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Best Overall: TravelPro Crew 11 at eBags
"Has plenty to offer the traveler who likes to—or needs to—stay connected while they travel."
Best Budget: Gen SH 21-inch Duffel Carry On at Amazon
"Travelers love how well-made these bags are, especially at the price point."
Best Bold Design: Calpak x Oh Joy Carry On Suitcase at eBags
"The confetti pattern is downright joyous, and the colors are bright and distinctive without being too conspicuous."
Best for Business Travel: Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Carry-On at Amazon
"Great for travel dossiers, passport, tablet, and other travel day essentials."
Best Smart Luggage: Arlo Polycarbonate Carry On at Arlo Skye
"The case is secured with one-touch latches."
Best Budget Smart Bag: The Bigger Carry On at Away
"Laden with a USB charger and portable power pack for recharging on the go."
Best Underseat: Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port at Amazon
"The bag is built to fit under most airline seats, and it can definitely fit up top."
Best Vintage Style: DELSEY Paris Delsey Luggage at Amazon
"Incorporates classic retro sophistication into well-built, long-lasting suitcases."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: TravelPro Crew 11
Stylish yet practical, carry-on luggage for women includes duffels, underseaters, and more. Weighing slightly over seven pounds, this bag is a smart marriage of smart tech and sleek form, and it has plenty to offer the traveler who likes to—or needs to—stay connected while they travel. The bag has a USB port that’s easy to access from the outside, thanks to a purpose-designed pocket it rests in, so it’s easily at hand not just for charging, but for removal if your bag is checked at the gate. As far as actually using the bag for travel, the carry-on handles like a dream: Its handles are designed with a patented grip that’s cushion-y and comfortable, even after a kilometer on the cobblestones, and the bag has two spinner wheels that use MagnaTrac technology to self-align and make movement easier and smoother.
If you’re a little on the tall or short side, no worries: The bag’s handle slides out to 38 inches, 40 inches, and 2.5 inches so a range of heights can comfortably use the bag.
Best Budget: Gen SH 21-inch Duffel Carry On
If you’re heading off on a short trip or just need a last-minute bag for a trip, Gen SH’s 21-inch duffel is compliant with most airlines—in fact, users report it can even fit under the seat in front of you—and has a fun geometric print to boot. It has enough room for anything you might need for an overnight or weekend getaway, and we love the two exterior pockets and interior dividers that keep computer and gear separate from your clothing. One word of caution: Although it looks quilted, it’s actually not; however, the material is thick and feels likely to hold up just as well.
The shoulder strap is removable, too, so you can just carry it by the dual handles if that’s easier. Travelers love how well-made these bags are, especially at the price point, and this bag in particular folds up well so you can pack it flat in a larger bag if that’s easier going one direction.
Best Bold Design: Calpak x Oh Joy Carry On Suitcase
This small carry-on is perfect for overnights or long weekends—and it’s definitely not going to get lost in the crowd. The confetti pattern is downright joyous, and the colors are bright and distinctive without being too conspicuous. Plus, at 18 inches by 11.75 inches by 8.75 inches, the bag fits most airlines’ carry-on requirements just fine. The hardshell polycarbonate on the exterior is highly durable, and the padded handle stays comfortable no matter how many miles you have to drag it between curb and gate on the way to your final destination.
The inside is lined with bright candy-striped fabric and pockets, as well as a compression belt and clothing divider in the top half to help keep things organized. The bag’s spinner wheels are multidirectional, so you can navigate the roads—and the crowds—with ease. Once you’re back at home, store the bag in its included dust bag to help keep it ready for your next adventure.
Best for Business Travel: Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Carry-On
This durable wheeled carry-on by Victorinox is perfect for business travelers who are just heading out of town on business for a day or two. It’s made from break-resistant Bayer polycarbonate, which is finished off with a scratch-resistant finish and has its strength bolstered with corner guards and zipper bumpers. Brilliantly, and what’s particularly good for those traveling for work, the bag has a 15.6-inch laptop compartment you can access quickly through a special door on the front of the suitcase. It’ll hold more than a computer, too: It’s also great for travel dossiers, passport, tablet, and other travel day essentials.
Although it’s a spinner case, those who prefer pulling it on two wheels can easily switch it up, thanks to the adjustable handle system. Your belongings are also protected inside the bag with TSA-approved locks. For something with a bit more color, it also comes in a cherry red.
Best Smart Luggage: Arlo Polycarbonate Carry On
If you’re heavily dependent on the Macintosh line of products for work, life, and play, this smart bag is made for you. Arlo’s polycarbonate, high-tech products are known to be some of the best in the biz, combining common-sense practicality with sleek design. We love that the design team has eliminated little annoyances that can seriously ruin a travel day, like zippers that snag or break—instead, the case is secured with one-touch latches. Charge your Mac products quickly from the bag’s built-in USB C and A QuickCharge 3.0 charging ports—and the charger’s removable too, so taking it onto airplanes isn’t an issue. Choose your bag from a gorgeous range of colors—including on-trend shades like rose gold and champagne; it’ll also come with two shoe bags and one for dirty laundry. For further freshness, the bag is lined with antimicrobial fabric, and belongings inside are protected by a strong aluminum frame.
Best Budget Smart Bag: The Bigger Carry On
Away has attracted a cult following since the moment its line of beautifully stylish, highly Instagrammable bags debuted—and it’s not all looks with this company: Sure, the bags look pretty, but they’re also smart bags, laden with a USB charger and portable power pack for recharging on the go. We love the gorgeous colors these bags come in, making them easy to spot in a group of bags if you’re on a trip with a few people—or just a little pop of happy color on a stressful travel day.
The bags also hold up well under the rigors of travel, with what the company declares is an “unbreakable” polycarbonate shell. We love the Hinomoto wheels that spin in a full circle if required on the base of the suitcase: They’re well known in the industry for being some of the smoothest out there. With a decent size—22.7 inches by 14.7 inches by 9.6 inches and almost 48 liters of capacity—the bag has plenty of room while still meeting most airline restrictions for carryon size.
Best Underseat: Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port
This suitcase is exclusive to eBags, and it’s worth checking out the site for this handy underseat bag alone. It’s a smart bag, meaning it comes with a USB charger—handy, because if you’re working during a flight, you won’t be able to take your carry on down from the overhead bins to charge your electronics while you use them. At 16.5 by 13.5 by 9 inches—unpacked, that is—the bag is built to fit under most airline seats, and it can definitely fit up top if the space is extra tight under the seat for some reason.
On the ground, the four spinner wheels make it easy to navigate with, while handy features like a front organizer with pockets for everything—down to your pens and cards—keep everything together intuitively. The colors it comes in are also gorgeous, ranging from a rich, bold red to an on-trend teal and dark plum.
Best Vintage Style: DELSEY Paris Delsey Luggage
French luggage institution Delsey has been known for its durable, elegantly designed luggage since 1946, and its Chatelet collection, inspired by the eponymous Parisian district, incorporates classic retro sophistication into well-built, long-lasting suitcases. The 21-inch carry-on, which comes in color options of white with tan detailing or black with tan, is tanned in faux leather, and has a luxe red interior lining that puts the glamor back in trave. The wheels on the case are great, too: The bag has a “stop and go” brake system built in that allows travelers to lock the double Hinomoto spinner wheels in the front to stop it from drifting off on a slope while keeping the back two wheels unlocked for easy wheeling.
Delsey’s bags also come with a limited 10-year warranty, so you’re protected in most cases should the worst happen and a component defects. The bag also comes with two interior bags and a hanger to help keep clothes organized on the go.