We live in a truly global world, full of exciting places to visit and people to meet. Even better, travel is cheaper and more accessible than it’s ever been – at any given time, millions of people are on the move from one place to another.
When it comes to carry-on luggage, the modern female traveller is inundated with choice. Whether you want something simple to keep your passport & cash secure or if you just care about how the bag looks on your arm, there’s luggage out there for you.
With brand names in the field ranging from the heavy-duty Travelpro and Rockland to the haute couture Nicole Miller and Vera Bradley, carry-on luggage isn’t just an item – it’s an accessory, and one that can make a big difference if chosen well.
Below are some of the best options, which for the most part have all been highly rated by women who used them as carry-on luggage. With that in mind, please do keep in mind that airline baggage requirements do vary, so it is important to check with your airline before making a purchase.
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|Name||Dimensions (inches)||Our Rating|
|Vera Bradley Women’s Weekender||18.5 x 12.5 x 8||9.4 / 10|
|Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista Wheelaboard||22.5 x 15.5 x 9||9.4 / 10|
|Delsey Helium Aero International||19 x 13 x 9.5||9.4 / 10|
|Lily Bloom Under the Seat||15 x 14.5 x 8.5||9.4 / 10|
|Travelpro Maxlite3||23.6 x 16 x 11||9.2 / 10|
|Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote||14.5 x 14 x 9||9.2 / 10|
|Nicole Miller Kristina Collection||16 x 15.5 x 9||9.2 / 10|
|Lipault Original Plume||22 x 14 x 8||9.2 / 10|
|Rockland Polycarbonate||20 x 13 x 9||9.2 / 10|
|Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On||13.5 x 13.5 x 8.5||9 / 10|
|Samsonite Winfield 2||20 x 13 x 9.5||9 / 10|
|Travel Cheer Gym Duffel Bag||22 x 13 x 11||9 / 10|
|Rockland Melbourne||20 x 13 x 9||9 / 10|
1. Vera Bradley Women’s Weekender
Vera Bradley is one of the big names in fashionable luggage, and the Women’s Weekender range doesn’t disappoint.
This is very much a range: despite all the Women’s Weekender bags coming in the same dimensions – 18.5 x 12.5 x 8 inches, with a handle and a removable carry strap – the variety of styles and colors on offer mean it’s highly likely you’ll find something that speaks to you.
From “Pink Flowers” to “Baroque Black” by way of “Marrakesh Motifs”, the eye-catching patterns mean there’ll be little chance of you losing your luggage.
The Women’s Weekender is made of soft quilted fabric and features a zippered top with five interior pockets, and it can be carried like a satchel or a holdall depending on which strap you use.
- The Women’s Weekender is a sturdy bag that’s comfortably small enough to be allowed on most flights as carry-on, while being roomy enough inside to hold clothes and essentials for a few days at least.
- The variety of straps on offer makes carrying the luggage around a lot easier. This is a weekender bag, so there are no wheels; but you can easily use the carry strap to affix it to any larger luggage you’re rolling along, helping you make your way to your destination quicker.
- Style: if you’re really not a fan of Vera Bradley’s trademark brightly-colored patterns, this may not be as much of a plus – but a lot of people are, and they’re well-catered for here. In fact, if you’re not a fan of bright colors, there’s more than one sleek black option in the Women’s Weekender range.
- The soft quilted fabric that makes up the body of this luggage is machine-washable, which means it’s easy to clean and store. It also means the Women’s Weekender is a very light piece of luggage, handy if you’re going to be carrying it around with you.
- The soft quilted fabric which makes the Women’s Weekender so easy to fold up and stow away when you’re not traveling also makes it easy to damage. It’s not water-resistant either, so be wary of storing electronics inside if you’re going to be carrying it anywhere with bad weather.
- The interior pockets aren’t zippered, which can lead to items not staying where you put them if the bag’s overfilled or being jostled about a lot.
- Because it’s a roomy bag made from soft material, the Women’s Weekender will conform to the shape of what’s stored inside it. Because of that, it can become uncomfortable to carry when full, as the carry strap doesn’t do a good enough job of distributing the bag’s weight. If you don’t plan on filling your luggage to the brim, this may be less of an issue.
2. Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista Wheelaboard
Ricardo Beverly Hills is another name in luxury luggage, and the Mar Vista Wheelaboard is a trolley-style piece of carry-on luggage which attempts to blend the practical with the fashionable.
If, that is, you want to make a statement at all – the Mar Vista Wheelaboard is available in either a striking purple floral pattern or a stern matt black, so it is still worth considering if you don’t want your luggage turning heads.
Featuring a polyester exterior and fabric interior, and equipped with a multi-stage locking retractable handle for ease of transport, the Mar Vista has two exterior pockets and four spinner wheels which roll in any direction.
With reported measurements of 22.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches, it is a bit larger than other pieces of carry-on luggage, but this should not be an issue with most airlines. Plenty of customers have mentioned that they have used it as a carry-on without facing any problems.
- The Mar Vista Wheelaboard is made of lightweight materials, which – coupled with the spinner wheels – makes this a very easy piece of luggage to take along.
- The spinner wheels deserve a mention of their own: the spinner system is one that works well. Ricardo Beverly Hills have done a great job of making sure the spinner wheels here are of a high quality, and should stand up to considerable use.
- Both exterior and interior are easy to clean, and the luggage can be partially compressed to aid storage when not in use.
- Ricardo Beverly Hills offer this piece of luggage in an attractive floral pattern as well as in plain black, and they’re smart to do so. If you’re looking for well-made trolley-style carry-on luggage, you can get that here whether your fashion sense runs colorful or austere.
- The polyester exterior is firmer than the Wheelaboard’s interior, but it would be an overstatement to call this a hard-bodied piece of luggage. It will be able to take a few scrapes, but won’t hold up to serious force like molded plastic.
- Some travelers have reported sizing issues with certain airlines, due to the large size of the wheels. If you’re unsure, check your airline’s rules before buying.
3. Delsey Helium Aero International
The Delsey Helium Aero International is a professional piece of trolley-style carry-on luggage. It’s made with a hard polycarbonate exterior – a rigid shell that will stand up to serious impact and keep whatever’s inside safe and dry.
Delsey haven’t just produced something that can take a beating, however, as the Helium Aero International is packed with features. Boasting spinner wheels, extendable capacity, padded interior and exterior pockets, self-repairing zips and a three-dial combination lock, this is luggage posing as military hardware.
It’s got the look, too, being available in a range of sleek metallic colors as well as glossy black. It measures 19 x 13 x 9.5 inches, although its depth can be extended by another two inches in the event that you come home with more than you took away.
- Delsey are a major name in professional luggage, and the Helium Aero International lives up to the name. It’s jam-packed with features, all of them working towards the same goal – making your luggage as safe and secure as it can be.
- With a hard plastic exterior, self-repairing zips and a three-dial combination lock, your luggage will be a tough nut to crack, even if someone really wants to get in there. The polycarbonate shell makes it waterproof, too.
- This is a compact piece of luggage which can be extended if necessary: it comes comfortably under all of the major airline’s sizing regulations for carry-on luggage, and the spinner wheels mean it’ll be no effort to get it to the plane.
- The padded interior and exterior pockets can be used to store more fragile items, such as electronics, while also ensuring you know where everything important is at a moment’s notice.
- It’s a mark of Delsey’s high quality that the Helium Aero International isn’t even one of their most expensive offerings, coming at a price point which makes it a serious threat to its competitors.
- If you don’t believe in traveling light, the Helium Aero International might be too small for your needs. There are larger options available which still fall within airline carry-on regulations.
4.Lily Bloom Under the Seat
Lily Bloom’s Under the Seat range is another option for the fashion-conscious traveler who’s fond of bright colors. Coming in a variety of vibrant arrangements of animal and floral prints, this piece of luggage is designed so that you can stow it under your seat as well as in an overhead locker.
As a result, it’s shorter and squatter than a lot of carry-on luggage, something that adds to rather than takes away from the patterns’ kooky charm.
Made out of cotton and canvas, with a large zippered opening and four zippered compartments, it comes with a telescopic handle and two wheels to help you roll your way to the plane.
Its measurements look a little different to most carry-on luggage, coming in at 8.5 x 15 x 14.5 inches.
- If you’re bold and colorful and are looking for luggage to match your personality, look no further. The patterns are attractive, fit the contours of the luggage well, and come in a variety of colors, meaning you’re likely to find something that suits your taste.
- Price: coming from Lily Bloom, this luggage is available at an affordable price point. If you’re reluctant to see luggage as an investment and want something affordable and cheerful, this is both.
- The fact that this luggage will fit under your seat is particularly useful if you’re often dipping into your carry-on luggage in the course of a flight. If everything you need is right there at your feet, you won’t be getting up and down to get to the overhead lockers every time you want something.
- Two plastic wheels without an integrated spinner system can be an issue if you’re going to be rolling this over any kind of distance. Use the wheels in the airport where floors are flat and smooth, but be wary of putting any kind of stress on them when you’re outside.
5. Travelpro Maxlite3
Travelpro are a no-nonsense brand who make no-nonsense, high quality luggage and accessories.
They’re popular with business travellers, which is a good benchmark for quality and durability. The Maxlite3 International Spinner is a wheeled, trolley-style piece of carry-on luggage made from waterproofed polyester.
Like most wheeled luggage, the Maxlite3 has an extendable aluminium handle, and it also comes with cushioned carry handles on each side if you need to pick it up.
Size-wise, it’s 23.6 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 11 inches deep, and unloaded it weighs in at under 9 pounds, making this a lightweight piece of luggage given its storage capacity.
The Maxlite3 is available in black, grey, blue, purple and merlot.
- The Maxlite3 is a lightweight piece of carry-on luggage which can be transported easily on its wheels, and lifted into an overhead compartment without too much effort.
- Besides the main compartment, there is a zippered front pocket which can be used to store last-minute items or travel documents.
- All of the zips on the Maxlite3 are sufficiently large to affix a padlock if you want some extra security.
- The tapered extendable aluminium handle can be locked at a variety of lengths, making it a comfortable roll for users of different heights.
- Customers have reported that the Maxlite3 fits comfortably into most major airline luggage sizers, meaning no awkward negotiations with airline staff.
- The polyester the Maxlite3 is made from is tough enough to stand up to random wear and tear, but offers little resistance to anyone determined to get in. Adding a lock of your own won’t be much help: cutting or ripping around the zip is simple enough, and will bypass the lock entirely.
- Whilst numerous customers have mentioned that they have used this piece of luggage as a carry-on without any issues, it is important to keep in mind that it is a bit larger in size when compared with other carry-on luggage. You should therefore make sure that the airline you are going to fly with will allow its usage as a carry-on.
6. Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote
Delsey enter the under-seat carry-on arena with this offering, a quilted piece made in luxurious 1800 denier polyester.
It’s easy to stow, either in an overhead locker or under your seat, and has enough space inside to hold a spare outfit – including shoes.
That’s in addition to the numerous small interior pockets, which can be used to store anything you don’t want getting away from you.
The Quilted UnderSeat Tote has two wheels, and comes with the standard telescopic handle. It measures 14.5 x 14 x 9 inches, impressively compact given its storage capacity, and is available in colours that include black, purple, navy and teal.
- The choice of quilted polyester for the luggage’s exterior results in an aesthetic that’s fashionable without being gaudy, and looks modern and professional in any of the colors available.
- The convenience that comes with being able to store your carry-on luggage not in a locker, but under your feet, should not be understated, especially if you’re regularly on long flights.
- The Quilted UnderSeat Tote scores highly for storage space, especially given the fact that it’s smaller than other under-seat carry-on models.
- Besides the telescopic handle to help you roll to your destination, this luggage comes with an unusually heavy-duty carry strap, so you can carry it if you need to move quickly without worrying about anything breaking.
- As with any piece of luggage that prioritises style and convenience, there are much better options available if your main concern is keeping your things safe in transit.
7. Nicole Miller Kristina Collection
This is an under-seat trolley-style piece of luggage that’s available in three different colors (black, brown and silver). It is everything one could want from fashionable luggage: it’s stylish and well-made, without sacrificing practicality or value for money.
In fact, this is closer to the budget end of the market than many of the pieces of luggage covered here, even if it doesn’t look it.
The bag measures 16 x 15.5 x 9 inches and it’ll serve you as carry-on luggage whether it’s going in an overhead locker or under your seat.
- This is fashionable luggage from a fashion label, but it doesn’t come with too high a price. In fact, it’s one of the cheaper pieces of under-seat luggage you could buy.
- Although it isn’t available in many different designs, this is a beautiful piece, stylishly understated in whatever color you choose.
- There’s ample space inside its zippered pockets to store everything you’d typically want to take in carry-on luggage, while still being compact enough to get through major airlines’ luggage sizers.
- The high-density polyester exterior is waterproof, and can be easily wiped clean.
- Being able to be stored under your seat scores this piece of luggage big points for convenience.
- It only comes in a few muted colors, so if you’re looking for something eye-catching you may want to opt for something else.
8. Lipault Original Plume
The Lipault Original Plume is a super-lightweight piece of trolley-style luggage designed with your ease of use in mind.
It’s made from 100% nylon, so you’ll struggle to find anything lighter that’s a similar size, while also making the Original Plume a breeze to fold and pack away when you’re back home.
A lined interior should keep your possessions dry when it rains, while a single exterior pocket gives you somewhere to keep your travel essentials.
The Original Plume measures 22 x 14 x 8 inches, which just about fits within the requirements of most airlines
- The lightweight, flexible nature of this luggage is a real benefit when it comes to packing and traveling, allowing you to pack more of your stuff without having to force things to fit in an inflexible case.
- The spinner wheels on this trolley-style luggage are of solid construction and stand up to repeated use, so you’re not likely to end up dragging it home on three wheels.
- Being made of nylon makes the Lipault Original Plume easy to store, but it can also come in handy at check-in if you’re in danger of exceeding the airline’s size regulations for carry-on luggage. Hard-bodied luggage can’t be squashed to fit through a sizer; soft-bodied luggage can.
- Being made of nylon has its drawbacks. For one, the Original Plume is very easy to rip or cut.
- This piece of luggage is larger than others, so be sure to check that its size fits within your airline’s requirements.
9. Rockland Polycarbonate
This piece of luggage ticks all the major carry-on boxes. It’s in the trolley style, and so comes equipped with four multi-directional spinner wheels, as well as an ergonomically-designed telescopic handle and zippered interior pockets.
The exterior is made from hard, durable but light polycarbonate, and it comes in a number of bright patterns as well as faux-leather finishes. Pink floral patterns, snakeskin, love hearts, multi-colored owls – this piece of luggage isn’t shy about making a statement, and all while keeping your belongings safe and dry.
At 20 x 13 x 9 inches, it should get onto major airlines without any trouble.
- If you’re a heavy-duty traveler, or you just want reassurance that everything’s going to come out of your luggage looking the same as when it went in, a hard polycarbonate body is the go-to option. It’s waterproof and inflexible, and it can stand up to a serious amount of pressure, all while remaining lightweight and easy to transport.
- Available in a number of eye-catching patterns, Rockland don’t make you choose between style and security.
- A variety of zippered pockets gives you options when it comes to storing and securing your things.
- The spinner wheels are integrated into the design of the luggage itself, greatly reducing the likelihood that one will come off if you hit a bump in the sidewalk.
- At full capacity, it can be hard work to get the exterior zipper to close, and a few consumers mentioned they had to make last-minute adjustments. This should not be a problem if you don’t plan on filling the bag to the brim.
10. Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On
Travelon’s Wheeled Underseat Carry-On is just that: a quilted microfiber carry-on bag that’s made to fit comfortably under your airplane seat, while also being fitted with wheels and a telescopic handle for your ease of travel around the airport before and after your flight.
It measures 13.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches and has a large main compartment with plenty of additional pockets, including a water bottle holder and a pocket to hold a folded tote bag (which is also included), making it a great choice for a serious packer who wants easy access while traveling.
The Wheeled Underseat Carry-On is available in a number of colours that work well with the plush look of this affordable piece of luggage.
- This luggage looks the part, with the quilted microfiber exterior managing to appear both chic and comfortable.
- In terms of storage, this is a very efficient bit of kit, coming with an additional bag folded up inside and having plenty of space for large items in the roomy interior.
- Because you can stow it under your feet on the plane, you can easily access whatever you’ve packed once the flight’s underway – and isn’t that half the point of having carry-on luggage?
- Considering the look and feel of the piece, it’s available at a relatively cheap price point.
- The choice of quilted microfiber for the luggage’s exterior makes it lightweight and attractive, but it has a real cost in terms of safety and security. If you’re carrying anything fragile with you, like electronic items, be aware that the Wheeled Underseat Carry-On isn’t hardy enough to protect them.
- As is often the case with two-wheeled luggage, this isn’t suitable for rolling over long distances. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking with trolley-style luggage, look for spinner wheels and trolleys with four wheels instead.
11. Samsonite Winfield 2
If you want a hard-bodied trolley-style piece of carry-on luggage that doesn’t cost the earth, Samsonite made their Winfield 2 luggage with you in mind.
It comes with a side-mounted combination lock, telescopic handle, zippered opening, interior pockets and slider wheels – everything you’d expect from quality luggage, and at a reasonable price point. Be aware, though, that the price may vary quite widely depending on which color you want it in.
The Winfield 2 measures at 20 x 13 x 9.5 inches; whilst this is a little deeper than most comparable trolley-style luggage, it should be allowed by most airlines without any issues.
- For the price, this is a very sturdy piece of luggage which will last you through many journeys.
- The polycarbonate exterior will keep everything you pack safe and dry, and there are ample interior pockets and compartments to make sorting and storing your belongings less of a chore.
- The integrated spinner wheels are smooth and responsive, meaning this is one of the smoother pieces of luggage covered here for rolling around the airport.
- The professional metallic finish on the Winfield 2 is a Samsonite trademark, and one that looks both stylish and professional.
- A common complaint with trolley-style carry-on luggage is that the telescopic handle is flimsy and breaks easily.
12. Travel Cheer Gym Duffel Bag
With their Gym Duffel Bag, Travel Cheer are offering the savvy consumer a multi-purpose carrier that can serve as carry-on luggage, as well as a gym bag or holdall.
Coming in a huge array of colors and patterns, and available at a low price point, Travel Cheer aren’t claiming to have revolutionized luggage or to offer the most secure travel solution: what they do have is an inexpensive and attractive holdall that’ll serve as carry-on luggage for short trips while remaining versatile enough to take out and about with you once you get there.
The polyester exterior and lined interior can be easily wiped clean, meaning this can go anywhere you do. Its measurements come in at 22 x 13 x 11 inches, but as long as it isn’t filled to the brim, it is easily compacted for storage.
- Price: comfortably one of the most affordable bags covered here, Travel Cheer have gone out of their way to make this a budget option which still looks the part, and will do a serviceable job of getting your things to your destination intact.
- Versatility may not be the first thing you look for in carry-on luggage, but if it is then the Gym Duffel Bag has that in spades. With an adjustable strap, you can even wear it as a rucksack if you’ve got to carry it over a long distance, but otherwise it can be slung over your shoulder or carried by the handle, meaning it doesn’t have to be restricted to use as luggage.
- Plastic foot pegs on the underside of the bag help protect it from ripping when set on the ground.
- It’s got plenty of versatility, but what the Gym Duffel Bag may lack is durability. Customers have reported of stitching and zippers breaking, so you may want to opt for something else if you will be carrying heavier items.
13. Rockland Melbourne
The Rockland Melbourne is a hard-bodied trolley-style piece of carry-on luggage, available in a wide range of solid colors and metallic finishes.
It’s a slightly different offering to the other Rockland product covered here: it has the same tough exterior, spinner wheels, telescopic handle and zippered interior pockets, but it also has the capacity to be expanded a few inches, allowing you to pack in even more on those occasions when you’re not worried about getting it through an airline’s luggage sizer.
This makes the Rockland Melbourne a great choice for traveling by means other than airplane, while still having all the usual features that make this a respectable choice for anyone who spends any amount of time in airports.
It comes in at 20 x 13 x 9 inches when it’s not expanded, so you’ll have no trouble getting it on the plane.
- The Melbourne has a hard exterior to keep your possessions safe and dry, even on a bumpy trip. The zippered interior pockets make storing and separating your things even easier.
- Being expandable is a nice bonus, although you should be aware it’ll become too wide for many major airlines if you fill it to the brim. It does, however, mean you can use the Melbourne more as a conventional suitcase should the need arise.
- Price: this is one of the most affordable pieces of luggage covered here, despite Rockland being a respected brand for sturdy travel accessories.
- With the range of colors and patterns on offer, you’re not likely to have a problem finding one you like the look of.
- Some consumers have reported issues with rubber coming off the spinner wheels, rips and tears in the expandable seam, and telescopic handles locking or snapping, among other things.
What is Carry-on luggage?
Luggage has come so far from the days of the trunk that the prospective buyer is now faced with an array of choices when it’s time to prepare for the next getaway. Modern technology ensures that luggage can be trendy, light and affordable.
If you’re traveling by airplane, you might have a weight allowance for large luggage, which will be stored in the plane’s hold and be out of reach for the duration of the flight. Typically, you want something sturdy for this purpose. Depending on the airline you’re flying with, you might also be allowed to store a personal item under your seat.
But other than that, it’s your carry-on luggage that’ll do the job of getting your most important possessions to your destination in one piece. If it can do that while standing out from the sea of aluminium and beige suitcases that flood every airport terminal, so much the better.
Because your carry-on luggage travels on the plane with you, and stays at your side in the airport before and after your flight, you’ll usually want to use it to hold your most essential items. These will probably include your passport, any foreign currency you’ve purchased and perhaps clothes & toiletries for a day or two.
You’ll likely also want to put in something to entertain yourself (and any younger traveling companions) during the flight itself. Because it’s going to be carrying passports and cash, as well as any expensive gadgets you’re taking with you, security is one of the main considerations when looking for a new piece of luggage.
However, it’s not the only thing to keep in mind: because your carry-on is the one piece of luggage you’ll be carrying before, during and after your trip, appearance matters.
Whether you’re a frequent business flyer who needs to be the image of a modern professional, or a serial vacationer who wants to start and finish the holiday in style, there’s carry-on luggage that’ll meet your needs.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how good your luggage looks or how secure it is if you can’t take it onto the plane with you in the first place.
Most major airlines have clear – and strict – guidelines about how large and heavy carry-on luggage can be. Most will want you to put your luggage through a sizer to prove it’s small enough before taking it on the plane; others might weigh it.
Luggage manufacturers selling items designed to be used as carry-on are aware of the rules, and so are unlikely to offer anything too large to be accepted by most of the major airlines. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, so you should check measurements against the airline’s luggage policy to avoid any awkward incidents at the airport.
Why buy carry-on luggage?
It’s a fair question to ask: if you’ve already got a solid suitcase to go in the hold, do you really need a separate, dedicated piece of carry-on luggage as well? Can’t you just make do with a rucksack, or a duffel bag?
There’s no doubt that you could – and if you’re worried about thieves and pickpockets, which can be a legitimate concern depending on where in the world you’re traveling, it might make sense to opt for something low-profile and inconspicuous.
Unfortunately, that line of thinking is counter-productive, as the soft material and easy zips of a rucksack make it a prime target for opportunists. A well-built, sturdy and lockable piece of carry-on luggage is a far less attractive target, and it’ll do a better job of protecting whatever’s inside from accidental damage too.
Besides security, the other main reason to consider buying a piece of carry-on luggage is convenience: there’s nothing to say you can’t use it in everyday life as well, but having a dedicated ‘travel bag’ can make packing and unpacking for a trip that much more smooth.
You can even use it as a travel storage locker of sorts when you’re back at home, keeping all your passports and booking receipts in it so they’re ready to go when you are.
There’s also the convenience of making the absolute most of the carry-on allowance the airline has given you: if you use an old rucksack instead of a purpose-built piece of carry-on luggage, you’re probably not going to be able to carry as much with you. If you’ve got kids to entertain on a long-distance flight, you’ll want to use as much space as you’re able.
None of this is to knock the humble rucksack, which is a great carry-all for when you’re out and about once you’ve arrived at your destination. Simply fold an empty one up and stow it at the bottom of your carry-on, and you’ve given yourself the best of both worlds!
Alternatively, if you’re happy with the storage space in your duffel bag, but wish you had something with a little more charm for vacations, the weekender style of carry-on luggage that some designers offer could have the mix of style and substance you’re looking for.
Things to consider
If you’re looking to buy a new piece of carry-on luggage, there are a few points to bear in mind when making your purchase:
Luggage is available in a range of different styles, and carry-on luggage is no exception.
The suitcase style, as the name suggests, simply represents a compact suitcase. The spinner and trolley styles come with attached wheels, making transporting your luggage a walk in the park. The weekender style is somewhere between a duffel and a tote bag, and will prove most popular with fashionistas and those looking to make a statement.
As with every new purchase, think about your needs.
How much stuff do you like to take with you on vacations? How about business trips? How long are you usually away from home for? What’s your means of transportation? Where are you going to stow the luggage when you’re back home? How much are you looking to spend?
These are only some of the questions you could ask, but even just answering these will help you narrow down what style of carry-on luggage is best for you.
When you’re comparing different models of carry-on luggage, keep convenience in mind.
This means everything from how easy it’ll be to carry around and how much of your stuff you’ll be able to get into it, to how compact it is for storage and how easy it is to fix if something breaks.
The materials your luggage is made from will make a big difference.
If you’re mainly interested in protecting what’s inside from accidents and theft, a hard plastic exterior will be a lot more attractive than the soft fabrics of a weekender bag.
Conversely, that hard plastic shell won’t be available in the same colors and patterns as the weekender bags – so once again, make sure you know what’s important to you before you make a purchase.
It’s a simple question, but it bears repeating: will the luggage have enough space to hold everything you want it to?
For someone who regularly makes short trips, it might be a bad thing to have too much space, but typically the roomier the luggage, the better.
On the other hand, most airlines now give luggage allowances by weight, which means an excessively sturdy piece of luggage might do more harm than good if the luggage itself is eating up a sizeable portion of your allowance.
Traveling can be a lot of fun, but it also opens you up to risk; the security of your carry-on luggage is therefore very important.
A hard exterior body makes a difference when it comes to keeping your possessions secure, as does a design which makes affixing an external lock easy and safe. Pieces of carry-on luggage built with integrated locks are rarer, but score top points here.
It’s worth checking if the carry-on luggage you’re thinking about buying comes with any kind of warranty.
Most pieces of carry-on luggage are built to resist a lot of force, and are advertised as such, so if they fall short in that task, it stands to reason that you should be able to get a refund, or at least a replacement.
Things to keep in mind
Be careful not to overfill your luggage when it’s time to pack – if you’ve taken your time and picked a quality piece that meets your needs, you don’t want to damage it by trying to fill it with more than it was designed to hold.
As well as being careful packing, you should pay attention when you’re stowing your luggage on the plane: if it’s not properly secured before take-off, it could come crashing down if the plane hits turbulence, causing damage to the luggage and potentially injuring anyone unfortunate enough to be under it.