Journeying With ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: A Comparative Review

Regarding luggage, there are many different materials from which to choose. 2 of the most popular materials for making high-quality bags and suitcases are ABS and Polycarbonate. Whether you’re a frequent traveler looking for a reliable piece of luggage that will last you through years of journeys or want something stylish to take with you on vacation, understanding the differences between ABS vs Polycarbonate luggage is key. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between these 2 materials and decide which will best suit your needs. 

ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: At A Glance 

What is ABS luggage?

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

ABS luggage refers to suitcases made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a type of thermoplastic. ABS is lightweight and known for its durability and resistance to shocks, scratches, and scuffs. 

It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other materials, making ABS luggage a popular choice among travelers. 

However, while ABS is tough, it’s not as flexible or resilient as other materials like Polycarbonate, so it may crack under extreme stress or in very cold temperatures.

What is polycarbonate luggage?

Polycarbonate luggage is a type of suitcase made from Polycarbonate, a durable thermoplastic. This material is often used in luggage due to its high impact resistance and lightweight properties. 

Polycarbonate can also be transparent or translucent, allowing for various design options.

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

One of the main advantages of polycarbonate luggage is its flexibility. Unlike ABS, Polycarbonate can flex under pressure instead of cracking or breaking, which makes it extremely resilient in handling the rigors of travel. 

Another advantage is its heat resistance; it can withstand high temperatures without deforming.

However, while polycarbonate luggage is durable and flexible, it can be prone to scratches. Some higher-end luggage brands use scratch-resistant coatings or textures to mitigate this issue. 

Overall, polycarbonate luggage is a popular choice for frequent travelers due to its balance of durability, lightness, and design flexibility.

ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: What Are the Similarities?

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and Polycarbonate are popular materials used in the luggage industry. Some key similarities between ABS and Polycarbonate luggage can be identified:

abs vs polycarbonate luggage


Both ABS and polycarbonate luggage are known for their durability and impact resistance. They can withstand rough handling during travel, reducing the risk of damage to your belongings.

Scratch Resistance

Both materials have a certain level of scratch resistance, which helps maintain the appearance of the luggage even after frequent use.


ABS and polycarbonate are relatively lightweight materials, making luggage made from these materials easier to carry and maneuver, especially when compared to heavier materials like aluminum.

Color and Design Options

Both materials offer a wide range of color and design options. This allows luggage manufacturers to create aesthetically pleasing and stylish luggage that suits various preferences.


Luggage made from ABS and polycarbonate tends to be more affordable compared to premium materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. This makes them accessible to a broader range of consumers.

Water Resistance

Both materials are inherently water-resistant to some extent, providing a certain level of protection against moisture and light rain. However, it’s important to note that neither ABS nor polycarbonate are completely waterproof, and prolonged exposure to water could still lead to damage.

Ease of Cleaning

Both materials are relatively easy to clean. Surface dirt and stains can often be wiped off with a damp cloth, maintaining the appearance of the luggage.

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

While they share these similarities, ABS and Polycarbonate also have distinct differences that make them suitable for different needs and preferences.

ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: What Are The Differences? 


Due to its enhanced durability and impact resistance, Polycarbonate is a preferred luggage material. Its flexibility allows it to reshape, increasing its appeal in luggage manufacturing.


While ABS is lighter, making it an attractive option for luggage due to airline weight restrictions, that’s just one aspect to consider when purchasing. 

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Lightweight luggage allows more personal items to be packed, but the trade-off is potentially higher susceptibility to damage. 

Therefore, despite its appeal, the likelihood of damage with ABS-made luggage must be weighed against its lightness before making a purchase decision.


Due to its lower manufacturing and retail costs, ABS luggage is a popular choice in budget luggage markets where price often mirrors quality. 

However, for mid-range markets, Polycarbonate or other materials such as Aluminum are preferred for their superior durability and quality. 

When considering price as a determining factor, it’s crucial to understand the product you’re purchasing and its potential limitations.


abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Polycarbonate luggage provides designers with more style and texture options, offering greater flexibility in design. In contrast, ABS has more limitations in this aspect.


For frequent travelers, Polycarbonate luggage is the optimal choice to avoid the constant replacement that comes with pure ABS luggage. 

However, ABS offers a suitable option for children’s luggage due to its lighter weight and the fact that kids outgrow their luggage quickly. 

Additionally, if you require extra luggage or are a budget traveler mindful of flight weight limits, ABS luggage can be a cost-effective and lightweight solution. Although it may not be as durable, it can still serve your needs adequately without a significant financial investment.


abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Prominent travel luggage brands such as Samsonite and Delsey don’t manufacture pure ABS luggage due to its less robust structure and longevity. They are known for their high-quality luggage, often made from Polycarbonate. 

On the other hand, lesser-known brands produce ABS luggage, placing a higher emphasis on cost-efficiency rather than durability.


There are noticeable differences when comparing the scratch resistance of ABS and Polycarbonate luggage. 

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Polycarbonate is prone to surface scratches over time despite its many benefits and durability. This feature means the surface may wear and tear after frequent use or rough handling, affecting the luggage’s aesthetic appeal. 

On the other hand, ABS luggage is more scratch-resistant. It can withstand regular usage and rough treatment without showing significant signs of damage on the surface. This makes ABS preferable for those who value maintaining their luggage’s pristine look over time. 


When comparing the flexibility of Polycarbonate and ABS materials in luggage, each offers a unique advantage. 

Polycarbonate luggage is very flexible, absorbing impact without permanently deforming. This feature makes it an excellent choice for frequent travelers needing their luggage to withstand handling conditions without breaking. 

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Conversely, ABS luggage is more rigid and inelastic. While this might offer less protection against severe impacts, its rigidity can be beneficial for protecting certain items inside the suitcase. 

However, the lack of flexibility could be a downside if the luggage encounters rough handling. Thus, the choice between Polycarbonate and ABS comes down to individual needs and travel habits.

Resistance to Elements

When it comes to resistance to elements, Polycarbonate and ABS luggage show significant differences. Polycarbonate luggage is known for its high heat and UV radiation resistance, making it a durable choice for travelers in various climates and conditions. 

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Its material properties prevent it from degrading due to exposure to sunlight or high temperatures, ensuring longevity and maintaining its aesthetic appeal. 

In contrast, ABS luggage has limited UV resistance, making it prone to discoloration over time. This means that if frequently exposed to sunlight, ABS suitcases may lose their original color, which could affect the visual appeal of the luggage. 

Therefore, if you often travel to sunny destinations or leave your suitcase in exposed areas, Polycarbonate luggage might be a more suitable choice.

Additional Benefits

Both materials offer unique advantages when considering the additional benefits of ABS and Polycarbonate luggage. 

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Polycarbonate’s transparent nature allows it to be easily colored, providing users with a wide range of aesthetic options. This transparency also allows for innovative design possibilities, such as clear luggage pieces. 

Polycarbonate is self-extinguishing, adding an extra layer of safety, especially during air travel, where fire safety is paramount. Moreover, like ABS, Polycarbonate is recyclable, contributing to its environmental friendliness. 

On the other hand, ABS, while not offering the color variety or self-extinguishing properties of Polycarbonate, is also recyclable. This feature makes both options eco-friendly, aligning with the increasing global emphasis on sustainability. 

Choosing between the 2 will depend on personal preferences and specific needs.

ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: Who Is Winner?

abs vs polycarbonate luggage

Who should use ABS luggage?

ABS luggage is ideal for a variety of travelers, but it’s especially beneficial for:

  • Frequent Travelers: 

ABS luggage is highly durable and scratch-resistant. So, if you travel often, this type of luggage can withstand harsh handling at airports.

  • Fashion-Conscious Travelers: 

ABS luggage comes in various styles, colors, and designs. If you like to travel in style, you’ll love the versatility of ABS luggage.

  • Budget-Conscious Travelers: 
abs vs polycarbonate luggage

ABS luggage is generally more affordable than other types of hardshell luggage. If you’re on a budget, ABS luggage can provide a durable and stylish option without breaking the bank.

  • Organized Travelers:

Many ABS suitcases come with divided interiors and multiple compartments, which can help keep your belongings organized and easy to find.

However, it’s important to note that while ABS luggage is durable, it’s not as strong or impact-resistant as other materials, such as Polycarbonate. 

If you’re planning on checking your luggage or if you’ll be traveling with fragile items, consider a stronger material.

Who should use Polycarbonate luggage?

Polycarbonate luggage is ideal for a variety of travelers, but it’s particularly beneficial for:

abs vs polycarbonate luggage
  • Frequent Travelers: 

Polycarbonate luggage is extremely durable and can withstand harsh handling during transit. It’s also lightweight, making it easier to handle during your travels.

  • Travelers Carrying Valuables or Fragile Items: 

The material is impact-resistant, providing excellent protection for your belongings. Polycarbonate luggage is a great choice if you carry items needing extra protection.

  • Long-Term Travelers: 
abs vs polycarbonate luggage

The durability and strength of Polycarbonate make it an excellent choice for long-term travel or for people who are constantly on the move.

  • Style-Conscious Travelers: 

Polycarbonate luggage often comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. Some even have a glossy finish that can add more sophistication to your travel style.

  • Travelers in Various Climates: 

Polycarbonate is resistant to high and low temperatures, so it’s a good choice if traveling in various climates.

However, it’s worth noting that polycarbonate luggage can be more expensive than other types of luggage, such as ABS. If you’re on a budget, consider other options.

Best ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage Recommend

LEVEL8 Grace luggage sets PC+ABS Hardshell suitcase

[amazon box=”B09JRMQ2Q9″ ]

Having traveled with the LEVEL8 Grace luggage set, I can confidently assert its value for any traveler. One of the standout features for me was the expandability of the 20-inch luggage piece, which offers an impressive 16% additional capacity. 

This proved a real asset, offering me the space I needed for those extra items. The PC+ABS hardshell exterior, textured with a 3-layer micro-diamond surface, gave the luggage a sleek look and held up incredibly well, showcasing its durability. 

The 8 rubber-covered 360-degree spinner wheels made maneuvering through crowded airports a breeze. Lastly, the thoughtful interior design with cross straps and mesh zipper pockets allowed for efficient packing while organizing my belongings. 

Including the recessed TSA combination lock was the cherry on top, providing much-needed security during international travel.


  • Expandability: The 20-inch luggage piece offers an additional 16% capacity, providing ample space for extra items.
  • Durability: Made of PC+ABS materials, the luggage set is designed to withstand the rigors of travel.
  • Easy Maneuverability: The 8 rubber-covered 360-degree spinner wheels allow smooth movement.
  • Convenient Organization: The interior design features cross straps and mesh zipper pockets for easy packing and orderly storage of belongings.
  • Security: The recessed TSA combination lock provides security during international travel.


  • Size Consideration: The 28-inch trunk luggage might be too large for shorter trips.
  • Weight: Though made of lightweight materials, when fully packed, some might find the luggage a bit heavy to handle.
  • Design: The 3-layer micro-diamond textured surface might not appeal to everyone’s aesthetic preferences.

Troyesko Hard Shell Luggage Sets

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The Troyesko Hard Shell Luggage Sets have exceeded my expectations. As a frequent traveler, the lightweight and durable ABS material is a godsend. 

I was impressed by the strong impact resistance and scratch-resistant protective shell, which have kept my luggage looking new even after several trips. 

The side-mounted TSA-friendly lock gives me peace of mind, knowing that my belongings are secure. The 360° spinner wheels and adjustable handle make maneuvering the suitcase a breeze, regardless of size or height. 

The organized interior with a handy divider and zippered pockets makes packing and locating smaller items effortless. The additional hooks on the 28″ suitcase are thoughtful, allowing me to hang items like my backpack for added convenience. 

The cherry on top is that they’re shipped from a US warehouse and have 24-hour customer service. Overall, these luggage sets offer great value for the price.


  • Lightweight and durable: The luggage sets are made from ABS material, known for their strong impact and scratch resistance, making them ideal for frequent travelers.
  • Security features: The side-mounted TSA-friendly locks ensure the security of your belongings during travel.
  • Excellent maneuverability: The 360° spinner wheels and adjustable handle make handling the suitcase effortless, regardless of height or luggage size.
  • Organized interior: The interior organizer with a divider and zippered pockets makes packing and locating items a breeze.
  • Added convenience: The 28″ suitcase comes with exterior hooks that can hold items like a computer bag or backpack, relieving stress during your journey.
  • Reliable customer service: With 24-hour online customer service and US-based stock, waiting time is minimized, and issues are promptly addressed.


  • Size limitations: Some travelers might find the sizes of the sets limiting, especially those who prefer larger luggage. However, having three different sizes in the set helps diversify packing options.
  • Material considerations: While ABS material is durable and lightweight, it might not be as flexible or impact-resistant as Polycarbonate. Nevertheless, many travelers value the lightness of ABS for ease of transport.

CAMORSA 4 Piece Luggage Sets

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The CAMORSA 4 Piece Luggage Sets are exceptionally versatile. The 4 different sizes offered are perfect for accommodating various travel needs. 

I appreciate the 360-degree spinner wheels, which make maneuvering through airports and hotels a breeze. The push-button retractable handle adds to the comfort and ease of use. 

The internal storage space is ideal, with distinct compartments for organized packing. I also value the 3-digit combination lock for extra security during my travels. 

The high-quality ABS material used for these cases is indeed durable and lightweight, and it’s reassuring to know that these cases can withstand the rigors of travel.


  • Range of sizes: With 4 sizes, these luggage sets cater to all travel needs, from a business trip to a lengthy holiday.
  • Mobility: The 360-degree spinner wheels offer smooth, effortless movement, making navigating through crowded airports or hotel lobbies easy.
  • Organized packing: The luggage features distinct compartments, allowing for organized and efficient packing.
  • Security: Including a 3-digit combination lock provides an added layer of security for your belongings.


  • ABS material: While lightweight and durable, it may not be as resilient as Polycarbonate in extreme conditions.
  • Limited design choices: The luggage sets come in a generic design, offering limited choices for those who prefer a more personalized look.

BUGATTI Oslo Collection 3 Piece Hard Shell Luggage Set

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I am thoroughly impressed with the BUGATTI Oslo Collection 3 Piece Hard Shell Luggage Set. The durability is unparalleled, with the polycarbonate hard side material providing exceptional protection for my belongings, regardless of my mode of travel. 

I was particularly taken with the ultra-quiet wheels, offering a smooth and controlled glide, making my journey less strenuous. The reinforcement of the top handles is a thoughtful touch, allowing for easy removal from carousels or vehicles. 

The space and organization inside the suitcase exceeded my expectations, with the added benefit of a zipper-release expansion system for those times I needed that extra 20%. The internal pockets and tightening straps kept my items organized and secure, and the wet pocket was a handy feature to keep damp items separate. 

Including a TSA-approved lock in all the bags is a superb feature, adding an extra layer of security. Whether on a short business trip or a long vacation, this luggage set caters to all my needs.


  • High-quality polycarbonate material ensures robust durability and protection for your belongings.
  • The ultra-quiet Hinomoto Japanese 360° double spinner wheels provide excellent control and ease of movement.
  • The reinforced top handles facilitate easy removal from baggage carousels or vehicles.
  • The luggage set offers ample space and organization, including a zipper-release expansion system that provides 20% more packing space.
  • A wet pocket is included for storing damp items separately, ensuring the rest of your belongings stay dry.
  • The luggage set includes a TSA-approved lock, offering extra security for peace of mind.


  • While the suitcase material is durable, it may be prone to visible scratches over time.
  • Although smooth and ultra-quiet, the wheels may require careful handling as they could be susceptible to wear and tear over time.
  • While the expansion system is handy, over-packing could lead to exceeding airline weight limits.

Gabbiano Vintage Collection 3 Piece Spinner Luggage Set

[amazon box=”B01317YU4A” ]

The Gabbiano Vintage Collection 3 Piece Spinner Luggage Set impressed me with its mixture of ABS and Polycarbonate construction. 

Its blend of these 2 materials gives it a luxurious and fashionable look and maintains a lightweight profile, making it ideal for those long journeys. 

The ultra-soft rubber handle provides supreme comfort, an essential aspect for me. The set even includes two interior mesh expansion pockets, proving handy when luggage slightly increases. 

A bonus is the pre-installed 3-digit TSA Security Combination Lock— providing that extra layer of security I always appreciate. 

Last but not least, the 8-wheel spinner integration ensures fluid movement, making navigation through crowded airports a breeze.


  • Combining ABS and polycarbonate materials gives the luggage set a lightweight yet robust and stylish appearance.
  • Ultra soft rubber handle: The handle provides supreme comfort during hands-on use, eliminating discomfort during transportation.
  • Interior mesh expansion pockets: These are perfect for accommodating slight increases in luggage, adding to the set’s versatility.
  • Pre-installed 3-digit TSA security combination lock: This safety feature provides an extra layer of security, giving the user peace of mind during travels.
  • 8-wheel spinner: Integrated for fluid movement, this feature ensures seamless navigation through crowded areas.


  • ABS and Polycarbonate blend: While this makes for a stylish and durable suitcase, the luggage could show scuffs and scratches over time.
  • Limited expansion pockets: While the 2 interior mesh pockets add convenience, there may not be enough for those with many small items to pack.
  • 3-digit security lock: While it adds security, it might be challenging to operate for some users.

ABS Vs Polycarbonate Luggage: Conclusion

In conclusion, each has unique strengths when considering ABS vs Polycarbonate luggage. ABS luggage is lighter and more affordable, making it a suitable choice for infrequent travelers. 

However, Polycarbonate luggage stands out due to its superior durability, resistance to impact, and ability to retain its shape after being pressurized – making it a top choice for frequent flyers. 

Investing in Polycarbonate luggage would be wise if you’re seeking a long-term travel companion that can weather all kinds of treatment while protecting your belongings. Safe travels, and choose wisely!