Top five best cabin bags for 2021
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.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of August 2020.
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.