The soft versus hard luggage debate ends here.
When you’re traveling with fragile items in your suitcase, whether you’re handing it over to an airline or a taxi driver or tossing it into your trunk, you want the protection you get with hard case luggage. Some travelers simply prefer hardside luggage for its sleek look or packing configuration.
Most hard luggage has a “clamshell” setup, where the bag opens flat, like a book, and there are two similar packing areas, usually with tie-downs or zippered mesh layers. They are easier to clean than fabric bags, and they often come in bright colors or even decorative prints. Travelers who tend to overfill soft-side bags to the point where they won’t fit into an overhead bin might do better with a hardside that keeps its shape — or one that expands and compresses back to carry-on size like magic.
The terms “hardside,” “hard-case,” and “hard-shell” are used interchangeably, so we’ll use the terminology of the various manufacturers. Shop our selection of medium check-in and carry-on size suitcases below, and (if you're not already) be prepared to fall in love with hardside luggage.