What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Antique Luggage?

Marco Sumayao
Marco Sumayao
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The pros and cons of using antique luggage are both hinged on the items' age. Vintage luggage tends to have a charming aesthetic, although it tends to require more maintenance. Inherited bags and trunks often have an irreplaceable sentimental value to them, but their rarity tends to place them at greater risk of theft. While traveling with antique luggage helps a person express her individuality, many experts advise against constant use, as the accumulated wear and tear will eventually cause significant damage to the item.

Just as there is a demand for vintage fashion, there is also a demand among fashion-inclined individuals for antique luggage. The design aesthetics of older days bring a unique sense of aesthetic nostalgia; vintage items have a certain charm for many people. Some people see antique luggage as an opportunity to distinguish themselves from contemporary, commonplace styles, treating the bags as an extension of their individuality. The pieces of a vintage luggage set look very distinct from more modern types of luggage, making them an eye-catching accessory. The uniqueness of the bags' designs also has some utility — antique luggage is much easier to spot in crowded thoroughfares.

Other pros to using antique luggage depend on whether or not it was inherited. If the items were passed on from a loved one or acquaintance, they often bear some sentimental value for the new owners, making them seem more special. In terms of practicality, using inherited luggage can be a money-saving endeavor in certain cases; instead of investing a significant amount of funds on new luggage, individuals can simply use the bags and trunks they were given.

Antique luggage is not without its cons, however. The age of the items makes them more prone to damage, as the bags have likely been used in the past, leading to wear and tear. The materials used to make the bag might also break down over time, often resulting in scuffs, tears, and holes in softer luggage. Locks and hinges on the bags might have rusted over the years, making the bags difficult to open. The brittleness of antique luggage will likely limit the frequency with which it is used.

Another con to antique luggage involves the costs of acquisition and maintenance. Vintage items in good condition can be expensive, making antique bags an ill-advised option when shopping for luggage. The frequent maintenance required for the bags' upkeep can also prove to be pricey, as owners will likely be making constant repairs to the material.

Discussion Comments


Antique luggage is cool if you happen to have stumbled across, say, a vintage suitcase in your grandmother's closet. But it may not be designed for modern travel.

My mother gave me this suitcase she had had as a teenager; it had this crazy 60s paisley print on it. But I checked it onto an airplane once and it came back with a rip in it. After that, I only used it for car trips, overnight, etc.

I wouldn't spend a lot of money to buy antique luggage, and what I have, I subject only to very gentle use. When I'm traveling by air, I look for practicality!

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