A good carry-on suitcase can make all the difference between a smooth trip and a disaster (imagine your suitcase breaking during a layover). The best carry-on for travel is one that’s not only excellent quality but also provides great organizational and security features.

When choosing the right suitcase, you first have to figure out if you want a softside or hardside (a hardside suitcase offers better protection for delicate items, whereas a softside carry-on is more flexible). Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can look at the features. Consider a suitcase with multiple pockets and compartments — zippered and open top if possible —  to help you stay organized while traveling. And, of course, we love a good carryon bag that looks just as good as it functions.

Here’s our list of carry-on luggage that’s practical and super stylish. 

Away Carry-On Flex Suitcase

Away luggage
Credit: Away

Instagram’s favorite luggage brand is a staple in airports worldwide for a reason. It perfectly blends style with function. It has a durable PC shell that expands to give you even more room for clothing (or souvenirs). A TSA lock and four multidimensional wheels allow you to effortlessly breeze through security.

To shop: awaytravel.com; $325

LEVEL8 Carry on Luggage

LEVEL8 Carry on Luggage
Credit: Level8

How chic is this Level8 carry-on?! With its angular design that maximizes packing space, tough PC shell protecting your belongings, a TSA lock, and anti-shock wheels, this carry-on is indestructible. Inside, two main compartments with cross straps and zippered pockets keep your essentials organized and easily accessible. 

To shop: level8.com, $160 and amazon.com, $144

Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Luggage 

Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Luggage 
Credit: TravelPro

If functionality is at the top of your list, Travelpro’s 20-inch carry-on is your best bet. This best-seller offers excellent storage and organizational features such as multiple exterior and interior pockets, a padded laptop compartment, and a removable toiletries bag. Another bonus? This carry-on expands two inches to provide you with even more room, all while staying airline compliant. You’re welcome!

To shop: amazon.com, $323

Merax Hardside Spinner Luggage with TSA Lock and Reinforced Corners

Merax Hardside Spinner Luggage with TSA Lock and Reinforced Corners
Credit: Merax

This budget-friendly carry-on will keep you cool and chic without breaking the bank or sacrificing high-end features such as multidimensional wheels, a sturdy shock-absorbent polycarbonate shell, a secure TSA lock, and an ergonomic top handle. Last but not least, it is available in seven color options ranging from classic black and navy to gold and dark red.

To buy: amazon.com; $57

Tumi International Expandable 4-Wheeled Carry-On

Tumi International Expandable 4-Wheeled Carry-On
Credit: Nordstrom

When in doubt, go with Tumi. The company pays just as much attention to quality as it does to aesthetics. Case in point? Their International collection of expandable carry-on luggage is a multitasking powerhouse. It’s made from lightweight PC and has a secure TSA lock. And speaking of security, this suitcase also comes with a TUMI tracer, so if you and your bag ever get separated, you can track its whereabouts online. It also comes with a built-in USB port to make charging your devices much easier. 

To buy: lordandtaylor.com, $895 and Nordstrom.com, $895

TPRC 15-Inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On Luggage with USB Charging Port

TPRC 15-Inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On Luggage with USB Charging Port
Credit: TPRC

Use an under-seat carry-on suitcase like this customer-favorite one to keep your belongings accessible during a flight. A pair of open side pockets and a double U-shaped zipper allow easy access to your travel essentials, while the telescopic handle and wheels help with smooth rolling. The built-in USB port will also come in handy when your phone battery dies mid-way through an airport layover. 

To shop: amazon.com, $59

Briggs&Riley Essential 22′ Carry-On Expandable Spinner

Briggs&Riley Essential 22' Carry-On Expandable Spinner
Credit: Bloomingdales

One of the benefits of softside luggage is that the fabric construction allows for more flexibility when packing. But this elegant Briggs & Riley carry-on also has a few other hidden features. For starters, it expands with the touch of a button (that’s right, no more zippers) and compresses just as easily. An interior garment bag can fit up to two suits, which business travelers will certainly appreciate.

Also nice: it has a separate pocket for your electronic devices, a TSA lock, and a strap that allows you to attach another bag to the carry-on.

To buy: Bloomingdales.com, $699

Traveler’s Choice Pagosa Indestructible Hardshell Expandable Spinner Luggage

Traveler's Choice Pagosa Indestructible Hardshell Expandable Spinner Luggage
Credit: Travel’s Choice

If you’ve ever been asked by an airline employee to check in your carry-on at the gate, then you know that investing in durable and well-built luggage is essential. Enter the Traveler’s Choice Pagosa suitcase.

Don’t be fooled by its pretty pink exterior. This carry-on is tough as nails. And at only 3 lbs, it’s one of the lightest options on the market. It is expandable via a wraparound zipper; inside, multiple pockets and compartments separate your clothes and toiletries. 

To buy: amazon.com, $110

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage
Credit: Calpak

If you tend to travel light, this Calpak carry-on has you covered. At 16 inches, it fits in the overhead bin and under most airline seats. The two roomy interior compartments can easily accommodate a weekend’s worth of clothing and accessories that you can organize thanks to a large zippered pocket and two more open-top sections.

To buy: $165, calpaktravel.com 

Kenneth Cole Madison Square Chevron Hardside Expandable Carry-On Suitcase

Kenneth Cole Madison Square Chevron Hardside Expandable Carry-On Suitcase
Credit: Kenneth Cole

This Kenneth Cole carry-on is quite the beauty. The chevron exterior will certainly get you a few compliments at the airline lounge. But it’s also packed with useful features such as spinner wheels, several interior compartments, a toiletries bag, and a retractable trolley handle. Oh, and if you spend too much time at the duty-free shops, you can always expand it to fit your new purchases. 

To buy: kennethcole.com, $200

Beis the Carry-On Roller

Beis the Carry-On Roller
Credit: Beis

In just a few years, actress Shay Mitchel turned BÉIS into many travelers’ go-to retailer for luggage thanks to chic design and high-quality materials. Features of this carry-on include spinner wheels, a weight indicator that alerts you if your bag is heavier than 50 lbs, a stain-resistant shell, and a TSA lock. A hidden strap in the back allows you to attach your purse to the suitcase for easy transportation. 

To buy: beistravel.com, $198 and Nordstrom, $198