Best Carry-On Luggage for Men in 2023
If you’re looking for the best carry-on luggage for men, you want options that are versatile, durable, and well-designed. So many carry-ons out there are overly complicated, have limited functionality, or simply aren’t well-built enough to survive the rigors of travel.
From business trips to scary bus rides in the Himalaya to destroying luggage wheels on the cobblestones of little German towns, I’ve gained a lot of experience with what makes a good carry-on.
I personally have always traveled with just carry-ons. Checking bags can be expensive and complicated, and it always adds more stress when traveling. I love the simplicity and peace of mind of carrying everything with me.
When shopping for the best carry-on luggage, you want one that will last a lifetime and serve for all your traveling needs. In this list, I focused on the best luggage for men that are sized to work for both domestic and international trips.
1. Monos Carry-On Pro: Best Carry-On Luggage for Men Overall
Monos focuses on simple, elegant, functional luggage, and they make some of the best hardside luggage out there. While their products aren’t the cheapest, their emphasis on quality leads to suitcases that measure up to much more expensive brands.
I love that Monos suitcases are built to last and are sustainably made. This is refreshing in a world full of cheap products. I’ve completely destroyed multiple suitcases while traveling, so I can assure you that investing once in a high-quality carry-on is better than having to replace a cheap one down the road.
The Monos Carry-On Pro is my pick for the best carry-on luggage for men because it packs all the features you need in a rugged but stylish package that’s ready for anything.
So many carry-on luggage options out there are overly complicated and cumbersome without delivering on durability and real-life useability. In my view the best carry-on for men needs to be simple, long-lasting, and, above all, versatile.
I look for a suitcase that’s ready for week-long business trips, impromptu vacations, and long-haul international journeys. I don’t have room in my life to juggle different suitcases for different uses, so I want one that can do it all.
The Monos Carry-On Pro really delivers in terms of versatility and quality. Its simple and elegant design cuts out the clutter while giving you a compact suitcase that checks all the boxes for men’s travel.
With simple but functional interior pockets and an exterior pocket that can fit a 15” laptop, the organization features of this bag are adaptable for any travel use. Whether you need to bring a laptop on a work trip or hiking gear for trekking in the Alps, this suitcase has you covered.
The four smooth-rolling spinner wheels are quiet and durable. This suitcase won’t hold you back when you’re rushing to make a flight transfer and will hold up in all conditions.
The Carry-On Pro comes with TSA-approved locks built in. This is a great feature that lets you keep your belongings secure while traveling.
This hardside suitcase is built with an aerospace-grade German polycarbonate shell that is practically unbreakable. A Monos product really is an investment, because it will last a lifetime.
The versatility, quality, and timeless style of the Monos Carry-On Pro really make this a standout option for men looking for a do-it-all piece of luggage.
AmazonBasics is known for making functional and affordable products across a huge range of markets, from batteries to shirts. AmazonBasics luggage is a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
Suitcases from AmazonBasics prioritize price point and value over high-end features and materials. While you won’t get the same design and quality as top-tier products, they work surprisingly well for the price.
I’m a big fan of buying products that really fit your needs. If you aren’t flying that often and just need a simple carry-on for occasional trips, it’s not worth spending big dollars on something that won’t get frequent use.
The AmazonBasics 21” Hardside Spinner is affordable without making too many compromises on quality, and if you’re not traveling as frequently, this may be a perfect fit for you.
With so many expensive luggage options out there, it can be difficult to find a decent one if you are on a tight budget. A good budget pick should hit an affordable pricepoint without sacrificing durability or useability.
The AmazonBasics 21” Hardside Spinner hits a great affordable price point. While it’s not as stylish, feature-rich, or rugged as some of the more premium options on this list, it does really well at performing the basic functions of a carry-on suitcase without breaking the bank.
At 21” this suitcase is perfectly sized to fit in overhead bins on almost any flight in the world. If you’re on a budget, you want one suitcase that can work for both domestic and international flights, and this size is ideal for that.
Inside, this suitcase has a zippered divider and organization pockets. Though simple, these features help make the most of the packing space.
The double spinner wheels on this AmazonBasics carry-on aren’t as smooth as pricier suitcases, but they do the job. I wouldn’t expect outstanding durability on rough surfaces, but they roll just fine on smooth concrete.
Overall, this is a great little suitcase at an even better price!
Carl Friedrik is a London-based brand that centers on functional design and quality. Their aim is to build products that are both elegant and durable.
Their products are made for people who don’t want to compromise on craftsmanship, quality, and sophistication.
While it’s more expensive than most options on this list, Carl Friedrik’s The Carry-On is perfect if you’re looking to up your style game while traveling. With a simple, gorgeous design, well-thought out features, and premium leather detailing, it has the style and construction to stand the test of time.
Beautiful, well-designed luggage can really add to your overall style and confidence while traveling. If you are aesthetically inclined, you want luggage that marries understated refinement with detail-oriented design and the highest quality materials.
The Carl Friedrik Carry-On is my top pick for most stylish carry-on for men because it does an excellent job of combining elegance with functionality.
The understated styling is quite masculine, with clean lines and a selection of dark colorways. Premium leather detailing really gives it that extra touch of luxury.
The construction is also superb; it’s built around a lightweight polycarbonate shell with an aluminum frame that adds stiffness. This construction means this suitcase will last a lifetime.
At 21.5”, this suitcase is designed to fit overhead bin restrictions for both domestic and international flights. You can rest assured that this case will work no matter where you’re going.
Instead of a zipper, this suitcase incorporates all-metal latches into the aluminum frame. I love this aspect of the design because it means no snagged or broken zippers. Based on my experience, this is a much more durable option.
This suitcase definitely isn’t cheap. There are tons of other great-looking products out there for much less money, but if you want a luxury suitcase that doesn’t compromise on style, this is a fantastic choice.
4. Away Daily Carry-On: Best Small Carry-On Luggage for Men
Away is a company that makes high-quality products designed by travelers, for travelers. This really shows in the attention to detail in their designs.
One thing I love about Away is their commitment to positive impact in the global community. Their mission statement says, “the more we travel, the better we all become,” and they stand behind that with various initiatives aimed at making travel more accessible for underprivileged communities.
Most airlines around the world allow you to bring one carry-on to put in the overhead bin and one personal item that fits under your seat, but some airlines, especially budget ones, are charging fees for overhead carry-ons.
To get around paying carry-on fees, you can bring just a bag that’s small enough to fit under your seat. This will only count as your personal item, so you skip the extra charge.
A good piece of under-seat luggage should above all be compact while still having space for everything you need to bring. Since you’ll be bringing it through airport security, exterior pockets are a great benefit so you can easily pull out electronic devices.
The Away Daily Carry-On is a great choice for an under-seat carry-on bag. It is perfectly sized to bring as your personal item on flights, and is well-designed and high quality.
To be clear, this suitcase is small. Very small. Unless you are a true minimalist, using this as your only luggage probably isn’t a good choice. It does work very well as a second bag if you bring another larger carry-on though.
The construction of this hardside suitcase is outstanding. It uses high quality materials throughout, from the polycarbonate shell to the fabric lining, everything feels high quality. This luggage is built to last.
The 13” external laptop pocket gives you easy access to electronics, books, or anything else you may want en-route.
This tiny suitcase also has fantastic internal organization. It comes with removable accordion dividers, zippered pockets, and a built-in laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes separate from everything else. All these organizing features help you keep everything neat and accessible as you travel.
Away also stands behind their products with a limited lifetime warranty. I always love to see companies backing up what they sell.
For men who either need an additional personal item luggage or are just ultralight packers, I can’t think of a better option than the Aw
5. RIMOWA Cabin: Best Luxury Carry-On Luggage for Men
If you have some extra cash to spend and are looking for a premium suitcase that exudes quality and luxury, look no farther than the up-scale brand RIMOWA. This German brand has been building travel cases since 1898 and has a long heritage of quality products.
Rimowa is always at the cutting edge of luggage design. From aviation inspired aluminum cases in the 1930s to the world’s first polycarbonate suitcases, this brand is constantly pursuing innovation and improvement.
In luxury carry-ons, you want the absolute best in materials, craftsmanship, quality, and design. The RIMOWA Cabin costs a premium, so it’s not for everyone. If you’re willing to pay any price for the highest quality, this may be the suitcase for you.
The construction of the RIMOWA Cabin is impeccable. From the durable outer shell to soft and long-lasting interior lining to the flawless fit and finish of the closures, handle, and wheels, the quality is obvious from the first time you handle it.
The built-in TSA-approved locks are sturdy and functional for locking up your important belongings in the airport or at your destination.
RIMOWA’s lifetime warranty is one of the best in the business. It’s nice knowing that your investment in this product is backed up by the manufacturer.
6. July Carry-On Pro: Best Business Carry-On Luggage for Men
July is a high-quality brand that makes some of the best lightweight luggage on the market. They are committed to making travel products that work better, last longer, and let you focus on what your love about traveling.
Business travelers need professional-looking luggage that is streamlined and functional.
A key feature you need for a business carry-on bag is the ability to conveniently bring a laptop. For frequent travelers who fly for work trips, you want to be able to bring your laptop and easily pull it out at security checkpoints.
The July Carry-On Pro is a sleek, durable suitcase that packs some incredible innovations into the design. For business travel, this case excels with its clean look, solid build, and clever laptop-carrying solution.
Many suitcases have externally-accessible pockets for laptops and other electronics, but the July Carry-On Pro really stands out from the crowd here with their unique detachable laptop sleeve.
The sleeve has integrated Fidlock latches that hold it securely to the case, and it’s super easy to remove when you need to. Rummaging around for your laptop is a pain, and this system is the best I’ve ever seen for keeping your laptop secure and accessible.
A TSA-approved lock keeps this rolling carry-on bag secure during your travels.
This case comes with a removable power bank that has a USB port for charging devices. This is incredibly convenient for keeping your laptop and phone powered up during your flights.
Wheels are a common failure point in luggage, so July designed their own from scratch. These wheels are smooth, quiet, and built to handle cobblestones and rough surfaces. Why is this specific model ranked as the best for this specific category?
For business travel, I don’t think there’s a better option than the July Carry-On Pro.
If you’re looking for the best garment bags for traveling with a suit, Briggs & Riley has some fantastic options. Their designs focus on simple functionality and bomber construction.
This brand has an incredible lifetime guarantee and offers repair services for your bag to keep it going forever. This brand has a fantastic reputation for backing up their products for life.
If you need to bring a suit while traveling, a dedicated garment bag is the best option. Garment bags feature hanging storage for suits and shirts and an array of smart organization features for packing clothing.
When looking at garment bags, I want to see a good hanger setup for keeping a suit wrinkle free and pockets for shoes, belts, and other accessories.
The Briggs & Riley Baseline Garment Spinner has all the features you need for traveling with a suit, and has great build quality.
The center hanging bracket gives you packing space for up to three garments, and the center tie-down and compression straps help contents from shifting during travel. This means your suit will be crisp and uncrumpled when you arrive at your destination.
The spinner wheels roll smoothly in any direction. This makes this bag easy to maneuver through the airport.
There is also a variety of internal zippered compartments that help you make the most of the space in the main compartment of the bag.
8. Samsonite SXK: Best Samsonite Carry-On Luggage for Men
Samsonite is probably the most popular big-name luggage brand right now, and for good reason. They make solid suitcases for a variety of budgets.
If you want to shop for luggage at a local store, Samsonite is the brand you’ll most likely encounter because they are in most major retailers. You won’t necessarily find the same attention to quality and detail as smaller manufacturers, but Samsonite luggage is generally well-made and has good value.
The Samsonite SXK is one of the best products available from this brand. It’s durable construction, good organization features, and clean design make it a great choice for men’s overhead luggage.
This softshell spinner is made from burly fabric with kevlar-fibers woven in. This makes for a very durable bag that will stand up to abuse.
This bag has plenty of external zippered compartments. This means you can have easy access to items like electronics and books while you’re traveling.
The Samsonite SXK is perfectly sized for both international and domestic flights. It also is expandable to give you even more storage capacity in the main compartment. That makes this bag very versatile for a variety of trips.
The four double spinner wheels are quite smooth-rolling. One caution though: In Germany I had the wheels of two Samsonite bags fail on the rough cobblestone. This bag wouldn’t be my pick if you’ll be dragging it over rough surfaces.
If you are specifically looking for Samsonite-branded carry-ons, the SXK is one of their most durable and functional offerings.
9. Briggs & Riley Torq: Best Hardside Carry-On Luggage for Men
This is the second Briggs & Riley product on this list, and that’s because they are one of the best luggage brands and make seriously capable luggage! Their hardside spinner options are particularly good.
Hardside cases excel at durability and security, so for the best men’s hardside bag you want one with bomber construction. The Briggs & Riley Torq combines legendary durability with rugged styling and intelligent features for the best hardside luggage for men.
The Torque has a high-quality polycarbonate shell with reinforced edges and anti-scratch texturing. This means it can stand up to abuse during travel.
The double spinner wheels are well built and have steel ball bearings. This is a huge upgrade from more cheaply built wheels that use bushings, and it will ensure these wheels spin smoothly for years to come.
With a TSA-approved lock, you don’t have to worry about your belongings being stolen. Combined with the durable shell, this is an extremely secure suitcase.
The external front compartment on this bag is an awesome feature. It gives you easy access to electronics, books, or other items you may need to grab in the airport.
This bomber hardside suitcase looks and feels rugged and will last a long time.
Who is the manufacturer? What do they specialize in? For what do they stand? What kind of people do they make products for?
Travelpro is a popular brand that is a leader in travel product innovation. In fact, the founder, Rob Plath, was an airline pilot who invented the first rollaboard suitcase with two wheels and a retractable handle. travelers.
Where hardside suitcases are best for durability and security, softshells can be lighter, more adaptable, and often have more exterior zippered pockets for organization and easy access.
A good softshell suitcase should make the most of these advantages, with excellent pockets, expandable sides, and lightweight. While hardside cases typically have the advantage in durability, softshell bags can still be very durable if they’re made with high quality materials
The Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Spinner checks all these boxes with an elegant, and highly practical design. This expandable carry-on bag is very durable with well-thought out features.
Softshells are less secure than others on this list, and this bag doesn’t have a TSA-approved lock, so if you’re looking for the most secure and protective suitcase, you’d be better off with a hardside option.
The array of internal and external zippered pockets gives you a fantastic array of choices for stowing items. This is a huge benefit for staying organized while traveling.
The expandable design gives you 2” of extra storage capacity. This makes this bag extremely versatile as it can adapt for different trips.
As a bonus, the Travelpro Platinum Elite comes in a wide array of colors, so you can pick an option to suit your personal style.
If you’re looking for a stylish and functional softshell overhead bag, the Travelpro Platinum Elite is the best on the market.
How to Choose the Best Carry-On for Men
There are a lot of options to choose for the best men’s carry-ons. You want to make sure you get a bag that fits your personal needs, preferences, and style.
Here are some of the key considerations to take into account when shopping for a new suitcase for traveling.
Hardside vs. Softshell Luggage
One of the biggest decisions to make when picking between different carry-ons is whether to buy a hardside or softshell suitcase. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, and one is not necessarily a better choice than the other.
Reasons to Choose Hardside
- Superior durability
- Better protection for delicate items
- Improved security
Reasons to Choose Softshell
- More external pockets
- More adaptable to what you’re carrying
Wheeled Luggage vs. Travel Backpack
This list focuses on wheeled luggage, but you also have the option to pick a carry-on backpack.
Wheeled luggage is definitely more convenient in the airport and for urban travel. It’s really nice to not need to carry weight on your back all the time.
A carry-on backpack may be a better option if your trip will take you farther off the beaten path. Dragging a wheeled suitcase through remote villages in Asia isn’t really doable.
For many trips, I opt to bring both: a wheeled suitcase for flying to my destination and then a small backpack for bringing items around once I get there.
What Size Should You Buy?
Most domestic airlines restrict overhead luggage to 22”, while many international flights require bags to be under 21”.
I’d look for a 21” option that can fulfill both uses. That way you only need one bag. If you feel like you need more space, an expandable bag can give you more storage capacity while still being able to shrink down for international trips when needed.
Features to Look for
- Look for an option with durable spinner wheels. Wheels can take a lot of abuse, so you want ones that will stand up to it.
- If you need to bring a laptop or tablet, an external laptop pocket makes it much easier to pull it out while going through security.
- Many modern suitcases have TSA-approved locks that let you keep your belongings secure while being quick to open at security checkpoints.
- Zippers are a common failure point in luggage. Look for high quality YKK-branded zippers for maximum longevity.
Best Men’s Luggage Accessories
A good travel setup involves more than just a suitcase. Here are some of the best accessories to improve your travel experience.
- Monos Compressible Packing Cubes – These packing cubes are fantastic for organizing all your essentials in the main compartment of your bag. You can also use one to keep dirty clothes separate from everything else.
- Away Small Toiletry Bag – This small zippered bag works well for keeping all your toiletries organized and in one place.
- July Tech Kit – Small electronic items like cables, chargers, and headphones can be easy to lose. This little case gives you a dedicated place to keep them.
Why Trust TravelFreak?
I’ve traveled all over the world, from Nepal, to Africa, to Germany, and have had my share of problems dealing with luggage. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes for a piece of luggage to stand up to real-world travel.
Working as a product engineer, I learned a lot about how the everyday objects we use are manufactured and where companies tend to cut costs. In giving you these recommendations, I’ve put that knowledge to work to analyze manufacturer claims about durability and build quality.
At TravelFreak, we make our product recommendations based on real-world experience. I’ve had luggage fail on me, from crushed wheels to ripped seams and zippers. I’m committed to finding products that are well-built and provide all the features you need for a seamless travel experience.
Our team together has a huge range of travel experience and we’ve used lots of different luggage options. This list compiles our knowledge of the best men’s luggage out there.
Men’s Carry-On FAQs
What is the Best Men’s Carry-On Luggage?
The Monos Carry-On Pro is the best for men overall. This suitcase is simple and streamlined.It has all the features you need in a sleek, durable package that will last a lifetime of travel.
What is the Best Brand of Carry-On Luggage?
Monos is the best luggage brand in my opinion, with durable, streamlined suitcases.
Is Hard or Soft Luggage Better for Carry-On?
Hard luggage is secure and better for fragile items. Soft luggage is usually more lightweight.
Is 24-inch Luggage Okay for Carry-Ons?
Most airlines restrict carry-on size suitcases to 22” tall, so 24” luggage would be too large.
Do Airlines Care About Carry-On Size?
Domestic flights limit carry-on sizes to 22”x14”x19”. International flights limit size to 21” tall.
For many men, a good carry-on may be the only piece of luggage you’ll ever need. The ability to bring one bag that can fit into the overhead bin simplifies travel and eliminates the cost of checking bags. Fortunately, there are tons of great options out there.
For the discerning man who needs a trusty carry-on, you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list. Whether you’re a rugged minimalist going far from the beaten path, or a style-conscious urban globetrotter, you need a carry-on that will fit your needs and stand the test of time.