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Top five best cabin bags for 2019

By Callum Tennent

We’ve rounded up the very best cabin bags from our testing, so you can easily pick the perfect lightweight and durable model for your next trip.

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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.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our reviews in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? now to get instant access. 

Top five best cabin bags

81%
£199.00
Reviewed

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.

79%
£291.95
Reviewed

A compact and attractive cabin bag, this hard-cased carry-on is the lightest featured on this list - but it doesn't come cheap. Our testing found it to be well worth the outlay, though. Sign in to see which bag we're talking about.

79%
£84.04
Reviewed

This hard case cabin bag aced just about every single one of our performance, zip and manoeuvrability tests. Sign in now to see the full review, and make sure that it's the right case for you.

77%
£91.00
Reviewed

This cabin bag is one to beat where price-to-performance is concerned. We found it easy to manoeuvre in our tests and despite being a plush, soft-side case, it was incredibly durable. Waterproofing could've been better in the outer pocket but on the whole, it's definitely worth buying.

74%
£85.00
Reviewed

An absolute bargain, this cabin bag didn't disappoint for how easy it is to manoeuvre around and carry, thanks to it's soft padded handles. Although some cracks did surface during our harsh impact testing, the all-round performance from this trusted brand was enough to earn it a Best Buy.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of February 2019.

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.
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