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Carry on bag dimensions vary from airline to airline and country to country, but most agree that 22 inches (55 centimeters) is the ideal size. It allows you to streamline your packing process, leaving behind the things you don’t need, even if you aren’t flying carry on only. These are the size bags that airline employees and business travelers swear by, breezing through airport security.
Why 22 Inches is Best
So why do you want a 22 inch bag in the first place? Like I said earlier, most major airlines require that bags be no larger than 22 inches in length to carry on. We’ve talked many times about why it’s a good idea to carry on your luggage, mostly to save you money and time. This doesn’t necessarily apply to short haul, regional flights that use small planes or budget carriers, so double check before you bring this size bag on your next trip. They’re also good because they’re a set size and will fit into overhead bins more efficiently than other bags.
Why a Rolling Bag
Rolling bags aren’t for everyone. Some prefer backpacks and other duffels, but I think most of us can agree that rolling bags, whether duffels or suitcases, are useful for many trips. They’re easy to get through the airport with, especially spinner wheels, because they don’t require much energy and aren’t bad for your back. You can throw your personal item or jacket on top and leave it sitting in the bathroom stall instead of pulling off your backpack and setting it down.
And apart from cobblestones and buildings without elevators, you’ll usually be glad to have a rolling bag.
Best 22″ Rolling Bags
So what are the best types of 22 inch rolling bags? There are hundreds on the market in every price range, including ones from budget stores like Costco and Ikea, but here are a few that we recommend.
Briggs and Riley Transcend 22
While on the higher price end, at over $200, Briggs and Riley suitcases are built to stand the test of time through their warranty. The sleek suitcase has an external pocket for your travel documents, a sturdy handle and is expandable when necessary. It’s a roller, rather than a spinner, and has a wet pocket for dirty clothes or swimsuits.
- Read Alexa’s review of her Briggs and Riley Transcend 22 here.
The perfect mix between a duffel and a rolling suitcase, the Osprey Ozone gives you the best of both worlds. Grab it by the side handles when you have to run to catch a train or roll it through the airport with ease. It’s a roller with rear panel access, clamshell design and compression straps to fit more items. The handle fits your fingers ergonomically and the fabric makes it easier to fit into overhead bins. The lightweight aluminum frame is as sturdy as a suitcase, but without the additional weight.
- Check out the Osprey Ozone on Amazon.*
Samsonite DURANXT Lite
Perhaps the most well known brand of luggage, Samsonite makes great travel products at an affordable price. The suitcase is a spinner model, featuring external pockets for essentials and lockable TSA-approved zippers. It’s expandable, so you don’t have to worry about trying to fit too much.
- Read Victoria’s review of her Samsonite DURANXT Lite here.
Travelpro Luggage Crew 10
Named one of the best pieces of carry on luggage by The Wirecutter, Travelpro is the chosen brand of flight attendants and airline employees. The rollaboard bag has external pockets, a sturdy handle and nylon fabric. A zippered panel can store your nice clothing and compression straps inside keep your items from falling out as soon as you open it. It also doesn’t have the “wobble” factor that many rolling suitcases have.
- Check out the Travelpro Luggage Crew 10 on Amazon.*
Do you have a favorite 22 inch rolling bag for travel? Please share it in the comments, along with why you love it!