The Best Carry On Luggage: How To Find Your Perfect Bag

The best carry on luggage doesn’t only need to fit into the overhead locker… it needs to fit your needs.

Cabin baggage is made in all shapes and sizes, some without wheels, some with wheels, carry on duffel bags, garment bagsmulti directional spinners, nylon, polyester, leather, stylish or functional, with an extended warranty or without, lightweight or heavy duty – there is a lot to think about.

Don’t worry it’s your lucky day! This website has been created to be the best carry on luggage guide.

Throughout the site we have carry on luggage reviews to help you find the perfect cabin bag but if you want to cut to the chase below you’ll find a comparison table featuring the best carry on luggage.

The Best Carry On Luggage

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Table Key

  • Rating – This is the rating by amazon users that have bought and tried out the carry on luggage.
  • Price – Prices change frequently so I didn’t put exact prices here. Roughly $ = Under $50, $$ = Under $100, $$$ = Under $250 and $$$$ = $250+
  • Size – Pay close attention to the size of the case. You need to be sure your airline will allow the bag you choose.

If you are looking to find out what carry on luggage size restrictions apply to the major airlines of the world we’ve got that covered too. Check out the Airlines Baggage Rules section.

Use the search box in the table below to filter the results. You can also click the column headings to reorder the table.

What You Need To Think About

Cost and Value

Cheaper cabin bags do tend to have more problems than more expensive varieties. In many things in life you get what you pay for and with the best carry on luggage it’s no exception. That’s not to say that all brands are equal in terms of value. You do get designer label travel suitcases and you can waste your money paying only for the brand – or not waste your money if owning that brand is important to you. In all our reviews we try to point out if the luggage is a premium designer brand or not.


First came the 2 wheeled travel suitcase but some people were not happy to stop at that. When you only have 2 wheel it’s not so easy to change the direction that you are travelling in so some bags have 4 wheels for increased maneuverability. However 4 wheels does increase the weight and the extra functionality means that there is more to go wrong.


Black cases are very common, perhaps this is because they hide scuffs and dirt better than other colors. In terms of materials leather, nylon, polyester cotton canvas  are used for soft cases and polycarbonate or sometimes aluminium for hard cases.  It’s not as simple as one material is more durable than another because of thickness and quality of the weave can come into play. Generally leather is the most durable softcase and hard cases are more durable than soft cases and offer better protection to your belongings. However hard cases are inflexible which can sometimes make them more difficult to squeeze into small spaces and they also lack external pockets which can be handy when you are on the move.


Some budget airlines have weight restrictions as well as size restrictions and it can help to have a lighter case. Also these weight restrictions may be squeezed further in the future. Also there will be times when you need to carry your case and you may need to lift it into the overhead locker. Think about whether the weight of your case is important to you.


The world of fashion extends to the best carry on luggage too. There are many designer brands and styles and when better to look good than when you are jet setting around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Rolling Bags Make The Best Carry On Luggage?

Not always. If you are fit and able you can move quickly through the crowds with an over the shoulder duffel bag that you carry or a backpack. You will find it easier to fit these in the overhead lockers or under the seat and of course bags without wheels are less expensive and have less that can go wrong with them. On top of that, choosing a duffel bag gives you much more style options if that is important to you.

Who Makes The Best Carry On Luggage Made From Leather?

There are a few manufacturers that are making leather carry on luggage. We wrote a recent article about it check it out here.

A Short History Of Airline Carry On Baggage

It’s probably no surprise that it was an airline pilot that invented the suitcase on wheels. What is perhaps surprising is that carry on bags as we know them today with wheels and a telescopic handle were only invented as recently as 1987 by an airline pilot called Bob Plath.

All the walking around airports carrying his suitcase day in day out must have got tiring for Bob Plath so he set about designing a solution to the problem.

Bob went into his garage and came out with a bag on rolling wheels with an extendable handle. Shortly after Bob would be effortlessly walking through airport terminals and people would ask him about his unique bag.

He began selling the bags to fellow airline professionals and work quickly spread.