Watch CBS News

Essentials Shopping

The best carry-on luggage in 2024


Whether you travel for work or play, a great carry-on bag can be a game changer. We found the best and top-rated carry-on luggage you can buy in 2024 -- some of which are even on sale now.

Why invest in a new piece of carry-on luggage? For one, a carry-on bag may help save you money since many airlines now charge fees for checked bags. And unlike checked luggage, carry-on bags also stay with you for the whole trip. They're a good place to stow medicine, a change of clothing and other travel essentials. For shorter trips, carry-on luggage is a time-saver too -- no checked luggage means no wait at baggage claim and no lost luggage.

Some people prefer spinners over duffle bags, while others prefer hard-shell polycarbonate or aluminum suitcases to softer luggage made of fabric. More carry-on features include telescopic handles, TSA-compliant locks and padded areas for electronics. 

Keep reading to check out the CBS Essentials luggage experts' top picks for the best carry-on luggage in 2024.

The best carry-on luggage in 2024

The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for luggage? Size. While carry-on luggage may vary in dimensions and shape, make sure to select a bag that is no larger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches, including the handle and wheels. That's the standard carry-on size for most domestic airlines.

We selected 7 great carry-on bags that fit in the overhead bin or under your seat. All of our top picks are functional, aesthetically pleasing and complete with great features.

If you're looking for more options, check out our roundup of the best luggage of 2024 for all of your travel needs.

Best polycarbonate carry-on: Monos Carry-On 


The Monos Carry-On is available in a bunch of great colors and has features like an effortless, telescopic handle and lots of zippered pockets and compartments. It also has an easy-to-use lock. Monos boasts a 100-day trial period and lifetime warranty. 

Reviewers praise the suitcase for its ease of use. "This case rolls so smoothly over many surfaces. The wheels are placed perfectly to keep balance, no annoying tipping over when packed. The handle raises and lowers with little effort. Even when in the full extended position it feels sturdy, unlike some other cases I've tried."

Check out our Monos Carry-On review to see why CBS Essentials Staff Writer Kaylyn McKenna loves this carry-on.

Why we like the Monos Carry-On:

  • Monos carry-ons are made with aerospace-grade, water-resistant polycarbonate hard shells for enhanced durability.
  • The carry-on fits in the overhead bin on most airlines.
  • The 360-degree spinner wheels provide a smooth glide.
  • It's available in 12 colors. 

Best aluminum carry-on: Rimowa original Cabin carry-on


Want to travel like James Bond? Then you'll need his luggage. The sleek aluminum Rimowa Cabin carry-on suitcase features include 360-degree multiwheel spinners, TSA-approved locks and a telescopic handle that easily glides up and down.

Aside from its quality materials and construction, one of the greatest benefits of buying a piece of Rimowa luggage is peace of mind. The brand includes a lifetime guarantee on all new suitcases, covering all functional aspects (but excluding wear and tear). Rimowa also offers in-store repairs and even in-hotel repairs at participating international locations.   

Why we like the Rimowa Original Cabin carry-on:

  • Its aluminum construction protects your belongings much better than soft-sided or polycarbonate luggage.
  • This suitcase comes with a lifetime warranty,
  • Its sleek metallic material gives this carry-on a trendy, high-end look.
  • Available in four colors.

Best carry-on with a built-in charger: Away 'The Carry-On'


The Carry-On from Away is a lightweight polycarbonate bag that features 360-degree spinner wheels, water-resistant garment bags and two interior compartments -- one designed for shoes and toiletries and the other for clothes. If you don't like it, return it within 100 days for a full refund.

CBS Essentials' own Fox Van Allen owns a piece of Away luggage. "This single piece of luggage has been such a travel game changer," he says. "No matter how much I stuff into this carry-on, it always rolls around the airport as if it was light as a feather. It's almost magical how easy it is to move Away luggage."

Why we love Away 'The Carry-On":

  • The compression panel helps you get more clothes into this suitcase when packing.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best carbon-neutral carry-on: Paravel Aviator carry-on


Carbon-neutral, sustainable luggage brand Paravel offers some stylish luggage options. The Paravel Aviator is geared with frictionless, carbon-steel-bearing wheels with 360-degree movement and a telescopic handle for walking (or running) through the airport. Each bag is made from recycled materials and comes with vegan leather-wrapped side handles and trim.

Paravel states that this carry-on holds two to four days' worth of clothes and one to two pairs of shoes, making it ideal for long weekend trips.

"This bag fits far more inside of it than the equivalent Delsey that I replaced with the Aviator Carry-On, and I love the compression panel and the quality of the zippers." shared one reviewer.

Why we like the Paravel Aviator:

  • The carry-on is carbon neutral and made with recycled materials.
  • Reviewers state that it is easy to maneuver.
  • It features a scuff-hiding textured finish.

Best soft-sided carry-on: Travelpro Platinum Elite


Travelpro is a leading luggage brand loved by travelers and airline crews worldwide. The brand creates ultra-durable, lightweight luggage with its patented PrecisionGlide technology for seamless mobility. The Travelpro Platinum Elite carry-on, constructed from stain-resistant fabric with stylish leather accents, offers a great value. Features include an easy expansion zipper option that provides up to 2 inches of extra packing space, an internal tie-down system and a removable, TSA-compliant wet pocket for toiletries. 

"The bag materials are thick, the sewing is on-point with no stitching problems, and of course, the magnetic wheels spin effortlessly and track straight when rolling (huge benefit over other luggage without wheel tracking)," wrote one Amazon reviewer.

"This carry-on comes with a handle at the bottom of the bag which is an extremely underrated feature that allows you to lift this bag without just wrenching it by one handle only," says a second verified buyer on Amazon.

Why we like the Travelpro Platinum Elite:

  • Travelpro offers a lifetime warranty.
  • The TSA-approved lock keeps your belongings secure.
  • Reviewers praise the bag's durability.

Best budget carry-on: Samsonite Omni


A popular option on Amazon, the 20-inch polycarbonate Samsonite Omni carry-on offers a ton of value. Features include TSA-approved side-mounted locks, multidirectional spinner wheels, and an interior mesh divider with cross straps.

"I've had this suitcase for 5+ years and it still feels new. The suitcase is very durable and lightweight," says one Amazon reviewer. "I've taken it all across the world and have had no problems. The zippers and wheels are very smooth. I highly recommend this suitcase to everyone."

The bag comes with a 10-year limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.

Why we like the Samsonite Omni:

  • This is one of the best-selling and well-reviewed suitcases on Amazon.
  • It's a premium luggage option available for just over $100.
  • The Samsonite Omni comes in a wide range of color options to fit your tastes.

Best compact 19-inch carry-on: Delsey Paris Chatelet


With faux leather accents and rounded edges, the Delsey Paris Chatelet, a lightweight polycarbonate carry-on, offers plenty of space for your belongings. Enjoy multidirectional double spinner wheels, an ergonomic handle, a USB port for charging electronics and a TSA-approved recessed lock. The suitcase also comes equipped with laundry and shoe bags, plus mesh-zippered pockets.

"I can't begin to tell you how wonderful this luggage is! It glides with such ease! It's well balanced, durable, and looks incredible," says one Amazon customer.

Reviewers have also praised the Delsey Paris Chatelet's sleek design and spacious interior. Several reviewers noted that the zippered pockets made it easy to keep all of their belongings secure and well-organized while traveling. It's on the smaller side at 19 inches, but it can hold a lot according to reviewers.

Why we like the Delsey Paris Chatelet:

  • The carry-on's polycarbonate shell is lightweight and resistant to cracking.
  • An odor-resistant lining helps keep the suitcase from absorbing smells when traveling home with dirty clothes.
  • Reviewers praise the carry-on's smooth wheels and easy maneuverability. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.