What’s in your bag can make it heavy enough, and hauling around a heavy carry on can add to any preexisting travel frustrations. You are not alone – many people are fed up with carrying around heavy, bulky luggage and are looking for some addition by subtraction. Buying the lightest carry on luggage available is a great way to make your traveling just a bit easier.
Yes most carry ons have wheels, and frankly, we can’t imagine what life was like before that. However, even wheeled luggage can be heavy. Heavy to pull around, pick up, put in a trunk, take out of a trunk, put on the TSA line, take it down, raise it above your head and fitting it in the overhead compartment, etc. Below are 5 great lightweight carry on luggage choices in order of lightest to heaviest. You’ll notice that several brands below are among some of the best luggage brands. Disclaimer: This is not in order of best to worst, just lightest to heaviest – they are all excellent bags and we encourage you to buy the one that has what you need and looks the best to you. If you’re about to fly, make sure you check out our carry on luggage size chart to ensure you’re within your airline’s carry on size restrictions.
Carry on luggage tends to weighs 9 pounds on average. Our list ranges between 4 – 6.5 pounds, and offers excellent bag options to help you out if you’re trying to save a few precious pounds. The first thing to understand is that you can’t have everything. The same bag cannot be the lightest luggage AND the most durable luggage. In order to save on weight, there is a sacrifice with some of the materials. Luggage companies, when creating a light-weight carry on luggage line, may use a thinner nylon or polyester material instead of a polycarbonate hard shell that has proven to be much more durable. Soft shell luggage can still be heavy/durable when they use thicker material for added protection. So there is a caveat when deciding that a lighter bag is priority number one – and that is that there has to be a small sacrifice with durability when compared to bags that are a few pounds heavier. If a few pounds doesn’t make a difference to you, by all means, look into something a little more durable.
It doesn’t get much lighter than this. Head and shoulders above the soft-sided competition, as far as weight goes. This is a luggage company completely dedicated to making what they call “The World’s Lightest Luggage.” They have trademarked that phrase as well as others like “Megalite” and “Frameless” which go to show you that these people set out to target a market and they mean business! Their line of carry ons are 22” high and only weigh 4 pounds. To achieve their ultimate lightweight status they used high-tensile polyester and a frame from fiberglass instead of metal. This bag is fairly thin, obviously, but the reviews are in and most owners of this bag are pleasantly surprised with how durable the piece is despite its very thin material/frame structural. If you’re looking for the lightest soft-sided luggage, this is what you should get. However if you want something with some added protection found in a hard case, we invite you to take a peak at the Samsonite Cosmolite Black Label carry on featured below.
This model is the 2nd generation, building upon feedback that IT Luggage received from their first generation carry on. The 1st generation model is no longer available. The good news is that this 2nd gen model is cheaper than the original. You should be able buy this bag anywhere for under $50.
Not to be outdone by IT Luggage, Samsonite has developed what could be the “lightest carry on in the world” killer. The Cosmolite also only weighs an astonishing 4 pounds, and is a hardsided spinner carryon. The Cosmolite Black Label line that Samsonite offers is slightly pricier than most Samsonite suitcases, but if you’re looking for the best lightweight hard luggage, this is well worth the money because of its durability and style. We love that Samsonite offers this carry on in 5 different colors and a unique shell-shaped design.
Samsonite’s patented Curve technology allows them to create the lightest hard-sided carry on ever. The 20.5″ carry on we’re talking about is the smallest in a family of Cosmolite pieces also offered in a 27.5″ and a 31.5″, all featuring Curve technology. Check out the video below for more information on the Cosmolite carry on.
They got the spelling wrong, but the product very right. This bag comes in several different styles and colors, which is why the weight can range from 4.8-7 pounds. This bag has some good things going for it – very low price, lightweight, and quality craftsmanship. With over 127 reviews and counting on Amazon, the average rating on this bag is 4.5/5. The telescoping handles extend to 2 different lengths to suit tall and short travelers alike. Why stop at only using this bag for traveling? Because of how light it is, many owners have found new ways to repurpose their bag for carrying books to school, or even grocery trips.
The weight savings on this bag comes from the polyester fabric. This is another solid pick with a variety of colors and patterns making this bag easily identifiable, however there aren’t really any interior pockets – just exterior. The inside is pretty basic, but let’s be honest – sacrifices must be made when it comes to making a 5 pound piece of luggage.
At The Luggage List, we LOVE Tumi – especially Tumi carry ons. They make an exceptional line of luggage, so we were thrilled to see that they offer a carry on that only weighs 5.4 pounds. This bag is made from 100% lightweight nylon making it one of the lightest carry on luggage pieces available. Tumi bags tend to be a little more expensive than the average luggage brand, but people absolutely love them because of the consistency of quality. Users raved about the leather trim accents including on the handle. The only downside reported by anyone in our findings, is that it has 2 wheels instead of 4 – so you don’t get that “360 degree motion.” But you can’t blame Tumi for that since you can see pictures before you buy…
This is technically the heaviest piece on our carry on list of lightweight carry on luggage, but we still give it our seal of approval. Weighing in at 6.5 pounds, it is still lower than the average carry on weight. The polyester that it is made from is very durable and Amazon users have given come together to give it an average rating of 4.6/5. This should in almost all airplane overhead compartments, but a couple users did express a little frustration that it actually measures 23” including the wheels which did give them a problem. So if you want to be certain this will fit in the airline you may be flying with, check with the airline’s website.
We hope we made it easier for you in your quest to find the best and lightest carry on luggage. Keep an eye out for the weight of any luggage piece. Any product page on a decent retail website will list the bag’s dimensions along with the weight. Carry on pieces will usually weight around 9 pounds, so anything within the 4-7 pound range is where you’ll find lightweight carry on luggage. As always, check the Amazon reviews for yourself to get more individual reports from bag owners.