Why are suitcases so expensive

Suitcase: tests & test winners

It doesn't always have to be the most expensive case - cheaper hard-shell cases or textile cases also do well in tests. We are currently showing you best travel suitcase on the market. For that we have Tests and opinions evaluated and offset to an overall grade. The last test is from.

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Guide: suitcase

Stiftung Warentest: Not all of them are tight

Key facts at a glance:
  1. Suitcase in the test environment: Even cheap ones high in the grade ranking
  2. Most common reasons for devaluation: moderate rain protection, too loud rollers, awkward handling and damage during the drop test
  3. Hard cases protect the contents better; Textile cases are more flexible when packing and often have practical outer compartments
  4. Travel to the USA: Suitcases with a TSA lock can be opened by security staff with a master key if necessary

Better in the rain: External telescopic poles prevent moisture from getting inside. (Image source: samsonite.de)

Case in the test: how much does a good product have to cost?

Forty euros, if the last comparison check by Stiftung Warentest and a simple hand luggage case made of fabric is required (. In general, the bottom line is that you get away with the fabric models cheaper. If it is a hard case, a little more money has to be in hand for good quality Surprisingly, the most expensive suitcase, the Topas from Rimowa (hard shell), ended up among the last. No one in the test field got the best rating. Even the highest placed could at best wrest a “good” from the testers.

What separates the good suitcases from the bad in the comparison tests?

Pollutants in the handles can be found in all price ranges, but increased concentrations are now the exception. There are devaluations across the board when it comes to use - many travel suitcases are only mediocre in practice, says Stiftung Warentest. Too loud rollers here, a windy telescopic frame there, and even rain, most suitcases have little to oppose. Tip: Haus & Garten Test is the only test magazine that also checks handling for seniors.
Zippers, seams and case surfaces withstood all cases tested by the product testers, regardless of whether they were soft or hard cases. The tide turned in the crash test from a height of one meter: In many of them, the rollers and the suspension were literally blown away on impact. In the worst case scenario, they left a gaping hole in the bottom of the case with hard-shell suitcases.

What is the maximum size of the suitcase to be allowed in the hand luggage rack of an aircraft?

The requirements of the airlines are different. Comparison: Many set the limit at 55 x 40 x 20 cm. Not all providers take the measurements exactly, as Stiftung Warentest judges. Sometimes there is rigorous cheating. Original: With the U-Lite Classic from Delsey, the castors can be removed if necessary.

Tip: Only when the packing straps are anchored to the bottom of the tray can the contents be fixed even when the load is low. (Image source: samsonite.de)

Fabric or hard shell: which is better?

Hard-shell cases are usually made of polycarbonate or polypropylene and protect the contents better from compression. In the 100 kg pressure test on the Stiftung Warentest test bench, inexpensive travel cases such as the models from Real or Primark can also do this, provided that only the surface of the case is loaded. In the drop test, they again lose out, especially very cheap specimens. Even when they are full they react more stubbornly due to their hard shell. Textile cases always offer a few millimeters more space. If you still want a hard case, we advise you to use expandable models.
The hard shells have a bit more to oppose wetness, but the case types in this test chapter are not far apart. If it gets inside, then via the zip or the telescopic rod. Tip: Hard-shell suitcases with external poles like the Stratic stand better in the rain.

In a weight comparison, both are practically on the same level, the hard shells are no longer heavier than soft-shell cases today. Manufacturers such as Samsonite sometimes even push the weight of their hand luggage trolleys below the 2 kg threshold, but they also pay dearly for the corresponding models - additional expenses that can be worthwhile for frequent travelers given the restrictive weight requirements of some airlines. On the purely practical side, there is an extra point for the soft-shell case: outside pockets offer storage options for magazines and small items.

Case with TSA lock. (Image: amazon.de)

USA travel: only with TSA lock?

If you go on a long-haul trip and have chosen the United States of America as your destination, you should pay attention to the correct luggage. Because only a suitcase with a so-called TSA lock protects against unpleasant surprises at the security check. If the officers at the airport notice suspicious or unidentifiable material during the x-ray fluoroscopy, they can open the suitcase without force using a universal key and then close it again.
This means: The correct numerical code or a specific key are not required to open the suitcase, the security authorities always have free access. This is important for trips to the USA, as there is no long hesitation in looking for the owner of the trolley in the event of alleged threats. Instead, it can happen that a simple combination lock is quickly broken if the item of luggage is searched.

However, travel trolleys with a TSA lock have one major disadvantage: if you have the universal key, you can easily access the contents. And since it's not just any top-secret specification, there should be some criminals out there with the right key. Therefore, only luggage that is not of great value should be stored in a TSA suitcase - the rest is better placed in hand luggage, which you can open and show personally if you wish.

Author: Daniel Simic


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    • Edition: 4/2021
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