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The Best Carry On Suitcase - 2021

Last updated on September 14, 2021

We looked at the top 13 Carry On Suitcases and dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Carry On Suitcases.

Best Carry On Suitcase

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Our Picks For The Top Carry On Suitcases

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

AmazonBasics

Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch

Overall Take

Expands for More StorageThis carry-on suitcase has a telescoping handle, spinner wheels and three inner pockets.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage and Suitcase, Total Travel Bag, Travel Gear Zone, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" If you are in the market for a low-cost suitcase, then this is a very viable option. The glossy versions are actually nice to look at and could easily pass as a more premium product. They are slightly more expensive..."
Cons
"Not made of PC, Only has one bag"
  Expandable Pick

Rockland Melbourne Carry On Spinner Luggage, 20-Inch

Rockland

Melbourne Spinner Carry On Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Take

Ergonomic, Telescoping HandleTravelers that require a little extra space in their carry on will love that this carry-on suitcase is expandable.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus Luggage Spots, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot.
Pros
" Available in many colors, Low cost, Expandable"
Cons
"The emblem logo is known to come off after repeated use."
  Best Set

U.S. Traveler Rio Fabric Expandable Carry On Suitcase, 2-Piece

U.S. Traveler

Rio Fabric Expandable Carry On Suitcase, 2-Piece

Overall Take

Self-Locking Handle SystemWith this traveler suitcase, you'll enjoy high-quality construction and a choice of six rich colors.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Choose Your Color

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds Carry-On Suitcase, 20-Inch

Kenneth Cole Reaction

Out Of Bounds Carry-On Suitcase, 20-Inch

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll find this carry-on suitcase comes in a choice of 14 bright colors, including cobalt blue, Kelly green, red, magenta and deep purple.

Experts Included
DWYM Travel Experts plus BestReviews, Best Luggage, Expert World Travel, Luggage Spots, Trip Savvy, Travel Gear Zone and 8 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" A rugged, lightweight, hard-shell suitcase with a spacious interior. Fits carry-on standards. Comes in several stylish colors,"
Cons
"It is not a great choice for those who like PC very much rather than ABS."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the carry on suitcases available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

34

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Best Luggage, Expert World Travel, Luggage Spots, Trip Savvy.

76,681

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Carry On Suitcases and also dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Carry On Suitcases.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch


Our Expert Score

7.8
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
10,562 user reviews

Our Take

Thanks to its hard outer shell, this carry-on suitcase will keep all of your valuables safe when traveling. The shell is also scratch-resistant, which ensures the luggage continues to look like new even years after you bought it. Inside the suitcase, you'll find plenty of room for your items; however, the bag also expands by 15% to allow for additional clothing.

What other experts liked

If you are in the market for a low-cost suitcase, then this is a very viable option. The glossy versions are actually nice to look at and could easily pass as a more premium product. They are slightly more expensive...
- Luggage and Suitcase
Hardside shell, ABS construction, Four double spinners, Smooth motion, Quiet wheels, Organization tools
- Total Travel Bag
Hardshell with scratch resistant finish storage space expand up to 15 percent, telescoping handle
- Travel Gear Zone
We love that this basic spinner suitcase comes in a variety of sizes and has well-made, smooth moving wheels.
- BestReviews

What other experts didn't like

Nobody is going to pretend that this is some premium item with great design and construction. It isn’t.
- Luggage and Suitcase
Not made of PC, Only has one bag
- Total Travel Bag
Heavy, poor stitching
- Travel Gear Zone
Not quite as lightweight as some competing models.
- BestReviews

The Best Bang For Your Buck

U.S. Traveler Rio Fabric Expandable Carry On Suitcase, 2-Piece

User Summarized Score

8.8
6,598 user reviews

Our Take

Although you can transport this traveler suitcase using the upper carrying handle, it also comes with a set of inline skate wheels. The main case offers two outer pockets and one large inner mesh pocket, while the smaller case has one outer pocket. If you find that you need more space, the larger bag can be expanded to fit additional clothing.

Overall Product Rankings

AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch

1. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 5

Rockland Melbourne Carry On Spinner Luggage, 20-Inch

2. Rockland Melbourne Carry On Spinner Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 6

COOLIFE Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage, 20-Inch

5. COOLIFE Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 3

Travelpro Maxlite Softside Carry On Suitcase, 19-Inch

6. Travelpro Maxlite Softside Carry On Suitcase, 19-Inch

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 4

Samsonite Omni Wheeled Carry On Suitcase, 20-Inch

8. Samsonite Omni Wheeled Carry On Suitcase, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

Olympia Rolling Shopper Tote Luggage, 20-Inch

9. Olympia Rolling Shopper Tote Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

GoPenguin Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 20-Inch

10. GoPenguin Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 3

Betsey Johnson Duffel Weekender Roller Bag, 21.5-Inch

11. Betsey Johnson Duffel Weekender Roller Bag, 21.5-Inch

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 1

Steve Madden Softside Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch

12. Steve Madden Softside Expandable Carry On, 20-Inch

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 1

Perry Ellis Mobile Office Spinner Luggage, 16-Inch

13. Perry Ellis Mobile Office Spinner Luggage, 16-Inch

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Our Carry On Suitcase Findings


AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch

What We Liked: Thanks to its hard outer shell, this carry-on suitcase will keep all of your valuables safe when traveling. The shell is also scratch-resistant, which ensures the luggage continues to look like new even years after you bought it. Inside the suitcase, you’ll find plenty of room for your items; however, the bag also expands by 15% to allow for additional clothing.


Rockland Melbourne Carry On Spinner Luggage, 20-Inch

What We Liked: Made from a durable ABS material, this carry-on suitcase is designed to last. It is equipped with an ergonomic aluminum telescoping handle and multi-directional double spinner wheels that make maneuvering the carry on suitcase a breeze. There are also several pockets to help keep you organized while you travel.


U.S. Traveler Rio Fabric Expandable Carry On Suitcase, 2-Piece

What We Liked: Although you can transport this traveler suitcase using the upper carrying handle, it also comes with a set of inline skate wheels. The main case offers two outer pockets and one large inner mesh pocket, while the smaller case has one outer pocket. If you find that you need more space, the larger bag can be expanded to fit additional clothing.


Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds Carry-On Suitcase, 20-Inch

What We Liked: You won’t have any trouble moving around the airport when you opt for this carry-on suitcase. Not only is it lightweight, but it also has multi-directional spinner wheels. Then there’s the retractable telescoping trolley handle, which makes maneuvering the suitcase a breeze.


COOLIFE Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage, 20-Inch

What We Liked: With a built-in TSA lock, this carry-on suitcase keeps your belongings safe. The luggage has a telescoping handle with three different height choices and quiet spinner wheels that allow you to pull the bag. If you upgrade to the 28-inch carry on suitcase, you’ll get the added ability to expand the suitcase to fit more clothing, souvenirs and personal items.

Our Carry On Suitcase Buying Guide

When you travel, it’s a good idea to have a few things at your disposal. You’ll want comfort items, personal care products and an extra set of clothing. Since it is unlikely that you’ll be able to fit all of these things in your purse, you’ll need to purchase a carry on suitcase.

Ideal carry on luggage has 360-degree spinner wheels, so you don’t have to lift the bag. The wheels make it so that you can push or pull the suitcase in any direction.

A telescoping handle with a comfortable grip is also essential to maneuvering the carry-on. Check for a push-button recessed locking handle system with at least a few height options. You want to be able to adjust the handle to match your height.

Review the carry on suitcase’s construction material. A durable ABS material is a good choice, as its hard shell protects the contents of the bag much better than a soft material. If you do opt for a bag made using a softer material, make sure it is coated to resist water and stains, as the more you travel, the more likely you are to come into contact with rain and mud puddles.

You may also want to opt for a carry on bag that has a few extras, such as a built-in TSA lock or one that comes with a choice of colors and patterns. There are also suitcases with an abundance of interior and exterior pockets and compartments, which will help you stay organized during your trip.

DWYM Fun Fact

Before you head to the airport, it’s important that you know the rules and regulations that have been created in regard to carry on bags. For example, the airline may require all carry on suitcases to not exceed 22 by 14 by 9-inches, as anything bigger may not fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat. In some cases, the airline may also have weight restrictions.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also restricts certain items to checked baggage only. For example, you cannot pack a baseball bat, toy swords made of foam, gel candles, gel heating pads or Magic 8 Balls in a carry on, even though they are permissible in your checked luggage.

The Carry On Suitcase Tips and Advice

  • Review the cleaning instructions for the carry on suitcase you purchased before attempting to wash it. Hardshell luggage, for example, can be wiped down with a wet rag. Bags made using a soft material, on the other hand, might have more complex cleaning instructions. Of course, you can use the attachment on your vacuum to clean out the inside of any piece of luggage.
  • There are a few features that affect the price of carry-on suitcases. These include size, construction materials and the number of pockets and storage compartments. You’ll find the U.S. Traveler Rio Fabric Expandable Carry On Suitcase, 2-Piece is one of the most affordable options. The Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds Carry-On Suitcase, 20-Inch and the Rockland Melbourne Spinner Luggage, 20-Inch have a more moderate price tag. The AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry On Luggage, 21-Inch has the highest cost of the bunch.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared in leading financial publications. She's also a financial coach and mother to two daughters. When she's not writing, you'll find her gardening, spending time with her kids, cooking in the kitchen or playing with her two kitties, Flitter and Otter. Alicia loves researching the latest and greatest gadgets, products and items that help her save time, energy and money.