Best Carry-On Luggage For Women 2023
These days, the majority of major commercial airlines include one free personal item and one free standard bag as part of your carry-on luggage. However, if you don’t have a quality piece of luggage that can be used as a carry-on, you could be missing out. The right women’s carry-on bag will have plenty of space and unique storage compartments for all your must-haves—and will keep all your essentials easily accessible throughout your journey.
If you’re in the market for a great women’s carry-on bag, we have some recommendations worth checking out. There are also some important considerations you may want to keep in mind as you shop. Most luggage is unisex luggage so don’t worry if you are looking for men’s luggage in this women’s luggage article! Browse through our guide to women’s carry-on luggage and buy with confidence!
Best Carry-On Bags For Women
- CHESTER Minima Carry-on
- Samsonite Omni
- Kelty Redwing Carry-on
- Delsey Helium Aero Carry-On
- eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender
Reviews of Best Carry-On Bags For Women
Not sure where to start when it comes to shopping for great women’s carry-on luggage? These bags are consistently ranked and reviewed among the best, so they can make for an excellent starting point.
1. CHESTER Minima Carry-On
The CHESTER Minima Carry-On is a top-seller due to its durability and compact yet lightweight design. Specifically, it is made with a polycarbonate hard-shell material that will protect your belongings without weighing you down. It also features 360-degree spinner wheels that make it easy to maneuver through just about any terrain, as well as a sleek design that conforms to most airlines’ size requirements for carry-on luggage.
2. Samsonite Omni
The Samsonite Omni Hard-Sided Spinner is another great option for women seeking a lightweight yet affordable and stylish carry-on. Its exterior is made of a scratch-resistant material that’s as stylish as it is practical. It also has some great features to make traveling easier, including a retractable handle and spinner wheels, as well as a standard TSA lock for added peace of mind.
3. Kelty Redwing 40 Backpack
If you’d prefer a backpack to a spinner-wheel suitcase for your carry-on, then the Kelty Redwing 40 is definitely worth checking out. This backpack is designed with your comfort in mind, featuring a waistband and padded shoulder straps that have been designed around the women’s figure. The back panel of this bag is also made of a mesh design for added comfort and cooling, and there is a surprising amount of storage space as well.
4. Delsey Helium Aero Carry-On
The Delsey Helium Aero carry-on bag is made of a lightweight polycarbonate material, which is extremely durable and will resist scratches and regular wear-and-tear from traveling. It also comes with a TSA lock for added security and peace of mind. What most women will really enjoy about this bag, however, is how lightweight and easy it is to get around even the most crowded of airports and public spaces. Its double-spinner wheels and two-position handle make this possible, and its expandable front pocket allows for plenty of storage.
5. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender
Another top-rated carry-on backpack to consider is the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender, which comes in a number of colors and is spacious enough to hold even a 19″ laptop. This backpack is unique in that it is actually designed like a suitcase, offering two separate compartments and a unique opening. There are also many ways to carry this backpack, including with its large shoulder strap, two smaller shoulder straps, or carry handles.
Do You Need Carry-On Luggage for Your Travels?
Having a quality piece of luggage that you can use as a carry-on is a must, especially if you do a lot of travel by airplane. The right carry-on bag makes it easy for you to have all the essentials you’ll need for your flight right at your fingertips without adding a lot of bulk and weight as you make your way throughout the airport and to your terminal.
While all women are different, there are some specific benefits many women will enjoy from having a great carry-on bag. For starters, women who are traveling on business can keep all the essentials they need to freshen up upon landing, even when they have an important business meeting or other event to attend shortly thereafter. A spacious carry-on for business travel, for example, can carry everything from a make-up/cosmetics bag to dry shampoo, hair dryer, hairspray, and deodorant. You can even pack a change of clothes in your carry-on so that you can quickly change from your comfortable airplane outfit to more professional attire without missing a beat.
For women with work to do on their flights, a carry-on can also provide the space needed to store things such as laptops, tablets, chargers, smartphones, notebooks, and the like. Having easy access to these items makes it possible to have a productive flight and make the best use of your time.
On the other hand, for the woman who prefers to rest and rejuvenate on the plane, a great carry-on can make that possible by holding everything from healthy snacks and water to magazines, books, and even an eye mask for catching a much-needed nap.
Embarking on a shorter trip? The right carry-on could actually be all you need to pack, thus allowing you to save on checked baggage fees. And of course, when you’re able to limit everything you pack to just your carry-ons, you can avoid the time-sink of venturing to the baggage claim after you land and waiting for your luggage to arrive. Instead, you can simply grab your carry-on as you leave the plane and be ready for the adventures that await!
As you can see, there are so many benefits to having the right carry-on bag when you travel. Even if you’re not traveling by plane, a carry-on can provide you with the easy accessibility you need to all your essential items so you can stay as comfortable as possible on your way from point A to point B. And once you arrive at your destination, the right carry-on bag can also make for an excellent day-bag—especially on days when you’ll be away from your hotel room for long periods of time but still want to be able to access your essentials.
Choosing A Women’s Carry-On Bag: Top Considerations
Now that you have a better idea as to why you need an amazing carry-on bag, you might be wondering what to look for as you shop. We strongly recommend starting with our top-five list above—but regardless, there are some important considerations worth keeping in mind as you seek out the perfect carry-on for your needs.
One of the most important factors to think about when shopping for a carry-on bag is its size and specific dimensions. Some airlines have strict policies regarding the size and maximum dimensions of carry-on bags, so if there’s an airline that you fly with frequently, make sure you’re familiar with their size allowances. From there, you’ll want to check and make sure that the carry-on bag you choose will fit within those allowances. Otherwise, you may find that your bag cannot be used as a carry-on and will need to be checked instead, which may not only cost you additional money but kind of defeats the purpose of having a carry-on in the first place.
From a size standpoint, you’ll also want to make sure that the bag you’re considering will be spacious enough to fit your essentials. For example, if you like to travel with your 19″ laptop, then you’ll need to be sure that your carry-on can accommodate items that large.
Materials and Durability
The materials out of which your carry-on bag are made are vital as well. Even though you won’t be checking your carry-on bag (and therefore, it won’t be subject to the notoriously rough handling of most airline baggage crew), your carry-on can still be exposed to a lot of wear and tear. This is especially true if you’ll be stowing your carry-on in an overhead bin. And of course, once you arrive at your destination, your carry-on will face the ultimate test of being maneuvered through crowded streets and other public areas where durability will be key.
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a carry-on made of a hard-sided material, such as polycarbonate. This material is scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and lightweight. If you opt for a backpack-style carry-on, you probably won’t have hard-sided materials but you should still look for breathable and easy-to-clean options, such as canvas and mesh.
There are two main styles of carry-on bags to consider: suitcases with handles/wheels and traditional backpacks. You’ll want to consider which style is best for your needs. If you don’t want to have to drag anything behind you as you make your way through the airport or once you arrive at your destination, then a backpack may be more practical. On the other hand, if you’ll be packing a relatively heavy carry-on, then a wheeled suitcase will give your back and neck a break. Wheeled suitcases also tend to have larger storage capacities than backpacks, though this is not always the case.
And speaking of style, you’ll want to make sure you look and feel your best as you travel with your carry-on luggage. With this in mind, you may want to look for baggage that is available in a wide range of colors and patterns that suit your unique fashion sense.
Speaking of storage, make sure the carry-on bag you end up choosing has plenty of compartments and is laid out in a way that makes sense for how you pack. For example, if you know you’ll be traveling with your laptop or other electronics as well as some liquids (such as makeup, perfume, and/or hair products), then you’ll want to be sure that your liquids can be safely separated from your electronics within your bag. Some carry-on luggage includes water-proof compartments for these exact reasons.
Ease of Maneuverability
Since you’ll likely be maneuvering your carry-on luggage through crowded quarters, such as busy airport terminals and airplanes, it’s important that the bag you end up choosing is easy to carry with you. This is where features such as telescoping handles and wheels can make all the difference. When looking at carry-on suitcases with wheels, however, not all wheels are created equal. Standard carry-on wheels will look similar to rollerblade wheels and while they will make it easier to lug your suitcase behind you, they can only spin in two directions.
If you really want to ensure the easiest maneuverability, you’ll want to look at carry-on luggage with free-spinning wheels instead. These can spin in any direction, making it possible to wheel your suitcase behind you, to either side, or even in front of you. This is especially ideal for getting through airport security lines or making your way through crowded public areas once you arrive at your destination.
If you’re opting for a backpack for your carry-on instead, make sure it’s designed with your comfort in mind. Some carry-on backpacks are designed specifically with the women’s figure in mind, offering adjustable hip and shoulder straps that will more evenly distribute weight across the body for added comfort. You’ll also want to look for other comfort features, such as a breathable mesh back and padded straps to make carrying your luggage easier.
Warranty or Guarantee
Last but certainly not least, be sure to buy your carry-on luggage from a company that will stand behind their product. Ideally, you’ll want to buy from a company that not only specializes in women’s luggage, but that will offer a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your luggage for any reason. CHESTER is a prime example of an affordable luggage company that offers a 100-day trial period and allows you to return your bag with no questions asked during that period.
The Bottom Line
The right carry-on luggage can make all the difference when you travel. By having easy access to your essentials, you’ll be able to fly in style and comfort. And of course, if you’re going on a short weekend trip, your carry-on could even serve as your primary luggage—allowing you to forego checked baggage fees (and the wait at baggage claim after you land).
Be sure to check out our list of top five carry-on bags for women or best luggage brands as you embark on your luggage search. This, in addition to keeping some key considerations in mind, will help you buy with confidence. After all, the right carry-on bag should easily last you for several years to come, so it’s not a purchase you’ll want to take lightly. Safe and happy travels!