Best Carry-On Luggage for Travel 2021: Best Rolling Carry-on Suitcases

A carry-on suitcase is key for the most effortless travel experience. Julia Cherruault for Observer

Whether you’re a travel novice or a seasoned jet-setter, you should always have a quality carry-on suitcase in your luggage arsenal. No matter what kind of trip you’re preparing for, taking a carry-on suitcase instead of a checked bag will make the entire experience so much less stressful.

Bringing your carry-on suitcase onto the plane means that you don’t have to stand by the conveyer belt, anxiously waiting for your belongings and silently praying that your bag hasn’t gone missing. It also means you won’t have to deal with hauling around an enormous suitcase throughout your travels.

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Fitting your entire packing list in a single carry-on suitcase is an art form, and while it’s up to you to realize that maybe you don’t need to bring along three different pairs of black heels on a five-day trip, you can make the process a whole lot easier once you find the right carry-on luggage.

The best carry-on suitcases are durable, fit within TSA-guidelines and are also nice to look at. You want a bag that’s spacious yet sleek, and won’t break down during your travels, so you can effortlessly flit about from one destination to the next. Now that travel is starting to open up again, you deserve to upgrade your luggage situation. Below, see our favorite carry-on suitcases to take on your upcoming adventures.




Away Bigger Carry-on Flex Suitcase

I’ve been a fan of Away’s polycarbonate luggage ever since I first used one of their Carry-On suitcases when traveling on a weeklong trip to Europe. Not only did I manage to easily fit all my belongings, but I had zero issues storing the bag in the overhead bin, and the durable suitcase is so convenient to roll around the airport. That said, I’m always looking for just a little more room, and the brand’s new Bigger Carry-On Flex has fast become my go-to, as it has an expansion zipper that gives you additional space, for those times you want to cram in just one (or two) extra pairs of shoes. The suitcase is also equipped with a TSA-approved lock, and comes with a laundry bag. $275, Away.


TravelPro Platinum Elite Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner

If you tend to be a bit hard on your luggage, try this extra-durable, leather-trimmed TravelPro suitcase. The polycarbonate rolling carry-on has a TSA-approved lock, an expansion zipper and an USB port for all your charging needs, because no one wants to arrive in a new country only to find that their phone is dead. $369.99, TravelPro.


Calpak Hue Carry-On Luggage with Pocket

This pretty blue hardcase suitcase is a sleek and stylish option, with a very practical front pocket so you can securely store your laptop or tablet. It helps free up so much space (and takes off the extra weight) in your personal bag. $225, Calpak.


Paravel Aviator Carry-On

You can’t get much chicer than this retro-inspired suitcase, which combines the best of style and durability. It’s not the most spacious option, but it still offers enough room to comfortably pack a few days worth of clothes, accessories and toiletries. It’s also sustainably-made, with recycled polycarbonate and zippers as well as interiors that are composed of upcycled plastic water bottles. $255, Paravel.


Delsey Clavel Expandable Spinner Carry-On

This French luggage brand’s expandable spinner comes in the prettiest shade of pink, and it’s practical, too, with an expansion pocket for extra space (clearly something that’s a big asset on this list), double spinner wheels and a lock, plus water-resistant zipper tape. $189.99, Delsey.


Herschel Highland Luggage Carry-On

While I’m usually more of a hardcase luggage fan (it’s typically more durable), those that prefer a softcase suitcase will love this version from Herschel, which is incredibly lightweight. It’s on the smaller side, with just one big main compartment, so it’s ideal for shorter getaways. $179.99, Herschel Supply Co.


July Carry-On

Australian brand July finally launched in the U.S. over the summer, bringing their ultra-lightweight suitcases stateside. This minimalist carry-on is made of ultra-strong German polycarbonate, with aluminum bumpers and leather finishes. The bag comes with an ejectable battery, too. $245, July.


Rimowa Essential Cabin Suitcase

There’s a reason Rimowa has been a jet-set favorite for years. The celeb-approved brand has long produced sturdy and stylish luggage, and while Rimowa might be best known for their aluminum suitcases, this pretty sage green valise is a chic alternative. The interior features an adjustable flex divider, and you can keep your belongings safe with the TSA-approved lock. It also comes with a luxe leather luggage tag. $720, Rimowa.


iFly Fibertech

If you’re looking for affordable yet quality luggage, you absolutely must try iFly. This carry-on is adorable and practical, and while it doesn’t have all the extra flashy accoutrements from some of the pricier luggage, it’s equipped with all you really need, with a durable polycarbonate exterior, two interior compartments and an expansion zipper. $95, iFly.

Arlo Skye.

Arlo Skye 

Travelers who prefer sleek bags sans zippers will flock to Arlo Skye’s stylish luggage. This lightweight, zipper-less carry-on is instead opened via lock clasps, for a neat and pristine look. The bag is trimmed in aluminum, with a portable, removable charger and extra-quiet wheels. $450, Arlo Skye.

The Best Carry-On Suitcases That Fit All Your Travel Essentials

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