Best carry-on of 2022

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Whether you’re crossing state lines or national borders, having the best carry-on luggage for your trip can help you enjoy the trip. before the destination. The trick is to find a suitcase that’s big enough to fit your essentials, portable enough to walk (run?) around the airport, and compact enough to pack on the plane.

The fact is, quality luggage can be expensive, but a carry-on you can count on is worth the investment. “I travel a LOT so I want my luggage to be durable,” says Amy Brueckner, COO of travel planning company CIRE Travel. “My current bag [the Briggs & Riley Baseline] wasn’t cheap but it has a lifetime warranty.” You also need to consider size and maneuverability along with other features like interior pockets, TSA-approved locks, and built-in portable chargers if you want to complement your tech. You probably also want something attractive; after all, having a bag that’s easy to spot (and worthy of appearing on the gram) is important.

Based on research, recommendations from the verified team, and insights from our travel expert, we’ve compiled a list of the best carry-ons for any trip. Have a good trip!


Best carry-on overall

A chic and lightweight bag that expands for more space

Editor’s Choice

  • Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Lester: 6 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: 2-year limited warranty; accident protection can be purchased

Looking for a fashionable yet functional carry-on for your Instagram-worthy travels? Calpak has you covered with its Ambeur 20-inch Rolling Spinner carry-on, available in black and three shimmering metallic colors. On the practical side, it has a built-in TSA-approved lock, interior compartments, and the ability to expand an additional 2 inches, giving you plenty of room to store keepsakes. It is also incredibly light. Says a verified editor, owner of the Ambeur, “It fits a ton of things. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag.

If you’re an avid traveler who’s tough on your luggage, consider purchasing 2, 3, or 5-year accident protection for $23 to $44 dollars; it covers repairing stains, tears, broken parts and more.


Best carry-on for international travel

A durable aluminum exterior is worth it

  • Dimensions: 21.7 × 15.8 × 9.1 inches
  • Lester: 9.5 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: Register online for a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty

This aluminum-shell suitcase is ultra-durable for the most avid travelers (and toughest with their luggage). It’s also proof that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for utility. Although you’ll pay a pretty penny for this bag, you’ll enjoy effortless maneuverability thanks to its innovative multi-wheel system and telescoping handle. Inside, there’s a flexible divider for organization and a built-in TSA-approved lock for added security no matter where your travels take you.

The cabin automatically comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, but if you register online it extends to 5 years. Just keep in mind that the width and depth of this pick may be slightly larger than some airlines allow, so be sure to double-check flight guidelines before purchase. For this, there are smaller versions of this suitcase that you can check out.


Best Cabin Backpack

A polished leather backpack with handy pockets

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  • Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 6 inches
  • Lester: 2 books
  • TSA Approved Lock: Nope
  • Guarantee: None; unused items can be returned within 30 days

Although virtually any backpack that meets the size guidelines is considered carry-on, the key is to keep your in-flight necessities easily accessible. Plus, you probably want something that looks polished and grown-up (as opposed to a satchel you’d take to school). Of course, sustainability should also be a priority. Enter, Parker Clay’s Atlas Backpack, which checks all the boxes, then some.

Crafted from supple Ethiopian leather, the Atlas is beautiful, durable and made for travel. Although it supports creases and scratches, like all leather, its unique patina will bear the marks of your travels. Inside, you’ll find handy pockets to store essentials like an iPad, smartphone and business cards. The icing on the cake is that Parker Clay is a company worth supporting; it provides fair employment to women in Ethiopia so that they can support their families in safety.


Best carry-on for business trips

A well-designed suitcase approved by travel experts

  • Dimensions: 22 × 14 × 9 inches
  • Lester: 9.7 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: Lifetime warranty

Travel expert Amy Brueckner never leaves home without this soft-shell suitcase. “Love, love, love my Briggs & Riley Baseline carry-on in black,” she says Brueckner. “It has a lifetime warranty, it expands [and] it has a hanging bag feature for when I’m packing dresses etc. It has a small pocket on the back that holds my umbrella so I’m never without one on the road.

This suitcase is expandable and has two wheels, an extendable handle and an integrated TSA-approved lock. Due to its clever tri-fold functionality, this briefcase is particularly suitable for anyone traveling for business or a formal occasion. While it’s certainly an investment, the brand’s lifetime warranty covers repairs free of charge, meaning you can take this bag with confidence wherever your work (or life) takes you.


Best expandable carry-on

A stylish and affordable option from a big name in travel

Editor’s Choice

  • Dimensions: 21.25×15.25×10 inches
  • Lester: 6.5 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: 10 year limited worldwide warranty

Recommended by our Verified Deals editor (who “loves” this bag), the Freeform Spinner is compact yet expandable for when you need a little extra packing space. It also has interior pockets and a divider to keep everything in its place. Four wheels make it easy to transport, and a push-button handle pulls out and retracts as needed.

Other notable features include a recessed TSA-approved lock, built-in ID tag, and a modern color scheme that includes Amethyst Purple, Sky Blue, and this sleek all-black colorway. In short, it’s all you need with a price tag under $200.


Best customizable carry-on

Monogram your carry-on and add a USB charger

  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches
  • Lester: 7.1 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: 100-day return policy and limited lifetime warranty

Away is one of today’s trendiest luggage brands and it’s easy to see why: the bags come in an array of Instagram-worthy colors with nifty bells and whistles at an affordable price. For example, you can choose upgrades such as a suitcase or luggage tag monogram or a pop-out USB charger that keeps the technology up to date. (FYI, the USB add-on is not offered with some colors.) Other convenient features include spinner wheels, a TSA-approved lock, and a concealed laundry bag. Brueckner mentions that her husband has The Bigger Carry-On: Aluminum Edition and “is really happy with it.” She continues: “Sometimes when we travel, we buy a bottle of wine or two and check our bag on the way home. Our precious vino is definitely protected in its hard shell suitcase!”

If you’re still on the fence, the brand says you can “put this piece to the test on your next trip and make sure it’s right for you, otherwise you can return it anytime within the first 100 days.” following the purchase”. Please note that monogrammed items cannot be returned, but all items are covered by the company’s limited lifetime warranty.


Hand luggage at the best value for money

Take advantage of significant discounts on certain colors

  • Dimensions: 23×14.5×9.5 inch
  • Lester: 6.7 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: 10 year limited worldwide warranty

An established brand in luggage, you can never go wrong with a Samsonite. The Winfield 2 is sturdy and stylish, offering plenty of space for your belongings as well as interior dividers, cross straps and a TSA-approved lock to keep everything secure.

Spinner wheels and a retractable handle make it easy to maneuver through busy airports, then stow under a seat or in an overhead bin once you’ve boarded the plane. It also comes in a range of colors from that striking orange to muted charcoal grey. Although prices vary by color, you can currently pick up a few of the shades for $120 or less.


Best carry-on that makes a statement

A bold collaboration that stands out from the crowd

Editor’s Choice

  • Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 9.6 inches
  • Lester: 7.1 pounds
  • TSA Approved Lock: Yes
  • Guarantee: 5 year warranty on manufacturing defects

If you’re looking for a carry-on that really stands out, check out the Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Zipper Carry-On Max, a favorite of Vetted’s data director for that very reason. In addition to its eye-catching sunshine yellow hue, courtesy of a limited-edition collaboration, the Carry-On Max features a TSA-approved lock and antimicrobial material that’s as chic as it is functional. Technicians will also appreciate its built-in “super-fast” charger, which can fill a phone battery halfway in 30 minutes.

For easier access to your in-flight necessities, upgrade to the front pocket version for an extra $25 and you can grab your stuff without unzipping the whole suitcase.


How we choose the best carry-on luggage

To compile this list, we researched trending brands, unearthed bargains, and asked Verified team members which carry-ons they use and love. We also tapped Amy Brueckner, COO of travel planning company CIRE Travel, for her expert advice on finding the right suitcase for your trips. Plus, she gave us the scoop on her all-time favorite bag: the Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 2-Wheeled Carry-On.

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