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Best Carry On Luggage (UPDATED 2022)

Best Carry On Luggage (UPDATED 2022) Leave a comment

Tim Baker is a travel junkie. He is really addicted to travelling and loves writing about his experiences and travel guides. When he is not travelling he is either writing his travel guides or enjoys playing tennis

Best Carry On Luggage

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Updated Jan 5, 2022

Best Carry On LuggagePriceOur VerdictCheck Price
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable Suitcase$$$Best for Security
AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage$Best On A Budget
CHESTER Minima Luggage$$Best for Variety

The best carry on luggage needs to be able to keep up with you on all of your travel adventures. Finding the right carry-on can be a tedious task. Requiring you to forge through rivers of useless reviews, or terrible marketing.

However, this review is here to save the day! Find the best carry on luggage by looking through the top three choices for you!

Best Carry On Luggage Buying Guide

There are a lot of variables when shopping for a new travel product. Finding the right fit for your personal style, as well as finding something that can hold up to even the roughest baggage handler.

In addition to being something you can put with any travel outfit, you’ll need to look for a lot of specifics. Here are some MUST HAVE qualities for your next baggage purchase:

  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • Organized compartments
  • Lightweight

Not only should the best of the best fit most of these factors, but only the top models on the market can meet all of them!

What To Look For In Carry-On Luggage

Airline Carry-on Size Restrictions

Depending on the airline company, there will be different restrictions about the size of your carry-on bag. For example, traveling with American, United or Delta, would require bags that don’t exceed 22 inches in length, 9 inches in height, and 14 inches in width (or 55cm x 35.5cm x 23cm).

Checking the dimensions of the bag you’re buying is a must! Carefully observe if dimensions include the wheels, handles, or prominent parts that occupy space. It’s practical to have a tape measure with yourself just to be sure but in most cases, the clerk would help you.

Type Of Carry-on Luggage

You have three main types of carry-on luggage to choose from:  Duffel bags, Backpacks, or Rolling Suitcases:


Perfect for hiking and roaming around areas where dragging your luggage is unsuitable. You can even find backpacks with wheels at the end, adaptable as rolling suitcases and the other way around. Rolling suitcases can be turned into backpacks by adding a few straps.

Backpacks are practical and don’t keep your hands busy as other models do. Anyway, in case of back problems, you should think twice before purchasing them. Ensure you pick one that’s convenient with comfortable straps and waist support straps. A raincoat would be a plus.
Rolling Suitcases

This type of carry-on luggage comes in two versions as we’ll break down below: soft-sided and hard-sided bags. They’re perfect to keep things organized and their rigid frames provide more security.

You will want to choose one with lots of compartments for your devices, especially for your laptop. You’ll find most hardshell suitcases to be waterproof and softshell ones help you fit irregular items easily.
Duffel Bags

Before used for packing clothes for the gym, now duffel bags have become practical to use as carry-on luggage bags. The modern versions come with handles, wheels, or straps that let you transform them into backpacks or suitcases.

Extremely stylish and you’re unlikely to face problems fitting them in the overhead bin. Not recommended to go for long travels with them since they may cause strains on your shoulders or arms. 

Hard-sided vs. soft-sided luggage

There’s no short explanation for this dilemma since everyone’s needs differ. Planning to travel by bus and pass crowded places? Then soft-sided luggage is for you.

Soft-sided luggage brings flexibility which is pretty useful if moving from one means of transportation to the other. Their surface softens the shock and can be easily stuffed into overhead compartments.

The downside of soft-sided luggage stays in the easily wearable material they’re usually made of. Always read the attachments and ask the clerks to pick bags made of nylon, preferably ballistic nylon.

On the other side, weight: the major problem of the hard-sided luggage, is fixed by suitcase manufacturers. Bags are becoming lighter and easier to clean thanks to the use of plastic and other materials.

More durable and suitable for longer trips. Hard-sided luggage come in handy when you have to move delicate belongings. Their downside remains the rigid material that doesn’t let you force it into the overhead bin, and is not flexible for cramming clothes into it.


Weight doesn’t seem to be much of a problem when it comes to choosing your carry-on bag.

Yes, there are suggestions about the weight, but, think about it. No one will unpack and weigh your empty bag! What is important, is for you to be able to lift it to the storage bin over your head.

Overpacking may be fun but in case you don’t want to be turned back home, better be picky with your choices.

Even though most airlines don’t have set guidelines, experts say that the ideal weight of a carry-on suitcase would be from 6.2 pounds (2.9 kg) to 10.2 pounds (4.7 kg).


Travelling requires you to put pressure into your bag. Changing means of transportation, stuffing your luggage in tight compartments, and dragging it through the messy weather, needs material that’s durable and fashionable at the same time.

Nylon materials are strong and can’t be torn easily. Hard-sided bags are easier to clean compared to soft-sided bags, therefore choose depending on the planned use.

Talking of duffel bags, opting for leather materials is a good choice, but be careful of getting tricked with a vinyl added material that makes fake bags resemble leather bags. 

Wheel type

Worth mostly for rolling suitcases, (or other convertible duffels or backpacks), you have two options to choose from: two or four wheels bags.

The two-wheeled version saves space in the overhead bin and lets you put more items on it. This one has a smaller weight and is less difficult to move around since you’re not pushing but pulling it.

However, dragging it across narrow airline aisles may be a bit awkward. They don’t turn sideways and you’ll inevitably crash with people since it’s a bit hard to maneuver with them.

On the other side, the four-wheeled version provides a better experience since there’s less pressure on the elbow and wrist and can be easily maneuvered. A slight disadvantage is the fact it occupies a bit more space and the four wheels add weight to it.

There is another classification of the luggage wheels that comes in handy. Bags with wheels are classified as rollers or spinners, which stand for two different types of wheels. Spinners can be either two-wheeled or four-wheeled.

The wheels spin 360 degrees, letting you navigate through the crowds with ease. Their only disadvantage stays in the looseness of the wheels when dragged in rough spaces since they are stuck in cracks and disoriented from bumps.

There’s no clear cut on which of them is better since it all depends on the use, hence choose based on pros and cons we discussed.

Top Three Best Carry On Luggage Models

Here is a comprehensive list of the top three best carry on luggage options on the market right now. However long you’ve been searching for the perfect travel bag, or suitcase, don’t worry, your journey is over! Take a look at the reviews for these amazing products.

Best Carry On LuggagePriceOur VerdictCheck Price
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable Suitcase$$$Best for Security
AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage$Best On A Budget
CHESTER Minima Luggage$$Best for Variety

COOLIFE Luggage Expandable (only 28″) Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry On – Best for Security!

Key Features:

  • Handle: 3-step pure aluminum telescoping handle for comfortable maneuvering.
  • Wheels: four spinner wheels allow the suitcase to move seamlessly through 360 degrees of motion.
  • Interior: The interior is fully lined with multi-use organizational pockets make it easy for packing clothes.
  • 20” Model allows for easy packing of 1-4 days of travel.

Click here to see prices and reviews for the COOLIFE Luggage Expandable Suitcase on Amazon

Does the COOLIFE Suitcase Have a Hard Shell?

This suitcase has a sleek and modern design, as well as an ABS + PC hard plastic shell. The company boasts of each and every piece going through strict quality control, in order to create strong, safe, and durable travel items.

Not only is the hard shell incredibly durable, but the COOLIFE comes with a built in TSA lock that has three dial combination security. Unlike one of the best travel backpacks, this suitcase has keeps all of your valuables in a really durable enclosure! All in all, this suitcase creates an environment for your valuables that is not only safe, but secure!

Are There Compartments Inside the COOLIFE Suitcase?

There are several multi-use organizational pockets on the interior of this piece of luggage. Not only that, but this particular model has a fully lined interior! This makes packing quick and easy.

Speaking of quick and easy, the aluminum telescoping handle and the quiet spinner wheels make navigating the airport, as well as the airplane, really simple!

What are the Dimensions for the COOLIFE Carry On?

Product Dimensions: 21” x 8.5” x 15” Item Weight: 6.38 lbs

What are the Pros for the COOLIFE Model?

  • Built-in security features
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Lightweight

What are the Cons for the COOLIFE Model?

  • Wheels are quite small
  • Reports of zipper failures

Why Should I Buy the COOLIFE Carry On Luggage?

Firstly, customers love how easy it is to navigate through the airport with the easy glide wheels and the aluminum handle. Secondly, there were tons of reviews bragging about the easy feeling buyers got knowing their items were secure.

Thirdly, reviewers loved how sturdy and durable this COOLIFE carry on is. Altogether, lots of positive reviews about the quality of this product.

Final Verdict on the COOLIFE Suitcase

With a three dial locking mechanism, a hard plastic casing, as well as built-in organizational pockets, this model has a lot of good things happening.

However, we don’t recommend this to anyone who is anxious about reports of the zipper failing. None the less, this is a great choice for the number one carry on luggage model!

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage – 20-Inch, Carry-On – Best On A Budget!

Key Features:

  • 20-inch spinner luggage provides a durable zipper for reliable closure, and its expandable design creates up to 15% more packing space for extra room.
  • 150D polyester.

Click here to see prices and reviews for the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage on Amazon

Will the AmazonBasics Carry On Work for Business Travel?

In addition to having a fully lined interior with a divider, the 150D-polyester interior organizer with three zipper pockets is great for business travel! Keeping your suit jackets and nice shoes separated from other items, as well as storing those smaller items in an organized way.

The small size of this hard side suitcase is great for quick business trips, as well as short weekend trips to Philadelphia, or Spain, or anywhere!

Will the AmazonBasics Suitcase Work for Men and Women?

Not only do the four double spinner wheels make for a smooth-rolling journey through the airport, or train station, but the variety of color options can work for both men and women’s approval! Black, Blue, Navy Blue, and Orange provide stylish and elegant options for this bag.

The luggage itself also expands up to an additional 15% packing capacity! All in all, it will go with your outfit, or pack that extra set of gym shorts in this compact case!

What are the Dimensions for the AmazonBasics Luggage?

Product Dimensions: 14.4” (36.58 cm) x 9.2” (23.37 cm) x 21.6” (54.86 cm). Shipping Weight: 9.4 pounds (4.26 kg)

What are the Pros for the AmazonBasics Carry On?

  • Great interior fabric, as well as organization
  • Really affordable price
  • Fits on most airline overhead bins

What are the Cons for the AmazonBasics Carry On?

  • Handle is flimsy

Why Should I Buy this AmazonBasics Suitcase?

Review after review raved about the interior organization of this piece of luggage. In addition to the interior, there were several reviewers who are very happy with the amount of clothing and personal items that can fit inside of this suitcase. The expandable option, as well as the sturdy hardshell case allow for an excellent travel piece!

Final Verdict on the AmazonBasics Carry On

This is great for anyone looking to travel with a quality suitcase on a budget. However, this isn’t recommended for anyone who needs a super sturdy handle. All in all, this is fantastic on a tight budget, and in a tight overhead bin!

CHESTER Minima Luggage / 22″ Lightweight Polycarbonate Hardshell/Spinner Suitcase/TSA Approved Cabin Size – Best for Variety!

Key Features:

  • 10-year limited warranty.
  • 4 silent, multi-directional wheels for a smooth roll in any direction on any terrain.
  • 100% aluminum telescoping ergonomic handle.
  • Colors Included: Aluminum Grey, Black, Charcoal, Ocean Blue, Pink, Sand, Sky Blue.

Click here to see prices and reviews for the Chester Minima Carry On Luggage on Amazon

Will the Chester Carry On Fit On All Airlines?

Finding the best suitcases to fit into every overhead bin can be infuriating. The Chester model has TSA approved exterior dimensions! It is extremely lightweight, as well as having a 100% Makrolon polycarbonate hardshell. This allows for it to fit in the overhead bin and hold up to whatever the turbulence may have in store!

Can You Carry Suits and Dresses in the Chester Minima?

In addition to the safety of the combination lock, the Minima Model comes with two big compartments and three interior organizers. This allows for your top of the line clothing items to not only be secure, but to keep as wrinkle-free as possible on your trip!

Not only can it store your items well, but the seven color options mean you can match it to practically any travel outfit!

What are the Dimensions for the Chester Minima Suitcase?

Product Dimensions: 21.5” (54.61 cm) x 13.5” (34.29 cm) x 8.5” (21.59 cm). Interior Dimensions: 19.5” (49.53 cm) x 13.5” (34.29 cm). Capacity: 10.04 Gallons (38 liters). Shipping Weight: 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg).

What are the Pros of the Chester Suitcase?

  • Lots of color options
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Organizational tools included

What are the Cons of the Chester Suitcase?

  • Higher price
  • No Quick access points
  • No Side Handle

Why Should I Buy the Chester Minima?

Customers who reviewed this item were extremely excited about the variety of choices, the sturdiness of this product, as well as how well it keeps their things organized!

Several buyers mentioned how smooth the wheels are, as well as how quiet they are while walking! Not only that, but several reviewers mentioned how lightweight it is also!

Final Verdict on the Chester Minima Carry On

When it comes to a high-quality product with lots of variety, the Chester Minima goes above and beyond. However, we don’t recommend this product for anyone looking for quick access pockets, or a side handle. Overall, this is an excellent option to end these reviews for the top three best carry on luggage models!

The Best Carry On Luggage Options for Your Next Trip!

Whether you’re looking for a littler variety, or need something extra safe, our list of the top three carry on luggage models has something for everyone. Don’t drown in unspecific reviews! Find your next travel piece right here!

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Tim Baker is a travel junkie. He is really addicted to travelling and loves writing about his experiences and travel guides. When he is not travelling he is either writing his travel guides or enjoys playing tennis

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