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Luggage Glossary

Tired of not being in-the-know when traveling, Luggage Base is here to help. Our new adjusted gallary has been formatted for travelers who might not be as savvy, who might not be a seasoned veteran, who might even be first time flyers. Allow us to help educate you with common travel terms, different luggage types, and the materials that make those different types. This way you can be sure that you are ready for your next trip and traveling like a jet setter!


ABS: A strong, shock-absorbent type of plastic. Its rigidity makes it especially impact-resistant, and its glossy finish adds to its aesthetic value.

Aluminum: Light grey, silver colored metal, extremely durable and rigid the material has seen increased use due to the safety and security that it offers.

Ballistic Nylon: Originally developed to be used in World War II Airmen jackets, ballistic nylon is made with a specific type of basket weave. This weaving method makes it especially resistant to abrasion.

Cordura Nylon: “Cordura nylon” is a general term that may refer to any type of nylon made by the Cordura company. The fabric was developed during World War II and originally used in the tires of military vehicles.

Faux Leather: Faux leather is an artificial leather alternative. Often more affordable than real leather, faux leather is also used in many vegan products. Faux leather comes in many different formulations and colors that vary from brand to brand.

Leather: Crafted by the tanning of animal rawhides and skins, Leather has been utilized in the United States since the Native American Tribes roamed the open lands. Still being utilized today due to its high quality durability and fashionable style, Leather is used today in a variety of products such as jackets,luggage, wallets, purses and much more

Micro Fleece: Contrary to its name, micro fleece isn’t made from sheep’s wool. It’s a synthetic material that is known for its softness, warmth, water repellency, it's and light weight. Micro fleece is a suitable vegan alternative to wool.

Microfiber: Microfiber is a synthetic fiber with a variety of uses. 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, microfiber is a versatile material that can be used as a leather alternative, in household products, and as an industrial filler. It can be printed, embroidered, and embossed. Unlike cotton or paper, it leaves virtually no residue or lint behind, making it a popular material with which to make cleaning supplies.

Neoprene: A synthetic polymer known for its versatility. Chemically stable, Neoprene resembles rubber and it's uses due to it's resistance to oils, heat, and weathering.

Nylon: A synthetic fabric derived from petroleum, Nylon's practical uses extend wide and far into our everyday lives. Durable and versatile, Nylon is used in clothes, luggage, shoes, and anything else that may require durable strings or stitching.

Polyester: Defined as "long-chain polymers" Polyester fabric is extremely flexible and very resistant to tears and damage. Used due to its strength and durability, Polyester is seen in many of today's leading luggage brands.

Polycarbonate: A hard polymer with higher strength and durability than plastic. It is highly impact-resistant and resistant to temperature fluctuations.

Polyethylene: Good old plastic. polyethylene is a blanket term that can be used to describe plastics of varying weights and strengths. Polyethylene was first used commercially in the 1930s.

Polypropylene: Another type of plastic with a wide range of uses. It is highly stress-resistant and stands up well to impact, temperature fluctuations, and corrosion.

Ripstop Nylon: Nylon that is woven with special reinforcing threads. These threads aid in both prevention and containment of tears, ensuring that any damage that does occur doesn’t spread.

Types of Luggage

Attache (or attaché): A hard-sided, hinged briefcase that can be made of plastic, metal, leather, or wood. Attaches can be used to store documents or professional gear like cameras.

Briefcase: A blanket term that can be used to describe an attaché, messenger bag, laptop bag, or camera case. Briefcases come in a variety of styles and materials, but are traditionally made of leather and used in business or workplace settings.

Daypack: A light- or medium-duty backpack that’s suitable for school, errands, or casual travel.

Garment Cover: Lighter and less bulky than traditional garment bags, a garment cover offers protection from wrinkles and debris. Whereas a garment bag may have wheels, pockets, and look more like traditional luggage, a garment cover generally has a simpler, no-frills design.

Hardside Luggage: Luggage with a hard exterior. Hardside luggage is constructed of heavy-duty material like polycarbonate, resulting in a lightweight bag that’s extremely resistant to damage. Hardsided luggage often comes in shiny, colorful, and eye-catching finishes.

Laptop Sleeve: A type of briefcase made specifically to store and transport laptop computers and their accessories. Some sleeves come fully equipped with straps, handles, and pockets, while others are designed for the traveler who needs only the bare necessities.

Messenger Bag: Sometimes called a courier bag, a messenger bag is a type of soft-sided briefcase. More casual than an attaché or traditional briefcase, it’s generally worn over one shoulder or across the body. Messenger bags are popular with students as an alternative to backpacks, and also with professionals who work in less formal environments.

Spinner Luggage: Wheeled luggage with four wheels instead of two. As the name implies, spinner luggage can be spun and maneuvered at 360 degrees for full mobility.

Travel Backpack: A larger, more durable backpack intended for rugged or heavy use. Ideal for camping or backpacking.

Common Travel Terms

Baggage Allowance: The amount of bags a passenger can bring without having to pay any extra fees. For example if you are to be allotted 1 carry-on and 1 checked-bag, than your Baggage Allowance is: 1 carry on, 1 checked bag

Connections: Scheduled plans that require you to arrive at an airport, depart your current plane, then board a separate plane to complete your trip.

Drop Charges: A hidden additional fee often used by vehicle rental companies, this charge occurs when customer rents a car in one location an returns it to a different location.

Electronic Ticket: A ticket that is in an airline's secure server and/or in their system. This is not a printed document, instead you use your Smartphone or the airline's computer system for verification.

Estimated Flying Time: Time spent in the air after takeoff and before landing, the total time spent off the ground.

In-Flight Service: Any food, entertainment, beverages, or other accommodations available to a traveler during their flight.

Instant Purchase Fare: A fare that is unable to be held for a later purchase, typically no exchange value is associated with the fare. This type of fare must be purchased at the time of booking.

Internet Fare: Traditionally this is a highly restricted fare that airlines only on online purchases for limited increments of time.

Itinerary: Your schedule and traveling arrangements for your next trip. Typically this includes your Gate, Seating Section, Boarding Section, and Departure Time

Layover: The amount of time spent in between flights, this can be minutes, hours, or potentially days. For instance if your flight arrives at 10:05 AM and your next flight does not leave until 11:45 AM, then you have a 1 hour and 40 minute layover.

Penalty: The amount of currency charged for changing or canceling a reservation.

Proof of Citizenship: A government issued legal document that establishes an individual's nationality to a foreign government. It can be an original birth certificate, a certified copy of your birth certificate or a passport.

Proof of Identity: Government issued legal document that establishes a travelers identity. Proof of Identity can be a driver's license, birth certificate, or a passport.