When I buy a piece of luggage, I like to consider a number of variables: Price, Durability, Convenience, Size, Weight and Style. But I’m human, and the first thing that attracts me to a piece of luggage is its look. So I’ll share how I evaluate luggage style. In the days to come, I’ll share my perspectives on the other critical luggage components.
Your luggage is more than a container that holds your articles during transit. Your luggage is an extension of who you are. And it’s one of the first things associated with you when you travel. Whether it’s an Uber driver, a business associate or your beloved Uncle Frank, your luggage is a symbol of your style, circumstances and priorities. As such, your ultimate choice of luggage should take into consideration the style that fit your needs and aligns with who you are. Personally, I like unique pieces of luggage that stand out and are easy to spot from a mile away. For some, luggage is a representation of the owner’s wealth. To help you determine what style is ultimately best for you, I look at a combination of different style criteria:
First Impression – Just a succinct summary of the initial reaction to the luggage. Often times, the first impression is the defining one.
Brand – There are a number of highly respected luggage brands in the industry. Some of most established brands are Samsonite, Traveler’s Choice, Tumi, TravelPro and Delsey. Each is synonymous with high end, quality luggage. Of course there are many more brands and I look forward to putting each one to test in the weeks and months to come.
Exterior – Exterior is about more than the initial look. It’s about how the look evolves over time, with additional usage and multiple trips. The last thing you want is to pick out your perfect piece of luggage and watch the exterior quickly degrade after each successive trip. Indeed, the durability of your luggage exterior may not be tough enough to withstand the normal wear and tear of travel. What you’re left with is luggage that features countless scratches, dents and other undesirable markings. Generally speaking, semi-hard and/or light colored luggage is the most susceptible.
Colors & Design – Like other consumer products, color has finally made its way into the world of luggage. I still see a wave of black/grey/navy luggage at baggage claims at every airport I fly into, but small patches of color and new designs are becoming more and more prevalent. Aside from style benefits and self-expression, there’s also the obvious functional benefit of picking a piece of luggage that is distinct – it’s easy to pick out at baggage claim if you checked your luggage. Looking into the future, I think we’re dawning on a new era of colorful and diverse pieces of luggage.
Business Appropriateness – You can’t fall into a business trip with a tattered backpack leftover from college and a duffel bag your aunt bought for you want to exude. As a business traveler myself, I like to take my garment bag for trips that will require formal wear. There’s no better feeling than grabbing a hanger (with your suit, shirt and tie in tow) and hanging it neatly inside your garment bag, where it can be stored without any need for folding (folding a suit inside your luggage is no good) and unpacked relatively wrinkle-free and ready to be worn for the next business meeting.
“Male” vs. “Female” Luggage – It’s 2015 and I’ve come to the conclusion that any person can choose any piece of luggage he or she likes, regardless of which gender a color or design is historically associated with.
Ultimately, the right style for luggage is a personal choice. I’ll share my opinion and help you find your style.