Top five best cabin bags for 2019
By Callum Tennent
A quality cabin bag will ensure you start your trip on the right foot. The best cabin bags are light enough to lift, will fit snugly in the overhead locker, and won't crack open should they suffer a drop.
It might be tempting to opt for the cabin bag you simply like the look of the most. After all, luggage is just luggage, right?
Our in-depth testing has revealed that that couldn't be further from the truth. From broken zips and sticky wheels to sodden contents following a simulated downpour, our lab has discovered that making a bad choice could make negotiating the airport a real pain.
In the table below we reveal the very best models from our testing. Every cabin bag goes through the same tests, so you can be sure that any model we recommend offers durability and is easy to handle and move.
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Top five best cabin bags
Not only is it the joint highest-scoring cabin bag we've ever tested, but it’s also a bargain. If you prefer soft luggage this is as good as it gets – plus it’s the only model in this table with two wheels, rather than four. Sign in now to read the full review.
One of the best cabin bags we've ever tested. It’s comfortable to pull around and easy to manoeuvre, and with five stars for durability will last you a long time as well. Some hard cover cases can be heavy, but at just 2kg when empty you should be able to get everything inside even on airlines with stingy weight allowances. Sign up now to read the full review.
For those looking for a slick, business-like soft-sided case, this cabin bag is a great choice. It’s not just its looks that will suit business travellers – it has a comfortable four-point adjustable trolley handle and some smart internal dividers and straps, too. Be sure to sign in and check out the full review before heading to the shops.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2018.
Not found the product for you? Browse all of our cabin bag reviews.
Top five tips for picking the best cabin bag for you
- Hard or soft?: The most important choice you'll have to make; Hard luggage offers greater protection, but you can usually cram more into soft baggage.
- Weight: The difference in weight between bags is surprisingly large. It's not just that a heavier bag will be more difficult to hoist into the locker and drag around the airport - it'll eat into that precious on-board weight allowance, too.
- External pockets: These can make fetching important items, such as your smartphone or passport, quick and easy.
- Two or four wheels?: A two-wheel case will serve most people fine, but a four-wheel case is easier to move around. A single jammed or broken wheel isn't the end of the world on a four-wheeled case, either.
- Internal divider: A big, empty case seems like it offers more space for packing, but an internal divider takes up next-to-no room and can make organising your belongings that little bit easier.