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How we test luggage

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How we test luggage

Our luggage testing assesses the key areas of how a suitcase performs.


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We put each suitcase through a series of durability and ease of use tests to ensure your chosen luggage is as easy to pull as it is robust.

The suitcases we test face the same everyday challenges you do with your luggage, including lifting the suitcases in and out of a car boot and carrying it up and down stairs.

Trolley handle heights and grips will vary, so we recommend you combine the results of our luggage reviews with a visit to a luggage retailer to choose the best luggage for you.

Luggage testing in action

Our video highlights some of the main areas of our expert luggage testing, helping you to choose and buy with confidence. Log in or sign up for £1 to get instant access to all our reviews. 

As well as measuring the size, weight and volume of each suitcase, we assess how luggage fares for:

Luggage durability 

Even if you're careful with your luggage, there’s no guarantee taxi drivers or baggage handlers will be.

To help you pick a bag that can withstand everyday bumps and knocks we drop each one from carrying height and also from 90cm to simulate falling from an airport security X-ray machine.

Luggage pulling and manoeuvring 

Most suitcases are easy to pull along a smooth surface, such as you might find at the airport. But how easy would your case be to pull over cobbles on a trip to Edinburgh or Amsterdam?

We load each suitcase with 15kg weights and then put it through 5,000 cycles on a specially designed roller belt studded with obstacles. We also road test each case on rough terrain, cobbles, and up and down kerbs.

We see how each suitcase fares when faced with airport obstacles such as escalators and revolving doors.

Luggage water resistance

All the cases we test are given a thorough soaking as part of our water resistance test.

Each case is set at a 45 degree angle in the lab – as if it was being pulled along by you - and exposed to enough water to simulate a heavy downpour. We then check to see how much water has made its way inside.

Luggage zips and handles

We test the carry handles on luggage by loading each case with weights then lifting and lowering it 250 times on a specially designed machine. We also assess how easy each case is to carry up and down stairs.

We test the zip strength and durability by opening and closing a packed suitcase 250 times.

Car boot test

Many holidaymakers will travel to the airport by car, so we test to see how easy it is for each suitcase to be lifted in and out of a car boot.

Luggage test score

Our test score excludes price and is based on:

  • Durability – 50%
  • Ease of use - 50%

More on this...

  • Which? reveals the best suitcases for your next holiday in our luggage reviews
  • Packing light? Read Which? reviews and advice on the best hand luggage
  • Before booking your flights, find out how your airline fared in our airlines survey

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