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Carry-on suitcase reviews

Last updated: 15 September 2015

Suitcases have a tough time and need to withstand different weather conditions and continual bumps along all sorts of surfaces. We thoroughly test carry-on luggage for water resistance, durability, stability, ease of use and more. Our how we test page shows our rigour, while our buying guide explains what to look for.

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Our test covers suitcases designed as carry-on or cabin luggage, although you'll need to check individual requirements with your airline. We test soft and hard suitcases in both 2- and 4- wheel configurations.

Expert testers give every suitcase a thorough workout to help find the models that:
  • survive our tough lift-and-drop test
  • get through our rolling rig test unscathed
  • are most-water resistant and durable
  • are easiest to wheel around different surfaces.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you navigate our results as well as find out which brands are lightest and small enough to meet your carry-on needs. Our Recommended list will help you see which models came out on top in performance and ease of use.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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This is the typical price we found for each suitcase, as of August 2015, rather than the recommended retail price. In many cases, we found suitcases that were significantly cheaper than the recommended retail price.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 20 and 445

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Performance score
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Our testers conduct several technical tests to assess each suitcase's performance. Performance score consists of scores for the lift and drop test (60%), stability test (20%), rain test (10%) and puncture test (10%).

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 28 and 87

Hard or soft body

Features

TSA lock

Specifications

Height (cm)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 48 and 59

Depth (cm)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 19 and 26

Width (cm)

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Test results

Stability test
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Our testers packed the cases with 4kg of clothing and placed them on a tilting platform. The suitcases were tilted until they tipped. We then recorded the angle the cases were at when they tipped over; anything over 15 degrees is very good.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 60 and 80

Ease of use score
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Ease of use was assessed by three triallists (including our expert tester). They scored each suitcase on aspects like balance and manouverability. They also wheeled the cases with a 5kg load over a range of surfaces including grass, carpet, stairs, asphalt and footpath.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 75 and 82

Lift and drop test
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We subject our suitcases to 300 rounds of our lift and drop test, then grade the damage. Suitcases with no damage receive 100%. Ones that are substantially damaged (missing wheels for example) score 0%.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 100

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Stability test
  • Puncture test
  • Rain test
  • Lift and drop test
  • Wheel durability
  • TSA lock
  • Number of wheels
  • Items included
  • Country of origin
  • Type of material
  • Hard or soft body
  • Status
  • Extended handle length (cm)
  • Performance score
  • Ease of use score
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • External dimensions (H x W x D, cm)
  • Height (cm)
  • Depth (cm)
  • Width (cm)
  • Expandable compartment
  • External pockets
  • Internal pockets
  • Internal straps
  • Stated capacity (L)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Contact
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