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Which high-end carry-on luggage is best?

The best high-end carry-on luggage is lightweight, easy to handle, keeps your important travel items secure and looks good doing it. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, a well-designed and well-made suitcase is a travel essential.

Carry-on luggage dimensions are set and enforced by the Transportation Security Administration. These dimensions are translated by luggage manufacturers into a maximum carry-on length of 22 inches. If you are looking for a high-end carry-on bag with cushioned ball-bearing wheels, take a look at the Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside 21-Inch 4-Wheel Spinner Carry-on.

What to know before you buy high-end carry-on luggage

Airline size requirements

Carry-on luggage is the term used to describe luggage that meets TSA size limits for bags a passenger can carry aboard a commercial airliner. High-end luggage makes the most out of the maximum allowable space.


Fabric carry-ons are lighter than hard-sided luggage. High-end fabric carry-ons are made with ballistic-grade materials such as ripstop nylon. Soft-side luggage is flexible and allows you to pack more clothing inside. The fabric on high-end carry-ons is treated to be resistant to water and rough handling.

Aluminum is the most durable and resilient of the materials used to make hard-side luggage. It is solid and resists shock, but aluminum scratches easily, so make sure your high-end carry-on has a design that will mute the inevitable scratches.

When you combine polymer and carbonate, you get polycarbonate. It is easy to mold during manufacture and is temperature resistant, very lightweight and highly impact resistant. If a polycarbonate suitcase gets dented, you can easily pop it back into shape.


With wheels at all four corners, your high-end carry-on stays upright at all times. An upright is easy to maneuver because the wheels on a four-wheeler swivel a full 360 degrees. An upright four-wheeler does not tip over like a two-wheeler can.

High-end carry-on luggage with two wheels is lighter and leaves more room inside the bag for the things you want to pack. Two-wheelers can only be pulled and do not swivel.

What to look for in quality high-end carry-on luggage

Ease of handling

Look for spinner wheels that mount with ball bearings that have been sealed to protect them from dirt and moisture so they stay quiet and smooth running for years. 


Look for a handle made of durable materials and adjusts to different heights and stows inside at the push of a button.


There never seem to be enough electrical outlets in the airport for charging smartphones, tablets and laptops. High-end carry-on luggage makes sure you always have power by building in a dedicated power pocket to carry a standard-sized rechargeable battery power pack.

How much you can expect to spend on high-end carry-on luggage

High-end luggage costs more because it is made of better materials with more features. Look for numerous choices from $500-$1,500.

High-end carry-on luggage FAQ

Will high-end carry-on bags made of fabric keep the inside of your suitcase dry?

A. If properly treated, fabric carry-ons keep your contents dry. If you will be experiencing extreme conditions, consider hard-side luggage.

Will an expandable bag meet TSA requirements?

A. To be safe, carry your extra items aboard in your boarding bag and transfer them once aboard.

What’s the best high-end carry-on luggage to buy?

Top high-end carry-on luggage

Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside 21-Inch 4-Wheel Spinner Carry-on

Briggs & Riley Torq Hardside 21-Inch 4-Wheel Spinner Carry-On

What you need to know: This carry-on has a three-layer polycarbonate shell and a high-end multiwheel system that makes it the easiest carry-on to maneuver through airports.

What you’ll love: Double spinner wheels at every corner are mounted on ball bearings for stable and effortless steering. The no-bump outside handle increases interior capacity and leaves your clothing wrinkle-free. This carry-on has an integrated USB port for on-the-go charging. The exterior pocket stores your laptop and the locks are TSA approved.

What you should consider: This is a very pricey rollaboard.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top high-end carry-on luggage for the money

Travelpro Platinum Elite 22-Inch Expandable Carry-On Rollaboard

Travelpro Platinum Elite 22-Inch Expandable Carry-On Rollaboard

What you need to know: This carry-on has a dedicated power bank pocket and an external USB port at the top.

What you’ll love: This high-end expandable carry-on’s tapered expansion seam is tip resistant and adds up to 2 inches of packing capacity. The lightweight fabric is water and stain resistant. The built-in fold-out suiter keeps clothes free of wrinkles. The Powerscope extension handle has four adjustable stop points for better control. This high-end carry-on’s smooth ball-bearing wheels are sealed for added durability.

What you should consider: The power bank is not included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

TUMI Alpha 3 Expandable 22-Inch Carry-On Rollaboard

TUMI Alpha 3 Expandable 22-Inch Carry-On Rollaboard

What you need to know: This lightweight high-end carry-on is made of durable ballistic nylon with molded impact-resistant side panels and bumper rails.

What you’ll love: The telescoping handle is made of impact-absorbing aircraft-grade aluminum. The interior of this high-end carry-on has split case zip entry compartments with u-zip pockets for easy access. The Tumi Tracer program’s scannable barcode helps find lost or stolen luggage. This high-end carry-on has an integrated power bank port and a dual compartment TSA lock.

What you should consider: The power bank is sold separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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