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Top five best cabin bags for 2020

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.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

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

79%
£238.00
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%
£92.00
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.

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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