8 Best Carry-On Luggage Bags for Any Type of Trip
We found the best carry-on luggage and bags for every budget to simplify the packing process and make traveling a breeze.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
RD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)
Choosing the best carry-on luggage can be a daunting task given the abundance of options available. Luckily, we’re here to help. These suitcase superstars are perfect for extended trips lasting more than a night or two. A compact carry-on provides plenty of packing space and allows for effortless maneuvering in bustling airports. The best luggage brands also boast 360-degree spinner wheels, ensuring smooth and easy navigation.
There are also smart luggage versions, which include built-in ejectable batteries to power up your devices while on the go. We also found affordable luggage picks for any budget-conscious travelers. So, whether you’re preparing for a cruise or an airplane adventure, here’s a comprehensive overview of the best carry-on luggage options to suit your travel needs.
The best carry-on luggage
- Best overall: July Carry-On Pro
- Best budget: Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag
- Best for international trips: Briggs & Riley International Carry-on Expandable Spinner
- Best lightweight option: Monos Carry-On Plus
- Best for over-packers: Beis The Carry-On Roller
- Best for long trips: Away The Bigger Carry-On
- Best luggage set: Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea Luggage Collection
- Best underseat: Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
July Carry-On Pro
You can’t go wrong with the July Carry-On Pro, which is considered among the absolute best carry-on luggage bags. This smart luggage is equipped with a handful of noteworthy features. Among them include a detachable padded sleeve (perfect for storing your laptop and other trusty tech and travel essentials), a built-in hidden laundry bag (to keep clean and dirty clothes separated), a TSA-approved lock (for added security) and an ejectable battery (perfect for on-the-go charging). The exterior features a durable polycarbonate shell while the interior is equipped with a water- and stain-resistant nylon lining.
“Worth every penny,” writes verified buyer Shon B. “Best carry-on I’ve ever owned. Rolls smoothly, has plenty of room and the detachable computer case is next level. The charging station is so convenient! Bought a second for my husband.”
- Bonus features like a detachable padded sleeve, TSA lock, ejectable battery and hidden laundry bag
- Sleek and sturdy hardshell construction
- Lifetime warranty
- 100-day free trial
- Does not expand
Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag
This durable, do-it-all duffle bag from Canway is chock-full of functional features at a superb cost. In addition to its foldable and extendable design, the duffel also boasts several pockets (including ones solely designed for shoes) to stay organized. Its water- and tear-resistant material will last for years to come. Customers can choose from 10-plus color options—each for less than $40—so you can travel in style.
“This duffel bag has been on four or five trips with me since I bought it. EVERYTHING fits inside,” writes Gillian, one of the 13,000+ five-star reviewers. “There are so many pockets that I’ve considered a necklace or two ‘gone for good’ until the bag made a reappearance for another trip. For air travel and quick weekend trips, the duffel bag holds up and things inside stay safe.”
- Extendable and foldable design
- Padded straps provide added comfort
- Multiple pockets for optimal organization
- Durable water- and tear-resistant material
- No wheels, so it can get heavy if you tend to overpack
Best for international trips
Briggs & Riley International Carry-on Expandable Spinner
This Briggs & Riley luggage carry-on is expandable, providing up to 22 percent more packing space—making it a solid choice for longer international flights. It’s also equipped with a built-in power bank and lock, both of which are TSA-approved. Its lightweight polycarbonate exterior offers resilience, too. Plus, the protective drawstring fabric bag helps keep your suitcase in top shape between travels.
Verified buyer Mari L. writes, “This is my second Briggs & Riley luggage. I wanted a carry-on and with no hesitation, I knew I wanted Briggs & Riley. This carry-on luggage expands to add more clothing and compress to its original size. I LOVE it!! I also love that you can place your portable charger and your phone outside of the luggage for easy access.”
- Designed for international travel
- Expansion-compression system increases packing capacity
- Mesh and zip pockets for optimal storage
- Lifetime warranty
- Monogramming available
- At nearly $600, this suitcase is a splurge
- Limited color options
Best lightweight option
Monos Carry-On Plus
The Monos Carry-On Plus suitcase is the epitome of the best carry-on luggage. Weighing just 7.38 pounds, this lightweight travel companion provides ample room for both lengthy journeys and quick getaways. It’s equipped with exceptional details like a built-in TSA-approved lock, a sturdy telescopic handle, stylish vegan leather accents and whisper-quiet spinner wheels. Plus, the brand calls its polycarbonate shell “unbreakable,” and its lifetime warranty ensures it’ll last forever.
“Really love how sleek this suitcase is, both with the aesthetics and function,” writes Gina R. in her five-star review. “Moving from an old-style suitcase, the maneuverability of this is a dream—quiet, smooth and balanced wheeling both upright and pulling at a tilt.” (Speaking of, you can also check out our Monos luggage review.)
- Lightweight (just 7.38 pounds)
- 100-day trial
- Lifetime warranty
- Adjustable telescopic handle with four height settings
- Ten colors and patterns
- Aerospace-grade and water-resistant hard shell
- No built-in battery
Best for over-packers
Beis The Carry-On Roller
The Beis Carry-On Roller effortlessly combines style and functionality with its expandable design and built-in scale, making it an ideal choice for those who tend to over-pack. The scale allows you to weigh your luggage in advance, ensuring you avoid any hefty baggage fees. Meanwhile, the expandable design adds an additional two inches of packing space, allowing you to fit in more essentials. This best carry-on luggage pick also includes various pouches, perfect for organizing shoes, laundry and personal items.
“I bought this specifically for a 10-day trip to Japan that I wanted to do with just carry-ons and this was absolutely perfect!” writes verified buyer Grace C. “The expander was great for extra storage as I stocked up on souvenirs. I got a ton of compliments and looks at the airport and it was really nice to be easy to spot by my travel mates.” To learn more, you can also check out our review. Pair it with the Beis Mini Weekender, and you’ll be good to go.
- Built-in scale helps you avoid overweight fees
- Expandable design lets you pack more
- Lifetime warranty
- TSA-approved lock
- Water-resistant zipper tape
- Nine fun color options
- No power bank/battery
Best for long trips
Away The Bigger Carry-On
Designed to maximize space, this Away suitcase is an excellent choice for longer trips. Its durable polycarbonate shell ensures the utmost protection for your belongings, while the interior compression system, multiple compartments and built-in laundry bag help you stay organized. With the added convenience of a TSA-approved lock, your items remain secure throughout your journey. Furthermore, this suitcase offers a range of beautiful color options, from charming baby blue to neon green and timeless basic black, allowing for a touch of personal style.
Verified buyer Beth P. writes, “The bigger carry-on was perfect for this overseas journey to Tuscany, including Rome and Florence. The bigger carry-on held five dresses, a ball skirt, six pairs of shoes, spare jeans, multiple tees, pool and loungewear plus all the foundational garments I needed!”
- Spacious size is ideal for longer trips, but still fits in overhead bins
- Built-in lock and laundry bag are added bonuses
- Beautiful color options
- Lifetime warranty
- 100-day trial
- USB charger costs extra
Best carry-on luggage set
Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea Luggage Collection
This Kenneth Cole luggage set includes a soft-sided carry-on and a matching backpack. Crafted with a stylish chevron-patterned fabric, both pieces are lightweight and fashion-forward. The tear-resistant interior provides an added layer of security for your belongings. The rolling Amazon luggage is expandable, allowing for an extra 1.5 inches of storage capacity. On the other hand, the backpack not only features a padded laptop compartment but also numerous pockets, offering hands-free convenience for storing personal items and in-flight essentials.
“Wife brought it to her office and her workmates were fawning over the design,” writes Ken C. in his five-star review of this luggage set. “She loves how light it is, how the spinner wheels tackle terrains with ease and how it carries her heavy laptop and other stuff like a champ.”
- Two-piece set includes one soft-sided suitcase and a matching backpack
- Stylish chevron design
- Wet-garment pocket
- Elastic clothing compression straps
- Backpack loops over the telescoping carry-on handle
- The suitcase’s small size isn’t best suited for longer trips or over-packers
Best underseat option
Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
As its name suggests, this soft-sided luggage from Samsonite easily slides under your airplane seat. Its best feature, however, is the built-in USB port, which allows for seamless on-the-go charging. The exterior pockets—located on the front and side—are perfect for storing smaller items (i.e., your wallet, ID, credit cards and keys). Meanwhile, the main compartment boasts a padded compartment for your laptop or other tech devices.
There are nearly 4,000 five-star Amazon reviews that rave about this underseat luggage. “I was skeptical that this rolling carry-on would actually fit under the seat in front of me in first class and was much pleased that it did even when three-quarters full,” writes verified purchaser David P. Cole. “The key is to place it with rollers pointing toward you.”
- Compact size easily fits under the airplane seat
- Built-in USB port
- 360-degree spinner wheels
- Ergonomic push-button locking handle
- Smart sleeve on back fits over most luggage pieces
- Not as big as traditional carry-on bags
How we found the best carry-on luggage
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What kind of carry-on luggage is best?
When it comes to the best carry-on luggage, the options are plentiful. Consumers can choose from hard shell luggage, soft-sided suitcases, underseat bags (which—you guessed it—are small enough to fit under the airplane seat), duffel bags (some with wheels, some handheld) and travel backpacks (which offer hands-free convenience). Ultimately, the choice is yours—though you should consider if you’re packing for a cruise, long trip or short excursion.
What is a good carry-on luggage size?
Before choosing the best luggage carry-on size for you, there are a few things to consider. For example, if you’re an over-packer (no judgment!) or have a longer trip coming up on the horizon, you may opt for an expandable bag. However, if you tend to pack fewer belongings—or have a shorter trip planned—then an underseat bag or duffle may work best. Also, keep in mind that each airline has different carry-on size restrictions.
Stop hunting for the best products and deals—get our expert scoop on secret sales and discounts, gift ideas for everyone and can’t-miss products. Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.