Comparison Review: Hardside Versus Softside Luggage

Hardside Versus Softside Luggage

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At times you get confused about choosing between two or more things. For such instance, first, you need to understand the point of their distinction and how their distinct features going to suit your requirements. This no exception while choosing the best travel luggage as well. If you explore the ins and outs of travel luggage, you will come across a major distinction between two commonly available luggage type which is the softside luggage and the hard-side luggage. Choosing one between them is not the easiest of tasks and maybe that’s why you are here to make us clear the mud for you by providing the best comparison review between the hard side and soft side luggage.

This distinction between these two is completely self-explanatory yet they are subjected to further discussion to get a clear insight into the matter.

However, the hard side and softside luggage have their benefits but to choose the best travel bag you will have to understand how these benefits suit your requirements.

Softside Luggage – The Likely Reasons To Choose It

You can realize the type of this luggage by its name but here we would like to give you a better idea about this. It is a Nylon or canvas-like baggage that is flexible under pressure. As a result, it doesn’t have that firm exterior like the hard side cases. Having such an outside structure gives it some real advantages for choosing it over the hard side cases. To make you clear about the reasons to choose a soft-side luggage, we will be discussing some of its advantages below.

Flexibility Is The Key

Being made with the canvas-like material soft side luggage is more flexible than the hard side counterparts. For this reason, they are great at fitting into tight spaces and also collapsing down to allow more space for other travel bags. They are also very much expandable; one of such expandable one we have is the Samsonite Lift Spinner. An expandable case is a great option for the travelers who want to bring back more than what they take along and this saves them from the hassle of buying a second one.

Softer Yet Tougher

They come with reinforced shells underneath the exterior fabric which gives them the kind of toughness along with the flexes making them perfect for going through any rough treatment still maintaining a soft side look. The Travel Pro Maxlite Spinner is one of our special mention for a soft side case, which has the kind of exterior capable of standing up to substantial uses despite being a soft side one.

Up and Ready For Some Trauma

Another great thing about the canvas bags is that they are less likely to mark irreparably. It can be easily wiped off with a wet towel like clothing if something gets on them. The soft cases are not affected by any kind of dings or scrapes. This is unlikely for a lot of hard side cases unless they are made with a texture that blends the blemishes in.

Hardside Luggage – Likely Reasons To Choose It

Hardside luggage, on the other hand, is available in two different styles such as the hard side ones and the hard case ones. The hard side luggage has a hard shell outside that is not made to be entirely solid as much as it is less likely to flex with a design like this. In the case of the hard case, it is an inflexible and solid option that is more likely to be used for protecting your belongings than the canvas-like soft side luggage. However, a good collision can still damage your stuff inside.

The Rockland Melbourne 3-piece set is a perfect example of such structured hard-side luggage that has a versatility of various external textures.

Rigidity – Protection Comes Prior

As we said, the hard side cases are the inflexible and rigid options that do not bend under any decent pressure. One of such rugged beast is the Samsonite Fiero HS Spinner. This kind of travel bag is generally made of polycarbonate material and they don’t provide a big deal of external frills in terms of expansion or pockets. The shell is a great one to protect all the contents inside the case making you worry-free about the packing breakables.

Hardside Versus Softside Luggage: A Comparative Review

  • Being inflexible for some quite good reasons, the hard side cases can also be inconvenient in some ways. But this inconvenience is for the betterment of the users. For instance, they do not offer any exterior pocket, unlike the softside ones. However, for a lot of people having an exterior pocket is very helpful to put things like the wallet, charger, boarding pass and get them without really opening the entire case. But this is not something you can do with hard-side luggage as they are more dedicatedly made for the security of your belongings.
  • Another issue that you should be noted is the hard cases don’t come with a variety of options in terms of luggage sizes like outside ones.
  • The soft-sided luggage can be expanded to a good amount by unzipping some extra space. Except for some sets like Desley Helium Aero Expandable Spinner, the majority of the hard side ones do not allow to unzip for extra space and any real expansion.
  • One of the most common complaints about the hard case luggage is that they are vulnerable to any wear and tear pretty quickly. Softside bags have that flex to not show any wear and tear and sustain the same structure even after getting banged into a wall. But you can realize how serious the mark could be if you do the same with hard side ones and it may stay for the whole luggage life.
  • Even the hard side cases that offer some flexibility are not free from the possibilities of getting scratches or dents. This is somewhat unapparent in case of the soft case options and for hard cases, the dent is quite improbable to get out.

How To Go About The Comparison

One word that is coming around and around is ‘flexibility’.  But regardless of the flexibility in either of the luggage, one thing we can ensure is that they have a sturdy exterior despite having some distinctions. To get this sturdiness in your luggage, you need to get something from a reputed brand without going for anything cheap. Cheap bags are more likely to fall apart or show tear outside. More importantly, the reputed luggage manufacturers always focus on quality for both the hard side and soft side luggage. 


Having discussed some important aspects of both the luggage options, we can say they have their purpose to serve. If you are someone who generally travels carrying some precious packing in the baggage of a plane, you should go for those sturdy hard side options. However, you may find some functional and cosmetic issues with hard-side luggage that can be overlooked if security comes before anything for you. If you want something more flexible and functionally sound without being too bothered about the safety limitations, then you are good to go with the softside luggage. To find out the best options in each of the categories please see some of our reviews on best luggage 2018 and simply buy these travel bags online for the best deal around.

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