Carry-On Suitcase Sizes

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A carry on suitcase that will hold clothes for a 10 day trip, and still be small enough to fit into overhead compartments in a plane isn’t something you find around every bend and corner. The good news is that if you know what to look for, you’ll be amazed by the wide variety available and the ranges in prices they come with. Some of them cost as little as $150 and some reach far over $500, so your budget will essentially make the final call here.

The essential thing that you need to keep in mind is the fact that there’s no one bag that’s going to meet all your needs all at once. Some of them have features that you might not ever need, some of which are essential, what you really need to consider as the main focus though is the size they are externally, hw much they weigh and also the capacity they are able to hold.

In aid of making your search on what exactly a good carry-on size should look like at what’s available out there, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips and advice as well as products on the market to bring you a comparative article to make things easier for you.

Hideo Wakamatsu Dolphin 2-Way Carry-On


  • It’s stylish and super lightweight and has a flexible hard outer shell and the interior has more than enough space to fit a weekend’s clothing as well as a laptop in. We also love the fact that it’s unisex and a great fit for men or women


  • This bag has no skid pads on the back which would have helped to prevent scratches when it’s being pulled up stairs or onto a curb

Is it Worth Buying?

Heck yes, besides the issue mentioned with the skid pads, this is a brilliant carry-on and adds that touch of elegance and durability.

Briggs and Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner


  • This bag has packing sections like you won’t believe along with a combination lock that clips the zippers to the bag, which really comes in handy. The polycarbonate outer shell is really sturdy and proves to be scratch resistant to a certain level and on the inside you can fit a massive amount of stuff. For a 4 wheeled bag, this one is pretty impressive!


  • It’s a little expensive (nearing the $500 mark) and when empty the bag is a little heavy and not to mention the fact that even though it passes as a carry-on, it’s definitely not small

Is it Worth Buying?

Not everyone will love this bag due to its extra weight, but if you can overlook that and spend the cash on this bag, it might be worth considering.

Athalon Luggage 21 Inch Hybrid Travelers Bag


This is one of the more affordable bags, coming in at around $150 and really fits the sporty or outdoorsy person best. It has extra-large wheels which make it easy to roll over bumpy paths and the padded duffel handles make it easy to pull, even when it’s fully loaded. The fabric is also really great quality and would most probably be able to easily handle inclement weather.


This is not the bag you’d take on a trip to Paris per say, because to be honest, it’s just not glamorous.

Is it Worth Buying?

For the adventure enthusiasts and outdoorsy person, this bag is perfect and has all the elements and features you could ever need in a carry-on.

Eagle Creek Luggage EC Adventure Upright 22


If you need a bag that has it all, this is the one! It comes with 4 smooth spinner wheels and super spacious interior. It’s also super lightweight and with its compact size it easily slides int overhead compartments. The hard back exterior also does quite a brilliant job at protecting whatever you put inside.


This bag doesn’t have any brakes on the wheels thus making it prone to run away.

Is it Worth Buying?

Without a doubt! Coming in at mid-range price class and a lightweight that can’t be compared to when you consider the massive space inside, we would definitely recommend this one!

So what’s the deal on size and sizers?

Most airlines don’t allow carry-on bags that exceed lengths of 22 inches, widths of 14 inches and heights of 9 inches, some airlines do have the odd exemption though. The rule of thumb is to stick to these guidelines or face the possibility of having your carry-on having to be checked in.

You also need to take into consideration that the measurements should include the wheels and any parts that protrude from the bag.

What about Expansion and Compression?

With some of the carry-on bags not having as much room as checked luggage, you might want to consider a bag that has compression features that keeps everything neat and wrinkle free, also allowing you to get a lot more into the bag than you might expect. Expansion features includes things like zippers around the outer edge of the bag to stuff a little more in then and add a little extra depth to the bag.

Wrapping it all up

There’s quite a lot to consider when purchasing a great carry-on, but the size of the internal compartment is definitely one of the main determining factors. We especially love the Wakamatsu Flash Carry-On for its versatility and the fact that it can take that much baggage for such a small travel piece. The run-away wheels really don’t bother us that much and overall we just love the appearance and functionality of this great bag!