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Best Carry On Luggage for American Airlines

by Albert Varkki updated 01-19-2023

best carry on luggage for american airlines

If you're planning on flying with American Airlines, then you want to make sure your carry-on bag and personal item are right for the airline.

In this guide, we'll go over the latest size limits for carry-on bags with American Airlines, as well as our top picks for carry-on bags for 2023.

What Carry-On Bags are Free with American Airlines?

The official rules from American Airlines (as of 16/08/2023) are that each customer receives 1 free carry-on bag and 1 free personal item to all destinations.

The carry-on bag should not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (including handles and wheels), and the personal item should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches.

Best Carry-On Luggage for American Airlines 2023

Here we go over our top picks for carry-on bags for American Airlines by style and size:

Best Rolling Carry-on Laptop Bag

voyager leather carry on bag with wheels in brown

Winner: Voyager Leather Carry-on with Wheels

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Hand luggage compliant.
  • 16 inch laptop sleeve.
  • 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 Small Laptop Travel Bag 2023

liberty leather backpack

Winner: Liberty Leather Backpack

Pros:

  • 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 Garment Travel Laptop Bag 2023

grand leather garment bag

Winner: Grand Leather Garment Bag

Pros:

  • 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 Convertible Laptop Travel Bag 2023

10x leather laptop travel backpack

Winner: 10X Leather Laptop Backpack

Pros:

  • 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 Weekender Laptop Travel Bag 2023

leather weekender bag

Winner: Weekender Leather Travel Bag

Pros:

  • 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 Slim Messenger Bag

exquisite leather messenger bag

Winner: Exquisite Slim Leather Laptop Briefcase

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Slim profile
  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • 14 inch laptop compartment
  • Mobile and tablet slip pockets
  • Large internal zipped pocket
  • Three pen slots
  • Fits A4 size paper
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized
  • Available in black, brown, red, or tan

Click here to check the price

Best Laptop Personal Item

city leather laptop messenger bag

Winner: CITY Leather Laptop Bag

Pros:

  • 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

What is the typical carry-on bag size?

Standard size limits for domestic flights are up to 22” x 14” x 9”, including the handle and wheels. This is not an arbitrary limit. It allows a place for each passenger to have a bag and ensures that they will fit in the overhead compartments (or under-seat for personal items).

Does carry-on luggage have a weight limit?

Most airlines don’t normally enforce weight limits for carry-on bags – but you (or the flight attendant) must be able to lift it up into the overhead bins. If it is too heavy for that, then you may have to check it into the cargo hold.

Related:

What is a personal item?

A personal item is an item smaller than a carry-on bag. The category is meant to encompass purses, laptop bags, and even pillows and small blankets! (Those travelling with infants or toddlers will usually be given wider leeway on these item sizes, or allowed an additional “diaper bag”.) Some musical instruments or sporting gear can be considered personal items, but be sure to check with the airline first.

Some airlines give specific measurements for personal items, some specify that they must be smaller than the carry-on bags or must be stowable under the seat, and others do not give any specific guidelines at all.

Is there a single best type of carry-on luggage?

The best bag is the one that best suits your travel needs, but there are some features that are almost universal.

First, make sure it has wheels and rolls easily. You might be walking a long way to your gate, and an easy-rolling bag will make that burden a lot lighter. Four wheels are better than two, as the bag will balance better, stand upright better, and your arm will not be as tired when you can roll it on all four wheels. On rougher terrain or deeper carpet, these bags can tip onto two wheels and do just fine.

Make sure your bag is durable and can be cleaned. Ensure you have enough pockets to keep some items safe and easily accessible – like medications, passports, phones and cables, and your wallet. Brand names don’t mean the bag is durable – and less known brands are often quite durable – so don’t be distracted by that. Check each bag on its own merits.

Don’t forget to check the dimensions, including wheels and handle, with the airline regulations and guidelines.

Is there a standard international size of carry-on?

If your goal is to be within the carry-on rules for nearly all airlines, then you’ll want a bag that is 21” or less when upright. This will fit into almost any overhead bin and still allow the bin to close. This isn’t a guarantee though – each airline has the right to set their own limits.

What can you carry in your carry-on?

The best way to tackle this question is to go over what is not allowed. You will not be able to carry firearms, lithium batteries, combustible or very flammable substances or items. Liquids (including gels and creams) are limited to 3.4 ounces per container, and various airlines will limit the total amount of liquids (gels and creams) allowed per passenger.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our article on the best carry-on luggage for American Airlines.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email Von Baer at info@vonbaer.com.

Browse related articles on travel 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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