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How we test luggage

CHOICE has decades of experience testing the durability of suitcases.

Performance tests

  • Lift and drop test: We load our carry-on suitcases with 4kg of clothes, while check-in suitcases are loaded with 15kg. Using a custom test rig, we drop the suitcases wheels-first onto a concrete floor 300 times from a height of 90cm. Damage is then assessed; models which survive unscathed receive 100%, whereas ones with missing wheels or severe holes score zero.
  • Puncture test: A heavy pointed cylinder is dropped on to the suitcase surface to see whether any damage occurs.
  • Rain test: In this unforgiving test, we stuff suitcases with newspaper and put them under our custom-made shower rig which simulates a ten-minute downpour. We then assess the cases to see how wet the newspaper becomes.
  • Stability test: We load the suitcases (carry-on is loaded with 4kg and check-in is loaded with 15kg) and tilt them to see whether they will tip at a certain angle. Anything that tips at 6° or less is considered unstable and rated ‘poor’; 6° to 15° is considered reasonably stable and ‘fair’. Anything above this is rated stable (‘good’).

Ease of use tests

Three triallists, including our expert tester, take the suitcases for a walk around the CHOICE building, as well as through our local streets and parks. When rating ease of use they look at:

  • Moving the suitcase out of a lift
  • Moving the suitcase down the stairs
  • Taking the suitcase along carpet, asphalt, and cement pathways
  • Comfort (including handle grip)
  • Stability
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