10 Best Cheap Carry-On Luggage for 2018 (Updated!)

cheap carry on luggage

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If you travel often, you might be tired of waiting in baggage claim for your luggage, or have had one too many bags lost to trust checking another anytime soon. A nice piece of carry-on luggage is an essential for any traveler, but with so many designs out there it can be hard to know which is the best.

Then there’s the price factor. Some designer carry-on luggage can cost thousands of dollars, but does price really mean better quality? Fortunately for your wallet, no. Some of the most reputable luggage brands in the business make cheap carry-on luggage designs that are perfect for the infrequent traveler and durable enough for those who travel often.

Most major airlines have carry-on restrictions of 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Here are some of our favorite cheap carry-on options within those dimensions, in a variety of styles to fit different types of trips. They’re not organized in any particular order, but together give you a range of styles and prices to choose from. Now, you’ll never be without your baggage in a new city ever again, and can experience the freedom of heading straight out of the airport when you land.

What's the Best Cheap Carry-On Luggage Available Right Now?

samsonite hardside spinner Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reliable brand with a limited warranty
  • 360-degree spinner wheels
  • Spacious and easy to pack
Price: $89.55 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
travelpro platinum magna Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reputable brand with lifetime warranty including airline damage
  • Replaceable, smooth wheels
  • Spacious, with pockets
Price: $159.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
samsonite wheeled underseater Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Small enough for any airline
  • Multiple internal and removable compartments
  • Affordable
Price: $59.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap rolling duffel Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Can be pulled or carried over your shoulder
  • One of the most affordable carry-on bags on the list
  • Multiple interior pockets
Price: $46.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rockland luggage Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable for quality
  • Hardshell exterior
  • Expandable
Price: $46.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
baosha weekender bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Lifetime warranty and great customer service
  • Attractive and affordable
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
uppababy vista travel bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • TravelSafe warranty covers the bag and the stroller
  • Fits a variety of stroller, carrier, and bassinet models
  • Can be gate checked and sometimes carried on
Price: $103.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
funfel travel foldable duffel bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Folds almost flat to fit into other luggage or pack away at home
  • Very affordable
  • Durable, easy to clean nylon material
Price: $11.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
adidas defender iii Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable and water resistant
  • Easy to carry over your shoulder
  • Lifetime warranty from a reputable brand
Price: $34.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
outlander packable daypack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Water and rip resistant
  • Very affordable for quality
  • Spacious but folds up
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside 20″ Luggage

    Pros:
    • Reliable brand with a limited warranty
    • Attractive exterior
    • Roomy interior
    • TSA lock
    • 360-degree spinner wheels
    Cons:
    • Could scratch easily
    • Not expandable
    • No side handle

    The stylish brushed look of this suitcase makes it look more expensive than it is. It’s built out of polycarbonate and meant to absorb any shocks by flexing when impacted, then popping back into its original shape. It’s 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.64 inches and 6.7 pounds and has spinner wheels, which rotate 360 degrees. Inside, you’ll find an interior divider with two mesh pockets, plus cross straps to help pack in clothing. 

    It also comes with TSA locks mounted on the side, so you can rest assured no one can access your things. You can choose from eight colors, all with the brushed look. The bag has a 10-year limited warranty.

    Reviewers commented on its lightweight, easy to maneuver wheels, and spacious interior for the size. As one reviewer noted, the bag is not expandable. A few other reviewers said while overall they liked the bag, it did scratch easily.

    VideoVideo related to samsonite winfield 2 hardside 20″ luggage2018-10-08T13:23:05-04:00

  2. 2. Travelpro Platinum Magna 2

    Pros:
    • Durable
    • Spacious
    • Replaceable, smooth wheels
    • Multiple handles
    • Reputable brand with lifetime warranty including airline damage
    Cons:
    • Could scratch
    • More expensive than other brands
    • Could be over the carry-on limit for small airlines

    While “cheap” might not be the best word to describe this piece of luggage, we’re including it on this list because it’s cheap in relation to its high quality. The wheels roll extremely smoothly (one reviewer even tested them on the cobblestone streets of Rome), plus they’re replaceable, so if something goes wrong you don’t have to buy a whole new suitcase. In fact, the suitcase comes with a catalogue full of replaceable parts, and comes with a lifetime warranty that includes airline damage.

    Like the wheels, the aluminum telescoping handle also slides up and down smoothly. The exterior is a high-density ballistic nylon with DuraGuard coating, so it resists scratches or getting deformed in overhead bins. It has leather top and side handles. as well as a bottom handle cup, so you can carry it in a variety of ways. If you’re packing for a longer trip, you can expand the bag by two inches. Without the expansion, it’s 22.75 x 15.25 x 9.5 inches and 7.7 pounds

    Inside, it has a suit holder perfect for suits, dresses, or other nice clothing, as well as three compartments on the base, side, and top. Reviewers were able to pack a week’s work of clothing, including multiple suits, and generally praised its size and ease of use.

    VideoVideo related to travelpro platinum magna 22018-10-08T13:23:48-04:00

  3. 3. Samsonite Wheeled Underseater

    Pros:
    • Small enough for any airline
    • Affordable price
    • Multiple internal and removable compartments
    • Reputable brand
    Cons:
    • Only available in black
    • Too small for more than a weekend
    • Wheels don’t rotate completely

    If you’re looking for something extra small, this is a great suitcase for a day or two. The 13 x 13 x 6.5 inches, five pound suitcase fits easily in any overhead bin or under your seat. It has internal packing compartments, a removable pouch for intimates or liquids, and a removable hanging pouch, helping you fit quite a bit into a compact space. The interior pouch is a Wetpack pouch, meaning you can pack damp or dirty items and they’ll stay safely away from everything else in your bag. There’s also a water bottle pouch on the side.

    The in-line skate wheels don’t rotate all the way around, but the bag is easy to maneuver because it’s so small, and because the handle is so long and allows you to have control. Once you’re done pulling the suitcase, the handle locks into place and can be zipped in for safekeeping.

    VideoVideo related to samsonite wheeled underseater2018-10-08T13:24:23-04:00

  4. 4. JChronicles Rolling Duffel Bag

    Pros:
    • Can be pulled or carried over your shoulder
    • One of the most affordable carry-on bags on the list
    • Multiple interior pockets
    • Variety of colors
    Cons:
    • Not structured
    • No garment bag
    • No warranty

    If you prefer a rolling duffel to a rectangular suitcase shape, try the World Traveler Damas Rolling Duffel Bag. It comes in 41 colors and patterns and at 21 x 12 x 11 inches fits most airline carry-on specifications.

    The 100% polyester bag has a large front zipper pocket and a zipper top closure. Inside, there’s a zipper pocket and open pouches. Roll the bag using the extendable rolling handle, or pack the handle in and use the shoulder strap instead. When not in use, the 4.6 pound bag folds almost completely flat, saving space in your closet.

    It is not quilted, but reviewers were positive about it holding up after a lot of travel, as well as keeping items inside safe. Because it’s not a symmetrical shape, it can tip if aren’t careful of where you place heavy items when packing. Some reviewers also commented that the strap should have padding. Overall, for a weekend trip or even the gym, this soft rolling duffle is a great cheap buy.

  5. 5. Rockland Luggage Melbourne Expandable Carry On

    Pros:
    • Affordable for quality
    • Hardshell exterior to protect belongings
    • Lined interior with pouches
    • 360-degree wheels
    Cons:
    • Warranty does not cover normal wear
    • Dimensions are not consistent
    • Cheaper material than other bags

    For only $47, this is an impressive hard shell suitcase, which explains why it’s an Amazon bestseller. At 20 x 13 x 10 inches, it’s just about at the typical allowance size, and reviewers said they had no problem using it as a carry-on on a variety of carriers.

    It’s lightweight, but the ABS hardshell makes it durable. The aluminum telescoping handle is ergonomic, and the wheels rotate 360 degrees so they’re easy to maneuver. Inside, it’s fully lined and there’s a mesh pocket, a zipper pocket, and an elastic pocket. Plus, it comes in a wide range of colors, including two-tone options.

    There’s a five year warranty, but it doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, which can be frustrating especially if you need to replace the wheels. Most reviewers were happy with the bag, especially the space inside. One thing to note is that the dimensions change slightly depending on the color, so double check the color you’re purchasing is also the dimensions you want. While this bag is not as high-quality as others on the list, it’s one of the best values for your money.

    VideoVideo related to rockland luggage melbourne expandable carry on2018-10-08T13:25:49-04:00

  6. 6. BAOSHA Weekender Over the Shoulder Bag

    Pros:
    • Lightweight and durable
    • One of the more affordable weekender bags
    • Lifetime warranty and great customer service
    • Interior pockets
    • Two types of handles
    Cons:
    • Not large enough for more than a weekend trip
    • Not structured
    • No additional features like a garment bag or extra pullout bags

    This chic and affordable weekender bag comes in four color variations, including black, blue, khaki, and red. The bag is canvas, while the handles are leather. At 16 x 12 x 8 inches, it’s easy to fit in any airline overhead compartment or under the seat, and great for packing for one or two nights. A back slide sleeve allows you to slide it over the handle of rolling luggage if you’re bringing both for a longer trip.

    The top zips all the way across, and inside there are two open pockets on one side, and one zipper pocket on the other. The bag has a lifetime warranty, which a few reviewers mentioned using with great results. One received a new handle quickly and said she was “VERY happy with the level of service.”

    This bag doesn’t have a lot of features and isn’t big enough for long trips, but for light packing for a day or two, it’s a great fit.

  7. 7. UPPAbaby VISTA Travel Bag

    Pros:
    • TravelSafe warranty covers the bag and the stroller
    • Can be gate checked and sometimes carried on
    • Fits a variety of stroller, carrier, and bassinet models
    Cons:
    • Can be a tight fit
    • Not always clear to airline employees it contains a stroller
    • Can be difficult to use at first

    This bag is very specific to those traveling with baby strollers, but on the list because it’s design is unique and for that segment of travelers, it could be very useful. It’s 23.5 x 11.2 x 6.4 inches, so slightly too big to carry-on, but you don’t have to check it either. Most users said they gate checked the bag, which still makes it faster to retrieve post-flight.

    The durable nylon bag is easy to roll and convenient for carrying strollers, toddler seats, or bassinets. On first use, it can seem hard to fit your stroller in, as one user commented. However, it stretches out after a couple of uses, and once you get used to the bag it becomes much easier to use. Another user recommended practicing disassembling your stroller and fitting it in before getting to the airport.

    It comes with a front luggage tag pocket, fits all Vista model strollers, and most importantly is covered by TravelSafe. If you register online, the TravelSafe program serves as a warranty, covering any damage to both the bag and your stroller during air travel.

    VideoVideo related to uppababy vista travel bag2018-10-08T13:27:06-04:00

  8. 8. Funfel Travel Foldable Duffel Bag

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • Folds almost flat to fit into other luggage or pack away at home
    • Extremely light
    • Durable, easy to clean nylon material
    Cons:
    • Not very big
    • No interior pockets
    • No warranty

    The cheapest bag on our list, this foldable duffel bag is great for the light packer who hates wasting space. Unfolded, it’s 16.5 x 12.6 x 6.7 inches, but folded it’s only 6.7 x 6.3 x 1. It’s only 7.2 ounces and easily fits any airline’s carry-on restrictions.

    The waterproof nylon material is easy to clean and keeps your items safe from rain or spills. It can fit enough for a weekend, or be packed along as a dirty laundry bag or to bring home souvenirs. Though the straps look short in the photo, in the questions section on Amazon one user said they’re long enough to put the bag over your shoulder.

    It can be a bit difficult to fold back into the pouch it comes in, but if you can’t get it neatly in you can always just fold it in quarters. When unfolded, the pouch doubles as an exterior side pocket. There are no interior features and the bag is very basic, but for $10.99 you can’t really go wrong if you’re using it as a bag for excess luggage, or for a night or two.

  9. 9. Adidas Defender III Duffel Bag

    Pros:
    • Durable and water resistant
    • Easy to carry over your shoulder
    • Variety of colors and sizes
    • Lifetime warranty from a reputable brand
    Cons:
    • Slightly larger than the average carry-on allowance
    • Not structured
    • No interior pockets

    If you’re an athlete who travels often for sporting events, this is a great carry-on option. It’s 100 percent polyester with 3d ripstop material mean it’s water resistant and durable, making it ideal for adventure travelers too.

    There’s a zippered pocket on each end, but no pockets inside. Carry it with either the hand straps or the padded shoulder strap. The bag has a lifetime warranty and Adidas is a well-regarded brand for customer service.

    It comes in a wide variety of colors and three sizes, which account for the price differences. The small is fairly large, according to a few users who commented it was bigger than it looks, and fit enough for a one to two night trip. Actual dimensions for the small size are 24 x 11.5 x12 inches, while the medium is 26 x 12.5 x 13.5 inches, and the large is 32.5 x 13.5 x 15 inches. Though the small is slightly over the average carry-on limit when fully packed, it can be squished easily, meaning it’s rarely a problem when putting into overhead bins. 

  10. 10. Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Daypack

    Pros:
    • Water and rip resistant
    • Extremely light
    • Very affordable for quality
    • Extra pockets
    • Comes with a whistle, reflector, and carabiner
    • Folds into pouch
    Cons:
    • Not as spacious as other brands
    • Not structured
    • No interior pockets
    • Not a typical rolling carry-on

    For those who mostly travel outdoors, but still need to fly to get there, this is a great carry-on option. It’s made from a water and rip resistant nylon, yet at 0.7 pounds is incredibly light. There’s bar tacking on points that normally receive the most stress, helping it last longer. It’s also equipped with two-way abrasion resistant zippers.

    When unfolded, it’s 18.5 x 13 x 7.5 inches and can fit in any carry-on space, but it can also fold into a zippered inner pocket that’s, according to the brand, the “size of a generously sized hamburger.” Pack it with everything you need, or pack it in a larger suitcase and take it for day hikes. The bag fits 35 liters and has two front zipper pockets and two side pockets.

    It also comes with a carabiner, a whistle, and a reflector. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, though one negative aspect was that it was not as spacious or as durable as more expensive brands. However, for the price and the ability to fit it in any carry-on spacll Outlander bags come with a lifetime warranty.

    VideoVideo related to outlander packable lightweight travel hiking daypack2018-10-08T13:29:57-04:00

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