Not every good product can snag a best-in-category title, but there are several more bags we’ve tested that get our thumbs-up and deserve a mention.
Solgaard Carry-On Closet Plus ($295) is a tiny bit over what most airlines list as the maximum dimensions, but the difference is so small that it’s accepted 95 percent of the time. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe praises its optional clip-in closet clothing organizer, which makes for efficient packing. The built-in TSA lock is easy to use, and there’s an internal power-bank pocket. This suitcase is included in our Favorite Upcycled Products guide.
Samsonite Outline Pro Carry-On ($152) is a hard-side, four-wheeled spinner carry-on made from an outer shell of durable polypropylene. Standout features include an interior fabric made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and a “WetPak” storage pocket for keeping damp items separated from the rest of your luggage. Product reviewer Medea Giordano, a notorious overpacker, was able to fit an entire long weekend’s worth of wardrobe in the Outline Pro.
Patagonia Black Hole 40L ($129) is another great adventure duffel with a water-resistant fabric coating and backpack straps. Compared to the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler, though, less of the external fabric is water-resistant, and it’s an inch and a half too thick in one dimension for US domestic carry-on requirements. But it’s a duffel, so you can squish it to fit in an overhead bin if it’s not completely packed full.
Paravel Aviator International Carry-On ($345) has an interior lining made of recycled plastic bottles, a telescoping handle made of recycled aluminum, and vegan leather trim to help it stand out from all the plain black bags at the airport. Product reviewer Jaina Grey really fell in love with its roomy interior and durable, anti-scuff hard-shell exterior.
The North Face Base Camp ($129) is a cylindrical duffel bag, unlike most duffel bags these days. If you’re a folder, it can be difficult to keep everything straight and wrinkle-free as you pack it into the Base Camp’s curved bottom, although those who roll their clothes won’t have any problems. The materials felt cheaper than other duffel bags in this guide. It’s a workhorse used often by the outdoors crowd, so while the water-resistant fabric and the handles are durable, they just don’t feel as nice to the touch.
Away Bigger Carry-On ($295) offers all the same handy interior organization modules as our top luxurious hard-shell pick, the Away Bigger Carry-On Aluminum Edition, but for less than half the price. And you can choose from a range of colors, from discreet navy blue to pink, green, or lavender. The optional, ejectable battery bank costs an extra $20.