6 Tips on Choosing a Suitable Suitcase

Say goodbye to the drama of clinkety-clank cardboard boxes on recalcitrant wheels and learn how to score a sleeker suitcase for your next trip.

suitcases© Martin Poole/Getty Images
Some colors may cost less, and will be easier to spot on a carousel.

Traveling anywhere in 2011 is hard enough. Do we really need the drama of a clinkety-clanky cardboard box on recalcitrant wheels trailing drunkenly behind us all the way to Terminal Z?

Holly E. Thomas of the Washington Post reveals how to buy a sleeker set of wheels.

1. Pick a 22-inch carry-on for U.S. travel. International travelers are safer with a 20-inch.

2. Ballistic nylon trumps canvas, polyester, and even leather.

3. Wheels should be hard rubber and have ball bearings.

4. Shoulder straps shouldn’t slip. Handles should go up and down with one hand.

5. Wendy Perrin of Condé Nast Traveler tells Thomas that she avoids highly compartmentalized carry-ons: “It’s best for me to have vast open space that I can fill however I want.” A bag with compartments “wasn’t necessarily designed with my specific needs in mind.”

6. “Off” colors are usually less expensive and easier to find on a luggage carousel.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest