Rumble Box: suitcase vs backpack

Rumble Box: suitcase vs backpack

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Young Wang
What wheels better than something with actual wheels? When you go on holiday, you want effortless chic, not a clumsy burden like a backpack.

A suitcase is much bigger than a backpack, so you can feel free to stuff your travel essentials and even the not-so-essentials without worrying about the space. You can also do lots of shopping on your trip without nervously calculating how much space is left in your luggage.

The suitcase is your trustworthy companion that not only carries your things, but also protects them. It is - as the name indicates - a case to wrap everything in, and efficiently protect them from bumping.

Now that we are well into the 21st century, most travel destinations have rebuilt their original dirt roads into smooth, wheel-friendly sidewalks. Since it's so easy to wheel your suitcase everywhere, why bother using your tender shoulders to carry your load?

A suitcase is also easier to pack and unpack. And when you have to find something in your bag, the choice is obvious: with a backpack, you often have to dig all the way to the bottom to find that one tiny thing you need, messing up everything in the process. With a suitcase, however, you simply unzip it, lay it flat, and everything's right there in front of you - and you don't have to mess up what you've already packed.

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Melanie Leung
We could easily live without a suitcase, but who could get by without a decent backpack? Imagine going to school or hiking with a suitcase instead of a backpack. Pretty ridiculous.

Suitcases are selfish. They take up all the room in the car trunk, block the sidewalks and roll over innocent toes. They are the worst hassle in the world, rattling annoyingly on bumpy streets. The wheels tend to fall off, too - usually when you're rushing to catch an airport bus - and the handle always ends up getting stuck.

And anytime you need to get something out of it, you have to lay it down on the floor and unzip the whole thing. Perfect chance for some weirdo passing by to get a glimpse of your bag of dirty undies.

Backpacks are a lot better. They have different zips and compartments, so you could easily grab your wallet or water bottle whenever you need to, saving you the trouble of rummaging through everything you've packed.

You could put your backpack on your lap if there's no room anywhere else, or you could use it as a makeshift chair or pillow if your flight ever gets delayed or you're stuck in traffic. And in the instance when a strap may get torn, it's easy to fix with a thread and needle.

A good backpack also distributes the weight on your hips, so it's no trouble to go up and down flights of stairs. On the other hand, Young, with her suitcase, would have to wait to cram into the lift - if there is one.

Backpacks are the heart and soul of travelling - backpacking. It represents a group of adventurers who travel to see the sights, meet new people and experience the local culture.

With a backpack, you have endless possibilities and it's perfectly fine to go on a spontaneous hike. Suitcases limit what you can do, mostly keeping you indoors and with just one hand free. Suitcases are great if you're just shopping for chocolate and milk powder, but they're no fun at all.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
This week's rumble: Suitcase vs Backpack


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