Your luggage might be the last thing you think about when it comes to your vacation, but it’s the one thing that can mean the difference between smooth sailing and pulling your hair out. You want something that’s durable and dependable, as well as easy to use with enough storage space. Especially with rising baggage fees, having a good carry-on is more important than ever. Fortunately for us frequent travelers, bag technology is getting better every day. If you’ve been using the same bag for 20 years, it’s time for a new one! Check out our top 5 carry-on pieces of luggage, and then treat yourself to a weekend away at that vacation rental you’ve had your eye on.
1. Biaggi Contempo Four-Wheel Spinner Collapsible
This user-friendly bag has four 360-degree spinning wheels, front compartments, and a side handle for easy lifting, but those are just the basics. The best part of this bag is that it’s collapsible! It’schallenging storing your bulky luggage in your hotel room or vacation rental closet, but this bag collapses to half its thickness. Now you can easily slide it under the bed or tuck it away somewhere else. It also comes with a branded storage bag for safe keeping when it’s not in use. Plus, there are extra features inside for storing all your goodies like a zippered pocket panel, elastic packing strap, and two zippered mesh compartments. The bag is available in black, but we love the bright color options like orange, blue, and purple, making it easy to identify when it comes around the carousel. And, at $229, it’s a great product for the price.
2. Briggs & Riley Commuter Expandable Upright
Instead of collapsible, this bag is expandable. So, if you’re the kind of traveler who has to sit on top of your bag to zip it up, this one’s for you. This bag features a compression system that lets you pack 33% more stuff while still meeting all of the carry-on size requirements. Inside the bag, you’ll find mesh garment panels designed to minimize wrinkling, so you can take that red eye and head straight to your business meeting without worrying about packing your suit inside. Plus, with the bag’s sleek and minimalist design, you won’t be embarrassed to bring it in the office with you. At $449, this one will set you back a little more than the Biaggi suitcase, but remember that you always get what you pay for.
3. Tumi Alpha 2 Front Lid Continental Carry-On
The original Tumi Alpha has been lauded for being durable and spacious, but the Tumi Alpha 2 is new and improved. This suitcase has added four 360-degree rotating wheels, a mix of user-friendly interior pockets and straps, and artfully rendered bumper guards for added durability. The innovative design also features an innovative front lid which gives you quick and easy access to your travel necessities without having to open your entire suitcase. Designed for international travel, this carry-on also has a specially designated passport pocket along three zip pockets, one mesh zip pockets, a hanger bracket, and tie-down compression straps. At $675, this is the highest priced bag on our list, but Tumi does offer a universal tracking number and free monogramming.
4. Visionair Podpal
Calling all techies or families traveling with children. This four-wheeled, hard-sided bag doubles as a rolling home theater. The Podpal has a cradle on the top that holds any tablet, vertically or horizontally, to entertain you while you’re waiting at the gate or even get some work done. Of course, this suitcase does also have a zippered divider inside, tie-down straps, and a telescoping handle. Visionair luggage also has a Beverage Pal with a cup holder on top. This carry-on will only set you back $148. Sounds like a no-brainer to us. At that price, you can get the Podpal and the Beverage Pal!
5. Genius Pack Packer
“A place for everything, everything in its place,” must be the motto for the Genius Pack Packer. This bag is perfect for anyone who needs a little help with their organizational skills. Everything has a place in this bag with its labeled compartments for devices, socks, and underwear. It also has a built-in checklist, a portable battery pack for recharging your devices, and even a small speaker that you can plug into your phone to play music. On the outside, there are pockets for a water bottle, magazines, and your passport, and jacket straps to attach your jacket while you’re making your way through the airport. There’s also a pop out GP Micro Umbrella (sold separately), add-a-bag straps for your handbag or personal bag, and a retractable ID card. Our favorite thing about the Pack Packer? The “laundry chute,” a sack-style compartment dedicated to storing your dirty clothes, which compresses into the bag’s wall. The entire bag zips out for when you finally find a washer, which also makes it easy to clean. They really did think of everything.
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