Suitcase Size Guide | 5 things to consider before buying a large suitcase

November 21, 2017 4 min read

The vast majority of customers who enter our store for a suitcase come in with the intention of buying a large size and we always ask them to stop and consider this.  At first thought it makes sense, buy the maximum size and then you can fill it as much as needed for each trip – simply leaving some empty space if you don’t need the entire capacity.  However, a large suitcase does have some major restrictions, so read our suitcase size guide with 5 things to consider before buying a large suitcase.

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1. Will you need to carry your suitcase?

This may seem obvious, but with the high-quality wheels on luggage these days, we often get away with getting door to door without actually lifting the bag.  A full large suitcase can be heavy and awkward to carry. Obviously, you will normally stick to the packing limit of up to 23kg, however, even at this weight a large suitcase would be hard to carry for a distance. Consider whether you have stairs at your house, or at your destination or a rough surface that the bag will need to be carried over. If you will need to carry your suitcase, consider a medium, it’s a more manageable size to pick up and carry, even at maximum weight capacity.

2. Will you be travelling by car or bus in your journey (including taxis)?

Car boots are only so big, and one large suitcase can be all that fits in the boot. Or in the case of compact cars, taxis or other local transport, a large suitcase may not even fit. Also consider what your travel companions are taking, for 2 people, 2 large suitcases and 2 cabin suitcases, it would be questionable whether everything would all fit in a NYC cab.  If you’re on a tour bus, restrictions may apply anyway.  And if you’re heading to Greece, Africa or Asia, consider how your large suitcase will work when getting around by donkey, jeep or tuk tuk.

3. Are you travelling on your own and wanting to catch cabs or public transport?

Similar to the previous point, but more on a logistic level. Consider being on your own, with your large suitcase and your cabin bag, attempting to hail a cab on a busy Parisian street, and attempting to load your suitcase and other gear in the rain, in a hurry, with cars honking because your blocking the traffic. It’s stressful and hard to manage – especially if you need assistance lifting the weight of the case! Same story for public transport – lugging your suitcase on to a busy subway and through crowded metro stations is seriously hard work and will have you wondering why on earth you needed that fifth pair of shoes you probably won’t wear!

4. Do you have somewhere to store a large suitcase?

Large suitcases are bulky.  They don’t easily store in a cupboard or under the bed. If you have a small place or limited storage then consider whether you really need a large suitcase.  A medium is a bit easier to manage as they can often squeeze into the top of a wardrobe or the bottom of the linen cabinet.

5. They can encourage over packing

A full large suitcase (even the superlight ones!) is generally hovering on or over your 20-25kg limit, and no one likes an overweight fee!

If you consider the above 5 points and still think a large is the way to go, then go for it, if you can work around those issues then a large suitcase will work for you.  However, if you think you may encounter issues like we’ve outlined above, the combination of a medium plus a cabin suitcase normally gives you a similar total capacity to a large suitcase, and gives you more versatility for different trips – you can take one or the other or both as needed.

Here are 4 alternatives to buying a large suitcase, that when combined give you 100L + packing capacity:

Victorinox Spectra Medium Expandable Suitcase

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Whilst just shy of the 100L capacity goal, we’ll forgive it as this is the only 2 in 1 option.  This medium suitcase has a huge expander that takes it up to 91L. It is effectively a medium and a large suitcase in one, and you can adapt it to suit your needs.

Shop it here

Samsonite Octolite 68cm Suitcase + Samsonite Octolite 55cm Cabin Suitcase

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The 68cm Octolite is a very compact and convenient size, yet a generous 75L. If you purchase the matching cabin suitcase, you get an additional 35L for a total of 110L. Having 2 sizes gives you flexibility with an option for weekends, a week away and longer trips, and they store inside each other.

Shop the 68cm Octolite here, and the cabin 55cm size here

Samsonite B-Lite 71cm Expandable Suitcase + Samsonite B-Lite Carry-on Bag

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The 71cm expandable B-Lite suitcase already has a generous 88L of packing space, and it expands up to 94L. By purchasing the matching soft carry-on bag you get an additional 30L of packing space.  The Carry-on bag can also be used for weekends away or as a gym bag giving you more value for your money.

Shop the B-Lite 71cm suitcase here, and the Carry-On Bag here

Any medium suitcase + the Samsonite foldable duffel

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This handy foldable duffel bag gives you an extra 40L of packing space whenever you need it! It folds down to a pocket size package that you can tuck into your suitcase or cabin bag – then simply unfold it if needed for overflow or extra gear you’re bringing home. The great thing about these foldable bags is that you can use them whilst you’re on holiday as a day bag or beach bag.

Shop the Samsonite foldable duffel here

Or shop all foldable bags here 

Images 1, 3, 4 & 5 via Samsonite AU Instagram / Image 2 via Victorinox Instagram



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