Luggage quality can make or break a trip. Picture this: you’re on the final leg of your 32-hour flight from Paris to Auckland. You’re exhausted, confused, and nowhere in this layover airport can you find the burrito you’ve been craving. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, your carry-on suitcase breaks! Scrambling to retrieve your socks and underwear strewn across the airport floor, you wonder how this could have been avoided. Don’t worry. We’re here to help with a comprehensive guide to the best carry-on luggage of 2020 so you can choose the best bag for your trip. We’ve picked a mix of bags and suitcases that are durable, lightweight, and have a range of features for a variety of travelers: there’s something here for everyone.
Don’t forget to check out Nannybag locations near your destination to store your check-in luggage and keep your adventure hands-free!
Important points to remember
Airlines are usually strict about carry-on luggage requirements, including the number of bags and their weight. If your bags are too heavy or you have too many, they may have to be stored in the plane’s hold and this can end up costing you quite a lot of money! Most flights allow one small handbag or laptop bag and one small carry-on bag per person. As airline rules on the size of carry-on luggage vary, we’ve included weights and dimensions for all our picks. Always check your airline’s website for up-to-date information about carry-on restrictions!
THE BEST CARRY-ON SUITCASES 2020
If you travel once or twice a year and don’t feel like splashing the cash for a fancy suitcase, this one’s for you! This affordable offering from Amazon has thousands of 5-star reviews and it’s easy to see why. The inside features 3 zippered pockets and expansion while the exterior is a hard-shell polycarbonate with TSA locks and 4 spinner wheels.
THE LIFETIME GUARANTEE: Tumi Latitude International Carry-On
Dimensions: 55 x 20 x 40 cm
Weight: 2.8 kg
The specially designed material on the exterior of this clever suitcase is built to endure hundreds of adventures with even the most adventurous of travelers. Tumi’s Latitude collection is lightweight and durable, with exterior bumpers to protect common impact areas, an aircraft-grade aluminium handle, and 4 reinforced wheels.
This hardshell carry-on from French brand Delsey is incredibly lightweight and moves quickly and quietly on four wheels. The metallic shell is 100% durable polycarbonate and has a 10-year warranty. This sleek and shiny suitcase includes laundry and shoe bags, plus a secure suitcase lock.
Another case from Delsey, this suitcase is elegant and stylish without being ostentatious. This suitcase is both beautiful and practical. The strong, flexible exterior is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and the wear and tear of regular travel. The interior has a luxurious lining with zip closures for each compartment. This case features 4 Japanese Hinomoto spinner wheels plus a unique Stop-and-Go braking system so your case can’t roll away from you.
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, traveling with this carry-on from New York-based brand Briggs & Riley is effortless. The Sympatico is secure, durable, easily maneuverable, and stylish – the full package. The cherry on top is its expansion-compression system, which lets you increase your storage capacity for those few extra outfits or souvenirs and then compress the suitcase back down to its original size to meet airline carry-on restrictions. This is our pick for the best carry-on suitcase of 2020.
THE BEST CARRY-ON BACKPACKS 2020
Osprey backpacks are famous for their tough and durable packs, and this is no exception. The Farpoint 40 is great for lightweight packing while still offering a good amount of room. zipped compartments allow for easy organization, plus a lockable laptop and tablet sleeve to protect your essential tech. Internal compression straps and a harness and hip belt keep everything secure.
THE SPACE SAVER: Zomake Ultra Lightweight Packable Rucksack
Dimensions: 27 x 20 x 41 cm
Weight: 0.27 kg
This cute backpack from Zomake is cheap, waterproof, and adjustable, but those aren’t even its best qualities. No longer need it? Fold it up and stash it away inside its own carry bag, measuring just 14 x 17 cm. With 20L of storage space, it’s ideal for taking your travel essentials on the plane or for day hikes and city exploring.
Cabin Max first released this versatile backpack in 2009 and it’s still going strong. It’s an excellent budget buy that doesn’t skimp on quality. The three main compartments can hold 44L worth of carry-on and are zipped and lockable. Adjustable padded straps and an easy to reach pocket for tickets and passports add to comfort and security.
This sleek backpack is water-repellent and adjustable – it can be worn conventionally on the back, converted into a serious traveling pack with a harness, or carried on the side as hand luggage. Interior slip pockets easily fit a 15.6 in laptop, while the external zip pockets give easy access to your travel documents, phone, and money.
With 45L of packing space, this tough and stylish backpack has more than enough room for practical travelers. This bag is perfect for backpackers and city explorers, and the thing that makes it special is the packability. Instead of a top-down opening like a traditional backpack, the Tortuga Setout opens flat just like a suitcase, making packing a breeze! This is our favorite and the best carry-on backpack of 2020.