15 Best Carry On Luggage Under 100 | 2023

If you’re looking for the best carry on luggage under 100, then look no further. Here are 15 of our favorite suitcases that will not only be affordable but also durable and stylish.

The list includes a variety of different brands to accommodate any traveler’s needs, and range from hardshell to soft-sided and even duffels. For those who need something with wheels, we have included options with four or two wheels as well as spinner-wheels for mobility in tight spaces. The article goes into detail about each choice and what makes it stand out from the rest!

Carry On Luggage Features to Consider

To find the best carry-on bags, it is important to understand the features that differentiate them.


Suitcases of all sizes can range from under $100 to many hundreds, even thousands of dollars. This post focuses on bags under $100. It’s an affordable price and options do exist! When choosing any bag, regardless of price point, it is an investment. You want to make sure it is durable and will stand up to your travel needs.


With carry on luggage, your first choice is wheels or not. If you chose no wheels, that will be a backpack or weekender bag. If you choose a wheeled bag, you will need to decide between 2 wheels, or bags with multi-directional spinner wheels (aka “spinners”) which can have 4 or 8 wheels. Ergonomically I prefer the spinner, but that is a matter of personal preference.


The handle of the carry on luggage is one of the key features to take into consideration before making a purchase. The handle should be comfortable and easy to grip, as it will likely be carrying some weight during your travels. There are many different styles available such as telescoping handles, swivel handles, and even side handles for those who want an easier time maneuvering their bag in tight spaces. Also, the ideal telescoping handle locks at different heights so it can be customized to you.

Hardside vs soft side

When trying to decide between hardshell and soft-sided luggage, a variety of factors are at play. Both types come at many price points and reasonable options under $100 exist.

Hardsided luggage is a popular option when carrying fragile items, or when there is a chance the bag will be checked. Also, many travelers like the look of them as they come in different colors and designs. Additionally, they are more difficult to steal from because they cannot be easily slashed. On the other hand, they can be difficult to use with a hotel luggage rack because of the clamshell design.

Soft-sided luggage, because it is soft, tends to have more give when packing. They also tend to have more organizational features, including external pockets. That makes a short business trip doable out of one bag. You can store your work items in exterior pockets and your clothing in the main compartment. If the front pockets are not big enough to hold work items, they are great for important documents you need to access while in transit. Additionally, they don’t often have that clamshell design so the luggage rack is easier to navigate.


If you are looking to strictly carry on, size of the bag is an important consideration. Each airline has it’s own size regulations. Generally speaking, US domestic flights on major airlines can accommodate a bag up to 22 inches. International flights often have smaller guidelines and can accommodate up to 21 inches. Keep in mind, these dimensions do include wheels and handles. Travel + Leisure did a great post with the carry-on sizes of many airlines. You can read that post here. Use that post as guidance only and, MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE AIRLINES YOU ARE FLYING ON BEFORE YOUR TRIP.


The weight of the empty bag matters for a couple of reasons. First, remember when carrying on that you will often need to get your case into an overhead bin of an airplane. You want the weight of the packed luggage to be something you can manage by yourself. Additionally, if you are traveling budget airlines, they can be quite strict about luggage weight, so starting with a lighter weight bag is a good idea.

Internal Capacity

The internal design of the suitcase can vary by type. Some bags have the retractable handle on the outside of the bag, some are inside. When inside, that handle does take up real estate. Also, bags will have various internal and external pockets that use up the ultimate packing space of the bag. I have included internal capacity numbers where I could find them, but not all companies publish that information.

Smart Luggage Features 

In the price point of less than $100, not many smart bags exist. A couple do have USB chargers, but on the whole, the options are limited. If you would like to learn more about Smart Bags and some of the regulations around them, check out this post.

My Top Picks for Best Carry-On Luggage Under 100 (plus a couple just over $100)

»» AmazonBasics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner Luggage Suitcase With TSA Lock And Wheels

The AmazonBasics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner Luggage Suitcase With TSA Lock And Wheels is a great choice for savvy travelers who want the convenience of a carry-on suitcase. The luggage features built-in TSA locks, which provide added security and peace of mind when going through airport security checkpoints. It has four double wheels that will roll effortlessly across all surfaces with an easy push or pull on its telescoping handle.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers felt like the published dimensions were off. Also, this bag may need to be checked on some flights as it is on the larger side for a carry on.

What I like: This is a straightforward carry-on bag that will suit your needs well. And the TSA lock is great in the event that you need to gate check your bag.

  • Weight: 7.19 lbs
  • Capacity 36L
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions 15.7 x 9 x 23.2 inches

»» Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner

The Amazon Basics 21 Inch Hardside Spinner is a well-made, affordable hard shell suitcase with enough room for your carry on travels. The double spinner wheels ensure smooth-rolling in any direction

This bag is expandable, providing 15% more packing space for those souvenirs you find along the way. Reviewers love how lightweight and durable the bag is.

What to watch out for: The main downside is that this bag does not have a TSA lock, which does pose a risk if you end up needing to check.

What I like: This bag is affordable, and in looking at the reviews, it fits will in overhead bins.

AmazonBasics 21 inch Hardside Spinner - Blue, No TSA Lock | Best Carry On Luggage Under 100 | shepackslite.com
  • Weight: 7.34 lbs
  • Capacity 35L
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions 14.96 x 10.04 x 21.65 Inches

»» Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds Carry-On

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds Carry-On is another great 20″ carry-on suitcase that not only looks stylish but is also highly functional.

It’s lightweight so you won’t need to worry about airline weight restrictions and extra weight fees. Reviewers love that even though it looks small, it has a roomy interior.

What to watch out for: A few reviewers had issues with the wheels, and felt that the warranty, while long, did not actually cover their issues.

What I like: Great value for the price. Some reviewers commented on how much they were able to fit inside the bag.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds Carry On | Best Carry On Luggage Under 100 | shepackslite.com
  • Weight: 6.25
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions 21.75 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches

»» Lucas Convertible Under Seat Carry on Luggage – Expandable 15 Inch Weekender

The Lucas Convertible Under Seat Carry On is super intriguing to me. I love how it can fit under this seat, or it can expand and be a larger roller bag. It’s a softside design that collapses to fit more easily into tight spaces including under your seat in the smallest mode.

It is one of the lightest bags I looked at and reviewers love the fact that it expands by almost 50%. Some people use the extra space for the whole trip, some reserve it for purchases, and some use it for laundry.

What to watch out for: A few reviewers felt the quality was not great. One reviewer said it did not fit under the seat on her flight, but really the reviews are pretty good, almost raving even.

What I like: I like how lightweight this bag is. I also like the flexibility to use it for a short trip or as a cabin bag or expand it and keep it in the overhead bin.

  • Weight: 5
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 2
  • External Dimensions (without expansion): 15 X 8 X 13.5 inches
  • External Dimensions (with expansion): 21.75 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches

»» Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port

I own this bag. The Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port claims to fit under most airline seats. I have to admit, I usually put it in the overhead compartments, but I have tried and it does fit. It has a convenient USB port for charging electronics. You need to provide the battery pack, which stays inside the bag. You can then plug your own device outside the bag. It has a laptop compartment which makes it great for quick business trips.

It’s a spinner, and because it’s very compact, has a sleeve to fit over the handle of another retractable handle. I use this bag for short 1-2 night trips. I find that 3 long packing cubes fit nicely inside and then I use my flat toiletry bag. It’s perfect!

What to watch out for: Reviewers claim that the handle is wobbly, and in my experience, it is. It does not really bother me though because the bag is so small and light it’s not an issue.

What I like: As I mentioned, I own this bag and it has served me well as a carry on for quick trips. I can easily pack 2-3 days of clothes in it, especially when using these slim packing cubes and my flat toiltery bag.

  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 16.5 X 13.75 X 9 inches

Want to know more about packing cubes and the ones that I use? Check this post out.

»» Travelers Club 20″ Chicago II Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage

The Travelers Club 20″ Chicago II is a fully-lined hard-sided bag. It has 4 spinner wheels for smooth travels and compression straps to keep you clothing in place.

What to watch out for: Most reviewers really seem to like this bag, especially at it’s price point. That said, a few were concerned about durability over time.

What I like: In terms of value for money, this bag is great, and most reviewers really like it!

  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.5 x 9

»»» Coolife Luggage PC+ABS Spinner Built-In TSA lock 20in Carry on

This Coolife 20″ Carryon Spinner is made of ABS+PC material, which makes a durable and light hard shell. The luggage’s beveled edge adds to its durability. The TSA lock is a tamper-proof combination lock that allows just TSA personnel to check your luggage without damaging the mechanism.

What to watch out for: As with all pieces of luggage in this price point, some reviewers were concerned about durability. Also note that the description says expandable, but that expandable zipper is limited to the 28″ which is not a carry on size.

What I like: The fact that it has TSA locks gives you piece of mind if you need to check your bags.

  • Weight: 8.03 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 22 x 9 x 15 inches

»» U.S. Traveler Rio Carry-on Lightweight Expandable Rolling Luggage 2-Piece Set

This U.S. Traveler Rio Carry-on 2 Piece Set is nice because it includes both a 2 wheeled suitcase and tote bag. The suitcase includes external pockets for access to items you need in transit and the tote bag has a sleeve that allows you to carry it on the handle of the suitcase.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers found that the retractable handle was not sufficiently sturdy.

What I like: I am a fan of matching sets, so I like that this is your suitcase and the laptop bag is your personal item!

  • Weight: 7.09 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 2
  • External Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches

»» Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Chelsea Luggage Chevron Softside 8-Wheel Spinner Expandable Suitcase Collection, Black, 4 Underseater

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea Luggage fits under your seat and allows you to move about easily on your journey. The chevron pattern exterior with gold accent zippers adds a little style and flare.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers mentioned that it is better if you are an occasional traveler than frequent traveler. The handle did not seem sturdy enough for that. Plus, as of the time that I wrote this post, the price was technically over $100, but only by about 50 cents.

What I like: As someone who loves to pack lite, this type of bag is perfect for a quick 1-2 night trip!

  • Weight: 5.6
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 9 inches

»» Travelers Club sky+ set rose gold 3 piece

This Travelers Club Sky+ 3 piece set ensures you’ll look stylish and sophisticated when traveling. The set includes a piece of carry on luggage, a tote bag, and a toiletry case for your convenience. The tote bag has a strap that fits on the handle of the suitcase for easier travel.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers warned about making sure you are ordering the right set, and that they were expecting more pieces than 3. Make sure you choose the set you want!

What I like: I always like my matching sets, so having a suitcase, tote bage and toiletry kit that matches makes me happy!

  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Capacity: 51L
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 11 inches

»» Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Madison Square Expandable Luggage

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Womens Madison Square suitcase is a great carry on bag that comes in slighty over $100. It has an expansion feature which allows you to pack more without the worry of breaking your airline’s weight limits. The exterior is a stylish chevron pattern, and it weighs only 6.5 pounds when empty. .

What to watch out for: While most reviewers love the bag, some did have issues with the zipper.

What I like: This is a stylish bag that would pair very nicely with the Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Underseater.

  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 11 inches

»» Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Lightweight Expandable Upright Luggage, Black, Carry-On 20-Inch

The Travelpro Maxlite 5 costs more than $100, but is so well-reviewed and so loved by the frequent flyers who use this bag, it is worth a mention.

It is extremely lite, has a telescoping handle, solid side panels for durability and multiple pockets. Travelpro Maxlite comes in other sizes as well including 22 inches and 24 inches if you need something larger or smaller than 20 inches.

If you can go over $100 this is a great bag to choose, and it does go on sale throughout the year so if you have the time, you can wait until the price drops.

What to watch out for: The positive reviews far outweigh the negative, but there are some reviewers found the warranty frustrating when issues arose.

What I like: I know many travelers who swear by this bag and I like that it is expandable.

  • Weight: 5.4
  • Capacity: 45L
  • Wheels: 2
  • External Dimensions: 21.75 x 15.75 x 7.7 inches

»» American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Silver, Carry-On 21-Inch.

The American Toursiter Moonlight Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels also comes in just over $100. That said, it’s a stylish choice as carry-on luggage for anyone who travels internationally or domestically. It’s perfect if you need an efficient way to pack more items while still meeting the weight and size requirements of most airlines.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers reported that their bags scrathed easily.

What I like: I like the style of this bag. and it is available in several different designs and colors.

  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 9 inches

»» Wrangler Smart Luggage with Cup Holder and USB port

This Wrangler Smart Luggage Set has a cup holder, a phone holder and USB Port! Those features alone set this bag apart. It’s also expandable which makes your return trip easier if you bought all sorts of souvenirs.

What to watch out for: You need your own charger – batter is not included

What I like: For bags under $100, there are not many with differentiating features. I like that this bag offers something different at a nice price point.

  • Weight: 6.92 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 11 inches

»» Amazon Basics Geometric Travel Luggage Expandable Suitcase Spinner with Wheels and Built-In TSA Lock, 21.7-Inch

The Amazon Basics Geometric Expandable Suitcase has a stylish exterior and a push-button locking handle system. Only a few of the suitcases under $100 have a TSA lock and this is one of them, so you will have better security in the event that you need to check your bag.

What to watch out for: Some reviewers struggled to open it initially.

What I like: It’s a solid choice of luggage for the price.

  • Weight: 6.77 lbs
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Wheels: 4
  • External Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 21.7 inches

»» Vera Bradley Lighten Up Weekender Travel Bag

Sometimes you just want to look cuter on your travels than a suitcase will allow, right? Enter the weekender bag. This particular one, the Vera Bradley Lighten Up Weekender Travel Bag , Splash Dot, is perfect for the girl who wants to look effortlessly chic while traveling. The water-repellent fabric will keep your clothes protected from any spills or weather conditions you may encounter during your trip but still light enough that it won’t break your back if you need to carry it through an airport!

What to watch out for: It’s a duffel bag, not a suitcase so if you need wheels or the structure of a suitcase this bag is not for you.

What I like: It’s fun and can be used for a couple nights away on its own, or as your personal Item – the bag has a sleeve that fits over your luggage handle.

  • Weight: 2.19 lbs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Wheels: None
  • External Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 2.3 inches

The best carry on luggage under 100 is not always easy to find. Luckily, we did the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of some of the top picks in this price range that are available now – so don’t worry about it! Whether you’re looking for an expandable suitcase or something with spinner wheels, one of these options should fit your needs perfectly. We hope our list has saved you time trying to decide which bag will work best for you while still fitting within your budget constraints. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help make your next trip even more enjoyable than usual.

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