Packing for a vacation can be stressful. One of the most important decisions you have to make is deciding which type of luggage is best for your trip – softside or hardside?

Both types offer their own unique benefits, as well as drawbacks. In this article, I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type so that you can decide what’s best for you.

Softside luggage offers flexibility when it comes to packing because they are usually expandable with zippers around the sides. They also often come in trendy prints and colors, making them more fun than hardside suitcases.

On the other hand, some people find that these bags don’t protect their belongings from damage due to bumps or drops quite as well as hardside suitcases do.

Advantages Of Softside Luggage

I love softside luggage! It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver around, which makes it perfect for traveling.

Not only is it convenient when you’re on the go, but its design also helps with travel security. Softside bags often have hidden zipper compartments that make it difficult for thieves to access your valuables without taking extra measures – something hardside bags just don’t offer.

Plus, some models are even equipped with locks for added safety. All in all, softside luggage provides a great combination of convenience and protection.

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Disadvantages Of Softside Luggage

I’m not a fan of softside luggage because it’s not as durable as hardside luggage. It can easily rip or tear if you’re not careful, which can be really annoying.

Plus, it lacks structure, so it can be difficult to fit everything in without it being a total mess.

On top of that, it’s usually quite bulky, so it’s not ideal for packing light.

I’d definitely recommend hardside luggage over softside if you’re looking for something that’s durable and easy to pack. It’s worth the extra money in the long run.


When it comes to durability, softside luggage just can’t compete with hardside.

I’ve had a few suitcases over the years and while they were lightweight and cost effective initially, after some wear and tear they inevitably began falling apart.

The stress of traveling often causes tears in the fabric that continues to worsen until it’s no longer usable.

Even if you manage to keep them intact, these bags are more likely to get damaged during transport due to their fragility compared to hardside luggage which is made from tougher materials like aluminum or polycarbonate.

Heavier than its counterpart, this type of suitcase will protect your belongings better against rough handling by airport staff and baggage handlers but won’t necessarily be as comfortable on your shoulder since the weight isn’t evenly distributed throughout the bag.

Lack Of Structure

One of the main disadvantages to softside luggage is its lack of structure. Unlike hardside suitcases, these bags don’t come with a built-in frame so packing them can be tricky since they tend to collapse in on themselves and make it difficult to fit all your belongings in one bag.

You also have to consider weight considerations when packing as there’s no way to evenly distribute the load throughout the bag, which makes it harder for you to comfortably carry around.

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This lack of structure also reduces the flexibility that comes with softside luggage; if something doesn’t fit into your suitcase, you won’t be able to adjust the size by unzipping or expanding certain compartments like you would with a hardshell.

All these factors combined mean that if you’re someone who needs maximum carrying capacity and organization, then softside isn’t always going to be ideal for you.


Another downside to softside luggage is that it can be quite bulky, making them difficult and inconvenient to carry around.

If you’re trying to fit all your belongings into a single bag, the already-limited structure of these bags makes it even harder as they aren’t designed with any extra compartments or pockets that could help distribute the weighty load more evenly.

This means you’ll have an unwieldy piece of luggage on your hands for the duration of your travels which really isn’t ideal.

Lastly, when you go through security at airports or other checkpoints, having to unload everything from your suitcase in order to get through quickly can be time consuming and annoying especially when everyone else has their items neatly packed away in hardshell suitcases.

Softside luggage just doesn’t provide the same level of convenience when travelling as its rigid counterpart does — this is something worth thinking about if you travel frequently.

In short, while there are some advantages to owning softside luggage such as being lightweight and easy to store; its lack of organization, heavy bulkiness and inconvenience make it less than ideal for frequent travellers who need maximum carrying capacity and ease of movement.

Advantages Of Hardside Luggage

I definitely prefer hardside luggage to softside.

Not only is it more durable, but you also get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to price comparison. It’s easy to find quality hardside bags that last longer and come with more features than their soft counterparts. Plus, they look sleek and stylish too!

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Hardside suitcases are made from tougher materials like ABS plastic or polycarbonate, which makes them much better at protecting the contents inside during travel.

This means fewer worries about items getting crushed in transit or being damaged by rough handling. Additionally, these tough materials make the cases much less vulnerable to wear and tear over time so you can use them for years without having to worry about replacing them frequently.

Overall, I think hardside luggage offers substantial advantages over its soft-sided counterpart.

They’re great value for money and provide superior protection against damage while still looking good on the go. Furthermore, with proper care they can keep up with your travels long term – no matter where life takes you!

Disadvantages Of Hardside Luggage

I know from experience that hardside luggage can be a real pain when it comes to packing flexibility. The rigid structure of the bag often limits how much you can fit in, and if your items have odd shapes or sizes they’re not likely to fit. This lack of flexibility makes them difficult to use for extended trips where you need lots of space.

It also has an impact on weight because hardside bags are generally heavier than softside ones due to their stiffer material. So while they might feel more secure and look more stylish, their limitations could make them more hassle than helpful.

On top of all this, the disadvantage of hardside suitcases is that any damage done will be easy to spot as opposed to its softer counterpart which may hide a few dents over time.

All things considered, I think softside bags offer better value for money with greater versatility and convenience overall.

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Factors To Consider When Choosing Luggage

Choosing the perfect luggage can be a tricky task. Picking between hardside and softside luggage isn’t easy, as both have their advantages. When deciding which type of luggage is best for you, it’s important to consider factors such as weight capacity, packing space, and price.

Hardside luggage typically offers more protection than its soft-sided counterparts due to its rigid exterior shell. This makes it ideal for transporting delicate items or valuables in transit. It also tends to come with sturdier zippers, handles, and wheels that will last through all your travels without any problems. The downside is that they tend to be heavier than soft side bags because of their construction.

Softside bags are generally lighter in weight but may not offer the same level of protection as hardside cases do. They usually feature multiple compartments and pockets on the inside and outside so you can easily store small items like passport wallets or water bottles while keeping larger items secured together within the main compartment. Softside suitcases are also great if you need extra packing space since they can expand outwards when needed—which makes them ideal for those looking to pack a lot into one suitcase! However, these types of bags often lack durability compared to hardside ones due to their fabric material construction; meaning they may not survive long trips or rough handling quite as well as other styles might.

No matter what kind of bag you decide on, choosing something with quality features like sturdy zippers and good wheeling systems should always be at the top of your list when picking out new luggage. Be sure to factor in how much weight capacity it has before purchasing too—you don’t want your bag bursting open halfway through your trip!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Softside Luggage Weigh Compared To Hardside Luggage?

When it comes to luggage, the weight of both softside and hardside options can vary depending on materials used and size. Generally speaking though, a lightweight softside bag will weigh less than its hardshell counterpart due to quality materials like nylon or polyester that don’t add too much bulk.

Hardcase suitcases are typically made from more rigid material such as ABS plastic which offers waterproofing properties but may be slightly heavier than their fabric alternatives.

Ultimately, the best option for you depends on your individual needs when travelling.

Are There Any Brands Of Softside Or Hardside Luggage That Are More Durable Than Others?

When it comes to durability, some brands of softside or hardside luggage are better than others. If you’re looking for a bag that can handle the rigors of regular travel, then there are certain features you should look for.

Waterproofing is definitely important as this helps protect your items from spills and other damage caused by water. Look out for bags with built-in waterproofing features such as seams sealed with tape or waxed canvas on the exterior.

As well as waterproofing, packing organization is also key when it comes to finding durable luggage; make sure the interior compartments are spacious enough to separate and organize all your belongings.

Are Softside Luggage More Suitable For Air Travel Than Hardside Luggage?

When it comes to air travel, both hardside and softside luggage have their advantages. Hardside luggage usually offers more protection for your belongings while traveling, as they are generally more waterproof than softside options.

However, if you’re looking for more organization options and flexibility then softside is typically a better choice since items can be compressed or shifted around into different compartments within the bag.

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Ultimately, whether hardside or softside luggage is best suited depends on your needs while traveling – but either way, make sure to get one that will keep all of your items safe during transit!

How Much Extra Space Is Available Inside Hardside Luggage?

When it comes to packing methods, hardside luggage offers a big advantage over softside suitcases: extra space.

Unlike its counterpart, since the material is rigid and ridged, you can usually squeeze in more items into the same size suitcase – with no risk of damage!

If you’re looking for an efficient way to pack your belongings without sacrificing protection and durability, then hardside luggage may be the best choice for you.

Can Softside Luggage Be Locked For Added Security?

Packing for a long trip can be stressful, but with the right luggage, you don’t have to worry about security.

Softside luggage is just as secure as hardside when it comes to protecting your belongings – many models come with built-in locks and other security features.

So if you want an extra layer of protection on top of your packing tips, then consider softside luggage that has locking capabilities.


In conclusion, both softside and hardside luggage have their advantages when it comes to travel.

Softside luggage is usually lighter than hardside luggage, making it a better choice for travelers who want to avoid excess baggage fees or need to carry more items in one bag.

On the other hand, hardside luggage can provide additional protection from weather damage and tampering due to its rigid frame.

Depending on your needs as a traveler, you may find that either type of luggage works best for you.

Ultimately, our decision should come down to what features are most important to us during our travels – whether that’s durability, weight, size or security.