Whoever had the brilliant idea of attaching wheels on a suitcase was a genius!
The days of lugging heavy suitcases by a single handle are long gone!
The first criteria in selecting luggage should be convenience.
Followed by weight, durability, the purpose of your trip and your personality (light traveler like me?)
There are many types of luggage, packs and bags choose from – no single piece of luggage will satisfy all your traveling needs.
This article helps you to make an informed decision on which type of luggage is suitable for a man on the move.
The 12 types of luggage…
#1 Carry-On Luggage
A top priority for frequent travelers who want to avoid the hassle and extra expense of checked baggage.
The perfect carry-on bag or suitcase will satisfy the restrictions of any major airline.
Most airlines allow passengers to carry a bag no larger than 22″x14″x9″. This is generally sufficient space for travelers who pack light.
The advantage of packing all your items in a single carry-on bag are – increased mobility, bypassing baggage claim and saving on baggage fees.
International airlines now offer savings to passengers who opt not to check in their luggage. The best part is you don’t have to worry about baggage handlers carelessly tossing your bag around.
No more lost bags!
A carry-on bag should have plenty of exterior pockets to store essential items, your laptop and a camera if you are carrying one.
You should also be able to empty the contents of your pockets into an exterior compartments at the security gate.
#2. Smaller Convenience Bags
On a flight – passengers are allowed to carry one carry-on bag along with a smaller bag containing a personal item.
It could be a laptop bag, a briefcase or a compact backpack.
The convenience bag needs to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you on the aircraft.
A gym bag or a small duffel bag will work. Choose one with a shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free to handle your other piece of luggage.
Carry a backpack which offers functionality and comfort – a laptop compartment and sufficient organization for some of your travel essentials.
#3 Toiletry Bags
Organize your toiletries in a separate bag so you won't have to worry about your toothpaste leaking on to your favorite shirt.
Eliminate leaks by storing your grooming products in separate compartments. Bottles, tubes and containers need to be stored upright and secured to avoid accidental spills.
Look for: A grip handle, a roomy main compartment and a strong zip closure.
The Genius Pack Brilliant Toiletry Kit is an easy-access travel bag with multiple organizational compartments and a built in packing check list for grooming essentials.
#4 Shoe Bags
Protect your clothing from your shoes in your suitcase with a shoe bag. A lightweight, inexpensive, drawstring bag designed to keep the residue of your travel walks away from the rest of your clothes.
The two biggest functions are protection and convenience.
A “shoe bag” meant for luggage is usually semi-stiff and made from tough nylon or canvas.
Protect your leather shoes from deep scratches, tears or creases which can ruin an expensive pair of shoes.
Select a bag that is the right size to fully close over your shoes.
Stop packing your shoes in a grocery bag and instead purchase a quality travel shoe bag.
#5 Garment Bags
A garment bag offers protection to your suits, shirts and dress trousers. Travel with your garments intact and ready for wear as soon as you arrive at your destination.
Look for a bag with designated compartments for accessories – ties, handkerchiefs and belts.
The Genius Tri-Fold Garment Bag folds over neatly and conveniently sits on top of your carry-on bag.
#6 Compression Bags
Compression bags shrink your clothes to fit more into your suitcase.
You'll be amazed how much of your belonging you can compress in these compression packing cubes.
The end result is a vacuum-sealed-like bag that occupies less space in your travel bag.
#7 Larger Pieces
It took centuries for some anonymous genius to take the wheel and put it on the suitcase…
A scaled-up version of a carry-on bag – a large suitcase should have a retractable handle to pull the suitcase on durable wheels.
Unlike your carry-on luggage, a suitcase is not restricted by size limitations. Instead, you have to pay attention to the weight of the packed suitcase.
When purchasing a suitcase, think ahead to how you transport it from your house or hotel to the airport. A 27-inch suitcase is a lot easier to fit into a taxi than a 30-inch suitcase.
A 27-inch suitcase costs less, weighs less and usually fits all the clothes you can pack into a 30-inch suitcase.
#8 Wheeled Duffels
When you need to throw all your items into a bag – a duffel is your best option. A duffel bag is a large bag generally used for sports or travel.
The middle compartment of the duffel bag is always the largest. No matter how many compartments are on the outside of the bag, the middle portion is spacious and can hold a lot of your belongings.
Named after the town of Duffel in Belgium, home of the fabric used in the making of the bag. These bags were the popular choice of sailors.
If I were to use a duffle, I would stick with an option like the Genius Pack Rolling Duffle because it has a…. that allow me to organize all the contents.
A wheeled duffel bag is your best option if you need a lot of space. There is one large pocket that fits a ton of your gear and several others of varying sizes which are useful to store chargers, important documents and more.
#9 Softside Luggage
Soft sided luggage refers to canvas-like or Nylon baggage that flexes under pressure.
The majority of luggage is softside, and it doesn’t have the firm outside structure that hardside cases do. Softside luggage is more flexible than hardside.
Canvas, nylon and similar materials are flexible. It’s simpler for these soft pieces of luggage to fit into tight spaces or collapse to create more space.
Softside luggage is more likely to be expandable. An expandable case allows you to bring back more than you left with. It can save you the expense of buying a second bag after some overseas shopping.
Another advantage of a softer case is it tends to be less likely to mark. Stains are easily wiped off with a wet towel most of the time.
#10 Hardside Luggage
Hardside luggage refers to a shell-like exterior.
Hardside cases are a better choice than canvas-exterior bags to protect contents.
The exterior shell is usually made of lightweight polycarbonate and without the extra frills such as expansion pockets.
Protection of the contents is the primary reason for choosing a hardside suitcase.
The shell protects the contents of the case, so packing fragile and delicate items is less of a worry.
A smart leather briefcase is essential for business travel.
A briefcase is handy to carry your travel documents and work materials. It should remain with you at all times and should never be checked in.
Alan Flusser, author of “Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion,” observes, that a man wearing a suit and carrying a proper, equivalently formal, briefcase essentially projects an in-command, finished look (paraphrased).
A backpack is the epitome of convenience in travel. Instead of having to constantly roll a suitcase behind you, carrying a lightweight backpack on your back gives you more freedom of movement.
Travel-friendly backpacks excel where wheeled suitcases cannot – on cobblestone streets, stairs, streets, uneven terrain and on on gravel.
Your luggage faces constant abuse in the face of frequent travel and the carelessness of airline baggage handlers. Airlines are never willing to accept damage even to the most expensive pieces of luggage.
The luggage is the most important item for a frequent traveler. Invest in a quality item that is not only stylish but is also durable and convenient.
Want more? Click here to discover my top 25 tips on what a man should pack for a trip.