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8 Different Types of Luggage

A woman holding a travel luggage.

Traveling can be a great experience. Many people, including myself, love to travel. However, if you are anything like me, you do not love packing for the trip. I often overpack because I worry I will not have what I need. So, most of the time, I do not use everything I have packed. 

There are countless luggage options, and while I will still overpack, it is helpful to know all of the options available to me. In addition, there are many luggage options that are very similar but have some distinct and significant differences. 

Continue reading to find out more information about the luggage options that are available to you. 

What is Luggage?

Luggage is also referred to as baggage. In its simplest definition, it is some type of container that can hold the possessions of someone. The purpose is for this container to hold these items securely during travel. 

Luggage is constructed from many different materials. It comes in varying sizes, colors, shapes, and sizes. Different types of luggage have different purposes. Some have handles or wheels to make them easier to move. Other types of luggage can be carried on the body, such as a backpack

Types of Luggage

1. Carry-on Luggage

A person carrying an orange luggage.

Carry-on luggage has one purpose, and that is to allow you to conveniently carry your items onto a plane. If you do not want to check your baggage, a carry-on is precisely what you need. 

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There is a limit to the size of a carry-on bag. That limit is 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. As a result, any luggage that is built and called a carry-on fits into this size limitation. 

Carry-on luggage is ideal for those that pack light and want to be mobile. A typical carry-on has heavy-duty wheels that are oversized. This allows them to keep on rolling over all types of ground. In addition, they often have an internal pocket for small items. 

This type of luggage has an external pocket that allows you to shove things you may need to access quickly, such as your tickets. You can also throw a book in there when you want to move quickly. Inside the bag, there are often straps that allow you to lock in your items, so they do not shift during flight. 

While carry-ons are intended to fit inside the size limitations, they may be smaller than what is allowed. In some rare cases, they may be larger. Therefore, you want to make sure that you check the size before attempting to take it on a plane. 

These bags come in various colors and designs. They are great for short or long trips, depending on how you pack. The usual size for a carry-on is going to range between 18 inches to 22 inches high. They can hold anywhere between 2,200 to 6,300 cubic inches.  Check out our luggage sizes chart for more size info.

Most often, you will find soft carry-on luggage that is made from a combination of polyester and nylon. This ensures that it is sturdy and can withstand the beating it may take. In addition, this type of luggage is waterproof. Other carry-ons may be constructed from a hard ABS plastic shell that is difficult to damage or break. 

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2. Dopp Kit

A Dopp Kit on a white background.


A Dopp kit is a portable piece of luggage that is intended to carry toiletries. Most often, it is a soft bag that looks more like a pouch. It has an large open compartment. It may have a small compartment inside the large one, but not always. 

These pouches often have a zipper to close and open them. This is a great place to store toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and more. However, if something spills in this bag, it will go everywhere and potentially ruin all your items. 

3. Duffel Bag

A duffel bag with luggage on a chair.

You will find that duffel bags come in a wide variety of designs and colors. These types of bags do not have wheels or handles. They are intended to be carried around easily. Duffel bags have handles attached to them for easier carrying. Another name for these bags is a weekender bag. 

These bags do not have any rigid parts, which makes them easy to store. They can be folded small to fit into limited spaces. These bags are ideal for individuals on a budget, such as students, because they are inexpensive. 

Duffel bags have strong zippers, strong straps, and outside pockets. The inside is reinforced to hold objects that are semi-large. These bags are durable and sturdy. 

Duffel bags are often tube shaped and long. In addition, they can come in various shapes and sizes. Larger duffels can have as much as 8,000 cubic inches of space. As a result, these bags are not always ideal for moving through tight crowds. 

If you have a bulky duffel bag, it can slow you down. However, it does allow you to pack everything you need for any trip or purpose. The typical material of a duffel bag is polyester, canvas, vinyl, or some blend. In addition, you may find a duffel bag that is made out of leather. 

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Canvas is a reliable and sturdy material. You can even drag it across the floor, and it should hold up well. In addition, it is a thick material that protects the inside contents well. 

4. Garment Bags

A black Garment Bags on a white background.

Garment bags are intended to carry nicer clothing that you do not want wrinkled or dirty. This may include dresses, jackets, suits, and slacks. This can be an ideal way to pack your clothes if you do not have time or an opportunity to iron or steam them. 

Often when traveling for a business meeting or special event, you will need a garment bag. However, garment bags can be difficult to carry. 

They often are not long enough for dresses or coats. Some garment bags are short, but others are longer and fold in the middle. The garment bags that fold can carry longer items, but they will fold at the middle. 

Some garment bags have a hanger on the outside that allows you to hang it in the closet without removing your clothes. They may have special sections for shoes or small items, like ties or socks. You can find some of these bags on wheels. 

5. Hardside Luggage

A woman selecting a luggage bag on a store.


Hardside luggage can come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. What defines this type of luggage is the hard, waterproof shell that is on the outside of it. It is made from durable and long-lasting material. This protects the contents from water and damage. 

Often hardwire luggage has a compartment for storage on each side, and then it closes like a clamshell. Some of these bags are made from polycarbonate material which makes them lightweight and durable. 

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This type of luggage is resilient and flexible, which allows it to bear the brunt of a large amount of stress without damage. It will not scratch easily. 

6. Rolling Spinner Luggage

A blue rolling spinner luggage on a white background.


Rolling spinner luggage is a piece of luggage that has wheels on it to make it much easier to move. This luggage can have a soft side or a hard side. To be a spinner piece of luggage, it must have four wheels and not just two. 

This is the most common type of luggage and the piece that people like to use the most. The wheels on this luggage spin 360 degrees to allow you to move and spin it in any direction. This type of bag turns corners well and gives you more mobility. 

You are able to push, pull, or roll this bag. This type of luggage can move across any surface, but it can break easily. You do need to use some care with spinner luggage. Some bags allow you to lock the wheels when you do not want them to spin. 

Spinning luggage has a handle that is typically telescopic. This means you can pull it out to different lengths to find the one that best suits you. 

7. Softside Luggage

Black Softside Luggage on a white background.

Softside luggage is constructed of soft material and is incredibly flexible. It is easy to put in smaller spaces because it has some give to it. In addition, this luggage is lightweight and is shock absorbers. 

Softside luggage is made of different types of material. Depending on the fabric, it may be waterproof, but not all softside luggage is waterproof or stain proof. It may be made from nylon or polyester. 

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This type of luggage has outside pockets to grant you easy access to items you need quickly. In addition, most of the materials used on this type of luggage are durable and resilient. 

8. Wheeled Duffel

Two different type of Wheeled Duffel bags.

A wheeled duffel bag is the bag you need if you want to overpack and overstuff it. This is a great back for packing all of your large and awkward sized items. These bags are especially useful for carrying sports equipment. 

A wheeled duffel bag gives you all the benefits of a duffel bag, but on wheels. This provides you with convenience and allows you to pack heavier items. In addition, if the duffel bag is small enough and fits into the size requirements, you can wheel it directly onto the plane. 

These bags are sturdy and oversized, with a robust chassis and oversized wheels. This is intended to be a heavy-duty bag. It often has clips so you can attach other bags to it. The zippers are sturdy and intended to sustain a large amount of zipping and unzipping. 

These bags come in a variety of sizes that range from 30 inches tall to 36 inches tall. They are typically made from strong ripstop nylon or ballistic nylon. It has internal pockets typically made of mesh that can easily accommodate extra items.