Luggage: not to be confused with baggage as that’s something for an entirely different article.
When it comes to carrying around your life’s belongings, you’ll need to find the right kind of bag for the job. From big to small and from tote to duffel and all the way to the iconic “I’m about to board a plane” hard-shell.
Yet, luggage is an all-encompassing term for all your bags when it comes to travelling; this includes your handbag, your backpack, your camera bag, your sports bag, your camping bag and so on.
Regardless of where you’re going, what you’re doing and whether or not you’re trying to fit the kitchen sink into it, you’ll need to understand all the right types of suitcase for the job. For example: are your types of suitcase suitable to be luggage allowed on international flights? Most likely, the answer is yes, but there are some instances where your specific types of luggage will need to be shipped differently or left at home awaiting your return.
Given the fact that the team here at The Hobby Kraze is always telling you to go out, venture into the wild and experience new trails of life, we thought it would also be best to let you in on the different types of suitcase you should carry with you on your travels.
Here are all the questions we’ll be answering in this ultimate guide to luggage material and suitability:
- What Is Luggage?
- What is the History of the Types of Luggage?
- Luggage, Baggage, Suitcases and Trunks: What’s the Difference?
- What are Smart Types of Suitcase?
- What is Luggage Forwarding?
- What are the 16 Types of Luggage?
The reason there are so many different types of luggage to choose is the simple fact of having efficient and safe packing for your belongings. In other words, you might throw a pile of clothes for your beach time jolly into an old hard-shell suitcase held together by packing tape, but you might feel a little differently when it comes to your camera equipment.
So, not only is it important to find the right bag for the job, but it’s the zipper on the deal if you can find the luggage material to protect your belongings while standing out to a crowd. Of course, when you find any luggage allowed on international flights, you’re going to want to be able to identify it while half awake at the baggage claim.
With this, a top tip from the team here at The Hobby Kraze is to invest in bold coloured bags and then truly make them yours. Try using stickers paint, bag tags, ribbon, patches, decals, travel straps and more.
Now, getting back to finding you the right bag in the carousel of containers:
What Is Luggage?
Looking at the definition of luggage, we find ourselves seeing that it could be anything capable of holding personal belongings. Which, in all honesty could equate to a purse, a shopping bag or even a cup holding your personal homemade brew.
But, in reality, there’s a certain sense of adventure tied-in with the word ‘luggage’ that brings back memories of the airport viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Because it’s never as fun or glamorous as we remember it.
So, when you’re looking for the best types of bag for travelling light, the luggage allowed on international flights or even the right suitcase to match your style, you’re really looking for a hold-all capable of taking you on an escape.
In terms of the etymology of the word (i.e., the origins of how the English language ended up with such a strange word: luggage), we need to look to the French.
Beginning with ‘baggage’, it derives from the old French word ‘bagage’ which relates to the verb ‘baguer’ meaning to ‘tie-up’. ‘Bagues’, on the other hand, means ‘bundles’.
Moving onto ‘luggage’, this typically refers back to other English sayings that combine the use of ‘lug’ and ‘bag’ to mean a heavy load.
Really, luggage is when you decide to not only pack your belongings for a jolly outing, but fit the kitchen sink in there, too.
What is the History of the Types of Luggage?
Even in Jules Verne’s 1873 novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ he refers to the use of a suitcase and an old-time bag named the carpet bag. However, during these times, suitcases were heavy wooden trunks that would have been a nuisance to lumber around.
So, we know types of luggage and types of suitcase were available just 200 years ago, but they weren’t the best type of bag for travelling light unlike with today’s technology. A bag is no longer a heavy wooden charger but a lightweight container of around 1.5kg.
Here’s a quick timeline of suitcases and luggage:
- In 1800, a suitcase bag made of leather was deployed for men to carry their belongings including shirts and work papers.
- In 1851, Prince Albert developed an ‘Omni-Conveyance Bewheeled Travelling Carryall’ pulled by horses and was awarded 3 medals for the invention.
- In 1858, Louis Vuitton designed their first ‘Steamer Trunk’ designed with durability in mind for long-distance travel on steam-powered boats.
- In 1870, French designer The House of Moynat debuted the first wicker trunk called ‘Moynat Trunk’ for lightweight travel and became immediately popular.
- In 1873, Jules Verne mentioned the foibles of a trunk and how a suitcase can hinder travel.
- In 1910, the Schwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company was launched eventually becoming the Samsonite brand we know and love today.
- In 1972, despite having been incorporated on many types of luggage made for women, it wasn’t until now that the brand US Luggage patented bag wheels.
- In 1987, a pilot named Bob invented the wheeled luggage we know today while calling his invention the ‘Rollaboard’, going wide-scale in 1989.
- In 1994, Don Ku invented and patented the design for the collapsible suitcase and luggage handle.
- In 2007, someone tried to make bike suitcases a thing, but it never worked.
Luggage, Baggage, Suitcases and Trunks: What’s the Difference?
In this article, we’ve said that luggage can refer to anything that can carry your belongings, especially in a heavy capacity. However, there are different types of bag such as the trunk, the suitcase, baggage and luggage that all refer to their own types of luggage material when carrying belongings around.
In terms of baggage and luggage, they can both be used interchangeably. Typically speaking throughout the UK, luggage is a term used when referring to the luggage allowed on international flights, or any flights for that matter. Whereas baggage, on the other hand, is generally referred to in-land adventures consisting of car or train travel.
When it comes to identifying the difference between luggage and a suitcase, they are – again – used interchangeably but one is often used in the singular sense and the other in the plural sense. I.e., there can be many suitcases in a luggage set.
Finally, we’ve got the connotations of the old-timey boarding school when we refer to the trunk. However, they’ve become modernised over the years. A Trunk, sticking to its roots as mentioned in the Joules Verne classic, are hard-shell cuboid cases that are particularly adept at storing large quantities of items. However, it is still just one of the many types of suitcase or types of luggage out there.
What are Smart Types of Suitcase?
Much like any object in the modern 20s that features the word ‘smart’ in its name (like the smart bulb), a smart suitcase refers to a travel bag with high-technology capabilities sewn into its very seam.
Examples of these high-technology features include:
- RFID Locking
- GPS Tracking
- Self-Weighing Capabilities
- Remote-Enabled Controls
- Device Charging Ports
- Electronic Locks
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- WIFI Connectivity
- RFID Blocking
However, one thing to note before you splurge the cash on a brand-new smart suitcase is that they may not be the type of luggage allowed on international flights or national flights.
New regulation in 2018 stated that any smart luggage due to fly must have a removable battery taken out and presented at check-in. Extra rules may follow depending on the country and the airport. The reason being that these smart technologies run using lithium-ion batteries which are known fire hazards on flights!
What is Luggage Forwarding?
No matter the types of suitcase or types of luggage you have laying around, if you’ve not got your hands on the best type of bag for travelling light you may want to think about luggage forwarding services.
Of course, luggage material is always going to be heavy and annoying to lug around from transport to the airport and even more ground-side transport lugging. So, there are services that do it all for you.
However, a top tip from a particularly unlucky team member who ‘got the T-shirt’ is to pack extra underwear and socks in your carry-on in case there is an issue or mistake with the luggage forwarding service!
The way these services work is by allowing you to send your luggage to your holiday destination (or even back home) ahead of time so it’s ready and waiting for your arrival. This is particularly useful if you’re heading out for a long-term getaway in utopia and have a lot of bags that would be near impossible to wheel around an airport alone such as heading out to University in a new world of culture.
Companies such as SendMyBag.com, LuggageForward.com, LuggageMule.com and MyBaggage.com all offer this service for various types of luggage material allowed to travel ahead at much lower costs.
The steps are simple: contact a few of these companies, get a quote, book the collection, pack your bag, pass your types of luggage to the driver, track your belongings and receive a notification of their arrival at your destination. This leaves you with only the best type of bag for travelling light to float through the airports.
What are the 16 Types of Luggage?
Now we’ve got everything out of the way, we can focus on the fun bit before heading out for the best part of all: shopping! Of course, we’ll skip the general types of luggage such as purses and so on and think about all the individual types of suitcase you can collect for all your global escapades.
If you want to find out more about what to do while you travel, take a look at these ultimate guides lovingly written by The Hobby Kraze team: “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking” and “17 Different Types of Resort and Finding the Holiday to Suit You”.
The Wheely Suitcase
The wheely suitcase, as we now know was born out of a pilot’s frustration for lugging around belongings for work.
Today, there are many different types of luggage that feature wheels for ease-of-transport. There are those featuring two wheels at the back of the bag to be pulled behind you. There are also those featuring four omni-directional wheels that allow you to glide your luggage material along the ground and by your side. It really depends on how frisky you’re feeling that day as to how many wheels you want your wheely bag to have.
The Suit Bag
It might be slightly obvious, but the suit bag is a bag designed specifically for carrying suits, coats, gowns and any other garments needing to be well-kept. It helps avoid creases so there’s no need to whip out the steamer or the iron as soon as you arrive at your destination.
The shape is generally long, with a zip in the middle for clothes to go in and out and a small hole at the top for any hangers to poke out. There are two types of suit bag in that they may be made out of a lightweight luggage material so they can be folded and placed at the bottom of another suitcase such as the hard-shell. Or they could feature a shoulder strap and structural boning so they can be folded and carried as is!
The school kid, the traveller, the fashion icon, the office worker and everyone else you can think of has had a backpack at some point or another in life. While they may not always be the ‘in’ trend for carrying belongings, they’re the most efficient.
In fact, the team here at The Hobby Kraze suggests investing in a quality backpack that fits correctly to your upper back. This allows you two free hands, bettered posture, reduced back pain and more space to store your life’s belongings. These types of luggage are a very popular choice for use as a carry-on bag when travelling on flights or trains.
The Pet Box
Pet boxes, in general, are types of luggage. Yet, we want to focus on the luggage allowed on international flights so you can explore with your – slightly furrier – other half.
These specific types of suitcase for your pet must be made of a hard-shell material that is strong enough to protect your pet during any turbulence while having good ventilation, so the air quality doesn’t deteriorate. Finally, these pet boxes should be manufactured using strong plastic as fibreboard and wire mesh are not suitable.
The Ski Bag
Of course, where would you be on your ski holiday without your lucky skis or lucky snowboard? And, while they won’t fit into any of the other types of luggage, they have their own bag specially designed with a conforming shape and padding to protect the skis. This way you don’t have to worry about any piste-ruining scratches showing up while base loading.
They can come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate various pairs and many pairs together, but you’ll have to go to a sports shop to find them rather than your typical luggage store!
The handbag is an incredibly versatile little bag that could be made out of any luggage material from soft cotton to polyester and from the hard-shell case to boned structure. They can be big, small, wide, thin, tall, short, round, square, and any multitude of colour, too.
In fact, many may argue that the old-fashioned carpet bag is a type of large handbag
The only feature they must have to qualify is a specific handle that allows them to be carried by one hand without trailing on the floor and top-sided entrance! These are typically carried as the everyday types of suitcase by women but they’re becoming more and more popular as a carry-on trope for men, too.
We’ve mentioned carry-on a couple of times now as well as noting that it can be anything including a backpack or handbag.
However, the basis for a carry-on case is that it is any small or medium-sized bag that won’t be checked luggage, sent ahead or carrying furry pets in your travels. In many cases, you might find that sets of the types of luggage will include a large carry-on case that matches the checked-in suitcase. And they can either have their own handles and wheels for easy transport or be a type of handbag.
Top tip: many airlines say you can have both a carry-on case and a smaller handbag with you on the flight, so to get more out of your travels, invest in a luggage set that includes a carry-on case with wheels!
The Poster Tube
Long, thin and structured, these things can hold a world of potential. Anyone with international or all-over national business many need to carry poster tubes with them for meetings, presentations or events. And, if this is you then you can class them as one of those specific types of luggage (much like the ski bag) that can be taken as checked baggage on a flight.
Another top tip from the team here at The Hobby Kraze is to look out for airlines who only charge you for the one large suitcase as checked baggage and any speciality extras such as the poster tube or the ski bag can be taken free-of-charge.
The Instrument Case
Here we land at yet another luggage material case encompassed within a category of speciality luggage allowed on international flights. These tend to have custom foam inserts designed to fit the specific instrument with high levels of cushioning protection and not much else. So, you’ll probably need another type of suitcase for all your other travelling necessities.
Depending on the size of the instrument, it’s luggage case and the airline you want to take, you might be able to take the instrument into the cabin as a carry-on for overhead storage. For example: British Airways allow musicians of guitars, clarinets, flutes, violins, ukuleles and other hand-held instruments to be take their gear in cabin.
Hard-shell luggage (also known as hard-sided luggage) is one of the most popular choices for travellers around the world. They tend to have stand-out patterns, good levels of durability, affordable pricing and a lightweight design (so you can fit more pairs of socks into the weight limit).
One of the best hard-shell cases in 2021 would be one made using a polycarbonate luggage material. This is more durable, scratch resistant and lightweight than past hard-shell luggage types made using plastic or aluminium. Therefore, these can often be the best type of bag for travelling light.
The Hat Case (More of a religious thing)
In some religions, such as the Jewish Community, there are specific religious clothing items that must be protected and carried separately. Examples would be the Hoiche Hat, the Shtreimel or the Spodik.
In these cases, the hat bag is another type of luggage allowed on international flights that can be taken as a carry-on into the cabin rather than checked.
The standard work bag of any child in a private school and adult during the 80s through to the noughties; it’s the briefcase.
Luckily, for the modern 20s, the briefcase has come a long way, and many resemble the satchel bag more than anything else. Yet, they’ll still be foam-reinforced to protect important papers, laptops, charging devices, lunch and so on. Again, as another handbag-type, the briefcase can be taken as carry-on for many international and national flights.
The Camera Bag
Sometimes these seemingly normal-looking backpacks can be incredibly expensive. This is because – you guessed it – they’re not normal backpacks. While many of the modern models of the camera bag types of luggage will feature compartments dedicated to the everyday carry and maybe some extra underwear, the majority of these bags are specially designed with modules fit to house camera bodies, lenses, memory cards, portable lights, monitors, laptops and all the necessary cables.
As well as this, especially so in the modern 20s, there are more and more of these carry-on camera bags that have smart suitcase capabilities. However, as we said before, if it’s going to be luggage allowed on international flights, you’ll need to be able to remove the lithium-ion battery.
The Duffel Bag
Most commonly used as a sports bag, these bags – we’re convinced – were the inspiration behind the Mary Poppins bag. While they may seem like normal, soft luggage fabric, cylindrical bags, they fit everything inside them.
They may not be largely protective of delicate objects, but they can still carry all the clothes necessary for a weekend away, making them the best type of bag for travelling light on a weekend escape.
The Pelican Case
The pelican case is a protective type of luggage used to carry large objects of value such as lighting, sporting goods, camera equipment, amps, musical instruments, set pieces, make-up and so on.
Since 1978, the pelican case (also known as the peli case) has been the perfect polypropylene copolymer-made waterproof, chemical proof and impact resistant case to protect nearly everything using custom-cut inserts.
The Ride-On Case
Brands like Trunki have been emerging over the last decade to bring small hard-shell ride-on cases for kids to entertain themselves while waiting for their train or flight.
Often incorporating fun designs, these cases provide the little ones with a sense of protection and authority as they need to take care of their belongings while having fun. P.S. there were adult ride-on cases, but they simply never had the same appeal!
If you’re still not certain on the right types of suitcase for your travels, especially in the case of brand, durability and price, then simply don’t fret. Our team here at The Hobby Kraze loves to review new suitcases as we explore and thrive (even if we do remain on our little island). So, take a look at these reviews to see which new bag takes your fancy:
- Skyway Luggage Reviews: Top 5 Models for 2021
- Samsonite Winfield 2 Review For 2021
- Samsonite Omni Review for 2021
- Samsonite Centric Hardside Review for 2021
- Nicole Miller Luggage Reviews: Top 3 Collections for 2021
- Lucas Luggage Reviews: Top 4 Suitcases Rated for 2021
- American Tourister Technum Review For 2021
- Ultimate Review of The Best Luggage For a 7 Day Cruise