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If you’re looking for luggage for an upcoming winter trip or a last-minute gift for a jetsetter, we’ve got our latest round up of the twelve best carry-on suitcases. From glamtrotters to adventurers, frugalistas and fashionistas – we have a style to fit every personality!
12 Best Carry-on Suitcase Styles
Best Carry-on Suitcase to Pack Stylishly Light
The Delsey Helium Shadow 3.0 combines the convenience of soft-side packing with the protection of a hard-side, durable shell. The Helium series by Delsey offers fantastic organization for those that prefer not to use packing organizers but want to have easy access to all your belongings with three individual sections.
Not only does it meet most international carry-on guidelines but it’s also expandable in case you decide to do some shopping or if you find that your belongings magically expand at the end of your trip.
I’ve owned several Delsey carry-on suitcase styles but the Shadow is my favorite. I love their Helium luggage collection!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Long-Term Travel
This is the bag that has been accompanying me on my long-term travels for the past year. You know I’m a big fan of Osprey and ever since I had to stop traveling with the Farpoint, which was backpacking-perfection, the Ozone has become my new favorite. So far it’s worked as a carryon on most airlines even Air Asia but it may be two inches too big for budget companies like RyanAir or Easy Jet.
My only gripe with this bag is that I bought the previous model in black but now they have it in red. As soon as I have a travel stop in the US I’m going to get this new color!
Use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only.
Samsonite Firelite Spinner (alternative)
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Minimalists
Delsey is reinventing the world of travel with the launch of Starcktrip, a new collection of luggage in association with Philippe Starck, conceived on a single concept: intelligence in motion. Bold, original and innovative, this powerful series may be one of Starck’s most intriguing creations but it’s also highly functional.
The shape allows you to use every single nook and cranny inside your suitcase – a rarity since most designs include curves that limit how you maximize your space. Make sure to use packing organizers to keep everything in place!
The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Small Spaces
The Delsey Solution is perfect for people with limited storage and unlimited weekend adventures. It’s a foldable lightweight soft-side case that collapses to fit into tight spaces, when not in use. One of the best features, the unstructured front panel allows extra packing capacity and flexibility. Internal compartments can sometimes limit your packing options so it’s nice to have something easy and simple to use.
As a bonus the purple color and gold trim just scream girls weekend away. Fun!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Fashionistas
Camille Jamerson, CEO of Cdj and Associates, says that this set by Samantha Brown is the most gorgeous and expensive “looking” luggage she’s ever owned and she always gets compliments.
Additionally, she explained that the pockets, handles on both sides, expandable capacity and multidirectional wheels make this a breeze for packing and stashing things that you need access to often and navigating down the narrow aircraft aisle.
The best part is that they have several colors and prints to fit any personality – take a look at their other carryons!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for the Adventuress
The new Silhouette Sphere II is another traveler fave, featuring Samsonite’s new Split Spherical Wheels. Each half of the Sphere Wheel can move independently in the same or opposite direction to comfortably allow rolling over uneven or smooth surfaces alike with the same effortless motion for the ultimate in unparalleled control and turning ability.
Samsonite has updated it’s flagship line to make it the best in the marketplace. We’ve packed in features to both the inside and outside of the case.
Wow. What else could you ask for in a rugged bag?
Lojel Lumo Carry-On Luggage (alternative)
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Durability
If you want something to protect your most precious of breakables, this is it. Not for dainty travelers, Pelican’s heavy-duty luggage is built to withstand consistent wear and tear from traveling and even passed a one hour submergence test and free-fall impact tests with up to 25 pounds of weight. It meets international carryon regulations and comes equipped with a lifetime guarantee.
One of the most packing-friendly features is that they offer an enhanced travel system, which includes a lid organizer, toiletry kit, and zippered shoe sack. Nice!
At 9.2 lb it’s not a bag if you’re looking to pack light but it is a good choice if you need something “indestructible”.
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Value
The American Tourister brand seems to be a crowd pleaser time and time again. This is a good old fashioned soft-sided suitcase that gets the job done. No bells and whistles but a good value especially if you travel to easy destinations.
We recommend you take advantage of one of it’s many color choices to easily keep an eye on your suitcase. For the price, you can get one to match the color of each capsule wardrobe!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Fashion Bloggers
It seems all the top fashion bloggers have one thing in common when they travel: Tumi carryons. I constantly spot them on their blog posts and Instagram (when they’re packing light and NOT going to fashion week that is).
I definitely see the appeal of this reputable brand, the Tegra Lite in particular. It’s a sleek, hard case suitcase available in sophisticated color options and prints. It’s a premium traveler favorite from fashionistas and business travelers alike. Timeless.
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Colors and Prints
If you’re goal is to own a non-boring suitcase, then Rockland is the best place to look. They seem to offer everything but traditional colors including various prints and every hue in the rainbow. Leopard print, zebra stripes, polka-dots – they have it all.
We’ve featured their inexpensive hard case collection above but they also offer soft sided suitcases, too. Calling all quirky, fun travelistas!
Chatillon 21″ Carry-On (alternative)
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Girls that Wanna Have Fun
You know that sexy red convertible that drives past you and leaves you breathless? Well, this is the carry-on suitcase version of that feeling.
Those who like to stand out in a crowd will love the red Delsey Belfort Plus (it also comes in blue and grey). This collection combines shock resistant polypropylene material with silent spinner wheels, fun colors and a unique design in a collection that will take any traveler anywhere. Plus, it has a spacious split book style opening.
It’s not just fun, it’s functional – the perfect travel fashion combination!
Best Carry-on Suitcase for Glamour
I first saw this suitcase in Paris at a special event for Delsey customers and fell in love. Now this is First Class all the way! Chatelet embraces everything about the Parisian brand and as its suitcase designer explained to me – it is all bells and whistles, no expense was spared in the making of this gorgeous collection.
A true blend of style and design, it features fine leather trim and modern touches, making travel both beautiful and efficient. It also features a unique Stop-and-Go brake system, bright and pretty contrast lining, and uniquely integrated organization options such as a hanger and bag.
Not the lightest carry-on suitcase available but definitely one of the most elegant!
So what are our top picks? For adventure, the Osprey Ozone. For vacation, the Delsey Traversee. And on our wish list: the Delsey Chatelet. Absolutely swoon-worthy!
What’s your top pick for best carry-on suitcase? Please share in the comments below!
For even more carry-on suitcase ideas, please read:
- 13 Non-boring Carryon Suitcase Designs
- Traveler Approved Carryons for Europe
- What Packing Organizers Should I Use?
- How to Choose a Suitcase
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