Best Carry On Luggage Under $100

By Ariya
Last Updated: September 8, 2023
Best Carry On Luggage Under 100

Key Takeaways

  • Quality carry-on luggage can be found even with a budget under $100.
  • Durability and reliable construction are top priorities when choosing affordable options.
  • Many budget-friendly carry-ons offer essential features like spinner wheels and expandable compartments.
  • Size variation exists in affordable carry-ons, but ensuring compliance with airline restrictions is essential.
  • Prioritize personal travel needs when evaluating features and design.

Navigating the vast world of luggage can be overwhelming, especially when trying to get the best bang for your buck. But guess what? You don’t have to sacrifice quality to stay under budget. The best carry-on luggage under 100 bucks exists, and they hold up for any trip.

In this article, we’ll explore some awe-inspiring options that are both easy on the eyes and the wallet. Expect to find pieces that boast durability, sleek design, and clever spaces for everything you need on the go.

Are Carry-on Suitcases Under $100 Worth It?

Traveling can be pricey. So when I came across carry-on bags under $100, I raised an eyebrow. Could they really handle the hustle and bustle of jet-setting? To my delight, these budget-friendly finds were more than just a pretty design.

They’re spot-on in size, making fitting into those overhead compartments a breeze. And the style? Totally chic without breaking the bank.

Now, let’s talk features. Those flimsy zippers you might expect? Not here. These bags come with sturdy zippers that don’t give up on you. And those exterior pockets are a lifesaver for quick grabs. Expandable compartments are another bonus, especially when you have too many souvenirs.

Of course, while they’re affordable, they may not feel as luxurious as some high-end options. But for short jaunts, they’re more than up to the task. There’s a broad range to pick from, be it hardshell or soft designs.

Just remember to do your homework and compare. That way, you snag the best deal. From personal trips with my budget-friendly carry-on, I can vouch—they’re worth every penny when chosen right. It’s all about smart shopping and knowing what you need.

What To Consider When Buying A Carry-on luggage under $100

Picking the right piece of luggage without splashing too much cash can feel like a game. But it doesn’t have to be hard. With a few key considerations, you can snag the perfect carry-on that’s light on your back and your wallet.


The first thing? Size matters. It’s essential to get a bag that meets the typical airline requirements, which hovers around 22 x 14 x 9 inches or 45 linear inches. This ensures your luggage snuggly fits in the overhead compartments, and you won’t face any surprises at the check-in counter.


Here’s the deal with weight: you want your luggage to be light. A lightweight bag means you get more space to pack those travel essentials without going over the airline’s limit. But you’ll also want a balance. A bag that’s too light might not withstand the rigors of travel, so aim for something between 5-7 pounds.


Have you ever tried rushing through a crowded airport? Trust me, it’s easier with a bag that has 360-degree spinner wheels. These wheels allow for smooth moves, no matter how packed the space is.


From zippered pockets for your tiny items to telescopic handles for a comfy grip, features make the difference. Expandable zippers can be a lifesaver when you’ve shopped a bit too much. But remember, with great space comes great responsibility – it’s easy to overpack! Personally, I lean towards TSA-approved locks over expandable features. Keeping my stuff safe is a top priority, and I’ve learned the hard way about overpacking!


You’d want your cheap suitcase to last, right? That’s where durability steps in. Look for luggage made from sturdy stuff like ABS or polycarbonate. And those zippered compartments? Ensure solid zippers back them. Whether you’re a fan of hardside luggage for its protective shell or softside luggage for its flexibility, ensure it’s built to resist scratches and everyday wear. Some even come with extended warranties, a sign they’re built to last.

Related: Hardside vs. Softside Luggage: Which Is Better For You?


Lastly, let’s talk style. Whether you’re into bold, trendy designs or classic colors, there’s something for everyone. Hard-shell or soft-shell, the choice is yours. I once picked a vibrant hardside luggage that held all my items and made a statement weaving through the airport.

Top Picks for the Best Carry-On Luggage Under $100

Best OverallSamsonite Omni PC Hardside Luggage Carry-On 20-InchJump to Review
Best BudgetAmazon Basics Hardside Luggage Carry-on 21-inchJump to Review
Best ValueTravelers Club Chicago Hardside Luggage 20″ Carry-OnJump to Review
Best HardsideKenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 20-Inch Carry-OnJump to Review
Best SoftsideSwissGear Sion Softside Luggage Carry-On 21-inchJump to Review
Best StyleKensie Women’s Alma Hardside Luggage Carry-On 20-InchJump to Review
Most DurableSamsonite Aspire DLX Softside Luggage Carry-On 20-InchJump to Review
Best With
USB Charging Port
Wrangler 20″ Smart Spinner Carry-On LuggageJump to Review

Best Overall:

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Luggage Carry-On 20-Inch

Observing the Samsonite Omni PC, I was immediately drawn to the array of 12 color options available. Particularly, the Caribbean Blue was a personal favorite, standing out vibrantly amidst the typical shades. With the 20-inch variant weighing just 6.8 pounds, this piece is the perfect size for the frequent traveler who values mobility without compromising style.

Construction and Materials

One key feature that instantly caught my attention is the luggage’s 100% polycarbonate construction. This promises durability, and with the micro-diamond polycarbonate texture, the case is scratch-resistant, ensuring it remains looking fresh even after numerous trips. The book opening case design, reminiscent of a clamshell, enhances accessibility, which could be especially appealing to travelers.

Interior and Organization

Inside, the mesh pockets and divider feel thoughtfully placed, offering that extra organization often needed on bustling trips. The cross straps in the main compartment further ensure clothes remain neatly in place. The expansion zipper is another thoughtful addition, providing that extra space for last-minute packing or irresistible souvenirs.


The side-mounted TSA locks offer peace of mind, ensuring your belongings are secure and accessible for TSA checks. What particularly intrigued me were the four, multi-directional oversized spinner wheels. They promise ease of movement, and I can picture effortlessly gliding through airport terminals.


With a 10-year warranty, it’s evident that Samsonite believes in the durability of the Omni PC. Given its key features, this luggage offers a blend of style, functionality, and affordability, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for quality. If the handle design and the overall sturdiness are anything to go by, this piece may become a frequent traveler’s best companion.

Best Budget:

Amazon Basics Hardside Luggage Carry-on 21-inch

At a mere 6.9 pounds, the Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner Luggage is more about functionality than turning heads at the airport. Available in two color options, this luggage is designed for budget-conscious travelers who value durability and functionality over the latest fashion trends.

Construction and Materials

Crafted from a durable polycarbonate material, this luggage is built to withstand the rough and tumble of both domestic and international travel. It’s not just another name in a long list of luggage brands; it offers a balance of robust construction and affordability.

Interior and Organization

With an interior capacity of 39 liters, I was amazed by this suitcase’s ample space. The 150D-polyester interior organizer with its three zippered pockets was a lifesaver on my business trip to Chicago, ensuring my essentials stayed in place and was easily accessible. And for those last-minute shopping sprees or unexpected extras, the luggage can expand up to 15% more, ensuring everything fits snugly.


The four double-spinning wheels made navigating airports and city sidewalks a breeze. I particularly enjoyed the built-in TSA lock – an invaluable feature that adds an extra layer of security, negating the need for a separate lock purchase. The compression pad inside is a thoughtful addition, helping free up space and ensuring items remain in place.


While the product details don’t specify the exact warranty duration, judging by its build and my experience, I’m confident it will last. As someone always looking for affordable options without compromising quality, the Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner Luggage has solidified its place as a top choice. Whether you’re off on a business trip or embarking on international travel, this is a durable option that promises ample space without breaking the bank.

Best Value:

Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Luggage 20″ Carry-On

The Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable Spinner Luggage immediately stands out with its sleek design and a palette of nine vibrant colors, including an eye-catching purple. Weighing in at a nimble 5.6 pounds, it effortlessly marries style, function, and affordability.

Construction and Materials

Its 100% ABS hardshell exterior promises resilience against the rigors of travel. I’ve had my fair share of luggage mishaps, and the robustness of this piece instills confidence.

Interior and Organization

A fully lined interior with an accessory pocket meets all organizational needs. The expandability feature comes as a boon for those unexpected shopping detours.


Navigating through bustling airports is a breeze with the double spinner wheels, complemented by the push-button recessed handle. The TSA-approved combination lock is an added layer of security I genuinely appreciate.


The Travelers Club Chicago Hardside luggage, stands out in a market flooded with options. It’s a blend of sturdiness, lightweight design, and timeless aesthetics—all at a wallet-friendly price. It’s a reliable companion for the modern traveler, perfect for weekend jaunts or business trips.

Best Hardside:

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 20-Inch Carry-On

Navigating through the 13 vibrant color options, I was instantly drawn to scarlet red—a color that screams confidence and elegance to me. Lightweight at 6.25 pounds, this suitcase is tangible proof that one doesn’t have to compromise style for convenience.

Construction and Materials

Crafted meticulously from robust ABS, this suitcase radiates durability while promising scratch resistance. After having my share of travel fiascos with dinged luggage, this piece’s molded corner guard reinforcements felt like a reassuring pat on the back, ensuring longevity amidst travel’s unpredictability.

Interior and Organization

Unzipping its clamshell design felt like unveiling a treasure of organized space. The fully-lined main compartment welcomes with a substantial U-shaped zipper pocket. And trust me, when you’re trying to fit in that extra pair of shoes or a souvenir, those compression straps come in handier than you’d think.


Being constantly on the go, I cherish efficiency, and this suitcase doesn’t disappoint. Its 4-wheel multi-directional spinners are a boon, especially when you’re late for a flight or just weaving through a bustling airport. Plus, the push-button retractable handle, stretching up to 41 inches, ensures you’re not compromising your posture, no matter the hurry.


With a limited lifetime warranty accompanying this piece, it’s clear that Kenneth Cole Reaction is not just selling a product but also peace of mind.

This suitcase isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about blending functionality with style while being gentle on your wallet. This might be your match if you’re searching for a reliable travel ally that mirrors your penchant for timeless design.

Best Softside:

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage Carry-On 21-inch

Navigating airports is challenging enough without bulky luggage slowing me down. With SwissGear’s Sion Softside Luggage, I’m always on the go. Weighing in at a mere 8 pounds and available in various shades – though I’m partial to the timeless dark grey and black – it’s a carry-on that seamlessly marries style and substance.

Construction and Materials

I’ve had my fair share of luggage mishaps while hopping from one city to another. But this suitcase, draped in scuff-resistant polyester fabric, holds its own against rough handling and conveyor belts. It’s a resilient companion, looking as pristine at the end of a trip as it did at the start.

Interior and Organization

I’ve always been an over-packer, but with the SwissGear Sion, I finally found room for everything. And that removable zippered wet bag? Perfect for those spontaneous beach trips or gym workouts. With its roomy insides and smart compartments, packing isn’t a chore; it’s an art form.


Zooming through terminals, the 360-degree multi-directional spinner wheels have proven to be game-changers. Quick-access items find a home in the multiple front panel pockets. And should I ever part ways with my luggage (heaven forbid), the built-in ID tag ensures we’re reunited swiftly.


SwissGear’s renowned quality assurance shines bright with this piece. While the exact warranty details might need some digging, SwissGear’s reputation in the market is reassuring.

In a world of skyrocketing luggage prices, the Sion Softside stands out, offering first-class features without the hefty price tag. This might be your next travel buddy if you’re like me, always looking for practical yet chic travel gear.

Best Style:

Kensie Women’s Alma Hardside Luggage Carry-On 20-Inch

As someone always looking for the perfect carry-on, the Kensie Women’s Alma Hardside Spinner instantly caught my eye. While its reputation precedes it as one of the most popular carry-ons among women, the Opal shade with golden accents truly won me over. Even though Rose Gold is a crowd-favorite, individuality has its charm. Tipping the scales at 7.5 pounds promises effortless mobility for those cross-city dashes.

Construction and Materials

Traveling is unpredictable; fortunately, Alma’s durable plastic construction isn’t. Withstanding those occasional bumps and knocks, it remains a testament to Kensie’s commitment to quality and resilience.

Interior and Organization

Inside, the fully lined chamber adorned with the kensie logo is a sight to behold. It’s not just about aesthetics; there’s a surprising amount of room to tuck away all those essentials. And for those inevitable shopping sprees, the expandability feature is a lifesaver, ensuring that nothing gets left behind.


Navigating through security is a breeze with the recessed TSA lock system. But what truly stands out are the multi-directional spinner wheels. During my recent 3-day getaway, darting through crowded terminals felt almost cinematic – smooth, agile, and with a touch of elegance.


Backed by the manufacturer’s warranty, the Kensie Alma doesn’t just rest on its good looks; it promises reliability and performance. This carry-on is a splendid choice for those seeking the perfect blend of style, functionality, and affordability (especially at its tempting sale price). Ready to turn heads and garner compliments, the Alma is more than just luggage; it’s a statement.

Related: How To Make Your Luggage Stand Out

Most Durable:

Samsonite Aspire DLX Softside Luggage Carry-On 20-Inch

If you’re anything like me, you know that luggage can be as much a fashion statement as a travel necessity. Enter the Kensie Women’s Alma Hardside Spinner – a top contender for the coveted title of the most sought-after carry-on for women. While most gravitate towards the Rose Gold, I’ve fallen for the Opal with its striking gold accents. Lightweight at 7.5 pounds, it’s ideal for quick weekend getaways.

Construction and Materials

Wanderlust often takes us off the beaten path, and for those adventures, this luggage’s robust plastic build is a boon. It gracefully handles the rough and tumble of travel, showcasing Kensie’s dedication to enduring design.

Interior and Organization

Upon unzipping, you’re greeted by a plush lining embossed with the Kensie logo, instantly setting a tone of luxury. The space inside? Generously ample. And for those moments when you pick up one too many souvenirs, the expandability option is a godsend.


The TSA lock system is subtly recessed, ensuring both security and aesthetics. The game-changer, though, has to be the agile multi-directional spinner wheels. Whether I’m racing to catch a flight or leisurely stroll through hotel lobbies, the movement is seamless and graceful.


With the manufacturer’s warranty assurance, this Kensie carry-on is more than just a pretty face—it’s a solid investment for the savvy traveler.

Offering an irresistible blend of flair, function, and frugality (especially at its current sale price), the Kensie Alma is set to elevate your travel game. In a world of standard black suitcases, be the dazzling Opal.

Best With USB Charging Port

Wrangler 20″ Smart Spinner Carry-On Luggage

When I first saw the Wrangler Smart Luggage, its sleekness and the Burnt Sienna Orange hue drew me in. Weighing a mere 5.64 pounds and available in four distinct colors, this luggage has more to offer than meets the eye. Delving deeper, I was delighted to discover its patented 3-in-1 utility design. Imagine enjoying a coffee, charging my phone, and streaming a show, all while waiting at the airport. It’s the perfect blend of innovation and convenience—a godsend for a frequent traveler like myself.

Construction and Materials

Crafted from 100% ABS plastic material, this carry-on struck me as the epitome of durability. While it’s lightweight, making my travels hassle-free, it didn’t compromise strength. Each trip I’ve taken, it’s been a resilient companion.

Interior and Organization

I’ve often faced the traveler’s problem: returning with more items than I started. Thanks to the Wrangler’s expandable capacity, I can no longer negotiate which souvenirs to leave behind. Every inch of its design seems tailored to my packing needs.


The four multi-directional spinner wheels have been a revelation. Maneuvering through crowded terminals has never felt smoother. And for someone as tech-dependent as I am, the built-in USB port is a dream come true. Those extra features elevate this from a mere suitcase to an essential travel partner.


In the past, I believed that quality luggage came with a hefty price tag. The Wrangler Smart Luggage changed that notion. It offers the luxury of a high-end suitcase without burning a hole in my wallet.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a business trip, it has served me well every step of the way. And for those who might be skeptical, the added assurance of the manufacturer’s warranty seals the deal. The Wrangler isn’t just another option in smart luggage—it’s my top choice.

Wrap-up: Carry-on Suitcases Under $100

Who said quality luggage has to burn a hole in your pocket? We’ve gone through some of the best carry-on luggage for under 100 bucks, which are affordable and reliable. Trust me, there’s a world of difference between cheap and cost-effective bags, and we’ve just explored the latter.

The next time you plan a trip, remember that the best companions sometimes come with a hefty price tag. Whether it’s about durability, design, or just that clever space for your quirky souvenirs, these options have covered you.

Related: When Is The Best Time To Buy Luggage?

FAQs on Finding Carry-on Luggage Less Than $100

Should I buy a carry-on with the expandable feature?

Buying a carry-on with an expandable feature is a decision worth considering. It’s a game-changer for those who find their luggage bursting at the seams after a trip. That extra space can save the day, especially after a spontaneous shopping spree.

What are the benefits of choosing affordable carry-on luggage options under $100?

Choosing affordable carry-on luggage options under $100 offers several benefits. Firstly, it’s easier on the wallet, allowing travelers to allocate funds to other trip essentials. Additionally, many budget-friendly options still provide great quality and features, proving that you don’t always need to splurge to travel in style.

Is it possible for carry-on luggage under $100 to match the durability of mid and high-end models?

Carry-on luggage priced under $100 can indeed rival the durability of mid and high-end models. However, it’s crucial to research specific brands and comb through user reviews. While many affordable options stand their ground, sometimes paying more can ensure greater longevity.

Do carry-on luggage options priced under $100 typically come in smaller dimensions?

Carry-on luggage priced under $100 often raises questions about their size. While many might assume they’re typically smaller, this is only sometimes true. Plenty of affordable options offer generous space, so it’s essential to check the specifics before jumping to conclusions.

Do budget-friendly carry-ons under $100 often include extra features like spinner wheels or expandable sections?

Carry-ons under $100 are also equipped with extra features. Spinner wheels and pull handles are the norm nowadays. Dive deeper; you might even find a few boasting built-in TSA locks or expandable sections to squeeze in those last-minute buys.

What is the most crucial feature I should look for in a carry-on under $100?

When considering the most important feature in a carry-on under $100, it really boils down to your travel needs. I can’t compromise on high-quality construction and reliable zippers. Spinner wheels? They’re the cherry on top, ensuring smooth maneuvers through bustling airports.