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If you’re heading abroad on your next trip and are searching for the best carry on luggage international flights will accept, check out these top-recommended reader picks below!


Best Carry On Luggage for International Travel 



Table Of Contents



When it comes to traveling abroad, making sure your carryon bag is the right size is of utmost importance. The international carry on luggage size is typically 21” and below, so sticking with a bag of this size or smaller is the best way to ensure you won’t run into trouble at check-in. 

When it comes to European jaunts, a lightweight 20” is a great option; however, the most ideal size to aim for is 19”. Some airlines even let you come aboard with a 21″!

All airlines are different and all suitcases have slightly different dimensions, so it’s also vital to check the carry on luggage size international restrictions with your particular airline to make sure your chosen travel buddy will work for your trip! 


If you’re looking for resources on how to choose the best suitcase for you, these articles might be helpful:


When it comes to choosing the best carry on international luggage, lightness, maneuverability, and durability are things to consider. Our readers have recommended their favorites for overseas travel that tick these boxes and more! Check out their top picks!



Best International Carry-On Luggage: Hardside Styles




Shop: Amazon


Travelpro Maxlite Air Hardside 21” Carryon


The 21” TravelPro Maxlite Air is not only a beauty but has incredible functionality. The hardshell is super durable, with impact-absorbing flexibility, yet very light for its size, at 6.3 lbs! The interior compartments are super roomy, and users love that it can expand up to 2”, giving them a little extra space for their trip back home!

It comes with 8 sturdy spinner wheels and a handle that extends to 42.5” for maximum maneuverability, as well as TSA locks for security. It’s also so chic and comes in a range of beautiful colors. 

One user raves, “Took this beast all over the cobblestone streets in Ireland. It has so much room! Packed for a full week! Zippers we’re great! Size was awesome. Fit in the overhead of a small regional airline too. Highly recommend this. Great price, great quality, great size.”


Read this Travelpro Maxlite 5 review to find out if this popular brand makes the cut!




Shop: Amazon


DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside 19” Carryon


For a near-perfect international carry-on luggage size, the Delsey Helium Aero 19” is a gorgeous carryon option that works well for European flights, as well as other international destinations. The spinner wheels make for a smooth ride, and at 8 lbs, it won’t weigh you down. It can expand up to 2” for extra packing space (or to add a souvenir or two!), and there’s an easy TSA locking system.

It’s available in pretty, bright colors that are easily recognizable from afar, and the durable, scratch-resistant cover will ensure it looks just as good off the plane as it did getting on! 

One reader who has this suitcase says, “We have the Delsey Helium Aero and love it. It seems to be indestructible, carries a ridiculous amount, and the compression zipper setup is fantastic. I like that each side is packed independently.”




Shop: July


July Hardside 21″ Carry On


Our readers LOVE the July hardside carry on as an international carryon luggage option.  It has such a sleek look, and its incredible design and functionality allow you to stroll through the airport with style and ease. 

This is a lightweight option at only 7.4 lbs, yet the exterior is tough enough to withstand impact and stay looking fab! Features hidden laundry bag and July Y-Strap compression system while ejectable battery with standard USB and USB-C docks that charges both your phone and your laptop .

It’s also crush-proof with aluminium bumpers for extra protection on hard drops. equipped with a TSA-approved lock and SilentMove 360° spinner wheels which is extremely quiet that they can handle the cobblestones of Europe. The July harside suitcase comes in a variety of pretty colors, too! 

One TFG reader says, “I love it. I love that the corners are aluminum, the wheels feel better than the Away. I had a much easier time wheeling the July. The zippers on the July are better. The corners being reinforced are great and I love the look of it.”




Shop: Amazon


DELSEY Paris Chatelet 19” Hardside Carry On


The 19″ Delsey Chatelet is absolutely beautiful and is built with all the bells and whistles! This 4-wheel spinner is highly functional with locking zippers, awesome inner organizational features, and even a built-in tracking device! It’s also ultra-lightweight at 6.4 lbs. 

A lot of our readers have reported that they’ve taken many trips with this carryon and it’s held up amazingly well. Plus, you’ll look incredibly stylish strolling through the airport or European streets with this bag! 

One user reports, “I have nothing but great things to say about this suitcase! I fell in love with the way it looks, and its durability and features are huge bonuses. I’ve used it once on an international flight and held everything I needed for a week-long vacation.”

For other destinations, you could use the Delsey Chatelet 21”, one version has a brake so your suitcase doesn’t slide all over the place, while the other version is without a brake. Both are wonderful picks!




Shop: Amazon


Samsonite Omni PC 20” Hardside Carryon


Samsonite’s Omni makes for effortless travel at only 6.8 lbs! The 20” size fits in the overhead compartment of most international airlines according to our readers. The 360-degree wheel spinners are easy to maneuver, and the scratch-resistant polycarbonate shell will most definitely hold up against the rigors of travel. 

TSA side-mounted locks keep your belongings secure, and users rave about the overall quality! The Omni also comes in a variety of colors, including some fun, bright options. 

One traveler shares, “I love this little carry-on! I’ve used it for two international trips and I’m really liking it. I used this for a 10-day trip to Italy, and I was able to get through the entire trip with just this carry-on and one regular-sized backpack. Other folks in the tour group were lugging around GIANT suitcases on small trains and over cobblestone streets, and I was breezing around with this little wonder. It was so great.” 


Here are the best carryon suitcases for traveling Europe!




Shop: Amazon


Samsonite Winfield 2 20” Hardside Carryon


The Winfield 2 20” is another top pick for domestic and international travel with our readers! This gem weighs just over 6.5 lbs, so it’s quite light, and readers applaud how well it holds up after years of wear and tear! 

The interior divider zips fully so nothing will fall out when you open it, and the outer TSA locks keep everything secure. 

One TFG reader says, “Made it from the US to Italy, over MANY cobblestones, on trains, planes, taxis, walking through cities, bumpy sidewalks/roads. Held up nice. It fit perfectly in the carry-on above head storage on both United domestic and United international flights. Fit on the overhead storage on Italian trains too.”




Shop: Away


Away The Carry On 21” Hard Side


So many of our readers love and recommend Away’s 21” The Carry On, and many claim it’s the best carry on roller bag for international travel. Users report that the polycarbonate hard shell rarely shows any signs of wear, even after lots of rigorous travel. You can fit SO much inside, especially with the mesh zippered compartment on one side, and the compression system on the other. 

It’s super easy to maneuver and lift and weighs 8.1 lbs. And bonus, it comes with a water-resistant laundry bag, and there’s even an option to add a USB charger! This Carry-On is available in some gorgeous colors as well.

In my search to find a new carryon, I finally went ahead and purchased the suitcase as well!



Traveling to a conference with my new Away The Carry-On and Lo & Son’s OG Tote!


There are so many readers who have traveled extensively with this suitcase that I was excited to unbox it, so I thought it would be fun to discover some of its features together! I did an unveiling video over at the TFG Facebook Group. And later on, I put this video together to show the interior of the suitcase, plus the clothes I brought for a 4-day conference.

It’s clear this suitcase is popular, and one TFG reader says about it, “I managed two weeks in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with the standard carryon (and some careful planning!). I just got back from two weeks in Thailand with my husband and used it, plus one of their Medium Checked suitcase. You can really get a lot in and they look great, feel quality.” 




Shop: Amazon


American Tourister Moonlight 21” Hardside Carryon Luggage


The 21” American Tourister carryon will add a chic touch to your travel look! It weighs 8.2 pounds, and its thoughtful design makes it a breeze to carry. 

It’s super packable, and users seriously appreciate how much they can fit in this suitcase! Plus, it’s expandable by 1.5” if you need that bit of extra room. There are a lot of cute colors and patterns to choose from, too! 

A reader shares, “I have been using this one for the last six months. It’s gone to eight countries and probably around 30 flights, and has made it!”




Shop: Amazon


Coolife 20” Carry On Hardside


This 20” Coollife carryon is tiny but mighty! While it’s a mere 6.38 lbs, it will keep your belongings safe with a TSA lock and a sturdy shell that can withstand serious impact! The sturdy aluminum handle and smooth spinner wheels allow you to easily zip through crowded airports and tight spaces. 

It’s spacious and packable, with fantastic interior organization, but it’s small enough to fit in almost any overhead cabin, international or domestic! 

One traveler shares, “This suitcase has gone through a couple of trips and vacations and has taken everything that TSA, luggage handlers, hotel personnel, and whatever else the world of travel can throw at it in stride. The first couple of trips left some marks on the outside that I was able to buff out with car wax, but nothing more. This has been well worth the price.”


Read these tips on how to pack for 5kg baggage allowance!




Shop: Amazon


Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 20” Carry On


The Out of Bounds 20” by Kenneth Cole Reaction is quite compact, but is still quite packable and spacious when opened up! It’s lightweight, at 6.25 lbs, with a super-strong exterior and reinforced corners to absorb shock. When you’re not strolling along smoothly with the 360-degree spinner wheels, this bag features a top and side handle for easy carrying. 

Readers have recommended this, saying it’s a great, dependable carryon. Some readers also recommend the 20” 8-wheel version, too!

One user shares their review, “This suitcase is amazing. It looks tiny, but it’s bigger on the inside. I was looking for a carry-on suitcase to take with me to Melbourne. I managed to fit a month’s worth of clothes plus extras. This suitcase makes my soft large one useless. It’s also more resistant to wear and tear since it has a hard case enclosure.”




Shop: Amazon


Tumi 19 Degree International 4 Wheeled Carry On


If you’re seeking carry on luggage size for international flights, Tumi, although pricier than other companies, is highly popular with readers for its well-made, durable suitcases. 

The 19 Degree 22” is designed with quality, flexible materials that boast great organization on both sides, retractable side and top handles, a USB port so you don’t have to fuss with cords, and a TSA lock. And though slightly taller than other sizes, it’s compact and still holds a lot at 8 lbs!  

Take this pretty suitcase for travel within Europe and internationally and it will hold up over many trips. One reader endorses them all the way, “ Tumi is an excellent brand and I love mine!”




Shop: Paravel


Paravel Aviator Carry On Suitcase 


Paravel is an up-and-coming luggage brand that’s been getting praise from travelers for its gorgeous luggage that’s designed with sustainability at its core. The Aviator carry on is not only a stylish piece but is made from extremely durable polycarbonate, aluminum handles, and tough zippers, all of which are recycled. Travelers highlight the effortless spinner wheels, interior organization, including a laundry bag, scuff-hiding finish, and vegan leather details.

This carbon-neutral carry-on weighs 8.2 lbs, and at 13.7″ x 21.7″ x 9”, it’s a compact option that’ll easily fit into the majority of overhead bins, even on international flights and smaller planes.

You can also grab a slightly bigger version called the Aviator Carry On Plus, it measures 14.7″ x 22.7″ x 9.6″ and weighs 8.5 lbs.




Shop: Nordstrom | Beis


BÉIS The Carry On Roller Luggage


Readers have been recommending this cute carry on suitcase from Béis, a brand that has been generating a lot of buzz lately! TFGs say this suitcase is high quality and has practical features, including interior zip pockets and drawstring pouches, cute designs, and a great price point. Its standout feature has to be the built-in weight limit indicator that you can test just by holding it up!

One reader says she’s used it for multiple 14+ day trips and will not buy another brand of luggage because of the amazing quality! This 9.75″ x 15.75″ x 22.75″ suitcase is easy to lug around, too, with its steady wheels, telescoping handle, and 8.36 lb weight.




Shop: Quince


Quince Hard Shell 21” Carry On


Quince is a favorite brand within the TFG community for their travel-friendly clothing, but their sleek, affordable, and quality luggage has been making a name for itself, too! The brand’s 21” hardside carry on is sized to meet the size requirements for most major airlines, and travelers say that with strategic packing, you can fit a ton inside.

With ultra-smooth spinner wheels, a firm aluminum handle, and tough zippers, it’ll make your travels smooth and keep your items ultra-safe. Its size is 22.8″ x 15.6″ x 9.8″, and it weighs 6.7 lbs.



Best International Size Carry On Luggage: Softside Styles




Shop: Amazon


Travelpro Maxlite 5 20” Softside Carry On


A lot of our readers say that TravelPro makes some of the best lightweight international carry on luggage, and it’s also one of the best-selling suitcases on the blog! 

This 20” Maxlite 5 is incredibly lightweight, as the name hints, at a mere 5.4 lbs. And while it’s compact, the packing capacity is outstanding! Plus, it can expand up to 2” if you need a little extra room! 

This suitcase rides like a dream, with a sturdy handle (that expands up to an impressive 42.5”!) and smooth spinner wheels. Interior and exterior compartments keep things super organized, and the overall quality and durability make it an amazing investment. One reader shares just how packable it is, “I’ve done two weeks in London in December in it, and two weeks of UK/France stops in August and September when temperatures were shifting.” 

European airlines tend to be a bit more restrictive, so to be on the safe side, readers recommend opting for their equally awesome 19” version




Shop: Amazon


Travelpro Platinum Elite 19” Softside Carryon 


The size of this Platinum Elite 19” makes it perfect as carry on luggage for international flights, especially European travel. It’s equipped with incredible features, from the spinner wheels to the accessory pockets, to the super handy external USB port! 

It certainly doesn’t sacrifice on style, either! This TravelPro is sleek and sophisticated, and you’ll be rolling through the airport with it effortlessly. There are leather top and side handles for easy carrying, and it only weighs 7.7 lbs. 

One reader shares, “I have the TravelPro with the charging option and I love it. I travel at least three to four international trips a year. What’s great is you don’t need to worry about losing a cable, grabbing, or dropping your battery pack when rushing to board as it’s all contained.”

The 20” version is a slightly larger option that many readers have voted the best carry on suitcase for international travel!


Read my guide on how to stop overpacking and learn how you, too, can travel carryon only.




Shop: Amazon


Delsey Paris Helium DLX 20” Softside Carryon Luggage

The Delsey Helium DLX 20” is a prime international luggage carry on size and boasts one of the most organized packing experiences! The interior is super spacious, and features two shoe pockets, a mesh pocket, a wet pocket, and a removable bifold organizer! All your things will stay secure in the durable fabric, and users say it stays looking great after lots of use.  

Because it’s super lightweight at 6.7 lbs, there’s more room for clothes! Plus it expands up to 2” for even more space, and it rolls so smoothly that you’ll barely feel the weight. 

One traveler says, “This is a perfect size—large enough for long haul, international flights yet small enough to maneuver. A perfect set of wheels (I am super picky about these because if you don’t have this, what’s the point of a suitcase), and roomy inside, this Delsey will be my go-to for the next few years.” 




Shop: Amazon


Samsonite Solyte DLX 20” Softside Carry-On


The 20” Samsonite Solyte DLX is one of the top carry-on luggage international size options. It’s lightweight at 6.97 lbs and made of durable polyester and has smooth spinner wheels and a firm handle. Users say that all of these features hold up extremely well, even after years of use! 

The interior organization is amazing, and there’s even a USB port so you’ll never be without power! It’s a great, compact bag that you can fit so much in! 

One reader says about her Solyte DLX, “This is a really great and wonderfully built bag. It’s expensive, but I love mine.”




Shop: Amazon


Briggs & Riley Baseline 21” Carryon Softside


The Briggs & Riley 21” is highly rated for its quality and performance. Readers say this luxurious suitcase is SO worth the investment. It features a strong fiberglass frame, spinner wheels, an adjustable handle, and corner guards, and it’s expandable, so there’s no question that this piece can handle anything! 

It has a TSA zipper lock, a power compartment for charging on the go, and great interior organization. It’s also quite lightweight at 8.8 lbs. 

&There are a lot of Briggs  Riley luggage fans in the TFG Community! One reader shares, “The features, durability, and warranty were deciding factors for me. I have the international expandable carry on size—used it for two weeks in France along with a backpack and didn’t check bags. Worked really well on planes, trains, and having to change destinations frequently.” 




Shop: Amazon | Osprey


Osprey Transporter 22” Hybrid Softside Carry On  


If you do a lot of international travel, the Osprey Transporter 22” is a globally accepted carryon size, so this will be by your side no matter where you travel to! However, as always, check with the airlines you plan to fly with to double-check requirements, especially if you’re heading to Europe, as their restrictions tend to be different. 

The large front pocket features a padded laptop sleeve that will fit laptops up to 16”, and the internal pockets and mesh dividers make organization a breeze! The oversized wheels make for an impressive ride, too. This option is durable, super lightweight at 6.5 lbs, and works for most international destinations! 

One Osprey fan shares, “If you are thinking about buying it: do it! This is about as perfect of a bag and company as you are going to find in this price range.”


Use packing cubes to help you organize and even compress your belongings to maximize your space.




Shop: Amazon


Steve Madden Designer 20” Soft Carry-On Luggage


This Steve Madden 20” Carryon is chic, lightweight (7.8 lbs!), and can fit in the smallest of overhead bins! While designer luggage may not be an immediate thought, this is a super functional and highly rated option. 

Because of its compact size, readers say this choice is great for both domestic and international travel. This suitcase is made with a high-quality polyester that’s extremely durable. It also features a wide wheel base so it won’t fall over, which is a common complaint of softside users.

One user says, ​​I just returned from a six-day trip to the UK. I got five days’ worth of clothes (winter), ankle boots, and a jacket in this bag. It’s stylish and functional, and easy to maneuver. Love the pockets. Very happy with this purchase!!




Shop: Amazon


Kenneth Cole Reaction 20” Chelsea Soft Side Carry On


Kenneth Cole’s Chelsea 20” Suitcase is so stylish! The polyester-twill exterior looks amazing and holds up really well over time. Great interior organization allows you to perfectly fit everything you need, and at only 6.4 lbs, it definitely won’t weigh you down! Plus, the 8 multi-directional spinner wheels give the smoothest of rides where you truly won’t feel the weight! 

Some users have actually reported being able to use this as their personal item because it’s such a compact yet powerful item!

One traveler says, “Recently returned from an 18-day tour in New Zealand where this bag was packed, unpacked, and loaded/unloaded from a bus every single day. It held up really well with absolutely no damage so I highly recommend it.”




Shop: Amazon


Rockland Pasadena 20” Soft-side Carryon 


This Rockland Pasadena 20” is a solid economical option for anyone on a budget. It’s small and simple, but has everything you could want in a carryon! The sturdy handle and wheels make it easy to maneuver, and at 7.43 lbs. it’s really easy to lift and carry. 

It’s quite packable for its size, and the handy exterior pockets are a bonus! This cutie will fit in almost any overhead compartment. A traveler says, “Survived three weeks in Europe across all the cobblestones in Spain, Italy, France, and Greece. Perfect size for the small European airlines to take as carryon. We never had any issues with the size.”




Shop: L.L. Bean


L.L. Bean CarryAll Spinner 22″


L.L. Bean luggage is known for being rugged and ready for adventure, and this cute Carryall Spinner suitcase is no different! The material is sleek and abrasion-resistant, and combined with its sturdy base and smooth spinner wheels, it can handle the roughest of handling and is super easy to roll around. The organization is great, too, with a side pocket that has an organizer panel and key fob, a large front pocket, and an interior mesh compartment.  

With dimensions of 22″x 14″ x 9″, it’ll meet most airline carry-on requirements, and it weighs just 7.9 lbs.




Shop: Amazon | Bloomingdales


Hartmann Legend Global Carry On Expandable Spinner 21″


The Legend Global Carry On from Hartmann is all about the details, from the ergonomic, 12-position contoured pull handle, the removable garment bag, multiple pockets, and a stunning tweed and leather exterior. It’s sized to fit in most major international and domestic airlines while offering ample packing space. This beauty is definitely a splurge, but one that many travelers say is well worth it for the impeccable design, durability, and great warranty!  

It’s quite lightweight, given its ultra-sturdy design at 8.7 lbs, and its dimensions are 21.65″ x 14″ x 9”.




Shop: Target


Swissgear Zurich Softside Carry On 21″


Swissgear’s Zurich 19” carry on is tiny but mighty, with effortless mobility from its eight spinner wheels and highly robust material that travelers confirm can take a beating and still look amazing! Inside, you’ll find a wet pocket, tie-down straps, and tons of packing space, as well as a roomy zippered front pocket. To top it off, this bag is incredibly light at 6.8 lbs. 

The dimensions are 12.75 x 10.25 x 21, so it’s an excellent option for international travel, while its zippered expansion system will maximize your packing potential all the more!



Carryon Luggage Size International Comparison Chart


[wpsm_comparison_table id=”395″ class=”center-table-align”]




Apple AirTags


Luggage Tags


A super practical addition to your new suitcase is a luggage tag! TFG readers have been raving about luggage tags, and highly recommend them for every trip. 

Luggage tags are handy little trackers that you attach to your belongings and then track through an app on your phone. The most popular option in the TFG community is Apple Airtags, which hook up to the Find My iPhone app so you can see where your item is in real-time. Readers say they’ve been lifesavers for finding lost luggage in an airport! 

For non-iPhone users, readers recommend the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag and the TilePro, which are compatible with Android devices, and the TilePro also works for iOS.

Luggage tags are not only handy for your luggage, but for your purse, keys, wallet, or even your parked car. You can enjoy your vacation with the utmost peace of mind!




Compass Rose Compression Packing Cubes


How to Pack Using Packing Cubes


Whether or not you choose to travel carryon only, always use packing cubes to help you organize and even compress your belongings to maximize your space.

Use luggage organizers such as packing cubes to maximize the space in your bag so you can fit in all your belongings in an organized and efficient way using minimal space. Buy it here!



What do you think is the best carry on luggage for international flights? Share your thoughts in the comments!


For more help on how to choose the best luggage, please read:






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