Placing your bags in check-in is always a leap of faith. You can never be sure what condition your luggage will be in once it reaches its destination. However, does expensive luggage have a better chance of surviving airline transit? To find out, testers pitted a high end suitcase against two budget ones. After testing the maneuverability of the wheels on various surfaces, they packed the suitcases with wrapped bottles and tossed them 40 times on a concrete floor. The goal was to test payload protection and durability.
At $600, the Samsonite X’Lite is certainly not a cheap suitcase. This piece of luggage scored exceptionally well on the wheel test, but its low ground clearance left the base scraping the ground. Even Jeep luggage, which costs several hundred dollars less, had better wheel maneuverability.
Of all the cases tested, the X’Lite had the best package protection. It took 17 throws onto the concrete before the bottles were smashed. After being thrown 40 times however, the shell was the most cracked and scratched of the suitcases, and the handle snapped off after only a couple tosses.
For only $180, the Xcase is very strong and maneuverable. This bag could be pulled and pushed with minimal hassle, thanks to large wheels with bumpy terrain capability. The low price does have a negative toll on the Xcase however, since it offers the least package protection. The bottles smashed after two throws. After all forty throws, the case was only slightly scratched. Aside from a dented corner, the rest of the structure was still intact.
Pushing the Diamond around at airports is rather annoying since this suitcase is quite large and not easy to maneuver. Despite being more costly than the Samsonite bag at $630, the Diamond scored second place for package protection. It only took nine throws to destroy the contents inside. Titan Luggage claims the polycarbonate covering for the Diamond suitcase is scratchproof, and it nearly is. Aside from some moderate scuffing and dented corner, this bag was practically blemish-free after 40 throws on solid concrete.
Although expensive suitcases can protect your valuables better, the price is not associated with how well the suitcase frame can handle abuse. Buying expensive luggage may serve as a great fashion statement, but it may fall apart just as quickly as a cheap suitcase. In the end, it all comes down to your unique traveling style.