Background and Identification
Luggage is used by people all around the world to transport clothing and other equipment. Luggage ranges in sizes and styles and may include any number of zippers, belts, buckles, wheels, and more. Due to the harsh conditions luggage often faces while in transit, repair is quite common and necessary. Common damage for suitcases and luggage include broken wheels and zippers, scratches, dents, and stuck locks and handles.
Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a traveler’s personal articles while the traveler is in transit. The modern traveler may have packages containing clothing, toiletries, small possessions, trip necessities, souvenirs, and gifts. Luggage is designed to protect these items during travel, either with a durable soft material or a hard shell. Some luggage includes internal subdivisions or sections to help secure items. Handles are generally included to facilitate carrying, and suitcases may contain wheels and telescoping handles to allow the item to be wheeled rather than carried.
Historically, the most common luggage items were chests or trunks made of wood or other heavy materials. These chests were most often shipped by professional movers. Since World War II, smaller and more lightweight suitcases and bags that could be carried by an individual became the main form of luggage.
Modern pieces of luggage include trunks, suitcases, train cases, garment bags, totes, duffle bags, carpet bags, packing cubes, and gate check bags. Luggage can include locks to serve multiple purposes. Since 2003, most locks integrated into luggage use the TSA Lock Standard developed by Travel Sentry that allow opening by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to easily repair a bag's zipper?
To fix a zipper on a bag, start by removing the old zipper slider (the part that moves) off of the zipper itself. Bring the slider to the top of the zipper and remove the zipper stop by separating it with pliers. You can also use a seam ripper to remove fabric stitching, if necessary. Slide off the old slider and put a new one on from the top of the zipper, making sure the zipper slider’s nose is facing towards the top of the zipper. Attach a new zipper stop (or replace the old one) using pliers.
How to Fix a Broken or Separating Zipper
How to stop zipper teeth from reluctantly closing?
If the zipper on your bag or suitcase is hard to close, the teeth may be wearing out. Try slightly lubricating the teeth using petroleum jelly or candle wax, but be sure that the lubricant does not clog up the zipper’s teeth. If the zipper is stuck, try applying a dab of liquid laundry detergent with water as a lubricant. Zip a cotton ball into the detergent and water solution and coat the zipper’s teeth with it. If the zipper only moves a little bit, return it to its original position and repeat the process until the zipper moves smoothly and freely. Pencil graphite can be used for a similar process, rubbing the tip of the pencil on the zipper’s teeth until the zipper moves freely. If the zipper is still stuck after lubricating it, throw the item in the washing machine (if possible) to remove dirt and debris that might be causing the zipper to stick.
How to Fix a Variety of Stuck Zippers
How to repair a zipper with missing bottom teeth?
To repair missing bottom teeth on a zipper, remove the bottom stop of the zipper using pliers. Then, remove the tack at the base of the zipper by flipping the item inside-out and removing the tack with a seam ripper. Insert a new, larger bottom stop that covers the missing teeth, and push the prongs of the bottom zipper stop into the fabric above the old zipper stop. Use pliers to close the prongs and secure the stop in place. Turn the item right-side-out and use a sewing machine or needle and thread to re-tack the bottom portion of the zipper above the location of the missing teeth.
How to fix the wheels of a Samsonite suitcase?
To replace the wheels of a rolling suitcase, start by unzipping the suitcase liner and looking at the wheel assembly from the inside. If you see screws that can be removed, use a hex wrench to unscrew the visible screws and any screws hidden under the liner. Then, pull the wheel assembly from the suitcase. Some types of suitcases use rivets rather than screws, making the suitcase much harder to service. Use a screwdriver to pop up the C-shaped retaining ring and drill a hole directly above the bolt. This hole will allow you to insert a punch and hammer out the bolt to remove the wheel. Measure the diameter of the bolt and the diameter of the wheel, and buy a set of replacement wheels. To install the new wheels, follow the disassembly process in reverse. In many cases, you can reuse the original bolts and other hardware.
How to Replace Roller Luggage Wheels
What are the most durable suitcases?
According to Consumer Reports’ Luggage Buying Guide, the best luggage for you will depend on how you travel (fly, drive, or cruise), how your luggage will be stored, and the size of luggage necessary. Based on Consumer Reports’ Fall 2018 survey on members’ travel behaviors and luggage preferences, durability (how well zippers, handles, fabric, and other features hold up) had the strongest correlation to members’ overall satisfaction with their luggage. For domestic flights, carry-on bags cannot be larger than 22 inches high by 14 inches wide by 9 inches deep. For international flights, the size limit for carry-on luggage is generally smaller, but size requirements often vary by airline and airplane. Soft-sided luggage is usually lighter than hard-sided suitcases, plus they can flex and compress to conform to tighter spaces. Hard-shell or hard-sided luggage is generally made with high-tech plastics such as ABS and polycarbonate, which are lightweight and durable. Aluminum suitcases are the most durable, but also the heaviest. Hard-shell suitcases are the best for protecting breakable contents, but they can scratch and scuff easily. If you want a suitcase to last a long time, consider purchasing one with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Can I repair the lining of my leather bag?
If the lining of the leather bag is synthetic or satin, it could be easily repaired or replaced. If the damage is minimal, it can likely be hand-sewn or patched with a needle and thread. Check to see if the lining is a separate piece from the outer leather; if the lining is separated from the outer piece and sewn together, it is possible to replace the lining. by ripping out the stitches, copying the lining pattern onto the new lining, and stitching it back into the bag. Many high-quality leather bags are not lined at all.
What is the best backpack with a lifetime warranty?
VAUDE and Patagonia luggage and backpacks are very repairable (iFixit even sells repair parts for VAUDE backpacks). Backpack brands with lifetime warranties include Adidas, Camelbak, Columbia Sportswear Backpacks, High Sierra, LL Bean, North Face, and Samsonite.