The selection of carry on luggage out on the market can be overwhelming and you may not know the differences between some brands and even less between some models and others. Therefore, some doubts arise as you are asking these questions; What is the best cabin suitcase that can be found today on the internet? Also, what are the differences between some brands and others? What dimensions must a suitcase have to pass some stringent airline carry on requirements?
Imagine you are organizing a weekend getaway, and you have to prepare your luggage, would you know how to choose the best carry on suitcase? In reality, there is no perfect suitcase par excellence, your specific needs, and your tastes when traveling, are the factors that will determine which suitcase is the perfect one for you.
Cabin luggage also called “carry-on luggage” is ideal for short trips. To carry them on them to the interior of the aircraft, there are standard measures that must be met, otherwise they will travel in the aircraft’s hold. From all this we will talk on this page to give you the best information about cabin luggage and that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Why You Need The Best Carry On Luggage?
Are you on a short flight to visit your parents or work? How long are you traveling? Do you need a carry on, or a backpack, or a check-in suitcase? Our editor here at Always Wanderlust likes to travel with a backpack that he can check-in and another bag for the cabin during month-long trips. He also travels with a rolling carry on luggage when the trips are shorter, about a week or even less. Also, ideally on the paved city roads where the wheels don’t fall apart. Think developed places like most of Western Europe where you glide with your small rolling luggage with ease.
So the ideal need and convenience for a small rolling carry on luggage are when you’re on a week-long vacation or holiday. Any longer than that, we recommend you get the best travel backpack money can buy.
With that in mind, nothing beats the convenience of a rolling carry on luggage. No tired backs and no wrinkled clothes. Once you have determined that you need the best carryon luggage, carefully read through this guide. We will give you your best options without breaking your bank.
We have all gone through luggage that is easily dented, or that do not have the right measures you need to fit in the cabin. So the trick is to buy the least expensive available without neglecting your particular needs. With bellows, without bellows, that’s it, the important thing is that it is of good quality and that it is affordable and friendly with your budget.
And, to tell the truth, having a good suitcase can make the difference between a comfortable trip and one in which, due to excess baggage, can become a headache; something that nobody wants at the time of getting on a plane. So, choosing a good carry on suitcase that you can take with you on the plane will be a great relief and comfort when traveling.
We’ve compiled a stringent airline carry on requirements for roughly 180 airlines so you can check which luggage mentioned below will fit without issues on your airline, domestic or international.
Finally, let’s get to the best carry on luggage you can buy. We’ve divided the guide into three two sections. The best carry on luggage you can find under $60, under $100 and the best carry on luggage if your budget goes a little further. No matter the size of your pocket, you will find the best carry on money can buy on this guide.
Best Carry On Luggage Under $60
AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner
Dimensions: 14.4 x 9.2 x 21.6 inches
Weight: 9.25 lbs
It is one of the most attractive suitcases on the market with a simple image but with a pleasant combination of textures, good manufacturing materials, excellent internal organization, and details that make it simply unique. This is one of the best suitcases. They have been able to combine the best resistant and lightweight polypropylene materials, together with unique accessories for frequent travelers that are amazing. For example, its security lock, straps, intelligent and organized interior storage, as well as a very attractive image in 4 colors, both bright and matte.
Its engineering design allows it to be lightweight and at the same time resist shock. It also complies with the measures required by multiple airlines. For all that and much more, it is one of the best options in the market and at an unbeatable price. The only gripe is the not-so-great zipper quality and some users have reported the handle breaking with extensive use.
- Durable luggage for the price
- Provides lots of room and space
- Easy to roll around people
- Easy to carry
- International carry on luggage size- fits on almost all airline
- Questionable zipper quality
- Some users reported of the handle breaking
Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch
Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 20 inches
Weight: 7 lbs
The Rockland suitcase can clear most carry on airline requirements on domestic and international flights. The small form factor surprisingly can fit a lot of stuff. You can easily pack a half dozen pairs of jeans, a dozen t-shirts, 3 weeks worth of underwear, a pair of sneakers, and you still have a little bit of room to fit some toiletries along with the nooks and crannies. Ideally, this luggage is great for a weekender trip and perhaps a little bit further on a weeklong trip.
The Rockland has multi-direction wheels that make it easy to lug around in the airport or along city sidewalks. There’s also a plethora of design and color options to fit your style requirements. The luggage’s telescoping handle is ergonomic and seems sturdy enough but isn’t durable as compared to other brands that cost three times as much. There’s also no known scuffing protection on the hard side material and the zippers seem more flimsy and probably can’t withstand long-term abuse. Other than these observations, the Rockland is solid luggage that won’t put a dent in your pocket.
- Excellent luggage for the price
- Very roomy and has a lot of space
- Easy to roll around in the city and airport
- Ergonomic handle
- Fits on most airline’s luggage overhead bins
- Zipper quality is questionable
- Prone to scuffs and scratch marks
Olympia Apache Ii 21″ Rolling Carry On Spinner
Dimensions: 9 x 14 x 21 inches
Weight: 6 pounds
In this list of best suitcases, a semi-rigid suitcase had to appear, and the one chosen is the Olympia Apache Ii 21 inch. This excellent brand is characterized by luggage with very careful design, fantastic materials and finishes, and large capacity suitcases. However, we do note that some users have reported the zippers to be a bit flimsy and some issues with padding.
This model we love for many things, for its elegance, finishes, good smooth sliding wheels, but especially for your ability. Hold on; we’re going. Count ‘only’ with 50 liters of capacity cabin size! That is to say, that in this Olympia cabin bag you can take clothes to spend many days easily. Also, although it is semi-rigid, it is resistant to water and with an ultra-resistant zipper. If you are looking for a soft quality small rolling carry on luggage, this is yours. It is available in more colors and sizes.
- Cheap affordable price
- 360-degree spinner wheels
- Relatively light
- Durable materials
- Fits on even budget international flights
- Some users reported flimsy zippers
- Advertised as having padding but doesn’t really have much
AmazonBasics Hybrid Hard-Softside Spinner (20-inch)
Dimensions: 14.2 x 8.7 x 21.7 inches
Weight: 5.75 pounds
The AmazonBasics Hybrid Hard-Softside Spinner Luggage – 20 inch is one of the best selling models of the top brand in the Amazon marketplace, and it does not surprise us at all. It has perfect dimensions in the rolling carry on luggage size to travel with all low-cost airlines and its capacity to makes it a very good option to travel with only one bag. If we add to that its polypropylene construction together with its closure by three anchoring points, it ensures outstanding resistance and safety.
Surprisingly, the bag is also roomy with its expandable compartments. It has reliable storage with a spacious dual-chambered interior and a padded compartment for your electronic devices. Its spinner design means you can spin this luggage around for greater comfort when you’re walking, though we note that it tends to drag over carpets
- Hybrid design
- Price is right
- Roomy for a 20 inch
- Can fit on most international airline cabin
- Wheels can drag on carpets
- No side handles
Rockland 20 Inch Polycarbonate
Dimensions: 15.3 x 9.8 x 22.1 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
For a few more dollars of its Melbourne sibling, this Rockland offers this compact hand luggage, made with ultra-lightweight materials, for easy handling through airports. The Rockland is made of hard-grade polycarbonate and well supports common travel exposures such as wear and water. It comes in a multitude of colors and designs, making it an attractive choice for various personalities.
If you want to make the most of the interior storage space while leaving aside a lot of features, durability aside, the Rockland Luggage swivel is a good choice. The bag complies with the size regulations in hand luggage and easily enters the upper compartments of international flights. We do notice that the handle’s construction isn’t as robust as the rest of the rolling carry on luggage, which may or may not last depending on the weight you place on this luggage.
- Excellent polycarbonate/ABS build
- Interior mesh, zip pocket, and elastic pocket
- 360 degrees maneuverability
- Some users have reported the zippers failing
- Handles aren’t as sturdy as the rest of the bag
AmazonBasics Softside Carry on Luggage
Dimensions: 14.6 x 9.4 x 21 inches
Weight: 4.51 pounds
Amazon is a trusted brand that always offers high-quality luggage, and this model is very representative of its style. Always present with the basic style, it is made with high-quality materials and fantastic ergonomics. The 7 lbs weight may deter some travelers since some international airlines have weight limit restrictions on top of the size, which this luggage can mostly pass.
This AmazonBasics Softside Spinner Luggage does not stand out for its durability but its great capacity(in size of cabin suitcase) and for being made of soft material. The fabric material, however, means that it also gets dirty fast. It has an automatic braking system so that it stays fixed when we go on public transport or we stop at a hill. Without a doubt, we had to put a representative of the Amazon brand and the AmazonBasics Softside Spinner Luggage is up to this list of best suitcases. It is available in various colors and sizes.
- Affordable price range
- Well made handle with good extension
- Fits most international airlines
- Wheels need to be improved
- Gets dirty fast
Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds
Dimensions: 14.5 x 8.5 x 21.8 inches
Weight: 4.25 pounds
Design is essential in hand to carry luggage too. In this category, there is no doubt that the Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds is the best model currently available in the luggage market. Besides being very attractive, it goes out of the ordinary in terms of design. It is an excellent wheeled suitcase for traveling with a carry on; we just don’t recommend to roll the wheels on rough terrain.
The excellent value for money for this suitcase can be seen at a glance in its transport characteristics and in the way of its sewing. They have used soft materials of first quality in their manufacture, something that is reinforced by double stitching in high-risk areas; although we did notice the zipper fabric to be a bit flimsy. On the other hand, it has everything that hand luggage should have and at a price well below other brands but always fulfilling the highest quality, which results in a very good balance.
- Meets the size requirements of international travel
- Big enough to carry lots of stuff
- Great looking designer luggage
- Zipper fabric could use some improvements
- Wheels not made to withstand European travel (think cobblestones)
Best Carry On Luggage Under $100
Samsonite Omni Pc Hardside Spinner
Dimensions: 19 x 14.5 x 9.8 inches
Weight: 5.25 pounds
On the other hand, the Samsonite Omni PC is one of the more affordable hand luggage, but with an excellent quality that is worth recognizing. It is a small but spacious suitcase made with economical materials but without leaving the resistance aside. Also, it has an image that is modern and very pleasant. The Samsonite Omni has become one of the best-selling affordable hard case luggage. At a very low price, it is capable of offering everything you need, from security to comfort and a good image.
It has relief of vertical lines and different colors in a resistant housing and capable of receiving impacts in the cabin of the plane or outside. By outside, we mean that sometimes it’s too big to fit on some international airlines. However, if you are looking for the best low-cost hand luggage, then this is your best option, that is when you can catch it on sale.
- Solid polycarbonate construction makes this a sturdy luggage
- 360-degree rotating wheels make it easy to lug around
- Great warranty
- Excellent capacity
- You’ll have to catch it on sale for it to be on sub $100 range
- Can exceed some limit in international travel
- Easily scuffed
Travelpro Maxlite 4 Small Rolling
Dimensions 9.5 x 15 x 23 inches
Weight: 6 lbs
This hand luggage is the best of the high end of the market, thanks to having behind one of the best brands. This is the Travelpro Luggage Maxlite suitcase, a unique design model, made with an innovative material called Curv. This material has a unique shape, a lightness that is worth considering and an ideal resistance for bumps, falls and scrapes. What makes this Travelpro Luggage Maxlite hand luggage so great and different from other models is its design of curves inspired by nature, which, together with its excellent manufacturing material, makes it able to absorb impacts without damaging the contents.
It is the best high-end rolling cabin suitcase, not only for the incredible quality of its materials but for how well designed and planned it has been, something that has made it one of the most sold in its range. Of course, its price is on the high side, but you’re also getting high-quality luggage.
- Great brand
- Plenty of room
- Good fabric material
- Will have some size limitation issues on some international flights
- Some users reported of the wheels popping off
Steve Madden Luggage
Dimensions: 9 x 20 x 13 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
When we look for a good suitcase, what we want is to be resistant, very light and have good use of space. This Steve Madden Luggage Carry On is a perfect in strength and lightness thanks to the material with which it is manufactured. The heavy-duty material is the material chosen by Steve Madden Luggage Carry On, homegrown and offering an incredible result. It weighs a few kilograms more than we would like but it is one of the more portable but still large we have found so far!
They show a video passing of a car passing over it and it survived because it is a very flexible material. Although it is dented, it can return to its original shape. Its design with curves and its single tube puller we love, in addition to an ultra-smooth sliding of the wheels that makes it look like the suitcase is walking alone. It is available in more colors and sizes.
- Meets most international airline restrictions
- Made of solid durable material, bombproof
- Wheels last
- A bit heavy
- Lack of pockets
- Poor use of space
Dimensions: 9.5 x 14.8 x 19.6 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds
The Samsonite brand is one of the most prestigious brands in this sector, and that is why we have decided to include its “all-terrain,” a rigid cabin suitcase on four wheels, and with less than 2 kilos of weight. Suitcase luggage, cabin, rigid and light with four wheels that spin in different directions making it very convenient. The price point also makes it an attractive suitcase, not too expensive for the quality you’re getting.
The polycarbonate material is very scratch resistant and the full-zip interior divider makes it easy to organize your things. The TSA lock is a nice touch and the bag can expand if you need it to. We do observe that the handle is a bit flimsy, this is a shame since the bag is so sturdy.
- Made of durable material
- Samsonite brand
- Great price to quality ratio
- This is a heavy bag
- The handle isn’t as sturdy as the rest of the rolling carry on luggage we mentioned
Goplus 20 Inch Expandable
Dimensions: 15 x 10.5 x 22 inches
Weight: 7 lbs
Sailing inside the airport will be like sewing and singing with this semi-rigid and sturdy luggage that does not deform easily. On top of that, it has more capacity to carry your things without having to check it in. The luggage is equipped with a TSA-approved luggage lock that will keep it safe from thieves.
There is are four wheels that make hauling this luggage a cinch and it can carry up to 33 lbs of things, however, we won’t go past that. Having everything at hand is very necessary when you are at the airport all day, so your two front pockets are very convenient. And it can be expanded, so if you ever need more space, then this is the bag to get. Its expandable interior combined with its durable and hard exterior makes it a very great all-around hand-carry luggage.
- TSA Approved Lock
- Built like a tank
- Pricier than other luggage
- Heavy and might not fit on some international compartments
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 22 Inch
Dimensions: 9 x 14.5 x 23 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds
If you are a businessman who takes a lot of business trips, this elegant cabin trolley is for you. Besides, it is available in various colors and has a very modern design with a lot of features. We do note that some international airlines, especially budget ones, will have you check-in this luggage; which will end up costing you money.
It can carry quite a lot despite being more lightweight than another carry on luggage of the same type; it’s about .5 lbs lighter than the Maxlite 4 above. Its exterior is quite durable, resistant to shock. It has a front pocket that will allow you to store your laptop. And since it is light, you can pack it in and not have to worry about it being too heavy to carry around.
- Lightweight compared to other luggage of this type
- Has a lot of room and an extra pocket for laptop
- Good sturdy wheels
- More expensive than other luggage on list
- It won’t pass some international flight requirements
Best Carry On Luggage Over $100
Briggs & Riley Sympatico
Dimensions: 9 x 14 x 21 inches (international)
Weight: 8 pounds
The Briggs & Riley Sympatico is a premium carry on luggage that comes with two different sizes: international (9x14x21 inch) and domestic (9x14x22 inch). The polycarbonate material it’s made of provides durability and resiliency. The telescoping handle is made of aircraft-grade aluminum that offers 3 stop height for adjustability based on your height. This expandable spinner has a premium polyester lining that gives it a classy feel and high-quality feel.
The bag isn’t cheap but you’re paying for what you get, this is a well-made bag that’s made to last a while. If it does have issues, the manufacturer has a fairly good warranty coverage that will get you back out flying again in time. One nagging issue we have is that for the price, it should include more pockets and perhaps even a nice luggage tag.
- Great quality and durable materials
- Spin around wheels make travel easy
- Classy liners
- It should include more premium features for the price
Cloud 9 Aluminum Luggage
Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.3 x 21.5 inches
Weight: 9 pounds
If you’re looking for a bombproof suitcase, look no further. Luggage of this quality runs above $600 but Cloud 9 is just as capable and just as durable as its expensive counterparts. The multi-directional wheels are smooth and allow you to turn on a dime. Durability is the selling point of this luggage and it also comes with TSA approved locks. The size of this luggage is perfect for international travel and is made to withstand the rigorous journey.
It’s hard to find fault in this aircraft-grade quality aluminum luggage. The fully lined interior even looks cool and can easily divvy up your belongings. It’s not expandable so you really have to be judicious about what you carry with you. Another gripe, albeit small, is that non-aluminum parts, like the plastic, don’t seem as sturdy.
- Bombproof design and aluminum material
- Stylish design
- TSA approved locks
- Excellent wheels
- Plastic parts not as sturdy as the rest of the luggage
Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 22 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
TUMI is a brand name you can trust and they’ve been making quality luggage for as long as I can remember. In fact, I used to work at a luggage store selling TUMI products. They’re a cut above the rest and the TUMI V4 is no exception. The luggage is made of polycarbonate material that makes it durable yet lightweight. It’s easy to lug around with the recessed dual spinner wheels, also made to last.
The internal features are also top-notch with dual compartment zip pockets and compression straps to keep your things in place. The three-stage telescoping handle and TSA lock is standard on any TUMI luggage. Is it worth the price? It depends. The luggage will appeal to those who want luxury quality luggage. The warranty and guarantee will certainly make it worth the price.
- Excellent quality
- Great warranty
- Durable wheels
- Other luggage offer the same for less
Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 20 inches
Weight: 8.1 pounds
This luggage is very stylish and looks even better if you match it as a set with an under-seat tote and check-in luggage. Careful design has been implemented as you can see from the protective metal corner guards and studs. The Pendelton Harding carry on is a durable suitcase made with premium materials and comes at a premium weight as well at a whopping 8.1 lbs.
The diamond-textured polycarbonate shell is durable resists wear and tear, impact resistance, and scratch resistance. The retractable handle and smooth-glide spinner wheels allow to you dodge traffic in busy airports and city streets.
- Very stylish
- Premium luggage
- Style may not appeal to everyone
Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 22.5 inches
Weight: 6.3 pounds
Designed and produced by travelers for travelers, the GoPenguin is highly functional and durable luggage. The luggage is made to keep your belongings out of harm while not harming your wallet. The features included are found only on suitcases costing five times as much. The unbreakable shell and Hinomoto wheels are a product of half a year’s worth of research.
The luggage is light at 6.3 lbs with a capacity of nearly 40L. Attention to detail and finish from the telescopic handles to the YKK zippers are apparent and the 2-year limited warranty makes sure you get the most of your investment. As good as it is, the luggage suffers from design flaws when it is packed super full like the telescoping handle not extracting out and there’s no second zipper to compress the bag when full.
- Reasonably priced for the features
- Durable and has great design
- Excellent finish and attention to detail
- Design flaws when very full
- Needs some more enhancements to be the best
How To Choose The Best Carry On Luggage?
The market offers many different options for suitcases to choose from: with or without wheels, rigid or flexible, you will even find smart suitcases that include the most advanced technology, such as those that follow you, they indicate the exact place where They meet or transport you when you do not want to walk. Many doubts assail us when buying a carry on luggage: what is the best cabin suitcase that can be found today? What cabin or handbag to buy?
Why are there so many price differences? What models offer more than others? The offer of carry on luggage that we can find is very varied: different brands with, in turn, different models; Prices for all pockets and a different value for money that will make us doubt. Normally, we do not know the fundamental differences between the different brands (as to also know the differences between each model). As we have pointed out before, it is essential to bear in mind that the best suitcase is the one that best suits our specific needs. But it is also true that if you consider some basic factors you will choose more easily.
Do not forget that it must be a suitcase that has adequate security so that all your belongings can travel in a safe way, be it a TSA lock that is approved by the different airlines, or the security systems that include the suitcases, with keys what can you customize?
If it is a child, it is best to have the size so that the kids can take it without problems. It could be a little smaller than that of adults; everything will depend on the age of the child.
An eye-catching color will be much easier to recognize, and it will be cool to go with your personality. The options are many in the market, and the brands vary, but I have reduced my comparative list to the best ones.
The means of transport in which you are going to travel, the type of objects that will make up your luggage and the ease with which you intend to move from one place to another, whether through the airport, bus station or on the way to the taxi, are the main factors that you must take into account.
Taking into account that every day more airlines set rules regarding hand luggage and its measures, it is vital to make a good choice to get a new model. For this, the most advisable is to follow a series of criteria. The most important are the following:
Although each airline is free to establish the measures it deems appropriate, many airlines have set standard measures for hand luggage. These amounts may vary and it is convenient to review the rules of each airline before flying, but they are a good guide.
2. Organization and space
This is a criterion that has ample space for changes and preferences. There are those who prefer a single large compartment and others who prefer two and their respective pockets with each function.
3. Comfort and handling details
These last two criteria are conditioned by the type and quantity of wheels, the type and number of handles and the additional accessories of the suitcase, something that you may require depending on the destination you travel to and the type of adventure.
We also have other tips for you when you want to purchase the best carry on luggage for your own needs.
1. For hand luggage to be considered as such, it can not exceed the size of 27 x 21 x 14 inches and some airlines are even more stricter on the size. International carry on will usually not go over 20 inches in height.
2. If you want to buy a carry on luggage that is useful and functional then you should take into account its weight to when empty. Bear in mind that some international flights allow only between 10 and 12 kilos combined weight of your luggage and belongings.
3. Check the wheels. Make sure they are made of sturdy rubber so they last longer, much better if they are multi-directional so you can drag the suitcase also on its side. We took this into account on our reviews above so you can make a good decision.
4. The suitcases made of fabric are much lighter, but in general, they do not last as long as the hard plastic or metal luggage; which is more durable but generally weighs a little more. You should evaluate both options and choose the one that best suits you.
5. Compartments and size. The inside of a rolling carry on luggage should be large and have at least two compartments. If you also have a sleeve or pocket specially designed for your laptop the better.
6. Make sure that the zippers are thick and strong. If the suitcase does not come with its security lock, do not hesitate to acquire one for yourself, in this way you will have a piece of mind.
7. For the carry-on luggage to last longer, it is convenient to buy those models with rubber protection at the corners; thus they will be more resistant to shocks and abuse.
Choosing a suitcase of excellent characteristics is not as simple a task as it would appear. However, if you carefully read and follow our recommendations, you may just find the best carry on suitcase for your travels and at a price that won’t hurt your travel funds. Don’t forget to check our Size Chart to see if your carry on luggage can fit on your airline’s overhead bin!
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