Last updated on March 26th, 2019 at 02:44 pm
People who travel often are now using carry-ons more than ever. This is because airlines have begun charging for checked bags.
Anywhere between $25 to as high as $50 per bag! A carry-on bag can help you store items you need immediate access to, such as your cologne or wallet.
Finding the best carry-on may require some comparisons, so we put together this Best Carry On luggage of 2019 guide for you.
The Best Carry On Luggage Can Help You Avoid Hassles
Whether you have lived this nightmare or want to avoid it, you have come to the right place.
Carry on luggage can be one of the most irritating items to deal with when you are in a rush to fly somewhere.
With hundreds options, how do you know that you will never have to deal with these issues anymore? How do you know which bag is a quality bag? How much should you pay for a bag?
The research of a carry-on bag can be overwhelming and a black hole if you are not careful. There are high quality bags at every price point.
But as long as you understand what to look for in luggage, you will be able to have confidence next time you travel.
How to Decide Which Carry On Bag Would Be Best For You
Before plunging into the deep hole of carry-on luggage research, it is important to understand what type of traveler you are. Here are a few questions that will help guide your search:
- What will be your primary use for this bag (e.g. business, vacation, personal, etc.)?
This helps when you decide the types of compartments, technology use, and lifetime durability of the bag.
- How often will you be traveling and what is the average length of your trip?
This will provide guidance on purchasing a collapsible bag, and, once again, the durability.
- What is your price range?
This is important to answer prior to beginning your search. If you do not establish your price, you will quickly find yourself justifying a more expensive bag.
Once you have answered these questions, then you can properly direct your attention do the different manufacturers and seeing all that they offer.
Since you have narrowed down your use, frequency, and price, you will be able to apply filters to the searches in order to find your perfect bag.
Editor’s Pick: Genius Pack G3 22” Carry-on Spinner
Genius has outdone themselves on this bag and factored in all the customers feedback to produce this 3rd generation bag.
But, don’t take our word for it, here is a list of everything that is included in this bag:
- Laundry Compression Technology, allowing you to separate your dirty clothes from the clean ones in a compartment that compresses to save space after use. The laundry bag is also removable.
- Category labeled compartments in the inside to help any traveler pack properly
- Integrated packing checklist so that you never forget your necessities
- 4 spinner wheels creating an ease to walk through the airport
- Loud mini speaker lets you rock out while packing your clothes
- Jacket wrap so you no longer have to awkwardly hold it in your arms with all your other luggage
- Expandable up to 2 more inches
Additionally, the Genuius Pack G3 has a Retractable ID card on the side panel so you can properly identify your bag. Also, Add-a-bag strap is included. You have magazine access from the back panel of the bag for easy access when waiting. And even more features:
- Bottom slip handle so you can pick it up easier
- Extra soft neoprene handles to add more relaxation to your travels
- Aluminum telescoping trolley handle for ultimate grip
- Travel Umbrella pop out so you can have an umbrella if it rains
- Portable mobile charger (sold separately), but allows you to charge your smartphone
- Water bottle pocket so you can easily pack it for the trip
- An affordable price tag of $238
It is now easy to see why this bag has received the editor’s pick. No other manufacturer has put in the time and energy to make sure that a traveler is taken care of. Lastly, Genius gives the traveler multiple color options including, black, blue, red, and titanium.
This 20-inch bag functions great for weekend getaways or as an international carry-on. With the protective hard case, it can withstand the tough handling of the airport for multiple trips without getting a single scratch.
The interior is specifically designed to provide ample amount of storage with divided interior and zippered pockets.
By including an expandable case, the traveler is able to pack an additional 15% while still meeting the TSA regulations. Lastly, the telescoping handle and spinning wheels bring ultra convenience to travel with comfort and ease.
Best Carry-on Luggage Under $100
For those people wanting an affordable, but good quality bag, you need this bag.
With the patented contour grip, high durability, and expandable design, this bag is highly valued by airline employees.
Additionally, the differentiation with this bag is the innovative, full-bottom tray that helps stabilize the wheels for maximum maneuverability in the airport.
This bag not only comes with Samsonite’s reputation and quality, but it focused on a specific part of the traveling that could make or break your trip, the wheels.
This new collection of luggage has split sphere wheels. The improvement allows for each half of the sphere wheel to move independently in the same or opposite direction, which will make your traveling, have minimal wheel annoyances.
The benefit of purchasing this bag is that you will get two other sizes with the same purchase.
While most bags cost a lot for just one, you will get three. And yes, these bags are still high quality and durable.
The price does not reflect poor manufacturing.Made with lightweight ABS material, these bags will withstand plenty of trips before showing any scratches.
The bag comes with a combination that allows you to lock your contents when traveling, an expandable feature for 25% more packing, and metal handle clamps that have stood the test of time.
If you like to travel with some color, these bags are for you. Merax not only offers a solid bag, but with multiple color options.
Best Carry-on Luggage Under $200
This bag is good for the travelers that do not need any fancy bag, but simply want a carry-on that has high utility. Priced at $199, this bag has four spinning wheels, a side handle for carrying or lifting it, and all the necessary compartments.
However, that is not what makes it so popular. This bag is known for being able to collapse to half of its thickness, allowing you to store it under your bed or in the corner of your closet.
Samsonite produced the Fiero with a traveler in mind. The scratch resistant outside and TSA-approved side handle allows for maximum security and durability when traveling through airports.
The bag allows for 2 additional inches of room with its expandable setting and the interior comes with full zippers and cross straps to hold your clothes in place while traveling.
Best Carry-on Luggage Under $250
This bag has all the basic essentials a traveler would need including, polycarbonate frame and durable nylon exterior fabric.
It also comes with a 10-year warranty and only weighs a little over 6 lbs.The key point to focus on with this bag.
Is that it comes with a padded front u-shaped zipper compartment made to store your laptop while you travel.
Best Carry-on Luggage Under $500
This bag comes with 2 USB charging ports, allowing you to charge your device up to six times.
It also has a complete tracking system that lets you locate your case all over the world.
It does not stop there. With a built in scale, there is no more awkward weighing, but simply check you app. There is also a lock feature where you can lock and unlock you bag remotely.
And, of course, it comes with all the necessities such as being durable and meeting TSA approved size requirements.
Just under $500, this bag has a lifetime warranty that even covers airline damage.
In addition to the warranty, it comes with all the bells and whistles of a durable soft case outside, zipper closure, and compressible.
Briggs & Riley had the traveler in mind when they created a “SpeedThru pocket” that allows for quick access when going through security checkpoints.
This company is known for their detail in design and it shows with their design of pockets, which hold 1-2 suits in their built-in suiter.
They cover the main characteristics such as fully lined interior, four spinner wheels, and polycarbonate body.
But, they also created a front zippered door that caters to the people who need to cram every piece of clothing into the bag.
In this case from the top of the bag. Additionally, they boast that the bag is entirely break-resistant outside with a matte finish that delivers a quality appearance without allowing scratches.
Note: The above choices all stem from quality manufacturers that have great reputations in building carry-on luggage.
While there are plenty of other options to choose from, these choices are highly reviewed and come with an outstanding reputation for being high quality and durable.
How to Identify Good Carry On Luggage – 9 Characteristics to Look For in a Carry-On
When buying a bag, most people will simply focus on the price and looks of the bag. This is a big risk since there are poor quality bags that have attractive price tags and look nice. Keep these nine characteristics in mind next time you are looking for a bag:
- Weight: Similar to the other characteristics mentioned below, there is a wide range of bags that have different
weights. There are bags under 5 lbs. and over 10 lbs. that have all the bells and whistles that a person can want.
- Wheels: Bags have come a long way from the old fashion two-wheels. There are now 4-wheel and 8-wheel options that allow a person to spin the bag 360 degrees while walking forward. If you are trying to decide which characteristic to look for in your next bag, this is necessary.
- Size: While there is a standard measurement, some of the bags are expandable (both vertical and horizontal). This helps for those people that jump on their bags in order to make it zip.
- Accessories: This is where all the details come into play: a handle that locks in multiple positions, mesh compartments, tracking number, flashing LED light wheels, a frame that doubles as a seat, garment bag, and the list goes on. There are bags for every type of person so make sure you find one that has the accessories that fit you.
- Technology: For the techies out there, here is your section. Nowadays, carry-on bags having phone charges, technology compartments, and a number of different tech-focused add-ons within the suitcase. This is very handy for the business people that have to bring their computer, personal phone, business phone, and headphones with them on each trip.
- Price: There is a lot of variability when it comes to price of a carry-on bag. For the penny-pinchers, you can easily find a bag for under $50. On the other hand, if money is not a concern when traveling, there are bags well over $500 dollars. It all depends on what you look for in a bag, but do not worry; there is a bag in your price range.
- Material: There are now two main categories to choose from when looking for luggage: soft-shelled or hard-shelled. Each have their pros and cons and it truly depends on what type of traveler you are. If you desire more durable luggage, then hard cased is for you. However, if you want more flexibility, then soft-shell is the type you need.
If you do end up choosing soft-shelled, you then have more choices such as: Ballistic nylon or leather. Leather has a quality look at first, but usually shows the wear and tear after traveling for a few years.
Nowadays, soft-shelled material has both the durable and flexibility that a person could use. The bag manufacturers understand the potential damage that can occur in an airport and have chosen material that handles it all.
- Collapsibility: Being able to store your bag in an efficient manner is necessary. A collapsible luggage provides this benefit by being able to fit under your bed or in the corner of your closet. This will pay off whether you travel every week or not. So make some more room in your closet or in your hotel room by looking for a collapsible bag.
- Reviews and Reputation: The beauty of companies like Amazon is that you are able to read reviews of people who have bought and used the bag. Do not miss this step because it could save you a lot of pain by knowing the company’s online reputation and their customer’s satisfaction.
Knowing a Carry-On When You See One – Understanding What Qualifies as a Carry-On
The entire point of bringing a carry-on bag is that you will be able to store it above your head in a bin or below your seat. However.
If your bag is too big you will need to check it. While this will most likely be free it can bring some difficulties if you are connecting to a flight or need to rush once your arrive to your destination.
A simple fix to this is making sure that you understand what qualifies as a carry-on and knowing the size of your bag. Here are the current regulations for carry-on luggage measurements: 22 inches high x 14 inches wide x 9 inches deep.
While some airlines are more flexible than others, it is smart to keep your bag in accordance with these standards.
If your bag does not meet the carry-on standards, you may be subject to fees. These fees vary by airline and whether you are flying internationally or not.
So, before buying, make sure that you have measured your bag for yourself. Do not trust a tag if it says, “carry-on approved” since that can drastically vary by airlines.
Additional Accessories to Purchase with Your Carry-On
Almost as important as your carry-on selection is your choice of accessories. Companies have created great “add-ons” that allow you to pack more efficiently and save even more room.
These are also a great purchase if you are on a budget and do not need the technology as a part of your carry-on luggage.
Here are a few add-ons to consider when buying your luggage:
- Accessory Sorter: This small accessory has solved one of the most annoying problems while traveling, keeping track of all the small accessories.
Accessory sorter recommendation: Grid It!
- All-in-one charger: Power outlets are a rare commodity. Keep a portal charger in case of emergencies when you cannot find an open outlet or do not want to sit next to a trash can so you can use one.
All-in-one charger recommendation: PhoneSuit Journey All-in-one Charger
- Headphones: An important additional to any travelers packing. With enhancements in technology, afford a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones that are also noise canceling in order to make sure you get the needed rest on the plane.
Bluetooth headphones recommendation: Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling
- Travel Steam Iron: While most hotels will have an iron, this is for those moments you need a quick wrinkle removed or you are on a family vacation and do not have access to an iron.
Travel steam iron recommendation: Streamfast SF-717 Home-and-Away Mini Steam Iron
- TSA-friendly laptop bag: Relieve one of your hands from carrying your heavy laptop around by getting a bag that straps onto your rolling luggage. Then you can walk through the airport in style and not pain.
TSA-friendly laptop bag: Kopack Laptop Backpack Shockproof Anti-Theft Travel Bag, ScanSmart TSA Friendly, Water-Repellent
- Electronic luggage scale: No more guessing how much your bag ways or doing an awkward standing on the scale dance. Use this tool to quickly measure how much your bag weighs and be on your way to the airport.
Electronic luggage scale recommendation: Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
In conclusion, there are a variety of carry-on bags to choose from. Without understanding what you are looking for, it can be overwhelming when trying to narrow down your choices from such a large starting point.
By knowing your primary use for the bag, the frequency of traveling, and your price point, you will be able to filter out a large percentage of the bags that are outside of your criteria.
Additionally, by focusing on the nine primary characteristics of carry-on luggage, you will not be able to go wrong when choosing a bag.
Traveling can be one of the most annoying experiences, but it does not have to be. By making an investment in the proper carry-on luggage, you will be able to travel smoothly and relax until your next destination.