The 9 Best Carry-On Luggage for Men

Perfect options for the man on the go

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Away Carry-On at awaytravel.com

"The wheels rotate a full 360 degrees, so you won’t have any trouble toting it around the airport."

Best Budget: Herschel Supply Co. Carry-On at Amazon

"Both stylish and functional, and best of all, it’s available at a reasonable price point."

Best Duffel: Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffle Bag at Amazon

"The classic bag is made of weather-resistant, saddle-grade bridle leather and rugged twill."

Best Hardshell: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage at Amazon

"Made from sturdy polycarbonate, the bag also has a telescoping handle system."

Best Softshell: Travelpro Platinum Elite 22” Expandable Carry-On at Amazon

"The interior has a deluxe tie-down system, built-in accessory pockets, and a removable quart-sized pocket."

Most Durable: Samsonite Leverage LTE Softside Expandable at Amazon

"From the inside out, the durable bag is designed to go the long haul."

Most Versatile: Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel at Amazon

"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."

Best Backpack: Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L at backcountry.com

"In addition to being well-fit, the bag boasts plenty of storage."

Best Luxury: Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On at Amazon

"This carry-on is both lightweight and flexible, while still remaining highly durable."

For the guy who prefers to pack light or avoid the hassle of checking a bag, buying the perfect carry-on luggage is a must. But the struggle can arise to find something large enough to fit everything on your packing checklist, but small enough to fit into an overhead bin. Luckily, there's no shortage of quality brands that have great features like adjustable handle heights, expansion, and so much more for the man who's on the go.

"When shopping for luggage, particularly carry-on pieces, people sometimes make simple mistakes," says Brian Oliver, a Baltimore-based travel content creator, who's visited nearly 60 countries. Those mistakes can include not taking the weight of the actual luggage into consideration as well as the dimensions, which can result in being forced to check a bag on some airlines and pay hefty fees.

To help you find a suitable option, here are the best carry-on luggage for men.

Best Overall: Away Carry-On

Away Carry-On

Away 

What We Like
  • Durable shell

  • Available in a range of colors

  • 360-degree wheels are easy to maneuver

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't expand

Sleek, superbly designed, and remarkably lightweight, the Away Carry-On has been featured in several major magazine articles and on countless Instagram feeds for a reason. The spinner is easily one of the best carry-on suitcases available—both in terms of looks and features. Crafted from a hardy polycarbonate shell, the bag is built to withstand all your travel adventures, no matter how rugged things get. It’s also a millennial fave, in particular, for its cutting-edge tech capabilities, like a built-in battery and TSA-approved combination lock. All four wheels rotate a full 360 degrees, so you won’t have any trouble toting it around the airport. Plus, keeping your belongings organized has never been easier; there are two interior compartments (one for clothes and one with an open cavity, for shoes, hats, or larger items) and even a hidden laundry bag. It's also available in 10+ shades, including white, black, sky blue, dark green, and asphalt.

Size: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 in. | Weight: 8.1 lbs. | Expandable: No

"One side of the shell has a zippered mesh compartment for awkward-shaped items like shoes and toiletries. The other has straps that hug our favorite feature of Away Carry-On’s interior: a removable panel that compresses the clothes."— Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Best Budget: Herschel Supply Co. Carry-On

Herschel Supply Co. Trade Power Carry-On

 Moosejaw

What We Like
  • Comfortable, easy to grip handles

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Limited interior capacity

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 is available in several vibrant colors that include vermillion orange, ash rose, woodland camo, and olive night.

Size: 21.5 x 14 x 9 in. | Weight: 6.35 lbs. | Expandable: No

Best Duffel: Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffle Bag

Filson Medium Duffle Bag

 Filson

What We Like
  • Water-resistant, durable material

  • Adjustable leather strap

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Filson’s Medium Rugged Twill Duffle is truly the definition of rugged-chic. No expense was spared in the creation of this duffle. The classic bag is made of weather-resistant, saddle-grade bridle leather and rugged twill. Additional touches include a fully rust-proof brass zipper and iconic Filson body tabs to boot. There’s an adjustable, removable strap with a shoulder pad for extra comfort and ease, the interior pockets are made of dry-finish tin cloth, and there’s even a storm-flap closure for added protection from the elements. The twill duffle is available in four eye-catching colors: cinder, navy, tan, and otter green. The bag is lightweight, which makes it ideal for tossing into overhead bins and carrying along on weekend excursions or overnight trips.

Size: 20 x 12 x 13 in. | Expandable: No

Best Hardshell: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage

What We Like
  • Interior organization

  • Expands for additional storage

What We Don't Like
  • No exterior locks

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 capacity. The exterior of this 20-inch hardside spinner boasts a lightweight-yet-strong hardshell with a shiny, modern brushed finish that’s stain- and weather-resistant.

Size: 21.6 x 14.9 x 10 in. | Weight: 7.34 lbs. | Expandable: Yes

Best Softshell: Travelpro Platinum Elite 22” Expandable Carry-On

What We Like
  • Adjustable handle

  • Stain-resistant material

  • Genuine leather trim

What We Don't Like
  • Zippers can get stuck

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.

Size: 21 x 14 x 9 in. | Weight: 7.7 lbs. | Expandable: Yes

Most Durable: Samsonite Leverage LTE Softside Expandable

What We Like
  • Material is resistant to tears and punctures

  • Expands by 1.5 inches

What We Don't Like
  • Exterior pockets can be shallow

Frequent jetsetters will love the Samsonite Leverage LTE's rubberized, texturized corner protectors and a durable polyester exterior, which prevent wear-and-tear and help this bag last for a lifetime. Mobility is easy since the Leverage 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 and multiple mesh pockets, plus a full-size front pocket to hold books, magazines, and other items you need to stash away quickly. When it comes to durable, reliable luggage, Samsonite is one of the most trusted brands available and this option is no different. 

Size: 20 x 14.5 x 8 in. | Weight: 8 lbs. | Expandable: Yes

Most Versatile: Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel

Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel

Courtesy of eBags

What We Like
  • Great warranty

  • Exterior pocket for shoes or toiletries

What We Don't Like
  • The handle can feel flimsy

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 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. For added peace of mind, the Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel comes with a lifetime warranty.

Size: 23.6 x 13.8 x 11.8 in. | Weight: 5.5 lbs. | Expandable: No

Best Backpack: Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L

Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L

Courtesy of Patagonia

What We Like
  • Comfortable, breathable straps

  • Water-resistant material

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Only ideal for shorter trips or hikes

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. Patagonia is a trusted name in the world of superior travel accessories, and the Refugio 28L Pack is certainly no exception.

Size: 19 x 12 x 8 in. | Weight: 1.7 lbs. | Expandable: No

Best Luxury: Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On

What We Like
  • 360-degree spinner wheels

  • Built-in garment hanger

  • Expands 2.5 inches

What We Don't Like
  • Can tip over when fully packed

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. If you have the dough to spend, you won't find better than this bag.

Size: 22 x 14 x 9 in. | Weight: 8.9 lbs. | Expandable: Yes

"The first thing we noticed is that this bag features oodles of useful pockets. A large exterior pocket on the front easily holds a hardcover book and an iPad or magazine. A second shallow pocket atop the bigger one is roughly as big as a business envelope, making it ideal for storing documents."Hailey Eber, Product Tester

Final Verdict

For a truly sturdy option that also looks quite sleek, Away's Carry-On (view at Away) is a solid pick for a range of trips or travelers. Though the hard polycarbonate shell is durable, it's also lightweight and easy to wheel through airports or lift in the overhead bin.

What to Look for in Carry-On Luggage for Men

Material

Carry-on luggage comes in a variety of styles, with one of the main differences being the choice between a hard shell or soft case. This can really come down to preference. A polycarbonate exterior looks sleek, but can get dinged up. However, a nylon exterior is less likely to show wear and tear. The material really becomes an important factor if you unexpectedly have to check your bag. "Sometimes on full flights the airline will ask for volunteers to check their carry-on bags. Knowing that airlines can often damage bags during the process, having a well made product is important," says Oliver.

Features

The look of a carry-on is great, and many even have useful features that make packing and even traveling much easier. This can include a built-in USB port, TSA-approved locks, and a telescoping handle. Over packers should also look for a carry-on that expands by at least 1.5 inches and even has interior compression straps.

Price

Though you tend to get what you pay for, it's absolutely possible to find a quality carry-on that doesn't cost hundreds. But for frequent travelers or those who have the cash to spend, it can be a great idea to invest in a brand that offers a long, or even lifetime, warranty.

FAQs

What's the best carry-on for a man?

It's rare to find carry-on luggage that's specifically marketed towards men, but there might be some key factors to keep in mind. One of the most important is probably the height of the handle. A handle that's adjustable and a comfortable height isn't just easy to maneuver through the airport, but it's more comfortable and doesn't impact posture.

How do you pack a suit in carry-on luggage?

Packing larger items or expensive, special occasion clothes like a suit can feel tricky. Some carry-ons come with a handy hanger and those who often travel with suits might want to consider a tri-fold garment bag.

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