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The best carry-on luggage is one that is durably built, easy to pack, rolls smoothly, and can easily fit into the overhead cabin of an aeroplane. Also, the carry-on should have all the features that you may need when travelling. The undeniable truth is that travelling can be stressful, particularly when it comes to packing your luggage.
Plus, each airline has guidelines that you must follow to avoid rubbing shoulders with airport authorities. It is therefore advisable that you go through the airline’s website before buying a carry-on case for domestic or international flights. Click on these links to familiarise yourself with the Australian airline carry-on luggage limits for Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia.
TL; DR: The #1 Carry-on Luggage for Most People 👇
The Samsonite Omni Pc boasts a heavy-duty polycarbonate construction, telescoping handle, TSA lock, and also has multi-directional spinners that can self-align for easy manoeuvrability. Although this carry-on does not have external compartments and smart features, it’s reasonably priced and may just be what you need for your next international or domestic flight!
Switch from regular travel suitcases by picking any of the carry-on luggage that we have listed below. All the carry-ons in this guide are made of high-quality materials and also have a lot to offer, making them ideal for people in different industries. But most importantly, they’ll provide you with a frustration-free travelling experience when taking both short and long flights.
The Best Carry-on Luggage to Buy Today in Australia
- Best Softside Carry-on Luggage: Travelpro Platinum Elite Spinner
- Best Carry-on Luggage for Digital Nomads: July Carry-on Pro
- Best for Most People: Samsonite Omni Pc Hardside Expandable Luggage
- Best Value Carry-on Luggage: American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage
- Best Hardside Carry-on: Samsonite Centric Carry-on Luggage
- Best Carry-on for International Travel: Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner Suitcase
- Best Underseat Carry-on Luggage: Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Carry-On Luggage
1. Best Softside Carry-on Luggage: Travelpro Platinum Elite Spinner
Why we like it:
- Self-aligning 360° swivel wheels for easy manoeuvrability
- Expandable design for extra packing space
- Soft touch handle for maximum user comfort
- It has a USB port and a pocket for storing power banks
What customers say:
“Stylish carry-on bag, quality materials, zippers and wheels, excellent warranty.”–Paul
The Travelpro Platinum Elite Spinner is our top pick for the best carry-on luggage because of its durable design, great features, and smooth-rolling wheels. It measures 21 x 14 x 9 inches but can be expanded to 23.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches. The carry-on is made of premium quality fabric with leather accents for a touch of style.
This carry-on travel case features self-aligning wheels that allow for effortless manoeuvrability on different surfaces. You can roll the case forward, backward, or keep it by your side. The main compartment has tie-down straps that will hold your clothes in place. To add to this, it comes with a suiter for wrinkle-free packing.
The Travelpro Platinum spinner luggage sports durably built zippers that will provide you with long-lasting service. To make it even more durable, the seams are firmly stitched to ensure the case stays in one piece when subjected to abuse. The back pockets are fitted with metal zippers for safety purposes.
You will be happy to know that this carry-on has a precision-glide system that enables you to adjust the length of the handle to match your height. The handle is rubberised to prevent slippage while providing you with the comfort that you need. As if that is not enough, this smart carry-on case has a dedicated power bank pocket and a USB port for user convenience.
If you want to travel in style, this softside carry-on luggage may just be what you need. It is one of the best carry-on luggage currently available on the market and is definitely worth buying. However, bear in mind that you may be required to check in the carry-on case if it is expanded.
2. Best Carry-on Luggage for Digital Nomads: July Carry-on Pro
Why we like it:
- Has an odour-proof laundry bag for keeping your clean clothes fresh
- Ejectable battery for charging smartphones and other small gadgets
- Smooth-rolling wheels for easy and quiet movement
Multi-level telescopic handle for optimal comfort
What customers say:
“The removable outer sleeve is very handy for accessing your devices without having to open the entire case. The charging cell is well-placed and is also very powerful. Well made, has great wheels and I love the colours. The number of height options for the handle makes it comfortable to wheel no matter how tall you are.”–Jeremy B.
Next up is the July Carry-on Pro – this is my personal suitcase and one that I have reviewed recently. It is a feature-rich carry-on luggage that will completely change how you travel. You can tell this case is designed to last just by looking at it. This carry-on luggage is crafted from aerospace-grade polycarbonate with nicely curved edges that give it a sleek appearance.
One of the outstanding features of this carry-on case is the detachable sleeve that is made of 1000D premium fabric. The sleeve is padded and can accommodate laptops that are up to 16 inches in length. Also, the sleeve has a snap-on design, so you can easily attach and detach it when needed.
To make it even better, the case has an ejectable power pack that you can use for charging your devices. This makes the July Carry-on Pro an ideal carry-on luggage for tech nomads and freelancers who like to travel. The adjustable telescopic handle offers optimum comfort even for tall people.
Attached to this carry-on luggage are four multi-directional spinner wheels that will allow you to roll the case effortlessly. The twin-strap compression system can greatly assist you when packing for long trips. And unlike most carry-ons, this case boasts a separate odour-proof laundry bag that’ll keep your clean and dirty clothes apart.
The handle is designed with your comfort in mind, meaning you can roll the case for an extended duration without experiencing any discomfort. You can read our full July Carry-on Pro review to learn more about the features this case has to offer.
3. Best for Most People: Samsonite Omni Pc Hardside Expandable Luggage
Why we like it:
- Premium polycarbonate construction for long-lasting service
- Multi-directional wheels for effortless manoeuvrability
- Has a telescopic handle and a separate carry handle
- It has a TSA-approved lock
What customers say:
“I’ve had this suitcase for 5+ years and it still feels new. The suitcase is very durable and it’s lightweight. I’ve taken it all across the world and have had no problems. It’s very sturdy and the exterior is made up of a very nice grippy material. The zippers and wheels are very smooth. I highly recommend this suitcase to everyone.”–Rahul C
The Samsonite Omni Pc Hardside Expandable Luggage is a favourite among most people due to its durable design. This carry-on is made from premium quality polycarbonate, a material that is both strong and lightweight. The exterior has a scratch-resistant finish, so you won’t have to worry about the case acquiring ugly scuff marks over time.
Samsonite has fitted the Omni Pc with a reliable combination lock to ensure your items are safe during transit. The lock is conveniently placed on the side to give you quick and easy access. Beside the lock is a TSA-compliant keyhole that’ll allow airport authorities to access the case without causing any damage.
This hardside carry-on is expandable and also has an X-strap compression system that will allow you to pack more clothes for your trip. Furthermore, the case has an additional mesh pocket. If you like, you can use this compartment for keeping dirty clothes.
The wheels on this carry-on are designed for smooth mobility and can glide effortlessly on rough footpaths. This means you won’t experience any problems rolling this case on smooth floors at the airport. To top it all up, the Omni PC is available in a range of colours that you can choose from based on your preference.
4. Best Value Carry-on Luggage: American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage
Why we like it:
- Wide handle for user comfort
- Smooth-rolling spinners make it easy to move
- Toiletries pocket for additional storage
- Strong ABS shell for maximum durability
What customers say:
“This is a very nice lightweight hard shell carry-on. I am pleased with this purchase. I tested it after taking it out of the packaging. It rolls well, the zippers are all there and in good working condition. The real test will be after I put my items in there if it can handle the load but so far I am pleased.”–Dani
Our list of best carry-on luggage wouldn’t be complete without including a case from American Tourister. The brand is known for its high-quality travel cases and the American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage is here to prove just that.
It’s not only durable but also has four spinners that will make your work easier when wheeling the case. And like all carry-ons in this guide, the Stratum XLT features an extendable handle that you can adjust to get the desired level of comfort. The handle has a push-button lock system, so it won’t retract unless you push the button. More on the handle, it is ergonomically contoured to give you a firm grip.
The straps in the main compartment will keep your clothes neatly packed throughout your journey. You can easily expand the carry-on using the expansion zippers. This case is stain-resistant and is also very easy to clean. Simply wipe down the exterior using a soft cloth damped in soapy water and the case will be ready for your next trip.
Similar to most carry-ons, the Stratum XLT has a mesh divider that can help you organise your clothes. On the downside, this carry-on does not have side handles, so you may have a hard time removing it from the overhead storage unit of an aeroplane. All in all, it is a well-built carry-on that you can depend on for long travels.
5. Best Hardside Carry-on: Samsonite Centric Carry-on Luggage
Why we like it:
- Combination lock for keyless access
- Expandable design for extra storage space
- Comes in six different colours that you can pick from
- Polycarbonate construction for maximum scratch resistance
What customers say:
“This is a great suitcase. It’s roomy and the wheels move very easily. A good buy and the price was right.”–Marilyn Murphy
Are you in search of a hardside carry-on that is durable, lightweight, and stylish? The Samsonite Centric Carry-on Luggage offers all that and more. Like all travel cases from Samsonite, this carry-on is sturdily built to give you a frustration-free experience when travelling.
The polycarb shell can take on anything that the environment may throw at it, so you can use this case without worries. With the side handle in place, you can safely remove this carry-on from aeroplane lockers without it slipping from your grasp. The adjustable telescopic handle allows for quick length customisation even when on the go.
One of the reasons why most people prefer Samsonite carry-ons over other cases is because the brand is focused on providing customers with high-quality products. And this is evident in the Centric’s design. Aside from having a heavy-duty shell, this carry-on is equipped with strong wheels that won’t break easily.
The same applies to the side and telescopic handles. Both are firmly attached to the case, so rest assured they won’t come loose when handling the case. And the fact that the exterior surface is scratch-resistant means you won’t have to worry about scuff marks.
6. Best Carry-on for International Travel: Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner Suitcase
Why we like it:
- Has internal pockets for storing small items
- Thick ABS shell for impact resistance
- The interior is made of 150D polyester for durability purposes
- Double spinners for easy mobility
What customers say:
“Excellent buy, used it recently on a holiday and I fitted everything I needed in it for 10 days, thinking of getting the next size up to match it.”–Ricko
Measuring 25.5 x 38 x 55 cm, the Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner Suitcase meets the requirements for carry-ons on most airlines around the world. The dual wheel spinners will enable you to roll the case beside you without breaking a sweat. Additionally, the main compartment has a zipper divider for your convenience.
With the help of this feature, you can pack your items separately, saving you the hassle of using an extra bag. There are also inner pockets that can hold small items such as socks, gloves, smartphone chargers, and more. In terms of durability, the case is made of premium ABS while the interior is lined with high-quality 150D polyester.
The zippers are durably made to prevent breakage when accessing the compartments. Plus, the extendable handle features a built-in locking mechanism to ensure it stays at the level that you want. The protrusions on the side will prevent the case from coming in direct contact with surfaces when you place the carry-on down.
This will safeguard the case against abrasion marks. The case is available in three different sizes, so you can as well add the larger versions to your travelling kit for when you want to check-in. Although the case lacks premium features, it offers great value for money.
7. Best Underseat Carry-on Luggage: Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Carry-On Luggage
Why we like it:
- Backside strap for piggybacking
- Retractable handle for easy adjustment
- It has mesh pockets for storing water bottles
- Strong carry handles
What customers say:
“Perfect size to take as hand luggage on a plane. Lots of space inside with useful secure zipped pockets to carry everything you would need for your trip.”–Dave 23
The Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Carry-On Luggage takes the last spot on our list but that doesn’t mean it’s not reliable. In fact, it is one of the best softside carry-on luggage that you can consider buying. The quilted polyester from which the case is made is highly durable, making this an ideal carry-on for long trips.
This carry-on is unlike the other cases that we have reviewed above in that it can fit under the seats of most aeroplanes. You won’t have to panic in case all the overhead cabins are full, simply slide the case underneath your seat. The other thing that we liked about the Melrose is that it has a backside strap.
This feature will allow you to attach the carry-on to a 4-wheel spinner piggyback style, allowing for smooth movement. The carry handles can come in handy when the telescoping handle is retracted. Even though the case is compact, the main compartment is large and can accommodate multiple items.
You should however keep in mind that this carry-on only has two wheels, so it’s not as manoeuvrable compared to spinner carry-ons. It also lacks a lock and smart features. All factors considered this is a reasonably priced case that you can take with you on all domestic and international flights.
How We Researched the Best Carry-on Luggage
Finding the best carry-on luggage was not that difficult since our chief editor is a travel enthusiast. We easily identified the important factors that one ought to keep in mind when buying a carry-on travel suitcase. This helped us know what to look for during our search.
With this information in mind, we visited local online storefronts such as MyDeal and Myer. This allowed us to identify some of the top-rated carry-on luggage in Australia. We also visited Amazon Australia and selected carry-ons with high ratings.
But we didn’t stop there, we read through customer reviews to better understand what each carry-on luggage has to offer and whether it meets the needs of most people. We then created a list of 10 carry-ons based on our findings.
Once we were done, we compared the carry-on cases, taking into account Build quality, Safety features, Maneuverability, Handle design, Smart features, and Number of compartments. As a result of this, we were able to do away with three carry-ons because they did not tick all boxes. This left us with the 7 best carry-on luggage Australia has to offer.
Carry-on Luggage: Buying Guide
What makes a good carry-on case? Well, it all comes down to your needs. Carry-on travel cases come in different sizes and also have unique features that may or may not suit you. That being said, it is essential that you pick carry-on luggage that you can rely on throughout the period that you’ll be travelling.
If you have been having a hard time picking a carry-on travel case, the pointers highlighted in this piece can help you get started. Before we discuss the points, it’s important to keep in mind that the best carry-on luggage should meet most, if not all, airline specifications. But it must fit into the overhead storage compartments of an aeroplane.
You also need to decide whether you want a hardside or softside carry-on luggage. The former offers more protection and can prove helpful when packing items that can easily get damaged, while the latter is more affordable and lighter.
What to Consider When Buying Carry-on Luggage
There are a number of factors that you need to take into consideration when shopping for carry-on luggage. And with so many options to choose from, the selection process can be downright frustrating. Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind when buying carry-on luggage:
Look for carry-on luggage that is sturdily built to avoid complications when travelling. There are several things that you need to take into account when it comes to build quality. For starters, you need to consider the type of materials used in the construction and how well they are put together.
The seams should be firmly stitched (preferably multi-stitched) to prevent the case from falling apart. I bet you wouldn’t want your carry-on luggage to burst open while you are at the airport—all your clothes and personal items scattered all over the place. This is not only embarrassing but can also make you miss your flight.
You also need to check the type of zippers on the carry-on luggage. Low-quality zippers can be unpredictable since you don’t know when they’ll break. And although most carry-on cases have nylon zippers, metal zippers are the most durable, so if you can find carry-on luggage with metal teeth you should go for it.
Metal zippers are also more secure due to the fact that the zipper elements interlock so tightly they cannot easily be pulled apart using items such as ballpoint pens. The handle(s) should be tightly riveted to the carry-on luggage to prevent them from coming loose.
Lastly, the exterior needs to be scratch-resistant and should also offer some level of water resistance.
Virtually all carry-ons on the market have locks to prevent unauthorised entry. However, not all locks are built equal, meaning some are more reliable than others. As such, you should only go for carry-on cases from reputable brands that are known for making secure locks.
A good carry-on luggage should have a TSA-approved lock to allow Transportation Security Administration personnel to access the case without breaking the lock, should there be a need to do so. This particularly applies if the carry-on luggage in question will be used for international travel. The July Carry-on Pro is a good example of a TSA-compliant travel case.
The carry-on luggage should have smooth rolling wheels that allow for effortless movement. Four-wheeled carry-ons, commonly known as spinners, are a favourite among most people because they can be pulled or pushed side-to-side, backward, and forward, thanks to their 360-degree swivel wheels. Best of all, you can keep the carry-on alongside you at all times as you roll it.
Two-wheeled carry-on cases, on the other hand, are not as manoeuvrable compared to their four-wheeled counterparts. You can only pull them forward, with some having the ability to roll backward. This makes them somewhat difficult to manoeuvre in crowded places.
The handle is one of the most important components of a carry-on suitcase. Without it, you will have a hard time rolling your carry-on. Carry-ons with telescopic handles are the best since they allow you to make customised length adjustments according to your height. This is a must-have feature if you are a tall person.
Some carry-on travel cases come with two handles, one on the side and the other at the top. That way, you can roll the carry-on luggage based on your preference. You can also piggyback small bags on cases with dual handles, but this will depend on the placement of each handle.
If you are after comfort, you should go for carry-ons with soft grip handles.
In addition to the main compartment, a good carry-on travel case should have extra compartments for storing small items and accessories such as chargers, notebooks, pens, etc. If you often travel with your laptop, you should consider buying a carry-on case with a padded laptop compartment. Also, ensure that you check the volume of the main compartment.
Some brands build advanced carry-on suitcases with all the bells and whistles. Carry-ons like the July Carry-on Pro have an ejectable battery pack that can help you juice up your devices regardless of where you are.
Other models feature proximity sensors and location-tracking technology for added convenience. There are also carry-ons with biometric locks and other cool features that you will find helpful depending on your travelling needs.
Last update on 2023-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API