Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite carry on bags.
I remember a discussion I had once with fellow cruisers who were taking 7+ suitcases on their trip; On the same trip, my family of five was traveling for 10 days with 2 full-sized suitcases and a carryon.
We like to travel light. That said, have you flown with little ones? If so, you know in an instant that the difference between a nearly enjoyable flight versus a nightmare may come down to being prepared.
For us, “being prepared” doesn’t mean bringing everything except the kitchen sink but rather a few carefully chosen toys or activities and snacks. We have flown dozens of times with 2-3 kids ages newborn to 7, and these are the things we’ve found worth considering when finding your next carry-on:
- the right size. Of course, be sure to check your airline’s carry-on size guidelines, especially with recent rumors of industry standard change. Beyond that though, make sure that the bag you choose is one that can be comfortably carried by whoever will do most of the carrying. Backpacks are versatile but need to be the right size (and a decent quality) in order to not cause pain as you carry them throughout airports, sometimes long distances
- soft vs hard side. Hardshell luggage is generally considered more durable (both in their ability to last and the ability to protect fragile items inside). It’s more often waterproof, and easier to clean. Softsided luggage stretches and squishes a bit for increased flexibility. There are more options for accessible outside storage compartments.
- type and number of wheels. If you aren’t carrying a backpack, you may want to consider luggage with wheels. Two-wheel options exist, but four wheels are more common (and in my opinion, much more versatile). They can add a bit of cost, but I am convinced after our first few sets of luggage with “spinner” wheels, we will not ever purchase a bag without.
- overall durability. Carry-ons get thrown around a lot, even if less than checked baggage. Read reviews and don’t be tempted by “deals” on off-brand bags. You don’t have to spend a ton, but don’t skimp if you want your purchase to last (and get to your destinations in one piece).
(Disclosure: some amazon affiliate links in use, but be sure to check ebags, etc for other great deals)
Here are some of our favorite carryon luggage choices:
UNDER SEAT BAGS
On most planes, every ticketed passenger can bring on one carry-on and one personal item. The personal item is generally a purse, etc that we tend to put under the seat in front of us; these bags are more like a suitcase but specifically designed for that same space.
We did a lot of research on backpacks for recent travel, because they tend to be more organized (and comfortable!) than many laptop cases, etc but there is a huge variety when it comes to size and shape. Note that travel backpacks differ from regular school or department store backpacks with extra support straps for added weight, full openings to load like a suitcase, etc.
We most recently purchased the Osprey Questa but were really happily considering any of the following:
We have not personally traveled with any of these, but I’m so intrigued 🙂 The following come highly rated and reviewed from not only Amazon but our local REI folks:
We are partial to Lands End and Pottery Barn Kids backpacks because of variety and durability. Whatever brand you choose, look for padded straps and make sure the child tries it on. When traveling, comfort (and therefore perhaps slightly less complaining) far outweighs cute characters! 🙂
Don’t forget, while we’re talking family travel – you can almost always check carseats, strollers, etc not only at the gate but as checked baggage, for free without counting toward your bag allowance. Double check with your airline of course, but we’ve never had any trouble!
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Black | Best Carry On Bags Loop:
- 1sr Stop – The Delightful Life | YOU ARE HERE! 🙂
- 2nd Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Best Carry On to Get Through Airport Security
- 3rd Stop – Ashley Aspires | Overpackers Guide to Carry Ons
- 4th Stop – Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze | How to Pack Everything for a Disney Trip Into One Bag
- 5th Stop – Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere | Disney Cruise Line Day Bag