Choosing a good carry on bag is extremely important as you’ll likely have your bag for a long time and you’ll want one that’s durable, stylish, lightweight and fits your airlines carry on restrictions.
While there are hundreds of different carry on bags available for you to choose from we’ve narrowed down what we consider the best bags based on their size, weigh, material, design and ratings.
These are our top 9 carry on luggage bags for weekend warriors and light packers.
1. Athalon Luggage 21 Inch Hybrid Travelers Bag
Athalon’s Hybrid Travelers Bag is a 1oo% Polyester travel bag that features a luggage/duffel bag hybrid design with in-line skate wheels to provide easy maneuverability and front feet that allow the bag to stand up on it’s own when it’s not being moved.
The dimensions of the bag are 14″ x 9″ x 21″ and it weighs approximately 7.7 lbs. Storage space includes a large main compartment with tie down traps for garments, side pouches, an additional mesh pocket with zipper and an elastic pocket that can be used to stash accessories.
Colors for the hybrid bag includes black, grass green, graffiti, glacier blue and lumberjack. In regards to maintenance the travel bag’s polyester material allows the bag to be machine washable for easy cleaning.
2. American Tourister Luggage Ilite Supreme Spinner 21
American Tourister’s Supreme Spinner Luggage Bag is constructed of durable polyester fabric and utilizes a multi-directional four wheel spinner design for easy handling. The bag is designed to be lightweight and comes with both a pull handle and side handle, so that it is easy to carry with a weight of 7.3 lbs.
In additional to the large main compartment the bag also contains two large front panel pockets for additional storage. In terms of dimensions the bag measures in at 20.5 x 14.5 x 8 (typical carry on dimensions may vary by airline, however 9 X 14 x 22 is a common rule, so check always with your airline).
The American Tourister bag comes in several colors including black, honeysuckle, indigo purple, seaport blue and sapphire blue and is available for purchase on Amazon.
3. Rockland 2 Piece Luggage Set
Rockland’s 2 Piece Luggage Set is an extremely popular travel set at a great price. This two piece carry on set is perfect for weekend travelers that are looking for maximum storage space.
The travel set comes with a standard sized carry on bag (measurements are 8.5 x 21 x 14 inches) and a smaller secondary travel tote for additional storage.
The main bag features a main compartment with two front pockets, an extendable handle and additional top and side handles, while the tote bag features a front pocket for basic items, a shoulder strap and a handle for easy carrying.
When carrying heavy items (the main bag weighs 7 lbs) the skate wheels underneath the bag allow it to glide across the ground so it doesn’t need to be picked up. As far as options go Rockland’s 2 piece luggage set comes in a wide variety of colors and designs with over 35 patterns to choose from.
4. Travelpro Luggage Maxlite3 22 Inch Expandable Rollaboard
At 6.4 lbs Travelpro’s Maxlite Expandable Luggage Rollaboard is an extremely light weight bag made from polyester material and air-grade aluminum (extendable handle). The bag is designed with a honeycomb frame system, which allows it to remain very sturdy while also keeping its lightweight properties.
It has a spacious main compartment and an additional full length front pocket with EVA foam construction, skid guards, corner guards and a crash-guard wheel housing to protect your items from being damaged while your bag is being handled. For those curious about the bags size the dimensions are 22 x 14.5 x 9.
Travelpro’s maxlite expandable rollaboard comes in two colors (black or blue) and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
5. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero International Carry On Expandable Spinner Trolley
For those looking for a harder shell carry on Delsey Luggage has designed a 100% polycarbonate travel case with fabric lining and a zipper closure. The Helium Aero International Expandable Carry On features a modern design with a glossy finish that remains durable and lightweight for a painless carrying experience.
The travel case has a large east access front compartment with a built in padded sleeve that can fit a laptop of up to 15.6 inches, elastic web straps for securing clothing and two zippered mesh pockets that can fit additional accessories and items.
Double spinner wheels allow the case to be highly maneuverable and provides an effortless handling experience. The polycarbonate case also utilizes a 3 dial tsa accepted combination lock for added security
This carry on comes in several color options including cobalt blue, charcoal, titanium, midnight blue and white. The product dimensions and weight are as follows: 9.5 x 19 x 13 inches; 8.4 lbs.
6. Samsonite Luggage Fiero HS Spinner 20
Another excellent polycarbonate travel luggage case is the Fiero HS Spinner from Samsonite. This lightweight case features extreme scratch-resistant textures to help protect its appearance from scratches and blemishes throughout the life of the case.
It is designed with a zipper closure, full-zip interior divider, cross straps and side-mounted tsa approved lock to keep your items secure and has four independent 360 degree spinner wheels to make traveling a breeze.
The cases characteristics measure 19.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches with a total weight of 7.5 lbs. Color variations include blue, charcoal, grey, purple, magenta, black and royal.
7. Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 2 Expandable 20-Inch Spinner
Travelpro offers another great smaller variant of their Maxlite luggage options with their 20″ Expandable Luggage Maxlite spinner. As with the larger 22″ variation this bag is made with 100% polyester material and sports a nice fabric lining and zipper closure.
The bag features a a honeycomb framing system and EVA foam construction to improve durability without sacrificing weight while the wheel assembly utilizes a four wheel spinner design for quick 360 degree turning mobility.
Grooved handles on the case help to increase grip and stability as you carry or roll the case and it’s smaller overall size means the bag measures in at only 7.2 lbs. Measurements on the bag are as follows: 20″ x 14″ x 9″.
As with their other Travelpro luggage bag this one comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and is available in black and ocean blue variations.
8. US Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-On Luggage Set
US Traveler offers a nice Two Piece Expandable Carry On Luggage Set that can be adjusted depending on the users needs and the airlines carry on restrictions. As with other bags in our line up this one is made out of polyester material and can be spot cleaned if it gets dirty.
US Traveler’s carry on has an EVA padded front panel to provide it bag with extra durability, a main compartment for large items and two additional front facing pockets for added storage, an extendable walking handle and a carry handle on the top and side of the carry on for easy handling.
Dual adjustable tie down straps allow you to easily and quickly tie down your stuff while a set of inline wheels minimizes additional height to the bag and allow it to be quickly handled with little effort.
Depending on your personal storage needs you can modify the carry on bags measurements from its base size of 21 in. h x 13.5 in. w x 8.5 in up to 10.5 in. d. The additional travel tote that is part of the carry on package features a main compartment with a smaller front pocket and handle and shoulder strap for maneuverability.
The smaller travel tote measures 14 in. w x 10 in. h x 6 in. d if you need additional storage space. In terms of color choices the set is available in four color variations including green, purple, royal blue and mustard/orange.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive carry on luggage set than US Traveler’s 2 piece expandable carry on is a great option for practical travelers.
9. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Carry-On Spinner Trolley
Delsey’s Luggage Helium Carry On Spinner Trolly is a stylish, durable polycarbonate luggage case that’s made to last. This carry on case features a fully lined interior that contains two compartments for clothing and other items and has an integrated 3 dial TSA accepted combination lock to prevent basic tampering.
Managing the bag is very easy as it utilizes four easy-travel spinner wheels for movement and a one button “recessed locking handle with industrial grade aluminum tubing that allows you to easily and comfortable stroll through the airport without having to pick it up and carry it.
The caryy on comes in several glossy colors including black, midnight blue or blue, charcoal and titanium. In terms of size the deminsions for the carry on are 24.6″ x 15.4″ x 11.2” with a weight of 9.5 pounds. (May not fit carry on standards for all airlines)
Additional items to consider
In addition to purchasing a carry on bag and/or tote bag you should also
TSA Accepted Luggage Lock
A TSA accepted luggage lock is a great way to add a little extra protection to your personal items.
Choosing one with a three combination lock can make a big difference when you travel, especially if you have a bag that’s too large to carry on you.
Most locks are fairly affordable and worth the value, such as the one listed here for around $20.
You should also invest in a decent luggage scale, which can save you a fortune over time.
Many airlines will charge a premium for any luggage that is over a certain weight, which can be anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, so having a luggage scale can be a worthwhile investment.
You can purchase a quality luggage scale for around $10, which makes it a must buy item for any traveler.
Tips for choosing the best carry on luggage
When it comes to deciding on which carry on you should purchase there are several things you should consider.
Some of the factors you’ll want to consider include the dimensions of the bag, how much it weighs, what material and construction its made out of, whether or not you need additional storage space (tote bag?) and what security features it has.
Choosing a bag that is lightweight and made out of durable materials can significantly increase the lifetime value of the bag and make it easier to pack additional items without exceeding the bag claims weight limits and/or being charged more money for a heavier bag.
If you’re a weekend traveler or often tend to pack light than a two piece luggage set will probably be your best option as apposed to a three piece, four piece or five piece luggage set.
Depending on the airline you may get away with a carry on and under seat bag, so check with the airline to see if you can carry a tote/under seat bag with your carry on onto the airplane.
Besides if you aren’t going to use the extra bags than you can save the money you’d otherwise spend on a three, four or five piece set and buy a nicer 2 piece luggage set or single carry on at the same or lower price.
Security is another feature to consider when purchasing a bag.
Some bags come with an integrated TSA accepted combination lock, damage guards and/or extra sturdy materials/construction that make it harder to open or damage the carry on if that’s an important factor to you.
If the bag does not have a TSA accepted combination lock than you may want to invest in buying one to add a little extra security to your bag.
Lastly, some companies offer a limited lifetime warranty which can be convenient if you have had your luggage damaged in the past as they may offer you a free replacement, which can save you money in the long run.
Things to consider
- Opt for a lightweight carry on luggage with rolling wheels
- Invest in a luggage weight scale
- Check your airlines carry on luggage weight and size restrictions
- Invest in a carry on tote or two piece luggage set if you need extra storage
- Decide on what security features you want before you purchase: damage guards, material, security locks
What’s The Best Carry on Luggage Size, Weight & Dimensions
The best carry on size, weight and dimensions will vary by airline and domestic/international standards so it is important to check with the airlines you plan to use most frequently.
As a general rule of thumb numerous airlines have been known to use the following dimensions as their carry on standard: standards tend to deviate between 21.5″ H (high) x 13.5″ W (wide) x 8″ D (deep) & 22″ H (high) x 14″ W (wide) x 10″ D (deep) depending on the airline and their domestic vs international standards.
What about international carry on luggage?
As far as international airlines are concerned it is important to keep in mind the overall inches of your bag as that may be an airline rule and be aware that carry on sizes can vary drastically depending on country the so keep track of changing policies and potential county regulation sizes.