This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on November 8th, 2021
Whether you’re an avid traveler or you enjoy the occasional weekend getaway, you need a reliable set of luggage bags. Not all types of luggage are built the same; each one offers a different degree of durability, functionality, and style. By choosing the right type of travel luggage for your needs, you can make your travel days a lot easier and more comfortable.
Below, we’ve broken down the different types of luggage by their styles, features, and sizes so you can choose the one that’s right for you.
The Most Common Types of Luggage
Here are some of the most popular travel bag options:
- Rolling suitcases – The standard rolling suitcase is many people’s go-to piece of luggage. It’s spacious, functional, and easy to take from place to place. Since rolling luggage is on wheels, you can easily glide it through airports and down long hotel hallways. Rolling suitcases come in a range of sizes, materials, and styles, giving you plenty of options to choose from.
- Backpacks – If you pack on the lighter side, a backpack may be your perfect carry on bag. Due to its hands-free style, you can carry your Starbucks latte and bag of duty-free goodies with ease. If you’re nervous that a backpack may strain your shoulders, simply choose one with a comfortable padded back or shoulder strap.
- Duffel bags – A Duffel bag offers the space of a suitcase and the soft shape of a backpack. They’re easy to fit into any overhead compartment, and can hold unconventionally-shaped items. Some duffel bags also come with wheels and retractable handles, turning them into a hybrid suitcase.
Hard Luggage vs Soft Luggage
If you choose to purchase a rolling suitcase, you have an important decision to make: Hardside or softside?
Hardside luggage is made of a hard material, like aluminum or polycarbonate, while softside luggage is made of fabric. Both types of suitcases offer unique advantages.
The Benefits of Hardside Luggage
Hardside luggage stands out for its:
- Durability – Hardside luggage offers unparalleled durability. It will never rip or tear on you. Since it’s harder to overstuff, you’ll also be much less likely to damage its zippers.
- Weather-resistance – If your adventures take you through wet weather conditions, hardside luggage is the way to go. Due to its impermeable exterior, it can withstand snow, rain, and hail much better than its softside counterpart.
- Cleanliness – When it comes to learning how to clean luggage, the hardside variety is the easiest to clean. You can wipe it down with a damp cloth or antiseptic wipe at any time. If you’re a germaphobe, this can offer you a lot of relief. Due to its hard exterior, it also won’t absorb any liquids or mildew-aromas.
- Protection – If you need to transport fragile items, a hardside suitcase can offer them more protection. Its hard outer shell will safeguard your valuables from anything that might bang up against them at the bottom of the plane.
The Benefits of Softside Luggage
Compared to hardside luggage, softside luggage offers more:
- Accessibility – If you need to grab something from your suitcase in a pinch, softside luggage is easier to squeeze your hand into without opening the luggage completely.
- Flexibility – If you want the freedom to overpack a few items here and there, softside luggage is much more flexible, though overstuffing could cause issues with its zippers.
Depending on your priorities, one of these types of luggage will appeal to you more than the other. At BÉIS, we believe that hardside luggage takes the cake. That’s why we offer a line of hardside luggage sets made of super-durable polycarbonate.
Two-Wheeled vs Spinner Suitcases
When shopping for a suitcase, you have another important choice to make: Do you want two static wheels or four spinner wheels?
The wheels you choose can make or break your travel experience. If they’re flimsy or hard to control, your travel day will be filled with frustration. When they glide smoothly and sturdily, your travel experience will follow suit.
- Two-wheeled static suitcases – Two-wheeled luggage has been around for a long time. You’ve probably used it before. It rolls forward and backward and you have to tilt it back to get it moving.
Since the wheels only move in two directions on a two-wheeled suitcase, they’re a little easier to control on uneven surfaces. However, they can become burdensome if your bag is heavy, since you’ll always have to lean your suitcase back to drag it behind you. If your suitcase is super-heavy, this can put a great strain on your wrist and shoulders.
- Four-wheeled spinner suitcases – Four-wheeled spinner suitcases have a much greater range of motion. Their wheels can rotate 360 degrees, enabling you to turn and spin your suitcase in any direction. With four wheels supporting your bag, you can glide it in an upright position as you walk through the airport or hotel lobby, taking all of the weight off your wrists and shoulders.
As a result, it’s the favored option for most people and the type of suitcase we carry at BÉIS.
The Different Luggage Sizes
Depending on your next getaway’s length and occasion, you’ll need to choose a suitcase of adequate size.
Most luggage lines come with the following options:
- Carry-on bag – If you’re a light packer or if you don’t want to wait around at the baggage claim, you need cabin baggage. Most airlines only allow carry-on bags that are 22 by 14 by 9 inches or smaller.1 At BÉIS, our carry-on bag is 21 inches tall, so you can trust that it will fit into the overhead bin with ease.
- Medium check-in bag – If you need a little more space, you may be willing to check in your bag instead. At BÉIS, our medium-sized checked luggage is 26 inches tall. It offers the perfect amount of space to comfortably pack for a weeklong vacation.
- Large check-in bag – If you want to check in a larger piece of luggage, 29 inches is a great size. This larger checked bag will offer you the extra room you need to pack bulky items or to bring more clothes for a longer travel excursion.
At BÉIS, you can get all three sizes in our hardside luggage set. In turn, you’ll always have the size of suitcase you need on hand.
The Most Important Luggage Features
In addition to choosing the right style, size, and wheels for your luggage, you should also look for some added features that can make your life easier, including:
- Weight indicators – After packing your bag to the brim, you may be concerned about its weight. Will it exceed that 50-pound weight limit?2
To find out, you can lug your bag on top of your home scale. If you don’t have a scale, you’ll have to take your chances at the airport and risk getting hit with an overweight fee or having to transfer some items to your carry-on.
You can kiss these hassles goodbye for good by choosing a suitcase with a built-in weight indicator. If your bag is over 50 pounds, this indicator will turn red, letting you know you need to lighten the load before heading to the airport.
- Water-resistant zipper tape – Standard zippers often have tiny crevices where water could creep inside. By choosing a suitcase with water-resistant zipper tape, you won’t need to worry about this.
- TSA-approved locks – If you want to keep your valuables secure, you may choose to add a lock to your suitcase. However, it’s important to know that TSA has rules about the types of suitcase locks that are allowed.3 At BÉIS, we make things easier for you by including a TSA-approved lock with each of our suitcases.
- A retractable bag attach strap – After lugging your carry-on bags around all day, it’s nice to load them onto your suitcase after you pick it up at the baggage claim. However, your carry-ons may fall off if you don’t secure them properly. By purchasing a suitcase with a retractable bag attach strap, you can attach them with confidence.
- Cushioned pillow handle – Even if your suitcase has four wheels, it can still hurt your hands if the handle is uncomfortable. By choosing a suitcase with a cushioned pillow handle, you'll enjoy a pillow-soft grip.
At BÉIS, our luggage comes with all of these useful features so you can enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free travel experience every time. To further your experience, learn how to use packing cubes to maximize your new suitcase purchase!
What Are the Best Places to Buy Luggage?
Luggage shopping can be done online or in-store. If you visit an in-person store, your options may be limited to what they have on the floor. If you shop online, you can easily compare different models and choose the one that offers the features you need most.
At BÉIS, we make the online shopping experience easier by including detailed descriptions for each of our products. You can also check out our product reviews to find out just how much our customers love our luggage.
Best of all, buying online with BÉIS has no risk. If you want to return or exchange something, no problem. Most of our products can be returned or exchanged within 90 days of your original purchase free of any shipping charges.
BÉIS: Your One-Stop-Shop For Beautiful Spinner Luggage
If you want stylish, practical luggage, BÉIS has got you covered. We create all of our products with the fashionable jet setter in mind.
Don't forget your
Pair a bag with your main luggage that best suits your upcoming adventure! We recommend types of travel bags and travel accessories such as the most popular ones listed below:
- camera bag
- garment bag
- tote bag
- shoulder bag
- gym / workout bag
- waist bag
- toiletry bag
- jewelry organizer
Jamie Ditaranto, “Carry-on and Personal Item Size Limits for 32 Major Airlines.” SmarterTravel, 27 July 2020, URL
Vulcan, Nicole. “How to Prevent Overweight Luggage.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 21 Nov. 2017, URL
Walsh, Kathryn. “TSA Luggage Guidelines.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 5 Feb. 2019, URL