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Buying Guide: Bags & Luggage

When it comes to travelling, your bags and luggage can be the difference between having a comfortable trip and a stressful disaster. Especially if you’re travelling far, it’s essential to take the time to get the most convenient baggage option. 

There are many different luggage options, from suitcases to carry-on luggage and backpacks. So, we've put together this extensive guide to help point you in the right direction. After reading, you’ll have the tools to buy the right travel bags for a successful trip. Here’s what we’ll cover: 


Why you need good luggage

Different types of suitcases

Key considerations when choosing luggage

How to know it’s time to replace your suitcase

Considerations when choosing bags and backpacks

The range of suitcases and bags at Briscoes



Why you need good luggage

Given where New Zealand is located, it’s no surprise that Kiwis like to travel abroad. As mentioned, having sufficient suitcases and luggage bags for travelling is vital, especially if you’re heading overseas. But why is your suitcase and cabin bag so important?

Stress-free travel

Whether you’re heading away for work or a much-deserved break, the last thing you need is to feel stressed. There’s a lot to consider when travelling, so sometimes feeling a little uncomfortable and overwhelmed is unavoidable. Thankfully, with a good suitcase or cabin bag, your luggage is one less thing to worry about. 

A good suitcase is also secure to prevent anyone from getting into it. Regarding carry-on luggage, a good cabin bag means you can take home comforts on long-haul flights. 

You can take more on holiday

Yes, there are weight restrictions when travelling on a plane. But a good suitcase isn’t heavy, allowing more items to be packed inside. A good suitcase also isn’t just bigger. Many of the suitcases at Briscoes can fit more without being too bulky. Our options have internal pouches, dividers and compartments. That way, you can travel with more of what you need, no matter where you travel.

Your belongings won’t be damaged

When in transit, chances are your baggage will be chucked around by airline staff. In most cases, this is unavoidable. They’re just doing their job, after all. But this is why a good suitcase is also one that is sturdy. That way, your personal belongings inside won’t get damaged. The options we have at Briscoes have thin but strong wall linings.

Different types of suitcases

When it comes to suitcases, there are two main categories to choose from at Briscoes. Both options have their own benefits and downsides. Ultimately, it’s up to you to match the luggage option with your needs and travel style. 

Hard trolley case

A hard suitcase, or hard trolley case, is a luggage option with a hard or solid exterior. A hard trolley case is usually more durable than other baggage options. A hard suitcase may seem like a no-brainer, but it does mean that it’s more challenging to fit into tight spaces. 

Hard side cases are usually made from ABS, PP or PC material, which can be opened from the middle. So, there are two equal halves, but no outside pockets. It’s also worth noting that some hardcover options are a bit heavier than soft trolley cases. 

Soft trolley case

On the flip side, soft trolley cases, or soft suitcases, are sometimes a preferred luggage option for travellers. A soft trolley case is usually a bit easier to fit and move around. Especially once you arrive at your destination and have to catch a bus or train, this can be very helpful. 

Many soft cases also have handy exterior pockets and are made from denier nylon. However, a downside of soft trolley cases is that some don’t have built-in locks.


Key considerations when choosing luggage

Whether you’re looking for a new suitcase or a smaller luggage option to take as a cabin bag, there are certain features to look for in any good baggage. Everyone has their travel style, but these considerations will help you make the correct purchase for your circumstances. 


It can be the bain of existence for many travellers having to meet an airline’s weight restriction. If your luggage or travel suitcase is too heavy, chances are you’ll be slapped with a hefty fine by the airline when processing your check-on baggage. 

The majority of our trolley cases will state the unpacked weight it holds. Cabin-size trolley cases tend to be as light as possible, but it is also important to refer to the limits the airline will allow for your trip. Airlines will have rules on how many bags can be checked in, so be sure to shop with all this in mind.

Top tip: For packing advice, read our guide on how to pack a suitcase for an overseas trip.


Suitcases and trolley cases will generally come in three sizes: 

  • Small 
  • Medium 
  • Large 

Small trolley cases and suitcases are often cabin bag size, which will be a maximum of 55cm. It is always recommended to check with your airline to know the exact size allowed. Airlines will often have a maximum size for check-on baggage as well. 

Top tip: To get more from your cabin bag, read our top 30 items to keep in your carry-on luggage. 


Recognise your luggage at the airport luggage carousel by choosing a unique colour or design. Most trolley cases and suitcases sold are black, making it easy to mix up bags or find your case without making multiple trips around the carousel before you find it. Say goodbye to unnecessary waiting by keeping this at the front of your mind when picking your luggage.


Most good trolley cases and suitcases will have kisser zips or TSA locks. Kisser zips will allow a TSA padlock to be used. However, if your travel back or suitcase has a TSA lock built in, this will save the need to buy an extra padlock. A TSA lock is one that airline staff can access if they need to check for security reasons. If you need to buy a TSA lock, we have a range of travel accessories available at Briscoes. 

Top tip: You should always check well in advance what the requirements to travel are. What’s expected can change from time to time. 

How to know it’s time to replace your suitcase

Many suitcases and other baggage options are built to last a long time. But, if you’ve used the same luggage for years, it may be time for a replacement. In most cases, you can’t repair suitcases. So, here are some signs that may indicate it’s time for a replacement: 

  • It’s falling apart
  • The lock is broken or jammed
  • It’s too bulky and doesn’t meet your current travel style

Considerations when choosing bags and backpacks

Once you have your suitcase or trolley case sorted, or if you want a different kind of baggage option, you’ll want to consider smaller bags and backpacks. Especially if you’re just travelling domestically, a smaller travel bag or backpack can make a great carry-on luggage option. Here are some considerations if you’re looking for a new bag or backpack.


Unlike your suitcase or trolley case, which you will most likely wheel around, you may need to carry your mini backpack or duffle bag for long periods. So, your new cabin bag needs to be comfortable. Things to look for in a comfortable travel bag or backpack include:

  • Padded back
  • Padded should pads or straps
  • A strong internal frame
  • Soft but durable material

Top tip: When it comes to packing your cabin bag, it’s also essential to pack and disperse weight evenly. When the weight is evenly distributed, it’ll be easier for your body to carry. Take some advice from the trampers!

What you’ll be using it for

Now, unlike a suitcase, you may also use your backpack or small baggage option for other things. Maybe you’ll also use it as a school bag? Perhaps your check-on baggage also makes an excellent bag for running general errands? Here is how what you plan to use your bag for may affect what option you choose: 

  • School

When choosing a bag that you’ll also use for school, you’ll properly want a bag that is bigger in size and can hold books and even a laptop. Backpacks with outside sleeves are also good for holding a water bottle. 

  • General errands

If you’re using your bag for general errands, like groceries, for example, you’ll want plenty of external pockets for your keys, phone and maybe a wallet. Internal compartments are also good for separating items you’re carting around, like food. 

  • Gym

Gym bags are another kettle of fish altogether. Generally, duffle bags are best for this, as they’re easy to get in and out of. You may also want side compartments for a water bottle. The trick with a gym bag is to wash it regularly. 

  • Carry-on luggage

When it comes to being a cabin bag, you’ll need your baggage to fit certain size requirements that are set by the airline you choose. These may vary from airline to airline. Using Air New Zealand as an example, carry-on luggage size is measured by length, width and height. Once these three measurements are added up, they normally need to be under 118cm. 


Style may not be as important for suitcases, as they are stored away a lot of the time. But, given you may be using your backpack or bag for general use as well, it’s a good idea to ensure it looks good. As well as designs and colours, many different styles of bags also have a particular look. For example, a satchel you can throw over one shoulder is sought after by many people over a backpack.

The range of suitcases and bags at Briscoes

At Briscoes, we have various luggage and baggage options to suit any traveller. Regarding trolley cases and suitcases, choose from top brands like International Traveller, Paklike and Verage. We also supply many smaller baggage options that are perfect as cabin baggage. Options include backpacks, duffle bags and more. Then choose travel accessories or even a purse and wallet for a smooth journey. You can view our range online and order with fast delivery right to your door. 


Gear up for your next adventure with Briscoes

Travelling is an exciting adventure. But, if you’re not equipped with the right luggage, it can quickly become a stressful experience. You can rely on the options we have available at Briscoes. For more travel advice, read our guide on how to pack a suitcase for an overseas trip.