What is the Best Carry On Luggage?

The hottest trend in travel seems to be packing light. Nothing is worse than schlepping bags through crowded airports or around rough roads and hectic train stations.

Longer lines and shorter connections have also added to today’s travel stress, along with fear of lost luggage, theft and long security searches. These nightmares make frequent travelers want to pack more into one suitcase. This includes me.

I spent this entire year travelling light and fitting quite a bit of clothes and gadgets for week long trips into a single Away carry on.

So which carry on suitcase does one buy to accomplish this amazing feat?

How I Choose my Favorite Carry On Suitcase

Choosing the best carry on suitcase is often personal and painful at the same time. With so many options to choose from, what’s a frequent traveler to do?

Since I travel a lot, I have powered through multiple suitcases over the years. From California to South Africa, Australia and back, I find there are several criteria that have proved the test of time.

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My Favorite Carry On Bag

Over the years I have gone through dozens of carry on Bags. I travel several times per month and find that my favorite carry on bag will vary based on the type of trip:

  • Short Business Trip
  • Short Weekend Trip
  • Long Leisure Trip
  • Long Business Trip

In my experience 3 bags can cover all three trips. This includes my need to always have workout clothes, computer and photopgraphy equipment on every journey.

Before I break it down by type, there are 3 other things to remember when buying luggage, carry on luggage or otherwise:

Don’t be cheap! I have $300 bags that have lasted be 10 years. My Mom bought be a cheap bag from an outlet and it fell apart on the first trip. She probably spent $60 on it, which is not that cheap but a $300-500 case lasting 10 years is a way bettet value.

Hard Cases last longer. Even my most reliable brand Samsonite seems to last longer in the hard case variety. The cloth deterioates faster. And although Samsonite will repair it free, it’s a hassle.

Go for a trusted brand like Samsonite. My Ben Sherman set has stayed pretty sturdy, but my Samonsite luggage is the most reliable brand over the years. I bought an Away bag last year which so far has made it through 3 big trips with flying colors, but that review is for another blog.