A Guide to Choosing the Best Carry-On Bag for a Woman

best carry-on bag for a woman reviewsEither you are traveling long-distance or going on a short local trip, getting the best carry-on bag for a woman is a must. There are many types of bags for women to choose from, but those of us who travel a lot have already given their hearts to wheeled carry-on cases. Mobility, lightness in weight, compactness, and style – these are the most important factors that make women choose such bags over bulky full-size luggage. Besides, it is always better than a backpack, handbag or a tote bag, because it provides better safekeeping of your belongings.

Our list of six best women’s carry-on bags will be useful for both experienced travelers and first-timers. We have selected the best products in terms of style, practicality, compactness, and capacity. These carry-on bags are definitely worthy of your attention.

In our review you will find the answers on the following questions:

  • What is the best carry-on luggage for women?
  • What types of bags for women are out there?
  • Which is the best luggage brand?
  • What is the best carry-on luggage for business travelers?
  • And much more.

So let’s start with the brief overview of the most popular products.

ProductDimensions (HxWxD)WeightType of shellWheels 
Delsey Carry on Spinner
(Editor’s Choice)
20.25 x 14.25 x 9.5 inches20.25 x 14.25 x 9.5 inchesPolycarbonate4 spinners with dual wheels Check Price
Kenneth Cole Reaction Carry-On Luggage21.8 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches6.88 lbsABS plastic4 spinner wheels Check Price
American Tourister Moonlight Spinner22 x 15 x 9.5 inches7.3 lbsABS / polycarbonate alloy4 spinner wheels Check Price
Ricardo Beverly Hills Wheelaboard
(Editor’s Choice)
16 x 14 x 8 inches6 lbsSemi-rigid shell with textile exterior4 spinners with dual wheels Check Price
BEBE Women's Carry-on Bag16.5 x 16 x 9 inches4.85 lbsSoft-sided2 wheels Check Price
Kipling Women's Wheeled Luggage22 x 14 x 9.5 inches6.33 lbsSoft-sided (nylon)4 spinners Check Price

1. Delsey Luggage Chatelet Hard+ 21 Inch Carry on 4 Wheel Spinner – A Professional Women’s Carry-On Luggage With Wheels

best luxury luggage brands reviewsEver wondered what is the best spinner luggage for a woman? We might have found the answer. The Chatalet 21-inch carry-on bag from Delsey is designed for women who want to travel with style. It comes in two colors – champagne and chocolate with brown faux leather details. A textured polycarbonate shell is durable and impact-resistant. Streamlined design, accentuated by curved contrasting lines and a minimalist logo communicates class and unparalleled taste.

The bag features four casters with double wheels that ensure stable, smooth and silent rolling. Front wheels can be immobilized by pressing a button near the handle to prevent the luggage from rolling uncontrolled on smooth or sloped surfaces. This is a unique feature that can hardly be found in conventional carry-ons.

There are no pockets on the exterior, but the inner space is thoughtfully organized. It features two compartments separated from each other by a mesh divider and a textile divider with two flat pockets. One of the compartments features tie-down straps to keep clothes in place. Women traveling on business might also appreciate a hanger that comes along with the case.

The manufacturer also took care to provide maximal security of the bag’s contents. The bag features a TSA-approved code lock, which a Transportation Security agent can unlock if needed without having to break it open.

Features:

  1. Rigid polycarbonate case.
  2. Four casters with double wheels.
  3. Pull-out handle.
  4. Two carrying handles.
  5. Two compartments and a side pocket.
  6. Garment tie-down straps.
  7. Lockable zipper.
  8. Front wheel brakes.
  9. Weighs 9.3 pounds.
  10. Available in 2 colors.
Pros
  • Stylish and classy. Perfect for women who need a professional-looking suitcase for business trips.
  • More stable than other spinner bags thanks to dual-wheeled spinners and lockable front wheels.
  • Easy to maneuver with.
  • Well-organized compartments with functional dividers.
  • The durable shell protects the contents from all kinds of impacts.
  • Excellent craftsmanship with attention to detail.
  • Features an FSA-approved lock.
Cons
  • Comparatively heavy.

Verdict

This 4-wheel spinner bag is a great choice for women who value style and practicality. It features two well-organized compartments enclosed in a rigid and classy-looking polycarbonate shell. This suitcase is maneuverable and easy to control. It is also guaranteed to safe keep your belongings even if you have to check it for a flight. In spite of the compact size, it weighs more than average-sized carry-on bags.

2. Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 20″ Spinner Carry-On Luggage – A Women’s Rolling Luggage for Business Travel

women's rolling luggage reviewsA rigid suitcase (either a full-size luggage or a carry-on) is always a better choice for a frequent traveler. Women who travel on business often need to bring along laptop computers, documents, and files that should better be protected by a hard shell of a suitcase. That is why this spinner bag from Kenneth Cole Reaction has made it to the second position on our list.

The suitcase opens to one large compartment for clothes and other essentials. It also contains a large pocket for a computer or valuables and a zipped modesty pocket. Criss-cross stretchy straps are designed to hold the garments in place and help reduce wrinkling. The bag rests on four spinners that provide excellent mobility and maneuverability with minimal effort on your side.

This model comes in 10 stylish colors to suit the tastes of different women. A zipper, corner moldings, casters and a handle remain black in all variations.

Many people avoid hard-shell bags because of their seemingly large weight. However, this is not true with this bag. It is fairly light and will not contribute much to the total weight of your carry-on luggage.

Features:

  1. Rigid case.
  2. Four casters.
  3. Pull-out handle.
  4. Two carrying handles – on a side and on the top.
  5. Two compartments and a side pocket.
  6. Garment fixation straps.
  7. Weighs 6.88 pounds.
  8. Available in 10 colors.
Pros
  • Made of rigid ABS plastic with reinforced corners that provide improved protection of the contents.
  • Maneuverable, easy to push, pull and carry.
  • Well-organized inner space.
  • Scratch-resistant exterior.
  • Requires minimal care. Dirt can be easily wiped off the surface.
  • The shell will not sag or deform with time.
Cons
  • The built-in handle takes up much of the inner space, so this bag is not as capacious as it appears to be.

Verdict

The Kenneth Cole Reaction carry-on bag is a great solution for business travelers. Thanks to the 360-degree rotating wheels it is maneuverable and easy to push. The interior is rather organized and meets the needs of modern women. However, because of the built-in handle, the available space is more narrow than might be expected.

3. American Tourister Moonlight Spinner 21 – The Best Carry-On Bag For Plane Travel

best carry-on bag for plane reviewsIf you are a fan of hard-shell travelling cases, you should definitely consider the American Tourister Moonlight spinner bag. The case is made of a durable composition of ABS plastic and polycarbonate. It is available in several designs for women and teenagers. One of the most feminine designs features a textured rose-gold exterior with black details.

The case rests on four spinner wheels that provide a smooth ride and excellent maneuverability. A retractable locking handle and two carry-handles offer versatile handling options. Quite capacious as is, the case can extend by 1.5 inches to provide even more space to fit all the travel essentials into.

The solid case has only one book-style opening that reveals two compartments separated from each other by a mesh divider. There is also a small side-pocket where you can keep valuables which you don’t want to expose. A high-quality textile lining makes the case look as stylish on the inside as on the outside.

The case is completed with durable branded hardware designed to withstand rough use and numerous openings and closures. Zippers feature eyelets to accommodate a security lock (not included).

Features:

  1. Rigid ABS/polycarbonate case.
  2. Four spinner wheels.
  3. Pull-out locking handle.
  4. Two carry-handles.
  5. Two compartments and a side pocket.
  6. Tie-down straps.
  7. Weighs 8.2 pounds.
  8. Available in 8 designs.
Pros
  • The capacious case with well-thought-out garment organization system.
  • Stylish exterior and interior.
  • Maneuverable single-wheel spinners.
  • The extendable case provides more packing space when needed.
  • Lockable zippers.
Cons
  • The case is a little too heavy for fragile women.

Verdict

The American Tourister Moonlight spinner bag might be a great investment for frequent travelers. It is durable, capacious, organized and incredibly stylish. This rolling carry-on is easy to handle and offers hassle-free maneuvering through airport passages and along the airplane aisles. Although it is made of a lightweight alloy of ABS and polycarbonate, it is still quite heavy as for an overhead luggage.

4. Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista 4 Wheel Expandable Wheelaboard – A Stylish Women’s Weekend Bag with Wheels

women's weekend bag with wheels reviewsThis undersized spinner bag will definitely meet carry-on size restrictions of most airlines. The bag itself is 17 inches tall and even with the spinner wheels and a handle it does not exceed 21 inches. At the same time, it can accommodate a decent amount of clothes, toiletries, gadgets and other women’s necessities.

The main compartment features two mesh pockets and a tight pocket for a laptop computer. Another mesh pocket with a zipper closure is located along the inner side of a bag. Two exterior pockets provide convenient storage for paperwork, tickets and other essentials. A bottle pocket on a side will help you free your hands.

The spinners feature dual plastic wheels that enable effortless rolling in all directions, even when the bag is fully loaded. A rubberized easy-grip handle can be pulled out to multiple positions to suit different heights. There is also a sewn-in lifting handle on the top.

The Mar Vista bag from Ricardo Beverly Hills is designed specifically with women’s needs in mind. It features an ever-stylish purple paisley design that will make you stand out from the crowd. A semi-rigid case with a high-quality textile exterior offers optimal protection of the contents without making the luggage too heavy.

Features:

  1. Semi-rigid case.
  2. Four spinners with double wheels.
  3. Collapsible handle and a carrying handle.
  4. 3 exterior pockets.
  5. 4 interior pockets.
  6. Paisley design.
  7. Lockable main compartment.
  8. Weighs 6 pounds.
Pros
  • This case is more compact than standard carry-ons, so you will never have to worry about it meeting the size guidelines.
  • Eye-catching design.
  • Snap-button stopping straps prevent the cover from opening all the way, providing access only to the contents of flat pockets.
  • Perfect weight for women.
  • A rubberized handle provides convenient grip.
  • Improved stability thanks to double-wheeled spinners.
  • High-quality textiles and craftsmanship.
Cons
  • Slightly less capacious than most of the standard carry-on.

Verdict

This bag is great for women who travel a lot to various destinations, both inside the country and internationally. Carry-on regulatory standards vary from airline to airline, but this bag will meet most of them. Predictably, it provides less space to fit things in that other similar bags. Women might appreciate its maneuverability, lightness, and ease of handling.

5. BEBE Women’s Valentina-Wheeled Under the Seat Carry-on Bag – The Best Weekend Carry-On Bag for Women

ultra lightweight luggage reviewsIf you prefer keeping a bag under an airplane seat rather than in an overhead luggage bin, this compact wheeled carry-on is worth your attention. It will easily fit under the seat in most airplanes allowing you to access your items at any time without disturbing other passengers.

This bag has a semi-rigid frame and a textile shell. It holds its shape very well even when empty, but can be squeezed to fit into tight areas if needed. The bag features the telescoping T-shaped handle and a padded carrying handle. Women will appreciate its lightness in weight and smoothly rolling wheels. This carry-on is compact enough to be wheeled even along the aisle in an airplane.

Organized women will appreciate numerous pockets and compartments in this bag. It features three exterior pockets on the front, one on the back and two side pockets. Access to the main compartment is enabled through a drop-front zipped closure. The inner space is organized with numerous pockets and sections that enable quick and easy access to the items inside.

Features:

  1. Semi-rigid case.
  2. Two wheels.
  3. Collapsible handle and a carrying handle.
  4. 6 exterior pockets.
  5. 4 interior pockets.
  6. Available in 2 designs.
Pros
  • This bag can fit under the seat and help you stay away from fights over the overhead bin space.
  • Designed with plentiful pockets and compartments for organized traveling.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • The bag can be secured on top of a larger piece of luggage via Velcro straps on the back.
  • Stylish floral design adored by many women.
Cons
  • The wheels do not rotate, so a bag can only be rolled back and forth.

Verdict

This compact and lightweight carry-on bag can become a great traveling companion for women and girls. In spite of its small size, it is rather capacious and well-organized. It is perfect for travelling with little children. Although it does not qualify as a personal item, this carry-on can be kept under the seat during the flight.

6. Kipling Women’s Darcey Small Solid Wheeled Luggage – A Women’s Cabin Suitcase with Soft Sides

soft sided luggage with wheels reviewsAs much as we, women, appreciate compact bags, sometimes we need something more capacious. Checking the baggage in and claiming it after landing is a procedure we all try to avoid as much as possible. If you are thinking the same, then this bag from Kipling Darcey might be something you need. It is the largest of all women’s carry-on travel bags on our list. It will definitely accommodate all the things you will need on an up to one-week trip.

The main compartment features two straps to hold your clothes in place. It is rather deep and does not have any dividers. The zipper is lockable for safekeeping of your belongings (the lock is not included). Two exterior pockets on the front can accommodate smaller things that you need to keep close at hand.

This bag does not have a rigid frame (except in the back, where a collapsible handle is attached), therefore it is exceptionally lightweight. The collapsible handle can be locked in two positions for convenient transportation. Four rubberized casters provide excellent mobility on all types of surfaces.

Features:

  1. Soft-sided nylon case.
  2. Four casters.
  3. Collapsible handle and two carrying handles.
  4. Two exterior pockets.
  5. Lockable compartment.
  6. Available in 9 colors.
Pros
  • This bag is very lightweight and easy for women to carry.
  • The main compartment is deep enough to fit an extensive collection of clothes, makeup and other women’s essentials into.
  • Soft sides allow you to overstuff a bag if needed.
  • On the other hand, it gets more compact when not full.
  • Nylon exterior is rather durable and easy to clean.
Cons
  • If overstuffed, this bag might not fall within the guidelines of some airline companies regarding carry-ons.
  • Soft sides cannot protect the contents from getting wrinkled or squished.

Verdict

The Kipling Darcey women’s soft travel bag is a great solution for those who need a lightweight piece of luggage. It is more capacious than most other carry-on bags, partially because it is soft-sided and can be packed beyond its listed capacity. However, that might cause troubles, since airlines have rather strict requirements regarding carry-ons. In most cases, this bag will pass, but checking with the guidelines of each particular company beforehand would be a smart thing to do.

Buyer’s Guide: What is the Best Carry-On Bag for a Woman?

The abundance of brands, styles, sizes and designs can very well make your head spin. There are so many fancy bags for women that it’s hard to find a truly worthwhile one. So we are here to give you some advice on how to choose the best ladies’ carry-on luggage that will become your best travelling companion.

4 Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice

Getting a proper carry-on bag is a significant contribution to stress-free traveling.

  1. What size suitcase fits in an overhead bin?

Checking the requirements is probably the most important thing you can do to reduce stress while traveling. If your carry-on meets the size restrictions it will take you less time to board a plane and guarantee that you will not have to check it and pay extra fees. The trickiest part is to find a versatile case that will meet the guidelines of the majority of airlines which you are going to travel with. So it is a good practice to check the regulatory information before purchasing a carry-on.

  1. Choose the type of shell.

Carry-on suitcases can be either hard-sided or soft-sided. Both types have their pros and cons.

soft luggage vs hard luggage reviews

Soft-sided cases are usually more lightweight and flexible. With fewer things inside a soft bag can be squeezed under a seat or in a stuffed overhead bin. On the other hand, you can fit a little bit more into such a bag because any fabric can stretch to some extent. For the same reason soft bags are less preferable if you need to carry breakable items or electronics. They do not provide any protection and besides, even the clothes will come out more wrinkled. When it comes to choosing work bags for women, professionals recommend avoiding light solid colors, on which stains are especially visible. You cannot throw a wheeled bag into a washing machine, so keeping it neat and clean can become a real challenge.

Hard cases definitely look more stylish and professional. They can maintain your things safe and intact during travelling. However, unless the case has built-in extensions, you will not be able to squeeze an extra pair of shoes or a sweater into it once it is full. Besides, even a high-end suitcase made of lightweight alloys is substantially heavier than a soft bag. That might be a crucial point with the airlines that have strict weight limitations. Needless to say, hard-shell carry-on cases cost much more than soft ones.

These are just the two polarities available on the market. There are other options that might be more suitable for you. Some cases have semi-rigid walls, while in others only the front part is soft, still others may have way different configurations. It’s just the matter of taste and your personal idea of convenience.

  1. Choose between a two-wheeler and a spinner.

These two types of rolling carry-ons might seem the same, but there is an important difference between them. Spinner bags are equipped with four single or double wheels that spin 360 degrees. Such a design allows a suitcase to move easily in every direction, offering you excellent maneuverability. A four-wheeler can stand upright without support, so you can enjoy more freedom. In a crowded airport or airplane aisle you can effortlessly roll a spinner by your side or in front of you. With a two-wheeler you inevitably have to put some distance between yourself and a luggage and that may not always be possible. So if a spinner is your choice, here is one more thing you need to consider.

Double wheels provide more stability and reduce a chance of the suitcase tipping over or getting stuck if a wheel catches a crack. Other things being equal, such a design is generally more preferable than single wheels.

Suitcases with two wheels perform better in the off-road conditions (gravel, grass, dirt, etc.), on cobblestones, curbs, pavement – basically everywhere outside an airport. If you are wondering what kind of luggage to take to Europe, a two-wheeler would be the best choice. Besides, recessed wheels do not add much to the total height of a carry-on. With equal dimensions a two-wheeler will have a greater packing capacity than a spinner. There are great products of both types, so your choice will largely depend on your personal preferences and traveling style.

  1. What is the best luggage brand?

There are many great brands out there and defining the best one is a subjective matter. Such companies as Delsey and American Tourister are considered among the best regarding quality and price of their products.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In today’s world traveling is an integral part of our lives. As men and women are getting more mobile, they need better and more efficient traveling assistants. A carry-on is probably the most important piece of luggage, especially for business travelers. That’s why getting a right one is so important. The best carry-on for women should be lightweight, easy to handle, compact yet capacious, well-organized and, of course, stylish.

We have selected 6 great products that meet all of the abovementioned criteria. You can choose one of them or look for something else. Aside from a carry-on, you can bring one personal item on board. Check out women’s travel totes, women’s professional handbags and cheap messenger bags for women to find the best match for your carry-on. You can also continue searching to find the best tips on how to pack a tote bag. With the advice provided in the buyer’s guide, you will definitely find a perfect carry-on bag.

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