How to Choose a Soft-Sided Luggage to Suit Your Needs?

Cumbersome luggage or one the breaks down on the way can hamper travel plans in more than one way.

You may not need to empty your bank account to buy the soft luggage bag that suits your needs. All you need to do is know what to look for in an ideally suited luggage that can accompany and support you during your travels.

A lot of times, your requirements might not get fulfilled by standard bags available in the market, in which case the best option is to go for custom made bags for your unique travel needs. Custom bags may cost a bit more, but they do not get plagued with problems that are common with ordinary bags such as improperly aligned wheels, zippers that get stuck and handles so weak that they come off within a few uses.

In this article, we are going to discuss the points that you need to pay attention to while choosing a custom made or a standard bag.

Soft-Sided Luggage

It is always preferable to choose a soft case or luggage bag over hard cases. Most people will argue that hard cases provide better protection for their valuables. However, hard cases are not as strong as they look unless they get lined with metal, which can make them heavy and difficult to carry around. Soft luggage with a nylon exterior is much more resistant to wear and tear than the polycarbonate outside shell of hard cases. A lot of people prefer hard cases to carry suits and other business clothes. But they are not aware that most large soft luggage bags have a suiter incorporated in the lid design.

Custom made soft luggage bags can have better build quality, a lot of inner space, and adequate pockets to compartmentalize your travel belongings. They also look great as the outside material can be chosen by the user, such as leather and its alternatives, nylon, or polyester.


Zippers are the first thing that wears out in the constant use of a luggage case. But you can check the quality of a zipper by looking at the brand name on them. Most of the time, they do not get manufactured by the same company that makes the case. There are companies like YKK who make the world's best and most durable zippers. You can check the brand on the zippers and check online to know more about their quality.

Handles and Straps

Handles and straps are one of the most important parts of a piece of luggage. They get used almost as much as the zippers. However, most of the quality indicators of a good handle or strap are out of the view. For soft duffle bag luggage, the only way to check the straps is to inspect the stitches, especially at the place where they get joined with the bag.

Extendable handles can be judged by the smoothness of operation and their feel. Once fully extended, try to give the handle a slight twist. The handle should feel firm and rigid, except a touch of looseness at the joints to avoid getting jammed.


If you want to choose a soft-sided luggage case with wheels on it, make sure that you test the wheels yourself. Wheels are not branded like zippers and can be difficult to cross-check. The best way to test a wheel is to drag the luggage around on a carpet. Slightly imbalanced wheels would roll smoothly on almost all surfaces other than carpets. Good quality wheels should not drag behind our feel wobbly.

If durability is your concern, choose luggage with two large wheels rather than four small spinners. On the other hand, four wheels can be more convenient to handle, especially in tight spots and crowded airports.


The average weight of most carry on cases is between 7-9 pounds. Some brands offer ultra light-weight luggage that weighs between 2-5 pounds lighter than standard luggage. Unless these bags are soft hand-luggage bags, or they are charging substantially more than standard luggage, it is suggested not to choose one of them. Chances are that the reduced weight can compromise the rigidity and durability of the bag. Expensive or custom made ultra light-weight bags use superior materials such as carbon fibers that can ensure strength.

Apart from all these factors, the shortest way to ensure the quality and durability of luggage is to check if the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty. It means that the manufacturer stands beside their products and offers repair or replacement, should the bag get damaged in any way.