Here’s the thing about ultra-light luggage: it’s not always very light. The industry designation includes suitcases that weigh as much as eight pounds empty; that’s nearly a third of your average baggage allowance. We are not impressed.
The Lightest Carry-on Luggage
In our opinion, the ultra-light category should be reserved for suitcases five pounds and under. But suitcases this featherweight can be hard to find. So we’ve rounded up 10 carry-on roller bags that weigh in under the five-pound mark. They range in price from $65 to $800, and come with all variations of bells and whistles. From lightest to heaviest (based on manufacturer’s specs), here they are.
IT Luggage World’s Lightest – 2 Wheel
The Numbers: The 21.8-inch IT Luggage World’s Lightest two-wheel suitcase weighs in at 3.43 pounds. An even smaller 19-inch carry-on is only 4.8 pounds.
Why We Like It: It was true when we reviewed it five years ago and it’s true today: IT Luggage is still the lightest rolling carry-on we’ve ever seen. IT Luggage also has rollers with more features (like four wheels or a locking telescoping handle), but they weigh a little more.
Lucas Vortex Lite Expandable Ultra-Lightweight Spinner
The Numbers: According to multiple sellers, the 20-inch Lucas Expandable Ultra-Lightweight Spinner is 5.5 pounds.
Why We Like It: The bag manages to squeeze in features such as zippered expansion, four spinner wheels, and plenty of pockets without adding a lot of weight to the design.
Aerolite Carry-on MAX Lightweight
The Numbers: The 22-inch Aerolite Carry-On MAX Lightweight weighs 4.62 pounds.
Why We Like It: Aerolite’s lightweight carry-on has roomy interior pockets and stretch material so you can fit in just a bit more. It’s by far the most feminine bag, with subtle patterns throughout.
Hartmann 7R Global Carry-on Spinner
The Numbers: The 22-inch Hartmann 7R Global Carry-on Spinner weighs 3.9 pounds.
Why We Like It: This is the ne plus ultra of super-lightweight carry-ons. It earns its high price tag with details like shock-absorbing wheels, recessed leather carry handles, a carbon-fiber telescoping handle, and a water-resistant zipper.
Samsonite Black Label Firelite 20″ Spinner
The Numbers: The Samsonite Black Label Firelite 20″ Spinner weighs 4.44 pounds.
Why We Like It: An appealing balance of form and function, the Firelite looks cool (and comes in great colors) and was designed for strength and handling.
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite
The Numbers: The 22-inch Travelpro Luggage Maxlite is 5.4 pounds.
Why We Like It: In many cases, lightweight comes at the expense of durability. Not so with the elegant, streamlined Luggage Maxlite, which was built to be lightweight and tough.
Jetstream Lightweight Carry-On
The Numbers: The Jetstream Lightweight Carry-On suitcase is 4.4 pounds.
Why We Like It: It’s an affordable carry-on that manages to come in under the five-pound mark with extras like with spinner wheels and a padded handle.
Delsey Chatillon 21″ Carry-on
The Numbers: The 21-inch Delsey Chatillon 21″ Carry-on weighs 4.7 pounds.
Why We Like It: A roomy interior with tie-down straps, spinner wheels, and a durable exterior make this a solid choice for the price.
Lucas Ultra Light Weight Originals 20″ Spinner
The Numbers: The 20-inch Lucas Ultra Light Weight Originals 20″ Spinner weighs 3.5 pounds.
Why We Like It: We love its design, its spinner wheels (four wheels that allow for 360-degree mobility), and appreciate the zippered mesh separators that keep all your stuff from falling out when you open the suitcase.
Eagle Creek Load Warrior
The Numbers: The 20-inch EC Load Warrior weighs 4 pounds 9 ounces.
Why We Like It: The EC Load Warrior is a rolling bag that can strap equipment to the front. The bag also has compression straps, lockable zippers, and a bottle opener.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Carry-on Bags That Take the Stress Out of Travel
- 8 Ways to De-Junk Your Suitcase
- Travel-Bag Details We Love
- 6 Packing Tips for Hoarders
Some products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.