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Travel Glossary


Rigid plastic, lighter than PVC, with excellent resistance to breaking, scratching, chipping and wear; commonly used by plumbers

Accordion file

Allows for storage of files or papers within a catalog case, briefcase, attache, etc. Also known as a fan file.


A crystalline thermoplastic with a high mechanical strength and excellent wear properties with a very low moisture absorption rate resulting in excellent dimensional stability. Commonly used to support frames and handles in the luggage industry.


Fits to a US electronic for safe, effective fit in an international outlet; adapters can vary depending on country


Small, rectangular business case with a hard frame.


A carrying pack with two shoulder straps that can be comfortably carried on your back.

Ballistic nylon

Originally developed for use in bulletproof vests and automobile tires, this tough nylon yarn is used in luggage, business cases, and backpacks. An incredibly durable fabric with high abrasion resistance and tear strength.

Belting leather

Thick, quality leather often used in belts, briefcases, luggage or luggage trim.

Carry-on approved

Will meet most airline requirements for luggage allowed onto an airplane; small enough to fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. Standard size is 22" x 14" x 9"

Computer sleeve

A protective sleeve for your laptop which fits inside a business case.


Used frequently in international travel, converts US electronics for use in other countries with a different voltage; may vary depending on country


A durable, lightweight, tear, abrasion and puncture resistant nylon yarn used extensively in luggage and outdoor gear.

Cosmetic bag

Small piece of luggage used to carry cosmetics and other personal items. Usually fits inside a larger bag, such as an upright or garment bag.

Cow hide

Leather made from unsplit cow hide or its grain split.


Smaller backpack. Meant to be work over the shoulders in backpack style.


Weight measurement which refers to the fineness of a yarn. Typically, the lower the number, the finer the fiber; the higher the number, the heavier the fiber.


Large, open luggage or sports bag, with few or no interior compartments.


When used in referring to luggage handles, a comfortable hand position, causing little or no stress to your body.


Compartment which expands 1 or more inches for added packing space.

Full grain leather

The original grain surface hide; has not been buffed or split.

Garment bag

A bag that holds suits, dresses, gowns, shirts, etc. using a hanging system. May be wheeled.

Garment sleeve

A folding sleeve within an upright that holds 1-2 suits, dresses, shirts, etc. Also referred to as a suiter.


An insert of extra fabric to allow for greater storage or organizational options.


Made from plastic, aluminum or other hard materials. Provides more protection for your contents; is often heavier than soft-sided luggage.


Fabric construction where the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zip-zag effect.


A method of weaving or knitting patterns directly onto fabric. Its rare that a true jacquard fabric is printed on the material. Fabric has a raised pattern effect.

In-line skate wheel

Usually made of polyurethane or other rubber, these wheels were originally designed for in-line skates, yet used with wheeled luggage pieces, allow for a wider base and smooth manuverability.


Fabric characterized by its net-like appearance.


Soft, lightweight, breathable and durable synthetic fiber; finer denier than silk.

Napa (Nappa) leather

Soft full grain leather made from unsplit sheep, lamb, or kid-skin.


Durable synthetic rubber; very resistant to oil or sweat.


Full grain leather that has been "sanded" on the right side for a suede finish.


The first completely synthetic fiber developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.


Small personal planner, usually with areas to hold credit cards, IDs, money, etc. Often includes calendar and small notepad.

Overnight bag

Luggage large enough to carry clothing and personal items for an overnight stay. Also referred to as a tote.


Flat, rectangular bag with a zipper top or envelope flap. Many have handles, some which recede into the bag.


Synthetic, long chain polymer fiber that will not absorb moisture, but will "wick" moisture away from the skin quickly. High heat, such as an iron or a dryer, can damage this fiber.


Poly vinyl chloride: a firm rubber-like plastic.


Used by Travelpro, this is fast becoming a generic term for any upright piece of luggage with wheels and telescopic handle.


A soft, carry-on bag, usually with two handles.

Self-repairing zipper

Zippers which function even when a few teeth are missing.

Skid plate

Metal or plastic plates found on the exterior of some luggage to protect against bumps, scratches, and other abrasions.

Shoe pocket

Separate compartment within luggage used to keep shoes away from clothing and other items


Addition to luggage that allows suits, dresses or other garments to be packed separately. Style varies, and many are removable.


A durable, long-lasting fabric protector that forms a molecular shield around the fibers, guarding them from oil-and-water based stains, dust and soil.

Telescopic handle

Extendable handle, usually released by a button or pressure, that hides within its own casing. Common on most pieces of wheeled luggage.

Toiletry kit

Small luggage accessory used to carry toiletries and other personal items. Fits inside most other pieces of luggage, duffel bags, or backpacks.


Stitching detail parallel to the edge of seam on the outside of the fabric, used as a styling detail, or added for strength to a stress point.


Luggage large enough to carry personal items, which may include clothing, toiletries, reading materials, etc. Also referred to as an overnight bag, a tote is usually carry-on approved.


A coarse, heavy weight, rough surfaced wool fabric, originally hailing from Scotland.


Common term for luggage 18 - 32 inches in height; can be hardside or softside, with wheels and a handle for easy maneuverability. May be referred to as a pullman.

Waist pack

Also known as a fanny pack, this accessory item is used to hold money, ID or other documents close to your body for added security.

Wally clamp

Used in garment bags or suiters, a hanger system which locks any wire closet or dry cleaning hanger in place, allowing for larger packing capability


A large garment bag, usually on wheels, which stores several hanging garments.


A strong, narrow, tightly woven nylon strip material, commonly used for straps.


Plastic compartment within a piece of luggage often used to hold wet or soiled items, such as bathing suits.


Used by Tumi to describe any upright piece of luggage with wheels and a telescopic handle.


Pull moisture and sweat away from the skin and disperse it throughout a material, such as polypropylene.

YKK zippers

Durable, coiling zippers, often oversized.