I have concocted a small selection of luggage cabin, which, in my opinion, have the best value for money, with a small crush for Samsonite Freeform, certainly more expensive, but robust, design and practice!
This selection comes from the first choice of 30 cabin baggage under € 500, knowing that many models were not available in Europe.
I have also prepared a buying guide at the end of the article, to help you choose the best carry on luggage for men & women that will accompany you on a trip!
The Best Cheap Carry On Luggage 2020
We start with two affordable models, each with their own small flaws but which are perfectly suitable for occasional travelers.
1. Samsonite S’cure: Best Cheap
A first good value for less than 150 euros that I selected for you is the cabin bag Samsonite S’cure. It has all you need at this price: a safety mechanism, effective joints to avoid moisture and dirt, and rigid design.
What we want most of all when we travel is a piece of luggage that holds the road all along the flight, which is the right size, and keeps our stuff safe. It is still often in the cabin luggage that we put our most precious objects, those we do not want to lose! Hence the importance of having a solid background.
Many airlines offer cabin baggage, making sure that they are solid and that they will stay the course in the long run, but after a few trips, we can quickly be disappointed.
This Samsonite wheeled model focuses on safety and rigidity, which I find appreciable. This remains a safer range than those offered by the airlines, which are chosen by default at the airport without having too many other choices.
For those who do not know Samsonite, it is a brand of suitcases and travel accessories that has proven itself worldwide, one of the oldest for that matter! It is a brand that offers models of good quality.
Their primary goal is to be able to claim to be one of the brands that offer the most sustainable products in this market, which is good for us!
The exterior design of the cabin luggage S’Cure is interesting: it is molded so as to protect your goods as much as possible from the outside world. And while being rigid and well designed, the suitcase remains light.
The handle of the baggage can extend on several levels, surrounded by solid tubes. They are made of aluminum, a material that allows once again to combine lightness, strength, and durability.
On the side, you have a three-point security system. You can go on board without worrying about having to protect your belongings during the flight. Plus, the padlocks are approved by TSA, the international aviation safety organization, which reassures us a little more.
In addition, it has rubber seals, a plus against dirt from the outside world, which also allows more impermeability. Your belongings can stay dry and clean in all conditions.
On this cabin luggage: no zipper on the outside! Most of the models on the market have them, whether on the outside or inside to open the different compartments. Samsonite preferred to favor a unique closure system and these famous rubber seals. It is also a little more in terms of design, and a system that is not often found elsewhere! In addition to the security system and seals, we find all the advantages of classic luggage.
However, this remains a piece of fairly big baggage, which is rather intended for long stays. It is well suited to travelers who are used to traveling. We can put business for (almost) 2 weeks, and it is a plus undeniable. The wide wheels are well adapted to the size of the luggage.
Some might see the simplistic design of luggage as a negative point, but I personally like this type of minimalism. The same goes for the appearance of the interior of the luggage: but we think more of the practical side than the aesthetic side.
There is still a side pocket for storing documents, a large storage area with support straps, and a separate compartment for valuables.
The Samsonite cabin luggage stands out above all others with its security system because it has no outside zip. We superimpose the two compartments, which clipped, then we close the luggage thanks to the security system. It is easier to close, and one can avoid the frequent problems of broken closure.
Despite its size and weight, it remains in the cabin luggage dimensions, while allowing to carry a lot of business!
2. Aerolite Hard Shell: Best Travel Luggage
There are obviously so many airlines that I can not name them all, so this list is not exhaustive and it will be necessary to check on a case-by-case basis for others.
In terms of benefits, it is quite handy thanks to its four wheels that allow a 360-degree movement. It has a retractable handle, quite practical, and rather stable.
So we can put objects or other luggage without fear. It is rigid, made of a durable plastic material, chosen for its anti-scratch effect and strength.
The zipper closures on the main body of the suitcase are sturdy and sturdy, and each has a three-digit padlock. No worries, therefore, on the security side.
Let’s explore the interior of this cabin baggage: we have everything you need in classic luggage, that is to say, straps for the binding, and a zipped compartment with elastic pockets, perfect to slip your shoes or others. Your business will stay in place during the flight.
The main advantage of Aerolite Hard Shell luggage is that it is cheap while remaining strong and well organized. It is the right size, and the casters work without any problems.
The suitcase is quite light, it will not cause you to worry about weight at the check-in. The zippers are well made.
Of course, at this price, the handle may seem a little fragile, but it holds the road on the distance. Be careful also how you organize your luggage. The rigid parts are not a problem, but the band where the zipper is located is composed only of fabric.
Avoid putting a computer, tablet, or other objects that should not be crushed, especially during a flight. Also note that the padlocks in this model are of lower quality than other padlocks in the same range, but you can always change them.
The Aerolite cabin baggage passes the test: it is relatively handy, well designed, the right size. Despite some very slight flaws, it is a value for money that remains very difficult to beat.
The Best Mid-Range Carry On Luggage
I selected two mid-range models, a good compromise between first prices and high quality ranges that require larger budgets. You can, at this price, invest without fear in a durable product!
3. Bric’s Capri: Best Mid-Range
Still, in the same price range, I selected the Bric’s Capri model. The Italian luxury brand Bric’s, founded in 1952 by Mario Briccola, offers a range of luggage for regular travelers.
They are all designed in quality, resistant, waterproof, and aesthetic materials. This is for me the most sophisticated choice if you are looking for style on the go.
The Bric’s Capri 21 model is designed in a very light, durable polycarbonate. The hull is stylized with small cow leather details and contrast stitching, and that’s what makes the brand so charming!
It is equipped with a TSA approved padlock system, which allows you to travel comfortably and safely anywhere to the United States.
The telescopic handle of the luggage is very practical, with an ergonomic handle. And we find again leather details on the handles.
The wheels are quite wide, which is appreciable in terms of stability. The inside of the suitcase has two zipped compartments, secured by polyester straps.
From a distance, one might think that the model does not look good or is made of plastic. But we understand better interest and rigidity after use.
The entire suitcase is stable and strong, the hull is not scratched, the luggage rolls very well. And of course, the dimensions respect the standards of the airlines, like all the models that I present to you.
A defect that could be underlined, even if it is only an impression: the separations of the inner compartments seem relatively fragile and easy to tear.
The material is fine. And besides, for a model at this price, there are still quite a few compartments to be well organized. It does not bother me too much since I usually use my own little bags to separate my stuff, but it’s still a bad thing.
But the number of compartments can have advantages and disadvantages: many compartments can also mean less space for space-consuming businesses.
Be careful not to lose the key provided with the bag!
This cabin baggage remains a good choice, which I find particularly aesthetic with its small leather touches. He is light while being particularly solid and fulfills all the functions that he has to fulfill without skimping on the style.
4. Antler Juno DLX:
The second piece of luggage that I present for this range is the model Antler Juno DLX. It is a range that combines design, rigidity, and innovations. The case shell is made of polycarbonate, so it is very rigid and I find it rather stylized. In addition, the proposed colors are nice.
In terms of innovations, which also explain the price of luggage, there is a rotary handle that will go from a 2-wheel mode to a 4-wheel mode quite easily, and to guard against shocks during transfers. The zipper is secure.
A big advantage of this cabin baggage is that it can hold many, many things while respecting the dimensions of the hand luggage. You can easily slip in all your belongings for a week of travel.
This is really the type of luggage you buy for many years that will remain rigid, scratch-free, and secure. This case is both compact, relatively light while allowing you to ship a good volume of personal effects, including valuables.
This is the case of most rigid luggage, which moreover are not extensible: you are always sure to be able to pass the check-in without any trouble.
The only negative and anecdotal point that I could note: the instructions to unlock the bag are inside the luggage. Apart from that, you get what you pay for with this model!
The Best High End Carry On Luggage
Finally, here are two models for big budgets and regular travelers. I chose two bags from Samsonite, which remains the benchmark brand of luggage. With more than 200 euros of budget, it is certainly an investment, but which is profitable afterwards!
5. Samsonite Freeform: Best High-End Carry On Luggage
In terms of high-end, I again chose a model from Samsonite, and it is not by chance. I chose Samsonite Freeform hand luggage because it combines a very light design with a durable texture.
We put the price, but this suitcase can accompany you for years. And we do not skimp on the style! I love the colors proposed, especially the sage green.
The integrated handle is pleasant to hold, designed in aluminum to always more lightness. The retractable side handles are also convenient and are protected at the time of check-in.
We are again on a model with multidirectional wheels, which is almost always the case on high-end rigid luggage that should allow you to make the least effort possible.
We arrive at a level of quality where the suitcase rolls safely, whatever the weight you put it. Padlocks and security are compatible with TSA standards.
The point of meeting TSA standards is that if agents want to check the contents of your bag, they can do so without causing any harm. And there is no key, so no risk of losing it and not being able to open your suitcase.
The material in which the hull is designed is really interesting because its lightness will allow you to take more business with you without exceeding the weight limit of the company with which you travel.
It is also a material that, over the years, withstands moisture and shocks.
The interior of the Samsonite Freeform hand luggage is well designed, with safety straps and zipped pockets, as well as two main compartments, well separated.
One of the great interests of this model is that it is expandable, thanks to a zip. It is extremely convenient if you need more space when you come back from your trip.
The problem of polypropylene is that it is quite subject to scratches: do not be surprised if you find your luggage scratched after a flight, it’s a bit the price of lightness. This remains a durable material, which only knows this problem according to the users.
The closures are zipped, which is still a weakness that can be found elsewhere on the vast majority of luggage. It is indeed quite easy to vandalize a piece of luggage with zipping, hence my preference for alternative solutions.
6. Samsonite Aspire Xlite: Zero Defect Luggage
We enter models of high quality, models for which we will find few defects. I particularly selected the luggage Aspire Xlite Cabin from Samsonite, which has all the features of luggage that you want to find at this price.
The shell is 1680 D polyester, a fibrous material particularly resistant to tearing. A hull so particularly strong! The dimensions are suitable for most airlines, although it is better to check beforehand because it is a little more cumbersome than what I have proposed so far.
The case fits on four wheels for more stability, and to go in all directions without much effort. The handle is retractable and especially handy!
The inner straps provide even more stability for your business, and the suitcase is well organized. Once again, Samsonite still has a large selection of colors for each of the models in the range.
The retractable handle may look a bit fragile at first glance when it’s fully open, but it works great! Apart from that, there are a few negative points with this model! It is a good choice for regular travelers who want to invest in the long term. In addition, it allows you to take a lot of business with you!
How To Choose Your Carry On luggage?
There are many models of cabin luggage, and it is quite common that we find ourselves making this purchase at the last minute, sometimes even when arrived at the airport!
What is expected of cabin baggage is that it is a good companion of a road, while being adapted to the air constraints. It means having the right dimensions, a certain solidity, and a practical interior organization!
The Different Cabin Bags
When choosing a piece of luggage that you can take with you during the flight, you already have the choice between three main types of luggage, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Rigid Cabin Luggage
They are models whose shell is solid, and which do not crash. Structures are often designed in the same types of materials: ABS plastic, polypropylene or polycarbonate.
As cabin baggage must generally respect, in addition to standardized dimensions, a certain weight, these materials are selected because they are both light and strong. Because even if the cabin baggage remains small, it must often withstand heavy loads and hold over time.
I recommend rigid luggage to those who travel a lot because it is a real guarantee of security for your belongings. The rigidity allows a certain resistance to shocks, frequent, especially in case of disturbances during the flight.
The weak point is their price because this type of luggage tends to be more expensive.
The Soft Cabin Luggage
This is another type of cabin luggage, less suitable for valuables. But it may be good to make this choice, especially for economic reasons, if you are carrying clothes or business that do not fear being squeezed into the storage compartment of the plane.
They are generally designed in synthetic fabrics, polyester type. They take up little space and can be folded and stored quickly once emptied while having a good capacity once filled.
Of course, the problem lies in the resistance: they are subject to shocks and hazards of the external environment, even if the fabric can be waterproof.
Travel bags look like bags that are used in everyday life. Like luggage fabrics, they are most often made of synthetic fabric.
But their shape is suitable for use in the cabin: they are made to be compatible with the transport in the hold and are therefore classified as authorized luggage.
Their main advantage is the ease of transport: they are worn over the shoulder, on our back, or as traditional suitcases if a side handle is present.
And these are the least expensive of all cabin luggage. But again, watch out for strength and rigidity, depending on what you’re carrying.
Define Your Needs To Choose Your Carry On Luggage
You must first determine what you need to find the perfect model.
The frequency of your trip
Even in terms of dimensions, cabin luggage can be bigger or smaller, light or not. And above all, a more or less resistant journey in course. If you travel frequently, prefer hard luggage.
If you want to save money and neglect this aspect, you risk buying several during the year.
The volume of your luggage
In this case, everything depends on the standards, regulations and your destination. Good cabin luggage, adapted, must also be easily transportable during transfers.
So be careful of the other luggage you have with you! Look already if the baggage is legal, then if you can carry it easily. While taking a model or you can ideally put as much business as possible if you travel often: this will save you extra costs to put your luggage in the hold.
The Size, Weight, and Standards of Different Companies
This is obviously the number one criterion for choosing your cabin baggage: it must be adapted to the cabin. Each company has its own rules, its own dimensions, but there are regulations at a more general level.
Your luggage must be compatible with the transport in the hold: check this every time you travel with a new company.
Ditto for weight: there is always a regulatory weight, and we all want to avoid paying more. It depends on what you put in your suitcase, but as much favor a model of a suitcase that is lighter from the start, to be able to carry more business. You will reach the limit of weight less quickly.
As far as standards are concerned, they are most often established by the manufacturers, whether it is an airplane, a train or a boat. The idea is not to bother us by charging taxes but to carry the luggage of all travelers optimally.
The ideal size of cabin baggage is usually 40 × 30 × 15 cm. In any case, it should not exceed 55 x 35 x 20 cm, a maximum defined by the IATA (the International Association of Air Transport, since 2015).
If you travel by train or boat, the standards are much less restrictive. So, both choose luggage that is also suitable for air transport, a history of being able to various modes of transport without making a new purchase each time.
Then you can choose a cabin trip more or less big depending on the usual duration of your travels: a weekend, a week, or more. Not to mention that everything you put in the cabin, there are baggage fees you will not pay.
2 or 4 wheels
First of all, note that not all luggage has wheels, especially if you are talking about travel bags. Here, you see how you organize the transport of your luggage during transfers because you will have to wear everything.
The interest of roulettes is not to have to bear on your back the burden of all your business. Favor models with 4 multidirectional wheels, which offer even more maneuverability.
Two-wheeled cabin luggage, also known as a trolley, remains practical: it allows the luggage to be rolled by tilting it, which already facilitates your movements.
Closures and Padlocks
This is especially important if you are carrying valuable business. I prefer hard-wearing and rigid suitcases, but I’m used to flying always to carry my computer so I can work at any time.
Fabric models are reserved for the transport of clothing. Beware of the zippers that are present on the majority of models: make sure of their quality.
We also saw that models from Samsonite proposed an original clipped closure that remains a good alternative.
If you opt for a model without padlock, you can still, for example, put your own padlock for more security.
The choice of brands is important, and will quickly let you know if you are dealing with baggage that will hold the road in the long run. Some brands are known for offering models of high quality: we think of the Samsonite range, which is undoubtedly a world leader in the field of luggage.
But there are others, like the French brand Desley, or Eastpak always guaranteed models for soft luggage or travel bags. You can also opt for ranges from Kipling, Rancato, Haupstadt or David Jones if you want to be sure to buy quality.
All cabin baggage is not guaranteed, it is not an obligation. But since it is an object subjected to shocks, that you will carry a lot, because it is its primary function, the presence of a guarantee is particularly interesting.
You can at least be sure to amortize your purchase over one or more years.
Well, for a suitcase, I admit that it is a less important criterion than safety and rigidity. But as with any product, we like beautiful things.
In general, you have for each model a large choice of colors, so please, if the other criteria are respected.
For children, you can find classic luggage but also fun and original models like Trunki wheeled luggage or Boppi Tiny Trekker cabin luggage!
The Price: a question of sustainability
There are models at all prices, which vary according to the range, the category, the dimensions, the model. A rigid suitcase will be more expensive but more solid, and almost mandatory if you carry valuable deals.
Prices can go up to 400 euros, with the most often the presence of a guarantee that secures your purchase. It’s an important investment that will depend on the type of traveler you are.
If you need a hand luggage for a simple weekend, you can settle for a soft bag, cheaper: we find for forty euros.
But if you are a regular traveler, prefer to invest once and for all. If you want to invest in a luggage cabin that will follow you for years, it will be necessary to put at least a hundred euros.