Finding the perfect bag to take on an airplane is like finding a life partner. Once you have a good one, you've gotta hold on tight. Because there are so many options available today, we've done the research to make sure you get the best carry-on luggage available.
There's a lot to think about when you're investing in a new carry-on. You have to consider — as frustrating as it can be — the airline's specific size guidelines (they usually hover around 9" x 14" x 22" for carry-ons), how much you're planning to pack, how much you're willing to pay, and how important material and maneuverability is to you. And don't worry — we've considered stylish carry-ons, too! The truth is, there's pretty much a carry-on bag that covers any and all needs these days: bluetooth tracking systems, USB charging units, TSA-approved locking technology — the list goes on. And while we do have some budget-friendly luggage options, it's important to realize that paying a little extra for a nicer bag will probably mean it'll last you a lot longer.
So how do you narrow it down? We recommend that you start by making a list: Consider the type of travel you do most often (domestic or international, long-or-short-term) and the functions that are most important to you (luggage protection, durable material, smooth maneuverability), and then take a look through our options. From expandable hardshell cases with four spinner wheels to durable duffels that can be slung over your shoulder to tech-smart rollers, we've found something for every kind of traveler.
1. A Budget-Friendly Hardshell Suitcase That Amazon Reviewers Love
We think it's pretty tough to beat the price of this colorful hardshell carry-on. Made from lightweight, scratch-resistant ABS material, this waterproof hardshell bag boasts all the basics: 360-degree spinner wheels, a telescoping handle, and a fully-lined interior with a divide and pockets. It also comes in eight bright colors for every member of the family.
2. A Soft, Four-Wheel Carry-On That's Foldable
Available in two versatile colors (black and purple), this carry-on is great for storage (and even comes with a signature Biaggi storage bag) thanks to the unique collapsable function. Complete with four spinner wheels and sleek, water-resistant nylon, this bag is durable, maneuverable, and super convenient for storing underneath your bed if you don't have a ton of space.
3. A Sturdy Backpack That's Made For Adventure-Lovers
Perhaps one of the most classic and original types of carry-ons, a backpack is a versatile, easy-to-carry luggage piece that's usually relatively expandable thanks to its soft, durable material. This pack from Osprey is great for loading all your travel gear into one, safe place, and features plenty of padding and compartments for comfortable and convenient transport. With an average Amazon rating of 4.5 stars, it's ideal for going from the airport straight to the hostel or trail.
4. A Hardshell Roller Suitcase Made From Protective, Scratch Resistant Material
With an average user rating of 4.5 stars, Amazon's very own 20" spinner suitcase is a practical, affordable option as far as rolling hardshell carry-ons go. The outer shell is made from an extra-thick version of ABS material and has a unique scratch-resistant finish. The fully-lined interior leaves plenty of room for extra items, as the case is expandable up to 15 percent of the capacity. It also comes in a variety of sizes, as well as two and three-piece set options.
5. A Duffel Bag On Wheels That's Extra Sturdy And Easy To Maneuver
This duffel-turned-roller suitcase is crafted from water-resistant Bi-Tech material and features heavy-duty oversized wheels, ensuring extra stability and durability. With lockable zippers, compressions traps, and a strong handle system, you can be sure that your belongings are safely stowed in this sturdy rolling bag.
6. A Sleek Hardshell Spinner That Has A Super Lightweight Feel
If you're in the market for a sleek, metallic hardshell case with four double spinner wheels, this 21" carry-on is a great option at a good price for such a high-quality bag. The best part? The 100 percent polycarbonate case can expand up to two inches, allowing space for whatever souvenirs you may pick up during your travels. It also comes in five gorgeous colors (like peony and plum) to suit everyone's preferences.
7. A Tech-Forward Roller Suitcase That Uses Bluetooth Tracker
This super tech-savvy carry-on was created by the team behind Tumi and Beats, so it makes sense that it has all the bells and whistles that any tech-lover could hope for. Aside from the high-quality, 100 percent polycarbonate shell and convenient double-spinning wheels, this bag can charge your portable devices from the two USB ports, features a TSA-approved locking system, and has a built-in bluetooth that tracks where your suitcase has traveled. Choose from black, navy, and a unique pale lilac.
8. A Spacious Duffel That Uses Sturdy Ripstop Technology
If you don't mind carrying your belongings during travel (hey, it's a great way to get an on-the-road workout), this extra-sturdy duffel from Patagonia is ideal. This bag is crafted from polyester ripstop material, which is a woven, heavy-duty fabric that is both tear and water resistant. At 13" x 11" x 23.2" this bag can fit all your travel necessities and ensures that your luggage stays safe.
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