What to Look for When Buying Carry-On Luggage
Taking your luggage onboard is convenient, as long as it is easy to wheel and durable—and fits in the overhead bin
If you plan to fly this holiday season, using a carry-on suitcase can save a lot of time and worry. You won’t have to wait at the baggage carousel, you’ll minimize the chance of a stolen or lost bag, and you’ll have everything you need in the overhead bin.
In a recent survey, Consumer Reports members agreed. Of the 38,619 members who said they flew in the past year, more than half say they use a carry-on bag on some or all of their trips. About 80 percent of carry-on suitcase owners said they bought their luggage as a single piece rather than as part of a set.
Not all interiors are created equal, even with the same exterior dimensions. And it can be hard to know just how much space you actually have because many manufacturers don’t disclose the interior volume. But certain features maximize interior packing space. These include squared (not curved) corners, outer compartments that are integrated (not protruding), and handles mounted on the exterior (not inside, where it occupies valuable real estate).
Most of the weight you lug around should be the weight of your belongings, not the bag. Thirty-one percent of recent luggage purchasers in our survey who replaced their luggage wanted something lighter. Experts recommend that a wheeled bag weigh no more than 7.5 pounds.
How to Pack a Suitcase
The best start to a stress-free vacation is knowing what to pack and how to pack it. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Octavio Blanco explains how a perfectly packed bag can save you money.