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A lot of us haven't traveled in so long, but now it's time to look in our closets assess the state of our tried and true suitcases. Are they good to go? Or are some replacements needed? Now that the world is opening up, many people will be traveling more, which also gives us an excuse to shop. It's Shop Girl Summer, after all.
Our go-to, don't-leave-home-without-it travel essential? A carry-on. Whether you're cramming it into an overhead compartment or tossing it in the trunk of your car, selecting the right one is key. You want it to be chic, but also functional. You want it to be durable, but also stylish. And most importantly, you want to make sure it has some give just in case you overspend on souvenirs while you're away.
We picked 14 of our stand-out favorites to help you find the one for you. Shop below, and then get packing!
Amazon Basics Hardside Carry-On Spinner Suitcase Luggage - Expandable with Wheels - 21 Inch
If it's on Amazon, we already want it. But that sentiment is especially applicable for this $70 AmazonBasics staple. The durable hard-shelled construction makes it look pricier than it is, and it's just as luxurious on the inside. It's spacious, fully lined, and has multiple zipper pockets to help you stay organized. This bag has received 18,000+ 5-star reviews from happy Amazon shoppers. There are four colors to choose from.
Samsonite Bartlett Carry-On Spinner
You can never go wrong with Samsonite. This has all the features you need in a carry-on: multi-directional spinner wheels for easy mobility, pockets for increased organization, and a retractable top handle. There's even the option to expand the bag an extra two inches, which is perfect in case you do some shopping during your travels.
Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Mint, Carry-On 20-Inch
This carry-on bag got 12,800+ 5-star reviews from Amazon shoppers because it's lightweight, yet very durable and reliable. The suitcase has multi-directional spinner wheels, a telescoping handle, and an interior mesh pocket. It meets the travel restrictions for United, American, Delta, Southwest, Allegiant. There are so many colors to choose from, so everyone you're traveling with can each get their favorite. And, yes, it's expandable in case you go overboard packing.
Roam Luggage The Jaunt XL
Let's just get this out of the way first: we're obsessed with Roam. Not only can you fully customize your luggage, choosing the color of everything from the outer case to the wheels and zipper, but everything is handcrafted and made to order, then sent to you within five business days or less. The Jaunt XL is a dream carry-on for over-packers that don't want to check their bags, because it offers an extra two inches of space, but it still qualifies as a carry-on for most domestic airlines. And it's made of 100% virgin polycarbonate with smooth-rolling Hinomoto ball bearing wheels. Roam will also give you a 100-day risk-free trial to make sure you love it.
Rockland Fashion Softside Upright Luggage Set, 2-Piece
This is such a good deal. You get a carry-on wheeled bag and a smaller tote for extra. It's made with the very best fabric, designed for the travelers on the go. In addition to the standard features we're all looking for (interior pockets and a lock etc), this one has stability bars at the bottom to avoid tilting. There is a variety of color choices to pick from, so, hopefully, you're favorite is an option.
American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Anthracite, Carry-On 21-Inch
The American Tourister Moonlight is built to withstand the harshest travel elements. It has the lightest ABS/PC construction, ensuring that your luggage "looks as great on the 100th trip as it does on the first." There are so many colorways to choose from, including Rose Gold, Marble, Anthracite, Silver, Palm Trees, Ascending Garden Rose Gold, Iridescent Black, and Iridescent White.
Calpak Murphie Underseat Carry-On Luggage
This 15-inch bag packs a lot of punch, especially for a bag that's small enough to fit under your seat. It has a trolley sleeve to attach to a larger bag, a hidden trolley pocket to stash your passport or other small items, accessory pockets, a storage divider. and water-resistant products for your toiletries. It's available in nude and black.
Travelpro Rollmaster Lite 20' Expandable Carry-on Hardside Spinner Luggage
Travelpro is such a reliable brand. This carry-on is roomy, has a tapered expansion up to 2 inches and Nordstrom Rack has a great discount right now. One customer shared that this bag is "small enough to pass as a carry-on, but plenty of space and compartments to pack all the essentials."
eBags TLS Mother Lode Mini 21
Lightweight and supremely user friendly, this awesome wheeled duffel blends the best of hardside and softside cases with a molded back and a more flexible front to make it packing friendly. Plus, there's a front zipper for easy access to must-have in-flight needs, like headphones or eye masks. If you use both of these promo codes (HOTDOG and EXTRA20) at checkout, you can get this one at a $93 discount.
Away The Carry-On
We can always rely on Away for reliable luggage, so, of course we recommend the carry-on. The durable suitcase has a TSA-approved lock and an interior compression system and hidden laundry bag that make it even easier to pack all of your essentials.
Calpak Hue Carry-On Luggage with Pocket
You're going to want to click here to see all of the photos highlighting the features of this Calpack carry-on bag. It has a front pocket with a laptop sleep and other compartments for your passport and other must-have items. There are even more organizational aspects of the interior that you need to check out. This one makes traveling (and packing) so much easier.
Sharper Image Rolling Widemouth Leather Underseat Carry-On
How elegant is this bag? It looks like an old-school leather tote, but actually has wheels, a handle, and interior pockets. This one is just gorgeous, oh, and it's the perfect size to fit under your seat on the plane. Use the promo code YC2DAY to get a $44 discount.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 20” Carry-On Lightweight Hardside Expandable 8-Wheel Spinner Cabin Size Suitcase
The organization of this bag is paramount. There are several zippered organization pockets, elastic shoe pockets, a garment restraint panel, and other features to protect all of your travel essentials.
Amazon Basics Underseat Carry-On Rolling Travel Luggage Bag, 14 Inches
Amazon luggage is incredibly reliable and very reasonably prices. This rolling travel bag is small enough to fit under your seat the next time you fly. The bag is surprisingly spacious and there are plenty of interior pockets to separate your belongings.
If you're ready to travel, but you haven't decided where to go, check out of favorite resorts for girls' trips.
—Originally published March 17, 2019 at 3:00 a.m. PT