When you are making decisions about your travel plans, the type of luggage to take with you should be high on your list. The overall weight of your suitcases should be carefully considered. With tons of weight restrictions brought to bear on travelers these days when flying, lightweight luggage can be your very best travel friend. Most airlines have very specific restrictions when it comes to how much a piece of luggage when fully packed can weigh. The amounts vary (and it is best to double check with your carrier before you pack) but most restrict you to 50 pounds or less. Anything over that, you will have to pay extra to take your bag with you. In theory, 50 pounds sounds like a lot, but if you have to pack for extended travel, multiple family members, or international travel, it can very quickly add up. You do not want to start out at a disadvantage by having a heavy suitcase that monopolizes a large portion of your weight allowance while empty. Many leather and hardside suitcases can weigh between 10-20 pounds with nothing in them. If you choose to take one of these rather than a lightweight luggage alternative, you have already reduced how much you can pack by quite a lot. Consider carefully when choosing a new piece of luggage. Whether you are considering buying new checked luggage or a new carry-on piece, lightweight luggage is one of the better choices.
Transporting luggage in general can be a pain if it is too heavy or bulky. Your first instinct with purchasing new checked luggage pieces may be to buy something very stylish, or something that appears extremely sturdy. Although this is not a bad instinct, you should carefully consider whether or not luggage weight is an issue for you and your travels. There are many fantastic lightweight choices available in the market today. They may not necessarily be made of stylish leather, or be made up of materials such as aluminum, that will stand up to any nick or ding, but they are still great choices. Sure, leather looks great, lasts a long time, and resists damage very well, but it is also quite heavy. The same goes for many of the hardside suitcase alternatives. Your best bet if you are searching for lightweight luggage is to go with something made from nylon. This material is extremely lightweight, yet can withstand the pressures that traveling puts upon it, and often comes in bright, stylish colors or patterns to suit any need. Other lightweight luggage material alternatives are polyester, Cordura (which is a brand name fabrics known for their durability and resistence to tears, abrasions and wearing), as well as microfibers (which are generally durable, lightweight and often come with water-resistant coatings).
One final note about lightweight luggage: Be sure to check out the type of frame that comprises the piece. You do not want something too heavy, but on the flip side, you do not want something so light it compromises durability. Metal frames are much more durable than most of their counterparts, withstanding tons of damage, but metal is often very heavy depending on the metal they are made from. There are lightweight metals, such as aluminum, that will function well and still keep your luggage lightweight. Generally, I would recommend staying away from plastic framed suitcases. They are extremely lightweight, much more than their counterparts, but they have a tendency to crack or shatter during duress, which is quite often due to the low quality of the plastic used so that costs remain low in manufacturing. I like lightweight luggage that has a honeycomb frame. These frames keep my luggage lightweight yet they are more than strong enough to withstand all normal wear and tear that luggage endures. Whatever you choose, there is a lightweight luggage piece out there to suit your needs.