FUL 3-piece Hardside Luggage Set
- Three hard-sided pieces of luggage that look like the world’s most boring Russian nesting dolls
- You get a 29", 25", and 21" suitcase, or “Papa Bear” “Mama Bear” and “Baby Bear” if you prefer a fairy tale for scale
- Hard-sided luggage is more durable, secure, and protective than soft-sided luggage, but it’s also (usually) more expensive and heavier
- Also, you can’t over-fill your carry-on to the point where it not longer fits in the overhead space and the flight attendant scolds you in front of everyone and you feel shame
- Each suitcase features four wheels so you can lash them together and ride through the airport on a makeshift stagecoach
- We wish this set was named “FUL Me Thrice”…
- Model: ABFL5630_001, ABFL5468_406 (How many model numbers should a 3-piece luggage set have, before you can call it weird that it has neither a model number for each item in the set or one model number for the entire set? The answer, my friend…)
A Buggy Feature
There are many legitimate reasons to prefer hard-sided luggage. It’s more secure, it protects its contents better, it (generally) lasts longer , it won’t expand to the point where it no longer fits in the overhead space, etc.
There is also one questionable reason to prefer it that has gained traction online despite a lack of supporting evidence: Some say hard-sided luggage deters bed bugs better than soft-sided luggage. Gasp.
You may have been interested in the facts of the first paragraph, but the mere mention of “bed bugs” in the second probably generated an emotional response. Research has shown that humans make decisions based on emotions rather than logic:
A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they seemed normal, except that they were not able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet they found it very difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat.
So even though the bed bug claim might be questionable, it might also sway more people to buy this hard-sided 3-piece set than all the true statements combined. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if several readers have already started searching the interwebs to learn more about the bed bug claim. And that’s how these rumors get started – they gain emotional traction.
Want another example (that’s also related to arthropods)? Have you ever woken up to find a spider bite on your body? You know, those big itchy red lumps that feel like a mosquito bite on steroids? Turns out, those aren’t actually spider bites:
The vast majority of “spider bites” are caused by something else, research shows. One study Vetter cited found that of 182 Southern California patients seeking treatment for spider bites, only 3.8 percent had actual spider bites, while 85.7 percent had infections.
The idea that these bumps are caused by spiders is so emotionally powerful that it became ubiquitous. We all grew up learning about “spider bites” despite any evidence to support it. And that may be exactly what’s happening with the rumor that hard-sided luggage “prevents” bed bugs.
Can we overcome our emotional wiring and make luggage purchase decisions based on the actual pros and cons? It doesn’t really matter. Whether you buy this hard-sided set because of its security or protection benefits or because it (maybe) prevents bed bug infestations, we still get paid. And really, that’s all that matters.