HomeTravelTop tips to choose the perfect suitcase for your next trip

Top tips to choose the perfect suitcase for your next trip

Amidst the excitement of planning your itinerary, booking accommodation, and selecting tour packages, choosing the perfect travel bag often takes a back seat. However, whether you’re a frequent flyer or a once-a-year adventurer, finding the perfect suitcase is like discovering a trusty sidekick for your journeys. The right suitcase can improve the comfort and convenience of any trip.

The days of boring, inconvenient travel bags are long gone, replaced by a vibrant variety of options that combine both functionality and style, all while being budget friendly. 

Does cost matter when selecting the perfect suitcase?

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a suitcase, but price isn’t always an indicator of quality. CHOICE recently conducted a luggage test and found the cost of carry-on suitcases can range from $20 to $625. While the cost of larger suitcases can range from $55 to $1200.

During the rigorous tests, CHOICE found that some cheaper suitcases performed better than the more expensive ones, so it pays to do your research.

Things to consider when buying a suitcase

Selecting the right suitcase involves considering several factors. Here is a list to guide you through the selection process to help ensure you buy the suitcase that is right for you.

Size and weight

The size of your suitcase is paramount. A larger suitcase might seem appealing for those extra souvenirs but, remember, you’ll be the one lugging it around.

A lightweight suitcase is easier to carry and manoeuvre. It also allows you to pack more as the weight of the case contributes to your overall baggage allowance. Check the size and weight of the case and make sure it follows general airline baggage policies to avoid any additional fees. For most carry-on luggage, the requirement is that you must be able to fit the bag into an overhead locker. As per Kayak and other sources, generally, the size of a domestic carry-on suitcase is 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

Typically, most airlines allow check-in luggage weighing between 15kg and 32kg and carry-on luggage weighing between 7kg and 10kg. Qantas and Jetstar both allow 10kg, with Virgin Australia and Air Asia allowing 7kg. Please note that all the weights mentioned are for economy tickets. 


Choosing a suitcase in a bright colour or unique pattern can help you spot it quickly on the baggage carousel. If you prefer a more subdued look, consider attaching a distinctive ribbon or luggage tag for easy identification.

Material of the suitcase

When deciding between soft and hard-sided luggage, you should consider your usage and storage needs. Soft fabric bags are lightweight and offer flexibility to pack extra items, while hard bags provide superior protection. Hard-sided luggage is also often made of polycarbonate, which is extremely scratch- and heat-resistant.


The debate between two-wheel and four-wheel suitcases comes down to personal preference and travel conditions. Four-wheel spinners offer 360° manoeuvrability and are easier to handle in crowded spaces. Two-wheeled bags offer stability when upright and are better for navigating bumpy surfaces. 

Water resistance

A water-resistant suitcase is a great choice, especially if you’re travelling to wet or snowy climates. No suitcase is entirely waterproof, as sometimes water may seep in through small gaps around the zippers or extendable handles.

Hard cases generally offer better protection against moisture than fabric suitcases. However, synthetic fabric suitcases can provide adequate water resistance if they are made from high-quality, water-repellent materials.


Having sturdy carry handles at the base or sides can help you comfortably lift your suitcase throughout your journey.

When examining suitcase handles, ensure that the telescopic handle of your suitcase can be easily folded away when not in use. Handles that are firmly riveted to the body of the case are less likely to break, providing you with long-lasting durability. Lastly, the handle should be easily extendable and locked at its maximum height to prevent it from sliding down when you pull the suitcase.


Locks provide security and prevent unauthorised access to your luggage, safeguarding your valuables. A TSA-approved lock is a valuable feature, allowing security personnel to inspect your luggage without damaging the lock. This is particularly important for international travel, where security checks are more stringent.

Expandability and storage options

An expandable suitcase can be a lifesaver when you need that extra space. Internal and external pockets help keep your belongings organised, while internal straps secure your items in place. If you’re carrying important documents or valuables, ensure that any external pockets have secure locks.


Opt for suitcases with longer warranty periods, such as Antler suitcases that come with a lifetime warranty. Check whether the warranty is valid nationally, internationally, or both; and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions before making a purchase.

Remember, the perfect suitcase is one that caters to your specific travel needs, complies with airline regulations, and stands the test of time. Take the time to research, inspect the features, and even read reviews from other travellers. 

Have you found the perfect suitcase for your travels? Do you have a favourite luggage brand? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below.

Also read: How to keep your luggage safe and secure

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -


- Advertisment -

Log In

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.