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How Do I Choose the Best Roller Luggage?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Roller luggage has become the most common type of luggage used among travelers on airplanes, trains, and even by automobile. The luggage is convenient, easy to move, and usually quite durable, though choosing the best roller luggage will take a bit of research and patience. It is important to choose luggage that is well built with durable materials, and it is also important to choose units that are the right size for your purposes. If you intend to use the luggage as carry-on luggage on a plane, be sure the unit you choose is small enough to fit in the compartments but large enough to carry the items you need to store.

Try to choose roller luggage that is made from durable materials. Some roller luggage feature soft shell designs, while others feature a hard shell. Both designs usually work well, though each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Soft shell luggage can be stored in tighter spaces, and they can expand easily to fit one last pair of pants or a book inside the luggage. Hard shell cases do not generally yield as easily, but if you are traveling with electronics or other fragile items, the hard shell can protect those items from potential impacts.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The roller luggage should feature a telescoping handle that is easy to pull up and shove down for storage. It should be sturdy and long enough to be pulled easily. The roller wheels are usually made of hard plastic, though some higher-end luggage features gel wheels that roll more quietly than hard plastic wheels do. The gel wheels are a great choice for quieter luggage, though they can wear out more quickly than hard plastic wheels. Replacement wheels are generally available for sale, and they are often easy to install.

It may be wise to choose roller luggage that is not black. Most luggage tends to be black, so choosing another color will help you recognize your luggage when it is coming out of the conveyor belt systems at airports. Be sure to choose luggage that features some way to identify it as yours, and if it does not, think of a way to alter the luggage to make it more easily identifiable.

If you are unsure as to what size luggage to get, or if you think you will need several different sizes for different purposes, consider buying a luggage set. This set will include several pieces of luggage of various sizes to accommodate different types of traveling needs. Buying in a set will save you money over buying individual pieces as needed.

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Discussion Comments


I have both soft shell and hard shell luggage and use both of them depending on the purpose of my trip. All of them have wheels on them though, as I will never travel again without wheels on my luggage.

If am traveling for pleasure and most of my suitcase is filled with clothes, I like to use soft shell luggage. I love those sets that expand as I can fit in a lot more clothes this way.

If I am traveling for work, I like to use my hard shell luggage as I have my laptop and other tech devices that I want to keep protected. This gives them much better protection and I don't need to use them while I am in the air.

I see more hard shell luggage than I used to, and think it is becoming a little bit more popular. They also come in different sizes and even though they might be a little heavier, they still work great whether you are carrying them on the plane or checking them in.


For someone who has used both gel and plastic wheels, which one do you prefer? All of the luggage I have right now have plastic wheels, but I have been thinking about buying some luggage with gel wheels.

I like the idea that the gel wheels are much quieter, but if they don't wear as well, I don't know if it would be worth it. I can be pretty hard on my travel luggage. The main reason I use roller luggage is for the convenience of rolling my luggage instead of carrying it.

I also wonder if I could replace the plastic wheels on the luggage I already own with gel wheels. If I could do this, it would be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new set.


I think roller luggage is one of the best inventions there has been. I remember dragging my luggage getting into the airport and through the airport. Depending on heavy your luggage is, this can be a slow process.

Now all of my travel luggage has rollers on it. I even use roller carry on luggage when I get on the plane, as well as my luggage that is checked in.

When I bought a new set of luggage a few years ago, I made sure to buy luggage that would be easy to identify. I got tired of trying to pick my luggage out from all of the other pieces of black luggage at the baggage claim.

Before I bought this new set I would tie a piece of red string around the handle of my black luggage, but I still had to watch closely. It is interesting to see all the different things people use to make their luggage stand out.


I used to buy the cheapest travel luggage set I could find, but I found out this isn't always the best idea. One time I bought a new set and the wheels broke the first time I used the luggage.

I had to drag my luggage through the airport and this was really a pain. By the time I got back home, both of the wheels were broken and the bottom of the luggage was all scuffed up.

I still had my receipt and was able to return the luggage for a refund, but I learned my lesson. The next set of luggage I buy will be a better quality and hopefully the wheels will hold up for a long time.

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