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Carry-on luggage reviews

We test 10 small suitcases in the CHOICE labs including models from Antler, Samsonite, Tosca and more.

Last updated: 1st October 2011

We've reviewed 10 small suitcases priced from $40 to $299 to help you choose the best luggage to last the (long) distance.

As well as giving the suitcases a good workout in our labs, CHOICE asked three airline cabin crew to lend us their expertise – because no one knows what can go wrong with carry-on luggage better than someone who spends their working life using them.

Our lab experts and their jet-setter assistants assessed the suitcases for:

  • durability
  • packing
  • balance
  • manoeuvring
  • ease of using the zipper
  • ease of expanding the handle
  • feel of the handle.

Then, loaded with 5kg, each suitcase was taken around a course that included stairs, carpet, grass, smooth road and a rough surface. Our tester also subjected them to a stability, drop and puncture test to assess their performance.

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We tested 10 products against 20 criteria - these are the top criteria according to our experts.

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