How to choose the right carry on luggage?

April 8, 2016

Whether for a weekend getaway or a 3-day business trip, carry-on luggage are the most used luggage type for frequent travelers. But finding one suits one’s best needs is not an easy task. Search for “carry on luggage” on Amazon and you’ll soon be overwhelmed by all the styles, colors and brands! There are so many to choose from, and each of them claims to be the best! But our mission is to help you find “the one” for you-6 things you should consider before you simple click on buy with one click!


Understand the size

It’s key to check on website of the airline that you are traveling with for the size of carry on. Most domestic airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, Jetblue and United allows carry-on bags no more than 22 x 14 x 9 inches to fit in the overhead bin. Southwest allows a more generous 10 x 16 x 24 inches.  


Although those sizes may not be strictly enforced and some softside bags can be squeezed if oversize a little bit, but passenger do get asked to fit their carry-on bags inside the metal sizers that sit near many boarding gates before take them on board sometimes. So it’s important to understand that the airline carry-on size includes the handles and wheels. When you are shopping, make sure the dimensions listed on manufacturer's’ website includes the external parts because some of them don’t. 


Soft Case VS Hard Case

Some people like soft case luggage because they can squeeze more stuff in it and easier to fit into a crowded overhead bin. Also, hard case is more prone to dings and scratches. And most luggage warranties do not cover normal wear and tear. 


But hard cases are more reliable if you travel with electronic devices or on a business trip. They can protect your laptops and tablets better than the soft cases. Besides, hard cases are more likely save you a few more pounds and help you meet the weight requirements as they are normally more lightweight than the soft cases.


On current market, most hard cases are usually ABC or ABS and Polycarbonate mixed or 100% Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a better material for its lighter and sturdier. Sometimes the price does not have much difference, choose 100% Polycarbonate for better value and quality.


Another factor to be considered is color and style! Soft cases are usually constructed of nylon usually do not have that much options in texture and print as the hard cases. If you plans to take photos with your luggage, a hard case will be a better choice.


Check the Wheels

If you have tried walking from the foot of a hill to your destination with your luggage, you should understand the importance of good wheels. Four-wheeled bag is called spinner and allows the bag to roll upright. Spinners have “360 degree mobility” so there’s no weight on your arm when rolling. Try one of the spinners in local store, you can feel the ease in move.


But two-wheeled bags also have their fans, especially for constant traveler who usually needs to move fast in an airport. If you are pulling, two wheels works better in some ways.


Expandable design for extra room

The luggage should be under 22 inch to bring on board, but look for the expandable design that could give you extra room with a carry-on luggage. For example, manufactures sell carry-ons with a zipper around the outside that can unzip to add a couple of inches to the depth of the bag.


The Pockets

Another trick manufactures do to make more rooms for customer is to build more interior and exterior pockets, creating the “gadget-friendly travel goods”. Padded exterior pockets are usually for tablets and laptops, so you can easily pull them out at security check. Some have two exterior pockets, a small top pocket for easy access to boarding pass and passport and a larger pocket under for electronic devices. Such design can make your trip easy a lot, especially when you are traveling alone.


Interior pockets help you organize things. Socks, underwear, T-shirts and other accessories (like scarves and hair band!) can be stored and compressed in zippered interior, saving a lot of spaces. Check the inside lining for those designs when you are shopping!


Do I need TSA Lock

TSA refers to the Transportation Security Administration. In the United States the Transportation Security Administration requires access to luggage without the passenger being present. A TSA lock allows them to open (with a universal “master” key) and relock without damage the luggage. Most luggage manufacturer offers luggage with built-in TSA combination lock. If you are traveling to/in U.S., it’s better to have a luggage with TSA lock.


Gabbiano Luggage offers carry-on luggage in both soft cases and hard cases. All carry-ons comes with 2 exterior pockets and built-in TSA combination lock. Hardcases offers expandable zipper to allow more space. All carry-ons are under 22 inches and can be bring on board for most domestic airlines. Shop here:



Preview: Next article we will compare the most popular luggage products on the market (Samsonite, IT Luggage, Delsey, Traveler's Choice.....), stay connected! Follow us on Facebook for latest info and events!





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