If you’ve traveled multiple times, I assume that you might already have a preference between a hard and a soft luggage suitcase. Generally, both types of suitcases have their distinguished features and it all comes down to what you like.

But if it’s your first time shopping for a piece of luggage, this guide is here to help you make a well-informed decision on your purchase.

Hard Luggage vs Soft Luggage


One of the most important considerations when traveling is the security of your belongings. While it’s not often to find someone trying to steal your luggage, it can happen, and you want to be sure that your suitcase is impenetrable.

Both hard and soft luggage will offer you security options on the zippers and openings. However, your stuff might still be stolen by cutting or slitting your luggage open. This is especially possible if you are using soft luggage when traveling.

But with hard luggage, it’s harder and even impossible for someone to cut open the bag due to its hard shell design.


In most cases, people carry valuables in their bags that might be prone to damage as a result of being squeezed or broken. And this will easily happen if you are carrying the valuables in soft luggage.

On the other hand, hard luggage will offer your valuables more protection if you decide to travel with them. This is one of the upsides of traveling with hard luggage because the suitcase is made of a rigid frame.

It means that your luggage will be hard to press or squeeze to the point of experiencing damage. The only time you might be worried about your valuable belongings being damaged is if the shell of the hard luggage breaks.

But with the kind of technology and materials used to create hard luggage, you are assured of utmost resilience. Another thing I love about hard luggage is that most of them are weather resistant.

Not only can they withstand fading and wear and tear for a long time, but most hard suitcases are completely waterproof. Lastly, owning a hard suitcase automatically means that you have less to worry about when it comes to maintenance.

Unlike soft luggage, hard luggage isn’t prone to stains or smells due to its rigid frame material. Most of the time you only need a wet cloth to clean off the dust on a hard suitcase and you are good to go.

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When it comes to organization, the soft luggage aces the competition. Most soft suitcases come with external pockets, which offer you ampler space for your belongings.

You can also stuff in things that you just remembered at the last minute in soft luggage thanks to its malleable nature. I can’t quite say the same when it comes to hard luggage because they are completely rigid and usually feature the main compartment only.


Made with flexible and softer materials, it’s easier to pack more than what you had initially planned for in a soft suitcase. This is because a soft suitcase can conform to the shape of your belongings.

However, the hard shell of hard luggage makes it hard to budge and can only carry the befitting belongings. If you have multiple irregularly-shaped items to carry when traveling, it would be best to consider a soft suitcase from the hard option.


Although soft suitcases are prone to stains, smell, and dirt, they are usually able to absorb ordinary airport abuse. Most soft luggage comes out physically intact after being tossed, turned, and even squeezed at the airport.

However, it’s hard to miss a bruise, scratch, or a broken part of hard luggage right after a typical airport abuse experience. So if you are looking for something that can offer you more resilience when traveling, then soft luggage might be the best solution.


Hardside Luggage

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Better luggage protection
  • Effective in security

Softside Luggage

  • Flexible and conforms to the shape of your belongings
  • Ample organization space
  • More resilient


Hardside Luggage

  • The shell is prone to bruises and dents
  • Not malleable
  • Items can’t be accessed without opening the entire suitcase

Softside Luggage

  • Prone to water, stains, and smells
  • Unreliable protection for fragile luggage
  • Easy to cut open and steal the belongings inside

What is the Largest Suitcase You Can Check on a Plane?

The most common maximum-size suitcase allowed passage on a plane is usually 62 linear inches in total. This means that the dimensions must measure about 27″ x 21″ x 14″ so that you can check your suitcase through.

Additionally, most airlines allow you to check at least one bag alongside another carry-on bag. Also, your luggage is subjected to a maximum weight limit of about 50 pounds for every checked bag.