What Is the Best Carry On Luggage for One Bag Travel?

The travel bans have lifted and we’re finally free to indulge in the adventures we’ve been dreaming about – or only experienced virtually – for the past two years. But the lessons learnt during this time have remained, and the trend of minimalism continues to dominate.

That’s why we’re welcoming the ‘one bag travel’ trend that forces you to ditch your baggage and limit your luggage! With just your cabin luggage, you have all you need to explore the world

Here’s how you can do more with less. 

What are the luggage types?

If we’re going to talk about luggage, it helps to know what the different types of luggage are so you don’t get lost in translation! Here’s a quick travel bag guide:

  • Hardside luggage: This is available in either 100% polycarbonate, a polycarbonate composite or ABS. These are hard, durable plastics that protect your luggage. 
  • Softside luggage: This is made from nylon or polyester and comes with a number of expandable features and compartments for last-minute packing. 
  • Rolling spinner luggage: These have four wheels that turn in multiple directions for quickly running to catch your plane. They’re available in hardside and softside luggage. 
  • Duffle bags: These have shoulder straps or wheels and are great for a weekend away. 
  • Garment bags: Business travellers get a lot of use out of these bags which can hook a suit or other garment and keep it virtually wrinkle-free. They have compartments for shoes, shirts, ties and other toiletries. 
  • Travel totes: These are smaller bags that can be used instead of a duffel bag or handbag. They have lots of room for your everyday items as well as laptops, headphones, neck pillows and more. 
  • Carry on luggage: Also known as cabin luggage or handheld luggage, the carry on range consists of compact bags that come in a variety of formations made to fit in the overhead bin. 
carry on luggage one bag travel

What is one bag travel?

We’ve all seen them, those fresh-faced travellers dashing past us with their one bag and a sense of freedom we all wish we had. No waiting at baggage claim and crying over lost luggage. Those are the one bag travellers! 

Basically, one bag travel is as simple as the name suggests – no more bulky luggage and added extras that you have to keep watch over. It’s a single piece of hand luggage that contains all your worldly possessions – or at least the possessions you need for your trip.

This frees you up to focus more on the experience of travelling rather than the logistics of bag packing and storage. Ideally, the best option for this form of travel is the carry on bag, you just need to ensure you choose the right one.

What should you look out for when choosing carry on luggage?

If you really want to be that carefree traveller we all envy, then the first step is choosing the right carry on luggage. This has to be a really versatile, sturdy piece of luggage that keeps your valuables safe and does what you need it to do!

  • Lightweight luggage

If you’re going to be packing everything into one bag, you need to make sure the bag itself is light as you’ll be lugging it around. Some smart luggage even comes with a sensor that monitors the weight of your bag if you want to go that far!

  • Hard or softside luggage

The softside carry on has more give, which means you can make the most of that interior space. They also come with many compartments which can be very useful for long journeys. Modern hardside bags are much more lightweight than previous models and they also have the added benefit of extra protection. It’s really up to you whether hard or soft is the best choice. 

  • Carry on luggage size

The standard size for carry on – or cabin luggage as it’s also known – is a maximum length of 55cm, width of 40cm and depth of 25cm inclusive of the wheels, handles and side pockets. A reputable luggage brand will sell carry on luggage in the correct dimensions, with ample storage space. However, it’s always best to check with the airline as some airlines maximum may be small or bigger than 55cm – but on average this is the safest size. 

  • Durable wheels

We suggest that you go with a carry on bag that has wheels if you’re going for the one bag travel route. The reason is that you will be packing quite a bit in that one bag, which makes it heavy. Spinner wheels are rotating wheels that make travelling much easier, just make sure they’re durable and securely attached to the luggage. Some luggage companies even offer warranties on their wheels, which is worth considering. 

  • Versatile hand luggage

Remember that one bag is now going to be performing the function of the multitude of luggage you once travelled with, so versatility is a must! Your carry on must have multiple compartments, a padded laptop section and convertible spaces to adjust to your needs. 

  • Front-loader suitcases

The one bag travel movement is all about simplicity and ease. Digging in a messy backpack trying to find your headphones or book doesn’t create this feeling of zen. That’s why your front-loading cabin luggage is the ideal choice as you always have ease of access. 

  • Smart luggage

If you’re going to do one bag travel, you might as well do it properly with smart luggage. These are handheld bags that contain a battery pack offering high-tech abilities. Some of the smart features you can enjoy include the above mentioned sensor for weight, GPS tracking so your bag never parts ways, electronic locks which are controlled from your smartphone, USB charging ports and solar panels for charging. 

So, what IS the best carry on luggage for one bag travel?

Well, that’s the easy part – Samsonite’s range of cabin luggage has everything you need to start your one bag travel adventure!

There’s a range of carry on luggage designs, colours and styles, depending on your individual preference, and you can be assured of a quality-constructed product to accompany you on your travels.

*Important reminder: There are restrictions on the type of items you can pack in your carry on luggage so make sure you check with the airlines ahead of time. Sharp and flammable objects, firearms and certain sporting equipment aren’t allowed. Liquids will also need to be in 100ml containers. Fortunately, this fits into our ‘Marie Kondo’ way of one bag travel!