When considering whether to purchase hardside or softside luggage, you need to understand what the different aspects are. Overall, both are fairly similar and both do a good job of housing your things while traveling. This decision is based primarily on personal preference.
Hardside luggage is generally more expensive than softside luggage.
Polycarbonate is the common material used for the hard outer shell.
Like softside luggage, hardside luggage can come in many different colors, both in solids and patterns. If you are looking for luggage that have special graphics on them, such as Star Wars or Disney characters, these are usually found to be hardside luggage in adult sizes. Kid luggage are more often softside.
Hardside luggage have 2 halves/compartments to pack your things in. This can be handy, especially when trying to separate items such as your shoes from your clothes, or dirty clothes from clean clothes, etc. Sometimes they are even able to expand.
All of the hardside luggage that I’ve seen have been spinners. I’m not sure that there are any roller options.
Hardside luggage are unique for their tough outer shell. This provides extra protection for your things, which can be very beneficial if you are traveling with souvenirs, valuables, breakables, etc. It also protects from rain and snow better, keeping your things dry.
This may be the better option for checked luggage because it can get banged around in baggage handling. It will provide protection, but it may show more marks than softside luggage would.
Softside luggage is generally a lower price than comparable hardside luggage.
Softside luggage may be made out of polyester, nylon, or other durable material.
These come in many different colors and patterns. You can find some cute and/or fun designs, but a lot of the character graphics are found on hardside luggage.
Softside luggage usually have outer pockets. These are handy for additional organizational purposes/storage. Small upper pockets are nice for storing readily available items such as boarding passes and reading materials. They are usually capable of expanding.
There are both spinner and roller options for softside luggage.
Softside luggage are relatively resistant to scuffs and marks. They are also lightweight and flexible. Signs of wear may be some frayed edges and stains.
Although hardside luggage may be better weather resistant, some softside luggage have a water resistant coating.
Which do you prefer and why? Let me know by writing a comment below!