The Best Carry-on Luggage of 2023: 18 Expert Picks

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By Usa Express Daily

Searching for a new carry-on companion? The genius Solgaard Carry-On Closet is our top pick for the best carry-on luggage in 2023, but we’ve also highlighted the top carry-on bags across a variety of categories based on expert opinions and consumer reviews. All of our recommendations meet most airline carry-on size restrictions.

(Note: Prices were accurate at the time this article was updated; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues or other factors. We update this article monthly to ensure the luggage we’re recommending is available and continues to have great overall reviews from consumers, while also considering new product launches.)

Best Overall: Solgaard Carry-On Closet – Large

(Courtesy of Solgaard)

Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.6 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 9 pounds

What sets it apart: Ideal for the traveler who wants to stay organized and self-contained, this unique design is worth all the hype you’ve seen on TV and TikTok. It features a patented built-in shelving system, a built-in TSA lock, an integrated USB port, a solid polycarbonate shell and an aluminum frame. You can choose from a variety of colors, including red and black, as well as limited-edition color options when in stock. This suitcase is available in large for domestic air travel – or medium, which meets most European airline size requirements.

Travelers appreciate: Packers adore the six-shelf system, saying it makes items easy to find, and the compression feature maximizes packing space. Sharael Kolberg, a travel contributor at U.S. News, is a big fan of this carry-on. “I love the Solgaard Carry-on Closet Suitcase because I never have to unpack my clothes,” she says. “With the built-in shelving system, it’s easy to keep things neat and organized while on the road.” She also appreciates its USB charger port so she can charge her laptop or phone while on the go.

Best Soft-sided: Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Carry-On Spinner

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Carry-On Spinner in black against white background.

(Courtesy of Travelpro)

Dimensions: 23.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches | Weight: 7.8 pounds

What sets it apart: This 21-inch spinner suitcase has a deluxe tie-down system and a removable fold-out suiter designed to hang clothes and prevent garments from wrinkling. The expandable design offers up to 2 inches of extra packing space (but may exceed some airline carry-on size rules), while integrated accessory pockets and a removable TSA-compliant quart-size wet pocket provide easily accessible organization. This top-rated bag is available in multiple color options including black, gray and espresso.

Travelers appreciate: The extension handle and spinner wheels of this bag make it easy to maneuver through airports, and the high-quality construction provides a durable travel companion.

Best Hard-sided: July Carry On Original

July Carry-on Original in Sky (blue) color against white background

(Courtesy of July)

Dimensions: 21.5 x 15 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds

What sets it apart: Constructed with a crash-proof German shell and aluminum bumpers, this suitcase is available in classic colors and limited-edition shades of red or blue. The interior is designed with a hidden laundry bag and the brand’s Y-Strap compression system, which helps to maximize the amount of clothes you can pack. There’s also an ejectable battery to stay powered on the go, but you can also opt for the July Carry On Essential, which is lighter and does not include a battery.

Travelers appreciate: Users of this bag like the smooth wheels and the roominess of the design, saying they get more space with this design than other carry-on styles.

Price: $295 or less
Shop now: July

Best Lightweight: Samsonite Freeform 21-inch Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite Freeform Red

(Courtesy of Samsonite)

Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 10 inches | Weight: 6.5 pounds

What sets it apart: This modern-looking, hard-sided carry-on has four double spinner wheels and comes in colors such as black or white. This carry-on suitcase is expandable and also includes a TSA-compliant three-dial combination lock, two separate packing compartments and a few interior zippered pockets for storage.

Travelers appreciate: Consumers praise its features for both business and leisure travelers, calling out its light weight, durability and easy-to-roll wheels.

Best for International Travel: DELSEY PARIS Helium Aero 19-inch Carry-on

Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 10 inches | Weight: 8.2 pounds

What sets it apart: This highly rated international carry-on luggage style may be worth considering if you’re traveling to Europe or somewhere outside of the U.S. While carry-on bag size requirements vary, many international airlines have smaller size restrictions than domestic airlines. This DELSEY PARIS spinner bag meets carry-on size restrictions for most international airlines at 21 x 14 x 10 inches. The hard-sided style has an easily accessible front laptop compartment, two spacious internal compartments for clothing and travel gear, and a comfort handle.

Travelers appreciate: Users of this bag say it fits in most overhead compartments, and the case is lightweight and easy to get through airports and train stations. Reviewers also note that despite its smaller size they are able to fit a lot into this rolling suitcase.

Best Affordable: Amazon Basics 21-inch Hardside Spinner

Dimensions: 21.65 x 14.96 x 10.04 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds

What sets it apart: Available in four color choices, including orange and black, this bag has an extra-thick ABS hard shell, four double wheels for maneuverability and a telescoping handle. What’s more, the interior makes it easy to keep everything in order with a divider and an interior organizer that features three zippered pockets.

Travelers appreciate: Users of this bag appreciate the approachable price and the overall look and style of this hard-sided design.

Price: $89.99 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Best for Under the Seat: CALPAK Luka Soft-sided Mini Carry-On

CALPAK Luka Soft-sided Mini Carry-On in chocolate against white background

(Courtesy of CALPAK)

Dimensions: 16 x 14.4 x 9 inches | Weight: 5.1 pounds

What sets it apart: Combining design with practicality, this under-seat style from CALPAK debuted in spring 2023 and has quickly become a traveler favorite. The carry-on bag features a secure front pocket, waterproof soft shell exterior, interior compartments and a padded laptop sleeve. What’s more, it fits under most airline seats or in the overhead bin, and the bag has a luggage trolley sleeve to add it to your larger carry-on or checked suitcase.

Travelers appreciate: Buyers love the option to pair it with the traveler-favorite Luka Duffel, a top U.S. News weekender bag pick, along with the ability to stack this bag on top of a larger suitcase.

Price: $165 or less
Shop now: CALPAK

Best for Style: CALPAK Ambeur Carry-On Luggage

CALPAK Ambeur Carry-On Luggage in rose gold

(Courtesy of CALPAK)

Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches | Weight: 6 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: Blending fashion with function, this chic design comes in colors like rose gold and black. Crafted with polycarbonate and ABS, this lightweight suitcase includes a TSA-approved combination lock. Its four dual spinner wheels and extending handle provide easy maneuverability for every adventure. Inside, there is a divider with two zippered pockets, an interior accessory pocket and compression straps.

Travelers appreciate: Owners of this suitcase say they love the sleek style of the bag, the metallic colors and the durability, adding they appreciate that it’s roomy with an expandable option.

Price: $195 or less
Shop now: CALPAK

Best for Business Travel: Away The Daily Carry-On with Pocket

Away The Daily Carry-on with Pocket in navy.

(Courtesy of Away)

Dimensions: 16.5 x 17 x 9 inches | Weight: 8.1 pounds

What sets it apart: Featuring a unique and removable accordion packing system, plus a secure 13-inch laptop sleeve, this bag is designed to carry your business travel essentials. Constructed with a navy polycarbonate hard shell, this carry-on size integrates the features of a rolling laptop bag within a spinner suitcase. For a style with a charger, consider the Away The Carry-On.

Travelers appreciate: Many owners of this case say they love the compression system’s ability to maximize their packing space and the removable laundry bag.

Price: $245 or less
Shop now: Away

Best Large: Monos Carry-On Plus

Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 7.38 pounds

What sets it apart: Designed to fit into most overhead bins on domestic flights or be gate-checked on smaller planes, this bag is ideal for travelers seeking to maximize the space in their carry-on bag. For those who love details, this bag has a polycarbonate hard shell in 10 colors (including white and olive green), silent run wheels, vegan leather accents and a four-height adjustable telescopic handle. Meanwhile, the interior is lined with an antimicrobial fabric and includes a built-in compression pad.

Travelers appreciate: Owners of this bag like its construction, including the quiet and easy-rolling wheels, the durable yet lightweight polycarbonate exterior, and the sturdy ergonomic handle.

Price: $339 or less
Shop now: Monos

Best Luxury: Rimowa Classic Cabin

Dimensions: 21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches | Weight: 9.5 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: Designed and engineered in Germany, this classic style by the iconic luggage brand is recognized around the globe and featured in some of the hottest TV shows, including “Emily in Paris.” The hard-shell suitcase is created in a high-end anodized aluminum alloy in silver or black, and finished with riveted high-gloss aluminum corners and handmade leather handles. On the inside, you’ll find a height-adjustable divider to keep all your outfits and essentials organized. Finally, the telescopic handle and the ball-bearing mounted wheels will help you smoothly glide from one destination to the next like a true jetsetter.

Travelers appreciate: Rimowa carry-on owners value the sturdy construction and the iconic way the bag combines art and function.

Price: $1,475 or less
Shop now: Rimowa

Best Sustainable: Paravel Aviator Carry-On

Top carry-on luggage 2022

(Courtesy of Paravel)

Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches | Weight: 8.2 pounds

What sets it apart: This carbon-neutral suitcase features a durable recycled polycarbonate exterior, vegan leather details and an aircraft-grade recycled aluminum handle. On the inside, the nylon lining is made from 15 upcycled water bottles with a compression board and a removable laundry bag. Ideal for the stylish and eco-conscious traveler, the bag is available in a choice of five colors, including black and navy.

Travelers appreciate: Travelers love the sleek styling of the bag, along with the smooth maneuverability of the wheels and the way it works well with Paravel’s packing cubes.

Price: $395 or less
Shop now: Paravel

Best Rolling: Biaggi Curve – Wheeled Carry-on + Garment Bag

Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 11 inches | Weight: 4 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: Blending the features of a garment bag with a tote bag on wheels, the Biaggi Curve is an ideal rolling carry-on bag for multitaskers. Start by packing the garment bag with up to two suits or gowns plus two or three lighter items, then zip the garment bag to create a tote for all of your other travel essentials.

Travelers appreciate: Owners of this style rave about the versatility of the bag, saying it’s great for destination weddings and business trips.

Price: $329.99 or less
Shop now: Biaggi

Best Carry-on Duffel Bag With Wheels: The North Face Rolling Thunder – 22″

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds

What sets it apart: Selected by U.S. News as the best overall rolling duffel bag, this North Face style is designed for adventure. This rolling duffel, constructed with water-resistant nylon, has high-traction wheels and an extendable luggage handle.

Travelers appreciate: They really like the amount of clothing and gear the bag can hold, along with its sleek design and durable construction, which travelers say make it easy to navigate in a variety of travel conditions.

Best Carry-on Backpack: Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L in black and sage

(Courtesy of Peak Design)

Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: This backpack is designed for maximum storage and separation with an interior divider in the main compartment and padded sleeves for a laptop and tablet. The rear, side and front zips allow quick access while traveling, and the weatherproof shell makes it ideal for navigating in any type of weather.

Travelers appreciate: Owners of this bag appreciate that it holds its shape, and the size works as a personal item or carry-on for added flexibility.

Best Carry-on Tote Bag: L.L.Bean Nor’easter Tote Bag, Regular

Dimensions: 16 x 15.5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 2 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: Classic and water-resistant, the L.L.Bean Nor’easter Tote Bag is made with a heavy-duty cotton canvas. For added durability, the exterior base and interior of the bag have a puddle-proof coating. The bag stands on its own for easy packing and unpacking, and the inside has two stash pockets and a key fob. The zippered top keeps contents secure while in transit, and the adjustable shoulder strap is removable.

Travelers appreciate: The roominess of the bag and the high-quality construction are what travelers like about this style.

Best Carry-on Garment Bag: ZEGUR Suit Bag

Dimensions: 22.99 x 22.01 x 4.02 inches | Weight: 2.86 pounds

What sets it apart: A favorite among travelers and selected as the top overall best travel garment bag by U.S. News, the spacious design of this bag keeps clothing wrinkle-free. Available in gray or black, there’s interior and exterior zippered pockets, organizational compartments, and an adjustable shoulder strap.

Travelers appreciate: Owners of this garment bag say it provides excellent value for the price.

Price: $85 or less
Shop now: Amazon

Best Carry-on Luggage for Kids: Rockland Jr. Kids’ My First Hardside Spinner Luggage

Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 11 inches (with wheels) | Weight: 5.5 pounds

What sets this carry-on apart: Selected by U.S. News as one of the best kids luggage picks, this adorable hard-sided suitcase comes in a choice of animal designs including a frog, ladybug or turtle. It has an adjustable pull handle for kids and parents, along with four 360-degree spinner wheels, large rubber zipper pulls for smaller hands and a durable polycarbonate construction.

Travelers appreciate: Parents like the space in the suitcase for clothes and toys along with how easily it rolls, and they note that their kids (and fellow travelers) love the fun designs.

Price: $180 or less
Shop now: Amazon

A carry-on bag is a small piece of luggage you can take with you on a plane or train. Aside from traditional carry-ons with wheels, the following items can be used as carry-on bags provided they meet carry-on size limitations (which vary by airline) and fit in the overhead bin.

  • Duffel bags: Duffel bags, including those with wheels, are considered carry-on luggage. You might consider a weekender bag if you’re looking for something more compact.
  • Garment bags: These are also considered carry-on baggage by most airlines, and many offer pockets for storing additional travel essentials.
  • Pet carriers: Some airlines consider pet carriers to be carry-on luggage. Check with your chosen airline when preparing for your trip with Fido, and shop the best airline-approved pet carriers.
  • Backpacks: If your backpack fits under the seat, it will count toward your personal item allowance on most major airlines. This means you’ll have the option to bring an additional bag for the overhead bin.

Purses, briefcases and camera bags can be carried on the plane as well, but aren’t usually considered carry-on bags and are instead labeled as personal items. Typically, travelers can bring one carry-on bag (for the overhead bin) and one personal item (for under the seat) on the plane, free of charge.

If you’re traveling with a baby, diaper bags and other baby travel gear generally don’t count toward either allowance – meaning you can bring these items in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item.

  • Personal travel style: Which of the following best describes you?
    • Minimalist: If you’re someone who doesn’t want to be weighed down by luggage, a spacious carry-on backpack offers convenient hands-free travel and pliability for the overhead bin.
    • Overpacker: If you’re a chronic overpacker, you might consider a large carry-on bag and/or a large personal item with lots of compartments for maximizing space.
    • If you aspire to travel with a carry-on only: Choose a spacious carry-on, perhaps one with a matching backpack or small duffel  so you can travel with two small bags vs. checked luggage. Most major airlines allow passengers to travel with  carry-on luggage and a personal item at no additional cost.
  • Size: Most airlines follow a 22 x 14 x 9 rule, but sizes can vary by airline, especially when it comes to domestic vs. international travel. For more details, see a breakdown of carry-on luggage sizes by airline.
  • Hard-sided  vs. soft-sided luggage: Soft-sided luggage typically offers exterior pockets for additional organization, while hard-sided suitcases can often withstand more wear and tear. If you’re still undecided, check out the major differences between hard-sided and soft-sided carry-on luggage to determine which type is right for you.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Rachael Hood is a senior travel editor with a luggage obsession. She rarely checks a bag, and has been researching and evaluating luggage for as long as she can remember. To curate this list of the top carry-on luggage, she used her own experience, along with her research expertise and retail merchandising background.

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