Redditors Agree – These Are the 8 Best Carry-On Bags for Travelers in 2023

Unlike most luggage reviews from big box publications, Reddit provides access to crowdsourced wisdom from a passionate community of savvy travelers. By tapping into candid conversations across subreddits like r/travel, r/backpacking and r/ManyBaggers, you gain trustworthy insider tips on the best performing carry-on luggage worth your hard-earned dollars.

But sorting through the noise to find such gems takes more sleuthing than most have time for.

That‘s why we‘re breaking down 8 top carry-on bags that consistently earn Redditors‘ seals of approval – and explaining exactly why they meet frequent travelers‘ needs. Backed by insights from numerous threads, we‘ll highlight must-have features like durability, capacity, charging and accessibility to match your unique adventures.

Here are the models that rise above according to Reddit‘s discerning digital nomads and jet setters.

Why Reddit Should Be Your Go-To Source for Carry-On Luggage Guidance

Unlike commercial publications with incentives to push certain brands, Reddit forms an authentic sense of community around shared interests and experiences. And when it comes to product effectiveness and hidden gotchas, few online sources match Reddit‘s transparency.

Frequent flyers and road warriors have little incentive to sugarcoat. If a bag fails to protect delicate items from brutal baggage handlers, rips after a few runs through overhead bins or proves needlessly complex for hurried packers, redditors highlight such pain points.

Conversely, standout models beloved by devotees bubble up through threads organically – free of sponsor bias. Plus first-hand usage insights over months and years spotlights key details traditional bag reviews composed after brief evaluations cannot.

While personal preferences and packing requirements ultimately determine your perfect carry-on match, leveraging Reddit‘s wisdom minimizes the risk of both buyer‘s remorse and wasted investments.

Now let‘s explore what bags fellow adventurers cannot stop raving over based on durability, storage adaptability and sheer travel convenience.

1. Briggs & Riley Baseline Global Carry-On

  • Best Overall
  • High Density Wheels
  • CX Expansion/Compression
  • Multiple Specialized Pockets
  • Water Resistant Fabric
  • Leather Handles & Roller Handle
  • Foam Lined Suit Folder
  • Lifetime Guarantee

Ask Reddit for their top overall carry-on bag recommendation and one name consistently dominates – the versatile and resilient Briggs & Riley Baseline Global Carry-On. Between the thoughtful design touches and premium materials built to endure years of airport runs, it‘s no wonder road warriors dub this their go-to companion.

Let‘s break down what propels this bag to frequent flyer fame:

All-Terrain Maneuverability – The Baseline glides easily on high density wheels across polished floors and rough sidewalks alike thanks to aircraft-grade steel bearings and rubberized axles engineered to maintain stability. Reinforced corners further support smoother transit over bumps and impacts.

Customizable Organization – A cavernous main interior provides ample space for extended trips, while various specialized accessory pockets allow customizing storage for laptops, portable chargers, tickets and other essentials. The foam lined suit folder prevents wrinkling across suits and dresses to keep you presentation ready.

Compression/Expansion – Briggs & Riley‘s patented CX technology allows expanding the central compartment between 21 inches to 26 inches as needed while a compression system ensures contents remain stabilized. This versatility proves invaluable for unpredictable trips.

Resilient Fabrics – From the abrasion resistant ballistic nylon exterior and water resistant coatings to the replaced handle programs, every fabric withstands abuse. And Briggs & Riley fully stands behind the "Built for Life" motto with their inclusive lifetime warranty.

While the Baseline commands a premium price, view it as an investment towards years of reliable adventure enabling. With notoriously brutal baggage handlers hammering from all angles, why risk damage to your belongings or disruption to your plans with anything less?

For all around performance and convenience, Reddit resoundingly recommends this Briggs & Riley stalwart.

2. Travelpro Maxlite 5 Hardside Spinner

  • Best Hardside
  • Polycarbonate Protection
  • Recessed Branding
  • Expandable Storage
  • Matte Finish
  • Multi-Directional Wheels
  • Interior Organizer

Fans of hardside protection explore durable alternatives to dings and dents with Travelpro’s Maxlite 5 checked luggage series. The 20 inch Maxlite 5 Hardside Spinner extends rigid polycarbonate peace of mind against abrasions into a carry-on form factor most airlines accommodate. Recessed logos and textures circumvent scuffs to keep your investment presentable for future trips.

While we often associate hardside cases with capacity tradeoffs, a few smart design choices counter expectations:

Bottom Compartment Expansion – Unlike mainstream polycarbonate spinners forcing you to shoehorn contents into every nook, unlocking zippers along the bottom seam grants you 15%+ extra internal space as needed for stuffed return journeys. This flexible capacity stands out as a prime perk.

Accessory Management – The cavernous main compartment handles larger items with aplomb. Yet an included organizer pouch equipped with slots, sleeves and pockets proves perfect for corralling chargers, headphones, medicines and other small essentials in coordinated fashion.

Smooth Maneuverability – At just 7.4lb empty weight, it‘s easy muscle this bag around without back strains. And when dashing between connections, four low friction spinner wheels redirect with minimal effort across varied surfaces. The lightweight aluminum handle adds negligible heft while extending to multiple height settings.

While Roomier flexible softsides better handle last minute item additions, the Maxlite 5 Hardside answers the call for protecting fragile contents without adding checked bag weight penalties. When durability and damage resistance tops your priority list, this carry-on warrants your consideration.

3. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

  • Most Versatile
  • Backpack Conversion
  • 35% Expansion
  • Buttery Smooth Wheels
  • Front Accessory Pockets
  • Padded Shoulder Straps
  • Laptop + Suit Folder

Globetrotters zigzagging between business conferences, sightseeing excursions and camping trips demand versatility from their primary bag. For adventure seekers regularly alternating between urban expeditions and backcountry trails, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Convertible provides the ultimate travel safety net.

While most carry-on luggage forces binary rolling vs backpack options, the TLS Mother Lode transforms on the fly thanks to quickly stashing shoulder straps and hip belts. You smoothly alternate between hustling across airports and hiking to trailheads with minimal effort. Let‘s examine what enables such flexible transitions:

Adaptable Interior Volume – A cavernous main compartment effortlessly swallows bulkier non-clothing items other rollers choke on. Unzipping an expansion zipper extends capacity 35% to accommodate sporting goods, camping provisions, drone kits and other uniquely shaped gear. Two separate organizer sections prevent smaller tech and travel accessories from swimming among larger items.

All-Terrain Transports – Thick padded shoulder straps cushion heavy loads over miles while the supportive internal frame bears weight far better than cheaper packs. When dashing between connections, stowing those straps unveils smooth skate wheels and a retractable handle hauling your now roller bag at speed.

Resilient Fabrics – Between grinding across rough pavement and surviving checked cargo holds, the Mother Lode endures more stresses than luggage solely optimized for airports. Thus critical components see major reinforcement – from ballistic nylon exterior panels and oversized zippers to padded laptop sleeves and hard wearing wheel housings.

If your adventures oscillate between urban expeditions and remote ecotourism, then the TLS Mother Lode warrants your shortlist. Let it shoulder complexity while you indulge simplicity.

4. Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

  • Best Backpack
  • Airlines Approved Size
  • Ventilated Suspension System
  • External Lash Points
  • Multiple Zip Pockets
  • High Wear Fabrics
  • Stowaway Shoulder Straps

For those moving entirely on foot power, Osprey‘s reputable Farpoint 40 backpack occupies the overlap between travel friendly dimensions and extended excursion readiness. As leaders renowned among thru-hikers and backpackers alike, applying Osprey‘s suspension and organizational sensibilities into a carry-on unlocks freedoms roadbound roller bags cannot reach.

The Farpoint 40 stands apart through clever adaptations catering to transient wanderers:

On/Off Shoulder Straps – Padding across shoulder straps, the mesh backpanel and waist belt comfortably carries gear during city-to-trail transitions without airport clutter. For streamlined gate checks and baggage stows, straps quickly tuck inside their zippered back panel – then redeploy post-flight for adventure readiness.

Gear Anchors Everywhere – External compression straps flatten loads and permit lashing bulkier items like coats and tripods outside when interior room runs scarce. Two mesh side pockets hold water bottles and umbrellas ready at a moment‘s notice.

Checkpoint Friendly Clamshell Access – Flipping back the entire front panel as you would a suitcase exposes the vast cavern inside rather than crawling through a top lid entry. Interior mesh dividers, straps and zippered pockets then secure items in place inside to prevent migration while commuting.

Street-to-summit flexibility makes Farpoint ownership a no brainer for vagabonding go-anywhereminimalists who loathe check-in counters. Consider it your passport to skipping lines at the cost of convenience.

5. Briggs & Riley Baseline Cabin Bag

  • Best for Business
  • Document Organizer
  • Toiletry Kit Pocket
  • Foam Laptop Sleeve
  • Front Access Ticket Pocket
  • Garment Folder
  • TSA Integrated Lock

For frequent business travelers and steadfast road warriors, transporting essential tech, travel documents and freshly pressed attire cannot hinge on a standard backpack. Enter Briggs & Riley‘s Baseline Cabin Bag – a mobile office tailored to repeat fliers requiring accessible storage custom designed for work‘s unique demands.

While the Baseline shares durability DNA with its larger sibling, the Cabin Bag adds compartments keeping wrinkle-free suits, laptops, paperwork and accessories not only protected – but quickly accessible:

Crease Resistant Suit Storage – Unzips to reveal a foam-lined accordion folder compressing jacket and shirts in transport without embroidery imprints. An isolated toiletry kit pocket prevents leakage onto your presentation suit from wandering tablet bottles.

Quick Retrieval Ticket Pocket – The front Platinum pocket unzips downwards rather than sideways for retrieving boarding passes and phones while rolling without stopping. An integrated carry handle aids hefting during stairs.

Laptop Shielding – A padded sleeve sized for even 17 inch laptops tucks into a separate isolated zone to prevent pressure dings against other contents. An accessory specific soft pocket further buffers bulkier tech items.

When globetrotting managers call your carry-on both home office and checked luggage, intelligently addressing road warrior pain points deserves applause. Now get out there and earn employee of the month.

6. Amazon Basics Hardside Carry-On Spinner

  • Best Budget
  • Made of ABS Plastic
  • Textured Exterior
  • Interior Organizer Pouches
  • Zippered Accessory Pockets
  • Integrated TSA Lock
  • Meets Carry-On Specs

With so many travelers citing costs as the chief barrier towards quality luggage, AmazonBasics‘ Hardside Spinner pleasantly shakes up expectations of budget-friendly bags. Rivaling mid-tier models four times the price, Amazon‘s in-house brand incorporates durable fabrics, smooth gliding wheels and ample interior organization you‘d expect from premium lines – without the sticker shock.

Cost savings derive from thoughtful corner cutting, rather than build quality compromises:

Enough But Not Too Much – Sizing the check-in friendly 20 inch model circumvents airlines‘ extra oversize luggage fees versus pricier 22 inch options lacking such discretion. And concentrating on performance essentials without superfluous bling keeps factory costs reasonable.

Still The Good Stuff – ABS plastics form the protective outer shell rather than thin polyester imposters prone to puncturing. Recessed exteriors avoid scratches when conveying bags on their sides rather than graphically wrapping the entire body. Sturdy textured surfaces better mask scuffs from expected heavy usage over time.

Right Where It Matters – The interior cleverly allocates customizable storage for both larger clothing items and smaller accessories across multiple pockets without pushing gimmicky features that see little use. A built-in TSA-approved lock grants peace of mind for security champions.

Occasional travelers seeking protection and durability beyond disposable designs owe AmazonBasics an evaluation. When quality and savings stand in equal balance, practicality prevails.

Key Considerations When Picking Your Perfect Carry-On Bag

With so many features to weigh across various models, matching attributes with your intended usage and packing preferences helps ensure enduring satisfaction. Consider the following priority factors when narrowing down your personalized optimal choice:

Hardside vs Softside Shell Materials

  • Hardside polycarbonate and ABS plastic shells safeguard delicate items better although limit packing flexibility for squeezed-in extras.
  • Softside ballistic nylon and other fabrics allow stuffing in additional items at the cost of protection.

Interior Capacity

Measure both your personal packing requirements and an airline‘s size restrictions, typically 22 x 14 x 9 inches for domestic US carry-on compliance, weighing under 15 pounds.

Laptop + Accessory Accommodation

Road warriors and digital nomads invest in carry-ons accommodating laptops, tablets and tech charging when space allows. Some bags optimize such storage better.

Overall Build Quality + Warranty

All bags endure substantial real world abuse. Opting for carry-ons with premium components (fabric exteriors, branding patches, zippers) and strong warranties ensures your investment holds up over significant mileage.

While personal preferences ultimately determine your perfect match, leverage Reddit‘s candid wisdom rather than affiliate marketer sweet-talk when seeking your next mobile adventure enabler. Bon voyage!

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