Travel Luggage Guide

Whether it’s a city break, European escape or trekking in a far-flung location, the right luggage makes packing for your trip much easier. To help you make the right choice, we take you through the different types of luggage available, from duffels to rucksacks, to ensure that you’re ready for any adventure. Plus, we’ll take a look at some of the essential accessories to look out for to make every trip run more smoothly.


Duffel Bags

If you’re not planning to travel far on foot, a duffel bag is a great choice. They are available in various sizes, usually from around 30L to 120L, to suit the length of your trip, and have shoulder straps and grab handles for easy carrying. 


Being sturdy and spacious, yet flexible duffels are great if you need to throw in bulkier items like snow boots or camping gear. And, many can be opened from either side, making them a doddle to pack and unpack.

The less rigid structure of a duffel bag makes it ideal if you know space for luggage will be limited as you can squash them down and cram them into spaces a wheeled suitcase would never fit. 


Duffel bags tend to be the most durable and abrasion-resistant option, which makes them suitable for expeditions and likely to last a long time. They are also often made from waterproof materials, so offer some protection if you get caught out in a downpour.


So are there any downsides? As mentioned at the start duffels, are best when you’re not carrying them for long distances. Another thing to consider is that while they are easy to chuck things into, you can soon find that it’s hard to keep your kit organised, especially when packing and unpacking every few days.

Wheeled Luggage

Wheeled luggage is easier to transport than a duffel, especially if you’re carrying a second bag as well, and helps to take the strain off your muscles and joints. However, it’s best suited to environments where you can pull it along, like in an airport, as they can be tricky to carry. To counter this, some wheeled luggage is a rucksack hybrid, which means that when you’re faced with tricky terrain, you can retract the handle and use the rucksack harness to carry it with ease. 


Many wheeled cases come with just two wheels, however, four-wheel cases are becoming more popular. Two-wheel cases are incredibly practical, but four-wheel cases are generally more stable and can still be used on two wheels if you prefer.


Remember, wheeled luggage is convenient and allows you to carry more, but it has much more ‘structure’ than a duffle bag which adds weight and makes it harder to squish into luggage compartments. So if you know space will be tight, then a duffel bag may be a better option.


Hiking rucksacks are excellent travel all-rounders, with plenty of space, pockets and technical features that can make a big difference on your trip. Designed so you can carry everything you need with you, they’re built to be durable and often come with features like a breathable back panel to maximise your comfort when carrying the pack for long periods. 


Rucksacks are the best option if you'll be moving about a lot, especially if you’re somewhere remote. Carrying your stuff on your back is the most practical option when you’re active, as it leaves your hands free. 


Rucksacks tend to have internal sections and dividers so it's easy to separate clean and dirty kit and muddy shoes. Padded sections for a laptop and/or tablet and extra security features are also great to look out for. Bear in mind, though, that if your trip involves travelling to many different locations, you’ll have to unpack and re-pack your bag most days. Traditional, top-loading hiking rucksacks can make this a challenge, so a travelling rucksack that zips open fully, more like a suitcase, will be useful. 


Remember to visit us for a rucksack fitting with one of our in-store experts. Find your local store here.


Check out our rucksack fitting guide here.


Day Packs

If you’re taking a carry-on bag or want a smaller bag to carry all your essentials for daytime adventures, a versatile daysack is ideal. Like larger rucksacks, daysacks have comfort and functionality in mind and will have plenty of technical features to organise your kit. 


Day packs deliver incredible versatility and mean you can leave behind the bulk of your stuff and pack up what you need for the day. Look for one that can carry everything you need without being so large it weighs you down or gets in your way when you’re out and about.


If you are using your day pack as carry-on baggage, avoid one with a frame as this adds bulk and weight and won’t pack into the overhead storage as easily.


Packing Solutions

Packing cubes are a great solution to keep your kit organised and neat throughout the packing, re-packing and unpacking cycle! They’re available in a variety of sizes, so whether you want to keep clothes nicely folded, protect your tech or separate your shoes, these are a great option.


Interlocking zips are a great feature to look out for as they allow you to padlock your bag and deter opportunistic thieves. Choosing a combination lock will remove the possibility of lost keys, and a TSA lock will mean that airport authorities can open it without destroying it.


Dry Bags

For adventurous travels where your bag might get wet, dry bags are great for ensuring your possessions will remain dry and undamaged. Dry bags are available in a variety of sizes, which can also help with separating kit inside your rucksack.

Rucksack Accessories

If you’re using a rucksack, chances are you’ll end up throwing it around a bit. It’s a good idea to get some extra protection in the form of a rucksack cover to prevent the staps from getting damaged, prolong your rucksack’s life and add an extra layer of security with lockable zips.

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