One of the most important tools for a business traveler is their suitcase. Carrying on is probably the biggest time saver on flights, so a spacious yet compact rollaboard is key. A bag that maximizes internal space while staying within airline allowances will let a traveler pack all of their necessities. This is beneficial year round, but takes on a special meaning during the holidays. It’s never good if an airline loses your luggage, but it can be especially bad when a bag is holding one of a kind gifts* for your loved ones.
In order to comply with both US and international carry-on allowances, I recommend suitcases that are in the 20”-21” range. To find out which bags have the largest capacity, I went back to my post from a year ago, Top 5 Quality Carry-On Luggage Brands, and looked up all of the 20” and 21” bags I suggested. Shockingly (to me) only two of those brands listed the internal capacity of their bags: Briggs and Riley and Victorinox. I then went through the reader-recommended bags, and found only one more brand: Eagle Creek. It really surprises me that more companies don’t include this information, and makes me wonder if they’re purposefully omitting it. There may well be larger capacity bags than what I have here, but there is no way to easily find out.
Here are my recommendations for the top 3 20” and 21” high capacity rollaboards:
Eagle Creek Ease Upright 21”. This 21” carry-on had the largest capacity, at 2380 cubic inches. When expanded that goes even higher to 2600 cubic inches. It got rave reviews from multiple readers, and many models have a lifetime warranty. I have used Eagle Creek packing cubes for years and recommend them to everyone. Normally $295, but available on the Eagle Creek site in Berry for $147 and on Amazon in Pewter for $196.
Victorinox WT 20”. This is the suitcase I use, and can verify that the interior is huge. It’s a 20” bag, but at 2319 cubic inches has more interior space than my old 21” Ogio. Read here for my full review. Normally $329, it’s available for $263 in Black and Emerald, and for $279 in Purple.
Briggs and Riley 20” Transend. For years, Briggs and Riley has been rated highly by reviewers, and are known in the industry for their fantastic quality and warranty. The Transcend is no exception, and has 2230 cubic inches of internal space. Regularly $369, available on Amazon for $319.
Note: When packing gifts, the TSA recommends not to wrap them. If your bag is inspected at airport security, they will have to unwrap any wrapped gifts. My recommendation is to take tissue paper and gift bags, which pack flat and are reusable later, and wrap when you get to your destination.
Readers, do you have any suggestions to add to the list?
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