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Best Carry-on Luggage

Choosing the best carry-on luggage is an important decision for any traveller. With airlines becoming increasingly strict on carry-on size and weight restrictions, having a bag that maximizes packing capacity while remaining compliant is essential. 

This comprehensive guide will explore all the factors to consider when selecting the best carry-on luggage.

Best Carry On Luggage, A Man Carrying A Luggage in The AirportBest Carry-On Luggage, A Man Carrying Luggage in The Airport

We’ll provide an overview of key features like size, weight, materials, wheels, handles, and compartments. You’ll also learn important details like standard carry-on size regulations for major airlines. 

Recommendations are made for top luggage brands and product lines available. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge needed to choose the ideal carry-on for your next trip.

How to Choose the Best Carry-On Luggage

When selecting carry-on luggage, there are several key factors to evaluate before making a purchase. Consider the following features when choosing the best carry-on for your needs:

Size and Dimensions

The most critical specification for carry-on luggage is size. Airlines have set maximum dimensions that bags must adhere to qualify as carry-on baggage. 

Standard domestic carry-on size allows bags no larger than 56cm x 36cm x 23cm, including wheels and handles. Many airlines specify a max length of 55cm.

It’s essential to select a bag that falls at or below these size thresholds to avoid forced gate-checking of your carry-on. Hardside bags with non-expanding shells are best for maximizing internal capacity while meeting size restrictions.


In addition to size limits, most airlines restrict carry-on bag weight to a maximum of 7kg. Sturdy yet lightweight materials like polycarbonate and polyester are ideal for keeping bag weight down. Compact bags of 40 litres or less typically comply with common weight restrictions.

Material and Durability

Carry-on bags come in softside and hardside models. Softside bags offer flexibility and are made of durable materials like ballistic nylon, polyester, or polycarbonate blends. Hardside spinners provide rigid protection and are constructed from materials like polycarbonate, ABS, or polypropylene.

Water-resistant coatings add further durability. Sturdy zippers, wheels, and handles also improve longevity. The most durable bags can withstand years of frequent air travel.

Wheels and Handles

Wheeled carry-ons provide effortless mobility through airports. Two-wheel bags are lightweight and maneuverable, while four-wheel spinners offer maximum maneuverability and stability. Quality wheels glide smoothly and are often made of materials like aircraft-grade aluminium.

Look for a sturdy telescoping handle that locks securely at multiple heights for ergonomic comfort. Top and side carry handles are also useful for lifting the bag into overhead bins.

Storage and Organization

The most functional carry-on bags offer clever storage systems and compartments. 

Interior organizer pockets, garment restraints, and zippered dividers all help keep contents neat and accessible. Some bags feature wet/dry storage compartments for separating damp items or toiletries.

Exterior compartments are perfect for items needed in-flight, like headphones, chargers, snacks, or reading material. The most organized interiors make accessing belongings convenient while helping maximize packing capacity.


Many carry-on bags feature an expandable design that unzips to allow for extra packing room when needed. Look for expandable bags that still meet standard carry-on size limits even when expanded. The flexibility to unzip for additional capacity can prove useful for souvenir shopping or long trips.


Integrated TSA-approved combination locks provide reliable security for valuables while allowing airport screeners to access bags if needed. Some brands offer luggage with built-in GPS tracking that can pinpoint a lost or stolen bag’s location via a smartphone app.


Carry-on luggage is available in a spectrum of colours, finishes, and designs. Consider your personal style preferences when selecting a bag. 

Vibrant, bold colours make bags easier to identify at baggage claim. Sophisticated styles work well for business trips. Many brands offer monogramming or customization services.

Best Carry-On Luggage Reviews

Different Kinds and Colors of Luggage 
Different Kinds and Colors of Luggage 

American Tourister Curio Hardside Spinner Suitcase Review

The American Tourister Curio Hardside Spinner Suitcase is a great choice for travellers looking for durable and organized carry-on luggage. This polycarbonate suitcase has a sleek, modern design and comes in three sizes – 55cm, 69cm, and 80cm.

The 45L capacity of the 55cm size provides ample space for packing clothes and other travel necessities for short trips. The interior features multiple compartments, including a quick access pocket at the front for stowing a laptop or other items you need to access quickly.

The hard side shell is impact and scratch-resistant, keeping belongings protected. The eye-catching design makes it easy to identify your bag at baggage claim. At 2.5kg, it is reasonably lightweight, given its 45L capacity.


  • Multiple interior compartments keep items organized
  • USB port allows charging devices while traveling
  • The TSA-approved lock provides security
  • Smooth maneuverability with 4 double-spinner wheels
  • Durable yet lightweight polycarbonate shell


  • No exterior pockets for quick access items 

Traveller’s Choice Pagosa Hardshell Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage Review

With its durable construction and abundance of features, the Traveler’s Choice Pagosa Spinner is one of the best carry-on suitcases available. This expandable hardshell suitcase is made of a nearly indestructible material rated to withstand tough handling and environments.

The 47L capacity expands to provide additional packing room while multiple pockets and compartments keep everything neatly organized. The partitioned interior includes crossed straps to keep items secure. Rubberized handles provide a comfortable grip when lifting the bag.

This suitcase stands out for its built-in power bank compartment and external USB port. This allows you to charge devices from the bag without needing an outlet. The four double-spinner wheels offer 360-degree rotation for effortless mobility in any direction.

With its weather-resistant shell, smooth maneuverability, and phone charging capability, the Pagosa Spinner is ideal for the frequent traveller needing a durable carry-on bag.


  • Strong, durable construction
  • Expandable capacity up to 47L
  • Multiple pockets and compartments
  • Built-in power bank compartment and USB port
  • Smooth spinner wheels


  • No TSA-approved lock
  • Power bank not included

Samsonite B’Lite 4 Softside Spinner Suitcase Review

The Samsonite B’Lite 4 spinner makes an excellent lightweight carry-on with plenty of thoughtful features for the frequent traveller. Despite the soft side design, the durable fabric material keeps belongings protected trip after trip.

With a 43L capacity, there is ample interior room that can be further expanded to 47L when needed. The suitcase remains carry-on compliant even when expanded. The integrated TSA-approved 3-digit combination lock provides reliable security.

Additional convenient features include multiple interior pockets to keep belongings organized and elastic cross ribbons for compression. The telescoping handles lock at multiple heights for user comfort, and the four smooth-rolling spinner wheels enable 360-degree movement.

Available in two classic colours – black and navy – the B’Lite 4 offers the perfect balance of durability, security, and maneuverability. The lightweight yet sturdy construction also helps minimize fatigue when travelling.


  • Durable, water-resistant fabric
  • Expandable 43L capacity
  • TSA-approved 3-digit combination lock
  • Interior organization pockets
  • Smooth spinner wheels


  • The telescoping handle could be sturdier

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-On Underseat Bag Review

Frequent fliers looking for the maximum organization will appreciate the thoughtful design and convenient size of the Travelpro Maxlite 5 under-seat carry-on bag. Weighing just 2.5kg, this soft-sided suitcase provides 26L of well-designed storage capacity.

The water and stain-resistant polyester fabric keeps contents dry and protected. High-quality zippers, skate wheels, and a sturdy PowerScope Lite handle ensure durability with smooth rolling mobility.

Interior features include a padded sleeve for a laptop or tablet, a removable hanging organizer for toiletries, and multiple zippered pockets. Exterior pockets provide quick access storage. Compression straps and adjustable hold-down straps keep contents securely packed.

While compact, this thoughtfully designed under-seat bag organizes your belongings for easy access. The lightweight, rolling design minimizes strain while navigating through airports. The Travelpro Maxlite 5 is a top choice for maximum utility in a carry-on.


  • Multiple interior and exterior pockets for organization
  • Protective padded laptop/tablet sleeve
  • Water and stain-resistant fabric
  • Lightweight yet durable construction


  • It may not fit under all airline seats

Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Carry-On Suitcase Review

With its durable polycarbonate shell, smooth spinner wheels, and large interior capacity, the Samsonite Winfield 2 makes an excellent carry-on companion for frequent travellers. The hardside shell keeps contents well protected, and the TSA-approved combination lock provides reliable security.

Four multi-directional spinner wheels allow 360-degree movement for easy maneuverability through crowded airports. A large, fully zippered compartment provides ample packing room while compression straps keep contents in place.

This carry-on is designed to last with its impact-resistant shell and 10-year limited warranty. While not expandable, the Winfield 2 offers sufficient room for short trips in its standard size.

With a sleek profile, vibrant colour options, and quality wheeled design, this durable hardside spinner is built to be both stylish and functional. For travellers seeking a secure, long-lasting carry-on, the Samsonite Winfield 2 is an outstanding choice.


  • Durable 10-year limited warranty
  • TSA-approved combination lock
  • 360-degree spinner wheels
  • Large main zippered compartment
  • Hardside polycarbonate shell


  • Not expandable as advertised
Different Kinds of Carry-on Luggage
Different Kinds of Carry-on Luggage

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds Hardside Carry-On Spinner Review

With its minimalist design and abundant features, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds makes an excellent carry-on for frequent business travellers. The durable hard-side exterior keeps contents protected while resisting scuffs and stains.

At 2.8 kg, this spinner is reasonably lightweight, given its generous 42L capacity. The interior is thoughtfully designed with two divider panels, creating separate compartments for organized packing. One side features compression straps, while the other has a convenient hanging pocket for stowing toiletries or accessories.

Four multi-directional spinner wheels ensure smooth rolling. Integrated corner guards provide shock absorption for added protection. The sleek, professional style of this carry-on makes it ideal for business trips.

For business travellers seeking a fuss-free, functional carry-on, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds is an outstanding choice. With its protective hard side body and abundance of features, this spinner is built to keep professionals organized and confident on the move.


  • Protective hard side exterior
  • Generous 42L capacity
  • Interior divider panels and compartments
  • Easy-rolling spinner wheels
  • Sleek, professional design


  • Heavier than some soft-side models

Delsey Paris Hardside Carry-On Spinner Review

With its extremely durable construction and smooth maneuverability, the Delsey Paris Hardside Spinner makes an excellent carry-on companion for frequent fliers. The hard-side polypropylene shell protects contents from bumps and drops while keeping the case lightweight at just 2.8 kg.

The generous 40L capacity provides ample packing room, while interior straps keep items secure and organized. Silent double-spinner wheels rotate effortlessly in any direction for smooth airport navigation. The ergonomic telescoping handle locks at multiple heights for user comfort.

Security is provided by a TSA-approved combination lock, keeping belongings protected. This durable hardside carry-on is stylishly designed and constructed to withstand the rigours of frequent travel. For those seeking a protective, quality-crafted hard-side spinner, the Delsey Paris makes an outstanding choice.


  • Ultra-durable polypropylene hard-side shell
  • Generous 40L capacity
  • Smooth, silent spinner wheels
  • Ergonomic telescoping handle
  • TSA-approved lock


  • No notable drawbacks

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Carry-On Review

The Rockland Melbourne Hardside Spinner provides an affordable, functional carry-on option for the budget-conscious traveller. While not the most durable construction, the expandable design offers flexibility, and the bright colour options add personality.

The hard shell helps protect contents, although the thin material is prone to scuffs. Interior mesh pockets allow organization while compression straps secure packed items. Dual carry handles plus a telescoping handle provide carrying options.

Smooth rolling is ensured by four double-spinner wheels that glide effortlessly in all directions. Although this spinner lacks high-end features like a TSA lock, its low price point makes it one of the most wallet-friendly carry-on options.

For travellers seeking an inexpensive, lightweight spinner for short trips, the Rockland Melbourne is a solid value choice. While not the most durable, it gets the job done functionally and economically.


  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Expandable design
  • Interior organizational pockets
  • Smooth spinner wheels
  • Vibrant colour options


  • Thin shell prone to scuffs
  • No TSA lock

AmazonBasics Hardside Expandable Spinner Carry-On Review

Offering functionality and flexibility at an affordable price point, the AmazonBasics Hardside Expandable spinner makes an excellent value choice for carry-on luggage. The lightweight yet durable hard side shell keeps contents protected during travel.

The 37L capacity expands by 15% to provide additional packing room when needed. Interior cross straps keep contents securely in place, while zippered mesh pockets allow organization. Four multi-directional spinner wheels ensure smooth rolling.

Easy mobility is further enabled by the telescoping handle and integrated top and side carry handles. While this spinner lacks some premium features like a TSA lock, the combination of durability, maneuverability, and flexibility makes it an outstanding budget option.

For travellers seeking a functional, affordable hard-side spinner, the AmazonBasics carry-on ticks all the boxes at a wallet-friendly price.


  • Durable yet lightweight hard-side shell
  • Generous 37L expandable capacity
  • Smooth spinner wheels
  • Multiple carry handles
  • Budget-friendly price point


  • No TSA lock
  • Among the heaviest options
  • No exterior pockets

American Tourister Applite 4 Eco Spinner Softside Carry-On Review

For travellers seeking a stylish, feature-packed carry-on, the American Tourister Applite 4 Eco offers durability, security, and effortless mobility. The soft-side fabric features protective corners and a lid to safeguard contents during travel.

This carry-on is thoughtfully designed with a TSA-approved lock, front pocket, and padded handles for comfort. 

The 50cm and 55cm sizes ensure carry-on compliance while the expandable design adapts to packing needs. Although it has just two wheels, the spinner stands upright easily when required.

Both compact and lightweight at 1.9kg, the Applite 4 packs substantial capacity. The sleek style and subtle colour pops make this soft-side spinner an attractive companion for all types of trips. 

For travellers seeking a secure, lightweight carry-on that looks as great as it functions, the American Tourister Applite 4 Eco is a top choice.


  • Protective soft side construction
  • 50cm and 55cm sizes available
  • Expandable capacity
  • TSA-approved lock
  • Lightweight at 1.9kg


  • Only two wheels


Choosing new carry-on luggage involves evaluating several key factors, from size and weight to durability, capacity, and wheels. Understanding airline restrictions helps ensure your new bag meets standards for dimensions, weight limits, and liquid policies.

Accessories like packing cubes, garment folders, and digital scales further enhance your carry-on’s convenience.

Most importantly, match the carry-on to your usual travel requirements. A purpose-built bag tailored to your needs delivers better performance and packability trip after trip. 

With the knowledge provided in this guide, finding your ideal carry-on is now simple. Bon voyage with perfectly packed luggage on all your upcoming travels!  


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