Best Carry On Luggage Reviews 2018

When going on a trip, whether it’s a short or long flight, the choice of carry-on luggage will determine what, and how much you can carry. Carry-on bags actually vary in terms of capacity, functionality and style. There are some bags you can’t be allowed onto the plain due to their size and must be checked in. In order to find one that best suits your needs, we have chosen 5 incredible brands, showcasing one of the very best carry on bags from each.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Material
Weight
Dimensions
Color(s)
Our Top Choice
Hartmann Carry-On Spinner – Standard Carry On Suitcase
Quite light for a hard body carry-on. Beautifully designed with impressive colors.
Body is flexible. Light weight. Superb color tips. Easy to Carry
Zipper may be clunky
Hard Body Rolling Suitcase
Polycarbonate, Leather handle
6.8 pounds
21.5”x15”x 9.8” Expanded 24”x16”
Black or Bronze
Best Value
High Sierra AT7 Carry-On Backback – Rolling Carry On
Perfect travel bag for the avid traveler who transverses several destinations in a short period of time.
Compact and easy to access items. Light weight. Sturdy
Suited for mainly business trips.
2-Wheeled Back Pack
Ballistic Nylon
6.0 pounds
22”x14”x 9” to 30”x14.5”x14.5”
Three Color Options
Briggs & Riley Baseline International Upright Carry-On Suitcase
Great bag for long distance overseas travel with large compartments to accommodate your all your travel necessities.
Very Roomy. Sturdy Build. Superb Frame Construction. Patented Compression technology
Some may find it too large.
Standard Rectangle Wheeled
Ballistic Nylon, Aluminum Handle
9.4 pounds
19.5”x14.5”x 7” to 20”x15.5”x8”
Black and Olive
Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 21" Soft Side Spinner
Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 21" Spinner is the perfect vacation carry-on back. Handles very comfortably and the wheel performance is excellent.
Four multi directional spinner wheels for improved mobility.. Durable Tread. Easy-to-Carry. Elegant design.
Front area has smaller capacity than many others.
Multidirectional Spinner Suitcase
Rugged Tricore Nylon
8.5 pounds
21”x15”x 8” Expanded 23”x15”x9”
Available in 5 colors
Osprey Shuttle 36"/130L Wheeled Duffle Style Carryon Bag
Versatile Carry-on bag designed to meet traveler needs with more than enough space. Perfect for trekkers and people on the go once the plane touches ground.
Suited for extended trips. Light and Stable. Versatile uses. Good for off-plane travel and hiking.
Not suited for compact travelers
Wheeled Carryon Duffel
Ballistic Nylon
9.13 pounds
Overall 36.0”x16.0”x15”
Metal Grey and Diablo Red

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Carry On Luggage?

Carry-on bags have become an integral part of travel; their popularity has skyrocketed, making them a must-have travel item. However, the question begs, “how do I choose a luggage bag that suits my needs?” First off, you should understand that there is no one-size-fits-all carry-on bag. These bags range from size, shape, features, dimensions, functionality and quality. With that in the back of your mind, you can start evaluating your different bag options.

When it comes to bringing a bag on an airplane there are many different things that you may consider important as a traveler, there is really only one that the airlines consider – size. Well, they might look twice if you are dragging along a plastic trash bag, but as long as it meets airport regulations for weight and dimensions, and isn’t full of stinky garbage, they’ll let you slide. To give you an idea of the maximum size, mainstream airlines like US Airways, American, United and Delta will only allow carry-ons with 22”x14”x9” and a weight limit of 40 pounds. However, other airlines like JetBlue, Virgin and Southwest give a more lenient 24”x16”x10” and a maximum weight if 30 pounds.

While technically, any bag that you can either fit in the overhead compartment or that can fit under the seat on an airplane can be “carried on,” the term carry-on bag refers to a class of luggage specially designed for travel. There are 3 main types of “carry on” luggage: standard rectangle (similar to a suitcase, but smaller), duffle style and backpack style. For the last two, distinct features such as retractable handles, wheels, compression and organizational extras set them apart from standard duffle bags and backpacks.

The construction material used also distinguishes carry-on luggage bags from other types of bags that people bring on the plane, for example sturdier materials like polycarbonate and poly-nylon are used. They help to form an insulation layer from water, abrasions and falls while trying to fit them in overhead compartments of planes.

By the way, if you are in need of more than just a bag that can be carried on the plane with you, purchasing a complete luggage set is a good way to go. Either way, there are some other things that you may want to consider while choosing a carry-on luggage bag.
Price
Normally, price is quintessentially a determinant of consumer choice. However, it shouldn’t be your only consideration. When looking for a good carry-on bag, you can do a little “needs assessment” and pick an item that will suit your budget. Of course, a $30 carry-on bag will definitely be different in terms of quality from a $500 one. In terms of price, the “bling” factor comes into play ─ if you want style and design, be ready to fork out a little more cash. Finally, you can choose to look out for best-value items that give a longer run for your money.
Features
Manufacturers are always looking to create more spacious bags for travelers. Different designs on inside pockets offer travelers padded compartments where they can squeeze in a laptop or tablet. Exterior mesh pockets provide breathing space especially when you have to separate certain items.

Look out for warranty features. There are two main types ─ lifetime and limited, with the difference being the period of time covered. Most warranties cover airline damage and wear and tear, while others have many exceptions. After looking over your expected travel diary, pick out a warranty that you are comfortable with. Non-frequent fliers can get the limited warranties while regular fliers may be more suited for lifetime warranties.

Zippers are important features, especially when it comes to durability. Busted zips will spill all your items onto the airport floor, and nobody really wants that. Heavy-duty zippers and stitching come in handy on a carry-on luggage bag. Color and style variations give a traveler that fashion factor. Cool finishing cases and colors ensure that you travel in style.
Construction and Design
Different construction features such as linear inch space are important to travelers. For instance, a long vacation trip may necessitate a different luggage bag than a short business trip. Material variations will also determine the choice of the bag; a frequent flier would be well-suited with a sturdy, hard case cover for durability. However, an occasional flier may find a soft luggage bag with extra compartments more suiting to their needs.

Wheels are also an important consideration factor. Most common variations include a no-wheeler, a 2-wheeler and a 4-wheeler (spinners). Again, your travel needs will dictate which is the best bag. Normally, a two-wheeler is the most common, especially with the easy rolling feature from behind. A 4-wheeler gives more directional room for larger bags and is best for polished airport floors ─ you can also roll it in an upright position. A regular duffle bag with just some clothes for a few days can be without wheels and still work for you.
Performance and Ease of Use
Convenient handling of bags is an important aspect to consider. Many carry-on bags have well-padded handles which make them both strong and comfortable to grip. Another popular choice is the telescopic handle which pulls out for when you want to roll the bag, then collapses into the bag for easy stowing into the overhead (and storage at home).

A good suitcase style carry on bag will have an internal strap system that is flexible, allowing all your belongings to be tucked in safely. In the case of backpacks, the shoulder straps should be extra padded for comfort so that they don’t strain the shoulder and sternum. Finally, carry on luggage should have enough room for all your stuff, with a central compartment that has some light padding to protect any more fragile items. And of course, the weight of the bag itself shouldn’t be too strenuous on the owner.

What is the Best Carry On Luggage?

Carry-on luggage is an important personal item, especially when it comes to air travel. Let’s see how our top 5 recommended brands do in terms of convenience, design and overall quality.
Our Top Choice
The Hartmann Vigor Carry-on Spinner exudes rugged elegance with its sleek design. It is also roomy and easy to roll. If you prefer an over the shoulder style carry on, we can highly recommend Hartman’s Three Compartment Business Backpack.
Hartmann Vigor Rolling Carry On – Lightweight, Telescoping handle. Smooth Gliding Spinner Wheels

Hartmann Carryon luggage 60420 – 1041 Black


Features
Hartmann has been around since 1877, designing great luggage bags. The brand introduced this line of Vigor Carry-on Spinners specifically for travelers who want a combination of style and durability. For suggested retail price of $239.99, you get an amazing luggage bag for your trips. Check out some of its brilliant features:

  • 100% Virgin Polycarbonate
  • Polyester jacquard lining
  • Compression straps
  • Organization Compartments
  • Zipped Side pockets on the inside
  • 360 degree smooth sliding wheels
  • Telescopic handle with push-button
  • Available in Black and Navy blue
  • Sleek streamlined design for fitting into compartments
Construction and Design
For over four decades, Hartmann has always stood out when it comes to the design of their long line of bags. The Vigor Carryon Spinner is a classy travel carry-on with a streamlined exterior pattern. To help avoid luggage mix-ups at the airport, the sleek, square design with deep and sparkly colors will stand out from the rest. Yes, we know this is a carry on bag so you won’t be standing around watching for your bag on the luggage carousel, it’s nice to know that if you do decide to check it in that it will be easy to spot!

The Vigor has a hard case made of polycarbonate material, which is as durable as they come. Despite being a hard case, it is pretty light-weight with a soft cloth cover that slips over it when opening the case, providing a dustproof protection layer.
Performance and Ease of Use
The internal compartments are large, well organized and allow ample room for storing long distance, round-trip items. The integrated TSA approved locks, along with the heavy duty zippers, help in holding your luggage nice and tight ─ especially when packing fragile items like glass or porcelain. The spinners glide gracefully over carpeted or tiled surfaces, with easy, 360-degree rotation for unmatched maneuverability.

Hartmann has added its iconic figure 8 leather telescopic handle to this suitcase. It gives the user better traction, especially when you have heavy luggage to push or pull around the airport. Together with the rotating wheels, the Vigor Carry-On Spinner offers a balanced and smooth handling experience, absorbing small bumps with aplomb.
Best Value
When looking for a quality bag, functionality is paramount; High Sierra delivers a three in one bag with the AT7 Wheeled backpack that definitely fits this bill. It has a water resistant coating, and has a removable front pouch that can under the airplane seat. In case you need a standard carry on with a good price point, the High Sierra Endeavor Carry-On Spinner is a good choice too.
High Sierra AT7 Carry-On Wheeled Backpack - Removable Daypack, Telescoping Handle

High Sierra Carry-On Luggage 57017-1041 – Black


Features
If you want a versatile bag, Sierra AT7 Carry-on gives a multiplicity of uses. It can be used as a rolling upright carry on bag, an over the shoulder carry on backback, or use the top handle and carry it like a traditional suitcase. It has multiple pockets to give it an edge when it comes to compact travel. When your bag is stored overhead, you can remove the front “day pack” to give you access to your in-flight necessities (and it fits nicely under the seat according to TSA rules).

We chose this as our “best value” product because this piece of luggage isn’t just for traveling and can be used as an every day back back. Available in black and boysenberry, this bag retails for around $115, but you can get great deals on Amazon, including additional savings on older models in black (#57016-1041) and blue (#57016-1090). Some of the other features of the High Sierra AT7 bag include:
  • Integrated TECH SPOT tablet sleeve
  • Comfy Padded strap backs
  • Zippered Main compartment
  • Multi-compartment design
  • Aluminum SURE GRIP handle
  • Safety incorporated reflective piping
  • Fully Padded sleeves
  • Uni-body wheel housing
  • Telescopic handle system
Construction and Design
Ballistic nylon material gives the Sierra AT7 backpack a tough exterior. The built-in foam structure helps maintain the shape of the bag even when it is not full. The main compartment is roomy, with a separate drop bottom compartment fitted for extra space ─ there is also an extra bottle pocket which is a nice touch.

The main compartment has interior straps, which is a great addition when carrying your laptop or tablet. The Sierra AT7 straps have thick padding, giving your shoulders and back extra comfort, especially when carrying luggage for extended periods of time.

The front day pack is removable, thanks to the addition of a Quick-Clip buckle, so you can leave the hotel room with a lighter, zippered accessory pocket instead of carrying the whole backpack. The heavy-duty zipper is strong however some owners have reproted that you have to hold it straight to get it to close.
Performance and Ease of Use
It is not often that you get a wheeled backpack that delivers on its promo mantra ─ three bags in one. As a wheeled carry-on, it provides good storage space for airline travel. The detachable daypack is convenient for carrying light items. The padded back straps convert the carry-on to a traditional backpack, which is great for school or work.

The SURE-GRIP telescopic aluminum handle reclines downward when the bag is not in use. The rollers play a significant role in getting over different surfaces. Due to its versatile design, these rollers can handle movement not just on airport surfaces, but also on train surfaces, stairs and even on cobble streets.
Briggs & Riley has put together an awesome carry-on that gives you maximum carrying capacity. Constructed from Ballistic Nylon with an air-craft grade aluminum handle, it’s great for both domestic and international flights. If this one isn’t the exact fit for you, they have a tremendous line of high quality carryon luggage suited to handle the demands of international travel.
Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide-Body Upright Rolling Carry-On Luggage

Briggs & Riley Carryon Luggage U121CXW-4 - Black


Features
Briggs & Riley provides a carry on bag for travelers who aren’t light packers. It gives plenty of room, fitting everything you’d need for either a domestic or international flight. Briggs and Riley incorporates CX technology which expands the bag by up to a third of its original size.

Another distinctive feature of Briggs & Riley is their Lifetime warranty which also covers normal wear and tear. What’s more they don’t ask for a receipt and it doesn’t mater if you are the owner or where you bought if from, pretty sweet if you ask me!, The short and wide wheeled design maximizes packing capacity all at a list price of $499. Other specs of this wide carry-on back include:
  • Large zip with SpeedThrTM pockets for extra storage of items
  • Reinforced protective corner guards
  • Streamlined low and wide wheels for easy maneuver
  • Abrasion, water and dirt proof
  • Light weight hybrid fiberglass construction
  • Tri-fold suiter sleeve
  • Patented CX technology that allows expansion to up to 34%
  • Outside mounted handle for extra room
Construction and Design
Briggs & Riley has a long reputation of making high-end, luxurious travel carry-ons for years. They introduced the Baseline International Wide-Body Carry-On Suitcase to fit the needs of international and domestic travelers. Ballistic nylon fabric makes this bag waterproof, dustproof and resistant to abrasions.

The frame is made with hybrid fiberglass, giving it shape, retention and flexibility, especially when fitting in overhead
compartments. The interior design features a CX expansion-compression system which pushes the limits of storage. A cinch-style, mesh garment panel with a tri-folder suit sleeve protects suits and clothes from wrinkling.
Performance and Ease of Use
The wheels of this carry on bag are compactly designed and suited for maneuverability with an integrated bottom fabric handle, which is specially designed for easy lifting. The handle features military grade, aluminum material with 4 lock stops which allow you to adjust the height of the handle. Beause it is a wide-bodied suitcase there may be a tendency for it to bump and into things when you are rolling it behind you, but it’s strong enough to handle the knocks. It has wedged feet on all four corners to provide stabilization.


The zipper system features a u-zip, front zipper providing quick access to your items. The zippers are self-repairing with lockable double zipper pulls. However, it should be noted that the wide-bodied, exterior design dimensions of the Baseline International Wide-Body Upright Carry-On may not meet carry-on regulations of some US airlines.
The Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Spinner gives you a mix of quality, loaded with features, at a reasonable price. This 21” traditional style carry on suitcase expands to 23” giving you plenty of room. Samsonite is famous for making great luggage, but did you also know that they have a fantastic line of sleek, wheeled duffle bags in variety of sizes?
Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Carry On Bag – 21" Multidirectional Spinner Suitcase

Samsonite Carryon Luggage 63095-1041 Black


Features
The good thing about Samsonite’s bags is how practical and easy to use they are. The smooth and sturdy design of the Silhouette Sphere 2 Spinner with fastened interior is perfect for both leisure and business trips. The four wheels provide seamless handling especially when you have walk around on the airport carrying a heavy load. The current model is available in 3 standard colors, but you can actually choose from 5 on Amazon - Black, Twilight Blue, Cypress Green, Green or Jet Black.

Here are some features that make this traditional style rolling carry on stand out:
  • Split multidirectional Spinner wheels
  • TPR texture handle with gel-infused locking handle
  • Rubber corner protectors against damage and wearing out
  • Water and dust resistant coating
  • Mesh Pockets at the exterior with WetPakTM
  • Tri-fold removable suiter for added protection
  • Case is expandable for extra packing room
For the purpose of this review, we chose to feature the 21” model, however this rolling carry on also comes in 25” and 29” sizes – not to mention all the fact that Samsonite has a full collection of all different kinds of carryon luggage in different styles, shapes, materials, sizes and colors.
Adventure travel just got better with the Osprey Shuttle 36"/130L Wheeled Duffle Bag. Spacious and versatile it let’s you hop with all your gear from the plane right, free to explore your destination or head to the hiking trails. For a smaller bag check out the Transporter Series duffels, available in 3 different sizes, and variety of colors
Osprey Shuttle 36"/130L Wheeled Luggage Duffle Bag – Carryon Travel Gear

Osprey Carryon Luggage 10000096 – Diablo Red


Features
Osprey has been in the business of making bags with innovation and attention to detail. They have a great range of hiking bags, backpacks, duffels and wheeled luggage carry-ons. Furthermore Osprey has gender-specific designs as well lines for kids with body heat-molded hip belt that provides padding for extra comfort. We chose to feature Osprey Shuttle 36"/130L because of the great features it has that suit travelers on the go. Here some highlights of its main features.
  • Back Panel magazine pocket with ID car window
  • Bomb proof Nylon fabric – hey, you never know, right?
  • Sealed extra large wide-style wheels
  • Panel with zippered pocket for extra storage
  • Padded side walls with straight jacket compression
  • Lightweight, sturdy aluminum chassis
  • Available in Diablo Red and Black
For people who already own a traditional duffle bag, but want to keep it safe during travel, we recommend taking a look at the Osprey Airporter Backpack Travel covers, available in three sizes (small, medium and large). Simply stuff your filled duffle into for extra protection and convenience – including lockable zippers, comfortable shoulder strap and easy access ID card window.
Construction and Design
Osprey provides excellent adventure travel gear, especially for both extended trips and international trips. The Shuttle 130 has a sturdy, 429HD nylon pack cloth with a 1680D ballistic nylon accent and bottom body. The ballistic nylon protects your gear from water and dust. The Diablo red color gives the duffel bag a classic look.

The HighRoadTM Chassis of this bag has a tough ABS plastic base. Multiple protective frame bumpers help maintain the shape of this rolling duffel bag while giving it balance during mountain climbing sessions.

The zipper panel is collapsible with the external zipper providing quick access to smaller luggage items. An internal ID holder provides room for storage of tablets and other documents. There’s also an additional drain for wet items which is particularly useful when hiking in rainy, mountainous regions.
Performance and Ease of Use
The internal compartment is large, offering room for extra belongings. The dual internal straps hold all of your gear safely in place with additional pockets ─ including one on the back, which can fit a lot of gear such as shoes, cameras and sporting accessories. The side walls are padded and form a protective layer.

As a wheeled duffel, it rolls smoothly over different surfaces thanks to a pair of extra-large 4’25” bearing wheels. This is a plus when you have that last minute rush over to the check-in counter. The exterior bumpers protect your luggage while in transit. The handle is padded for extra comfort.

Get the Best Carry On Luggage of 2018!

We hope that this in-depth review of the various carry-on luggage bags has been useful in helping you find one that matches your preference, needs and wants. We are confident that these high quality brands will give you a piece of carry on baggage that you will be quite happy with for years to come.

Our Top Choice
Hartmann Carry-On Spinner – Standard Carry On Suitcase
Best Value
High Sierra AT7 Carry-On Backback – Rolling Carry On
Briggs & Riley Baseline International Upright Carry-On Suitcase
Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 21" Soft Side Spinner
Osprey Shuttle 36"/130L Wheeled Duffle Style Carryon Bag