ABS vs Polycarbonate Luggage Which One Is Better?

Whenever we go to the market to buy a piece of luggage for us, we look for soft-side or hard-side luggage. However, there are many types of material in these two categories. If you want to buy hard-side luggage, then there are also different materials like polycarbonate, Polypropylene, aluminum, and ABS. You must have complete knowledge of these materials along with their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I’ll tell you about “ABS vs Polycarbonate luggage”. Most people prefer polycarbonate luggage and when it comes to sturdy side cases, ABS cases and polycarbonate luggage are a matter of discussion.

Because it is not a cheap item to buy based on just one user, it is imperative to buy a piece of luggage that is of exceptional quality. Premium quality suitcases last for many years, you invest in premium quality suitcases. Read my article thoroughly to get complete knowledge and comparison between ABS and polycarbonate luggage.

ABS vs Polycarbonate Luggage

ABS vs Polycarbonate Luggage

What is polycarbonate luggage?

No doubt polycarbonate luggage is the most popular luggage of travelers. Polycarbonate cases are durable, strong, lightweight, long-lasting, and the ideal luggage material. These cases can bear the stress of falling and protect the items from being damaged, so these cases are the best if you are carrying fragile items with you.

Advantages of using polycarbonate luggage:

  • Polycarbonate luggage is sturdy and durable.
  • Polycarbonate luggage is lightweight and easy to handle.
  • These cases can’t be compressed during the handling process, so they are ideal for fragile items.
  • Most of these cases have an in-built TSA lock system and they are also waterproof.

Polycarbonate luggage disadvantages:

  • Polycarbonate luggage is It is hard-sided luggage, so if you need to pack some extra items you can’t pack them.
  • You also can’t place these cases in an upheld bin or in small places due to the hard shell
  • These cases are more likely to crack or scratch. Scratches do not affect luggage quality, but they make them look odd as a result.

Also: How To Repair Polycarbonate Luggage


ABS vs Polycarbonate LuggageThe ABS itself is composed of three materials: acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. These three components work together to make ABS. ABS is a heat-resistant and impact-resistant material made from acrylonitrile. Butadiene also helps ABS resist impact while Styrene makes this luggage rigid. ABS is good for impact resistance and is sturdy, affordable, and lightweight. Along with polycarbonate, ABS is also a common manufacturer of hard-side cases.

ABS luggage advantages:

  • ABS cases are budget-friendly. You can easily buy them if you can’t afford expensive luggage.
  • The lightweight properties of these cases allow you to easily pull them and you do not have to pay for heavy luggage at the airport since they are very lightweight.
  • Despite being mishandled by the baggage staff, you can expect your luggage to be fine on the conveyer belt since these cases can’t easily be deformed.

ABS luggage disadvantages:

  • ABS cases are of high quality but they are less durable than other materials for hard-side luggage.
  • After continuous exposure to extreme weather and UV rays, they usually crack.
  • Although these cases are powerful, their surface is very soft and gets scratched very

Comparison between ABS and Polycarbonate luggage:

ABS and polycarbonate luggage materials are common luggage materials. Most people want to know which luggage material is more effective and worth using. I’ll compare the following features of these two materials.

  • Material quality
  • Weight of the luggage
  • Impact of scratches
  • Price of the luggage
  • Resistant to all weather conditions
  • Color and design

Material quality

The quality of the material attracts buyers. It is important for travelers to buy luggage of the highest quality and durability. ABS and Polycarbonate luggage both are of superior quality. However, if we compare these two materials, polycarbonate luggage is more strong, hard, and highly durable than ABS luggage.

Weight of the luggage

Each airline has its specific rules regarding the weight of the luggage. You should buy lightweight luggage so that after packing all of your essential items, it still doesn’t cross the weight limits set by the airlines. ABS luggage is lightweight but in comparison with polycarbonate, it is twice as heavy. Check your airline rules for ABS luggage weight. According to that, then you can go for it but if you are looking for more lightweight luggage, then you should buy a piece of polycarbonate luggage. It is more effective and suits you best.

Impact of scratches

Scratches don’t damage your luggage. There is no effect on the quality of luggage other than dents, cracks, and holes. When luggage is scratched, it appears to be in poor condition. Even after less use of luggage, it starts looking like a piece of old luggage due to marks and scratches on it. So it is also imperative to keep your luggage scratch-free if you want it to look classy, attractive, and aesthetically appealing.

At the time of purchasing, you should consider this factor. It’s better to buy polycarbonate luggage than ABS luggage because polycarbonate cases are less likely to be scratched. However, ABS cases are tough, but due to their soft surfaces, they can get scratched much more easily than polycarbonate cases.

Price of the luggage

Along with the cases’ features, you can neglect their prices. Nowadays, suitcases are categorized among expensive items. Travelers want to buy luggage at an affordable price. It also depends on the brands. Some brands have expensive cases of the same material that is cheap in other brands. So also consider this thing while buying luggage. However, in the case of material, polycarbonate suitcases are more expensive than ABS cases. ABS luggage is budget-friendly and everyone can buy it.

Resistance to weather conditions

During trips, your luggage experiences different weather conditions. In addition to passing through hot areas, you can also experience rainy weather on the way. As a result, it is important that your luggage be able to withstand all weather conditions while maintaining the integrity of your belongings.

ABS cases are strongly degraded by UV rays and with repeated exposure, the color fades and cracks. If we talk about polycarbonate luggage, these cases are strongly resistant to heat and UV rays. Although both cases have a sturdy shell so they are waterproof and protect your belongings from damage from water and moisture.

Color and design

Although polycarbonate luggage is more expensive than ABS luggage, travelers prefer to invest in high-grade quality luggage because they think it is more cost-effective to buy a piece of quality luggage once than to buy low-quality luggage again and again. Several leading brands don’t manufacture ABS cases, so only a few brands manufacture ABS cases for travelers seeking low-price luggage.

As many brands manufacture an immense quantity of polycarbonate luggage, there are many colors available in this material. There is also a variety of designs and patterns available in polycarbonate material.

Video Overview:

which luggage material would you prefer?

For me, polycarbonate luggage wins the comparison after discussing the most important features of both luggage materials. Good quality luggage is important because it is hard to replace after a few trips with a new one.

If you travel occasionally and also domestically, you can purchase ABS luggage. You can also get it for your children if you wish. However, if you love to travel internationally with your partner or friends and love spending your vacations with them, then you should consider polycarbonate luggage. It’ll make your journey smooth and your trip memorable by protecting your valuable items safe against extreme weather conditions and very poor handling by luggage handlers.

There are also other materials, like polypropylene, aluminum, and PVC, available in the market. They are also high-quality materials and are used to manufacture hard-side suitcases.

Polypropylene vs polycarbonate bags

  • Polypropylene is made up of thermoplastic polymer. That’s why it is more lightweight than all luggage materials.
  • Polypropylene luggage is durable and of high quality, but when compared to polycarbonate luggage, it is less durable than polycarbonate luggage.
  • Polypropylene luggage is also cheaper than polycarbonate luggage in terms of cost. Therefore, polypropylene luggage is a good choice for travelers who want good quality luggage but at an affordable price.
  • Polypropylene luggage is also heat resistant, but less than polycarbonate luggage.
  • Polypropylene material also doesn’t protect your luggage against UV rays, but in the case of polycarbonate material, your luggage is fully secured from these rays.
  • If we talk about luggage designs, both cases look similar. Actually, these two materials have a similar texture, and there is also a wide variety of designs available in both materials.
  • Most popular brands prefer to manufacture polycarbonate suitcases over polypropylene, as polycarbonate luggage is of good quality and liked by travelers. It is interesting to note that Rimowa manufactured polycarbonate luggage for the first time. Still, its polycarbonate suitcases are more expensive than any other famous brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: When it comes to hard-side luggage, what is the most reliable?

Ans: On the market, you can find aluminum, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and ABS luggage. The luggage of your choice can also be purchased from Amazon. Many high-quality brands manufacture almost all of the materials used in their products. If you want superior quality luggage then there’s no better choice than aluminum luggage but it is too expensive. These cases cost more than any other hard-side luggage.

Polycarbonate luggage suits me more because it is of exemplary quality and less costly than aluminum. Other materials like polypropylene and ABS are also cheaper than polycarbonate but polycarbonate has better properties than all of them.

Q2: Which is the most durable luggage material? Aluminum or polycarbonate?

Ans: As a first step, it’s up to you to decide what kind of luggage you want, because both of them are of high quality. Aluminum luggage is strong and attractive. There’s nothing better than it when it comes to suitcases with hard sides. Certainly, polycarbonate luggage is also good quality, but if you can afford expensive luggage, aluminum is definitely the way to go. Aluminum cases are investments made once, and they last for years. But remember, aluminum suitcases can get dents easily, so you have to keep them carefully.

Q3: Do you prefer hard-sided luggage or soft-sided luggage?

Ans: In terms of traveling, hard cases and soft cases are both useful. However, it depends on your preferences, needs, the nature of your trip, and the length of your trip whether you should select a hard case or a soft case. Hard side cases protect materials from poor handling and various weather conditions. Soft side cases can easily fit in small areas and have many expandable pockets to make packing easier. However, I recommend that whether you buy a piece of hard-sided luggage or soft-sided luggage, choose a good brand and read all the reviews online regarding the piece of luggage you want to buy. Read More

Q4: What are the disadvantages of hard-sided luggage?

Ans: Along with many advantages, hard-side luggage also has some disadvantages

  • Due to their inability to fit into small spaces, they require adequate storage space.
  • They don’t have external pockets
  • They are not flexible, so you cannot adjust your extra items to them. Some high-quality complex cases have an expendable feature that provides some extra space for more packing.
  • Hard side cases don’t have inner compartments, so you can’t organize your items in them properly. However, if you want to manage your belongings efficiently, you need packing cubes. In the market and on Amazon, these packing cubes are readily available.

Read More: Disadvantages of hardside Luggage


In conclusion, it is necessary to do complete research before you purchase a piece of luggage for you. Luggage is a traveler’s best friend, so research before purchasing helps you buy the most appropriate traveling companion for you. If you like two materials ABS and polycarbonate and are interested in learning more about the difference between ABS vs Polycarbonate luggage, then read the article carefully. Although it is your personal choice, I recommend you buy a piece of polycarbonate luggage. Because polycarbonate luggage is more durable than ABS luggage.