For frequent business travelers willing to carry a shoulder bag, reviews recommend the rugged Red Oxx Air Boss. Made in the USA from urethane-coated Cordura nylon with protective flaps over the zippers, it's expensive but extremely durable and water-resistant, owners say. It measures 21 inches by 13 inches by 8 inches, meeting carry-on requirements handily, and it weighs just 3.4 pounds. It's well organized, with three main compartments and two outer zippered pockets, and the center pouch can accommodate a laptop (or even a laptop case). It carries a full lifetime warranty with free repairs, and it comes in 12 colors. If you prefer a backpack style, consider the less expensive eBags Weekender eTech Convertible (*Est. $60), which owners say is still quite durable. If you're looking for a wheeled bag, check out the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 (*Est. $280)
We found the best review of the Red Oxx Air Boss at OneBag.com, where business travel expert Doug Dyment (who consulted on the design of the Air Boss) compares it with other top carry-on bags. Other detailed reviews at PracticalHacks.com and at the blog One Bag, One World add useful photos. The latter review is especially useful since it includes readers' comments plus photos of the bag being carried. We found more than 450 user reviews of the Red Oxx Air Boss at the manufacturer's website. The quality of Red Oxx construction is reinforced by user comments at FlyerTalk.com and by reviews of similar Red Oxx bags at Fodors.com and TheTravelInsider.info.
Our Sources: Red Oxx Luggage Reviews
Business travel expert Doug Dyment helped design the Red Oxx Air Boss. He recommends it as the best carry-on bag for frequent travelers, praising its efficient main compartments and handy outer pockets. Construction is extremely durable, with superb attention to detail.
Review: Business Travel Bags, Doug Dyment, Not dated
One of this blogger's specialties is one-bag travel. He prefers nonwheeled carry-ons for their lighter weight -- especially the Red Oxx Air Boss, in which he routinely carries enough clothes for three- to six-day business trips.
Review: Review: Red Oxx Air Boss -- Bulletproof "One Bag" Workhorse!, "Kevin", Oct. 16, 2008
This unidentified reviewer gives the Red Oxx Air Boss a perfect 5-star rating, calling it a top pick. Photos show the bag being worn, which helps put its size into perspective, and readers add helpful comments -- suggesting, for example, upgrading to a more comfortable shoulder strap.
Review: Red Oxx Air Boss Bag -- Full User Review, Anonymous, June 14, 2007
This thread on the frequent-flyer forum is dedicated to discussions of the best luggage brands and models. These seasoned travelers often recommend the Red Oxx Air Boss specifically, as well as Red Oxx products in general, for being tough and well designed.
Review: Best Luggage, Contributors to FlyerTalk.com, As of April 2012
More than 480 users review the Red Oxx Air Boss on the manufacturer's website, giving it an overall score of around 4.8 stars out of 5. Owners praise its capacity, durability and lightweight design. Their most common complaint is that it can be uncomfortable to carry by its single shoulder strap.
Review: Air Boss, Contributors to RedOxx.com, As of April 2012
Doug Stallings gives top ranking to a similar Red Oxx bag, the Sky Train, which lacks the separate compartments of the Air Boss but converts to a backpack for easier carrying.
Review: Carry-on Bag Buyer's Guide: Avoid the New Airline Luggage Fees, Doug Stallings, June 25, 2008