7 Different Types of Luggage (2023)

Many of us love to travel. I know I do. There is nothing better than planning a trip and getting away from the hustle of regular everyday life. I have found the worst part of traveling is packing. I never know just how much to pack or even what type of luggage to use to pack.

It never fails, I always pack way too much and my luggage ends up being too heavy. If you are anything like me, you should read this article about the different types of luggage. I cannot promise it will help you pack less, but at least you will know more about the luggage options you have.

Hardside Luggage

Hardside luggage has a waterproof shell and durable, long-lasting material. It will protect whatever is inside of it from water and damage. Hardside luggage is made of different types of materials, but all of them provide a hard shell to protect whatever you are carrying inside. Hardside luggage allows items to be put into both sides of the suitcase and then it closes like a clamshell. The most lightweight and durable material is polycarbonate.

This material can take a lot of stress because it is flexible and resilient to damage. This material does not scratch easily, but when it does, they tend to blend in with the color of the suitcase. A polycarbonate composite material is less expensive than 100 percent polycarbonate. It does crack and scratches much more easily. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, better known as ABS, is a solid plastic that is not quite as strong as polycarbonate. This plastic is typically painted and can scratch easily.

See also 7 Best Glamping Campgrounds in Virginia


Protects everything inside the suitcase

Resists scratches and dents


May not fit in the overhead bin

Usually the heaviest of the suitcase options

Softside Luggage

Softside luggage is flexible and made of a soft material. They are the most common type of luggage and are easier to squeeze into smaller spaces. They are lightweight and much lighter than their hard side counterparts. These bags are great shock absorbers. Similar to hard side luggage, these bags can be made of different materials. Not all the softside material is intended to be waterproof, so it is important to know the quality of the fabric.

(Video) Types of Luggage

Not all of the material is stain proof. Softside luggage has exterior pockets for easy access to important paperwork or books. The top of the soft side luggage acts as the lid to the suitcase. Some of them may have a pocket where items can be stored in the lid, but not all of them do. Softside luggage can be made of nylon or polyester. Ballistic nylon is incredibly durable and has a finish that resists abrasions. Polyester is lightweight and incredibly resilient.


Exterior pockets


Can be squeezed into small spaces


May not be waterproof

Carry On Luggage

Carry on luggage is most often carried on to a plane. Therefore, itmust meet certain size requirements, as it must fit under the seat or in the overhead bin.The size requirements are 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. Most manufacturers of carry on luggage stay within these size requirements so that you can take it on the plane.

See also 8 of the Top Glamping Campgrounds in Maine

Carry on luggage can be various forms from a backpack, small rolling suitcase, and duffel bags. The most common carry on luggage has oversized wheels that are heavy-duty and can roll over most things. They have a larger compartment inside to store items, and external pockets to hold smaller items. They often have straps on the inside that allows items to stay in place.

Travelers like to use this type of luggage when they do not want to check bags and move through the airport easier and faster. This type of luggage is weatherproof and sturdy and typically made of some type of combination of polyester nylon. There are other types of carry on luggage that are made of a hard plastic that is difficult to damage. Carry on luggage comes in all types of colors and styles to suit all preferences.


Meet airline requirements

Can help avoid baggage fees

Various sizes and colors

(Video) Best Travel Luggage 2023 [don’t buy one before watching this]


May not be large enough to hold everything

Rolling Spinner Luggage

Much of the luggage travelers use has wheels to make it much easier to move them around. It does not matter if the luggage is a hard side or a soft side, they both can have wheels. Luggage that has four wheels are also called spinners. This is one of the most common and loved types of luggage. It is often recommended by seasoned travelers.

These wheels rotate 360 degrees making it simple to move and turn the luggage in any direction. These bags can easily turn corners.This gives travelers better mobility and many options. The bag can be pushed,pulled, or rolled. The spinner wheels stick out from the suitcase and may be easily broken off the bag.

See also 20 Different Great Road Trip Games

These bags can be rolled over just about any surface but they may break easily, so care should be taken with them. Or at a minimum, the spinner should be durable so it can hold up to some abuse.Some spinner luggage has the ability to lock the wheels in place so they do not spin. Often the handles on rolling spinners are telescopic, so they will pull out as far as is comfortable.


Easy to move

Can be moved in many different directions


Wheels take up a lot of space

Wheels can easily be broken

Duffel Bags

Just about all travelers can benefit from having a duffel bag. These bags have multiple compartments to carry all the essentials. Some duffel bags have wheels and shoulder straps. There are some that even have back straps, so you can carry it on your back.

Duffel bags have been used to carry around sweaty gym clothes, but their purpose has changed drastically over the years. Duffel bags have become more modern and possess features such as a retractable handle and wheels. A more traditional size duffel bag is small or medium and can fit under the seat or in the overhead bin.

(Video) Don't Put Coffee In Your Luggage and 23 Other Tips

Duffel bags have strong zippers and heavy-duty straps to make sure they always close. They are intended to be easy to carry and last for a long time. Duffel bags come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.

Larger duffel bags are harder to move around with because they tend to bulky. Smaller bags are easy to carry but may not be able to hold everything. The duffel bags come in many different shapes. Some are long and tube-like, while others are tall and fat, and some look more like backpacks. A duffel bag may be good for someone that is rough on luggage and tends to destroy it.

See also 12 Different Types Of Roads

Duffel bags are made out ofdifferent materials, such aspolyester, vinyl, canvas, or some typeof blend.Canvas is the most sturdy and reliable materialand is almost impossible to tear. Canvas can be pulled across the floor without any wear andcomes in many different colors.




Various shapes and sizes


May be bulky and hard to maneuver

Garment Bags

Garment bags are perfect for the person who travels for business or is traveling for a special event. This type of bag protects clothes that require extra care. They have a hook or a hanger inside the bag so a suit can be hung for it to remain wrinkle-free, or at least more wrinkle-free than if it was stuffed in a suitcase.

If it is a hanger, it can be hung directly in the closet without removing it from the bag. These bags also offer special compartments for shoes, ties, and other small items. Some garment bags have wheels on them to make them easier to move around. Garment bags come in various materials, sizes, and shapes to fit the need.


Carry clothes so they will not wrinkle

Some come with wheels

(Video) 5 Tips to Pick the BEST Luggage | (look for THIS in 2023)


May not hold all the items needed

Travel Totes

The travel tote is a fashionable bag to carry all the items that are needed. They are easy to carry and provide extra room for essential items like makeup, electronics, and some clothes. Any tote can be used for travel purposes, but a travel tote typically has shoulder straps or wheels. These bags allow you to carry a few clothing items and other essentials one may need. These bags are great for a weekend trip. They provide easy access to items that may be needed on a regular basis.

See also 14 Different Types of Skis


Easy to carry



Does not hold many items

May not be able to take everything that is needed

FAQ section

What is Luggage?

Luggage, also known as baggage, can be containers, cases, or containers of varying shapes and sizes that hold the personal possessions of a traveler. The intention of luggage is to securely hold these items while the traveler is in transit. Luggage is made of various materials and constructed in different ways. Some have hard cases, while others have soft cases. These items make it easier for a traveler to carry their items around. Luggage may have wheels or handles to make it easier to move the luggage around.

Brief History of Luggage

Luggage has been used by those in transit for thousands of years. It goes all the way back to the nomads who carried their items around with them. Travel and luggage have come a long way since then. Back in the Roman Empire, luggage was carts carried around by servants or animals. Those who traveled were wealthy and their luggage was reflective of their wealth.

In the mid 19th century, luggage became more popular and was sturdy to handle long journeys. At that time, luggage was heavy trunks and boxes. Louis Vuitton was among the first to make traveling trunks. In the late 19th century, the bags that we currently think of as luggage gained popularity. Initially, they were intended to carry suits and were made of wood and leather.

They looked like mini trunks with latches, hinges, and a handle. By the 1920s and 1930s, suitcases were changed so that they could be carried with one hand. In the 1950s, wood was replaced with material that was durable and lighter. They were first made of metal and plastic so they outside remained hard but the inside was softer. Towards the 1980s, softer luggage made its way on the scene and advanced to the luggage available today, which is lighter weight, but stronger and more durable.

See also What Does Car Camping Mean?
(Video) 5 Best Travel Luggage 2022 | Best Luggage 2022

Where to Buy Luggage

You can buy luggage just about anywhere. There are many reputable luggage retailers online that carry a varied line of suitcases. There are many retail stores that sell luggage. Any department store sells luggage. You may even be able to find a store that specializes just in luggage, but those are harder to find. Depending on where you buy your luggage, the quality of the bag changes, so you want to verify the quality of the bag. Make sure you know what kind of warranty is available with the bag, no matter where you buy it.


Can I bring a duffel bag and a backpack as a carry-on? ›

The answer is yes. You can use a duffel bag as a carry-on item. However, you should ensure that the duffel bag's size and weight meet the airline's specific restrictions on carry-on luggage. You should also consider the bag's shape, as some airlines have limitations that may affect your duffel bag's usability.

What are the different types of luggage bags size? ›

Luggage Size Chart
TypeSize (Longest End)Volume
Carry On18-22 inches20-40 liters
Small Checked23-24 inches40-50 liters
Medium Checked25-27 inches50-70 liters
Large Checked28-32 inches70-100 liters
1 more row
Dec 9, 2022

What kind of luggage do you need to fly? ›

Carry-on bags must weigh less than 35 pounds and must not exceed 10 inches deep, 16 inches wide and 24 inches high. Bags must fit in the overhead bins. Checked bags must be no longer than 62 linear inches (length + width + depth) and must weigh under 40 pounds.

What are the three types of baggage? ›

You're usually allowed to take 3 types of baggage: checked baggage, cabin baggage, and a personal item. Checked baggage is transported in the cargo hold, while your cabin baggage and personal item stay with you in the cabin.

Can I carry 2 backpacks on a plane? ›

Airline rules allow for one carry on bag and one personal item, unless you're flying on a basic economy fare. But we've all seen people selfishly putting two bags in the overhead bin or carrying on more luggage than could possibly be allowed.

What size bag can fit under an airplane seat? ›

It is stated that one carry-on bag and one personal item are allowed per passenger. The dimensions of the under-seat compartment are 18 x 14 x 8 inches, which applies to all cabin and flight configuration.

Does a duffel bag count as a free carry-on? ›

If you're wondering whether a duffel bag can be used as a carry-on, the short answer is yes

What is the most popular size luggage? ›

The most popular size check-in luggage is 25- to 29-inches tall and various widths. Medium-sized check-in luggage measures 25-26” tall and around 18” wide.* One medium-sized suitcase will generally hold what you need for a week-long getaway.

What is the most common carry-on luggage size? ›

What size is carry-on luggage? Though you might find an inch or two of a difference with various airlines, the standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22" x 14" x 9", which includes the handle and the wheels.

What's the most common luggage size to get? ›

25" - 27" Checked Luggage

These sizes are the most popular size of luggage to check. They are ideal for trips of 5 to 7 days, or longer, depending on how you pack. They have a large capacity for multiple outfits, shoes, and toiletries.

Do airlines prefer hard or soft luggage? ›

“Almost all U.S. airline crew members use soft-sided roll-aboard bags,” Patrick Smith, airline pilot, air travel blogger, and author, tells Reader's Digest.

Is hard or soft luggage better for carry-on? ›

Because softshell luggage has more give, a hard shell suitcase can be better at protecting fragile contents, assuming you cushion it well inside. On the other hand, that rigid exterior makes hardshell bags unable to be compressed to squeeze into tight spaces like softsided bags are more apt to allow.

What is not allowed in carry-on luggage? ›

Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in your checked bags if possible. TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.

What is difference bag luggage? ›

In British English, both these words refer to the bags and suitcases that you take with you when you travel, together with their contents. Luggage is more common than baggage. In American English, luggage refers to empty bags and suitcases. Baggage refers to bags and suitcases with their contents.

What type of luggage last longer? ›

The most durable, but also the heaviest, is aluminum. Hard-shell luggage often features a 50/50-split opening, allowing you to pack two sides equally and stabilize the contents with an interior strap or a middle divider.

What kind of bags are checked in luggage? ›

Checked luggage:

Hardside luggage. Large travel duffel bag. Large hiking / travel backpack. Rolling backpack.

What size luggage is TSA approved? ›

Generally speaking, most airlines implement a maximum size policy of 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches, including wheels and handles. Your baggage allowance could also depend on your ticket type.

What is the difference between expensive and cheap luggage? ›

The biggest difference between luxury and cheap luggage, aside from the price of course, is the fact that luxury luggage is designed for a lifetime of journeys, while cheap luggage is ideal for short-term use or traveling to places with rough environments.

How many bags can you take on a plane for free? ›

Most travelers can bring one full-size carry-on bag and one personal item on their flight for free. However, there are exceptions, including for customers traveling on Basic Economy tickets. Learn more about carry-on bags.

Can a regular size backpack be a carry-on? ›

Most airlines allow backpacks as carry-ons, but size and weight restrictions vary depending on the carrier. Typically, the bag must be within the cabin baggage dimensions of around 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 22 cm), commonly considered the standard size for carry-on.

Are airlines strict about backpack size? ›

Most airlines define a personal item as a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. A small backpack, duffle, or tote is also acceptable if it fits under the seat in front of you. Suitcases are usually not considered personal items regardless of their size.

What happens if your bag doesn't fit under the seat? ›

Carry-on requirements

If your items don't fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, they may need to be checked. There may be additional carry-on bag restrictions at certain airports or on certain airplanes. We recommend labeling your carry-on the same way you do checked bags in case this happens.

Which airline has the smallest seats? ›

Air Asia has the shortest seat pitch in economy, at 29 inches. Forty years ago, seat pitch was 31 to 35 inches. Seat width was approximately 18.5 inches. Today it's 17 to 17.5 inches.

Can I put my purse in my personal item? ›

Domestic carry-on policies. A good rule of thumb is that if your carry-on bag fits under the seat in front of you, it's considered a personal item. This includes small backpacks, purses, briefcases, laptop bags, etc. Larger bags, including suitcases, must fit in the overhead bin compartment.

What if my carry-on is slightly too big? ›

If your carry-on is too big, you will either have to pay penalty fees or check your luggage. Checking your luggage means that your carry-on won't be traveling with you but will instead be sent to the airplane cargo, and you will be able to claim it once the plane lands.

What is the largest duffel bag for carry-on? ›

Major airlines generally allow carry-ons to be 22 x 14 x 9 inches, while budget airlines have a restriction of 22 x 16 x 8 inches. However, each airline has its own carry-on size restrictions, so check before you go! Generally, most 40L or 45L duffel bags will fall within these airline regulations.

Can I use a duffel bag instead of a suitcase on a plane? ›

The short answer is yes! With a little forethought, the right duffel bag makes the perfect carry-on. Of course, it must fall within your airline's size requirements for carry-on baggage, but size isn't the only factor to consider when choosing a duffel bag carry-on. Organization and accessibility are also essential.

Is it better to roll or fold clothes in a suitcase? ›

Rolling your clothes in your suitcase will generally save space. This is because it squeezes air from between folds and means the most of available space is used. If done correctly, rolling can also ensure less wrinkles in your clothes.

Is a 24 inch suitcase too big? ›

Can a 24 inch luggage be a carry on? Unfortunately no, the standard carry-on size is typically 22” x 14” x 9”, so a 24 inch bag is too large to bring on board of most economy standard airlines.

How do I know my luggage size? ›

The calculation is easy; just add the total of the length plus the width plus the height of the case to calculate its size in linear inches. You must include wheels and handles in your measurements. If you want to convert to centimeters, multiply the number in inches by 2.54.

What are average carry-on sizes? ›

The industry standard carry-on size is 22” x 14” x 9”. Away's The Carry-On luggage fits most airline standards.

How do I choose a suitcase? ›

7 things to consider when buying a suitcase
  1. Look at the material. There are two main options: soft-sided and hard-sided luggage. ...
  2. Count those wheels. ...
  3. Check how much it weighs. ...
  4. Think about the handle you need. ...
  5. How does it look inside? ...
  6. Does it have pockets? ...
  7. What extras does it come with?
Jun 15, 2019

What size suitcase do I need for a 10 day trip? ›

For a 10-day trip, the suitcase size that you need will be between 18 and 22 inches in length. This size is suitable as carry-on luggage. However, if you want a bigger one for extra space, you can choose a 24-inch suitcase, which is recommended for 2-3 weeks' worth of travel but needs to be checked in.

Is it better to wear tight or loose clothes on plane? ›

“When you're traveling on a plane, loose clothing is best,” he says. “You'll be more comfortable and you won't have to worry about circulation issues.” Tight clothes are not only restricting but can also affect your circulation, especially when flying long-haul.

Which airlines are best at not losing luggage? ›

Major U.S. Airlines Ranked by Lowest Baggage Mishandling Rate
RankAirlineRate Change from 2021
14 more rows
Dec 20, 2022

Should you lock your checked luggage? ›

To prevent your belongings from being stolen or misplaced, we suggest for you to lock your luggage. It's important to protect your bags when traveling and to always keep an eye on them, especially if there is no lock on your luggage.

What are the disadvantages of hardside luggage? ›

The disadvantages, or cons, of this type of luggage are that its colors and patterns may be limited and it doesn't "squish" down or fit as easily into small spaces as the more decorative, soft-sided suitcases. Hard case luggage is also heavier and tends to show scuffs or scratches quite easily.

Does toothpaste count as a liquid? ›

Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.

Can you bring Tylenol pills on a plane? ›

You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened. You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage. It's highly recommended you place these items in your carry-on in the event that you need immediate access.

What is the weight limit for a carry-on? ›

Carry-on bags shouldn't be larger than 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high including handles and wheels. Dimensions of personal items should not exceed 18 inches long, 14 inches wide and 8 inches high. There are no weight restrictions for carry-on luggage.

What is better soft or hard luggage? ›

Softer suitcases can absorb water and are more susceptible to stains, but they can be cleaned too. If you're traveling through rain or snow, for example, a hard-shell bag will provide better protection for what's inside. A hard-shell bag can be easier to maneuver across gravel or cobblestones too.

What type of luggage is most durable? ›

ABS is the lightest, but polycarbonate is more durable. The most durable, but also the heaviest, is aluminum. Hard-shell luggage often features a 50/50-split opening, allowing you to pack two sides equally and stabilize the contents with an interior strap or a middle divider.

What is the most common suitcase? ›

25" - 27" Checked Luggage

These sizes are the most popular size of luggage to check. They are ideal for trips of 5 to 7 days, or longer, depending on how you pack. They have a large capacity for multiple outfits, shoes, and toiletries.

Do hard suitcases crack easily? ›

Hard shell suitcases can crack, which causes them to fall apart more rapidly than soft luggage. To avoid this concern choose a suitcase made from polycarbonate ABS that stands up to the rigors of travel. The FERGE brand makes a TSA-lockable suitcase on wheels using polycarbonate ABS.

What is the best material for checked luggage? ›

Material and Durability

Hard-shell suitcases are made from durable materials that will take the common knocks and bangs associated with air travel in stride. The most popular hard materials are polycarbonate, aluminum, ABS, and polypropylene. When it comes to soft-shell cases, don't let the fabric put you off.

Should I put my name and address on my luggage? ›

For safety reasons, you should not include your home address on your luggage tag. For the most part, this information is unnecessary since the airline will contact you via phone or email to reunite you with any lost bags.

How long should luggage last? ›

How long luggage lasts depends on multiple factors, including how often you travel, the quality of your luggage, and how well you care for your suitcases and bags. High-quality, durable luggage can last for over a decade of frequent use. Less well-made bags have much shorter lifespans.

How do I know if my luggage is durable? ›

The best luggage—and the most durable—will have a handle that's firm, with little or no wiggling as you wheel the bag. A handle that retracts completely inside the bag is less likely to sustain damage. Also, check for smooth movement as you pull it up and push it down.

What is the 3 to 1 suitcase rule? ›

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Should I get medium or large suitcase? ›

There are three sizes of suitcase: large, medium and cabin. A large case is often suited for a 2 week or longer trip, or a family wishing to pack more and a medium case is better suited for a week away. Cabin size is great for a long weekend or to take on board when you wish to avoid checked baggage fees.

How big is a good suitcase? ›

Ideally, we recommend that your travel suitcase measures 22” x 9” x 14” or less. This is small enough to fit into the overhead compartments on most airlines. Note that US domestic carryon size is larger than European carryon sizing. Choose an “international” carryon like these to be sure.

What luggage is too big? ›

What size should your carry-on luggage be? On domestic flights within the United States, a carry-on bag that's smaller than 22 x 14 x 9 inches (45 linear inches), including handles and wheels will meet the size restrictions of all major airlines, such as United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

What size are most large suitcases? ›

How big is a large suitcase? Large suitcases are 70 to 79 cm or 27 to 31 inches in height. They have a capacity of 55 L up to 140 L. Just imagine how many clothes and shoes you could fit in these suitcases!


1. Here's the carry-on that pilots and flight staff actually use ✈️🧳
(The Shopping Expert)
2. 5 Best Travel Luggage 2023 | Best Luggage 2023
3. Find your PERFECT LUGGAGE! | Suitcase Buying Guide
(Hey Nadine)
(Piyush Canada)
5. How to Pack Your Suitcase for Travel (Packing Tips) | Nathalee Pauline
(Nathalee Pauline)
6. Best Size Luggage for 7 day Cruise...it's smaller than you think!
(Travel With Lady)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 06/19/2023

Views: 5357

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.