How to Choose and Buy the Best Carry-On Luggage 2017

Here are some tips on how to buy the best carry-on luggage 2017. These tips will help you decide which luggage is best for you and how to get some great affordable luggage.

How Much to Spend on the Best Carry-On Luggage?

Price doesn’t equal quality.

With luggage, you get to pick only two of these three categories: Light, rugged and cheap. Which two of these are most important to you?

Consider the frequency and intensity with which you will use a suitcase in the next 5 years.

Do you drive once a year to visit family and go on a couple of holidays per year or are you taking 20 flights per year?

Bigger is Not Better for Luggage

Just because luggage is marketed as “carry on size” doesn’t mean it will be accepted by every airline. Regulations are different in the US and in Europe to start with and airlines also change their policies over time (budget airlines are the strictest on luggage size).

Don’t get expandable luggage, especially for carry-on. If you expand it, it will not fit as a carry-on and it will also tip over because of the weight imbalance. Although it looks like a great feature, it is a gimmick.

Large fabric bags tip over when overloaded, this makes dragging them around more unnecessarily tiring.

Get a polycarbonate luggage (hard shell case) it will stop you being able to overfill it like a soft material case. Then it will still meet the size restrictions for best carry on luggage and not tip over when full.

An ultra light luggage is my preference vs a metal hard shell case that will weigh far more and eat into your baggage weight allowance. An ultra light suitcase can still be strong and will help you bring more contents and save you money on overweight baggage fees.

Suitcase Travel Tips - How much to spend on a suitcase

Luggage Travel Tips

Do not travel with an overstuffed bag that weighs more than 25kg this will get mistreated by baggage handlers. Even worse, if the airline gives you an “overweight baggage” sticker then you have simply failed.

The baggage handlers will put your big bag at the bottom of the pile and drop other bags on it. It is better to have two smaller bags, they are far less likely to break.

Personalise your suitcase in some way, especially if it is black. Add a sticker, some tape, a ribbon, a luggage tag or anything so it’s not mistaken for someone else’s identical case. This also makes your luggage easier to identify if lost.

Having a photo of your luggage is also a good idea if you are checking in bags, this is more important than filling out the luggage tag, yet many people don’t do it.

Don’t pick up luggage by its extension handle, this is not it’s primary purpose. With cheap luggage, this will cause the extension to break sooner.

Luggage sets are for beginners – rather than buying three suitcases for a ‘great price’, one of which you may never use instead focus on buying specific suitcases with just the features you need.

If you can’t weigh your suitcase on your household scale because it covers up the display, try weighing yourself first and then weighing yourself holding the suitcase and subtract your weight to get the weight of your suitcase.

Using Luggage Daily for Work

I have used multiple pieces of luggage to drag around 30kg of cards for work on a daily basis. This is where I learned the most about luggage as I worked these to death. The question was how long would they last?

I had no love for this luggage, so I kicked them, dropped them, slid them down staircases and treated them probably the same way a baggage handler does.

A £20 two wheel carry on luggage would last no more than 2 months of serious use 5 days per week while fully loaded. Dragging it onto the tube, a few hundred meters on pavements up and down kerbs and a flight of stairs.

However, at one point I bought the so called best carry on luggage. A lightweight four wheel spinner which cost £100 with a 10-year warranty. I was able to get a replacement because the wheel broke after just 2 months. Then the zipper broke on the replacement after 3 months and I was told that normal wear and tear is not covered under the warranty.

Lessons Learned from Using Luggage to Death

The £100 luggage – the first lasted just 2 months, the replacement another 3 months for a total of 5 months.

For £100 I could buy 5 x £20 luggage’s and these would last me 2 months each for a total of 10 months.

This is twice as good as a £100 luggage that I can only use for 5 months, even with a 10-year warranty!

Best Travel Luggage for Normal Use

The £20 luggage which could last 8 weeks of 5 times a week is equal to 40 days of two-way trips.

This is about the same as 80 typical commutes to the airport.

By this time, the handle will be partially broken, the zipper’s a bit dodgy and the wheels barely going round.

If you have 4 holidays per year for 10 years that is 80 commutes to the airport.

This luggage would last you 10 years!

Premium Carry-On Luggage 2017

– Better functionality
– Superior design
– More prestige and exclusivity
– Durability
– Superior warranty

– More likely to be stolen or stolen from
– Greater financial loss when damaged or lost
– Often heavier due to more durable materials and more elaborate construction

For cheap bags inverse the list!

I find it hard to see a £300 – £500 bag as a good investment unless you are taking 20 flights per year for the next 5 years. If you do want premium luggage these are the brands I recommend you to check out.

Rimowa, Briggs & Riley.

TravelPro and Victorinox which are slightly less expensive, but good quality.

Reasons Not to Invest in the Best Carry-On Luggage

Luggage regulations change, you can buy a bag with a lifetime warranty, but after 10 years you see that the airlines change their luggage policy and your bag is no longer carry on size.

My personal preference is to fly below the radar, why attract unnecessary attention to my suitcase. Do not fly with fashion luggage like Louis Vuitton, they are not value for money. Fashion luggage is not designed with awesome features as many of the great luggage out there today is.

Which Type of Luggage Breaks First?

The giant ones! This is because the wheels have to take more weight and so do the handles. Also when dropped the impact is harder on the corners or wheels than a lighter bag.

Moral of the story, all bags die, get lost/stolen or just sit in storage somewhere.

Best Carry-On Luggage Warranty

Even with a lifetime warranty, you may pay £20-50 for shipping the bag to the manufacturer to fix.

With a lifetime warranty if the company is not in business anymore then you won’t get any repairs done.

If a suitcase fails while you are away travelling, you still have to get it home, along with your stuff. Then send it to get repairs and live without it for a while.

The warranty only covers the luggage, not the contents. If the zip pops open and all your clothes fall out, that’s your problem.

Premium suitcases come with a warranty. This doesn’t always cover the most important parts that break most frequently like the wheels, the handles and the zips.

What’s the Best Carry-On Luggage that I Use?

Since I started travelling extensively I have used relatively inexpensive luggage. I have a £30 polycarbonate (hard shell) carry-on bag and my previous luggage all cost under £40. These pieces of luggage have stood the test of time and I still have them and use them. I view luggage as disposable, not an investment.

I prefer to pay less for luggage and be able to buy a replacement in a few years.

For luggage tag tips and safety travel tips read the Best Travel Tips

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