Hard-shell cases

Click here to see out reviews and picks of hard-shell cases

Soft-shell cases

Click here to see out reviews and picks of soft-shell cases

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero
Samsonite Base Boost Spinner
Antler Suitcase Juno

Hard or Soft - what is tougher?

Soft shell suitcases are more common. They are can take a bash and a squeeze with no real long term damage done to the case itself.

Soft cases don’t necessarily mean lighter in weight though. Hard shell suitcases are becoming more technically advanced, offering the same amount of protection at a lower weight point.

Soft cases are sometime also expandable. Allowing you to often increase the volume of the bag by approximately 30%.

Hard suitcases will protect the suitcases contents better than a soft shell. They also have the ability of mostly being wipe clean. This also means they are mostly waterproof.

However, this is an area where quality really comes into play.

  • Hard shell suitcases made of cheap plastics can break easily if thrown, or put under the heavy weight of other cases.
  • While soft shell suitcases are vulnerable to rips – not to say hard shell cases cannot also be scratched.
  • Polycarbonate luggage is scratch resistant and lighter than plastic or aluminum cases, and can be even lighter than some soft luggage.

Most soft shell cases are made from made from polyester or nylon – both man made materials.

Check out our soft-shell picks here.

Most hard shell cases are made from some kind of plastic, or sometimes aluminum in premium models.

Plastics include:

Polycarbonate – lighter than the other plastics but very durable and often impact resistant -

Polypropylene  - light and durable and cost efficient.

or ABS - weighs less than Polypropylene, but is not as strong. Often found at the cheaper end.

Have a look at our hard-shell luggage picks here.