The best carry on luggage in the UK 2022


It’s a rookie mistake many of us have made – taking luggage that’s too big, too heavy, or too uncomfortable to carry. I’m ashamed to admit that although I’ve been in the travel industry for over 10 years, I recently accidentally overpacked my hand luggage on a flight from Australia to London. Much to the frustration of my fellow Qatar Airlines passengers, I had to go through the embarrassing rush of tossing everything I could grab into our check-in bags. All the time spent organizing was destroyed in a moment of panic.

“It’s an easy mistake,” says aviation expert Jordan Rozario. “Especially because there is no industry carry-on allowance, and this is where a lot of travelers get caught.”

If you got caught checking in like I did, you know that the wrong carry-on bag can ruin a trip before it even begins. Therefore, when choosing the right hand luggage for your flight, consideration and research are required – even more than with a check-in suitcase. To save you the administrative hassle, we’ve listed the best cabin luggage options in the UK, along with our top tips for choosing the right style for your trip.

Which bag is best for hand luggage?

As mentioned in our guide to the best suitcases of 2022, we prefer soft-sided suitcases to hard-sided suitcases for carry-on luggage, as they tend to offer more space. Some models also have easy access outer storage pouches that can come in handy when transporting. While it may be easier to fit more items in soft-sided suitcases, you must be careful not to exceed your airline’s weight limit and carry-on size dimensions.

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How much hand luggage can you take with easyJet?

According to the easyJet cabin baggage guide, the maximum size for a cabin bag that fits under the seat is 45 x 36 x 20 cm (including any handles or wheels). If you book an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat or a large piece of hand luggage for your flight, you can also stow one additional piece of luggage with a maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25 cm in the overhead compartment. Try the Tripp Superlite Holdall as an underseat bag to maximize your luggage while staying within your baggage allowance. As for the luggage compartment bag, Aerolite’s cabin bag fits these dimensions exactly and is one of the lightest cases on the market.

How much hand luggage can you take with Ryanair?

According to Ryanair’s baggage policy, all passenger fares can carry a small bag that must fit under the seat and measures less than 40 x 25 x 20 cm. When purchasing a Priority + 2 carry-on fare, passengers can carry a small bag that fits under the seat and a 10kg wheeled bag that does not exceed 55 x 40 x 20 cm. This American Tourister suitcase fits those dimensions exactly and is available in a range of colours.

The best lightweight cabin case

When it comes to size, weight, price, design and fast delivery, Aerolite’s cabin case (available on Amazon) ticks all the boxes. The dimensions of the case fit most airlines’ approvals including British Airways and easyJet whilst the weight of the case is a very light 2.3kg. Of all the features, it’s the two external pockets that make this bag a winner, plus it comes at a great price of £99.

The best luxury hand luggage

Leave it to Bric’s to create the most beautiful and functional carry-on luggage on the market. The traditional brand has been producing travel bags and leather goods from the region around Lake Como since the 1950s. Her cabin case is a smaller version of her Bellagio case, with a lightweight Makrolon® polycarbonate shell and vegetable-tanned leather trims that not only look chic, but also help prevent abrasion. Inside the lined bag there are organizational compartments, a padded laptop compartment and a garment bag hook, as well as space for three coat hangers. As with all Brics luggage, the Bellagio suitcase is guaranteed for five years.

Brics Bellagio Cabin Suitcase

Size: 55x38x20cm

The best hand luggage for weekend trips

If you just need a suitcase for weekend trips, look for sturdy and roomy models with trolley wheels that can handle those pesky cobblestone streets. This Eastpak carry-on suitcase features clever adjustable straps on the outside so you can ensure your luggage fits the allotted size. For a suitcase that can handle on-road and off-road travel, the Thule Aion has oversized rear wheels that can easily slide over rough terrain.

Eastpak cabin case

Size: 51*32.5*23cm

Thule Aion cabin case

Size: 55x35x23cm

The best hand luggage for easyJet and Ryanair flights

These compact options feature clever pockets that allow you to maximize and organize your space while complying with strict carry-on regulations.

Heatwave carry-on by American Tourister

Size: 55x40x20cm

The best hard shell cabin bags

If you’re a regular traveler who focuses more on lightness and speed rather than cluttering up every space and pocket, these rolling hard cases are a worthwhile investment.

Clifton carry-on

Size: 55x40x20cm

The hand luggage flex

Size: 55.1 x 34.8 x 22.9 cm

The best hand luggage for long-haul flights

Most long-haul flights have generous carry-on allowances, so the dimensions of the bag are often less important. Instead, if your trip involves layovers, time zone changes and several hours, a comfortable and well-organized flight luggage is the priority. Look for bags that are lightweight and have multiple pockets so you can carry everything you need in transit and throughout the flight.

Skyflight on board folding bag

Size: 35x53x23cm

In flight bag, £650, Anya Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch in the luggage

Size: 21x41x17cm

The best hand luggage for business trips

These sleek, organized and lightweight carry-ons ensure a quick exit from the plane and offer plenty of space and easy-to-access pockets.

Weekend bag made of Paravel canvas

Size: 54*25.5*26cm

48 hour holdall

Size: 45x30x15cm

Best backpacks to take with you

If you prefer to travel hands-free, these spacious and comfortable backpacks are great travel bags. For more options, check out our pick of the best travel backpacks.

Roll-top backpack

Size: 48x30x16cm

Altmont Travel Laptop Backpack

Size: 46*30*26cm



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