You’ll Travel Light With These Suitcases & Travel Bags That Are All Under 5 lbs
Summary: We looked at 10 ultra light carry on’s and picked out the Aerolite as our top recommendation.
It was ahead of the pack because:
The Samsonite NeoPulse is the best rolling case if you want a hard-side spinner and don’t mind it being a wider than the common 14 inch carry on size limit.
We also liked the Lipault Plume 55/20 a lot so check it out too.
A lot of packing guides focus on what to take with you and what to leave behind. Often you’ll see tips and tricks that add weight instead of making your travel bag lighter. Yeah I’m talking about you packing cubes!
Instead of cutting your toothbrush in half sometimes the best way to travel light is to use a lighter suitcase!
It’s an easy and almost painless win if a lighter suitcase can do the same job as a heavier one.
Also keep in mind, some airlines have weight restrictions for carry on luggage that can be as low as 20 lbs. If your bag is 10 lbs empty then you’re going to struggle to be under a 20 lb restriction.
Using the lighest carry on luggage can cut down the overall weight of your bag. And if you combine lightweight luggage with a minimalist packing packing philosophy your carry on can end up a light as a feather!
Well okay maybe not a feather…
But you’ll thank me when you are lifting your light weight cabin bag into the overhead lockers!
The aim was to find carry-on sized luggage that weighed less than 5 lbs and made best use of the commonplace 22 x 14 x 9 inches size limit (45 linear inches). Here are the best options we came up with:
This product was included as a comparison. Any soft bag without wheels like the TravelPro Underseat Tote will be your lightest carry on travel bag option.
You’ll need to be minimalist with your packing though to fit all your clothes into something this small.
But if you don’t carry a heavy laptop this type of thing will be your lightest option for a carry on travel bag.
Of course it doesn’t have wheels. But then if you can get your bag light enough and your are fit and healthy carrying your bag might not be such a big problem.
If fact it’s quite liberating to not be towing something behind you in busy airports.
Also storing your carry-on under your seat is also a stress-free weight to board and airplane.
Lightweight Rolling Carry On Luggage With Wheels:
The IT Luggage 2-wheel was the lightest carry on we came across. There are some caveats though.
I don’t want to call cheating but…
This carry on only has 30 liters of storage capacity. It’s a small bag!
The theoretical maximum for a 22x14x9 inches carry on size limit gives a maximum capacity of 45 liters.
So this is a small carry on, the main difference comes because of the depth of 7.3 inches when carry-ons are usually 9 inches in depth.
The protruding wheels also eat into the available capacity. Airlines measure to the total dimensions including protruding wheels.
It’s also not a spinner so you can’t roll it when vertical and it won’t roll down the cabin aisle sideways.
It maybe be the “World’s Lightest” carry on but it’s also 33% smaller than the maximum.
This IT Luggage Spinner carry on is the lightest carry on spinner luggage.
The exterior dimensions of 22x14x9 inches are perfect to take it to the limit for most carry on size restrictions.
But the interior space of 18.7 x 13 x 9 inches means this is a 36 liter capacity suitcase. Again the protruding wheels and handles mean there is less space available to store your clothes.
You need to decide how much you like those sticky out spinner wheels vs how much you like extra space in your suitcase. That’s the trade-off.
Spinner wheels are great for rolling the bag when it’s vertical, like you might do when you are standing in line.
They’re also good for allowing you to roll the bag sideways and well… spinning it around.
The Salsa Air is a rather odd cabin bag.
It’s wonderfully light and sturdy.
But at 15.7 inches it’s too wide for many airlines as a carry on. Only airlines that specify (45 linear inches) or with more generous limits will be okay with this.
For example, this case is cabin size for Southwest but it’s not cabin size for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, or United Airlines.
For this reason it’s probably best avoided as a carry on and let’s not even talk about that price tag!
It is pretty damn lightweight though!
The Aerolite was our top pick for a lightweight cabin bag.
Thankfully they’ve paid attention to the sizing and created a bag that is 22 x 14 x 9 inches externally including wheels and handles.
But because the wheels don’t stick out a lot you still get a lot of storage capacity in this bag.
Yes it’s not a spinner but reports are that it drives well.
It’s not a hard-side case but since you are the one taking care of the bag at all times that shouldn’t be a problem.
Overall this is a great bag. You notice how light it is just by picking it up.
If you have any issues with a bad back or any physical impairment you’ll be thankful. Even with wheels you always need to lift your bag at some point.
Yes, it’s not going to last a lifetime but it’s priced accordingly.
The Osprey Ozone is also a good option for a lightweight carry on.
Osprey usually make hiking gear so they are the type of company that pays attention to weight.
The Ozone is like some kind of backpack/trolly suitcase hybrid. It has an outdoors inspired vibe that some people might not like in their carry on.
But don’t dismiss it so quickly.
The large wheels on this case look more durable than some of the other lightweight suitcases. Osprey is a name you can trust.
It’s fully featured with lots of handy pockets and compartments.
If it didn’t have the styling of a outdoors company it would have definitely been in the running for the top pick. Instinct tells me that most visitors to this page are looking for a more traditional suitcase look.
The Delsey Turenne is just a little too chunky to be a legal carry on. The depth of 9.75 inches is over the common limit of 9 inches.
Also because it’s a hard-sided case you won’t be able to squeeze it down to meet the requirements.
Of course, many people fly with slightly oversize carry-on bags and get away with it. It’s up to you if you want to take the risk of being forced to check your bag.
It’s a pity. I just wish they made this bag an inch less in depth. It would have been perfect and even lighter than it already is!
The Samsonite Neopulse is also annoying sized.
23.63 inches is too tall for the 22 inch limit that is most common.
14.75 inches is too wide for the 14 inch width limit too!
Cmon Samsonite are you sure this is a carry on?
And how can they manage to create a case with only 36 liters capacity when it’s so over-sized!
It’s because of those sticky-out wheels and handle that are using up the space but not providing packing space.
But even the body alone is still too wide at 14.75 inches. Any strict airline staff might force you to check this bag…
Which sort of defeats the purpose of a carry on.
Having said all that, if you are someone that likes to fly by the seat of your pants and to hang with rules and regulations the NeoPulse is a really great, lightweight rolling suitcase.
Samsonite make reliable luggage too and if you are going to check your occasionally check your carry on then it’s good to have a hard-side.
At a glance it looks about the right size so you’ll probably get away with it.
The Lipault Plume comes in a range of bright, eye-catching colors.
At 5 lbs it’s definitely a lighter than average carry on.
A lot of people find it difficult to put another bag on top of it unless it is really packed full. It just don’t have the rigid structure.
It’s a good option if you want a lightweight spinner.
But the downside is the capacity of this bag. It’s only 36 liters so you have about 20% less storage space than a well-sized carry on bag can give you.
The comfortable padded handle sticks out a lot and it’s why they list it as 15 inches wide. Only a mean spirited airline employee would force you to check this bag though. So long as you don’t over-stuff it.
If lightweight is your game and you like this style then check it out.
The TravelPro Maxlite 5 Hardside is 5.4 lbs but what’s 0.4 lbs between friends.
It’s frustrating again that TravelPro have designed this “carry on” to be larger than carry on limits.
This is 1 inch taller than most limits and half an inch wider than most limits.
But I guess they know what they are doing. The airline luggage size checkers do sometimes have a little extra room.
You probably won’t have problems with a case this size but you’ve been warned. It is slightly over-sized.
If you do need to check your luggage then you’ll be happy that this one is a hard-side.
TravelPro make great luggage and although this one is a tiny bit over 5 lbs we thought you should know about it.
If you can keep your carry on luggage under 5 lbs you’re well on your way to traveling light.
The next question is how do you reduce the amount of clothes you take with you.
Check out the mega guide on traveling light over here.
Let our readers know in the comments if you’ve found any carry on luggage that’s lighter than the models listed here.
And if you’re holding onto a heavy rant about the pros and cons of lightweight luggage feel free to let fly and get it off your mind!