What every best Luggage has:
- Durable construction.
- Water resistance.
- Sturdy wheels and handles.
Brent Rose and Kate Dillon name the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 22-inch rolling suitcase (and it's 21-inch spinner wheel counterpart) as the best carry-on suitcases. Runners up are also named. Elsewhere on this site, the best checked luggage selections are also reviewed.
Thirteen carry-on size bags (20 to 22-inch) are thoroughly tested in real-world use, including each tester flying with each bag. They were then ranked and rated for features, storage, durability, weight and appearance. Price was also taken into account. The reviews include pros and cons and suggestions for best uses. Videos, photos and a discussion of the specific, real-world attributes of each bag. The top choice was recently discontinued by the manufacturer (although it's still widely available at retail), but their other picks are still current.
Editors of GoodHousekeeping.com use hands on testing to rate and rank a variety of bags. While there some of these reviews are relatively new, dating from August 2017, some are older, dating as far back as 2008 and some of the bags in those older reviews have been discontinued. Still, testing is thorough and reviews include pros and cons and a brief overview of how the bag performed in testing.
This roundup of the best carry-on luggage does not seem to include any hands on testing, but the author consults with frequent travelers to make these choices. Many of them are on other experts' "best of" lists as well.
There are thousands of pieces of luggage for sale here from a wide variety of manufacturers. A few brands and models that have been around for a while get hundred or even thousands, of reviews. This is a particularly good resource for how the luggage holds up over real-world travel situations, including how bags that are sold as carry-ons fit in various overhead bins.
Many brands and styles of luggage are sold here, most getting fairly high ratings -- sometimes from hundreds of owners. Cases made by eBags itself receive the highest number of reviews; other popular brands include Rockland and Samsonite. Standout models have a 4.5-star-or-better rating after at least 100 user reviews.
Walmart is a great resource for finding less expensive luggage and luggage sets -- and inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean cheap. Many less-pricey bags get excellent reviews for organizational features and durability. And people who don't travel frequently don't need to pony up for a more expensive bag -- an inexpensive suitcase will do just fine.
Macys.com is another good source for luggage reviews. It carries hundreds of pieces, and has a nice selection of luggage sets, especially from designers like Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger. Macys.com also carries a lot of Delsey and Samsonite, and these pieces tend to get a decent number of reviews.
This online-only store specializes in luggage, with many brands and styles. However, there are fewer reviews here than at other sites and you have to click through to each product page to see the number of reviews that the ratings are based on.
ConsumerReports.org does not test or recommended specific pieces or sets of luggage here. Rather, they rate brands based upon a 2016 survey of 8,218 suitcase owners. Brands are ranked in order of customer satisfaction; including ease of carrying, wheelability, ease of packing, durability, appearance and weight. However, it's not clear what size or specific model of suitcase within that brand the feedback is based on.
There aren't as many luggage choices at Zappos.com, but it carries many well-respected brands, such as Travelpro, Delsey and Tumi. This is a great resource for finding deals on bags that may have been recently replaced by a new model, but are still great pieces of luggage and have many high-end features at half the price of the latest versions.