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The Best Carry-on Bags of 2017

In this year’s Editors’ Choice Award category for Best Carry-on Bag of 2017, we set out to determine the very best carry-on bag currently available for U.S. travelers. Our baseline criteria was that each of the nominees must weigh no more than 10 pounds, cost no more than $500, and be no taller than 22 inches. The competition was fierce.

Best Carry-on Bags of 2017: The Methodology

Starting with a field of nearly two dozen 2017-model carry-on bags that met our criteria, we subjected fully packed versions of each carry-on bag to a road test that included stairs, smooth surfaces, uneven pavement, steep hills, gravel, and dirt surfaces. Nominees in the Best Carry-on Bags of 2017 category were also tested for comfort and ease of use while being lifted into overhead compartments. Finally, these carry-on bags were tested for durability.

We determined our three finalists and six semi-finalists based upon overall performance, features, and value. Here are the Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Picks winners.

With so much variation in features, weight, and extras, perfection in carry-on form is highly individual. Each of these nine carry-on suitcases offers something that could make it the perfect bag for you.

Note: Because the threatened changes to domestic airline carry-on size appear unlikely to occur in the near future, and because many travelers value maximum space in a carry-on bag, we included carry-on bags up to 22 inches in our tests.

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