We spent over 36 hours researching and testing 25 different kinds of carryon bags and found that durability, performance, and materials were most important. The Rockland 2 Piece Luggage Set scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. This set by Rockland is the perfect size for carryon luggage for traveling and business trips. The heavy duty EVA molded hi count fabric is durable and lasts a long time. The in-line skate wheels are clear and make transport super easy when you are moving through the airport. The side grip handles and padded top make carrying the bag very comfortable. All your belongings will be protected and kept safe inside the two full-size front pockets that have zipper closures.
Introduction to the Carry On Bags
With airlines charging higher and higher fees for checked bags. A good carryon bag can make your travels much less troublesome and less expensive as well. A carryon bag is a bag that you bring onto the airplane with you rather than checking it at the counter.
If you take some time to look for a good carryon bag, your next trip will be much more enjoyable and simpler too, especially when it comes to your luggage.
There are hundreds of carryon bags on the market in different sizes, shapes, colors and styles. Sorting through all of them can feel really overwhelming if you don’t have some direction on what you are looking for and needing.
We looked at the 20 most popular carryon bags on the market and studied them for performance, durability, ease of use, size, color offerings, materials, convenience, space available for belongings and extras. The three carryon bags we have featured below topped the charts in all of the categories we looked at. Any one of them would be an excellent choice for a carryon bag.
Top Rated Carry On Bags Summary
Choosing a carryon bag doesn’t have to be a hassle if you know what you are looking for. All three of the products we have featured above meet the airline guidelines and provide the traveler with plenty of room and extra features that help make traveling a bit less stressful.
Each of the choices we have reviewed has plenty of pockets and packing capacity to handle a weekend trip or short business trip with ease. They are ruggedly built and have a variety of color choices that appeal to every traveler.
With features such as retractable handles, in-line skate wheels, plenty of pockets for belongings and durable construction, you will have a carry on that will stand up to the rigors of regular travel.
Carry On Bag Buying Guide
What is a Carry On Bag?
There are several things that you need to consider about carryon bags before you make a purchase. Knowing the answers to these considerations will help steer you in the right direction when you start researching what is out there. We have listed several things that you should take into consideration before you spend any money on a carry on.
- What size carryon bag do you need? – Do you rarely travel or just take short, weekend trips or do you regularly travel with business? How often you travel makes a difference in the type of bag you get. If you are on the road a lot, anything you can do to make the traveling process less stressful will make those travels much easier and more pleasant. Not having to check any bags can definitely make traveling easier to deal with. The right size carry on will have all the room and features you need.
- What style appeals to you? – There is a large array of colors and patterns available in the luggage industry. Most of the carryon bags are similar in design, incorporating hide-away handles, wheels, numerous pockets, and other features that provide plenty of room for your belongings. If style is important to you, be certain you are not giving up functionality for design.
- How practical is the carry on you want? – Practicality is very important when it comes to travel. The airport is the last place you want to have to fight with an impractically designed carryon bag. One of the most important features your carry on needs to have is the ability to roll. Carrying a bag through a huge, crowded airport is not only exhausting, it can slow you down as well and end up causing shoulder and/or back pain. Having wheels enables you to take the strain of the bag off of your back, neck and shoulders.
- Durability is important – You want to purchase a carry on that is going to be able to last more than just a few trips. Some bags are made very inexpensively and their hardware breaks down quickly. You want to find a carryon bag or bags that have heavy duty hardware that ensures that zippers, wheels and other hardware last through the trips you take.
Carry On Features that Make Travel Easier
If you travel often, you want to make pulling the carry on around the airport as hassle-free as possible. There are some features you can look for in a potential carryon bag that will make the bag much more low stress.
- 360 degree rotating wheels – Rather than having your bag tip every time you change direction, having wheels that can rotate 360 degrees allows for easy pulling with no tipping or wrist twisting as well.
- Long, telescoping Handle – Having a handle that doesn’t require you to bend or reach oddly to pull the luggage is much more comfortable and easy on your back, shoulders and neck. Tall men especially need a bag with a handle that comes to at least waist height.
- Dual Carrying Handles – These handles are usually located, one on top of the bag and one on the side. These handles allow the bag to be carried suitcase or duffel bag style if desired. The handles also make it much easier to lift the carryon bag up into the overhead compartment or into a car trunk.
- Padded Handles – This may not seem like a big deal, but if you do a lot of traveling, you will appreciate the comfort of those padded handles.
Additional Features that Make Travel Easier
Some carry ons have special features that can make travel life even easier. These features are not a stock part of a carryon bag, but if you find bags that have them, you will more than likely really enjoy the convenience they provide.
- Shoe Pouch – This loose interior flap is long enough to carry a pair of shoes. The soles of the shoes will be flat against the back wall of the suitcase. If you don’t use it to carry shoes, it can be filled with other items or just laid flat and not used.
- Built-in Shaving Kit – Shaving kits that go with the bag you have purchased fit much neater into the carry on than separate ones that you try to fit in. Although separate shaving kits can fit, the ones that are built in usually have their own special place.
- Removable Laundry Bag – Some carry ons have a zippered interior pouch that can be taken out of the bag completely. This bag is for your dirty clothes. Just take the bag out, fill it and then take it to the laundry. If you are not going to wash your laundry until you get home the dirty clothing may fit inside the suitcase that is inside the bag.
- Clear Document Window – This convenient feature is good for holding important travel information such as packing lists, travel contacts or identification if it is necessary.
Purchasing a carryon bag does not have to be complicated and it usually isn’t if you know exactly what your needs are and what you are looking for. Sometimes people get sidetracked by features that don’t really add to the convenience of the bag.
The information in this buyer’s guide tells you what features to look for that will make your travels much easier and give you one less thing to worry about. Having a good quality carry on will eliminate security stress and save you money on checked bag fees as well.
Finding a good quality carry on can mean the difference between having an enjoyable, more relaxing flight and having to struggle through the flight with a bag that doesn’t hold everything, doesn’t work or breaks mid-flight. Take the time to look for the bag that has the features you need and you’ll be able to enjoy your travels.