Best small carry on luggage

TOP suitcases and how to choose a right suitcase for travelling

Which suitcase is the best to buy is a good question, when choosing a suitcase the most important thing is that it should be adapted to the conditions in which we travel. It is preferable to choose a more modern, time-tested, and factory-made model with an official factory guarantee. Even a relatively inexpensive suitcase can also be good, provided it is made from durable materials and factory-tested. An indication of quality is at least a warranty of 1 year or more.


How do I choose a suitcase for a plane, train or car?


To begin with, if the suitcase is high quality, factory-produced and with a warranty, it does not matter which way you travel, a solid suitcase will hold up under any circumstances!

It is important to determine exactly which model is right for you. Answer some questions for yourself:


  • For how many days? 2-4 days or more than 7 days
  • What type of trip? (business or leisure)
  • What transport are we travelling with? (car, plane, train)
  • Are there luggage weight restrictions?
  • With children or not?
  • To a country where the weather will change during your stay? (Asia, Thailand, Alaska, Europe, Africa)
  • Not unimportant is your budget!


There are small, medium and large suitcases.


Acceptable weight, dimensions, amount of hand luggage and checked-in luggage – this information you need to check carefully on the pages of the selected airlines or bus carriers. Sometimes it happens that for a long-haul flight the luggage allowance is for example 20-23 kg, but for short-haul flights, it is much lower, e.g. around 10-15 kg.


TOP small suitcases


Here I collected a TOP of the best small suitcases that you can buy right now. By selecting one of these suitcases you will get the best quality for a fair price, and you will not have to worry about the security of your belongings while traveling.


Briggs & Riley Baseline-Softside CX Expandable Carry-On Upright Luggage


The Briggs & Riley Baseline Carry-On is one of several soft carry-on bags within the respected luggage brand’s Baseline collection. Based in New York, Briggs & Riley has been in buisness since 1993, and the bags from this company are known for being attractive but at the same time not flashy. They are also amazingly well crafted and have one of the best warranties on the market.


The brand’s basic collection, which is available in just a few colours (olive, black, and sometimes navy), is made from durable ballistic nylon. Like the rest of the range, the carry-on bag is simple, elegant, and full of thoughtful design touches. But will the packing space and manoeuvrability justify such a high price tag? Read on for my review.


At 22 x 14 x 9 inches deep, the Briggs Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On expandable spinner is as big as most domestic airlines allow in the overhead compartment, and a little too big for some international carriers.


All Briggs and Riley luggage bags come with a lifetime warranty. The company handles any repairs needed, even those that were not caused by you directly, at any point you don’t even have to dig out proof of purchase. Customers can either bring their Briggs luggage to a repair centre in their area or have it mailed right to an official Birggs & Riley repair centre.


This warranty easily outperforms the competition. The TUMI warranty covers everything for the first year of the bag’s life, although proof of purchase is required. After that, the company only covers manufacturing defects, and only after the bag’s fifth year of life. Victorinox warranties vary between luggage collections, but they also offer less coverage and require proof of purchase.

 Briggs & Riley Baseline-Softside CX Expandable Carry-On Upright Luggage, Black, 22-Inch
SizeCarry-On 22-Inch
Case Dimensions22"x14"x9"
Overall Dimensions
ColorBlack, Olive, Navy

The Samsonite Solyte DLX Softside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels


Samsonite Solyte DLX is another great lightweight option from Samsonite. The suitcase is available in three sizes, all made from durable polyester. All three bags are lightweight and share many common features.


Samsonite DLX has dual spinning wheels and a retractable wheel handle, making it easy to maneuver your luggage. In addition, all three bags have top, side and bottom grab handles, an expandable capacity, and two spacious external pockets. And the telescopic handle of the Samsonite Solyte luggage locks in several height positions on all sizes of Solyte, allowing you to easily adjust it to suit your height.


The carry-on of the Samsonite Solyte actually has a few unique features. It comes with a USB charging port that allows you to charge your phone on the go. And there’s a zippered side pocket designed to hold your phone and external battery while you’re travelling around the airport. In addition, this suitcase also has a luggage strap at the back, which allows you to mount it on top of a larger bag.


There’s another difference between a carry-on and a larger bag – the Samsonite Solyte 20 has a total of five internal pockets, whereas hand luggage only has two. Inside the pack compartment itself, there is one zippered pocket, while the hand luggage has two more zippered pockets on the top panel. One of these – a wet backpack – is a waterproof pocket designed to hold any wet items.

 Samsonite Solyte DLX Softside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Midnight Black, Carry-On 20-Inch
SizeCarry-On 20-Inch
Case Dimensions19.0"x 13.5"x 7.75"
Overall Dimensions22.0"x 14.0"x 9.5"
Weight7.1 pounds
ColorMediterranean Blue, Midnight Black, Mineral Grey

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21″ Softside Expandable Carry-On Spinner Wheel


When it comes to choosing your hand luggage, it’s important to make sure it meets most airline rules on hand luggage size so you’re not stuck checking your bag at the last minute. The Travelpro Platinum Elite expandable carry-on bag is marketed as 20 inches, but that doesn’t actually include wheels. When measured, the full exterior was only about 23 inches, which barely exceeds the usual recommendations for a size of 22 inches.


However, this actually tends to be the case for most standard carry-on sizes. While this bag may not fit on planes with two seats onboard or on smaller international jets, it will easily fit overhead on most major US airlines. However, when fully packed with expansion capability, it can quickly exceed the allotted hopper size if you’re not careful.


This soft Travelpro Platinum Elite 21 carry-on is made from a high-density nylon fabric that is highly durable and stain-resistant. The details and handles are made from high-quality leather, which makes the bag comfortable to lift and gives a more sophisticated and elegant look to the overall design.


The Travelpro Platinum holds up to 46 liters, which is a good amount of space, especially compared to many smaller carry-on bags, making it ideal for medium length trips. At 7.8 pounds, it is heavier than usual for a carry-on bag, but you will have no problem lifting this bag over my head, even when it is fully packed.


Also, the chrome zips are easy to grab and unzip, and the four PrecisionGlide wheels easily handle any surface, including thick carpet.


Elite 21 comes in seven colour options; Shadow Black, Intrigue Black (a more textured look), Rich Espresso, Vintage Grey, Bordeaux, True Navy, and Coastal Blue.

 Travelpro Platinum Elite-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Shadow Black, Carry-On 21-Inch
SizeCarry-On 21-Inch
Case Dimensions21"x14"x9"
Overall Dimensions23.5"x14.5"x9"
Weight7.8 pounds
ColorShadow Black, Vintage Grey, Bordeaux, True Navy, Intrigue Black, Rich Espresso

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels Gear Carry On 21 inch


The Swiss Gear Carry On 21 inch was designed with the best materials and features. The Swiss Gear Carry On Spinner really looks from the outside, it’s similar to the Samsonite Aspire Xlite Spinner in the sense that it comes in the same colour, looking sleek, stylish, and professional. A removable zipped wet bag inside allows you to store wet swimwear in a pocket separate from all your clothes. The SwissGear Spinner has been crafted from high-density fabric with PVC backing to increase durability. The swivel wheels of the SwissGear Sion Spinner have become a staple of modern luggage, and you’d be surprised if a bag claiming to be the best in class doesn’t have them. This ergonomically expandable luggage has been designed with durability, comfort, and functionality in mind.


SwissGear 21 Carry On has two exterior pockets, allowing you to store your essentials for easy access throughout your trip. No more digging through your suitcase to find your reading material while waiting for your flight. The expandable zip will give you an extra storage capacity, just like the Samsonite Aspire Xlite Spinner 19 inch, you can store more of what you need. It’s a larger capacity than the Samsonite spinner, although you’d expect it to be a couple of inches taller. Inside the suitcase, you’ll find a removable zipped wet bag. You don’t have to worry about your wet clothes forcing you to travel with a bag of slightly damp, smelly clothes at the other end of your journey. On one side of the interior, you’ll find a zipped pocket with mesh lining, allowing you to easily organise your loose items. On the other side, you’ll find a main compartment of the SwissGear 21 Spinner that keeps your clothes in place with straps.

 SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Black, Carry-On 21-Inch
SizeCarry-On 21-Inch
Case Dimensions21”x 12.75”x 10.25”
Overall Dimensions22.75”x 14.25”x 10.25”
Weight8 pounds
ColorBlack, Blue, Burgundy, Dark Grey, Pewter, Teal, Navy/Lime, Purple

Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage


Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner is a great bag for long journeys or large families. It’s available in smaller 25″ and 21″ sizes.


Packing compartments of the Travelpro Maxlite 5 are standard for a softshell suitcase, with one main compartment (142 liters capacity), two outer compartments, a full internal pocket with flap, and a side pocket for accessories. This suitcase had enough space to hold all my stuff, as well as clothes and shoes for my two young sons for a 10-day trip. If you need more capacity, the Maxlite 5 expands another two inches. We didn’t need to use this feature, but it’s a good option.


While the size of the main compartment of the Travelpro Spinner Luggage is great, you might have a little problem organizing everything. To fix this problem, use packing cubes, and everything will stay in place. The two retention straps are a nice touch, although they seemed a bit flimsy.


Travelpro Maxlite also boasts three carrying handles: bottom, top, and side. Its telescopic retractable handle has a rubberised handle with an ergonomic contour-this not only helps you maneuver the suitcase but it also naturally molds to my hands. What’s more, the handle on Maxlite 5 has two locking points: one at 38 inches above the ground and one at 42.5 inches. This means that even the tallest travellers should be able to adjust it to their height and roll the suitcase comfortably.

 Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Carry-On 19-Inch
SizeCarry-On 19-Inch
Case Dimensions19"x15"x7.75"
Overall Dimensions21.75"x15.75"x7.75"
Weight5.3 pounds
ColorAzure Blue, Black, Burgundy, Dusty Rose, Imperial Purple, Mocha, Sapphire Blue, Slate Green

TOP Softside suitcases for carry on luggage size or small trips 

 Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Carry-On 19-InchSwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Black, Carry-On 21-InchTravelpro Platinum Elite-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Shadow Black, Carry-On 21-InchSamsonite Solyte DLX Softside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Midnight Black, Carry-On 20-InchBriggs & Riley Baseline-Softside CX Expandable Carry-On Upright Luggage, Black, 22-Inch
SizeCarry-On 19-InchCarry-On 21-InchCarry-On 21-InchCarry-On 20-InchCarry-On 22-Inch
Case Dimensions19"x15"x7.75"21”x 12.75”x 10.25”21"x14"x9"19.0"x 13.5"x 7.75"22"x14"x9"
Overall Dimensions21.75"x15.75"x7.75"22.75”x 14.25”x 10.25”23.5"x14.5"x9"22.0"x 14.0"x 9.5"
Weight5.3 pounds8 pounds7.8 pounds7.1 pounds
ColorAzure Blue, Black, Burgundy, Dusty Rose, Imperial Purple, Mocha, Sapphire Blue, Slate GreenBlack, Blue, Burgundy, Dark Grey, Pewter, Teal, Navy/Lime, PurpleShadow Black, Vintage Grey, Bordeaux, True Navy, Intrigue Black, Rich EspressoMediterranean Blue, Midnight Black, Mineral GreyBlack, Olive, Navy
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