Carry On Suitcases

Your carry-on luggage provides you with the items you need while traveling, such as your identification, but it is also a good idea to pack some clothes and toiletries in it in case your checked luggage gets lost. Therefore, you need to have sturdy luggage that has pockets.

You need to look for a bag that meets airline and TSA regulations and is easily maneuverable through crowded airports. The reviews and comparisons we have provided will help you choose the best carry on luggage.

Top 5: Carry On Suitcase Reviews

1

This 20-inch Coolife carry-on Luggage complies with most airlines requirement that carry-on luggage should be less than 21 inches from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle. It is also available in 24 and 28 inches. The 28-inch is expandable adding up to 15-percent more packing space, and the smaller suitcases can be stored inside the larger suitcases.

It is made of polycarbonate and ABS and is available in Caribbean blue, teal, radiant pink, charcoal, and black. This PC and ABS option provides sturdiness that can take rough handling, and it is lightweight at 6.38-pounds. As hardside luggage, it protects your packed items better than softside luggage.

Coolife Suitcase

The bag features a built-in TSA lock; a sturdy, tri-level, adjustable, aluminum telescoping handle; and four 360° spinner wheels. Spinner wheels will help this suitcase be more maneuverable in tight spaces but can snag over rough terrain.

The interior is fully lined and has multiple pockets to help sort small items and provide easier access.

Coolife offers a two-year warranty with this product.

PROS

  • This polycarbonate and ABS suitcase will hold up to rough handling.
  • Coolife offers a TSA lock, a telescoping handle, and spinner wheels.
  • The fully lined interior has multiple pockets.

CONS

  • There have been some issues with the quality of the zippered closure.
  • Suitcases with four spinner wheels can roll down inclines on their own.

2

This Travelpro Maxlite 4 Suitcase offers up to 2-inch expandability that is tapered. The tapering keeps the center of gravity low. The bag uses a honeycomb framing system with a full-bottom tray that provides stabilization.

The interior and exterior of this bag is made with stain-resistant polyester and is available in black, blue, purple, and slate green. Since it is softside luggage, it does not protect your belongings as well as hardside luggage. It has a full-size zippered lid, an exterior ticket pocket, and a zippered side mesh pocket. On the interior, there are hold-down straps that are adjustable and that have Duraflex anti-break buckles.

It has a telescoping handle, a top handle, a side handle, a bottom handle, and four 360° spinner wheels with protective housing. The four handle choices make transporting this bag easier, and the telescoping handle offers a 38-inch and a 42.5-inch height. The telescoping handle also has a patented contour grip. The spinner wheels provide easier maneuverability but are not good on rough terrain

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Suitcase

This weighs 5.9 pounds, has a 51-litre capacity and offers dimensions of 9" deep x 14"wide x 21" high. However, it also states that the overall dimensions are 23" high x 15" wide x 9.5" deep. That would make it taller than the height allowed for carry-on luggage by most airlines, so you might want to measure it from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle.

Travelpro offers a limited lifetime warranty on this product.

PROS

  • The telescoping handle has an extra tall setting of 42.5".
  • Provides a sturdy frame with a stabilizing full-bottom tray.
  • It has a 2" tapered expandability that keeps the center of gravity low.

CONS

  • This bag may be taller than what is allowed by most airlines.
  • Four-wheeled luggage without feet can roll away on sloped surfaces.

3

Weighing only 6.6 pounds, this 20-inch Exzact Cabin Hardside Carry-on bag is made with scratch-resistant polycarbonate and ABS, so it is also sturdy and durable. Since it is hardside luggage, it offers better protection for your belongings than softside luggage. The light weight allows you to pack more without going over airline weight limits.

This one is 14.5" wide x 8.3" deep but states that it is 20.5" high, and all parts are 22.5" high. You need to check the height from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle because it could be taller than many airlines allow for carry-on luggage, The interior has a 39-litre capacity.

Exzact Cabin Carry-on Bag

Exzact provides a tri-level telescoping handle, and four 360° spinner wheels. The tri-level telescoping handle allows the handle to be set where it is comfortable for a variety of people. The spinner wheels help you maneuver through crowded airports but are harder to control on rough terrain.

The fully lined interior includes cross ribbons to secure your clothes and a zippered, interior laptop pocket in the front that has separate compartments for your laptop, tablet, and passport. It is available in black, burgundy, silver, and white.

PROS

  • This Exzact carry-on has a tri-level telescoping handle.
  • Made from PC and ABS, is lightweight, so you can pack more clothes.
  • It offers an interior zippered pocket with compartments for your laptop and tablet.

CONS

  • The height might be an issue with airline regulations.
  • The spinner wheels can allow luggage to run away on inclines.

4

This 20-inch Kenneth Cole Out Of Bounds carry-on by Reaction is made with durable ABS and has impact-resistant, reinforced molded corners. Since it is hardside luggage, it protects your belongings better than hardside luggage. At 6.25 pounds, it is lightweight providing more of your airline weight allowance for clothes. The four 360° spinner wheels provide easy maneuverability on smooth surfaces.

This carry-on bag measures 20" high x 13.25” wide x 7.5” deep but the overall height including the wheels and the handle is listed as 21.75" with the width and the depth listed as 14.5” x 8.5”. This may make this bag a little taller than allowed for carry-on bags by many airlines.

Reaction Kenneth Cole Out Of Bounds Carry-on Bag

It offers a large fully lined interior with a zippered side pocket and garment restraints. There is a zippered, u-shaped pocket in the lid.

Reaction offers a 10-year limited warranty with the Kenneth Cole Out Of Bounds carry-on bag.

PROS

  • This carry-on bag uses durable ABS and has impact-resistant, reinforced molded corners.
  • It comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
  • Designed with a zippered side pocket, you can sort and separate your clothes more easily.

CONS

  • Measure the height from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle to make sure it is within airline regulations.
  • Luggage with four spinner do not have feet that prevent it from rolling away on inclines.

5

This U.S Traveler Rio two-piece carry-on luggage set includes both a 14-inch and 21-inch 1200-denier polyester bag with PVC backing and polyester lining. Denier refers to the thickness of the thread used in the fabric. The higher the denier, the more durable the fabric. Even though these are softside bags with the solid metal frame, your packed belongings are protected.

Both bags are expandable for 25-percent more packing capacity and are available in black, green, mustard/orange, purple, red, and royal blue. The 14-inch bag measures 14" wide x 10" high x 6" deep and weighs 1.3 pounds. The 21-inch bag measures 21 high x 13.5" wide x 7.5" deep, expands to 9" deep, and weighs 6.6 pounds. Both bags meet airline carry-on restrictions.

U.S Traveler Rio Two-Piece Carry-on Luggage Set

These U.S Traveler carry-on bags include an internal retractable push-button handle, a top handle, a side handle, and a bottom grip to make it easier to transport them. There is also a piggy-bag strap to attach and carry the small tote bag with the 21-inch bag.

On the exterior, for added storage and quick access, there are multiple front-zippered pockets and a large zippered mesh lid pocket. The two inline-skate-style wheels are fixed, and two feet on the front prevent the bags from rolling on inclines. The inline wheels roll more easily over curbs and on rough terrain than 360° spinner wheels. This bag also has corner protectors.

U.S Traveler Rio Two-Piece Carry-on Luggage Set

The interior is fully lined, has a large zippered, mesh interior pocket, and provides dual adjustable tie-down straps to hold your clothes. The front panel is padded with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) for durability.

PROS

  • This is a two-piece set that includes a 14-inch and a 21-inch bag that are expandable.
  • These bags are made with 1200-denier polyester and a solid metal frame.
  • There are multiple pockets available with these bags.

CONS

  • The larger bag needs to be packed carefully to keep it from being top heavy.

Final Comparison

To compare these suitcases, we can consider several features. First, are the suitcases hardside or softside? Hardside luggage will better protect your packed items from rough handling and precipitation and cannot be cut into with a sharp object. However, you can squeeze a bit more into softside, and you can squeeze softside luggage into small spaces more easily.

The Coolife Suitcase, the Exzact Cabin Carry-on Bag, and the Reaction Kenneth Cole Out Of Bounds Carry-on Bag are all hardside luggage.

The Travelpro Maxlite 4 Suitcase and the U.S Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-on Luggage Set are both softside luggage.

This feature is not weighing in on our choice for the best carry-on luggage, but if you have a preference, then choose from the suitcases that match your preference.

Carry On Suitcase Size Requirements

All of these options say that they meet the size requirements of most airlines for carry-on luggage. 

We recommend that you check the regulations of the airlines that you use and measure the suitcases yourself from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the collapsed handle to be sure that they do comply with your airline's regulations.

All of these are comparable as far as the handles, zippers, storage space, and compartments. 

The first four options do offer 360° spinner wheels that are easier to maneuver in tight spaces, while the U.S Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-on Luggage Set has inline wheels that work better on rough terrain and over curbs.

Top Pick

In the end, our choice for the best carry-on luggage is the U.S Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-on Luggage Set.

We chose this set because of the versatility that the two pieces offers.

U.S Traveler Rio Two-Piece Carry-on Luggage Set

With the two-piece set, you can use the 14-inch bag, the 21-inch bag or both. 

The 14-inch bag can be used for overnight trips, or it can be used as your underseat personal item bag while the 21-inch bag can be used as your overhead-storage carry-on bag.

This versatility helps you make sure that you have the packing capacity you need without being encumbered with more luggage than you need. You may even be able to avoid needing luggage that has to be checked by buying this set.

Final Verdict

When choosing and packing your bags, think of your under seat, personal bag as the one that you can easily access during your flight. The overhead storage bag will hold things you may want easy access to on the ground plus possibly some clothing and toiletries in case your checked luggage gets lost. Any thing else will go in your checked luggage.

Now that you know about the different features available in carry-on luggage, you can choose the luggage that is best for you and be ready for your next trip.

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


The Official Top 5 Review team is dedicated to testing and researching the top products available for many different industries. We do the research and testing so that you don't have to! We welcome you to provide your feedback on your experiences with any products that you have experience with.

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