided suitcases are equipped with outside pockets. There you can store things you want to access quickly.
Soft-sided suitcases with a zippered expansion fold add another 15-20% to your luggage.
Can I use a hard shell suitcase as hand luggage?
- Dimensions: 55 x 40 x 25 cm
- Weight: 5-10 kilograms
Note that these are not exact values. You should check with your airline to get the correct measurements.
Is it worth buying a hard shell suitcase?
Since the hard case can be cleaned easily and quickly, it is well suited for allergy sufferers. Transporting the suitcase is also easy. If you regularly go on holiday or commute and don't want the contents to get damaged, we recommend a hard-shell case.
How do I care for a hard shell suitcase?
- Wipe hard case with a damp cloth (mild soap is fine)
- Interior can be vacuumed to remove sand etc
- Lining can usually be removed, wash by hand
- Clean the case wheels with a brush
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