What is the best carry on luggage for you!


We all have different needs when it comes to carry on luggage. Before spending money on your next carryon bag think about the type of person you are and your preferences. What is right for one person may not be for another.

I have tried many types from backpacks, standard ones that come with the sets, and large satchels. I have had many types of materials like leather, faux leather , canvas, nylon you name it. I have had wheels no wheels etc.

Through trial and error I now know what I like and do not like.

To give you some ideas here are my preferences.

  • I like to have a piece of carry on luggage that has wheels for the times when I have a stopover and must cart it around the airport or for flight delays.
  • I need to have an adjustable shoulder strap or backpack option as I have inflammation in my hands and cannot carry it for long that way.
  • I prefer lightweight luggage for the times when you must get on a bus at the foreign destination or to climb stairs to board the plane. I do not usually want to carry one bag only for my trip it is just too heavy for me.
  • I usually take one checked and one carry on bag. It's better if it is roomy and have lots of compartments. I also prefer to take my laptop in the same bag rather than a separate laptop briefcase. I like to take a separate purse or wallet but it is nice if I can put it in the carry on bag. I also like to put my camera in it rather than carry it separate.
  • If I cannot get everything I need on board then I will wear a special travel vest or jacket with pockets. I like to have one carry on that I can hook onto my checked bag when I need to.
  • It is best if my carry on luggage small enough that it will fit under the seat even with discount airlines. I find it too hard to put it in the overhead if it is heavy and I don't like getting it down every time I need something. I am also ready to go when it comes time to get off the plane. 

You may be the type of person that wants to take one bag for your trip. You may be the type that wants to carry as much on board as you can even if you checked as much as you can. One person might like hard sided and another a duffle or satchel type of carry on luggage. You may have strong hands and can carry a bag with a handle.

My husbands favourite bag is a large satchel with 2 pockets on the outside. It is lightweight but expands.

  • He puts his small things that he might want to get at quickly in the side pockets and the rest inside.
  • It has both a shoulder strap and handles and he usually uses the handles. It has no wheels as he does not like wheeling his carry on luggage.
  • It expands quite a bit so he can put his jacket or sweater into it when not needing them.

He has no trouble putting it in the overhead and puts what he needs in the seat pocket in front of him before he puts his bag above. He can also hook the handle over his checked bag when wheeling it.

carry on luggage size

Luggage size and weight allowance is getting smaller all the time.

Before you go on your next trip you will want to check out the latest at your airline carrier especially if you go with one bag or want to take the most that you can.

  • I usually take no larger than 9x16x20inches and 10 kg or 22 lbs.
  • You can usually take a purse or computer briefcase and a camera bag. 
  • I just find it very cumbersome to carry a lot of bags and it is much easier to leave one sitting behind. It also allows you to go through the airport security check much more quickly. Only you can make that decision.

The reason that some people want to go with one carry bag only, is that you will not loose your luggage and it is quicker to go through customs when you get to your destination.

I usually get travel insurance and try not to check anything that is really too valuable to loose. 

I am not usually in that much of a rush as normally I am on vacation.

You will probably have to put your carry on luggage in the overhead and maybe disturb others every time you need something.

Weigh the pros and cons and then make your decision:

  • Chose light weight materials as the bag becomes part of your total allowable
  • Chose the size carefully as the average allowable carry-on varies with air lines but usually 1 bag at 21.5 inches x9x15.5 (55 cm x23x40) 10kg or 22 lbs
  • Some airlines allow a second piece of personal article 6 inches x16.5x13(43cm x33x16)
  • Also some allow a purse no larger than 10 inches x12x5.5(25x30x14cm)If your purse is larger it will count as your personal item
  • Wheels add extra weight No wheels means you will have to carry up stairs etc
  • Think about how you carry your bag Shoulder straps Handles Backpack or Combos
  • Do you prefer compartments or just a big space
  • Do you need to carry a computer
  • Are you prepared to check this bag if you must

You might also want to check out what to pack, how to pack, and airline security to make your check-in as smooth as possible.

This air Canada site has good information.

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