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7 Best Carry-On Bags for Every Traveler

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

These days, everyone has a carry-on bag. After domestic airlines began raking in billions in checked-bag fees in 2008, the amount of passengers packing carry-ons soared, according to TSA statistics. This means the carry-on market has exploded. Every major luggage retailer now offers multiple carry-on models in multiple sizes, each with an exhaustive list of features and configurations. So which one is best for you? In-line vs. spinner wheels? Collapsible vs. hard-sided? Lightweight vs. ultralightweight? Buckles? Ballistic material?

Don’t get overwhelmed, travelers. We’ve narrowed down dozens of bags to come up with this list of 10 exemplary carry-on options. We schlepped these suitcases on public transportation and airplanes and through security and customs, packed them and lifted them over our heads, and careened with them at full-speed around sharp corners. Of course, luggage is not one-size-fits-all, so we took into account several criteria, including height, weight, maneuverability, and all the bells and whistles—from TSA-approved combination locks to high-performance materials—when devising this list.

Best of all, each of these bags comes in at $300 or under (and some are way under; think $80 or less). Further markdowns can always be found via Amazon, eBags, and other discount retailers, so before you buy at full price, do some Internet sleuthing for the best possible deal.

What’s our recommendation for you? Click through for the 10 best carry-on bags for each type of traveler.

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