I view luggage as a necessary evil. I hate packing, I hate unpacking, and I hate lugging stuff around. It’s all a total pain.
Even though I don’t like luggage, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand how valuable it is.
The difference between good and bad luggage can mean having clothes for your vacation or buying a new wardrobe at your destination. And not all luggage is made equally, that’s for sure.
Because I understand luggage is a necessary evil, I’ve always made sure to have decent quality bags. The last thing I want when travelling internationally is to have my stuff busted because I opted for cheapo tow-alongs. But how do you know what to buy?
My friends, that’s why I’m here. These are the top 5 tips for buying good luggage for your travels.
Listen folks, as someone who almost ruined his first open mic night with an open fly, trust me when I tell you that zippers are crucial. When it comes to luggage, zippers are the only things keeping your clothes from nestling nicely in your bags to being strewn all across the tarmac at the airport. We don’t need to pretend that baggage tossers are kind to your bags. Why risk losing your stuff because you bought the clearance luggage with tiny zippers? Invest in the zip.
Plenty of compartments
Not as important as zippers, but still a helpful feature, I like bags with separate compartments. I’ve experienced the soul-crushing sadness of toothpaste squeezing all over my nice black slacks en route because my bag didn’t have partitions. I say you can’t have too many compartments -- one for your dirty shoes, one for your suit, one for your shirts, one for your toiletries -- you get it.
When quality goes downhill, decent rollers are the first things to go. When you’re traveling with a 40 pound monstrosity, the last thing you want to do is have to actually carry the bag by the handle. Unless you’re working on your grip strength, you’ll want to inspect the wheels prior to purchase. I prefer wheels with rubber and full swivel -- not cheap plastic sunk into the frame. Make sure they don’t have terrible plastic axles. Heck, keep them greased, while we’re on the subject of keeping your rollers rolling.
We’ve already talked about how tossers don’t treat baggage kindly. That’s why you need your luggage to have some reinforced siding. Most of the time, decent luggage will have plastic in the corners and sides to help protect your swag. I always bring a couple of bottles of goods back when I visit Germany, so good padding is an absolute necessity.
There’s something distressing about standing at the luggage carousel and seeing black bag after black bag descend the chute. It’s a total anxiety inducer while you cross your fingers hoping that someone doesn’t grab your black bag and start walking. You can buy the best bag in the world, but if you can’t identify your bag from a mile away, you’re asking for trouble. Bright colors are a lifesaver. My suitcase is bright purple. If I went on a trip with Elon Musk to the moon, I’d still be able to spot my bag from orbit. That’s the kind of bag you need.
When it comes to luggage, the most important thing is that you get your stuff safely from point A to point B. Zippers, padding, and good wheels are game changers. Compartments will help prevent your deodorant from coating all your socks. Bright colors will help you spot everything from a mile away. Also, one last piece of advice: buying designer luggage is basically never worth it.
Follow this advice, and you’ll have luggage that you won’t hate dragging around during your travels.