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Packing for a trip can be stressful when you’re working with the wrong type of carry-on luggage. After all, who wants to schlep a giant, unwieldy backpack around a crowded airport when you could’ve gone with a sleek spinner suitcase and avoided all the hassle? With the right travel bag, you’ll be prepared for virtually any adventure. Below, our top picks for the best carry-on luggage — airline restrictions in mind! — for men.
Our Top Picks
Best Budget: Herschel Supply Co. Carry-On
Proving that budget-friendly doesn’t have to mean ugly or ineffective, the Herschel Supply Co. Carry-On is both stylish and functional, and, best of all, it’s available at a very reasonable price point. Featuring a molded ABS hard shell exterior, a retractable three-stage trolley, comfy neoprene-padded handles at the side and top, and multi-directional muted wheels, this bag is a breeze to maneuver through chaotic airports. The bag’s split design has zippered mesh compartments and adjustable garment straps lined in Herschel’s signature striped, black-and-white fabric. For additional security, there’s a TSA-approved combination zipper lock. The Herschel Supply Co. Carry-On measures 21 x 14 x 9 inches and is available in several vibrant colors that include vermillion orange, ash rose, woodland camo, and olive night.
Best Hardshell: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage
When it comes to hardshell luggage, the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner is one of the best of its kind. Made from sturdy polycarbonate, the bag also has a telescoping handle system, a securely mounted short handle, and four double-spinner wheels, all of which means you’ll be able to effortlessly roll it through any airport. The top-rated piece of luggage features roomy inner compartments, with an interior divider panel (made of 150D polyester for extra strength) and three zippered pockets for securely storing smaller items. Plus, if you run out of space while packing, it's also expandable, offering 15 percent additional packing capacity. The exterior of this 28-inch hardside spinner boasts a lightweight-yet-strong hardshell with a shiny, modern brushed finish that’s stain- and weather-resistant. The dimensions of the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage are 20.3 x 12 x 30.6 inches.
Best Softshell: Travelpro Platinum Elite 22” Expandable Carry-On
Soft-sided luggage tends to be more versatile and durable in the long run, so if you’re on the lookout for a classic piece, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 22-Inch is a great pick. The basic carry-on boasts fantastic mobility thanks to its high-performance ball-bearing wheels and patented PowerScope airline-grade aluminum handle that can accommodate users of different heights. The interior has a deluxe tie-down system, built-in accessory pockets, a removable quart-sized pocket, and a built-in fold-out suiter that effectively keeps clothing wrinkle-free. Basically, it's ideal for weekend trips. The exterior is crafted from ballistic nylon that comes in a variety of colors — including vintage grey, bordeaux, shadow black, and rich espresso. The bag’s dimensions are 9 x 14 x 21 inches.
Most Durable: Samsonite Lamont 20” Expandable Carry-On Spinner
Frequent jetsetters will love the Samsonite Lamont 20” Expandable Carry-On; rubberized, texturized corner protectors and a durable polyester exterior effectively prevent wear-and-tear and help this bag last for a lifetime. Mobility is easy since the Lamont Spinner has four multi-directional spinner wheels as well as padded top and side carry handles that offer true comfort and ease of motion. The bag’s self-mending coil zippers provide security and closure, and the interior has enough space to appease even the worst over-packers. There’s a removable zippered pouch, a wetpack to hold accessories and smaller items, and multiple mesh pockets, plus a full-size front pocket to hold books, magazines, and other items you need to stash away quickly. The bag measures 9.6 x 23.6 x 14.6 inches. When it comes to durable, reliable luggage, Samsonite is one of the most trusted brands available — and the Lamont Spinner suitcase proves this.
Most Versatile: Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel
The Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel is sturdy, streamlined, and ultra-functional with an array of practical features. Whether you’re prepping for a lengthy, cross-country flight or a just a quick weekend trip, this high-quality duffel is an excellent carry-on pick. It has a well-disguised pole handle system and wheels so you can easily roll it along if you don’t feel like carrying it, and the interior is roomy, with a mesh wall pocket and a large floating pocket for bigger items. There are several external pockets that are perfect for holding smaller travel accessories as well. The Timbuk2 duffel is made of water-resistant 42D ripstop nylon, so it’s easy to care for and clean as needed, while the reinforced bottom helps to extend durability. The Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel measures 26.6 x 13.8 x 11.8 inches, and, for your peace of mind, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best Duffel: Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag
Sleek, ultra-functional, and stylish to boot, the Yeti Panga Duffel is the ideal bag for weekend adventures — especially if you’re headed to a wet climate or into the rugged backcountry. Not only is this fully waterproof bag designed to keep your belongings dry and secure (the hydrolok zipper effectively keeps water out), but the bag is crafted from ultra-durable, high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination, so the exterior is stain- and abrasion-resistant. It’ll definitely withstand any rough baggage handling or rainstorms you may encounter on the way to the airport. The sporty-cool Yeti Panga has two spacious, easy-to-access mesh pockets, while the six accompanying lash points make it easy to tote around and the EVA-molded bottom provides a waterproof landing pad. The duffel measures 23.4 x 14 x 10 inches and weighs 5.2 pounds.
Best Backpack: Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L
The sleek Patagonia Refugio is custom-designed for an ultra-comfy fit, with its soft, lightweight shoulder straps crafted from breathable mesh that taper to the male form. In addition to being well-fit, the bag boasts plenty of storage. There’s a spacious main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve big enough to fit most 15-inch models, a front organization compartment that’s great for managing cords and small items, a front stash pocket, and stretchy side pockets that fit water bottles of all shapes and sizes. The Refugio is made from 630-denier nylon, sturdy polyurethane, and recycled polyester lining, and finished with a durable water repellent coating that keeps it from getting stained or dirty on the road. It comes in several attractive colors and its dimensions are 19 x 12 x 8 inches. Patagonia is a trusted name in the world of superior travel accessories, and the Refugio 28L Pack is certainly no exception.
Best Luxury: Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On
As far as cutting-edge expansion technology and sleek add-ons go, the Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On is one of the most luxe pieces of luggage money can buy. With its hybrid fiberglass frame and ballistic nylon exterior, this carry-on is both lightweight and flexible, while still remaining highly durable. You can expand the bag while packing (so feel free to cram in that extra pair of shoes) and then compress everything down again to allow for easy overhead storage. In addition, the interior is lined with mesh garment panels so you don’t have to worry about your clothes shifting or getting wrinkled. The bag uses an outsider handling system, which means no uneven ridges at the bottom of the bag — everything packs in neatly and efficiently. It comes in three classic shades (black, olive, and navy) and its dimensions are a roomy 19.5 x 14 x 8 inches. If you have the dough to spend, you won't find better than this bag.