What Carry On Luggage Should I Buy: Top Picks for 2023

Carry-on luggage is an essential travel companion for anyone taking to the skies. The right carry-on bag can ensure your belongings are safe, secure, and easily accessible during your journey. Compact enough to fit in overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you, carry-on luggage provides a convenient, lightweight alternative to checked baggage, helping you save time, money, and effort at the airport.

In this guide, we have spent numerous hours researching and examining various carry-on luggage options to help you find the perfect travel partner for your next adventure. With a focus on material, size, weight, and other key features, our selections will ensure effortless navigation through the airport – all while keeping your belongings protected and accessible.

Best Carry On Luggage

Discover our top selections of carry on luggage to make your travel experience seamless and hassle-free.

Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner, Navy Blue

Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner

A reliable and affordable carry-on luggage option that offers adequate space and ease of maneuverability.


  • Durable and scratch-resistant ABS hard shell
  • Smooth navigation with 4 double spinner wheels
  • Expandable for up to 15% more packing space


  • May not fit all airline carry-on size restrictions
  • Handle durability concerns after frequent use
  • Interior zipper quality could be improved

The Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner is an ideal choice for those seeking budget-friendly, sturdy luggage for work travel, vacations, or as an international carry-on. It boasts a reliable strength with its extra-thick ABS hard shell and scratch-resistant navy blue finish, which can withstand the wear and tear of frequent travel. The fully-lined 150D-polyester interior further adds to the luggage’s durability.

Navigating through crowded airports or streets is a breeze with this carry-on, thanks to its 4 double spinner wheels, telescoping handle, and short handle. This enables smooth, effortless movement in any direction and reduces stress on your arm and shoulder. The Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner also has the advantage of being expandable, allowing for up to 15% more packing space when needed. The interior organizer with a divider, plus three zippered pockets, make storing smaller items and keeping your belongings organized a simple task.

However, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of before purchasing this luggage. Some airlines may not allow this carry-on onboard due to its size, so make sure to check your preferred airline’s restrictions beforehand. Additionally, after extensive use, the handle’s durability may become a concern for some users. Lastly, the quality of the interior zippers could be improved, as some users have reported issues with them breaking after a few uses.

In summary, the Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner is a reliable, budget-friendly option for travelers in need of a durable and easy-to-maneuver carry-on luggage. Just be mindful of the few cons and double-check your airline’s carry-on size restrictions to ensure a smooth journey.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels, 21-Inch

Travelpro Maxlite 5

The Travelpro Maxlite 5 is a fantastic carry-on choice for those seeking a lightweight and durable option with effortless maneuverability and great packing features.


  • Extremely lightweight at 5.4 lbs
  • 4-wheel 360-degree rotating spinners for easy mobility
  • Expandable up to 2 inches for additional packing capacity


  • May not fit all airline restrictions when fully expanded
  • Lacks a built-in lock system
  • Limited exterior compartments

The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage is a versatile carry-on, designed to make your travels more comfortable and efficient. Its ultra-lightweight construction and 4-wheel 360-degree rotating spinners ensure you can glide through the airport with ease, while the adjustable PowerScope handle with a patented contour grip provides excellent maneuverability.

One of the best features of this carry-on is its expandability, allowing you to pack more when needed. With its high-tensile-strength expandable zipper, you can increase the packing capacity up to 2 inches, making the most of your space without adding significant weight to your luggage.

The interior of the Travelpro Maxlite 5 offers a variety of organizational options, featuring two quick-access exterior front pockets, a full-length interior lid pocket, a side accessory pocket, and adjustable hold-down straps to keep your belongings secure. However, it’s worth noting that the exterior compartments may be somewhat limited, and there is no built-in lock system for added security.

All things considered, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 is a fantastic carry-on option for those who appreciate lightweight luggage that’s easy to maneuver and adapts to various packing needs. While it may not have all the bells and whistles some travelers prefer, it excels in providing a high-quality, convenient, and dependable option for carry-on luggage.

Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds Lightweight Suitcase

Kenneth Cole Suitcase

This Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds Lightweight Durable Hardshell Suitcase is perfect for weekend getaways and meets most airline carry-on requirements.


  • Lightweight and durable with molded corner guards
  • Smooth 360-degree 4-wheel spinner for easy maneuvering
  • Fully-lined spacious interior with double-sided packing


  • May have a chemical smell upon arrival
  • Handle could be more sturdy
  • Exterior may be prone to scratches

The Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds Lightweight Suitcase is a practical choice for those who value functionality and style. Its lightweight and sturdy design allows you to pack your essentials with ease while still adhering to the airline weight restrictions. The hard ABS exterior provides protection for your belongings, and the molded corner guards add extra durability to ensure your luggage withstands any impact.

The fully-lined interior of this suitcase boasts a convenient double-sided packing design, making it simple to organize your belongings for a weekend trip. In addition, the multi-directional spinner wheels allow for smooth and effortless 360-degree movement, making it easy to navigate through airports and various surfaces.

However, a few downsides to this suitcase include the initial chemical smell that may be overwhelming for some users. Fortunately, the smell will fade over time. Additionally, the handle could be sturdier, and the exterior may be prone to scratches. Despite these cons, the Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds Suitcase offers the perfect balance of functionality and design for travelers who need a dependable carry-on with style.

Travelers Club Expandable Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Set

Travelers Club Luggage Set

This Travelers Club 4-piece luggage set is an attractive and functional choice for anyone looking to upgrade their carry-on experience.


  • Stylish rose gold color
  • Four-piece set provides versatility
  • Expandable hardside spinner suitcases for easy maneuvering


  • Durability concerns from users
  • Toiletry bags could have better quality
  • Wheels may get stuck on certain surfaces

The Travelers Club Expandable Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Set features a chic rose gold color that is sure to make a statement. I recently took this luggage on a trip and was impressed by the visual appeal, as it definitely stood out in a sea of generic suitcases.

In this set, you get two hardside spinner suitcases, a boarding tote, and a toiletry kit. The suitcases are expandable, which came in handy when I needed to pack extra items on my return trip. They are easy to maneuver, thanks to the spinner wheels, making navigating through crowded airports a breeze.

However, during my travels, I did notice that the durability of the set could be improved. The suitcases showed signs of wear after only a few uses, and the toiletry bags left something to be desired in terms of quality. Additionally, the wheels sometimes got stuck when rolling on rougher surfaces like concrete.

Overall, the Travelers Club Expandable Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Set is an eye-catching and versatile option for your travel needs. If you’re willing to prioritize style and versatility over rugged durability, this set is worth considering.

kensie Women’s Alma Hardside Spinner Luggage, Carry-On 20-Inch

kensie Women's Alma Luggage

The Kensie Alma Hardside Spinner Luggage is a stylish and reliable option for travelers seeking a functional and fashionable carry-on.


  • Durable and stylish design
  • Recessed TSA lock system for secure travel
  • Expandable and offers 360º effortless mobility


  • May not meet certain airline size restrictions when expanded
  • No reset instructions for TSA lock provided
  • Limited color options

The Kensie Alma Hardside Spinner Luggage boasts a clean and eye-catching design, making it a perfect choice for those who like to travel with style. The rose gold finish brings a touch of elegance, while the hard shell casing ensures durability and protection for your belongings.

One of the key features of this carry-on is the recessed TSA lock system, which provides added security for your items during travel. The lock can be easily set to a custom combination, but it is worth noting that some users have reported the absence of instructions for resetting the lock. The luggage is also expandable, allowing for extra packing capacity when needed.

The multi-directional spinner wheels offer 360º effortless mobility, making it easy on travelers’ wrists when maneuvering through busy airports. The top and side handles have matching trims, adding to the overall aesthetics of the luggage.

However, a potential downside is that the luggage might not meet the size restrictions of some airlines when it’s expanded. Additionally, the limited color options may not cater to everyone’s taste.

In conclusion, the Kensie Alma Hardside Spinner Luggage is a great option for those who prioritize a stylish and resilient carry-on. With its attractive design, secure TSA lock system, and convenience of movement, this luggage can certainly become a reliable travel companion for many trips to come.

Buying Guide

When looking for the perfect carry-on luggage, it is crucial to consider the following essential features before making your purchase.

When looking to buy carry-on luggage, the material, size, and weight are important factors to consider. With options such as hard-sided, soft-sided, and hybrid materials, each offers distinct advantages depending on your needs and travel style. Hard-sided luggage often provides more protection for fragile items, while soft-sided bags are typically more flexible and able to fit into tighter spaces.

Size also plays a significant role, as airlines have strict restrictions on carry-on dimensions. Be sure to check the specific requirements of your preferred airline to avoid any complications at the airport. Furthermore, weight is an aspect not to be overlooked, as a lighter carry-on will be easier to maneuver during your travels and help you stay within airline weight limits.

Size and weight

Check the size and weight restrictions imposed by your preferred airline as they might differ. Usually, carry-on luggage dimensions should not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (including handles and wheels). The weight limit is generally around 15-20 lbs.


Carry-on luggage can be made from various materials. The most common are hard shell (polycarbonate, ABS) and soft shell (nylon, polyester). Hard shells are more durable and provide better protection, while soft shells are more flexible, making it easier to fit in tight spaces.


There are two main types of wheels: spinner (four wheels) and inline (two wheels). Spinner wheels move 360 degrees, making maneuvering through airports easier, whereas inline wheels are more stable and better for uneven surfaces.

Compartments and storage

Look for luggage with a well-organized interior, including multiple compartments, zippered pockets, and adjustable straps to secure your belongings. Some carry-on luggage also offers an expandable feature, giving you extra space when needed.

Handles and locks

Ensure the luggage has a sturdy telescopic handle that can be easily adjusted. As for locks, built-in TSA-approved locks are essential for security and smooth travel, especially for international trips.

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