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With the holiday season in full swing, traveling is at an all-time high. For the first time in over a year, thousands of prospective travelers are looking to upgrade their luggage collections — particularly their carry-ons.
Now more than ever, the size of your carry-on luggage matters. Not only are airlines now charging for checked bags across the board, but some have even begun charging for carry-ons, especially those that don’t fit the size requirements for the plane’s overhead compartment.
To avoid falling into this group and to avoid the guessing game, we’ve outlined seven of the best carry-on bags that will fit in almost any airline’s overhead compartment with ease.
For context, according to Travel + Leisure, the standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22 x 14 x 9 in., including a handle and wheels for roller bags. Though you may find an inch or two of difference among airlines, these dimensions usually apply to most major aircrafts.
Best Overall: Monos Carry-On Pro
Best Softside Option: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
Most Affordable: Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage
Best Expandable Pick: Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
Sleekest Pick: The Away Carry-On
Best Handheld Option: Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle
At the moment, airlines set their own carry-on restrictions and guidelines. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and stick as closely to these dimensions as possible in case guidelines change in the future.
There are tons of options — from hardside and softside luggage to duffles and expandable picks — that will give you that extra peace of mind. Check out the best from Monos, Away, Samsonite, Protege and more.
1. Best Overall: Monos Carry-On Pro, $275 (Orig. $324)
Monos’ best-selling Carry-On Pro is by far the most user-friendly and stylish of the bunch. Measuring 22 x 14 x 9 in. — the standard carry-on dimensions — this hardside piece features a built-in front compartment for easy access while you travel. There, you can store your passport, headphones, wallet and more.
The front compartment also fits a 15-inch laptop and keeps it protected under the same aerospace-grade polycarbonate as the rest of the case. In fact, the shell is actually unbreakable. Get it while it’s on sale for $49 off.
2. Most Popular: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, $146.53 (Orig. $199.99)
Samsonite is one of the most trusted luggage brands of all time, so it’s no surprise that the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels is a major customer favorite.
Measuring 23 x 14.5 x 9.5 in., this best-selling carry-on meets size restrictions on United, American, Delta, Southwest and Allegiant Airlines. It’s super lightweight, comes with a 10-year limited warranty and is currently on sale on Amazon for 27% off.
3. Best Softside Option: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, $149.99
Hardside luggage isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer softside suitcases, this Travelpro option is a popular Amazon pick. It’s arguably the most lightweight on the list, features four spinning wheels that smoothly rotate 360 degrees and even expands up to 2 inches to maximize packing capacity.
Also, if you’re looking for a carry-on that’s compartment-heavy, this one’s the best pick. It features two exterior compartments, a full-length interior lid pocket and a side accessory pocket. The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage measures 23 x 14.5 x 9 in.
4. Most Affordable: Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage, $37
You can’t beat the price of this sturdy piece. At just $37, it’s a steal, but don’t let the price tag fool you — the Protege Regency Carry-On 2-Wheel Upright Luggage is actually premium in every way.
This Walmart exclusive deal features two low-profile in-line skate wheels, an interlocking zipper system to keep your belongings safe, interior mesh pockets, a padded top and a compression strap to keep your items secure. It measures 22 x 7 x 14 in. and comes in black and red.
5. Best Expandable Pick: Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, $149.49 (Orig. $159.99)
If you’re a light packer and buy a lot of souvenirs or clothes on your trips, this one’s for you. The Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels is one of the best expandable options you can buy.
In addition to this useful feature, its micro-diamond, polycarbonate exterior makes it perfect for the frequent traveler as it’s scratch-resistant and stays looking new even with regular wear and tear.
6. Sleekest Pick: The Away Carry-On, $225
Not a fan of all the bells and whistles and prefer something sleek and simple? If this is your sentiment, the Away Carry-On is the perfect option. There’s not a lot to this one, aesthetically speaking. Its gorgeously understated outer design makes it beautiful to look at and, not to mention, it’s super lightweight.
Measuring 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 in., the carry-on fits in the overhead bin of most major airlines and is compact enough for train and car rides. For that extra luxe feel, it also features leather details and comes with a black leather luggage tag.
7. Best Handheld Option: Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle, $245
For those who prefer a duffle form and can do without the wheels and extra surface area, the Troubadour Embark Compact Duffle fits the bill and is perfect for uses beyond the airport.
This one is extremely stylish, versatile and practical. It's lightweight, waterproof and can fit a 16-inch laptop in the zipped-and-padded pocket. It also comes with a waterproof-lined pocket to store your shoes so they don't touch any of your other belongings. Best of all, if you choose to use this as your personal item in addition to a roller carry-on, the bag features a trolley sleeve that slides over your luggage handles.
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