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How Do I Choose the Best Luggage Set?

By Rachael Cullins
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best luggage set depends on a variety of factors, such as the purpose and duration of your trips. Determining how much luggage to take, how luggage will be transported and the durability of the luggage are primary factors in selecting luggage. Cost also is an important consideration, because luggage sets can vary greatly in price.

A luggage set that includes suitcases and carry-on bags in a variety of sizes is a good investment if you are planning to travel relatively frequently and are anticipating trips of various lengths and purposes. Longer trips require larger bags that will need to be checked at an airline gate. The handling that accompanies checking a bag might necessitate a relatively durable large suitcase. If you do not plan to travel for long durations, luggage that includes a large suitcase might not be necessary.

Ensuring that a luggage set can easily be transported by car is helpful if you are considering driving trips or shorter weekend excursions. Bags intended to fit in a car trunk might need to be flexible. Suitcases made of hard plastic are available, but they may be prone to cracking and have little flexibility for fitting into tight spaces. Soft-material luggage is more common.

Taking short trips by plane necessitates luggage that can fit into airline overhead compartments. Different airlines have different carry-on bag size limits. You should check these guidelines before choosing or packing carry-on luggage.

Durability of a luggage set varies greatly, and the need for long-lasting bags might vary, depending upon their anticipated use. Reading customer reviews of products prior to purchasing luggage might be useful. Some luggage might come with a warranty to ensure replacement, usually subject to certain conditions. Luggage that includes an unlimited lifetime warranty might come at a higher price but might be worth the investment.

There are a variety of colors and designs to choose from when purchasing luggage. Spending ample time browsing different options is a good idea. Some travelers prefer brightly colored or patterned luggage so that it is easily identified at baggage claim areas. It might be helpful to buy a luggage set in person so that testing suitcase wheels and shoulder straps is possible. The cost of luggage can vary greatly, so it is wise to have a set budget range in mind when shopping for the best set.

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Discussion Comments

By Speechie — On Oct 18, 2011

I bought one of the discount luggage sets (you know, the one where you practically receive every piece of luggage possible all for the low low price of $199) while my husband nearly spend that much for his carryon suitcase ten years ago. Every single zipper still works on it. The color still looks great on it.

But my luggage has not fared as well.

So needless to say for me and especially for my husband who travels a lot we agree with the article - depending on how much you travel (and in my husband's case, how tough you are on your luggage) buying a more expensive set might just be worth it.

By shell4life — On Oct 18, 2011

After a long trip that lasted nearly two weeks, I was frustrated with my luggage. It was big, but everything had to be thrown together in the same space, and I was having trouble finding what I needed amongst the pile.

When I got back from that trip, I started searching for luggage with many different sized compartments so that I could store shampoo, razors, and makeup in their own areas. I found a shiny pink luggage set that met my needs.

In addition to being cute and different, it had sturdy holders inside of it for everything from conditioner to toothbrushes. As if that wasn’t cool enough, the holders were adjustable, so if my shampoo bottle was slightly too big or small for the space, I could loosen or tighten the hold on it to ensure that it wouldn’t fall out.

I was also able to store my floss and cotton swabs in tiny pockets. I will never have to dig through a pile of stuff to find what I need again.

By wavy58 — On Oct 17, 2011

@lighth0se33 - I know what you mean. I once packed all my stuff into old grocery bags, and I forgot several things when I left the hotel. The less luggage you have, the better.

I found a funky luggage set at a discount store. It had a few imperfections in the embroidery, so the price was marked down. To me, they weren’t that noticeable. The loud colors, on the other hand, were.

This luggage has zig-zags of bright yellow and white, along with green stripes at strange angles. The background is bright orange.

Though I usually travel by car, I know that if I ever travel by plane, my luggage will be super easy to find. I have never seen another set like it.

By lighth0se33 — On Oct 17, 2011

When my husband and I drove a thousand miles to visit his family, I was very glad we had a good luggage set. If we had packed everything into small bags, we would have had quite a time keeping up with all of it. We stayed at three different relatives’ homes, and we also stayed in a hotel for four nights, so we had to do a lot of luggage lugging!

My husband just happened to have two giant zip-up bags with wheels and handles. They also had two separate zip-up compartments on the front. I was able to put my underwear in these and my regular clothes in the main compartment.

By Oceana — On Oct 17, 2011

My lack of a sufficient luggage set caused me grief when I went on vacation by myself. All I had were a big brown zip bag and one large suitcase, and I had trouble carrying these up to the room by myself.

I used the brown bag to store things like shampoo and my hair dryer, while I put my clothes in the suitcase. The bag was very heavy, and my shoulder hurt the next day from carrying it.

If I had possessed a good luggage set, then I probably could have fit everything into one bag with wheels on it and a handle. That would have made loading and unloading so much easier.

By indemnifyme — On Oct 16, 2011

@KaBoom - When you mentioned wanting to have more adult luggage, you totally reminded me of my friends daughter! She is 8, and she had her own little luggage set for when they travel.

She's at that age where she wants to do everything like a "grown-up." So last time they went on an airplane trip, they got her her own luggage set. It came with a little carry on suitcase, a bigger suit case, and a shoulder bag.

Now whenever they go anywhere, even if it's just overnight, she insists on packing her clothes in her luggage!

By KaBoom — On Oct 15, 2011

@SZapper - Sounds like a practical choice. I normally use a duffel bag when I travel. I mostly just take car trips, so it's perfect for just stuffing in the trunk. My duffel bag is also an acceptable size to serve as a carry on bag.

However, I will admit that I've been eying up an actual luggage set. I'm in my mid-twenties now, and I feel like it would be a little more "adult" to travel with some "real" luggage instead of a duffel bag.

By SZapper — On Oct 14, 2011

I don't do too much traveling, and I live in a fairly small apartment. I also don't make that much money. So, I don't own a whole luggage set. (Surprise!)

All I have is one carry on sized suitcase my mom gave me quite awhile ago. It's plain black, no fancy designs or anything. But it's very sturdy and it rolls. Also, it doesn't take up too much space in my closet.

Another reason this was a good choice for me is that I prefer to carry on my luggage when I fly. I've had too many friend have their luggage get lost! They end up at their destination without their stuff and it's always a big hassle.

By honeybees — On Oct 14, 2011

I love stylish looking luggage and want something that is different than the standard pieces of black luggage I see everywhere.

I bought a 3-in-1 Roxy luggage set that I just love. They have several fun designs to choose from and I have to trouble picking out my luggage from the baggage claim area.

Even though luggage is a practical thing, you can have some with flair and design that just makes it more fun to use than something that just looks plain.

By andee — On Oct 13, 2011

It seems like my luggage doesn't last very long no matter how much I spend on it. Because of that I will look for luggage sets on clearance when I am ready to buy new luggage.

I like to have different pieces of luggage for different purposes. When I go camping in the mountains, I use sturdy, durable pieces that are much different if I am going someplace by plane.

If you do much flying, I think everyone should own a rolling luggage set. Another nice thing about these is that you can stack a smaller piece on top of a larger piece when you are walking through the airport, which makes it much easier than carrying a piece of luggage in each hand.

By LisaLou — On Oct 12, 2011

The most important thing for me when choosing luggage is that it have wheels for transporting. This is by far the easiest way to travel through airports and hotel hallways.

I have an old travel luggage set that doesn't have wheels, and I need to get rid of it because I will never use it again.

While I would love to have a beautiful designer luggage set, I won't spend much money on luggage that I fly with on a regular basis.

This luggage always gets pretty beat up, and I would rather have a cheaper set that I don't have to worry about getting ruined than an expensive set of luggage that will get beat up the first time I use it.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Oct 12, 2011

I know this is silly because luggage is supposed to be a practical thing, but for me I always just buy the luggage set that I think looks the best. I figure, if I'm going to have to walk around with all these bags I might as well get some cool looking bags.

Seriously, I have bought entire luggage sets just because I like the pattern on the outside or they came in some kind of funky color. In a lot of cases I rarely ended up using the luggage, or it turned out to be poorly made or impractical to use. But that doesn't really bother me too much. I would much rather have bags that I think are stylish than bags which are just boring and black.

By truman12 — On Oct 12, 2011

I think the most important consideration when buying a luggage set, is where you will be taking the luggage and for what purpose.

If you are going to a fancy hotel in Tokyo you will need one set of luggage. If you are going to a remote camp in southern Mexico you will need another set. Luggage is all about transportability and you have to think what kind of environment you will be transporting your luggage into. You might end up with luggage that is too bulky, or too flimsy, or which cannot easily hold all the stuff you need to bring with you.

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