Trying to choose the right bags to take with you on an important trip is always a difficult decision. The design and materials used to make luggage bags have become more complex over the years, and it has become increasingly more challenging to choose an appropriate make.

However, if you’re reading this article, then you’ve probably already decided that you want to get yourself a hardside luggage bag. Which one should you choose, though? That’s what we’re going to discuss here in this article.

Read on to learn more about ABS vs Polycarbonate luggage.

Table of Contents


  • ABS vs Polycarbonate
    • ABS
    • Polycarbonate
  • Which Material Should You Choose?
    • Use
    • Price
  • Why Choosing the Right Bag is so Important
  • Final Thoughts

ABS vs Polycarbonate Luggage: A Breakdown

ABS and Polycarbonate are the two most common types of plastic that are used to create suitcases and luggage bags. Polycarbonate is more flexible than ABS, and it also has a greater resistance to impact, making it a stronger suitcase overall.

On the other hand, ABS bags are generally cheaper than their Polycarbonate counterparts. They are usually heavier, as well, and they typically don’t last as long. Below, you’ll find even more details about the different materials.


ABS is actually a mixture of three different types of plastics, and each has its own special properties. The first is acrylonitrile, which gives the material resistance to fatigue and chemicals. It also provides hardness and strength. The second plastic is butadiene, which gives the bag decent impact resistance.

Finally, there’s styrene, which allows ABS to be more resistant to heat. It also provides color, hardness, and processability. When combined, these three plastics create ABS, which is a material that is easy to shape when manufacturing, is resistant to impact, and has some good mechanical properties.

This makes ABS great for a wide range of uses, from fittings and piping to appliances, instruments, electric screwdrivers, and more. When it comes to luggage bags, ABS is the least-expensive hard material that is used to create them.

It is also quite light, but that means that the luggage is not very durable. Thankfully, luggage manufacturers use ABS in combination with other materials to create a suitcase that can withstand more wear and tear.


Polycarbonate, which is an amorphous polymer, has properties that make it perfect for use in the creation of hardside suitcases. It is superbly transparent, meaning that it can easily be made into different patterns and colors.

Its hardness is also quite superior, and its resistance to impact makes it one of the most rugged materials used in the manufacturing of luggage. Polycarbonate is highly resistant to temperature and is also capable of self-extinguishing.

Like ABS, it is also rather flexible, but it does not come with the same fragility that the previous material does, making it perfect to take on trips. Polycarbonate can dent and bend and still be able to return to its previous shape. Breaking a polycarbonate bag is almost impossible, and it is the strongest luggage material out there.

Which Material Should You Choose?

Right now, it probably looks like Polycarbonate is the clear winner, since it is extremely durable and can resist a lot of wear and tear. However, there are a few other factors that will influence your decision aside from just the material your suitcase is made out of.


If you are someone who travels frequently, then yes, Polycarbonate will be your best option. You’ll just be wasting your money if you buy a suitcase made from ABS, which will inevitably require replacement.

However, if you travel with children, then ABS might be a good option for them. Also, if you just want a spare suitcase, then a case made from ABS will do just fine without costing you a fortune.


The greatest difference between Polycarbonate and ABS is the price. In most cases (no pun intended), you will be able to purchase an entire set of ABS luggage for the price of one, medium-sized suitcase made out of Polycarbonate.

A suitcase made from Polycarbonate that is built well will never cost less than $100. Thankfully, there is a third option that bridges the gap between ABS and Polycarbonate. There are a few options on the market that are made using a blend of the two materials, bringing the price down to a more affordable mid-range while still maintaining reliability.

Why Choosing the Right Bag Is So Important

The suitcase that you choose to store your luggage in when traveling can make or break your trip. If you don’t want to be lugging around heavy suitcases everywhere you go, you need to think of purchasing a lighter suitcase.

If you aren’t going to do much moving around on your trip, then a heavier case should be just fine. It all depends on where you’re going and the type of trip you want to have.

Final Thoughts

Making the right decision between ABS and Polycarbonate luggage comes down to you and your preferences. But with the above information, you can make the most informed decision possible. Happy travels!

Looking for that perfect luggage set? Check out our article on the Best Luggage Sets.

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