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Top 10 Carry-On Bags

Bags that are light, strong, and great to carry


Here we present some of the best carry on bags that you can carry on your overseas airline flight. If you pack light, you should be able to get along with one of these and maybe a small camera or utility bag. Wheeled, shoulder and backpack carry ons are represented. Be aware that wheels add to the weight of a carry on bag considerably, often adding up to over 11 pounds. Be aware that the maximum size of carry on baggage is getting squashed by some budget carriers -- check first!

1. Tom Bihn Tri-Star Carry On Bag

Overhead bins in Airplane
Sasha Weleber/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

This is my favorite carry on bag for the laptop and other carry on technological goods. Read the review and see a short video about the bag.

Note that the Tri Star is now available in a lighter version using ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop. Yes, it makes a difference: Ultralight Carry On Bag Review: The Tom Bihn Tri-Star.

2. Rick Steves Roll-Aboard Carry On Bag

rick steves carry on, roll-aboard
James Martin
Ok, I liked this roll-aboard bag a lot, even though I usually prefer carrying my primary bag on my back. It's got all those outside pockets to fill with stuff you need to get at fast. It's expandable. The weight has been reduced so you don't face such a stiff penalty for having the convenience of wheeled luggage. And they throw in a couple of mesh bags for your dainties. You can't beat that.

3. Tom Bihn Aeronaut Carry-On Bag

aeronaut carry on bag picture
James Martin

This is one versatile carry on bag. You can use it as a backpack with the hide-away straps, carry it with the padded handle, or add a strap and shoulder it. It's surprisingly water resistant, light, and can carry lots of stuff. Check out our review, which includes links to some video reviews. This was our favorite bag on our last 10 week trip to Europe

4. Red Oxx Airborne Carry on Ruck Sack (C-Ruck)

The main idea behind the C-Ruck was to bring back a classic WWII paratroopers pack, updated for today's traveler. When you pick it up you'll know it's not a one of those wimpy sacks folks buy frequently (c'mon, count those worthless "day packs" you've accumulated over the years and tell me you don't have a C-Ruck's worth of dough invested in junk!)

5. SkyRoll Roll-up Garment Bag

We've long since advocated rolling your clothes. Well, the SkyRoll Garment Bag does this by itself; instead of rolling each individual item, you roll the whole shebang inside the bag yourself. The Skyroll carry on garment bag page explains how it all works. You can also watch the informative video. Skyroll now comes in a new, wheeled version as well.

6. 21" Light Suiter WheelAboard

Leave it to Ricardo of Beverly Hills to call a carry-on bag a WheelAboard. You've got a see through toiletry kit and removable shoe pouch that will let the TSA paw through your liquids and foot coverings, plus a Suiter system for wrinkle-free transport of a suit/dress.
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7. Samsonite Pro-DLX Carry-On Upright / Mobile Office

The price will remind you that this is a pro and not an amateur carry on. The Strong and Durable 2520 Denier Armored Nylon and frame pushes the weight of this one to over 11 pounds, something to consider if you need to hoist this into the overhead rack. Padded compartment for 15 inch laptops is a nice touch.
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8. Piel Mini-Duffel Carry-All Bag

Want a carry on bag you can sling over your shoulder? This one is leather, guaranteed for 5 years. Dimensions: 15" x 9" x 8"
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9. High Sierra AT3 Sierra-Lite: 22 inch Wheeled Backpack with Removable Day Pack

A cool design featuring a day pack that removes from the wheeled backpack, getting high marks from users for functionality.
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10. Victorinox Standard Traveler Medium 3.0 22" Convertible Traveler

Roll it or take it on your back as a backpack. Standard carry on size: 22" x 14" x 9" and 6 pounds 6 ounce weight. Expands 2" if you need it.
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