Which Is Better ABS Or Polycarbonate Luggage

Which Is Better ABS Or Polycarbonate Luggage

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One of the toughest decisions you’ll make is to choose the right luggage for you, especially if you want to stay within your budget. There have been so many innovations in luggage material, design, and function over the years. However, Polycarbonate and ABS are the most common type of material used in suitcases, and you’ll find them everywhere. But have you ever wondered which is better ABS Or Polycarbonate Luggage?

Polycarbonate is more flexible and durable than ABS. Also it has a higher impact resistance from almost all other luggage material in the market. ABS suitcases are strong and durable, but not as Polycarbonate. Also they are cheaper and lighter than Polycarbonate luggage.

We all know that there are a number of materials on the market that luggage is constructed from, and polycarbonate and ABS are just a couple. 

In this post I will show you all the difference you need to know between Polycarbonate and ABS. And by the end of this post you’ll know what kind of luggage you will buy next. 

ABS is a combination of three properties “The acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene”. Most luggage that are made from this material are stable and scratch-resistant. 

ABS is the most prominent material utilized for hardside luggage, particularly in the affordable luggage. On account of its modest creation costs, it’s one of the least expensive baggage materials in the market. You may feel shocked to realize that you can have a full ABS set at a similar cost of one medium size polycarbonate luggage.

The ABS material is lighter than Polycarbonate material, however, it is not as durable. If you buy a pure ABS luggage, it may not be that strong and durable. That’s why you should always try to choose one that has a combination with other material, to enhance the durability. After all this luggage material is a good choice for every budget people.

What Is Polycarbonate

The Polycarbonate material is near enough impossible to break. It is used in so many things purely because of this toughness and hardness, you would be surprised how common the use of this material is. 

Suitcases are made from Polycarbonate will handle any pressure applied during the trip, it can bend and dent and it will easily go back to its original shape. it will not break or crack. Also Polycarbonate are more flexible and durable than most luggage material in the market these days.

The Polycarbonate material offers all the strength and guarantees to keep your belongings safe and well protected than most other luggage material in the market these days. Most luggage nowadays are made with this material, because most users likes it and want more of it with different style and design.

The only things you should keep in mind is that this material can be little bite expensive for some type of people. However, you always will get what you pays off.


The Type Of Plastic Of Both Material

Most people are not familiar with the different types of plastic in the market. They might assume that all plastics are pretty much the same. However, there is a wide range of plastic substrates available, all with unique properties to suit a multitude of manufacturing needs. 

When it comes to make your discussion to choose between Polycarbonate or ABS luggage. It is vital for you to understand the type of plastic which are involved in the making of them.

For ABS:

The ABS material is a combination of three plastics category, each one has a different job to do.

  1. Acrylonitrile which makes ABS resistant to chemical and fatigue and makes it hard, and melt resistant.
  2. Butadiene plastic in ABS which give it that good impact resistant.
  3. The Styrene basically turns ABS resistant to a heat, and makes it a perfect  luggage with desired hardness. Also the Styrene  offers the scope to add some colors.

The mixed of all these 3 plastics together, makes ABS Impact resistance, sturdy, Easy processing to give different luggage shape, heat resistant.

For Polycarbonate:

The Polycarbonate material is a tough transparent plastic resin, which makes it the most durable and stronger than most other materials in the market. We can say that ABS is durable, but not to that level which can match the durability of Polycarbonate.

Plastic Weights Table

Polycarbonate1.20 g/cc

ABS1.03 g/cc

PVC (1 - 6 mm)

0.700 g/cc

PVC (10 - 25 mm)

0.550 g/cc

Acrylic1.19 g/cc

The Difference Between ABS And Polycarbonate


The biggest difference between the two materials is the Price. 

ABS luggage is way more cheaper for manufacturers to use in luggage than Polycarbonate. You can buy a full set of ABS luggage for the price of one medium-size Polycarbonate suitcase. 

The Polycarbonate Luggage are more expensive, and they can cost you a lot if you want to buy a new set of luggage. However, the high price really reflects the high quality. But if you are using pricing as a guide, than your best choice is the ABS luggage. 

Winner: ABS

Quality And Durability

No matter how careful you are with your luggage, they will still get some damage over time, that’s for sure. You need to make sure to invest in a luggage with high quality that can last long. 

The Polycarbonate consider as the strongest hardside luggage material so far with aluminum. Polycarbonate is also much more flexible and durable, it quickly return to its original shape after pressure applied.

ABS luggage are also strong and they can last for a long time. However, when you compare them with the Polycarbonate, you’ll see that the difference is way to big.

Winner: Polycarbonate


When it comes to the weight factor. ABS is much lighter than polycarbonate, but not as durable. Nowadays it’s becoming a trend of light weight luggage so that people can carry more stuff with them as before. 

Polycarbonate luggage are not that heavy as well, the difference between the two material can be just under 2 pounds. However, for some travelers 2 pounds is too much storage space that they can use.

Winner: ABS


For the design, Polycarbonate luggage offers designers more flexible with different styles and colors and texture than ABS which is limited in this factor. However, you can find a design that will suit you well in both material.

Winner: Polycarbonate

Impact Resistance

You might think that why impact resistance is one of the important things you should have in your luggage. Because you simply will take care of your suitcase right!

Well, when you checked in your luggage at the airport. You bag goes from different steps until it’s land on the airplane. And the baggage handlers may through your luggage out to avoid the extra work, and your suitcase might fall and hit the ground. But if your luggage has that impact resistance feature it will not get damaged buy any kind of impact.

The Polycarbonate is very impact resistant than ABS, so if your bag drops, it’s much more likely to bounce than break.

Winner: Polycarbonate

Quality And Durability
Impact Resistance

Other Luggage Material


Aluminum is the most high quality luggage material than all other material. However, it’s so expensive than most. Aluminum is considered as the most premium of luggage material. 

Most expensive luggage are made with this material, because it’s strong, durable, ans can take any type of travel conditions. However, this material is super heavy, and it you pack it all it could heart your shoulder while rolling it around the airport.

If you wandreing how expensive this material is, I can give you and example. You can expect to pay about $500-$1000 and more for a suitcase.


This unpopular hardside luggage material is one of the lighteset material in the world. It’s durable and strong but not as durable than ABS or Polycarbonate. However, it still a viable option.

Also the Polypropylene luggage are super affordable for any type of travelers, so if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash on a high quality material, the Polypropylene is the one for you.


The Nylon material has become the perfect option for most softside luggage manufacturer. And that because its strong and durable. Also the luggage that are made with the Nylon material are most likely be waterproof. 

If you love softside luggage than the hardside ones, than We recommend to go with the Nylon material, because it’s strong and lightweight as well, and offers some good features.

Pros And Cons Of ABS And Polycarbonate Luggage

For ABS Material


  • Low cost
  • Multiple color to choose from
  • Strong. And super strong combining with other material


  • Not as much dutable than other luggage material
  • Suitcases with ABS tend to crack in hard cases

For Polycarbonate Material


  • Flexible and super durable
  • Can handle any kind of pressure
  • Offer a huge protection to your belongings
  • Unbreakable
  • Heat resistant


  • Can be a little bit expensive than the ABS

Other Frequently Ask Questions

Are ABS and Polycarbonate the same?

Absolutely not. Polycarbonate is more durable and stronger than ABS, but it is also much more expensive.

Which hardside material is the best?

Polycarbonate is the best and most durable material that is plastic based. Obviously aluminum is the best but most costly option.

How much does an ABS and Polycarbonate luggage cost?

The average ABS luggage can be about $50, you can of course find less and more than that. 

A normal price of Well-built Polycarbonate luggage will never be below $100.

How do we choose the right suitcase?

Selecting the right luggage turns out to be really tough nowadays. because there’s a lot of options available in the market with different style and designs with different sizes as well.

You should know your needs and ask yourself. Why do i need a luggage for? How much money I have. How long do I can spend on my trip? By the time you answer these questions, we’re pretty sure you will make your decisions. However, the two common materials used in hardside luggage are polycarbonate and ABS.

Which hardside material is the cheapest? 

ABS is the cheapest of all the hardside luggage available on the market.

Final Words

ABS used in luggage has additional material that have been added to it to improve the strength and durability. But the Polycarbonate is strong and durable just by itself. However, both materials are easy to form, heat resistant, fairly sturdy and are widely used in manufacturing.

Pin This Post if you feel you might want to read it later in your Pinterest Luggage or Travel luggage board.

ABS or Polycarbonate, which is the best for you. check out these tips on how to find the best luggage for your next trip.

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