Best Carry-On Luggage 2023

Best Carry-On Luggage 2023

Some of our top picks for the best carry-on luggage are discounted right now, and you’ll find additional deals on other popular models listed below. For more markdowns, check out our roundup of the best Valentine’s Day sales.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a once-a-year traveler, the best carry-on luggage is crucial to ensuring a successful trip. It enables you to stay organized and move through the airport with ease, all while protecting your belongings. And if you prefer to skip the hassle of a checked bag, your carry-on will become your most prized possession to fit all your essentials and souvenirs. While it may seem like any suitcase will do, high quality carry-on luggage options from brands like monkeys and Rimowa stand out for their durability and (if it has wheels) smooth rolling capabilities.

Ready for your next flight? Consider upgrading your carry-on luggage before you travel.


The fact is, quality luggage can be pricey but a carry-on you can depend on is worth the investment. The most important quality of carry-on luggage is its dimensions—you want to ensure it meets airline requirements so you won’t get slapped with extra fees to check your bag at the gate. You also want to consider maneuverability and features like interior pockets, TSA-approved locks and built-in portable chargers if you want to top off your travel-worthy tech. You probably want something that’s attractive, too; after all, it’s important to have a bag that’s easy to spot (and worthy of an appearance on the ‘gram).

Based on Vetted team recommendations and extensive research, as well as insights from Amy Brueckner, COO of the travel planning company CIRE Travelwe compiled a list of the best carry-on luggage for any trip. While we primarily focus on wheeled luggage, we also included some of our favorite backpacks and duffels that are designed to meet your on-the-go needs. Bon voyage!

Best Carry-On Luggage Overall

A Sleek, Stylish Option To Keep Your Essentials Safe

Dimensions: 22 × 14 × 9 inches | Weight: 7.8 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

The versatility, durability and sharp aesthetics of Monos’ Carry-On Pro help it top our list of the best carry-on luggage. The padded front compartment offers premium organization (which is usually lacking with hard-sided luggage) without sacrificing protection—a crucial detail for those flying with expensive tech, and the pocket unzips at an angle which makes pulling out or putting away your laptop a breeze as you pass through security. But even if you’re traveling without a laptop, this compartment is still useful—you can store a book, headphones, travel documents and other essentials in the numerous small compartments for convenient access before or during your flight.

This bag is designed to fit in the overhead bin of “almost any flight, anywhere in the world” according to Monos, and is outfitted with an ultra-sturdy telescopic handle, TSA-approved lock, quiet wheels and vegan leather details. The colorways are earthy and sleek to help your carry-on stand out —and Monos offers a number of limited-edition colors that are even more unique. Terracotta is dark enough to resist scuffs but striking enough to spot at the luggage carousel, while Ocean Blue is sleek and understated. Note that the Nordstrom link above goes to the larger Carry-On Pro Pluswhich offers more packing space but may be too big for some international flights.

Best Lightweight Carry-On Luggage

A Chic, Lightweight Bag That Expands For More Room

Editor’s Pick


Calpak Ambeur Rolling Spinner Carry-On

Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: 2-year limited warranty; accident protection can be purchased

Looking for a trendy yet functional carry-on for your Instagram-worthy travels? Calpak has you covered with its Ambeur 20-inch Rolling Spinner Carry-On, available in black and three shimmering metallic colors. Practicality-wise, it features an integrated TSA-approved lock, interior compartments and the ability to expand an extra 2 inches, giving you plenty of space to stuff souvenirs. It’s also incredibly lightweight. Says one Vetted editor, who owns the Ambeur, “It fits a TON of stuff. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag.”

If you’re an avid traveler who’s rough on your luggage, consider purchasing 2-, 3- or 5-year accident protection for $23 to $44 dollars; it covers the repair of stains, rips, broken pieces and more.

Best Carry-On Luggage For International Travel

A Durable Aluminum Exterior Makes It Worth The Splurge


Rimowa Original Cabin Packing Case

Dimensions: 21.7 × 15.8 × 9.1 inches | Weight: 9.5 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: Register online for a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee

This aluminum shell suitcase is ultra durable for the most avid (and rough-on-their-luggage) travelers. It’s also proof that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for utility. While you’ll pay a pretty penny for this bag, you’ll enjoy effortless maneuverability with its innovative multi-wheel system and telescopic handle. Inside, there’s a flex divider for organization and a built-in TSA-approved lock for extra security no matter where your travels take you.

The Cabin automatically comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, but if you register online, it extends to 5 years. Just keep in mind that the width and depth of this pick may be slightly bigger than some airlines allow, so be sure to double-check the flight guidelines before purchase. That being said, there are some smaller versions of this suitcase that you can check out instead.

Best Carry-On Backpack For Weekend Getaways

The Ultimate Carry-All For One-Bag Getaways

Peak Design

Peak Design 30L Travel Backpack

Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.4 x 7 inches | Weight: 3.17 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: No | Warranty: Lifetime warranty

If you’re looking to travel light with only a carry-on backpack, the Peak Design Travel Backpack makes it possible. It’s roomy enough to fit a couple of packing cubes stuffed with clothes, but small enough that you can carry it around town when you reach your destination. But it’s way more functional than a standard backpack: The back compartment zips open so you can lay it flat to pack it full, the laptop compartment is easily accessible as you navigate security and the main compartment expands with a zipper if you need to carry more gear. It’s also versatile—the backpack straps stash behind the padded back panel which has a discreet handle so you carry it like a duffel (I use the Travel Backpack as my work bag and rely on this feature everyday when I toss it in my car.)

The interior is also thoughtfully designed. As our Vetted gear editor notes, “The mesh zipper pockets that line the interior walls of the pack are strategically placed to maximize space, and the soft pocket holds more fragile items like sunglasses or a phone.” The one drawback is that, when stuffed to the brim, it’s hard to fit a large water bottle in the expandable side pockets. This bag comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and breakage, but it does not cover cosmetic damage or breakage due to neglect.

Best Stylish Carry-On Backpack

A Polished Leather Backpack With Convenient Pockets

Gives Back

Parker Clay

Parker Clay Atlas Backpack

Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 6 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: No | Warranty: None; unused items may be returned within 30 days

While virtually any backpack within size guidelines qualifies as a carry-on, the key is to keep your in-flight necessities easily accessible. Plus, you probably want something that looks polished and grown-up (as opposed to a book bag you’d shlep to school). Of course, durability should be top-of-mind, too. Enter, Parker Clay’s Atlas Backpack, which checks all the boxes and then some.

Made of supple Ethiopian leather, the Atlas is handsome, tough and designed with travel in mind. Although it’ll sustain creases and scuffs—as all leather does—its unique patina will bear the marks from your travels. Inside you’ll find convenient pockets for stashing must-haves like an iPad, smartphone and business cards. The cherry on top is that Parker Clay is a company worth supporting; it provides fair employment to women in Ethiopia so they can safely support their families. However, due to its small size, you can’t fit an entire weekend’s worth of goods in here. It’s best suited as a personal item to pair with your checked bag or carry-on suitcase.

Best Carry-On Luggage For Business Trips

A Thoughtfully-Design Suitcase That’s Travel Expert-Approved

Briggs & Riley

Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 2-Wheel Carry-On

Dimensions: 22 × 14 × 9 inches | Weight: 9.7 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee

Travel expert Amy Brueckner never leaves home without this soft shell suitcase. “I love, love, love my Briggs & Riley Baseline carry-on in black,” says Brueckner. “It has a lifetime guarantee, it expands [and] it has a hanging bag element for when I’m packing dresses, etc. It has a little pouch in the back that holds my umbrella so I’m never without one on the road.”

This suitcase is expandable and features two rolling wheels, an extendable handle and a built-in TSA-approved lock. Because of its clever trifold garment feature, this case is especially suited for anyone traveling for business or a formal occasion. While it’s certainly an investment, the brand’s Lifetime Guarantee covers repairs free of charge, meaning you can confidently take this bag wherever your job (or life) takes you.

Best Expandable Carry-On Luggage

A Sleek, Affordable Option From A Top Name In Travel

Editor’s Pick


Samsonite Freeform Carry-On Spinner

Dimensions: 21.25 × 15.25 × 10 inches | Weight: 6.5 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: Limited 10-year global warranty

Recommended by o ur Vetted deals editor (who “loves” this bag), the Samsonite Freeform Spinner is compact but expandable for when you need a little extra packing room. It also has interior pockets and a divider to keep everything in its place. Four wheels make it easy to tote and a push-button handle pulls out and retracts as needed.

Other notable features include a recessed TSA-approved lock, a built-in ID tag and a modern color palette that includes amethyst purple, sky blue and this sleek all-black colorway. In short, it’s everything you need with an under-$200 price tag.

Best Customizable Carry-On Luggage

Monogram Your Carry-On And Add A USB Charger

Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches | Weight: 7.1 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: 100-day return policy and limited lifetime warranty

Away is one of today’s trendiest luggage brands and it’s easy to see why: The bags come in a spectrum of Instagram-worthy colors with clever bells and whistles at an attainable price point. For instance, you can pick and choose upgrades like suitcase or luggage tag monogramming or an ejectable USB charger that keeps tech juiced up. (FYI, the USB add-on is not offered with select colors.) Other convenient features include swiveling wheels, a TSA-approved lock and a hidden laundry bag. Brueckner mentions that her husband has The Bigger Carry-On: Aluminum Edition and “is really happy with it.” She continues, “Sometimes when we travel, we’ll buy a bottle of wine or two and check our bag on the way home. Our precious vino is definitely protected in his hard shell suitcase!”

If you’re still on the fence, the brand states you can “put this piece to the test on your next trip and make sure it’s right for you—if not, you can return it anytime within the first 100 days of purchase.” Take note that monogrammed items cannot be returned, however all items are covered under the company’s limited lifetime warranty.

Best Budget Carry-On Luggage

A Perfectly Capable Pick For Less Than $100


Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner

Dimensions: 22 x 14.9 x 10 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: No | Warranty: None

If you’re not a frequent traveler, you may not need to invest in super long-lasting luggage that’s lightweight, sophisticated or rife with features. Instead, you might simply need a no-frills option like this hard-shell Amazon piece that features the basics: Four double-spinner wheels allow you to move efficiently when you need to rush to your gate and a thick outer shell protects all your belongings. The interior divider and zipper pockets mirror the features of more pricey luggage.

While you won’t get any of the bells and whistles (like a built-in lock) found on higher-quality luggage, this carry-on checks all our boxes for under $100. As one Amazon reviewer noted, “The size of this suitcase is perfect for me. The hard shell protects my travel fan while still providing plenty of room for three pairs of shoes.” However, the dimensions will be cutting it close for many airline when the time comes to hop on an international flight.

Best Statement-Making Carry-On Luggage

A Bold Collaboration That Stands Out From The Crowd

Editor’s Pick

Arlo Skye

Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Zipper Carry-On Max

Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 7.1 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: Yes | Warranty: 5-year warranty on manufacturing defects

If you’re looking for a carry-on that really stands out, check out the Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Zipper Carry-On Max, a favorite of Vetted’s data director for this very reason. In addition to its eye-catching sunshine yellow shade—courtesy of a limited-edition collaboration—the Carry-On Max is equipped with a TSA-approved lock and an antimicrobial material that’s as chic as it is functional. Techies will also enjoy its “blazing-fast” built-in charger, which can fill a phone battery halfway in 30 minutes.

For easier access to your in-flight necessities, upgrade to the front pocket version for $25 more and you can grab your stuff without unzipping the entire suitcase.

Best Carry-On Duffel Bag

Sleek, Spacious And Structured


Thule Spira Weekender Duffel Bag

Dimensions: 18.5 x 13 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.31 pounds | TSA-Approved Lock: No | Warranty: Limited lifetime

Duffel bags aren’t as convenient as traditional carry-ons, especially if you have to cover distances between airport gates or hotels on foot. However, they’re lightweight and flexible, meaning you can make space for those hard-to-pack items without worrying about the constraints of a rectangular case. Thule’s Spira Weekender Duffel Bag strikes a balance that’s hard to come by. It’s structured enough to stack on top of your roller bag while walking through the airport thanks to the flat bottom panel, but it’s also pliable enough to shove into a small overhead bin.

The water-resistant fabric keeps your belongings safe in any weather, and the small metal feet keep this bag upright whenever you need to set it down. The interior features a padded pocket for a tablet, and there’s a zippered pocket on the exterior to stash your essentials like a phone and passport so you don’t need to go digging through your bag. Best of all, this bag is as stylish as it is functional, plus it comes in three colorways—Black, Legion Blue and Rio Red.

Best Convertible Carry-On

A 4-In-1 Bag That’s Endlessly Versatile


Silver & Riley

Silver & Riley Convertible Executive Bag

Silver & Riley’s Italian-made Convertible Executive Bag is more than just good looks. In addition to its leather construction and luxe gold hardware (it’s also adorned with a working lock and key), it’s cleverly designed so you can wear it four ways. You can tote it by the top handles or wear it as a shoulder bag, crossbody or backpack with its accompanying long strap; just reconfigure it into strategically-placed metal rings for an easy transformation. As a structured bag, it offers a roomy interior, lined with a handful of pockets and snapping straps to fit (and secure) all your carry-on essentials—including a 13-inch laptop.

Adding to its versatility is its sleek style and just-rights size that’s suitable for everyday wear. And unlike your typical suitcase, the aptly named Executive Bag is suitable for work, shopping trips or use as a “mom bag” for schlepping a family’s worth of must-haves in the chicest way possible.

The Best Carry-On Luggage Sales To Shop Right Now


American Tourister Burst Max Trio Spinner Luggage

This sleek and compact spinner from American Tourister has a hard shell exterior, a divided interior that expands an extra inch and an adjustable steel tube trolley handle. Use code YOUSAVE15 at checkout and you’ll save more than $100 off the full price.


Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 20-Inch, Black

Samsonite’s highly-rated Omni suitcase has a micro-diamond polycarbonate exterior that’s scratch-resistant, so your luggage never looks worn out. Just in case, the brand’s products are rigorously tested and this pick comes with a 10-year warranty against defects.


Matein Travel Laptop Backpack With USB Charging Port

Matein’s travel backpack is a workhorse—it comes with a USB charging port to keep your tech fully charged on the go, and it can fit a laptop along with clothing, shoes and other essentials. It’s discounted to $30 at the moment.


Rockland London Hardside Spinner Wheel Luggage, Charcoal, Carry-On 20-Inch

This lightweight spinner can take a beating, thanks to its durable ABS material and resilient ergonomic chrome telescoping handle. It also expands and has an interior mesh zip pocket to organize your essentials. Pick one up for 57% off right now.

Home Depot

InUsa Pilot Lightweight Hardside Spinner 20″ Carry-On

Chic and compact, InUsa’s hardside spinner comes in four modern shades, including this metallic wine color. The multi-directional, silent, 360-degree wheels make it easy to turn the suitcase while you roll it along, and the top and side ergonomic handles make lifting your luggage into the overhead bins a cinch. Save nearly 40% if you buy this pick today.

How We Chose The Best Carry-On Luggage

To compile this list, we researched trendy brands, poured through dozens of reviews, scoured for bargains and asked Vetted team members which carry-on suitcases they use for their own travels. We’ve taken the time to compare luggage options, examining their features to determine which pieces are well-suited for travel, and which ones you can do without. We also tapped Amy Brueckner, COO of travel planning company CIRE Travel, for her expert advice on choosing the right suitcase for any kind of trip. She also gave us the scoop on her all-time favorite carry-on bag: the Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 2-Wheel Carry-Onfeatured above.

When choosing our picks for soft-sided luggage like backpacks and duffels, we prioritized brands with excellent warranties and stellar reputations. Labels such as Osprey, Peak Design and Thule design award-winning equipment in the form of backpacks, camera bags and cargo boxes, many of which we’ve included in other guides. To keep you up-to-date on the best carry-on luggage, we update this roundup regularly. It was last updated in December 2022.

What To Consider When Buying Carry-On Luggage

The best carry-on luggage for you depends on your trip and travel style. Here are some things to consider, along with expert insights from travel pro Amy Brueckner.


It’s crucial to make sure the size of the luggage you buy is compliant with airline rules. If you’re looking for an investment piece, check out the guidelines of whichever airline you usually fly. If it varies, it may be smarter to go with a smaller option that’s likely to work across the board.

Brueckner adds to be especially diligent if you’re flying internationally. “Some airlines have different size rules for domestic versus international,” she points out.


Brueckner prefers expandable bags that qualify as carry-ons when they’re compact. Often, she’ll only pack a carry-on during an outbound flight, and if she acquires souvenirs during her trip, she’ll expand it, stuff it full and check it on the way home.


If you’re an avid traveler and/or plan on investing in expensive luggage, make sure it comes with a good warranty. “I travel A LOT so I want my luggage to be durable. My current bag[the[theBriggs & Riley Baseline Essential 2-Wheel Carry-On]wasn’t cheap but it has a lifetime guarantee.” Further, if you plan on purchasing from a third-party retailer like Amazon, double-check with the brand directly to make sure the warranty still applies.

TSA-Approved Locks

For extra security, look for a carry-on with a built-in TSA-approved lock. These are usually combination locks that TSA agents can open with a master key so they don’t have to damage your luggage if it must be inspected.


While a bright color will make your bag pop, keep in mind that lighter shades are more likely to show scuffs and spots. Shares Brueckner, “I’m a big fan of black because it doesn’t show dirt or dings. But everyone has a black bag, so make sure to add some flair with a brightly colored ribbon or luggage tag so you know it’s yours!”

If black feels too generic, opt for another dark shade—the Away Carry-On comes in several deep hues. That said, s leek all-black styles like the Samsonite Freeform in Blackout can still stand out from a crowd.


While wheeled suitcases dominate this list, backpacks like the Parker Clay Atlast Backpack are a great choice if you want to be completely hands-free. This is especially true if you plan on checking a bag because your carry-on can be packed lightly. Duffle or crossbody bags can work but may not be the best option if you have a lot of walking to do between terminals, as they can feel cumbersome and cause shoulder and neck strain if they’re too heavy.

Built-In Chargers

If the possibility of your tech dying is cause for concern, consider suitcases that have built-in USB chargers, like the Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Zipper Carry-On Max or the Away The Carry-Onwhich offers this feature as an optional upgrade.

What Type Of Luggage Is Best For A Carry-On?

In short, any luggage that fits most airlines’ size requirements should make for a suitable carry-on. After size, you’re going to want something that’s already light when empty since you’ll be lifting it above your head when it’s full, and then it’s helpful if the bag has the compartments you need for your stuff. It should also suit you and your travel style, which might mean a bag on 360-degree rotating wheels, one with a protective laptop sleeve or maybe one that’s going to charge your tech.

What Size Luggage Is Approved For A Carry-On?

There’s no one standard size for carry-on luggage that’s approved for all airlines across the board (a traveler can dream). But it’s a safe bet to choose something that cites the requirements of airlines next to its own dimensions. All of our bags here fit the bill, and the general—but not all-encompassing—rule is that a bag should be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches and that all three of these measurements shouldn’t exceed 45 inches when added together. We recommend always checking your preferred airline’s size restrictions online before heading to the airport as these rules are subject to change.

Should I Get A Hard Side Or Soft Side Carry-On?

Some might assume that this is a question of personal preference, but in most instances, a hard-sided suitcase is the best option. Hard side luggage is stronger so it can protect any delicate items you may need to pack (like camera equipment or wine bottles). On over-packed flights, there is always the possibility that the airline might request—or require—you to check a bag, which means you won’t be the only one handling it. If this happens, there’s a solid chance your bag could take a tumble, putting your belongings at risk. Hard side carry-on bags also hold their shape in overhead bins next to your fellow passengers’ bags and can stay strong against the unceremonious shoving they might endure up there. Plus, if you get caught in the rain with your bag, a hard sided suitcase won’t turn into a soaked-through mess.

Soft-sided luggage has a few benefits though: Namely, it can compress and fit into smaller spaces than hard side luggage (if it’s not overstuffed). And while it might not be as durable overall as a hard side, soft side carry-ons don’t scuff or scratch so they may look newer for longer. However, because they are made of nylon or other fabrics, they are prone to ripping so we recommend shopping with a brand with an extensive warranty, like Osprey.

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