Three of the best: bags for tough adventures
If you’re planning an active summer holiday, make sure your accessories are up for the challenge too.
Finding the perfect bag is an ongoing quest. The balance of good looks and practicality is hard to strike, and so often we're left feeling short-changed. Tough shells may look sexy, but in reality they rarely last the distance - often damaged in transit or scuffed while circulating a carousel.
If you want something light, flexible and good value for money, soft cases are by far the best option. Here are three of the best for different travel purposes...
Best for carry-on
SoFo Weekender, Horizn Studios, horizn-studios.co.uk
If you want a stylish but hard-wearing carry-on that doesn't look too functional, this could be it. Made from a water-resistant waxed canvas, it's suited to British weather, and the addition of small metal feet on the base means you can put it down (almost) anywhere. Padded handles make carrying easy, and it can also be attached with a strap to larger pieces of luggage.
Eastpak Trans4 L suitcase in black denim, Amazon, amazon.co.uk
In the 1950s, Eastpak was commissioned to make items for the US army, and their luggage is just as durable today. In fact, the company is so confident in its ability, they offer up to a 30-year warranty on any manufacturing defects. Their suitcases come in a variety of sizes, and although the casing is soft, it's also incredibly tough and benefits from being extremely light so you can pack more in.
Best for big adventures
Osprey Rolling Transporter 120L, ospreyeurope.com
You'd have to work pretty hard to batter this all-weather, all-terrain duffel bag on wheels. Wrapped in thick TPU laminated nylon, it's rainwater tight, and thanks to sturdy wheels built into the frame, can be dragged across any rough surfaces. This large size is ideal for long trips - although be mindful of airline weight restrictions. It also comes in smaller sizes, which are probably a better buy.