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No matter how you look at it, travel season never really ends. With this in mind, thousands of prospective travelers are constantly looking to upgrade their carry-on luggage.
Now more than ever, the size of your carry-on luggage matters. Airlines are now charging for checked bags across the board, and some have even begun charging for carry-ons, especially those that don’t fit the size requirements for the plane’s overhead compartment.
To avoid falling into this group and the guessing game, we’ve outlined 12 of the best carry-on luggage pieces that will easily fit in almost any airline’s overhead compartment.
For context, according to Travel + Leisure, the standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches, including a handle and wheels for roller bags. Though you may find an inch or two of difference among airlines, these dimensions apply to most major aircrafts.
– Best Overall: Monos Carry-On Pro
– Most Lightweight: Monos Hybrid Carry-On
– Most Popular: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels
– Best Softside Option: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
– Most Affordable: Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage
– Boldest Carry-On: Monos x Magnolia Bakery Carry-On
– Best Expandable Pick: Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
– Most Sustainable Option: Paravel Aviator Carry-On
– Sleekest Pick: The Away Carry-On
– Most Modern: LEVEL8 Pro Carry-On With Laptop Pocket
– Best Option With Built-In Organization: Nomatic Carry-On Classic
– Best Handheld Option: Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle
At the moment, airlines set their own carry-on luggage restrictions and guidelines. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and stick as closely to these dimensions as possible in case guidelines change in the future.
There are tons of options — from hardside and softside luggage to duffles and expandable picks — that will give you that extra peace of mind and prices start at just $49. Check out the best from Monos, Away, Samsonite, Protege and more.
1. Best Overall: Monos Carry-On Pro, $295 (Orig. $311)
Monos’ best-selling Carry-On Pro is by far the most user-friendly and stylish of the bunch. Measuring 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches — the standard carry-on dimensions — this hardside piece features a built-in front compartment for easy access while you travel. There, you can store your passport, headphones, wallet and more.
The front compartment also fits a 15-inch laptop and keeps it protected under the same aerospace-grade polycarbonate as the rest of the case. In fact, the shell is actually unbreakable. Get it while it’s on sale.
Right now, the Monos Hybrid Carry-On Plus Spinner carry-on and the standard Carry-On Spinner carry-on are also in-stock at Nordstrom.
2. Most Lightweight: Monos Hybrid Carry-On, $325
Over the past few years, Monos has quickly become one of the best luggage brands, especially if you’re looking for pieces that are durable, indestructible, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing.
In 2022, Monos added the Hybrid Carry-On to its roster, and it’s the lightest and most resilient suitcase in its lineup, even beating out the best-selling Carry-On Pro.
So, what makes this a “hybrid?” The brand took the most sought-after features of aluminum and polycarbonate luggage and merged them into a sleek and absolutely stunning carry-on suitcase that stands out for all the right reasons. What sets this one apart from all of the others on this list, however, is its zipperless aluminum frame, aluminum corner guards and unbreakable shell.
Also, measuring 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches — the standard carry-on dimensions — the Monos Hybrid Carry-On fits perfectly in the overhead bin. It’s available right now in three colors: champagne, obsidian and silver.
3. Most Popular: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, $134.91 (Orig. $199.99)
Samsonite is one of the most trusted luggage brands of all time, so it’s no surprise that the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels is a major customer favorite.
Measuring 23 inches by 14.5 inches by 9.5 inches, this best-selling carry-on luggage piece meets size restrictions on United, American, Delta, Southwest and Allegiant Airlines. It’s super lightweight, comes with a 10-year limited warranty and is currently on sale on Amazon.
4. Best Softside Option: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, $144.49 (Orig. $169.99)
Hardside luggage isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer softside suitcases, this Travelpro option is a popular Amazon pick. It’s arguably one of the lightest on the list, features four spinning wheels that smoothly rotate 360 degrees and even expands up to 2 inches to maximize packing capacity.
Also, if you’re looking for a carry-on that’s compartment-heavy, this one’s the best pick. It features two exterior compartments, a full-length interior lid pocket and a side accessory pocket. The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage measures 23 inches by 14.5 inches by 9 inches.
5. Most Affordable: Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage, $49
You can’t beat the price of this sturdy piece. At just $49, it’s a steal, but don’t let the price tag fool you — the Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage is actually premium in every way.
This Walmart exclusive deal features two low-profile in-line skate wheels, an interlocking zipper system to keep your belongings safe, interior mesh pockets, a padded top and a compression strap to keep your items secure. It measures 22 inches by 7 inches by 14 inches and comes in black and red.
6. Boldest Carry-On: Monos x Magnolia Bakery Carry-On, $320
Monos’ suitcases are among some of the best made across the board, so when the brand collaborated with the iconic New York-based Magnolia Bakery for this bold, bright collection, it seemed like a match made in heaven.
Though the two brands have very little in common, this partnership didn’t feel like a gimmick but an opportunity to add whimsical flair to the otherwise sleek and sophisticated brand.
With two statement colors — banana pudding and purple icing — this carry-on is one you’ll surely spot from a mile away.
7. Best Expandable Pick: Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, $119.05 (Orig. $159.99)
If you’re a light packer and buy a lot of souvenirs or clothes on your trips, this one’s for you. The Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels is one of the best expandable options you can buy.
In addition to this useful feature, its micro-diamond, polycarbonate exterior makes it perfect for the frequent traveler as it’s scratch-resistant and stays looking new even with regular wear and tear.
8. Best Sustainable Option: Paravel Aviator Carry-On, $395
Dubbed “the most sustainable carry-on you’ll ever own,” the Paravel Aviator Carry-On suitcase is a first of its kind. The brand offsets all of the carbon emissions generated from creating and shipping an Aviator Carry-On, making this the most sustainable carry-on you can possibly buy.
Also, contributing to its environmentally conscious mission, it has a durable recycled polycarbonate exterior, recycled zippers, a lining made from 15 upcycled plastic water bottles and more.
It’s also just the right size, fitting two to four days’ worth of clothes and one to two pairs of shoes. Best of all, it fits easily in the overhead compartment of any airline, thanks to its 13.7 inches by 21.7 inches by 9 inches dimensions.
Shoppers also love that this carry-on is extremely smooth and has 360-degree spinner wheels with carbon steel bearings, an interior compression board, a removable laundry bag and more.
9. Sleekest Pick: The Away Carry-On, $275
Not a fan of all the bells and whistles and prefer something sleek and simple? If this is your sentiment, the Away Carry-On is the perfect option. There’s not a lot to this one, aesthetically speaking. Its gorgeously understated outer design makes it beautiful to look at and, not to mention, it’s super lightweight.
Measuring 21.7 inches bu 13.7 inches by 9 inches, the carry-on fits in the overhead bin of most major airlines and is compact enough for train and car rides. For that extra luxe feel, it also features leather details and comes with a black leather luggage tag.
10. Most Modern: LEVEL8 Pro Carry-On With Laptop Pocket, $209.99
LEVEL8 is known for designing some of the most modern, well-engineered and sturdiest suitcases on the market. In fact, its Pro Carry-On With Laptop Pocket won a Red Dot award for its premium design and build.
This stylish carry-on is finely crafted with aerospace-grade Bayer Makrolon, is water-resistant, lightweight and has a durable hard-shell casing to protect your items. It also has the usual 360-degree ultra-quiet spinner wheels most high-end carry-ons have now.
What sets it apart from others, though, is its built-in USB port and an interior compartment for a power bank that makes it perfect for charging your devices during travel.
11. Best Option With Built-In Organization: Nomatic Carry-On Classic, $399.99
Most folks opt for packing cubes to keep their clothes, shoes and valuables organized and compartmentalized in their carry-ons, but those come at an extra cost. Nomatic’s Carry-On Classic comes with built-in organization compartments that do the same task.
Described as “a master of organization,” this sleek and sturdy carry-on lets you maximize capacity in a virtually indestructible case. Also, it falls in line with the standard carry-on size measurements, has silent wheels, and has both TSA-locking YKK zippers and magnetic compression straps.
12. Best Handheld Option: Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle, $275
For those who prefer a duffle form and can do without the wheels and extra surface area, the Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle fits the bill and is perfect for uses beyond the airport.
This one is extremely stylish, versatile and practical. It’s lightweight, waterproof and can fit a 16-inch laptop in the zipped-and-padded pocket. It also comes with a waterproof-lined pocket to store your shoes so they don’t touch any of your other belongings. Best of all, if you choose to use this as your personal item in addition to a roller carry-on, the bag features a trolley sleeve that slides over your luggage handles.
If you enjoyed this story, check out the 10 best hardside luggage picks that will keep your belongings safe and secure.
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