Top 5 Quality Carry-on Luggage Brands

January 17, 2013

Several questions have come in recently about what type of luggage a new business traveler should get. I’ve written a post about what to look for in a rollaboard, but wanted to give some specifics. These are my opinions, a different person may come up with an entirely different list.

Ogio. I have had the same Ogio suitcase for almost seven years. It’s been on the road with me hundreds of times, and still works like it’s brand new. My only complaint is that the handle isn’t as easy to push in or pull out anymore, although I’m pretty sure some WD40 would take care of that….

Briggs & RileyBriggs & Riley bags are true workhorses, ready for regular and hard use. One of the best things about them IMO is their fabric—reviews say it is very water repellant. Very helpful if you travel a lot during winter.

Tumi. Most everyone knows about Tumi—sleek, stylish, with consistently great reviews. Also expensive. Lovely, but expensive.

Travelpro. I see flight attendants using Travelpro bags more than anything else. I think that right there says it all.

Victorinox. Made my Swiss Army, Victorinox bags are meant to last. They make some incredibly lightweight bags, which can be handy if you are traveling in Europe (with stricter weight restrictions than the US).

Honorable Mention: Swiss Gear. I have one of their backpacks (similar to this one) and it is incredible. It will expand so much that I can fit almost everything from my rollaboard inside it, and it is still comfortable to wear.

Readers, what is your favorite brand of carry-on?

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

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  1. CanadaGirl said,

    Redoxx luggage is the only thing I use now. I have the Skytrain (carry on luggage that has backpack straps – gotta love it), a computer bag, travel purse, and other accessories. Heavy duty, made in Montana, lifetime warranty – it’s everything I’ve wanted. I rarely take a trip where someone doesn’t ask about it, wondering if its as useful as it looks. It is.

  2. tyj303 said,

    Believe it or not, Costco’s Kirkland brand is an amazing one. Mine has been awesome for 2 years of super heavy use now. I frequently see pilots with the bag too.

  3. Forest said,

    no love for Rimowa?!

  4. Dave Z said,

    I use Swiss luggage as well and for the most part I like it. One thing I will say is it seems like somehow my Swiss luggage gets extremely DIRTY. For example, I just recently bought this exact luggage piece: luggagebase.com/index.php?p=view_product&product_id=10315 and when I checked the bag on my very first flight with it, the piece came back incredibly dirty. Almost like dirt and crud got baked into it! It wasn’t something you could just wipe off, it was like it was in the material. I cleaned it off as best I could but it was still pretty dirty. Then on my next flight, the exact same thing happened. It has been on exactly two flights and it looks like it has been on 100. If you’re going to go Swiss, maybe get black? I’m not sure why the gray seems to absorb the dirt as much. Or maybe I’m just unlucky? I will say though, I have checked out other people with similar gray Swiss stuff, and there stuff seems filthy too. Who knows….

  5. Frequent Churner said,

    Eagle Creek! Free lifetime warranty on many models, even due to airline mishandling and wear and tear.

  6. Don G said,

    L.L. Bean makes quality roller bags, with a lifetime warranty. I have the Quickload Upright Duffle, Medium (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63923?feat=506074-GN2&page=quickload-upright-duffle-medium) and it holds a TON, while still being an acceptable carry-on for all major airlines. The Carryall Rolling Pullman is another great bag with more outside pockets than the Duffle.

  7. pete said,

    what about samsonite?

  8. NewNomads said,

    I’d take Tumi off the list unless you are strictly a casual traveler looking for something pretty. The design looks great but they give up too much space for the sleek look. I’ve tried all but the B&R and Ogio… maybe for my next round. Current bag is a TravelPro and I’m happy with it so far – about 5 trips in.

  9. Chad M said,

    Thanks for the great rundown! I have a Tumi soft-sided bag that is somewhere in between a messenger bag and a brief case that goes under the seat, and a Kipling duffle that I absolutely cannot live without for the overhead bin. It felt weird to give up wheels, but I love being able to fit the bag in small spaces, even on little commuter jets.

  10. Andy said,

    I swear by Victorinox. Their warranty & service are top-notch.

  11. Carl P said,

    Note that there are different “levels” of TravelPro. There are the ones you see at retail stores, and there are ones you have to have to go to specialized web sites (some geared toward pilots and FAs, but you don’t have to be to order). The price is similiar, but the “TravelPro Crew” ones are more heavy duty.

    I have some of the “Crew” pieces and like them. Reasonably priced.

  12. Ryan said,

    Skyroll Garment Bag. Perfect for my short 1 or 2 day business trips

  13. Lady Light Travel said,

    LL Bean Quickload Travel Pack is one of the lightest bags around (2.2 lb). Very rugged with an LL Bean guaruntee.

  14. Curtis T said,

    Luggage Works is my go to brand for heavy travel.

  15. liz L said,

    Ebags own brand is very strong, less costly than many, and very popular with flight folks as well.

  16. Pamela T said,

    Rick Steve’s roller bags are ingenious. Love them.

  17. K Miami said,

    I thought I would be the only to comment about Costco Kirkland byt tyj303 beat me to it. After going through all of the major brands, and only having TravelPro from the website as an equal. Kirkland is hands down better than the others. I’ve been using mine for two years now and it’s the best, lightweight tough with lots of room.

  18. Ingo said,

    Rimowa! That’s it. I really love my Rimowa.

  19. DaninSTL said,

    I have a Delsey brand roller bag that I love. It has really been great. I used to use an American Tourister roller bag that was really good. I finally just wanted a newer looking bag after all those flights it was looking worn but still held up like iron. In fact I still have it as an extra. Oh and I almost always check my bags so they have held up under that beating.

  20. Friday Finds: The BEST Business Travel Tips Of The Week For 1/18/13 | BostonCoach Blog said,

    […] Top 5 Quality Carry On Luggage Bags – The Boarding Area/The Road Warriorette Several questions have come in recently about what type of luggage a new business traveler should get. I’ve written a post about what to look for in a rollaboard, but wanted to give some specifics. These are my opinions, a different person may come up with an entirely different list. […]

  21. Carry on luggage said,

    Thanks for sharing this type of post for all of us…I just want to say keep it up. I will wait for your next post…:-)
    Carry on luggage

  22. Misty said,

    Red Oxx all the way!!! It works for airline travel and road travel all the way. It takes a beating like you wouldn’t believe and still looks brand new. And I have seriously given this stuff a beating. Nothing has ever ended up damaged. I first bought it tentatively, and will now never use anything else.

    Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this well American-made brand, seriously is missing out. They guarantee the stuff for life–tell you to leave it in your will to someone. It’s that good. Really.

  23. Junky Junk said,

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  24. Biaggi said,

    I guess you missed the Biaggi carry on luggage brands, well famous for its folding feature, foldable to half of its size.

  25. AOelfke said,

    I’ve loved my TravelPro to death! After thirteen years, three of which were nearly constant business travel, the wheels of my roll-on finally just fell apart. I have a while before my next required flight to look at the options, but it will take a lot to convince me that another brand can take the abuse I put the TravelPro through. (Meanwhile, I’ll have to suffer through with a Samsonite that started to show wear on its first trip.)

  26. NotThatGuy2012 said,

    Rimowa – 8 years of 100K+ miles and only a few minor dents from the rare gate check (Classic Flight model). Aside from durability and unique good looks – it doesn’t soak up dirt. Fabric, regardless of how “ballistic” it is tends to gather dirt. Even black cases, you just don’t see it until it rubs off on your light colored clothes or furniture. Similar benefits from polycarbonate cases too.

  27. John said,

    I have a 15+ year old ballistic nylon Tumi expandable that I’ve used as a briefcase/carry on nearly every single day. It is just now starting to wear out. However, when I looked at a replacement, I got major sticker shock! My bag was pretty reasonable back in the day. But they’ve gotten crazy expensive now that they’re well known.

  28. Nairobi Brad said,

    My J Peterman leather satchel (made by Mulholland, I believe) never fails to draw compliments every time I travel with it.

    That said, I love the Mulholland line of briefcases and carryons, and have more than a dozen of them.

  29. Nairobi Brad said,

    My other mainstays are a Briggs and Riley expandable bag, various TUMI products, and a ZERO Halliburton wheeled case.

  30. Nairobi Brad said,

    I am currently in the market for a TUMI 22″ wheeled expandable carryon or similar, in ballistic nylon. However, I can only find them in black (the only exception being the Lemoore wheeled backpack).

    Can anyone tell me where I can find these items in green ballistic nylon ???

    Thanks

  31. Phil K. said,

    I’m here because I’ve now gone through 3 different Swiss Gear bags and none of lasted long enough. I’m on 3-4 flights every week and every week there’s a tear, a missing zipper, or something else – inside and outside of the bag. Waiting on a new B&R and hope that all I’ve read on it is true.

  32. Mark said,

    I love Travel Pro and Briggs & Riley, great brands!

  33. Top 3 carry-on suitcases within airline guidelines - Road Warriorette said,

    […] started researching I found that 15” and even 16” bags were far more common. However, three of my favorite luggage brands make bags that are only 14” […]

  34. Jimmy G said,

    Travelpro falls apart after a year, mostly junk anyway.

  35. Jen said,

    Love the Kirkland carry on as well! Had it for about 4 years and am very pleased with it’s durability and size.

  36. Loriful said,

    I’ve had my B&R for three years. have sent it back twice for replacement parts. It’s durable, but it’s not light. I’m actually looking to replace it with something lighter so that I can hoist it up in the bins easier. My backpack is a SwissPro, going on seven years. Looks almost new. Hate the industrial look (as a woman, I’d like something less masculine) but can’t deny the durability.

  37. Melissa said,

    Love samsonite! My luggage is going strong. I have for 8 years now.

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