Carry-on Bag Buyer's Guide: Avoid the New Airline Luggage Fees
The Travel Pack
Red Oxx Skytrain 4.0 lbs. | $255 www.redoxx.comPros: • Lightweight (3½ to 4lbs) but full size • Extraordinarily well-made • Has backpack straps that can be concealed; shoulder strap included
Cons: • Best bags are expensive • No wheels Alternatives: Tom Bihn Aeronaut for $180, eBags Weekender Convertible for $69, LLBean Quick-Load Travel Pack for $99
Traditional Wheeled Carry-On
Eagle Creek Centerline Hovercraft 20 6 lbs, 13 oz. | $185 www.eaglecreek.comPros: • Has wheels for those who don't want to carry their bags • Well-made and durable with heavy zippers and good, strong handles • Designed especially to hold Eagle Creek packing folders and cubes
Cons: • If stuffed too full, may have to be checked • Heavier than non-wheeled bags (wheels add about 3 lbs to most bags) • Packing folders and cubes add more weight and are not included IMPORTANT NOTE: Some 22" wheeled suitcases can be too big for a carry-on when fully packed. Alternatives: Almost every luggage company makes a bag of these dimensions, but a no-name 21" or 22" wheeled suitcase from any big retailer is the cheapest option (about $30).
Rigid Polycarbonate Carry-on
Cons: • Not quite as roomy as soft-sided bags • Handle takes up a fair amount of room inside the bag • Can't be expanded or overstuffed because of the hard case • Shiny polycarbonate scratches easily, though many scuff marks will wash off Alternatives: Titan X2 International Carry-on 21" ($550), Zero Halliburton 21" polycarbonate expandable ($206).
Wheeled Carry-on Duffle
Cons: • Duffles can be awkward to store in some overhead bins. • Because of shape, some airlines will ask you to check this bag. • Can tip over if you turn quickly. Alternatives: ebags Mother Lode Mini 21" Wheeled Duffle ($149). From the Forums: "The soft-side style may be important for getting carry-on successfully. I saw a tip from an airlines employee. She said that sometimes even if your rigid-side carry-on is not over the 21" maximum, if the plane is crowded they may come through and make you check it. It's because it's harder to get it into the overhead bin, and it won't "give" if the bins are jammed." --- travelerjan (more) --Doug Stallings Top photo courtesy of Stephen Witherden.
Member Comments (2) Post a Comment
I am so glad I dropped by your website and even http://thebestcarryonluggage.net I really need a good case to put all my things when my friends and I go on vacation.
A couple points: first, while 22 x 14 x 9 inches is the standard carry-on size in the United States, if you're headed overseas you'll find that many airlines have a smaller maximum size. This is discussed in detail on this page:
Second, this article only covers wheeled luggage, which is always heavier than a shoulder bag or a backpack, which usually run around 3 lbs. If you ask me, a carry on backpack is the way to go for serious "carry on only" travel.
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