#1: Briggs & Riley BRX Explore Domestic Expandable Upright

This Briggs & Riley is one of the pricier carry-ons on the market, but one that is well worth it. Briggs & Riley bags are very durable, and this one is no exception. It is lightweight and allows for easy lifting. This is to be expected of a soft-sided suitcase. It has a bit less compartments that other options on the list which makes it not as “bulky”. You will love the fact that packing and organizing is so easy. Also, this bag has a compartment for laptops and other electronics.


  • The bag is strong, and the handle is sturdy
  • Really light weight when compared to other suitcases under this brand. You’ll love the ease at which you can carry this.
  • Water and tear resistant
  • Luggage suffers no damage when dropped


  • It is a bit pricier

#2: Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Softside 21 Inch Spinner

This is one of the best luggage options on the market. It has features that make it a favorite among many travelers looking for an affordable carry-on. It is a soft side meaning it is easy to fit into overhead compartments. It is also well-made so that it will last. The bag is water resistive. Its spherical wheels make for easy maneuverability. One unique feature of this the Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 is its push-button locking, gel-infused, textured TPR coated handle. This makes for a comfy grip.


  • Its rubberized corners protect the luggage during use
  • Its spherical wheel systems makes for easy maneuverability
  • It is well-made


  • The side handle is a little flimsy.

#3: Travelpro Platinum Magna 2

The great thing about the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 is that it is very well-made, functional and comes at a great price (nowhere as high as a Briggs & Riley of similar specs). This makes it one of my absolute favorite, and one to definitely pick when you are looking for a carry-on. This luggage is 22 inches in length and it will pass most carry on limitations. The wheels are one of my favorite features. It rolls smoothly and is durable. This luggage also has a suiter for wrinkle-free packing, and all the compartments you will ever need.


  • This luggage is very durable and of a high quality
  • The wheel system is great. It is solid and rolls easily
  • The suiter is a handle feature
  • Amazing price for its quality


  • It is not as big as the old Travel pro 22″ roller it is supposed to replace

#4: Travelpro Crew 10 22 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter

This is one of the more stylish yet functional luggage option available to travelers. It has some really nifty features such as a wet pocket for your lotions, shampoos and any other ‘liquidy’ or squishy contents. The suiter compartment is also a great addition. This luggage is a two-wheeler, which means you can move it very quickly. Lastly, this bag is both water resistive and abrasion resistive.


  • The Travelpro Crew 10 22” is a high-quality product with good zips and handles
  • The product itself is light in weight
  • Rolling this bag is super easy
  • The construction is sturdy and durable


  • The extensible handle may fail to extend fully at times.

#5: Nautica Softside Carry On Luggage

This stylish luggage is made to last. The design of the Nautica Softside is minimalist yet sleek. It has many compartments and features that makes organization easy. Also, this luggage is water resistant. You can say that this bag is ideal for skiers and vacationers who plan to visit areas where water is unavoidable.


  • The Nautica Softside is a stylish bag
  • Its water resistive feature is a plus
  • The Nautica Softside is expandable, just in case you need extra space
  • It is a soft-sided luggage, thus making it easy to fit into an overhead compartment


  • For long trips and vacations, this luggage will not be large enough.

#6: Olympia Luggage 22″ 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag

This is a duffel bag that doubles as a carry-on. It has wheels and a handle that extends out. Because it is soft-sided, you can comfortably fit this bag into an overhead compartment.


  • This bag is very light
  • Although it has four wheels, it is essentially a two-wheeler when you are wheeling it. This makes wheeling fast
  • It easily fits into most planes’ overhead compartments
  • There are many compartments on the bag
  • It can be carried like a duffel bag


  • The handle does not lock when extended
  • The handle does not extend very far. This can make wheeling tough
  • The wheels do not rotate

Carryon Luggage is perfect for quick trips.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Carry-on Luggage

With all the options available, finding the right fit can be difficult. You will be surprised by the sheer number of options available. You can find prices ranging from as low as $50 to over $500.

While there is no fit-all luggage, there are factors that everyone has to consider if you want a bag that allows you to avoid checking at the airport.

What Is The Size?

All airlines have limitations on the size of a carry-on that is permitted. As such, you need to ensure that the baggage meets these restrictions. Most airlines in the United States allow luggage with dimensions of 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches or less.

While many gate agents will allow you to get away with a bag that is a few inches beneath the limits, a fastidious gate agent may not approve. It is also important to know if the wheels and other protruding parts of the luggage are included in the dimensions listed.

Ensure you check the size of your luggage before making the purchase.

Is It a Two-Wheeler Or a Four-Wheeler?

Another factor you will want to consider is whether the carry-on comes with rollers or spinners. While some bags have four wheels, others are two-wheelers.

One disadvantage of a four-wheeler is that the wheels extend out of the packing compartment, and as such reduces the space available for packing. Also, the wheels of a four-wheeler are more prone to damage as compared to two-wheelers.

Another disadvantage of four-wheelers is that the wheels tend to move in undesired directions. This can make wheeling the baggage difficult. A few companies have tried to remedy this problem by using magnets to ensure the spinners are always aligned. An example is the Platinum Magna Spinner Bags.

Is the Bag Hard-Sided or Soft-Sided?

While many people including myself prefer soft-sided bags since they are less prone to scratches, dings and other damages, others prefer a hard-sided bag. However, if you are searching for a hard body carry-on, look for a luggage made with lightweight materials. The bag has to be both durable and lightweight.

Is the Bag Gadget-Friendly, and Does It Have Many Compartments?

In the modern world, many of us travel with gadgets such as laptops and tablets, especially if we are on business trips. Does the luggage have compartments for your fancy gadgets? Having a luggage carry on that has a padded compartment for a laptop is extra convenient. Furthermore, luggage should have waterproof compartments for your lotions and shampoos in case they leak. Compartments make organizing your luggage easy.

Ensure that you check out the interior of the luggage.

Does your carry on have laptop copartment?

What is the warranty like?

Things such as a broken zipper or a broken wheel can leave you frustrated and disappointed, especially if the bag has not been used much. The length of warranty also speaks volumes about the durability of the bag. The longer the warranty, the more likely it is that the product is more durable.

5 Tips for Carry-ons

  1. Make sure you measure the luggage accurately. Sometimes, manufacturers may not include the wheels and the handle in the measurement of the luggage. Getting a tape measure and doing a little measuring before purchasing a carry-on is not a bad idea.
  2. Know the rules and limits especially when traveling overseas. Baggage limits can be sterner outside than it is in the United States. To avoid having to check in your luggage, do a quick online search.
  3. Be careful with the liquids. If you can, just ditch all liquids. If you must carry liquids, then reduce the amount. For instance, liquid cosmetics, shaving products, shampoos, and others can be ditched. Some bags have waterproof compartments for the liquids; use it.
  4. Limit your wardrobe. The point of having a carry-on is to reduce the amount of clothing you have to take along. Make sure you pack the essentials and leave out any superfluous clothing articles.
  5. Do not take extras. There is no point in packing for “just in case.” If something pops up, get it at a mall. It is usually far cheaper. In addition, unless you are going to need a computer on your trip, you can leave your laptop at home. One pair of shoes in addition to the one you wear for the trip is usually enough for trips where all you need is a carry-on.


There you have it. When choosing a carry-on, you have to think carefully about your selection. Going for a little extra room can easily backfire when you’re at the gate.

The option that tops the list is the Briggs & Riley BRX Explore Domestic Expandable Upright primarily because of it’s durability. With this travel bag, you can vacation in style. It also ticks all the boxes as it relates to being lightweight and stylish. It can easily fit it into an overhead compartment and you’ll find that rolling it is a breeze. Two thumbs up from us!

Feel free to check out other carry on luggage reviews and types by exploring the options below.

6 Top Carry On Luggage for Traveling in 2018
5 (100%) 14 votes

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Hey! I’m Michael, and I’m a local traveler and explorer in Jamaica. I started this website as a guide for locals and tourists who want to know more about our beautiful island. Together with my travel partner, we explore and share info on the local hotels and attractions. Read More
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