What Are the Pros and Cons of Aluminum Luggage?

Lori Kilchermann

There are pros and cons when using aluminum luggage that should be considered prior to purchasing the items. The durability of aluminum luggage is very high and the units will typically last indefinitely if cared for and treated with care. Conversely, if mistreated, the luggage can become dented and difficult to close and lock. For a frequent traveler, aluminum luggage can often be a lightweight alternative to heavier luggage designs and make quick flight changes much easier when traveling with several pieces of luggage. Another pro to using the alloy luggage is the flat sides, which make stacking the bags an easy task when utilizing a luggage cart. Unfortunately, the slick surface of aluminum can create a difficult situation when attempting to move quickly with a stack of the aluminum baggage.

Aluminum luggage offers the advantage of sturdiness.
Aluminum luggage offers the advantage of sturdiness.

Often resembling the type of luggage a secret agent may travel with, aluminum luggage offers a high-tech appearance that can give a professional look to an amateur traveler. This may be an advantage when traveling to some locations that are deemed risky for infrequent and inexperienced travelers. The look of sophistication can, however, be a double-edged sword and make the luggage an interesting target for would-be thieves. In some cases, the locking systems will deter theft since the bags may prove difficult to open without the proper key or combination.

Expensive aluminium luggage may or may not be handled with care.
Expensive aluminium luggage may or may not be handled with care.

When traveling to wet climates, the aluminum luggage may prove more impervious to water leakage and moisture than other types of luggage. The tight fit of the components along with the quality seal can prove to be a valuable trait of aluminum luggage in a wet area. The single best trait of the luggage is often recognized by travelers who make many transportation changes on a single voyage. The strength of the luggage will aid in the resistance to crushing, denting and other forms of luggage mutilation so common in lesser-strength luggage. Withstanding many luggage transfers without sustaining physical damage or internal breakage makes this type of luggage a preferred staple of the seasoned traveler.

Style is another positive when considering aluminum luggage. The aluminum bags remain popular year after year, making them a good choice for the occasional traveler who wishes to appear experienced. For the experienced traveler who wants to be set apart from the crowd, the baggage can be had in many colors and designs that can give the bags a one-of-a-kind appearance. Cost, however, can be a con when purchasing this style of luggage as the aluminum bags are commonly more expensive than other similarly-sized bags made of alternative materials.

Aluminum luggage can be a more lightweight alternative to heavier, leather bound bags.
Aluminum luggage can be a more lightweight alternative to heavier, leather bound bags.

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Discussion Comments


@Grivusangel -- Yep, the airport machines can shoot through aluminum.

I like aluminum for checked bags because a baggage handler with theft on the brain has a much harder time getting into the bag. However, I prefer a soft sided carry on, because I stand a much better chance of getting them under the seat with no trouble. I like a rollaboard duffle for that purpose. They usually fit into the little sizers the airline uses, and also under the seat.

These days, with all the baggage charges, you take your life in your own hands when you use the overhead storage bins. I was flying and this guy grabs his bag from the overhead over my seat. I had an aisle seat and the guy by the window hadn't gotten up, yet. I ducked, but the guy getting his bag still cracked me on the shoulder with his bag because he lost his grip on it. No apology. He said, "You should have moved!" I told him to get lost before I called the police and had him arrested for assault. He left.


I'm guessing the X-ray machines at airports can shoot through aluminum luggage. Otherwise, they would probably have to search you by hand. This may be why I was able to get a small canister of pepper spray on board (forgot I had it in the bag). The X-ray machine just shot right through it. This is fortunate. I would have hated to have gotten caught with the stuff, particularly post-9/11.

I had it in the bag when I was using it as an everyday tote, and I just flat forgot it was in one of the interior pockets. I found it after I got home. I was thankful no one found it!

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