No matter if you travel once a year or once a month, having the right carry-on luggage can make all the difference. Not only can it save you time from checking in bags, but the right carry-on luggage can also force you to just take what you need and nothing you don’t. The good news is that once you have decided to take a carry-on during your next adventure, you have a plethora of options with which to choose.
Of course, having so many options can be a double-edged sword and you might end up spending more time deciding what to buy than you would traveling with whatever you purchase. Thankfully, Reddit can step in and help cut through the noise so you can make an educated decision on which carry-on is right for you.
Let’s take a look at the 8 best carry-on luggage bags Reddit recommends in 2023.
Using Reddit for Carry-On Suggestions
While there is absolutely no shortage of articles online that can give you reviews of carry-on luggage, Reddit is something else entirely. Instead of limited reviews from someone who has only spent a short time with a bag, Redditors jump in across a variety of subreddits with their takes after having spent months traveling with a bag.
These first-person accounts of each bag from Reddit will give you the hard truths about how each bag performs over multiple trips as a carry-on item across different airlines and whether you should make a purchase. It’s this real-world feedback from Reddit that will narrow down your list to the exact bag that is good for your needs and your budget.
With that in mind, let’s jump right into the most recommended carry-on luggage bags as determined by Reddit.
#1 Best Overall: Briggs & Riley 21-inch Baseline Global Carry-On
- Outsider handle provides optimal capacity and a ﬂat packing surface inside to minimize wrinkling
- One-touch CX expansion increases packing capacity when you need more space
- The foam roll bar neatly holds 1-2 suits and prevents wrinkling
- Conveniently store battery pack and cell phone for charging on the go in the power pocket
- Hide-away ID tag and SpeedThru pocket with orange lining visually informs you that the pocket is opened
When it comes to the best carry-on luggage according to Reddit, the Briggs & Riley 21-inch Baseline Global Carry-On is the best of the bunch.
As a 2-wheel option, the Briggs & Riley 21-inch Baseline Global Carry-On offers high-density wheels to make rolling through an airport or anywhere else effortless. The same level of care has gone into a strong ballistic nylon fabric that feels like it will last for hundreds of trips.
As good as the outside of the Baseline is, the inside is even better. You have a built-in tri-fold garment folder, which can easily hold 1-2 suits or a dress without any wrinkles. Similarly, you can expect minimal creasing to your clothes with the extra wide garment panels that completely surround your clothing items.
Depending on what you carry, this Reddit thread in r/TravelHacks praises the one-touch expansion of the Baseline, which makes giving yourself extra room one of the easiest experiences across any carry-on bag. Last but not least, the Baseline offers a PowerPocket, which is on the back near the handle and has room for both a battery pack and cell phone for easy access.
Best Runner-Up: Briggs & Riley ZDX
- Expands up to 34% and features a short-and-wide wheeled configuration for maximum capacity that fits in the overhead
- Power Pocket stores your cell phone and allows for a pass-through USB cord for on-the-go charging
- Made with ballistic nylon outer fabric that resists wear, moisture, dirt, and abrasion
- Outsider handle provides greater interior capacity and a flat interior surface for packing so clothing arrives wrinkle-free
- Lifetime guarantee
- Hunter Green color
No matter where you look on Reddit, Briggs & Riley is frequently mentioned as the best brand for carry-on luggage, including its ZDX model.
At 22 inches in size, the Briggs & Riley ZDX is an expandable wheeled carry-on that can provide an extra 2.5 inches of room, or 34% more storage when needed. This level of expandability is why this Reddit thread in r/betabattle has so many positive things to say about the ZDX carry-on. Reddit says this bag is “…a great option for those who prioritize packing space…,” which is why it’s become such a favorite.
Like other models in the Briggs & Riley lineup, the ZDX offers a rear convenient Power Pocket, better known as an easy access pocket for a passport, plane ticket, or smartphone. On the front of the bag, a U-Zip compartment is perfect for quick access to items like a book, laptop, shoes, and more.
Making up the interior of the ZDX is a large garment panel, which secures any clothing you have in the interior of the bag and keeps it from shifting around while traveling. There is ample room here for clothing as well as any additional toiletries or accessories you want to take with you.
Best Hard Shell: Travelpro Maxlite Air Hardside
- 8 spinner wheels
- Hard shell polycarbonate
Long a favorite of airplane crews, the Travelpro Maxlite Air Hardside is the best hard shell carry-on bag you are going to find today.
According to this thread in r/ManyBaggers, the Travelpro Maxline Air Hardside is great for everything from road trips to cross-country flights. After so many recommendations in the thread, the original poster ended up with this bag, which is a testament to how well-put-together the Travelpro bag really is.
As a hard shell bag, you know the exterior of the carry-on is durable and tough, so it’s really all about the outside. With 20 inches of storage, you have plenty of space in the interior and even more space if you jump up to the 21-inch option. Should you need a little more space, you can always expand the main compartment an extra 2 inches to give yourself a little extra space for any travel necessities.
Regardless of which size you purchase, the two zipper panels in the interior help keep all of your clothes, accessories, and travel items separated. Whether the bag is full or only packed halfway, you’ll be moving around an airport with ease thanks to the 8 smooth-gliding wheels that are pulled along by the telescoping handle.
Best for Power: Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside
- 8 spinner wheels
- USB port
- Vintage Grey
One of the most beloved carry-on bags Reddit can recommend, the Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside is a definite favorite for travel.
While many bags come with their own power bank for charging, the Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside stands out in that it enables you to bring your own power bank. This means you can do faster charging through USB-C than with many other existing carry-on luggage charging options while still adhering to FAA regulations.
Along with power, the Platinum Elite also stands out for its expandability with 2 extra inches available should you need additional storage capacity. Even with Travelpro’s beloved tie-down system, sometimes you just need a little extra space and so the Softside bag is ready for those occasions when they arrive.
Another nicety with this bag is the TSA-compliant pocket for liquids, which is removable so you can easily take it out as you pass through security. As if the Travelpro wasn’t already impressive, the premium fabric, strong zippers, and self-aligning wheels help it truly stand out in this Reddit thread in r/ManyBaggers.
Best Duffle Bag: Herschel Novel Duffle
- Zipper closure
- Signature striped liner
- Main compartment with waterproof zipper
- Reinforced handles for comfortable carrying
- Removable padded shoulder strap
- Signature shoe compartment
- Internal mesh storage sleeve
- Gargoyle color
For anyone who doesn’t worry about rolling their bag through an airport, the Herschel Novel Duffle bag is the best option.
What it lacks in wheels, the Herschel Novel Duffle more than makes up for in style, function, and a lifetime warranty. The low-profile vegan leather handles help make this bag look great on your shoulder, especially when you can choose from among 11 different colors, which is one of the main highlights from this Reddit thread from r/femalefashionadvice.
The highlight of the Duffle is the large 43L main compartment, which is more than enough room to store a few days’ worth of clothes, toiletries, accessories, and more. As a waterproof compartment, you should rest assured that even if you get trapped in the rain, everything you have inside this main compartment is safe and secure.
Also tucked away in the main compartment is a zippered internal mesh pocket, which is the perfect place for quick access to plane tickets, passports, or a smartphone. Herschel’s signature shoe compartment is positioned separately from the main compartment, which helps ensure more space for non-shoe items.
Best Durability: Osprey Ozone
If you’re on the hunt for a carry-on bag that can withstand the bumps and bruises of travel, the Osprey Ozone is exactly the bag you want.
A highly sought-after option according to this Reddit thread on r/onebag, the Ozone Osprey is ready to roll as soon as you’re ready to travel. Right away, the oversized wheels offer superior rolling, while the frame of the bag is a reinforced ultra-lightweight aluminum that can easily withstand any of the bumps carry-on bags receive while in the air or on the ground.
Adding to the durability is also the ultra-tough, high-tenacity nylon that makes you feel like you can fit everything but the kitchen sink inside this bag. Best of all, it’s also 100% recycled material so you’re helping the environment all while getting a bag that is going to last for years.
Even with 40L of storage space available, you still have a bag that weighs only 4.4 pounds, so it’s super easy to maneuver. Plus, you have room to add a laptop here as well so it’s the only bag you need while on the go.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner
- Reliable strength with extra-thick ABS hard shell, scratch resistant Black finish, and fully lined 150D-polyester interior
- Easy to move with 4 double spinner wheels, telescoping handle, and short handle
- Expandable for up to 15% more packing space; interior organizer with divider, plus 3 zippered pockets for smaller items
At a cost far lower than any other carry-on on this list, the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner is still a competitive option that is well worth considering.
Available in 4 different colors, this Reddit thread on r/delta confirms that even with its budget-friendly price tag, the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner is still a great option.
The 20-inch size is perfect for just about every airline around the world, making it an ideal choice for both domestic and international travel. Regardless of where you are traveling, the extra-thick ABS hard shell offers a scratch-resistant finish that should last for years to come.
Even as a hard shell option, you have the benefit of 15% more packing space with expandability built right into the carry-on. You have 3 zipper pockets inside the bag for smaller items while the interior organizer helps you efficiently pack larger items like clothes and shoes. Multiple zipper pockets on one side of the carry-on help with additional separation for toiletries, accessories, and more.
Best Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 40
Widely regarded as the best carry-on backpack around, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is a big Reddit favorite for its durability and storage capacity.
With 40L of storage available, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is large enough to allow 3-4 days of clothing while also fitting most airline requirements for use in overhead bins.
Inside the backpack, the organization is very easy as you have multiple internal zipper mesh pockets to place smaller items. For larger items, you have webbing straps to keep clothes and shoes in place to prevent them from shifting around while in flight.
Where the Osprey Farpoint 40 excels is with its dedicated laptop sleeve as well as its adjustable harness for ensuring your back doesn’t suffer from carrying it around for hours at a time. Both of these features are highlighted in this Reddit thread in r/onebag, which has helped propel the Farpoint 40 to be among the most popular recommendations for carry-on bags.
When you are looking for a carry-on bag, Reddit should absolutely be one of the places you look at first for recommendations. Unlike publications that look at bags with stand-alone reviews, Redditors can provide you with years of experience with every bag and give you the pros and cons for all of them. Whether it’s a backpack, duffle bag, or roller, you can rest assured that Reddit will help you spend your money wisely.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com.