Small or large, hard or soft, two or four-wheeled, with or without accessories? It’s not always easy to work out which is the ideal case for your business trips, so here are a few criteria to help you choose the case that suits you best.

1. Soft or hard shell?

Price apart, the chief advantage of a soft case is its weight. The lighter it is, the more chance you’ll have of avoiding extra charges at the airport; and the less bulky it is, the easier it will be to fit into a crowded car boot.

Rigid cases, conversely, are of course stronger, more waterproof and easier to clean. They protect your belongings better, especially if your case comes in for rough treatment in the hold.

Key point: the new materials being used are to some extent blurring these differences by allying resistance with lightness. For instance, soft case materials (such as ballistic nylon) are highly tear-resistant, while some rigid case materials (like polycarbonate and Curv technology) are very light.

2. Case size

Clearly, the length of your stay, the amount of things to be transported and the form of transport are all key factors in the size of suitcase required. If you’re travelling by plane, don’t forget that certain airlines apply maximum dimensions. With Ryanair, for example, hand luggage is not permitted to exceed 55 x 40 x 20 cm.

3. Ease of movement

A wheeled case remains a must for getting around the airport or station without risking muscle strain! If your luggage is quite heavy, you’d be best off opting for a 4-wheeled case, as they’re easier to manoeuvre in front of you or at your side (rather than behind), thanks to their 360° pivoting wheels. For comfort of use, also try to choose one with a telescopic traction handle.

4. Storage options

A removable garment bag, a separate pocket for shoes, a zipped document holder, a reinforced compartment for your laptop… The list of possible accessories is long within manufacturers’ “business travel” ranges. You can cherry-pick these based on your requirements and budget.

One final tip: opt for locking by key or code rather than padlocked zip. And as an extra precaution against theft, you could also use a coded suitcase strap.