Which is Stronger, ABS or Polycarbonate Luggage?

Different luggage function differently. This is because they are made from different materials that affect how they work, how long they last, and the condition they end up in. You, therefore, need to know the difference if you want to get one that suits your travel needs.

In this post, we will go through 2 luggage materials; ABS and polycarbonate. If looking for new luggage in the market, you need to know the qualities of the two, as they’re quite popular.

You’ll come across a variety of cases made from the 2, and it might be a little tricky to get the right one for your trips.

Concerned about their strength? Don’t worry. You’ll learn about that and more, so stick around.

What is ABS Luggage?

What is ABS Luggage

ABS is a combination of three types of plastics, including acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. It is actually the most available in the market.

Acrylonitrile gives the material resistance to chemicals, while butadiene makes it impact-resistant. Styrene makes ABS resistant to heat, provides hardness, color, and processability.

The 3 plastics form ABS, a material that is easy to resistant to impact, easy to shape when manufacturing, and has good mechanical properties.

It’s popular because it comes at a lower price when compared to other materials, especially polycarbonate. You probably own luggage from this material.

What is Polycarbonate Luggage?

What is Polycarbonate Luggage

Polycarbonate is an amorphous polymer with properties that make it perfect for making suitcases. It is superbly transparent hence easy to make into different patterns and colors.

It’s highly resistant to impact, a feature that makes it one of the most rugged products used in manufacturing luggage. Polycarbonate is also highly resistant to temperature and delivers the best strength and durability.

Although flexible, polycarbonate luggage isn’t as fragile as ABS luggage. It is, therefore, the best to take on long trips.

This luggage is not only scratch-resistant but also long-lasting. One suitcase from this plastic can serve you for a handful years.

Difference Between ABS and Polycarbonate Luggage


Polycarbonate is the most durable of the 2 hence the most desirable. It has better flexibility meaning that you can push it back into shape.

Suitcases constructed with ABS are not pliable hence harder to remove indentations. Your case can discolor or crack if you apply pressure to try getting it back in shape.

Impact Resistance

One of the key factors to consider when choosing a suitcase is its level of impact resistance. Although your luggage will rarely fall from great heights, it can tumble off the top of a luggage cart and land on the tarmac at the airport.

If it’s made from polycarbonate, you’ve got no reason to worry. It’ll most likely bounce back than break. However, if it’s ABS, your bag will break and mess everything up.

Polycarbonate luggage boasts twice the strength of ABS material.


ABS luggage is heavier than polycarbonate. A medium-sized ABS bag typically weighs 2 more pounds than polycarbonate of the same size.

If you’re a heavy packer, a light bag that doesn’t add too much to the scale will be the best option. Therefore, think polycarbonate, especially it traveling by plane.


There’s very little difference when it comes to the design of the 2 luggage materials. However, polycarbonate offers designers more flexibility with textures and styles. ABS is limited in this aspect.


Of the 2, ABS is the cheapest. In fact, you might be surprised to find that you can get an entire 3-piece ABS luggage at the same price as a medium-sized polycarbonate suitcase.

So, which is stronger, ABS or Polycarbonate Luggage?

Although ABS comes at a lower price, it’s not as durable as polycarbonate luggage. It is more prone to damage during checks at the airport.

On the other hand, polycarbonate is a more robust material, thus durable. It’s also impact-resistant and has a longer lifespan. And in case of dents, you can literally push your case into its normal shape.

It is, therefore, preferable to choose polycarbonate over ABS since you’ll be getting stronger material and better quality(1). You’ll also get more value from this luggage is it lasts longer than ABS luggage.

Looking for the best ABS/Polycarbonate luggage? We recommend the following:

Coolife Luggage Expandable PC+ABS Suitcase, Check price on Amazon

This 20-inch suitcase is designed to provide you with comfort, reliability, functionality, and peace of mind when traveling. It is perfect for fashionable people, leisure, business and everyone who likes traveling.

It is made from ABS+PC hard shell and well suited to withstand the rigorous of modern transportation.

The case boasts a spacious interior and mesh pockets that provide superior organization. It is also 28 inches expandable for up to 15% extra packing capacity.

A 3-step pure aluminum-telescoping handle offers a comfortable grip, while 4 spinner wheels allow the bag to move seamlessly in all directions.

It also comes with built-in TSA locks for security and is backed by a 2-year warranty.

Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage, Check price on Amazon

The Samsonite Winfield 2 will help you transport your travel essentials easily and stylishly. It is highly durable and lightweight, thanks to its 100% polycarbonate construction.

The suitcase is made to absorb impact and also boasts an elegant brushed pattern that hides potential scuffs or scratches. It has a fully-lined interior with cross straps and a privacy curtain with zippered organizational pockets.

Samsonite Winfield 2 also features a push-button handle that provides a comfortable grip and a side-mounted TSA combination lock that ensures that your belongings arrive safely.


Selecting the right luggage is vital since a slight mishap can ruin your vacation. Although other factors also matter when deciding on the one to settle for, durability should be your number one consideration.

You should know that as you travel, your luggage could be battered and bruised during transportation across airports and airlines.

Although polycarbonate luggage comes with a higher price tag, it’s worth going for. It is not only strong but also durable enough to last you several years. ABS luggage is more flexible but gets damaged relatively easily.