3 Favorite Carry-On Bags

A 22-inch carry-on is essential for most travelers. They have the capacity to carry what you need for a week, plus you can store them easily on planes and trains. With a couple of these bags, you can roll them or throw ’em on your shoulder, and all of these are made with durable yet lightweight materials.

Osprey — Ozone Convertible

OspreyOzoneConvertible28When you’re dragging a large, rolling duffel through an airport, it helps if you can shoulder your smaller carry-on bag. That’s why we like convertible packs like the Ozone, which has a full backpack harness that stashes away in a zippered compartment. We really liked how the harness adjusts easily—just peel apart a broad patch of Velcro, slide the harness up or down to fit your torso and then re-attach the Velcro. Couldn’t be easier. Even with a harness, this pack is pretty nimble, thanks to the lightweight frame and the 210-denier nylon fabric. For travel, the bag includes zip-off daypack (with a padded laptop compartment), plus lots of organizational pockets in the main bag, including a zippered top pocket where you can stash a boarding pass and other things you need to keep handy. $300

Eagle Creek EC LyncEagle Creek — EC Lync 22

In a couple of minutes, you can remove the wheels and frame of the EC Lync to transform it into a pack. This gives you two types of bags with one purchase, plus the EC Lync takes up less storage space than a traditional bag when it’s disassembled. While we like the bag’s versatility, we also dig that it’s super lightweight and still has the important elements we look for in travel luggage. Weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces, the 22-inch bag is outfitted with large wheels, a full-sized telescoping handle, a tough outer fabric and plenty of pockets to organize our stuff. Keep in mind that you’ll want to hold onto the bag’s storage sack, because it has good visual direction on how to assemble the bag, and you can use it to hold all of the pieces of the frame when it disassembled. $259.95

Gregory — Cache 22

Gregory Cache22The handle on the Cache 22 runs along the outer edges of the bag rather than the middle, eliminating the space-hogging bump we often see inside bags. Plus, the extra-wide handle keeps the bag stable when you’re negotiating bumpy sidewalks in southern Mexico. It’s not the lightest carry-on, but it’s burly, with a hard shell back panel, beefy (but soft) carry handles and a body of ballistic nylon. Inside, there’s a large compartment and two handy zipped compartments. The smaller of the two zipped pockets is all nylon fabric, so we used it for toiletries that could leak. The larger zipped pocket has mesh flap, so it held small extras, like skivvies, scarves and hats. $299

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