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-Oct 9, 2022

The Best Carry-On Bags

Since I've tried and tested so many different types of carry-on bags and luggage, I thought it would be helpful for me to start sharing more detailed reviews, that include specifications, as well as my personal opinions.
By Teresa Caruso
* CONTAINS AFFILIATES

As many of you know, Matt and I split our time between South Carolina and New York, so we spend a ton of time traveling. Ever since I started creating packing videos, I have received dozens of questions about my travel gear. It became apparent that many of you travel often too or are in the market for new travel bags. Since I’ve tried and tested so many different types of carry-on bags and luggage, I thought it would be helpful for me to start sharing more detailed reviews, that include specifications, as well as my personal opinions. Everyone has different styles and priorities while traveling, so while all of the carry-on bags I’m featuring today are products I recommend, I’m hoping this guide will help you pinpoint which one may make the most sense for you.

Best Compartments, Beis Weekender Bag, $98

The Beis Weekender Bag is one I have been trying to get my hands on for the longest time. It is definitely one of the most popular carry-on bags right now, and rightfully so. It has some of my favorite features, which I’ll get into, and overall I find the style to be the most timeless. And at just under $100, I find the price to match the quality.

Features of the Beis Weekender Bag:

  • Dimensions: 19″ W x 15.7″ H x 9.8″ D. Out of all of the carry-on bags I’ll be reviewing today, the Beis Weekender Bag is the largest overall.
  • Weight when empty: 3.86 lbs. This bag is the heaviest of the bunch so just keep that in mind. If you’re someone who tends to pack your bags to absolute capacity, just know you’re already starting at almost 4 lbs.
  • Laptop section: The interior of the bag includes a separate section for your laptop. It’s made of foam so it’ll protect your computer and it has a velcro closure so that it stays in place. This is a really important feature for me personally since I bring my laptop with me wherever I go. I also love that because my laptop has it’s own section, I’m able to easily take it out when I’m going through airport security.
  • Wide opening: I LOVE the wide opening of this bag. It completely opens up so you can easily pack what you need without having to squash everything in.
  • Water-resistant lining: Great for those accidental spills and leaks.
  • Separate shoe compartment at the bottom: Even when I’m traveling light, I always like to have extra shoe options, so this shoe compartment has been incredibly helpful. It fits about two pairs of shoes, but of course that will vary on the type of shoe/shoe size. I also sometimes use this compartment to separate my laundry from my clean clothes.
  • Luggage trolley strap: fits right over the handle of your luggage, but you can also keep it zippered to use as an extra pocket.
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Does it fit under the seat in front of you? It depends. Technically, by most airline’s definition of a personal item, it can’t. However, if you keep softer things in the shoe compartment, you may be able to push it under.

Most Affordable, Amazon Carry-On Bag, under $40

If you’re looking for a carry-on bag that is a bit more budget-friendly, this is the one for you. While it may not be as luxurious as the other carry-on bags on this list, it is lightweight and has plenty of compartments and features.

Features of the Amazon travel bag:

  • Dimensions: 18.5″ W x 9.5″ H x 8.7″ D
  • Weight when empty: 1.7 lbs
  • A separate shoe compartment with vents: One of my favorite features of the Amazon carry-on bag is the separate zippered compartment at the bottom for shoes. On average you can fit about two pairs of shoes, but if you’re traveling with sandals, you may be able to squeeze three. On the flipside, if you’re traveling with boots, you may only be able to fit one pair plus some random accessories you can squeeze in next to them.
  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • Luggage trolley strap: fits right over the handle of your luggage.
  • USB charging port: One of the coolest features of the Amazon carry-on bag is the USB charging port. On the interior of the bag, there’s a wire to connect a power bank (you’ll have to buy this separately) and on the exterior of the bag, there’s a port to connect your phone charger and phone. The best part is there is a pocket on the exterior where you can keep your phone stored so that you’re able to charge it on the go, but keep it in reach.
  • Zippered waterproof pocket: On the interior of the bag, there is a separate zippered pocket designed for storing wet clothes. This is great for bathing suits, gym clothes, or simply for keeping dirty clothes away from clean ones.
  • Extra pouches: This carry-on bag includes two drawstring pouches for shoes, as well as a matching toiletry bag.
  • Does it fit under the seat in front of you? Yes!
  • Want to see a video showcasing the features? Click here!

Overall, the Amazon carry-on bag is a fantastic option! I would say the only drawback is the random logo on the front of it. It’s in a white font, so it’s hardly noticeable, but I wish they would have kept it plain. If it is something that would bother you but you still love the bag, I suggest covering it with a cute patch! Also keep in mind, that compared to the other carry-on bags on this list, I would say this one has the thinnest material, but I haven’t found that to effect durability at all!

Most Lightweight, Calpak Luka Duffel, $120

The Calpak Luka Duffel is one of my first carry-on bags and it’s still one of my favorites to this day. Aside from the great selection of compartments, the amazing thing about the Luka duffel is how lightweight it is. One downside of carry-on bags is that they tend to get heavy quickly and even though most fit over your luggage, there will be moments when you have to keep it on your shoulder. You don’t want to make it worse by starting with a bag that’s already heavy when it’s empty.

Features of the Calpak Luka Duffel:

  • Dimensions: 16″ W x 12″ H x 7″ D
  • Lightweight: The carry-on bag weighs only 1.95 lbs when empty. It is slightly heavier than the Amazon carry-on bag, however it is larger!
  • Water-resistant exterior
  • Tons of pockets, including a shoe compartment: What’s different about this shoe compartment compared to the Amazon carry-on bag and Beis Weekender Bag, is that it’s built into the bag, so it doesn’t add any additional height to your bag (making it easier to squeeze under the seat in front of you). The downside is that because it’s less structured, if you overstuff it, it can take up space from the main compartment of your bag.
  • Luggage trolley sleeve
  • Water bottle pocket: This feature may seem simple but someone who does not travel without some sort of beverage, this is a must! (And not all carry-on bags have one)
  • Does it fit under the seat in front of you? Yes!
  • Want to see a video packing this bag? Click here!

The Calpak Luka Duffel is an amazing lightweight option for travel. It’s softer silhouette and structure makes it one of the most flexible when trying to fit it into small spaces (overhead bins, trunks, under your seat, etc).

Chicest, Calpak Hue Laptop Duffel, $168

Out of all of the carry-on bags I reviewed today, I would say the Calpak Hue Laptop Duffel is the most polished, which is probably why it has the highest price tag. This one definitely has a more elevated, “professional” look to it, so if you travel often for work, you may consider this one the winner.

Features of the Calpak Hue Laptop Duffel:

  • Dimensions: 18″ W x 10″ H x 9.5″ D
  • Weight when empty: 3 lbs
  • Padded laptop sleeve with a button closure: It can fit up to a 15″ laptop.
  • Buttery faux leather
  • Removable accessory pouch: Great for storing cash/ID/credit cards.
  • Luggage trolley sleeve
  • Detachable strap
  • Does it fit under the seat in front of you? Yes!
  • Want to see a packing video featuring this bag? Click here!

Honestly, all four are fantastic options for traveling, but it’s all about preference. Do you prefer something super light? Is style most important to you? Does it have to fit under the seat? Etc! I hope this new travel review series is helpful, and I can’t wait to share my next review. Let me know in the comments below the type of product you’d like me to review next.

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