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Cars & travel.

Updated: 30 Jun 2022

The best cabin suitcase brands in 2022

You can get cabin size luggage that will last for under £40
Lauren Bell

The best cabin suitcase is an investment. If you don’t want to replace it year after year, you need one that’s durable enough to withstand being wheeled over cobbles, up and over kerbs, or being lifted repeatedly by the handles into the overhead locker. And the good news is you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good bag.

In April and May 2022 we asked owners to rate cabin suitcases (as well as full-sized suitcases) on everything from whether a case is quiet when being wheeled, to how durable the handle is, and 2,799 of you responded.

Well-known brands, such as Samsonite, scored well in every category – but given the high price tag you’d expect that. Owners told us the average price they paid for a Samsonite cabin bag was £123. What you wouldn’t expect is that one under £40 does nearly as good a job.

Read on for the full set of results.

Best cabin suitcases

Customer scoreAverage price paidDurability of handleDurablity of zipsDurability of the bag itselfDurability of wheelsPockets and space for storageEase of wheeling aroundValue for money
John Lewis83%£85
IT Luggage82%£38
Cabin Max80%£27--
Marks & Spencer

Table notes: The average price paid is based on the mean amount members paid for their luggage. A dash ‘–’ means there isn’t enough data to provide a star rating. Customer score and star ratings are based on data collected from Which? Connect panel members who had bought a suitcase or cabin bag since April 2017. Customer score is based on satisfaction and whether members would recommend the brand. 

Eastpak, 86%

With robust cabin suitcases that scored four or five out of five in every durability category – from the zips to the wheels – Eastpak is dependable. Members used phrases such as ‘quality,’ ‘strong’ and ‘well made’ when asked to describe their favourite thing about the brand’s bags. It is unsurprising, since Eastpak started out producing gear for the US military, back when it was known as Eastern Canvas Products. It also backs its bags with a 30-year warranty – meaning that in the unlikely event something does go wrong, your cabin suitcase will be repaired or replaced. 

Verdict: Top quality bags, but cheaper brands do the job nearly as well 

Shop Eastpak cabin cases 

John Lewis, 83%

According to owners, these cases are a little bit cheaper than EastPak on average and should last about as long. Owners gave John Lewis’ own-brand cabin bags four or five stars for their durability. They also praised how easy the cases are to carry and wheel around, as well as how quiet they are. John Lewis is a Which? Recommend Provider, rated top in our homeware shop survey, including a five out of five star rating for the quality of its products, so we’re not surprised the department store’s own-brand bags claimed second place in the cabin luggage table. 

Verdict: Solid suitcases, but at the pricier end

Shop John Lewis cabin cases

Cheap cabin suitcase brands

IT Luggage, 82%

Average price paid: £38

If you’re looking for a good quality bargain, look no further than IT Luggage. It was only beaten on price in our cabin bag survey by Cabin Max (below) and it was the cheapest brand in the suitcase category. Owners told us that some bags can feel a little flimsy – which is reflected in the overall three-star rating for durability – but were more complimentary on the quality of the handle, zips and wheels. They were also impressed with just how light IT bags are – some are constructed on a fibreglass frame, which weighs just 1.8kg. That’s one of the lightest bags around and useful if you’re travelling on a carrier that has strict rules on weight.

Verdict: Impressive ratings given the low cost

Shop IT Luggage cabin cases

Cabin Max, 80%

Average price paid: £27

This clever brand specialises in bargain cabin luggage and under-seat bags sized to exact airline dimensions. The brand’s website allows you to search by carrier – helpful if you frequently fly with the same company – and find the right size bag for you. For example if you select EasyJet, only 45x36x20cm under-seat bags pop up, as well as 55x40x20cm cabin-sized luggage. It’s a great way to maximise your allowance so that you can stuff in extra holiday essentials, without worrying about being caught by the bag inspectors at the airport.  

Verdict: Clever, well-rated bags on a budget

Shop Cabin Max cabin cases 

Other well-rated cabin suitcase brands

All cabin luggage brands that appeared in our survey performed well. American Tourister, which came bottom of the table, still gained a brilliant overall score of 74% from members.

While there are some differences between star ratings and overall scores for each brand, none gained less than three stars in individual categories.

Our advice? Look to the middle of the table for cheaper brands who closely rival the pricey ones higher up.