Luggage - Hard vs Soft Case

49 replies


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Feb 2016

Total posts 15

Has anyone looked at Lojel? Currently weighing up the Cubo they make. Require something I can inconspicuously carry camera gear in a hard shell that doesn’t zip in the Centre ie open in halves.

I use an older model Lojel case that only zips down the middle. I actually prefer the middle zip, although there are times when I can see a size zip having benefits.

I've used it for both camera equipment and scuba diving gear. I'm pretty rough with it - its been on boats as well as on flights. The security 'double zip' thing seems to work well, as does the TSA lock.

The Cubo seems better with the option of side zip, or middle zip.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Feb 2016

Total posts 15

On another note.
I've always seen dents, marks, scratches and luggage tags/labels as desirable on a suitcase! Perhaps not wanting to be too 'fancy' with a nice suitcase.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 May 2014

Total posts 83

Rimowa aluminum carry on and hold luggage, best decision I ever made to go metal hard case.

I previously had Victorinox polycarbonate hard cases until the large cases started to crack - replaced under warranty but after the fourth time I gave up. They sit at the back of the cupboard now.


Member since 11 May 2018

Total posts 1

I buy Briggs & Riley. The best because they have a lifetime guarantee so no matter what happens they fix them. I wouldn't spend money on Rimowa or Tumi because they don't offer this so once you break your expensive bag you have to get a new one. I still use a Briggs & Riley purchased 20 years ago. Has been fixed a couple of times but still goes like a dream and has been round the world manay many times. They make both soft & hard.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Dec 2015

Total posts 56

I flip-flop on my preference for hard or soft cases. My ever breeding collection is testament to that!

I am currently using a relatively inexpensive Swiss Gear 2 wheel carry-on hard case (hurried purchase in Toronto when the one I had died) which handles not only personal items but also dedicated laptop section. I dislike having more than one carry on bag (e.g. case + laptop bag) so prefer one that houses everything I need. It's had about 50 trips in 18 months and has probably been the most durable case I've owned.
What I always miss with hard cases however is an external pocket to quickly store/access those frequently used items whilst in transit through an airport - passport, wallet, mobile phone etc. Having to zipper it almost completely open can be frustrating

I purchased some medium sized IT Luggage hard cases a few years back - good for the first few trips but are buckling under the pressure now

The only thing I would never purchase again is a 'single pole/handle' carry on case - good idea but not practical IMHO


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 07 Sep 2012

Total posts 8

I use a carry-on Samsonite hard-shell, and a larger hard-shell checked-in Samsonite for business travel. If going on holiday the wife and I will also take a large soft-sided case for clothes and unbreakables, and keep the checked-in Samsonite for fragile items. Have previously used American Tourister (Samsonite lite essentially) but they break too easily



Member since 04 Apr 2014

Total posts 135

Samsonite S'Cure spinner. Light, tough, clasps rather than zippers. You can throw it at a brick wall and it'll laugh back at you.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 28 Feb 2018

Total posts 2

Volair Forte 78cm Large Spinner Suitcase

It is so easy to manage - if I may say so - for a mature lady - I have been using it for the last 3 years - from Europe to Asia and back and places in between - barely scratched. They are well known for their great wheels.

Last editedby Chris C. at May 11, 2018, 11:06 PM.


Member since 09 Apr 2017

Total posts 53

I spent a good part of this past week trying to work out if my Delsey would last one more trip, and so spending way too much time looking at luggage in stores and online. It seems I am in good company!

I have a Delsey Helium Shadow that is hard shell, with an expansion zip and opens from the top (90/10), not in the middle (50/50). (Perfect for hotels like in Japan where the rooms are small and opening, and possibly living out of the suitcase due to no shelf space, is doable with this style.) It is also a good colour (purple/plum) to spot on a carousel and the textured surface hides scratches - though, like someone above, I think it shows character to have a few scratches and signs of wear. So I don't really want to let is go. It has served me well over the last five years.

But the zip at the corners was becoming problematic with the teeth coming away from the material that it is stitched to. I leave on Sunday for my next trip, and as procrastination is my middle name, naturally I had left it too late to get it repaired. Except that my frugal side, encouraged by my indecisive side, decided to really investigate the problem. I ended up getting a needle and thread and doing a repair myself. I will see how my stitches-in-time hold up and will replace the suitcase if I need to in the UK, but it will be another hard shell as I am sold on their general durability - despite seeing just what happens in one of those baggage handler videos while doing my online 'research'.

And as for carry on, I have a couple of hard shells to chose from, both with a separate zip section (one case has a flip top, cigarette packet kind of thing happening and my small Delsey has a zip open lid opening action separate to the locked section) that means I can pull out my laptop and toiletry bag for the security check, and also stuff in that book that I felt compelled to buy at the airport, even though I know I will be binge watching videos the whole flight, and already have a book on the go in my shoulder bag!

Ho Really

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 13 Dec 2014

Total posts 2

I have been using the Japanese luggage brand Lojel.

I have two of these cases and have had no issues at all. Both hard cases, very sturdy and seem to be well made.

Any chance you bought the Lojel at The Travel Store? The owner there is the distributor for SE Asia. In 2016 I bought a hardshell cabin case at Plaza Singapura. Good price for an excellent product. I already had another similar cabin case bought in Adelaide (The Luggage Place). All up I now have three all with TSA locks. I also have Samsonite, Antler and Eminent. All medium size hard cases with alumnium frames. The Eminent has two wheels the others four. May favourite has been the older Antler which I've been using since 2007. It's slightly out of wack but still closes. Only after my last trip to Europe in February this year have the latches given up. Easy to replace though, something that would be harder to do if my cases had zippers to replace. I think a good bet is to have a polycarbonate hardshell spinner for check-in with a laptop bag and backpack as carry-on that can be slipped onto the handle of the hardcase. Or a soft or hard cabin case with the laptop bag or backpack for short trips. Four wheels better than two. Why? Less strain on the arm and shoulder as you can roll or push them upright on hard smooth surfaces. Also a well-made spinner can still roll well on rough sufaces like cobblestones. Just make sure two of the four wheels are bigger or built for that purpose (like my Antler).


Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 06 Jul 2015

Total posts 8

I am currently using a set of Samsonite Cosmolite Lite Cube cases and the older one has now taken 300+ flights and is started to show wear/tear with the zip protector and some other rubber parts. I have never had one of the Cosmolite bags get actually damaged outside of the carry hand being smashed by an airline. Wheels, Zipps and locks are all fine across the 4 bags I use over 100's of flights.



Member since 05 Jun 2012

Total posts 61

We are a mixed family - my wife likes hard shell cases (her favourite being a 100-euro unbranded one from Carrefour in Mallorca which is as tough as a tank!); but I don't like the fact that open in the middle of the long side meaning have two halves with content (if you see what I mean) which means they are a pain to open up and take up double the space when open; so I prefer cases with rigid frames but soft sides where just the side panel unzips. These have the advantage of being expandable and light. To each their own!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 13 Jan 2017

Total posts 17

My Antler soft-sided 2-wheeler is still going strong after 20 years of many international trips.

The soft-sided bags don't crack open when dropped by baggage handlers, and they keep on expanding as much as required, especially if there's an expansion zipper. And 2-wheelers let you pull your bag across cobblestones without too much trauma. Most importantly, the 2-wheelers don't start moving off by themselves if you leave them on a surface that has even a mild slope.

Agreed, my two different sized antlers have survived multiple business trips and an annual 6-8 weeks sojourn on the road in planes, buses, mini-vans and been dragged around cobble stoned streets of Europe etc since 2009 and still looking good and performing well.

Rod Yates

Member since 27 Feb 2017

Total posts 6

I travel approx 90-100 flights per year and use the "Lojel" hard shell cabin size and it is very strong, have had to put it through baggage a few times and no issues. The great feature of this case is that it has a separate zipped front section that allows me to store my MacBook Air & iPad as well as a few note books etc, this makes it easy to remove items for security. It is also the new size that most Aust & Int domestic carriers allow on board.


Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Mar 2017

Total posts 4

Have used cheap "Cheap as Chips" or Reject Shop small to medium size hard shell 4 wheel trolley cases and paid about $40 to $45 per case which have lasted us up to 4 or 5 years with a fair amount of domestic and international travel. They get knocked around but generally withstand the treatment pretty well. Had to replace one recently when the handle jammed when staying near Heathrow so bussed it to Hounslow shopping Centre and bought a 'cheapie' for 20 pounds

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