I've gone through a handful of suitcases throughout the years and it was never fun having to buy yet another suitcase. They're not cheap and I was getting tired of having to buy new ones. So this time, I made sure to do some research before buying a new suitcase. These are the five things I took into consideration before I made my purchase:
I noticed one of the major problems I had with my suitcases were the wheels. The wheels get a ton of wear, so if they're cheaply made, they tend to give out pretty quickly. I also noticed that the ones I bought only went forward or backward. They weren't the unique twin-wheel system that allows you to tow your suitcase in three different ways, which makes a HUGE difference.
I always got annoyed when the extendable handle on my suitcase started to jam or if the handle didn't have a soft-grip. Another issue was the height of the handle. To solve the height issue, having a two-post handle is best and it also gives you the ability to piggyback a smaller bag (tote bag) or personal item (laptop case, briefcase).
In the past, my suitcases were made of fabric. I've never had an issue with the fabric tearing, but they tend to be on the heavier side. Buying a suitcase made of polycarbonate offers high impact protection and it's ultra light.
I don't know if it's just my circle of friends and family, but I have heard more than a handful of stories about items being stolen out of their luggage both domestically and internationally. Having a lock doesn't mean your items are secure. I came across a video of a locked suitcase being opened with a ballpoint pen! To avoid the chances of your zipper getting broken into, chain zippers are much more difficult to break into than the coil zippers. Also, check to see if the zipper is made by YKK. Apparently, they are the best in the industry when it comes to zippers. If you want to completely avoid this from happening, there are plenty of suitcases that are made without zippers. Below is a video of how easily a zippered bag was opened and closed with a pen.
I bought my pure polycarbonate two piece suitcase five years ago on eBags for just under $100. So far, my best travel luggage to date. I've been around the world with them them and they are still going strong. No signs of having to buy a new one anytime soon.
Another place to buy luggage at great prices are flash sale sites. If you have a little bit of patience, you will definitely find an amazing deal. I have seen great deals on GILT, HAUTELOOK, RUELALA, and MYHABIT.
I have had my eyes on a particular suitcase for several months called the Raden. I seriously want my current suitcase to break just so I can go out and buy this one. The bag weighs itself, has USB charging ports, and it can be tracked via bluetooth. The price point is slightly higher than your average suitcase, but well worth it. It's not surprising that it is now one of Oprah's Favorite Things 2016. This video shows just how awesome it is, or you can watch Oprah's video.