The 9 Best Carry-On Luggage for Business Travel in 2020
Effortlessly transport all your work clothes
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Savvy travelers know that the right luggage makes a trip less stressful. But between costly baggage fees, forced gate checks, and long lines at baggage claim, it’s easier to limit your luggage to a carry-on. From wheeled bags to backpacks and totes, here are the best carry-on luggage options for business travelers.
Best Overall: Away The Carry-On
Loaded with features, Away’s The Carry-On is as close to perfect as it gets. With 19 different color choices, including black and blush, this durable hardshell suitcase will fit anyone's aesthetic. The exterior measures 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches, but it easily fits in most airline overhead bins. If you choose to check it, the TSA-approved combination lock provides a built-in theft deterrent.
The interior of the suitcase has lots of conveniences like an internal compression system, which is particularly useful for over packers. There's also a hidden water-resistant laundry bag and an additional compartment to separate clothing from shoes. Even more, business travelers will like the removable battery with USB port. This battery can charge your phone up to four times before needing to be recharged, and it’s even ejectable for charging on the go.
Best Value: Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On
Travelpro’s carry-on might be affordable, but its quality and features are comparable to more higher-end luggage. With seven color choices available, including two shades of black, it easily goes with any luggage you may already own.
Designed to expand up to two inches, the 23.5 x 14.5 x 9-inch suitcase is handy for anyone who likes to shop when they travel—you won’t even have to worry about any extra weight because it's tip-resistant. It’s also easy to maneuver around busy terminals with, thanks to 360-degree spinner wheels and a rubberized contour grip extension handle. Best of all, this suitcase has a drop-in, fold-out suiter to help hang clothes and prevent wrinkling. So, there’s no need to travel with an additional garment bag. You also won’t need to search for a plug or charging station as this suitcase has a built-in USB port with an FAA-compliant power bank pocket, although it isn't removable.
Best Duffel: Dagne Dover Medium Landon Carryall
A duffel, like Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall, is a great choice for shorter stays and quick flights. It also stashes easily into larger pieces of luggage or suitcase pockets, making it ideal for anyone who tends to come home with extra things.
Unlike most duffel bags in the market, this one is perfectly designed for business travelers. With its built-in padded laptop sleeve that can fit up to a 13-inch device, you won’t have to travel with a separate briefcase. The water-resistant neoprene exterior and interior nylon lining also help protect electronics. Additionally, there are plenty of external and internal pockets, a key leash, a shoe bag, and more. Sleekly designed, this 9 x 4.75 x 6.25-inch carryall can also double as a gym bag. With eight color choices including black, moss, and blush, it easily coordinates with anything you’re wearing.
Best Backpack: Herschel Travel Backpack
Consider Herschel's travel backpack if you need to easily access your things during a flight. It fits under most airline seats, while an external trolley sleeve conveniently attaches it to rolling luggage.
Designed for maximum device protection, the fleece-padded sleeve can fit up to a 15-inch laptop. This feature also makes the bag appealing to commuters or people who cycle to work. This 18.5 x 12.5 x 7-inch backpack is also loaded with compartments to hold all of your gear, including storage sleeves in the main compartment, a key clip, two water bottle pockets, and an exterior pocket with organizers. There's also a concealed top pocket with a hook and loop closure, which provides quick access to your boarding pass, passport, and wallet. Several color choices are available including three sporty camouflage options to more polished grey and black fabrics.
Check out our other reviews of the best work backpacks available on the market today.
Best Underseater: Samsonite Solyte Deluxe Underseat Carry-On
If you’re booked for a shorter trip, opt for Samsonite’s Solyte Deluxe. Measuring 16 x 14 x 7.25 inches, it fits under the seat, so you won’t have to bother lifting it in the overhead bin.
Efficiently designed, the underseater can fit up to two devices with a padded dual sleeve, which has enough room for a tablet and laptop up to 15.6 inches. There’s even a built-in USB charging port, but the battery is a separate purchase. In addition to the main section, the bag's front compartment is perfect for separating wet or dirty clothing from the rest of your things. With three bold color choices—midnight blue, Mediterranean blue, and mineral gray—this luggage gets extra points for style. A 10-year warranty makes this bag a smart choice that will last for years to come.
Best Smart Luggage: Arlo Skye The Zipper Carry-On Max
Measuring 23 x 15 x 10.3 inches, Arlo Skye’s hardshell carry-on is generously sized, yet easily fits in the overhead bin. A front pocket is useful for storing your laptop, jacket, and anything else that needs to be taken out for security. Choose from five colors, including black, blue, red, navy, and yellow.
As for smart features, this suitcase has an airline-compliant integrated removable charger with dual USB A and USB C ports. In other words, this device can supercharge your phone fast—up to 50 percent in less than 30 minutes. Should you need to check your luggage, the tamper-proof, double coil zippers and a TSA-approved combination lock will keep all of your things safe. Better yet, the impact-resistant polycarbonate shell will stand up to even the most turbulent flight. Despite its durability, this 8.1-pound suitcase is light enough to glide easily through a hectic terminal.
Best Style: Calpak Ambeur Carry-On
For a super stylish, yet functional option, Calpak’s Ambeur Carry-On comes in glossy shades of black, gold, or rose gold. At just 7 pounds, this carry-on is easy to move around tight spaces with. Measuring 22 x 14 x 9 inches, the suitcase has enough room to pack a week’s worth of clothing. Still, if you need more space, the bag can expand up to two more inches. Two zippers and a TSA-approved lock assure everything is safe, even if you end up checking it.
The suitcase's interior is just as impressive as its polycarbonate, hardshell exterior. Lined in a bright blue chevron fabric, there are two divided compartments, and additional zipper pouches separate your clothing and toiletries. Built-in elastic pouches also neatly store shoes away from clothing.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best women's work bags article.
Best Hardside: Tumi Latitude International Carry-On
Tumi’s Latitude carry-on earns high marks for durability—the outer shell is made with layers of specially woven, self-reinforced polypropylene ballistic material. While it provides a unique aesthetic, it also bends and flexes to fit most overhead bins without getting scratched or damaged.
This material is also exceptionally lightweight; though the suitcase measures 22 x 14 x 9 inches, it weighs only 6.24 pounds. The three-stage telescoping handle and four lightweight spinner wheels add extra support. As for the interior, there are two packing compartments along with mesh tie-down straps to easily fit everything in. Zip pockets also help separate toiletries from clothing. But best of all, the hanger bracket prevents formal wear like suits and dresses from wrinkling during your flight. Choose from five colors: silver, navy, purple, black, or blush.
Best Tote: Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon Shoulder Tote
Just as practical as it is sophisticated, Longchamp’s Le Pliage tote is a versatile, modern wardrobe classic. This foldable bag is generously sized at 12.25 x 11.75 x 7.5 inches—enough space for you to use it as your everyday handbag.
If you’re worried about losing your things, the bag’s zipper and tap closure assure everything stays inside. Extremely light yet sturdy enough for storing clothing and electronics, the bag’s double leather handles have an 8-inch drop, making it comfortable to carry on your shoulders or in your hands. There are four timeless colors to choose from, like gunmetal grey, navy, green, and red.
Take a peek at some of the other best work tote bags you can buy.