Best Cabin Bags – For Hassle free Travelling
When it comes to travel, travel luggage is a MUST. Whether you are out for a business trip, vacation or any other activity, you will for sure need something to carry personal items needed for the journey. So apart from getting tickets and putting your documents in order, having the right bag beforehand is essential.
The good news is that these days there are more than enough options to choose from. Regardless of your reasons for traveling or personal preferences, it’s almost certain that you will be spoilt for choice. In this article, we want to have an in-depth look at cabin bags like the advantages of carry-on bags, Different brands of cabin bags like American Tourister, Skybags, Nasher Miles, etc
What is a cabin bag?
Well, a cabin bag refers to travel luggage that passengers are allowed to carry along into the plane. It can either be placed on the overhead locker or under the seat. Ideally, they are designed to allow users to carry essentials that you wouldn’t want to be checked in.
Also, known as carry-ons, a key distinguishing feature of this type of bag is the size. For luggage to qualify for cabin status, it has to fit within set airline size and weight limits. Although the restriction varies from one airline to another, there is a generally acceptable range.
Here you will find the different types of Cabin Bags, advantages of cabin bags, What are the factors to be considered before buying a cabin bag and a List of our favourite cabin bags available. In the end, we have also provided FAQs for better understanding.
Top 10 Best Cabin Bags
Best Compact Design
Our Pick- Mid Range
Our Pick-Most Expensive
Value for money
Best Capacity to Size Ratio
Advantages of Cabin Bags
Perhaps the main advantage of acquiring and using a cabin bag is the convenience. Since you will have it with you, it saves you from the hassles typical of checked-in luggage.
You do not have to wait for it to be brought to you on arrival because you handle it yourself. This saves time and stress.
Also, the chances of misplacing or losing it are almost zero. It’s always around your field of view so the safety is guaranteed.
Besides some airlines charge for check-in luggage, so with a cabin bag, you can minimize the possibility of paying anything extra.
Above all, using a cabin bag will always tune you to have some packing discipline. Unlike larger alternatives, you only have just enough space for essential items thereby easing your movement.
Types of Cabin Bags
A wide variety of travel luggage in the market meets the threshold of cabin bag. They come in different shapes and are also made of various materials. Carry-ons are characterized by certain features including wheels, retractable handles, shoulder straps, zipper closures and lock systems, hard or soft sides and more. However, these change from one model to another.
As hinted earlier, the common denominator is the size and weight which should be cabin compliant. Almost any kind of bag can be used as cabin luggage as long as it meets specific airline standard restrictions. That said, let delve a little deeper into some popular types of luggage used as cabin bags:-
Trolley cases have gained considerable favor as cabin bags in recent years. They are wheeled upright, can be hard or soft sided and also come with an extendable handle. Trolley cases have either two or four wheels making the quite smooth to maneuver. In reality, they are popular for their customized compartments that make organizing belonging stress-free.
Duffel bags can easily be identified by their barrel shapes. Though they offer very little in terms of organization, they are quite flexible. In most cases, they feature one main compartment and additional pockets on the outside. They are mainly soft-sided making them ideal picks for casual travel.
Suitcases are no doubt the most popular and are known for their rectangular shapes, rounded edges, and larger sizes. However, there are smaller models that are cabin compliant. They could be wheeled or not, hard or soft-sided, expandable or fixed and so on. Their features vary a lot nonetheless they seem to be the richest category with seeming endless choice list.
Backpacks are defined by shoulder straps for carrying on the back. They are fancied mainly because they free the hands. However, their main drawback is that they can be uncomfortable to carry for long or just unsuitable if you have back issues. On the flipside, they are quite flexible and are real workhorses for leisure trips.
Buying Guide for Cabin Bags
Obviously, with all the options available the question remains “what is the best cabin bag?” The truth is it depends. Choosing the most suitable product in the face of unlimited choices is no simple task. If you are looking forward to getting a new model for an upcoming trip, this is for you. This guide lists some essential factors that should help you make the best purchasing decision.
Nothing matters in the world of carry-on bags as the size. At this point, it doesn’t count much how good the rest of the features are. It’s simple, you won’t be allowed to have it in the cabin if the dimension exceeds an acceptable limit.
The best part is that the standards vary between airlines. It means you have the opportunity to get what aligns to your favorite airline or conforms to universal standards. At the same time, it is also rewarding to ensure the measurements account for everything including protruding parts. If it’s smaller leaving some allowance, the better.
Although cabin bags are designed for light travel, some models or types tend to load more than others. Depending on the volume of items, you need for your trips, the maximum load a bag can carry should matter. Finding a balance between acceptable size and sufficient carrying capacity is vital. Weighing your options, personal preferences, and exact travel requirements can be the best way to filter down to an ideal pick.
Comfort and convenience
Travelling is a fun activity and your luggage is not supposed to spoil the party. While most modern carry-on bags are optimized for comfortable handling, there is a fair share of products that can be an inconvenience. Always be on the lookout for features that give you smooth control whether dragging, pushing or lifting.
If you have physical limitations avoid models that may demand too much effort. You should also think of your travel path because beyond the smooth airport pavements you may be forced to carry it.
Cabin bags also have weight limits beyond which you may have to pay. As a result, how much the product weighs before loading anything counts. Though the weight sometimes determines other qualities such as compactness and strength of construction materials, too much of it reduces packing threshold.
Travel luggage mainly comes with a soft or hard sided casing. This is primarily determined by the nature of the material used in the build. Usually, soft-sided products are mostly made of fabrics while hard-sided alternatives are major products of plastics and metals such as aluminum.
Each type has its advantages and limitations so it’s important to make careful considerations in line with your needs.
For instance, soft-sided bags are often stretchable hence can yield more room if necessary. However, they may be more susceptible to wear and tear.
Hard-sided luggage, on the other hand, seems to be more compact and durable but the space is fixed. Finding a balance between your priorities and the pros and cons of either material should help you decide.
Wheeled travel bags are certainly very popular because of their tendency to ease mobility. However, the key decision point is whether to go for two or four wheelers.
Usually, a carry-on with four wheels offers more in terms maneuverability especially if it can spin 360 degrees. The concern is that they lack stability if left standing on uneven surfaces.
On the flipside, a two-wheeler lacks multi-directional maneuverability but is boasts of better stability. To get the best you can also consider if the wheels can be folded to avoid gobbling space in the cabin.
At some point, you will need to lift, drag, carry or push the bag. For this reason, finding a product which conveniently located handles can be rewarding especially after a long tiring flight. Again, no one would want to carry their luggage when they can ride it along.
A combo of optional shoulder straps and multi-level retractable handle for the wheeled models should be a perfect pick. Overall, the handles should be stable and strong enough to bear the weight without demanding much handwork.
Even though a cabin bag will most likely be within your watch throughout, an extra layer of security is advisable. A preferred pick should have perfect closures and dependable lock system to ensure the safety of valuables every step of the way. It’s also helpful to ensure the system is easy to shut and open to allow hassle-free access of items.
When on the move it’s a possibility that fellow travelers may have almost similar bags in design and color. Black bags are especially common. Therefore, choosing a product with a unique shade that is equally easy to spot could help you avoid confusion. An enticing color can also be a subtle way to express your sense of style.
The cost of the product comes as the final piece of the puzzle. While you can only pay for what you can afford, compromising quality for affordability can be expensive in the long run.
Working with the pricing can be very tricky considering there are cheap but good quality products, the same way some high-end could have very little to offer. Thorough research is at this point helpful. But regardless of the price ensure the bag provides value for every cent spent.
1. Skybags Cardiff Polyester 52 cms Red Travel Duffle – Our Pick
The Cardiff Polyester travel duffle by Skybags is tailored to allow you to travel with belongings in style. Thanks to its spacious interiors and side pockets you can pack all you want quite comfortably. All the stuff you pack inside this bag is kept secure by reliable butterfly locks so your valuables remain safe away from your eyesight.
You will be thankful for its two wheels and a retractable handle that allow you to pull and maneuver easily when at full weight. It makes the cut for an ideal cabin bag thanks to its modest size that matches standard airline requirements.
All in all, the Skybags Cardiff Polyester is a good pick if you are looking for a cabin bag that blends affordability, versatility, and classy appearance.
- Outer material is made of solid polyester for durability
- Bright red color which enhances its taste of style
- Its dimensions are 52 x 28 x 27 cms (L x W x H)
- It tolerates 2330 grams of weight
- Has a carrying capacity of up to 39 liters
- Features butterfly type locks which guarantee the safety of belongings
- It has two wheels on the lower end for easier mobility and maneuverability
- Has one large compartment and extra pockets on the side which allows better organization
- Has two padded handles on the upper side for lifting where you cannot drag it along
- It’s versatile hence ideal for all manner of travel
- Its reinforced base gives sufficient support for weight it carries
- Strong polyester construction ensures durability
- Robust enough to withstand rough handling
- Soft casing makes it adjustable
- Easy to maneuver even when carrying the full weight
- Has a 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Lacks laptop compartment
- Not water resistant
2. American Tourister Cruze ABS 55 cms Carry-On – Best Compact Design
The American Tourister brand is known for producing quality bags and their Cruze ABS 55 cms Black Hardsided Carry-On bad affirms this assertion.
Featuring four wheels that can move in any direction, this bags leaves nothing to spare when it comes to maneuverability.
Its hard outer casing is innovatively crafted with strong but lightweight material to give you the convenience of traveling light with your valuable well secured.
This bag combines a minimalistic design expected of cabin luggage and lots of useful features to allow comfortable modern travel.
- Weighs a modest 2.9kg to facilitate the light traveling experience
- Its dimensions are (L x W x H) 36 x 24 x 55 cm in line with standard cabin requirements
- The outer hard casing is made of ABS material for added strength and compactness
- Water and wear resistance for durability in use
- Has a capacity of up to 42 liters in two compartments sufficient for packing basic travel necessities
- Features a number lock system to allow reliable securing of belongings
- Comes with four spinner wheels for near effortless mobility
- Nicely built durable construction
- Hard casing makes it ideal for carrying fragile personal items
- Easy to maneuver courtesy of high-quality spinner wheels
- Has a lightweight and innovative design
- Waterproof and highly wear resistant
- Compact and stylish for all manner of trips
- It has 3 years International warranty
- Not ideal for carrying a laptop
- Handles minimize space by sliding inside
3. Aristocrat Nile Polyester Soft Sided Carry-On– Best Expandable
This carry-on bag by Aristocrat Nile is a nice choice for anyone looking for lightweight luggage for hassle-free air travel. Perhaps its greatest selling point is the expander feature that could be used if the need for extra packing space arises.
This makes it a versatile option for an all-round trip with varying packing needs from one trip to another. It brings the convenience of using it both as a cabin bag and other travel needs when you need more packing space.
Made of top quality polyester, the manufacturer leaves nothing to chance because the overall build is sturdy enough to withstand rough handling whenever you are on the move. It also makes the cut if you prefer to have soft-sided luggage with flexible spinner wheels for seamless mobility.
- Comes with an expander feature that allows the creation of extra space when the need arises
- Features corner guards to limit wear and tear
- Has strong zip closures and number lock system to ensure the safety of packed belongings
- 4 flexible wheels for unhindered mobility
- Has a sufficient carrying capacity of up to 38 liters
- Weighs about 3.5 kg
- Its dimensions are 37 x 24.5 x 54cms (L x W x H) making it compliant with typical cabin standards
- Durable thanks to soft yet rugged polyester construction
- The purple color makes it unique and easily identifiable
- Reliable lock system ensures the safety of personal items
- Its flexible wheels stress-free maneuverability
- Flexible carrying capacity allows all-around to use
- Has extra pockets outside the main compartment
- Not water and wear resistant
4. Nasher Miles New York Plus Cabin Trolley Bag– Best Hard-Sided
The New York Plus 4-wheel trolley bag by Nasher Miles brand manifests the brand’s commitment to offering unmatched quality products. Blending a minimalistic design capped by a sleek finish, this bag is tailored to suit the needs contemporary short trip travellers. Anyone who values a good-looking cabin bag would appreciate the glossy appearance and versatile functionality it offers.
Given that it’s made of ABS, it’s one of the lightest bags of its class you can find in the market. The depth of detail in the overall construction makes it stable while maintaining a modest weight. You will also love the arrangement of its compartments that caters for organized packing.
The aura of style it manifests at face value allows you to travel with confidence. As if that is not enough the wheels and retractable handle allows you to keep pace and demands less intervention from your hands.
- Sizable front compartment with a built-in slot for up to a 15.6-inch laptop
- Fully-lined interior with divider and zippered chamber to keep belongings well arranged and easily reachable
- Four silent 360-degree spinner wheels for stable and effortless movement
- User-friendly telescopic handle for comfortable handling
- Side mounted locks and zipper closures to secure packed items
- Dimensions and Weight: 35 x 24 x 48cm, 2.9 kg ideal for cabin travel
- Outer covering is made of ABS and PC film while inner material blends fabric and polyester
- Hard-sided casing to guarantee compactness
- The capacity of up to 40 liters
- It allows the convenience of a two-in-one (laptop and suitcase) cabin bag
- The space distribution is great
- Compartments are easily accessible
- Have multiple pockets making it easy to organize personal items
- Incredible quality at its price
- Lightweight and elegant
- The color makes it stand out
- The glossy finish is prone to scratches
5. Mi Hardsided Cabin Luggage 20 – Our Pick- Mid Range
The Mi Hardsided cabin luggage is one fine value for money pick owing to its proven build quality. As compared to other alternatives of its kind, it stands as a front runner given its blend of features and suitability for typical travel needs.
Considering that it is hard-sided it’s highly stable and is likely to bear rough handling. More importantly, it has the right dimensions for cabin compliance hence it stands no chance of being rejected in the plane.
- Cabin compliant dimensions 37.5 by 22.3 by 55cm (L x W X H) for light travel
- Weighs about 3100 grams with a capacity of up to 36 liters
- TSA approved lock system for securing contents
- 4 sturdy spinner, noise-minimizing, and shock-absorbent wheels for smooth dragging
- 3-layer composite compressive structure for enhanced resilience
- Honeycomb design and wear resistant finish for durability
- Two compartments to allow you to carry all you require for a quick trip
- Flexible alloy handle with up to four adjustable height settings for efficient handling
- Hard casing with the polycarbonate-made outer material
- Lightweight, stylish, and durable
- The design is optimized to reduce impact hence minimizing damage
- Great quality build
- Value for money
- Compact size for quick and light travel
- Flexible and silent wheels make it less demanding on the hands when pulled across different surfaces
- Lacks a laptop compartment
6. Delsey ABS 55 cms Hardsided Cabin Luggage – Our Pick-Most Expensive
The ABS 55 cms Hardsided Cabin Luggage is one of the latest additions to the already impressive Delsey bag collection. Like many other models that graced the market way back, it is a perfect representation of the innovativeness the manufacturer has always been known for over time. If anything, it combines classic design, elegant finish, and above all its price is value for money.
In this luggage, you will find every reason why the Delsey brand is preferred by many consumers. The sense of luxury it provides makes it justifies every cent of its price. If you are style and comfort-conscious traveler, you will be impressed with its small size that meets standard airline specifications.
- Its dimensions are 23 by 35 by 55 cm (L x W x H)
- Offers a capacity of up to 44.275 liters ideal for carrying basic travel necessities
- Outer material is a product of ABS to guarantee longevity
- Hard casing to guarantee compactness of packed items
- Utilizes TSA lock type to guarantee the safety of valuables at all times
- Four soft wheels for quick and flawless movement essentially minimizing hand pulling effort
- One main compartment to accommodate relevant belongings
- 3-year worldwide guarantee
- Has a good looking stylish design
- Easy to carry around thanks to its lightweight nature
- The overall quality is value for money
- Flexible with maneuverable wheel
- Has approved locked system guaranteeing the safety of possessions
- Compact and durable
- Has a conveniently located side and top handles to allow lifting where you can’t drag it along
- Lacks a laptop carrying compartment1
7. Swiss Gear 19 inches Cabin Luggage – Best 4-Wheeler
The Swiss Gear 19-inch is another great pick for any traveler with an eye for hard-sided cabin bags. Its unquestionable selling point is how well it combines a lightweight construction and seamless mobility.
As a hard-sided type, the overall build is quite solid and is optimized to minimize impact in case it slips and falls. This makes it ideal for all carrying all manner of items because it will keep everything inside intact.
Another worthy feature worth highlighting is the split case design that makes it quite practical to arrange belongings. Without a doubt, the Swiss Gear 19 inches cabin luggage offers all it takes to get organized and travel the work hassle-free.
- Cabin compliant dimensions: 19 by 9 by 14 inches (L x W X H)
- Weighs about 3.8 Kg
- Water-resistant to reduce chances of drenching contents
- The capacity of up to 45 liters to allow the carrying of enough personal belongings for light travel
- Features approve TSA lock mechanism and zip closures to ensure safety whatever is stored or carried in it
- Four 360-degree stable spinner wheels for flawless multi-directional maneuverability
- Aluminum, push-button locking telescopic handle for efficient pushing or pulling
- Hard ABS made an outer casing for durability and compactness
- Split case design featuring two compartments partitioned by a mess zipper panel- larger interior compartment has double fastening straps for keeping things intact and orderly
- User-friendly molded top and side handles for comfort and durability in case you have to lift it
- 5-year non-transferrable warranty in case something goes south
- Split case design makes it easy to keep everything neatly arranged
- Has a rugged construction for durability
- Has multiple user-friendly handles
- Easily maneuverable
- Guarantees safety of items thanks to an approved closing system
- Solid and resilient
- Sufficient carrying capacity at its class
- Not ideal if you want a customized spot for carrying a laptop
- Not polycarbonate as claimed
8. N Choice 60 L Luggage Travel Duffel Bag – Value for money
The 60 L Luggage travel duffel bag by N Choice is an outright pick for anyone looking for an affordable cabin luggage. Even though it remains one of the cheapest options you will find in the market, it’s still robust enough to carry belongings at full capacity.
This bag combines the versatility expected of a duffle bag and modest sizing to give light traveller the convenience of a cabin compliant luggage. While it may not boast of glossy finish and classic design like other products on our list, its sizable storage compartment and side pockets gives a good score. Overall, it real value for money as a long-term investment.
- Its dimensions are 24 by 14 by 4cm (Width x Height x Depth)
- Weighs about 399 grams
- 2 wheels to allow pulling if the need arises when on the move
- Made of a combination of water repellant polyester and nylon material
- 5 compartments-with one main and four others on the sides giving plenty storage space to carry every essential item
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- 270-degree zipper around for securing the opening
- Lightweight hence easy to carry around
- Great accommodation capacity
- Quite flexible to fit it tight spaces
- Can carry a wide range of items given its design
- Robust, resilient, and weather friendly
- Very affordable
- The overall design is classy
- The zips quality is a bit of a concern
- Interior plastic material may give in too soon in rough handling
9. Thames Polyester 55 cms Travel Cabin Bag – Best 2-Wheeler
If you are looking for a suitable cabin bag for a casual trip, this luggage by Thames is a sure winner. Offering the benefit of tractable storage compartments, it stands ideal for both last minute trips and long-awaited dream holidays. For one, it allows users to enjoy packing stuff without paying too much attention to what fits where.
Apart from ease of loading, you will be pleased with how well the manufacturer equipped this model with nice handling features. From the telescopic handle to the two wheels and lifting straps on the upper side, carrying this bag is a walk in the park.
As a creation of a brand known for its sheer class and innovation, the Thames 55cms cabin bag is built for contemporary travel needs. Indeed, this is a utility bag that can carry any relevant personal items that you throw its way. At its prices, you can’t ask for more or less.
- Its dimensions are 55 x 34 x 30cm (L x W XH) which is modest but sizable enough for a short trip
- Has a carrying capacity of up to 50 liters to accommodate all travel essentials
- Construction material is 100% premium polyester for durability
- Telescopic handle type for easier handling
- Water and wear resistance for extended lifespan in use
- Features two wheels to facilitate smooth pulling while on the go
- Comes with one main compartment a few more pockets on the front to maximize storage space
- Several side and back guards to shield it from scratching the ground or walls
- The stitches and finishing are perfectly in place
- Sleek and stylish making it a perfect pick for a dream leisure travel
- Overall build quality is top notch
- Rugged enough to tolerate rough handling and wear and tear
- Sufficient packing space
- Lacks a fashionable appeal
10. New Jersey Travellers Moon Black (20″Size) – Best Capacity to Size Ratio
The New Jersey Travellers brand needs no introduction as far as producing classic travel luggage is concerned. This 20-inch moon black suitcase is nothing less than a balance of quality and value. It is an affordable cabin compliant suitcase that scores highly through its lightweight yet very firm construction.
One key element worth highlighting is its generous capacity keeping in mind its dimensions which are smaller than other products on our list. Similarly, you will find the interior quite compelling given the fancy lining and well-fitted accessory pockets.
For convenience, it comes with an easy-push button locking handle and two spinner wheels. It takes little effort to drag this along as you move about to your dream leisure trip.
- Product Dimensions are 35.6 by 17.8 by 50.8 cm hence cabin compliant
- Weighs 2.9 Kg with a capacity of up to 65 liters to facilitate the light traveling experience
- Made of high-quality Polyester material for durability
- Soft casing for flexible use
- Push-button trolley handle for comfortable handling
- 2 wheels for smooth maneuverability
- Features number locking system and quality zipper closures to guarantee the security of carried belongings
- 2 main compartments to allow neat arrangement of items
- The carrying capacity is great
- Has stable support for resting on the side
- Quite affordable
- Resilient enough to withstand rough handling
- The overall build quality is satisfactory
- Perfect cabin compliant dimensions
- The double fasteners in the interior are quite handy for holding items
- The number lock is a little hard to figure out
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there any difference between check-in and cabin bag?
Yes, a check-in refers to luggage that goes in the cargo hold of the plane. A cabin bag, on the other hand, is left with you and is usually kept under the seat or overhead lockers.
While you won’t have access to your checked-in bag while on board, it is transported on the same plane and given to one you get to the destination. Airlines have varying rules on what is allowed into the cabin and what has to be checked-in.
2. What is the standard size of a cabin bag?
The internationally accepted dimensions are about 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches or 22 by 35 by 56 centimeters. The size includes every part. Notably, this may be slightly higher or lower from one airline to another. Also, in some instances, domestic and international flights are subject to different limitations.
3. Is a backpack considered a carry-on bag?
The design or shape of a luggage does not matter. As long as it meets the allowed size then it qualifies to be a cabin bag. Whether it’s a suitcase, duffel bag, tote, spinner luggage or trolley case, only compliance to carry-on restrictions count.
4. How much weight is accepted for a cabin bag?
Most airlines usually allow weight limits in the range of 7 to 10 kg. This is total for the bag and all that it carries. Having a lightweight bag at this point is advantageous. It allows you to leverage on the acceptable weight threshold to load as much as possible.
5. Which casing is better- hard or soft sided luggage?
This depends on your travel needs and preferences because each type has it merits and limitations. Hard sided cabin bags should be preferred if you are looking for a compact and durable product that can withstand rough handling and impact. To the contrary, soft luggage is a better bet if you want something lightweight with flexible space options. Generally soft sided cabin bags are perfect for casual travel.
6. How do I choose the best cabin bag?
The key factor to keep in mind when choosing a cabin bag should be the size. Once its cabin compliant, you can check out other features such as ease of handling, capacity, customized compartments, and quality of construction just to mention. Depending on your budget you can then filter down to what represents value for money for you.
The suitability of cabin bags for all manner of lightweight travel is by far out of question. Riding on their modest sizes to provide globetrotters with convenient luggage solutions, there is every reason for having one for all manner of lightweight travel.
Regardless of your choice, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of considering quality over anything else. Hopefully this guide offers all the information you need to find the best bargain for your travel needs.