Top 3 things to look for in carry-on luggage.

Finding the right carry-on luggage can be a challenging process.  There are so many airline guidelines to follow and features to decide on that you may 12-26-14-1hesitate to buy because you’re afraid you’ll pick the wrong thing.  Having the right carry-on luggage can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a smooth business trip.  Here are my top three things to look for when deciding on carry-on luggage.

Size.  One of the most important things I look for in carry-on luggage is the size of the luggage.  Many airlines say that your carry-on must be less than 45” if the height, width, and depth are added together, but the luggage also needs to be no bigger than 22x14x9. If you find a bag with 22x9x14 or less dimensions then you should be set.  Airfarewatchdog has a great list of airline carry-on bag policies if you want more specific airline information.

Another thing I look for  is the weight of the luggage.  My bag, which is the Victorinox Luggage Werks Traveler 4.0 Wt 20 Bag, weighs about 7 pounds.  The light weight along with dimensions (15 x 20.1 x 9.1 inches) falling within airline guidelines make this bag a great choice.

Quality construction. Make sure the luggage is well made. Nylon fabric is known to be durable enough for the pounding luggage gets on the road.  If you’re lucky enough to get to see the suitcase in person before you purchase be sure to tug at the handle and zip and unzip the pockets for quality testing. If you are buying online make sure you know the return policy, and of course read reviews to see how well it has held up for users.  I usually skip the highest and lowest ratings when looking at reviews and focus more on the middle of the road ratings.  I seem to have the most success learning from those reviews.

Interior. Once you know the luggage is of an allowable size, look to see how much room is inside the main compartment. The more, the better! Also, check to see if the interior pockets match your needs. If you are a person that likes lots of pockets or internal dividers, look for a suitcase that has them. If you prefer fewer, that’s okay too. I like two inside pockets (one for my undergarments, one for my toiletries) and two outside pockets (one for chargers, one for other miscellaneous items).

If you use these three guidelines when looking for carry-on luggage you’ll do just fine in your shopping.  If you are torn between a couple of bags make your final decision based on looks.  I like to look for a solid, fairly conservative color. Dark colors will show less dirt, and my favorites are navy, plum, brown, and of course, black. Add a colorful, unique luggage tag (such as this one where you can choose your initial) so your luggage is easy to identify.

Readers, what are the most important things to you when choosing carry-on luggage? 


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

Shop icon

Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RW

Follow Road Warriorette on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

This post may include affiliate links. Thanks for your support!



  1. Briggs and Riley Explore Series
    Either 19 in small and 22in large is all you ever need
    6 Pounds and superb design

  2. You forgot to mention WARRANTY … and Pathfinder Revolution Plus bags come with an Extra Mile Warranty that even extends to airline damage. Built to last and a great warranty … winning combination for safe travels. 😉

  3. I go for the Osprey Transporter 40. It’s a duffle gag, so no wheels, but is super light and can fit even in overheads of the regional jets.

  4. Quality of construction and weight.
    Quality – A guarantee doesn’t help me if my bag blows out on the road. I want to make sure it doesn’t blow out at all. That said, a guarantee usually means that the company stands behind its product, and therefore believes its product is of good quality.
    Weight – Many discount and regional airlines weigh your bag so it’s important that minimize the weight of the container (your bag). My LL Bean Quickload Convertible bag weighs in at 2.2 pounds (1 kg). That leaves the other 6 kg for my stuff. Many carry on bags weigh 2-4 kg, taking up half of the weight allowance!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.