In an era when the rate that some airlines charge for checked-in luggage can seem to be bordering on extortion, the modern traveler has, slowly but surely, been forced to also become the light traveler. One of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to cut down on luggage costs lately is to take a conservative approach to your use of checked-in luggage, and to place a greater emphasis on your carry-on selection. Another option, for the lightest travellers amongst us, or for shorter trips, is to ditch checked-in luggage completely and go carry-on only.

The name is fairly self explanatory, but as airlines define it, carry-on luggage is luggage eligible to take on the plane with you, and to be placed in the overhead compartment or under the seats. Other than saving money, the advantages of investing in carry-on luggage are numerous: you can have access to your most important items at any time, reduce the risk of losing your luggage, save time waiting for your luggage after your flight, and of course, reduce the amount of weight that you have to drag around with you.

With these benefits in mind, we put together a list of three of the best carry-on luggage items to travel with right now…



Founded in 1898, Rimowa made a name for themselves by producing high quality wooden cases with an emphasis on lightweight construction and stability. They continued this theme throughout the 20th century, phasing into far more lightweight aluminium constructions and further developing their technology, becoming known as a high-tech, high-end luggage brand. The Topas Cabin Multiwheel (£689) comes at a significant price point, but is a top end product that will ensure lightweight, sturdy travel for years to come.



Gaining recognition in the 1980s for its introduction of soft, ultra-functional nylon travel bags into the luggage market, Tumi are a super reliable mid-range brand that obsesses over quality. Part of their Alpha 2 collection, the International Expandable 2 Wheeled Carry-On (£595) emphasises this focus. The super robust design is light and strong while offering increased packing capacity, sleeker profiles, smarter functionality and easier manoeuvrability, based on over 30 design improvements from previous Tumi collections.



The most affordable option of the three in our list comes courtesy of Japanese brand Muji. Founded in 1980 as an antithesis to the habits of the consumer society that was rapidly growing in popularity at the time, Muji believes in making good quality products without the excessive consumerism and branding. As a result, this Hard Case Trolley (£150) is about as simple a design as is possible, with all the emphasis placed on functionality, including weight reduction, smoother and quieter wheels, and adjustable handles.