Best Stylish Carry-on Luggage for Travel 2023

by Albert Varkki updated 01-05-2023

best carry on luggage

Carry-on luggage is a lifesaver irrespective of the kind of trip you're looking to embark on.

But there are a lot of carry-on options, so it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you.

In this post, we go over our top picks for a carry-on bag for travel in 2023.

Best Carry-on Luggage for 2023

Here we go over the best carry-on bags for 2023, by type and style:

Best Rolling Carry-on Bag with Wheels 2023

voyager leather carry on bag with wheels in brown

Winner: Voyager Leather Carry-on with Wheels

Rolling carry-on bags are the most popular, and the Voyager is the best of the best. It features durable wheels, along with a beautiful leather exterior made from the highest quality full grain leather. The easy to access laptop compartment makes it a great business carry-on, and it will age well with leather patina (unlike cheaper canvas bags that look weathered very quickly).


  • Full grain leather
  • Hand luggage compliant.
  • 16 inch laptop sleeve.
  • Easy to use rolling luggage.
  • Luggage tag included.
  • Two exterior pockets for easy-to-reach items.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Designer travel bag.
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Carry-on Weekender Duffel Bag 2023

leather weekender bag

Winner: Weekender Leather Travel Bag

The Weekender will become your new travel essential, perfect for trips on the train, plane, or throw it in the back of a truck for a weekend away. It's made from the highest quality full grain leather, and you'll be able to feel the difference. It's available in a range of colors, but we love the brown one.


  • Full grain leather
  • 16 inch internal padded laptop sleeve.
  • Internal zipped pocket for travel essentials like your passport.
  • Plenty of space for all your gear.
  • Adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Perfect overnight bag.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Carry-on Backpack 2023

10x leather laptop travel backpack

Winner: 10X Leather Laptop Backpack

If you want something a little different, then the 10X backpack is perfect for you. It's a convertible backpack, meaning it can be used as both a shoulder bag and a backpack. This versatility is great if you want a bag that's great for travel and day-to-day life.


  • Full grain leather
  • Dedicated compartments, perfect for travel.
  • Can convert from backpack to shoulder bag for ease of access.
  • Top and side handles for when moving through airports.
  • Fits up to 15.6 inch laptop or tablet.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized
  • Available in brown, tan, black, or red leather.
  • Unisex.

Click here to check the price

Best Carry-on Garment Bag 2023

grand leather garment bag

Winner: Grand Leather Garment Bag

The Grand garment bag is ideal if you want to travel with your suit or dress. The garment is zipped into the bag itself, preventing any firm creases, and ensuring it's fully wearable at the other end of your journey. It has a dedicated laptop compartment, and plenty of room in the main compartment too. The full grain leather looks and feels fantastic.


  • Full grain leather
  • Dedicated garment carrier.
  • Carry a suit and shirt without creasing.
  • Large main compartment for other items.
  • 16 inch laptop compartment.
  • Adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Small Travel Backpack 2023

liberty small leather laptop backpack

Winner: Liberty Leather Backpack

The Liberty is a smaller leather backpack that's ideal as a lightweight carry-on. It has a 14-inch laptop sleeve, easily accessible for when you're sitting down on the plane or train. It's also made from full grain leather, which is really high quality, and looks amazing over time.


  • Full grain leather
  • 14 inch laptop sleeve.
  • Multiple front zipped compartments.
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Large Travel Backpack 2023

prime large leather laptop backpack

Winner: Prime Leather Backpack

The Prime is a larger leather backpack, made from premium quality full grain leather. It's handmade in Florence, Italy, and has both a large main compartment, and a two other external pockets. The 14-inch laptop sleeve ensures your tech is safe and accessible during your journey.


  • Full grain leather
  • 14 inch laptop sleeve.
  • Multiple front zipped compartments.
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Laptop Carry-on Bag for Business Travel 2023

city leather laptop messenger bag

Winner: CITY Leather Laptop Bag

If you need a lightweight carry-on briefcase for your journey, then the CITY laptop bag is ideal. It's available in both a 15-inch and 17-inch version for different sized laptops, and is made from the highest quality full grain leather.


  • Full grain leather
  • Detachable shoulder strap.
  • Hand luggage compliant.
  • Fits up to a 15.6 inch laptop (also a 17 inch version here)
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Dedicated laptop compartment
  • Additional zipper pockets

Click here to check the price

Best Soft Shell Tote Carry-On Bag

elegance leather laptop tote bag brown

Winner: Elegance Tote Bag

If you prefer an open tote style bag, then the Elegance is for you. The main compartment has a zip, ensuring all of your items stay inside the bag, ideal for storing underneath the plane seat in front of you as a personal item. It's made from high quality full grain leather, and we particularly like it in red.


  • Full grain leather
  • Compartment for up to 14 inch laptop.
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Internal pockets for essentials like your phone.
  • Reliable YKK zippers.
  • Durable cotton lining.
  • Available in brown, black, red, and tan.
  • Can be personalized.

Click here to check the price

Best Women's Crossbody Travel Purse

isabella brown leather shoulder bag

Winner: Isabella Shoulder Bag

The Isabella is ideal as a small shoulder bag for your personal item. It's great for travel, as you can store all essentials like your passport right by your side, so they're there when you need them during the airport dash. Available in a range of colours (the red is our favorite), and made from full grain leather.


  • Full grain leather
  • Magnetic snap closure.
  • Two large internal pockets.
  • Internal zipped pocket.
  • Perfect for travel.
  • Detachable and adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized
  • Available in brown, tan, black, or red leather.

Click here to check the price

Carry-on Bag Sizes: Domestic vs International

As stated earlier, there are certain traveling rules imposed by airlines concerning luggage size.

So, depending on the airline you fly, you'll need carry-on luggage with a size that suits the requirement of the airline.

For example, most domestic US flights require carry-on bag size to be a maximum of 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

However, for international US flights, it's best recommended you stick to a carry-on luggage size of 21 inches and below to avoid any kind of issues when boarding.

Shop all leather carry-on luggage here

Softside v. Hardside Bags

Looking for a flexible bag? Then softside carry-on luggage is a perfect choice for you.

Softside carry-on makes it easy for folks to stuff their belongings (both perfectly shaped and irregular shaped items) in an organized manner effortlessly.

Yes, with softside carry-on bags, you can easily arrange small and large items using internal and external pockets, thus, enabling you to have quick access to your belongings when needed urgently.

Besides, if you're the kind of person who always remembers to add that last-minute item, softside bags will save you the stress of opening the main compartment, instead, you can either squeeze in the items or utilize the external pocket.

Just make sure you opt for a padded one if you're storing your tech.

Hardside carry-on bags, on the other hand, don't give users the room to squeeze more items.

Yes, this is because they are made of aesthetically durable materials, and they tend to be more protective of what's inside them, compared to softside carry-on bags.

Also, hard-side carry-on luggage is available in a wide variety of colors, and they tend to be more protective compared to soft-side bags.


Two-wheel vs Spinner Wheels vs No Wheels

Two-wheel carry-on luggage just as the name suggests always comes with two wheels, while spinner luggage has four wheels, which is usually arranged in a multi-directional manner.

Spinner luggage is a great option for folks who feel comfortable pushing their bags by their side when walking.

Both of them usually have a retractable handle at the top, however, only spinner bags allow pushing and pulling (Two-wheels bags support only pulling) while walking.

Spinner carry-on luggage has a smaller space compared to the two-wheel carry-on (the space is used by the extra wheels).

You can also opt for a carry-on with no wheels, which means you will be carrying it throughout the airport and your journey as a whole. This will be more tiring, but can be more convenient. If you choose a backpack for example, it allows you to carry your items with two hands free.

Weight Limits

Weight matters when choosing carry-on luggage!

As we all know, airlines have a certain carry-on weight that a passenger must not exceed - most airlines have a maximum weight of 40 pounds per carry-on bag.

Thus, ensure your carry-on luggage doesn't exceed the given weight limit of your airline, so you won't pay any extra fee or go through unwanted stress.

In most cases, you will struggle to pack your hand luggage with enough weight to hit that limit, but it's always best to weigh it just in case.

*One tip if you're over the limit, is to purchase items from the airport in a plastic bag, then transfer some items from your carry-on to the bag, hence reducing the weight - and that plastic bag is allowed as a personal item.

Durable Handles

The best carry-on luggage will have a handle at the top and by the side for lifting.

Also, an extra sturdy telescopic handle should be available to enable you to push and pull the luggage easily (when wheeled).

Note: A good telescopic handle is long enough to enable users to easily pull or push luggage at their comfortable arms length, so check the measurements of the handle and compare to your height when standing.

Compartments and Interior Size

The interior construction of carry-on luggage consists of two types.

The deep compartment with an outer flap (typical of a softshell bag or backpack), or the ‘sandwich’ (also known as clamshell) compartment where the suitcase is split into 2 equal halves (usually a hardshell bag with no outer pockets).

You will often find that it's useful to have a carry-on with some exterior pockets, as they're useful for storage things you need to get quickly, such as your boarding pass or passsport.

Laptop Storage

Carry-on luggage with laptop compartments is a decent option for folks whose main purpose of traveling is work.

This kind of luggage gives your laptop maximum protection, and besides that, it makes it easy for you to access your laptop at security checks or anywhere when it's being needed.

Backpack vs. Duffel vs. Wheeled Carry-on Suitcase

Are you the type of person who likes to over-pack when embarking on a trip? Then a carry-on duffel bag is a perfect option. Yes, this is because the carry-on duffel is larger and has more space for you to add different items, and usually has a soft side that can accommodate extra items last minute.

Carry-on backpacks, on the other hand, have lots of compartments for you to keep your travel accessories. Plus, it has even become a better option since US airlines introduced the Basic Economy fares. It allows you to keep both hands free for your boarding pass and passsport, as well as other essentials like holding onto an escalator handle.

A carry-on suitcase with wheels is best for those who don't want to carry their bag around with them the whole time. Resting the bag and rolling it on the wheels helps to save your energy, which is important, as traveling can be a stressful experience, so anything that helps you lower that stress is a good thing.

Do you also need a luggage tag? Click here

Pros and Cons of a 22 inch Carry-on Bag


  • Carry-on suitcases save you extra fees charged by the airline for checked-in luggage.
  • With a carry-on suitcase, you'll have instant access to your belongings.
  • Your valuables are safer and you don't tend to experience any kind of lost luggage scenario.
  • A carry-on suitcase saves you the time wasted on waiting for luggage.
  • Carry-on luggage gives you more flexibility in moving around. You don't need to go through the stress of dragging your bag.


  • Carry-on luggage reduces stress, however, it can be very difficult to move with carry-on luggage up the stairs.
  • When handling carry-on luggage, it gets difficult to carry extra things like food, travel documents, or petty things you might want to get at the airport.

Key Features to Look Out For

A perfect carry-on suitcase satisfies your needs in terms of size, color, etc.

However, don't forget that your carry-on luggage must suit the airline restrictions on luggage size (height x width x depth). And in case you're unaware, most airlines include handles and wheels when measuring carry-on bag size.

In all, just make sure you acquire a suitcase you can vibe with when travelling. The handle shouldn't be hard to or sticky, the wheels shouldn't be cheap, etc.

Do you need a new toiletries bag as well? Click here

What is Smart Luggage?

Smart Luggage gives you more functionality other than just space to keep your items. It boasts elegant extra features ranging from electronic baggage, power banks to charge phones, TSA approved locks and a GPS tracker.

With smart luggage you have more peace of mind, knowing that your belongings are 100% safe and secured. Plus, even if your luggage gets missing, the GPS tracking installed on it makes it easy to find.


Are smart carry-on bags allowed on flights?

No! In 2019, lots of airlines such as; Delta, Alaska, American, etc, banned the carrying of lithium-ion batteries found in smart luggage.

Thus, instead of acquiring a smart suitcase, you should just get an external charger for your mobile device.

There are certain bags that may be allowed, but you should check the airline guidelines for more information.

Related pages:

What to pack in a carry-on bag?

Your carry-on suitcase should consist of the most important items you need on your journey. From clothes to medications, jewelry, toiletries, etc.

Just make sure you pack all you need in case your checked luggage gets delayed.

Final Thoughts - A Bag That Works for You

We hope you enjoyed our post on the best carry-on luggage for 2023.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or contact Von Baer on

You can browse related travel pages here.


Author: Albert Varkki
Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you. Connect on Linkedin

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