Everything There is to Know About Luggage Closure Types

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Bag Closure Types: Why Zippers Are The Best For Luggage

Whether you’re looking for a weekender for quick trips or a checked bag for extended travels, most soft-sided and hardside luggage has one thing in common: a zipper. Zippered bags can even be expandable, using a secondary zipper to contract or expand the bag. Unlike other bag closure types — such as drawstrings or latches — zippered luggage decreases the risk of items falling out or being stolen during transit.

Follow along to learn more about the zipper variations that let you travel with peace of mind — and in style.

Coil vs. Chain Zipper

The two most common zipper types are coil zippers and chain zippers. Coil zippers are flexible, smooth, and made with two coils on either side that are stitched onto zipper tape – the fabric that runs along the sides of the zipper teeth. Coil zippers are usually made out of nylon or polyester, which is ideal for the overpackers who struggle with fitting everything they need.

Chain zippers are usually derived from metal or molded plastic. These zippers have individual locking teeth that fuse directly onto the zipper tape. However, chain zippers are more expensive and less commonly used in the luggage industry.

Zipper Slider and Pulls: What to Consider

Almost as important as the zippers themselves are the luggage zipper pulls that are used to open and close the teeth. When a zipper pull breaks, it can be a challenge to secure your belongings inside. This is why Travelpro® zipper pulls have an ergonomic design with high-tensile-strength that makes them ultra-durable while being easy on the hands.

No Zipper Luggage

Zipperless luggage may seem like an anomaly, considering almost every suitcase today is made with a zipper closure, but that wasn’t always the case. Up until 1987, when the Original Rollaboard® was invented by Travelpro® founder Robert Plath, a majority of suitcases had two latches that would buckle shut to close the main compartment.

Spotting these old-fashioned suitcases today is rare, since zipperless suitcases tend to be heavier, harder to fit more items in, a pain to travel with, and more expensive than today’s more popular luggage styles.

Double Zipper Luggage

There are also double zipper luggage bags on the market that can be opened or closed in either direction with two zipper pulls that come together when the bag is closed. Smart travelers will often add a lock between the two zipper pulls in order to keep them securely closed while traveling. Better yet, some luggage pieces come with a built-in, TSA-approved lock, such as Travelpro®’s Platinum Elite, Crew VersaPack, and Maxlite Collections on select models.



Expandable Luggage

Expandable zipper luggage was made for travelers who sometimes need extra space to fit more clothes, shoes, and other items they’ll need on their trip. When you’re deciding on what type of bag is best for you, remember that with a zippered expansion option, you’ll always have the flexibility to pack more or less — no matter your destination and trip duration.

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