The Best Reviewed Lightweight Luggage - Buyers Guide 2017

Finding a good lightweight luggage isn't easy. To help you choose the very best luggage, we have checked hundreds of reviews (1,386 reviews so far!) Based on the many reviews, the top 0 list below shows you exactly what lightweight luggage that are the best choices here in 2017.


Best reviewed lightweight luggage 2017


Osprey Ultralight
Osprey Ultralight
2 models available. [4917] and [4979]
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.6
1,128 reviews

Osprey Transporter
Osprey Transporter
4 models available. 130, 40, 65 and 95
Size 40-130 L (2441-7933 CI)
4.6
244 reviews

Osprey Trillium
Osprey Trillium
3 models available. 30, 45 and 65
4.1
14 reviews

If you are trying to keep your baggage as light as possible, you need to start with the luggage itself. So, if you want to limit how much you have to pay on flights, lightweight luggage is the way to go. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that easy to find lightweight luggage as it is not explicitly labeled.

So, if you are determined to find a piece or two of luggage that weighs less, this guide will be your best bet. Here, we discuss the options available to you as well as how to make the right decision for you. This way, you will find bags or cases that meet all of your requirements. Find out all of these details and more, here.

Lightweight Luggage: Your Guide to Keeping it Weightless (Buyers Guide)

When you go shopping for luggage, there are a number of things that you consider. This includes quality, durability, storage options, and even appearance. What many people don’t stop to look at is how much a case or bag weighs when it is empty. Not doing this can cost you in numerous ways later on. To prevent this from happening to you, here are all of the things that you should be aware of when shopping for lightweight luggage:

Why Is Lightweight Luggage Important?

Now, you may be wondering if you should be making the effort to actually shop for bags and cases that are lighter than the rest. After all, is it really making all that much difference to your travel experience? Well, believe it or not, opting for lighter weight can completely transform the way that you travel, particularly if you fly quite often.

Although you may not realize it bags, in particular suitcases, tend to weigh quite a bit. In fact, a medium-sized suitcase can weight anywhere from ten to fifteen pounds. Considering the weight limitations that airlines place on baggage, you will be unable to pack as much with these cases. Also, the lighter the bag, the less likely it is for you to get caught to those pesky baggage fees.

The other reason that lightweight luggage can make your life easier is that it is just simply easier to carry around. For one thing, you will be able to hoist your back onto and off security belts, and have an easier time at the baggage carousel. Not to mention, you will be able to move around the airport and your destination without having to strain yourself as much. As you can see, there are a number of reasons why you may want to consider investing in lightweight luggage.

Your Lightweight Luggage Options

So, what is that you can take with you on your journeys so that your all of your baggage will not weigh as much? Well, here are some of the options available to you:

Duffel Bags

The reason that duffel bags don’t weigh all that much is because the sides are unstructured and don’t offer a great deal of support. Also, this type of bags is made from fabric which helps to cut down on the weight considerably. The main benefit of duffel bags is that you can pack quite a lot into them as they are built to have a lot of internal space.

Travel Packs

Then there are travel packs – these are essentially oversized backpacks although they are typically made of lighter materials. These too have the benefit of allowing you to carry a larger number of items although it is quite difficult to keep these things organized. These type of luggage are best for more adventurous activities such as backpacking or trekking.

Suitcases

The main issue with duffel bags and travel packs is that they are not suitable for all types of trips. For one thing, while they can carry a lot of items, there are limitations on how big these bags can get. This, in turn, can limit how much you can carry. The other downside with these type of bags is that they don’t look all that elegant which means that you may feel self-conscious rolling them into hotels or resorts. This is why many people opt for suitcases. The good news is that there are actually a few lightweight options among suitcases as well. The most common type of suitcase is soft-shelled cases with hard shell cases becoming more popular. The benefit with suitcases is that they look better, are quite durable, and offer you a lot more space to carry your items.

One of the newer arrivals on the scene is fold suitcases. As the name implies, these are cases that can be folded once they are empty and no longer. These cases don’t have a lot of rigid structure and tend to weigh less because of this.

Materials to Look For

It will probably come as little surprise that the best way for a piece of luggage to weigh less is to be made from a lightweight material. Here are some of the choices that you can consider:

Soft Shell Cases and Foldable Suitcases

More often than not, you will find that soft-shelled cases and foldable cases made from either polyester or nylon, although there are various combinations available as well. The lightest cases are often constructed from polyester as it is the most lightweight fabric. It also happens to be more affordable than nylon options too.

Nylon isn’t nearly as light as polyester but does have the advantage of being quite strong and sturdy. Cases that are made from this material are a bit more expensive but tend to be of high quality as well. It should be noted that with both nylon and polyester, the denier of the material matters. The greater the denier, the thicker the material which ultimately increases the weight of the fabric.

The Frames

What many people forget is that soft shell cases have frames that help them to stand up straight. These too carry weight so you need to be careful about what you decide on. If you choose ones that are made from either graphite, aluminum, or fiberglass, you will find that the cases are fairly lightweight. To decrease the weight even further, you should look at the options with honeycomb construction that make these structures even lighter.

Hard Shell Cases

When it comes to hard shell cases, the lightest options that are available are ABS plastic, polypropylene, and polycarbonate. If you want the lightest possible hard shell case, you should opt for the one that is made from polypropylene with the ABS plastic coming in second place, and the polycarbonate models last of all.

While polycarbonate hard shell cases may not be the lightest option, they are quite hardy. The advantage with cases made from ABS plastic is that they are often quite reasonably priced and relatively strong.

Hard vs. Soft Cases

If you are looking for a suitcase that has a little more to offer in terms of support and structure, then the obvious choice would be between hard and soft cases. This does give rise to a new question though – which one is lighter?

Now, it may seem that soft cases are undeniably lighter than hard-shelled suitcases as they are made from fabric. However, this is not always the case. In certain instances, if the soft case is made from strong and thick fabric and has a heavier frame, they can actually weigh more than some hard-shelled options. In the end, the only way to determine which one is lighter for certain is to weigh the suitcases and make the comparisons with this number.

The Significance of Striking a Balance between Weight and Durability

It can be tempting to get carried away with choosing the suitcase that weighs the least amount. While this may be your main goal, you should also keep in mind that you need durable luggage that is capable of withstanding wear and tear for a time. After all, you can’t have your case falling apart after only a couple of uses. This means that you must find a balance between lightweight and durability.

Let’s take soft cases, for instance. Now, if you want as light an option as possible, you will probably opt for polyester rather than a heavier nylon fabric. Nonetheless, it is still important to buy a suitcase that is made up of at least 600D material so that the fabric has some strength, at least.

The same thing can be said for hard shell cases as well. You will need to think about whether it is more important for you to protect your belongings or to keep the weight low. For the best possible mix of these two outcomes, a material like polycarbonate or ABS plastics will offer you better results.

How to Keep the Weight Down

Remember, that most types of luggage, suitcases in particular, come with a carrying system – the wheels and handle. You will need to take these into consideration as well when determining just how much your luggage with weigh on its own.

Where your grand scheme for carrying as low a weight as possible may fall apart is when it comes to the packing portion of your trip. It doesn’t matter how lightweight your case is if you tend to pack too much for your travels. The best way to curb this habit is to get yourself a suitcase that makes it quite difficult to do so.

Here, a hard case suitcase will come in most handy as it is very difficult to over pack with these backs. Add to this is the fact that it has limited storage options so you can stuff in a few extra items here and there. Zipperless luggage is also a great option for you to consider. Since there is no zipper to make expansion possible, you will have to find a way to only pack as much room as the suitcase has.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know about lightweight luggage and how to choose pieces that are actually light.


Last updated on December 14, 2017

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