Hard-shelled luggage items do not use zippers to close and depend instead on snap-closure mechanisms that can be locked in place. The hard shells are constructed with a combination of PVC, aluminum, polypropylene or polycarbonate. Because of the extra security at airports, checked luggage goes through an intensive screening process, often involving a series of runs, and hard-shelled, non-zippered luggage is better-suited to take such wear and tear since it is more durable than soft-shelled luggage.Continue Reading
Another advantage to hard-shelled, non-zippered luggage is that it makes it harder for anyone to break into a suitcase while it is out of its owner's sight. Many types of zippered luggage can be easily pried open with a ball point pen and then re-zippered as if there had been no intrusion. Zippered, cloth luggage is also more likely to get damaged in airport security belt systems with mechanisms that boot the luggage from one belt to the next one.
When buying non-zippered, hard-shelled luggage, individuals should be aware of other differences that may affect them on their journeys. Hard-shelled luggage tends to be slightly heavier that soft-shelled luggage, so travelers may have to pack more lightly or risk going over the weight limit. During stacking on the airplane, hard-shelled luggage is placed at the bottom of stacks and thus is under more stress than the soft-covered luggage.Learn more about Accessories