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Best carry-on luggage in Australia

Our editorial team read real customer reviews and compared key specs to find the 7 best carry-on bags you can buy online.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The best carry-on luggage in Australia

How did we pick this list?

We selected the carry-on luggage on this list based on actual customer reviews and ratings on Amazon. For every category, we chose parameters based on our research and identified the products with the highest reviews and ratings within those parameters.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Samsonite Underseat Spinner II with USB Port

Best carry-on luggage for most people

Samsonite Underseat Spinner II with USB Port
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Carrying handle is not solid
  • Only comes in one size

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best carry-on luggage for most people is Samsonite's Underseat Spinner II with USB Port. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 1,000 customer reviews on Amazon.

This carry-on luggage fits underseat and overhead in most planes. It is lightweight at only 2.5kg. In addition to the multi-directional spinner wheels, it comes with a built-in USB port that lets you charge your electronics on the go (batteries not included). The Samsonite Underseat Spinner II also has a 3-height top handle for portability with an ergonomic design that fits your hand comfortably. If you want to attach this carry-on to a larger wheeler-bag, you can do so using the pass-through band on the back. The main storage has a padded laptop compartment that fits a laptop up to 13.3", while the exterior pockets can help you pack smaller items easily.

Samsonite Underseat Spinner II with USB Port is the perfect travel companion, according to customers. Many said that the luggage fits their travel essentials and other items without being too bulky. Others also praised the carry-on's USB port feature, mentioning it is useful for when they want to charge their devices on the go. The wheels spin seamlessly, which makes hauling the luggage effortless. Several reviewers also raved about its sturdy construction, adding that they have been using the luggage for years. Some customers mentioned that they'd like to see the carry-on come in bigger sizes to store more items. Others complained about the bag's carrying handle, saying that a solid handle would work better than the strap it has.


Solo Bryant 17.3inch Rolling Laptop Briefcase Bag

Best carry-on luggage for business trips

Solo Bryant 17.3inch Rolling Laptop Briefcase Bag
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Fits in most airlcrafts' overhead bins
  • Plenty of compartments for documents

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Some customers find the luggage bulky

Why we chose it

If you're looking for the best carry-on luggage for business trips, we recommend the Bryant 17.3" Rolling Laptop Briefcase Bag from Solo. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 2,000 customers.

This carry-on luggage is made of polyester fabric and weighs 3.8kg. It has a built-in padded laptop compartment, including a secure strap to protect a laptop of up to 17.3". Apart from having easy-glide wheels for better mobility, the push-button telescoping handle retracts into a zippered compartment when not in use. This luggage from Solo has spacious compartments to store your documents or binders. You can easily organise your files with the bag's zippered accordion file compartment. The full-size front zipper organiser compartment with multiple pockets also lets you pack smaller items.

The carry-on luggage has a sturdy handle and wheels that work smoothly, according to customers. Many customers raved about the bag's spacious compartments, saying that they amply fit both their business and personal effects. Others also praised the accordion feature in this luggage, mentioning that it helps them organise documents on the go. Several reviews also said that they stash the carry-on into overhead bins without any problem. However, some customers complained about the luggage's weight, saying it gets heavy when stuffed. Others also said it is too expensive compared to other carry-on luggage in the market, but also explained that the price tag justifies its quality and performance.


Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag

Best lightweight carry-on luggage

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some customers find the luggage too small
  • Not for longer trips

Why we chose it

We chose Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-On Garment Bag as the best lightweight carry-on luggage you can buy in Australia right now. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 200 customers on Amazon.

This carry-on luggage is compact at only 3.76kg. It is made of polyester fabric and has a DuraGuard coating to make the luggage water and stain-resistant. The lay-flat design helps keep your dresses, suits and other garments wrinkle-free during travel. Apart from the padded straps to keep your clothes organised, the luggage has high-tensile pulls for long-lasting durability. It also features multiple pockets so you can pack your undergarments, shoes and other clothing items easily. This carry-on has ball-bearing wheels and a PowerScope Lite handle with rubbered contour grip for a more comfortable handle.

Many customers liked that the bag is compact and can protect their garments from wrinkles during trips. It also fits in most aeroplanes' overhead bins and under the seat, according to other reviews. A few customers also praised the carry-on for being sturdy, mentioning that its water and stain-resistant feature helps keep their garments moisture-free. Several said that it's good value for money, considering the bag's sturdiness. Some reviewers complained that the bag is not spacious enough. Others said that it's not ideal for longer trips, saying that it can only fit items for a 3-day trip at most.


Cabin Max Carry-On Travel Backpack Flight Approved 44L

Best carry-on luggage backpack

Cabin Max Carry-On Travel Backpack Flight Approved 44L
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Comfortable to carry

Cons

  • Zippers tend to get stuck
  • Some customers find the material flimsy

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best carry-on luggage backpack is Cabin Max's Carry-On Travel Backpack Flight Approved 44L. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 12,000 customer reviews on Amazon.

This carry-on backpack from Cabin Max is lightweight at only 669g. It has a large main compartment with a space of 44L and pockets for your cables, chargers and headphones. It also features side compression straps and a breathable mesh internal pocket. In addition to being made of high strength 600D polyester, the backpack has adjustable padded shoulder straps for comfort. It also has padding on the back and a sturdy handle on the top for lifting the bag into an overhead compartment.

Several customers praised the backpack for being versatile and comfortable to carry. Many said that the padded back and shoulder straps help them carry the bag for longer periods. Others mentioned that the bag is easy to pack as it opens like your typical suitcase. The backpack can store a lot of items and is perfect for weeks of travel, according to some reviews. A few others also said that it performs better than their pricier travel bags, making the Cabin Max backpack good value for money. Some customers complained that the bag's zippers don't run smoothly and tend to get stuck. Others found that the material is flimsy, but this seems to be a minor concern.


Samsonite Winfield 2 Hard-side 20inch Luggage

Best hard-side carry-on luggage

Samsonite Winfield 2 Hard-side 20inch Luggage
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Secured with TSA locks

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Some customers said the handle doesn't fully retract

Why we chose it

For the best hard-side carry-on luggage you can buy right now in Australia, we recommend the Winfield 2 Hard-side 20" Luggage from Samsonite. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 1,500 reviews.

This hard-side carry-on suitcase is made of 100% polycarbonate material, making it durable and versatile. It is compact, weighing only 3kg. The Winfield 2 Hard-side 20" Luggage also has a retractable handle and 4 multi-directional wheels, which make whipping it around the airport easier. Apart from having an impact-resistant shell, its interior is fully lined. It features divided compartments and cross straps so you can easily organise your belongings. The side-mounted TSA locks also make the luggage more secure.

Some customers liked that the bag is compact and easy to stash overhead or under your seat. A few also said that this carry-on looks stylish and is easy to pack. According to others, the TSA locks gave them peace of mind, knowing that their bags are secure and only airport agents have easy access to their belongings. Many praised the luggage's sturdy hard-side. Several reviews also said the wheels are smooth, which helps with mobility, especially at a busy airport. However, there were complaints about the handle. A few customers said the grip is not comfortable and doesn't fully retract. Others criticised the luggage's price but mentioned that it's still worth it.


Travelers Club 20inch Chicago Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage

Best budget carry-on luggage

Travelers Club 20inch Chicago Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Expandable

Cons

  • Flimsy shell
  • Not for longer trips

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best budget carry-on luggage is Travelers Club's 20" Chicago Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon.

The Chicago Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage has a 100% ABS hardshell and weighs only 2.54kg. It has a telescopic push-button handle for easy control and stability. The spinning wheels also allow for free-weight rolling for mobility. The carry-on features a fully lined interior with elastic straps to hold your belongings in place. The zippered garment divider can also help you organise your clothing. Apart from top corner guards that can absorb impact, the luggage expands for an additional 20% packing capacity.

This carry-on luggage is ideal for travellers who pack light, according to reviews. Many raved about its expandability, saying that they can stash and organise their belongings without it getting bulky. Others said it is sturdy and the wheels run smoothly. Apart from being easy to use, many customers said the retractable handle is comfortable to grip. The luggage is also easy to hoist up to the overhead bin, according to several customers. Many also praised the carry-on for its affordability, saying that it is comparable to higher-end models. Some complained about the hardshell, mentioning that it feels flimsy. Others also said it's only ideal for shorter trips despite being expandable.


Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Global Carry-On

Best high-end carry-on luggage

Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Global Carry-On
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • 4 double wheels for better mobility

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Hard to unzip

Why we chose it

If you're looking for the best high-end carry-on luggage available in Australia right now, we recommend the Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Global Carry-On from Victorinox. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 50 reviews on Amazon.

The Spectra 2.0 Dual-Access Global Carry-On is made of 100% virgin polycarbonate. It is also lightweight at only 3.2kg. In addition to a quick-access door, it has a 15.6" laptop compartment and multiple compartments for easier garment organisation. It features a sturdy top handle for easy carrying and a hard-side to protect your belongings from impact. This luggage also has a comfortable dual trolley handle. The 4 double wheels also make gliding in and out of the airport easier.

Many customers liked the luggage's durability, mentioning that they have used it for years and the carry-on is still as sturdy as ever. Some reviews praised it for being lightweight despite having a hardshell. The multiple compartments and laptop slot make the luggage perfect for a business trip or a holiday, according to a few customers. Several customers also appreciated the four double wheels because they helped with mobility. It is also easy to tuck under your seat or overhead. A few reviews complained about its C-shape opening, saying it is hard to navigate if you're in a hurry. Others criticised the luggage for being expensive but also said the quality and durability justifies the price tag.


Amazon prices last updated on 3 July, 2022 at 08:06 pm
eBay prices last updated on 3 July, 2022 at 10:30 am

Methodology

29
Brands considered
54
Products compared
7
Best products chosen
  • We compared carry-on luggage from 29 brands and over 50 carry-on luggage products.
  • We then assessed hundreds of customer reviews and ratings from Amazon customers.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

Why should I use a carry-on bag?

Carry-on luggage can make flying easy and convenient. The benefits of using a carry-on bag include:

  • Save time. If you only bring a carry-on bag on your next flight, you won't have to wait in line to check your bags or spend an extra half an hour waiting for your bags to be unloaded after you land. If you aren't going away for too long, a well-packed carry-on bag can save you a lot of time. Keep in mind, there are some items that you cannot pack in a carry-on bag.
  • Access your essentials. Having a carry-on bag with designated compartments for passports, valuables and other documentation can remove one layer of travel-related stress and make sure all your essentials are within reach at all times.
  • Make flights more comfortable. With carry-on luggage, you can easily pack a book for taxiing, a pillow for overnight flights, toiletries to freshen up and an extra jumper for when the air conditioner is cranked all the way up. Having a few comforting items on hand on a long flight can be a lifesaver.

Soft vs hard bags

Soft-sided bags form the majority of the luggage market and are often made from nylon or canvas-like materials. Hard-sided, or hard-shell, cases are traditionally made from polycarbonate and can offer sturdier protection for your belongings.

Each case type has its advantages and disadvantages.

ProsCons
Soft-side
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Extra pockets and compartments
  • Can rip if low quality
  • Less protection
  • Harder to find four-wheeled models
Hard-side
  • Protective
  • Often comes with built-in locks
  • Flat lay packing
  • Inflexible
  • Prone to scratches and dents
  • Does not typically include side pockets

How to compare carry-on luggage

Basic carry-on luggage can start at around $35, while more-expensive options from luxury retailers can set you back over $1,000 or more.

When choosing carry-on luggage, consider the following features:

Size

The bigger the bag, the more you can pack. While this could be the difference between needing checked luggage and not, airlines do have strict weight limits. Just because you'll have extra space doesn't mean you'll be able to use it.

Weight

If the carry-on limit is already 7kg, you don't want your bag to weigh 5kg. Soft-sided bags are often lighter and therefore take up less of your weight capacity. While certain hard-sided models can be equally as light, they are typically much more expensive.

Expandability

You can find expandable carry-on bags that allow you to increase and decrease the capacity of the bag. This can mean squeezing in that last-minute purchase or coming home with a much smaller bag after offloading presents for your hosts.

Pockets

Carry-on luggage can be designed with a range of additional pockets and attachments. These include umbrella clips, electronic pouches and designated document sleeves. Think about how you will use your bag and which extra pockets or features you would use the most.

Wheels

Decide if you want two wheels, four wheels or no wheels. Two-wheeled cases are often sturdier and more durable, as the wheels are traditionally recessed in the case. Four-wheeled bags, also known as spinners, are more maneuverable in tight spaces, yet are more susceptible to breaks as the wheels tend to be externally attached. This is an important decision as you spend a lot of time moving with your carry-on luggage, including getting to and from the airport and roaming about in transit.

Handles

Does the case have two handles? Is one of the handles extendable? Are they easy to grip and comfortable to hold? Is there a shoulder strap extension?

Zips

The two most common types of zips are chain and coil. Chain zips are traditionally stronger, made of metal and harder to break into.

Flexibility

Soft-side bags are more flexible than hard-side ones. This often allows you to push the limits of capacity and sneak in that extra pair of socks. This flexibility also allows these bags to be stored in smaller spaces or packed away into larger bags with ease.

Carry-on weight limits

Many airlines enforce strict weight limits for carry-on luggage, with most Australian airlines capping carry-on luggage at 7kg. These limits are put in place to ensure that there is space on board for all passengers to safely stow a piece of carry-on baggage. Weight limits can depend on the ticket you've purchased and often vary from airline to airline. Check your carrier's policy before you start packing, especially if you're changing airlines mid-journey. Next time you travel, check out the best airlines for baggage in Australia to see if you can bring more while paying less.
Carry-on luggage allowances for Australian airlines

What can't I pack in my carry-on bag?

Some items shouldn't be packed in a carry-on bag because they take up too much space or weigh too much. There are also many items that are outright banned for air travel. These may vary from airline to airline, especially if you're flying with an international carrier. Items that are regularly banned include:

  • Knives
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Sporting equipment
  • Metal cutlery
  • Tools
  • Straight razors
  • Letter openers
  • Golf clubs
  • Cricket bats
  • Pool cues
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Fireworks
  • Aerosols
  • Handcuffs
  • Cable ties

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