Ace Your On-Board Luggage with The Best Small Carry-On Bags

These bags are small but mighty.

In the world of travel, every inch of packing space counts. While your trusty checked baggage may typically be home to your favourite souvenirs, it’s hard to say no to a little extra packing room on each leg of your adventure. 

Whether you need a little extra room for your favourite book or are ready to indulge in your 12-step in-flight skincare routine, finding a carry-on bag that is both compact and practical can be a tricky task but, fortunately, we’ve scoured the internet to find your next jet-setting essential. 

If you’re ready to skip the baggage carousel and embark on your next adventure, we’ve rounded up the best small carry-on bags to help make travel a breeze. 

2024’s Top 3 Small Carry-On Bags

  1. BAGGU Medium Nylon Cargo Crossbody Bag, $118.00, ASOS

  2. FLYLITE Odyssey Carry On Under Seat Bag, $200.00, Strandbags

  3. Volume+ Weekender, $345.00, July

The Best Small Carry On Bags Australia 2024

(Credit: ASOS)

BAGGU Medium Nylon Cargo Crossbody Bag

$118.00 at ASOS

While ample amounts of style and practicality, there’s a reason why BAGGU bags are some of the internet’s most beloved travel accessories.

With two exterior pockets and one internal pocket, the BAGGU Medium Nylon Cargo Crossbody can comfortably fit all your carry-on travel essentials, including one-litre water bottles, books, lightweight jackets, and in-flight skincare. 

Key Features:

  • Fabrication: Recycled heavyweight nylon.
  • Adjustable crossbody strap. 
  • Two exterior and one interior zip closure pockets. 
  • Machine washable. 
  • Measurements: H: 20cm x W: 30cm x D: 10cm. 

Available at:

(Credit: Antler)

Chelsea Overnight Bag

from $149.00 at Antler

Featuring an in-built laptop sleeve and water bottle pocket, the Antler Chelsea Overnight Bag is a fashionable option for any business traveller or solo adventurer who is after an extra touch of style for their hand luggage. 

With an in-built luggage sleeve, this carry-on easily slots over any wheeled suitcase to make check-in and security a breeze. As well as being available in eight on-trend colours, the Chelsea Overnight Bag is also insanely durable and water resistant. 

Key Features: 

  • Fabrication: Durable water-resistant nylon.
  • Available in seven colours.
  • 13-inch laptop sleeve. 
  • Luggage sleeve. 
  • Removable shoulder strap. 
  • Water bottle pocket. 
  • Measurements: H: 26cm x W: 41.5cm x D: 18cm. 
  • Weight: 0.8kg.
  • Capacity: 20L. 

Available at:  

(Credit: THE ICONIC)

Nere Stori 55cm Suitcase

$200.00 at THE ICONIC

Introducing an updated take on the classic wheeled carry-on, the Nere Stori 55cm Suitcase includes three internal zip pockets and in-built TSA locks to help maximise and securely store your packing space. 

Available in 11 on-trend colours, this hard shell suitcase is both light and durable, making it a great overnight bag or international on-board carry-on. 

Key Features:

  • ABS hard shell.
  • Available in 11 colours.
  • Weight: 3.2kg. 
  • 10-year warranty. 
  • Eight wheels. 
  • Expander included. 
  • Built-in TSA lock. 
  • Capacity: 38L (46L with expander). 
  • Measurements: H: 55cm x W: 35cm x D: 24cm. 

Available at: 

(Credit: Strandbags)

FLYLITE Odyssey Carry On Under Seat Bag 

$200.00 at Strandbags

Complete with an in-built plastic pouch for your liquids and front-zip opening, the FLYLITE Odyssey Carry On Under Seat Bag is a great option for frequent travellers who want to carry their necessities without needing to haul a heavy or disorganised tote bag. 

With two wheels and an extendable luggage handle, this bag allows for no-fuss commuting through the airport and secure storage of your belongings throughout the duration of your flight. 

Key Features: 

  • Fabrication: Soft polyester. 
  • Two wheels. 
  • Internal clear pocket.
  • 10-year warranty. 
  • Weight: 2.3kg. 
  • Measurements: H: 37cm x W: 37cm x D: 23cm. 

Available at:

(Credit: July)

Volume+ Weekender

$345.00 at July

When it comes to the end of an overseas trip, keeping your checked baggage under the weight limit is no easy feat. Fortunately, the July Volume+ Weekender offers up to 42L of storage space to help you offload some of your souvenirs into your carry-on without skipping out on room for the essentials, 

With an external zip pouch for your passport and other grab-and-go essentials, this bag allows you to pack all your favourite in-flight items without needing to dig through your bag at the check-in desk. 

Key Features:

  • Fabrication: Durable water-resistant nylon. 
  • Available in three colours. 
  • Luggage sleeve. 
  • Padded base with metal feet. 
  • External storage pouch. 
  • Base expander. 
  • Capacity: 34L (42L with expander). 
  • Five-year warranty. 
  • Dimensions: H: 30cm x W: 50cm x D: 22cm. 
  • Weight: 1.5kg. 

Available at: 

What size is carry-on luggage? 

Carry-on luggage size can vary by airline, however, for most international flights, the standard carry-on size is H: 56cm x W: 36cm x D: 23cm.

When packing your bag to take on board, it is also important to be mindful that some airlines may also impose carry-on weight limits, with the average being between 7kg-10kg for domestic and international flights.

Opting for a versatile, compact carry-on ensures you’re prepared for any journey while adhering to airline guidelines, making your travels smoother and stress-free.

What to pack in a carry-on bag? 

When it comes to packing a carry-on bag, start by making sure your travel documents, passport, and any medications are easily accessible within your bag. 

To help you pass the time on long-haul flights, it is also a good idea to bring some form of entertainment, whether that be a portable gaming device, book/e-reader, or tablet, and any charging cables you may need for your devices (don’t forget your headphones!)

For a more comfortable flight, it is also a good idea to pack toiletries, such as a toothbrush and deodorant, and a flight pillow. 

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