Do you want to know what the fuss is about the lightest carry-on luggage?

Well, bulky, heavy carry-on bags not only reduce the amount of stuff you can fill them with, but they also mean you have to deal with maneuvering heavy bags that may even exceed carry-on size limits!

This article will help you find the lightest carry-on luggage that is easy to manage and small enough to fit into a plane’s overhead lockers, meaning you can escape the exorbitant fee charged by airlines for checked bags and in turn skip any long delays at the baggage carousel.

And the great thing is…

Rather than just wheeled luggage, I have included some of our favourite backpacks, duffel bags, and underseat bags with the pros and cons of each type of bag as well as a buying guide on how to choose ultralight bags, so you don’t have to take a gamble on whether they’ll actually be lightweight or not.

If you’re ready to travel lighter and easier, this list of the lightest carry-on luggage is a good place to start!

Table of Contents

Reviewed below are suitcases you can carry when you want to stay as light as possible when traveling.  

July Carry On Light

Lightest carry-on luggage: July Carry On Light

The Carry On Light from July is a revolutionary carry-on suitcase that’s not only light but also small enough to fit in any overhead bin.

Weighing just 3.9 lbs, with a dimension of 21.6 x 14 x 7.8 inches, this baby is approved for any flight and is so light that you won’t ever have to worry about going over the carry-on limit!

Plus, this thing packs some serious power from its minimalistic design.

The durable, and water-resistant German polycarbonate shell will keep your belongings safe from any damages or spills while also ensuring that this case can take any punishment your journey throws at it, and then some!

Alsothe material is vegan-friendly, which ensures that no animals were harmed!

This bag has multi-directional spinner wheels that easily move in any direction while being smooth and sturdy enough to carry more weight.

Plus, it features TSA locks for security and a multi-stop telescoping handle so holding onto these handles while traveling isn’t just easy, but also enjoyable.

What we also like

With a simple and sleek design, the July luggage is as painless to pack as it is to carry.

Inside this case is two zippered compartments alongside a Y-strap compression system, which means you get to pack more items in a compact fit than ever before. 

Also, the interior lining is water-resistant and stain-proof!

Unlike most of the lightest carry-on luggage on this list, this one is smaller at just 38 liters carrying capacity, making it the perfect size for a quick business meeting, weekend trips, or just when you want to pack lightly.

What we don’t like

There isn’t room for anything too bulky or heavy with this July Carry On Light! It’s a rather small bag, so you have to be strategic about what goes in there.

Also, you may want to steer clear of the brightly colored options as scratches tend to be more visible on them.

Darker shades are better. 

However, I like that this undeniably stylish and sleek set is available in a variety of beautiful color options to suit.

Plus, you can also personalize your Carry On Light for free!

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 7. 8 inches (HWD)
  • Luggage Type: Hardshell suitcase
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs. (1.8 kg)
  • Capacity: 38L
  • Colours: 7 
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty 

Rimowa Essential Lite Small Cabin

Lightest carry-on luggage: Rimowa Essential Lite Small Cabin

While the Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin case might cost more than an actual flight, it’s hard not to love its sexy, no extraneous frills and luxurious appeal that has made it a status symbol for frequent travelers.

Coming in at only 4.4 lbs, with a dimension of 20” x 14” x 7.9”, this suitcase can be effortlessly stashed in overhead lockers by anyone looking to avoid check-in fees on airlines with the strictest weight and size limits.

And without compromising on its lustrious and stylish finish, this suitcase features a telescoping handle you can adjust to fit your height, TSA-approved locks, and spinner wheels that can even roll on carpets!

What we also like

One thing I find very endearing about the Essential Lite Cabin is that it’s made from a durable polycarbonate shell exterior, which is a solid and impact-resistant material for hardside luggage.

Plus, the mesh divider makes it easy to keep everything organized so you can find what you need quickly and easily.

What we don’t like

Given its high price tag, I expected this bag to have some perks like a laptop pocket, airline-compliant charger, laundry bag, shoe bag, leather detailing, etc., as seen in less expensive bags like the Monos Carry-OnAway Carry-on, and Arlo Skye carry-on.

The Lite Cabin is still worth the splurge in my opinion if you’re trying to buy the lightest carry-on luggage that will serve you for many years, even though you only receive a few basic features.

Key specs

  • Dimension: 20 x 14 x 7.9 inches
  • Weight: 4.41 lbs
  • Capacity: 37L
  • Luggage type: hard shell
  • Warranty: 5-year guarantee

Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Carry-on luggage

Lightest carry-on luggage: Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Carry-on suitcase

One of the best lightweight luggage you can trust to serve you well, this Amazon bestseller comes highly recommended with tons of positive feedback from users who can’t seem to get enough of its style and durability.

The Maxlite measures 5.4 lbs with a carrying capacity of 46L for you to carry your tech, clothes, documents, magazine, and more.

And packing is breezy in this carry-on.

It comes with roomy interior space and handy organizational features like zipper panels, cross straps, and pockets to keep your items organized and within easy reach.

Note: do not expand or overstuff with lots of items, so as not to exceed airline restrictions.

With its sturdy build and functionality, the Maxlite luggage is great for car and train travel also.

Lightest carry-on luggage: Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Carry-on suitcase inside compartment loaded with travel items

What we also like

It’s made from durable, stain-resistant polyester fabric with water-repellent coating on the exterior and HZ0 Guard-protected interior lining that keeps away moisture.

Also, this bag promises convenience.

The carry-on suitcase handle is telescopic and lockable so that you can adjust it to fit your body height.

And with features like water-resistant zippers, wheels that roll smoothly, sturdy grab handles, and an assortment of colors to choose from, it’s hard not to fall for this bag.

What we don’t like

As much as I love the TravelPro Maxlite 5, there is a common complaint that travelers should be aware of.

The issue is that it can be difficult to access the content inside the bag during flight since the zippers are located on the underside of the lid.

This can be a pain if you’re trying to grab something quickly during turbulence or simply don’t want to disturb your fellow passengers by taking a tad too long to navigate the zippers just to get access inside.

But other than that, the Maxlite 5 is still a great option for those looking for a durable and lightweight carry-on bag.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Luggage type: Softside
  • Weight: 5.4 lbs.
  • Capacity: 46L
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty
  • Colours: 2 to 8, depending on what’s available

Calpak Ambeur Carry-On Luggage

Lightest carry-on luggage: Calpak Ambeur Carry-On Luggage

When we first look at the Calpak Ambeur, its shimmering color and high-end beautiful design is the first thing that catches your eye.

It’s no wonder it’s a favourite among women.

But the quality is evident in its functional performance and that’s why one would pay for it. This carry-on luggage is made up of a mix of polycarbonate and ABS materials that is incredibly light and strong enough to survive being chucked in an overhead locker or the boot of the car.

The Ambeur will easily transport you from your door to the airport terminal and up the stone walkway of your vacation rental thanks to its four spinner wheels, which are both strong and smooth.

The carry-on case is just 2.7kg, so it’s very lightweight considering the generous 43l capacity. And with dimensions of 21″ x 14″ x 9″, the Ambeur is cabin-approved on most major airlines.

Two packing compartments are included in the interior for easy packing.

One side is held together by compression straps, while the other contains a zippered panel with extra zippered and elastic pockets for your smaller belongings.

As a chronic over-packer (hey, don’t judge!), I appreciate the fact that it’s also be expanded by 2 inches to fit more goods inside if necessary. 

What we also like

The Californian luggage brand is one to look to for dashing suitcases that will turn heads in the airport, and you get to make a selection from 4 beautiful colors: black, rose gold, gold, and silver.

The Ambeur Carry-On is that kind of luggage that works whether you’re flying off on holiday or to a work meeting.

What we don’t like

The carry-on luggage is not immune to scuffing. With time, you’ll see scratches and scuff marks that are not pretty.

Therefore, this might not be such a good idea if you have a tendency to be rough with your possessions or care about your luggage appearing spotless.

But if you’re too much in love with this baby, I’d advise you to consider the darker colours as opposed to the brighter ones on which scuffs tend to be much more visible.

Key specs

  • Dimension: 21″ x 14″ x 9″
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Luggage type: Hardshell suitcase
  • Colours: 4
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Lightest carry-on luggage: IT luggage World's Lightest Los Angeles 22
Credit: Amazon

If the Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Carry-on luggage exceeds your budget, I recommend the  IT Luggage Carry-on, which is also a softside luggage but with an affordable price point that’s under $100.

Tagged the ‘World’s lightest bag’, it weighs just 3.8 lbs and measures 21.8 x 14.2 x 7.3″, making it the lightest carry-on luggage that perfectly fits within the strictest airline dimensions.

This classic softside suitcase is made from a thin, high-density polyester with a tough fiberglass frame that ensures your bag will last through the many flight hours and more.

I was worried because the bag doesn’t expand, but with packing cubes, you can easily fit items for a 4-day trip, including a pair of shoes!

And even with no packing cubes, the bag comes with options to organize your items – two exterior pockets and four internal zippered compartments with two tie-down straps to secure your clothing in place.

Lightest carry-on luggage: IT luggage World's Lightest Los Angeles 22
Credit: Amazon

What we also like

Instead of spinner wheels, this carry-on comes with in-line skate wheels (2 wheels) that are known to be more durable and perfect for traveling over rough terrain or uneven bumpy sidewalks.

I especially like how easy it is to stow on trains or buses as the wheels do not stick out as much as a spinner might.

Another feature I like is the extra-wide handle design, which is designed such that the weight is transferred to the handle so the bag is light and comfortable as you drag it behind you.

What we don’t like

The IT carry-on lacks some modern features like a lockable telescopic handle, laundry bag, charging pockets, and TSA-compliant lock, so I guess you get what you pay for in this case.

Overall, this bag has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from travelers, demonstrating that it is an excellent piece of lightweight baggage – just don’t expect it to last for many years.

Key specs

  • Dimension: 21.8 x 14.2 x 7.3″
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
  • Luggage type: Softside
  • Colours: 5
Lightest carry-on luggage: Lipault Plume Cabin Spinner

Lipault’s Plume Spinner Carry-on is a great choice if weight is a big deal for you.

Although not as impressive as the IT carry-on, this case weighs in at just 4.8 pounds, making it a good choice for those who want to save their energy for travel instead of lugging around a heavy case.

The exterior features soft, cushiony fabric and a strong frame that’s designed to protect your belongings and also make it an easy fit in the overhead bin.

I think you’ll love that it’s a piece of spinner luggage that’s easy to maneuver through busy airports and small spaces.

The fabric is a heavy-duty nylon that’s water-repellent and abrasion-resistant, and you can choose from a range of unique colors, from Smashed Pumpkin (a cute name for orange) to green, navy, or black.

I give points to Lipault for adding two thick carry handles (top and side) for easy lifting, which is one aspect of design most manufactures tend to forget.

All the sewing around the grab handles feels very robust too.

What we also like 

The Lipault Plume Spinner Carry-on isn’t just incredibly lightweight – it’s also very stylish!

It features a luxe, modern, and minimalist vibe that is hard not to fall in love with, making it perfect for the jet-setter who likes to travel in style.

What we don’t like

This carry-on won’t win the award of the most organization-friendly carry-on luggage.

It is not expandable, and the main compartment doesn’t keep things contained and organized, which could have been the case if it featured a clamshell design.

Other than the exterior front pocket, and three other pockets, practically speaking, you’re forced to use the one big compartment for everything else. 

But if you love simple organization in a suitcase, the Lipault Plume Spinner Carry-on is sure to please.

Key specs

  • Dimension: 21.6″ × 13.8″ × 8.3″
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited 3-year global warranty
Lightest carry-on luggage: Lucas Ultra Lightweight 20 Inch Carry On

If you’re looking to avoid any nasty surprises in those small airline aisles, why not stay safe and go with the Lucas Ultra Lightweight carry-on luggage?

This soft-shell carry-on bag can squeeze into overhead compartments of most airlines and therefore helps you avoid those extra airline fees.

They aren’t kidding about their ultra-lightweight claim either—it weighs 5.8 lbs!

Naturally, soft-shell bags tend to be unforgiving when you need to cram extra stuff into them, and even better, this bag is expandable by 20%!

I appreciate the option to increase the packing space when needed and keep it small when I don’t.

My other favorite thing is the organization the bag offers!

The fully lined interior has two sections: a large compartment that features elastic straps to keep items in place and a smaller, zippered mesh compartment with two interior pockets. 

The exterior also has two pockets so you can keep your travel documents and other go-to necessities organized and easy to reach.

What we also like

With double-spinner wheels, it’s way easier to maneuver in any direction you want to go.

Some other pluses are that this suitcase has two padded grab handles for when you need to carry the luggage and a telescopic wheel handle that can adjust to 3 heights.

What we don’t like

I worry about the durability of this bag. Polyester is cheap and not as durable as nylon for soft luggage. It’s susceptible to ripping and tearing over time.

As a result, it can’t hold up to heavy use especially if you plan to travel frequently with your carry-on.

There are also concerns about the zipper quality.

Some travelers have said that it has the annoying tendency to get stuck or, worse, break completely, which is a common issue with cheap suitcases.

While it won’t last you for many years, I think this luggage is a good investment due to its storage capacity and affordable price tag.

Key specs

  • Dimension: 22.8 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 5.8lbs
  • Capacity: 36L
  • Luggage Type: Softside carry-on suitcase
  • Colors: 3
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty

The travel backpacks I reviewed below are lightweight, spacious, and practical with enough compartments and organizational features.

And of course, they are all under 6 pounds!

Lightest carry-on luggage: Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

If you’re a frequent flyer, you need to have something from Osprey.

Lots of customers like myself who have used this hugely popular Farpoint 40L can’t help but be impressed by how durable and lightweight it is!

It weighs just 3.17 lbs, and is my go-to recommendation for a bag that can do it all – travel, sightseeing, and even hiking!

At 40 liters, it’s the perfect compact size to fit in an overhead bin or throw in the trunk for a road trip while still being spacious enough to have room for all your essentials.

I love how comfortable this bag is, and it is pretty manageable even when the bag is stuffed!

This is thanks to its lightWire frame suspension and comfy waist strap that takes the weight off your shoulders and transfers it to your pelvis so your back doesn’t feel the pressure.

Also, there are wide shoulder straps, a hip belt, and a mesh harness that ensures your back doesn’t turn into pools of sweat in humid conditions.

And when I need to rest my back, the thick padded handles on the top and side allow me to carry the bag as hand luggage in a pinch.

What we also like 

Another reason why the Osprey Farpoint series is loved by so many people is the clever organization it offers.

Sleek and compact, it fits a 15” laptop, a tablet, two water bottles, and sunglasses, and comes with a 40L carrying capacity so you can pack as light as possible without the temptation to haul excess weight.

And the biggest bonus of all is that there’s the Osprey Fairview that is specially designed for women. Whoop, whoop!

What we don’t like

I don’t like that the laptop sleeve is located at the front of this bag which means that if you have a heavy computer, you might find yourself rocking backward or experiencing some discomfort because the weight is not well distributed.

That said, you can’t go wrong with an Osprey bag.

My Farpoint backpack is incredibly durable and has endured being thrown from airplane to airplane, as well as being lugged around a plethora of different cities!

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.8 x 9 inches (HWD)
  • Luggage type: Backpack
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Colours: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Lightest carry-on luggage: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

If you’re looking for the lightest carry-on luggage for a weekend getaway, the Cotopaxi Allpa backpack can be your best friend.

Weighing just 3.5 lbs, you’ll find the Allpa very comfortable to wear especially if you’re of average height.

My favorite feature is the harness system!

It consists of contoured shoulder straps, a padded, removable hip belt, a breathable air mesh back panel, and an adjustable sternum strap for carrying comfort.

Yep, Cotopaxi has thought of everything.

The durable polyester shell of this bag is coated with thermoplastic polyurethane—making it very water-resistant.

And there’s a removable rainfly for when things get really wet!

Hyper organized, this 35L carry-on bag features a clamshell main compartment that’s complemented by padded laptop and tablet sleeves as well as many pockets so every item has its spot.  

I also love the idea of compression straps to help keep items tight and snug.

Lightest carry-on luggage: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

What we also like

This backpack is an internationally approved carry-on size, meaning that you can take this pack with you on and off the plane, with no baggage claim required.

I also like that this bag has multiple grab handles, four lash points that allow you to carry even more gear, and theft-proof webbing sewn across the openings on all external zippers.

Did I mention the fun color designs that will make you stand out in any crowd?

What we don’t like

Customers have complained that it seems this backpack is tailored for people on the shorter side with a smaller build, so it may not work as well if you have a large torso.

This is because the waist belt sits a little high off the hips of tall people.

So, if you are tall and like using your waist belt, this is something you may want to keep in mind.

All in all, the Appa is one of the lightest carry-on luggage that is durable and has all of the features that will work for whatever adventure awaits you, whether that means exploring new cities or going camping in lakeside tents with friends.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 8 inches
  • Luggage type: Backpack
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty
  • Colours: 6 

Yorepek Travel backpack

Lightest carry-on luggage: Yorepek Travel backpack
Credit: Amazon

You can pack a ridiculous amount of stuff in the Yorepek Travel pack.

Business trips, week-long tours overseas, or trips where you need four-to-five-day packing capacity, are ideal scenarios for it.

You don’t have to worry about it being heavy, either.

This bad boy weighs just 2.43 lbs, and many travelers pointed out that the thickened shoulder straps help balance the pressure on your spine when you use it for heavy loads.

My favorite detail, however, is that the Yorepek pack has 3 multi-compartment, 20 different pockets, and a 45L capacity that can fit a weekend’s worth of clothes.

Even your water bottles or umbrella can be tucked away in the side mesh pockets.

There’s more…

If you travel with your electronics, you’ll like the padded and shockproof 17” laptop compartment that is separated from the main compartment to keep your tech possession up and away from the impact zone.

But what I think is really genius is that the laptop compartment is also TSA-compliant and opens 90-180 degrees to help you go through airport security in a breeze!

What we also like

Boasting more than 20k positive reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, the Yorepek travel pack has a water-resistant exterior, a luggage strap, and is under 50 bucks!

Plus, it’s not always you get a backpack that comes with a charging port and an earphone port so you stay powered up even as you blast music to fuel the day.

What we don’t like

I wouldn’t recommend this backpack for short people or those with a small frame, because it’ll just look and feel too burly even when it’s not filled up.

And I can’t necessarily guarantee the pack won’t be heavy if you pack it full of a bunch of stuff. Watch out!

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 18 x13.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Luggage type: Backpack
  • Weight: 43 lbs
  • Capacity: 45L
  • Colours: 6

North Face Recon Backpack

Lightest carry-on luggage: North Face Recon Backpack

Sorry, but a bulky, multi-colored hiking bag is not always practical.

Sometimes all you need is a medium-sized, stylish bag that blends into most urban settings and is tough enough to stand up to the abuse of outdoor trips.

And if I had to recommend a bag that fits the bill, I would go for the North Face Recon because it is practical, functional, and weighs just 2.5 lbs!

What I like about this bag is how it provides the wearer with optimum ergonomic support thanks to the removable chest strap, hip belt, and compression straps that help bring the weight closer to your body for a compact effect.

And on top of that, the harness system includes a heavily padded back panel and mesh shoulder straps for ventilation.

What we also like 

The Recon is also organization friendly.

At 30L, it’s very spacious with three separate compartments, a big stretch pocket, and several interior pockets where you can easily fit multiple books, gadgets, water bottles, and a change of clothes in the backpack, with room to spare for other items.

Additionally, there is a dedicated, highly protective 15” laptop compartment, a padded tablet sleeve, and fleece-lined pockets for sunglasses or electronics.

Also, the front of the bag features a bungee cord system for lashing external gear on like a yoga mat – very convenient for travel, hiking, and everyday use.

What we don’t like

The North Face pack is water-resistant, not waterproof, so you may need a rain cover to keep your items dry in a strong rainstorm.

Also, a few buyers have complained that when you try to load and unload the bag, it repeatedly topples over or slides down due to the bottom’s tilted angle.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.5 x 19.3 inches
  • Luggage Type: Backpack
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Colours: 7 as of the time of this review
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Lightest carry-on luggage: Deuter Speed Lite 21

Think a short hike will be on your itinerary?

The Speed Lite 21 from Deuter is the lightest carry-on luggage ever (just 1 lb) and so sleek that you can take it to a coffee shop, a festival, or a mountain summit.

But even that isn’t my favorite feature of the bag.

What surprises me is that for a very small bag, it features padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and an adjustable sternum belt, with a well-ventilated and padded back panel that is mostly available in large travel backpacks.

Although they might seem like overkill, it’s nice to know that they are available in case you need em.

What’s more?

The Deuter Speed Lite is made from 100% recycled bluesign certified body fabric and is treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellency) impregnation that is harmless to health and the environment.

Lightest carry-on luggage: Deuter Speed Lite 21

What we also like 

Deuter offers you options- the Lite series is available in many sizes, and colors, proving that hiking bags don’t need to be boring.

Note: The female-designed version of this backpack has been specially modified to be comfy for a smaller frame and the female anatomy.

What we don’t like

There are two things I do not like about the Speed Lite 21 pack.

Given that it only has 21 L of internal storage space, it can be difficult to bring along everything you need.

It can also be challenging to keep your belongings organized because the bag does not have many pockets and organizational options.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 46 x 27 x 19 cm (HWD)
  • Luggage type: Backpack
  • Weight: 1 lb. (430g)
  • Capacity: 21L
  • Colours: 4 as of the time of this review

These underseat luggage will fit under the seats in most aircraft and gives you easy access to the content of your bag mid-flight. 

That said, it is not abominably heavy.

If you want to pair it with a trolley, use the sleeve to attach it to your luggage. 

Lightest carry-on luggage: Calpak Luca Duffel

It’s hard to pin the Calpak Luca Duffel’s excellence on a single feature, but that’s where its magic lies: Its cute appeal and practical simplicity makes it something you can wear just about anywhere (won’t recommend it for outdoor adventures).

Perhaps the fact that it is small (fits under the seat effortlessly) and light (weighs just 1.95 lbs) account for why so many people opt to use it as a carry-on!

But more than that, I’ve observed people using this bag for a variety of occasions, including trips to the gym, overnight stays, and even a romantic weekend away by the lake. Talk about versatility, huh?

Now, let’s discuss organization, shall we?

The Luca Duffel bag is for someone who wants to be hyper-organized – has a total of nine (nine!) pockets, and a 22l internal storage that can easily fit 2-4 days’ worth of clothes, cosmetics, and even a water bottle.

There’s also a separate zip-outside pocket to store your sneakers/ shoes away from your other gear.

What we also like

You want options? You got ‘em.

The Luca Duffel currently has 8 colors- you can go totally subtle with a black or chocolate color, or big and bold with a bright print.

Additionally, it’s equipped with two sets of handles: one, a removable and pretty cushy strap for wearing the bag on your shoulder, and two padded handles for carrying by hand.

And if you want to pair it with a trolley, use the sleeve to attach it to your suitcase.

What we don’t like

My only criticism about the Calpak Luca Duffel is that it doesn’t have an electronics compartment like a padded pocket for your laptop or tablet.

But other than that, the Luca duffel is a practical—and reasonably priced—carry-on that fits under the seat effortlessly.

Key specs

  • Weight: 1.95 lbs
  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 7 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Colors: 7, depending on what’s available

Away The Everywhere Bag

Lightest carry-on luggage: Away The Everywhere Bags

This is one bag that goes with everything!

Clean and minimalistic in five neutral color designs, this functional bag gets high mark from readers who use it as a gym carry, a travel bag (meets personal item size restrictions, by the way), and an office bag.

One avid user says: the bag is incredibly practical with all the wonderful compartments. I was able to keep my laptop and papers completely separate from my clothes. The ability to attach the bag securely to my roller bag was quite convenient. Also, the zipper allows the bag to open fully which allows you to easily see everything and seamlessly taking out what you.”

Another agrees, saying: I love its functionality. It opens big, had plenty of storage pockets, and has a shoulder strap and the fabric feels pretty indestructible.

Lightest carry-on luggage: Away The Everywhere Bags

What we also like 

You can wear it as a shoulder bag or a handbag, and there’s even a 15” padded laptop compartment, in case you want to get some work done on the trip (when hanging out on dry land, of course).

And it’s water-resistant, too!

What we don’t like

With a 20L capacity, the Everywhere bag has no room for cramming in extra items or anything big.

Some users have also complained about the trolley sleeve at the back- it’s can be difficult when sliding the trolley sleeve over the handle of your carry-on.

That said, I like that it’s a quality bag you can take everywhere! See what I did there?

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.2 x 7.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs without shoulder strap/ 3.4 lb with
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Materials: Nylon, leather
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Colors: 5

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Bag

Lightest carry-on luggage: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Bag

What’s large enough for all your things, yet doesn’t weigh you down? It’s not a joke—it’s the cute and functional Maxlite Rolling bag from TravelPro.

This travel-ready carrier is one of the lightest carry-on luggage that’s compact enough to fit underneath most airplane seats as a personal item for flights.

It can also hold a lot.

There’s a roomy 26-liter interior to hold your shoes and clothing, two exterior zippered side pockets for a small umbrella/ water bottle as well as a small zippered pocket on the front for cell phone, boarding pass, battery pack, pens, and keys.

Worried about your delicate tech?

Don’t be.

There are padded pockets for your 14” laptop and tablet.

And with a removable and water-resistant toiletry organizer, packing your cosmetics or toiletries is one thing you won’t have to stress about. 

Lightest carry-on luggage

What we also like

You can carry it over your shoulder with the padded shoulder strap or carry it with the top handle, or slip this bag onto your luggage for hand-free movement

Best part: it features inline skate wheels that users say roll smoothly on any terrain.

What we don’t like

If you’re only traveling a short distance, it can be bothersome that the handle doesn’t seem to lock in place unless it is fully extended.

The Maxlite 5 travel bag’s trolley strap, which is used to attach it to a suitcase, is also flimsy and some users have reported that it tears easily.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.
  • Capacity: 26L
  • Luggage Type: Underseat carry-on
  • Colours: 5, depending on what’s available
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port

Lightest carry-on luggage

Samsonite’s Spinner Underseater has many surprising elements I like.

It weighs just 2.5kg, fits under the seat of most airlines, and is made to last because, well, it’s Samsonite and they don’t scrimp on quality.

But how much can it hold?

The bag has a spacious interior with many pockets including a padded compartment for your laptop, as well as two exterior pockets (all zipped) that are deep enough to hold a headphone, power adapters, chargers, a passport, and of course, snacks because why not!

In fact, one user claims he was able to pack items for a full week’s worth of clothing, including two different pairs of shoes, toiletries, and other small items in this bag. And we agree!

But even if you’re not a strict minimalist when packing, this bag still offers so much space–plenty, in fact, to pack for a 3-4 day trip, at least.

What we also like

If that wasn’t enough, Samsonite incorporated a built-in USB port to charge your phone, and a trolley sleeve so you can slip it over your suitcase handle for easy transport.

Pick it up in one of three beautiful colors – purple, ocean, and jet black- and stay organized for all your travels to come.

I have no doubt that the durability of this bag will make this your go-to for years to come.

What we don’t like

Some individuals have complained that the placement of the laptop sleeve makes it difficult to quickly access items in airports and that it may not accommodate devices larger than 13 inches.

All things considered, this is a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a quality, contemporary carry-on bag.

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 13.75 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs.
  • Luggage Type: Underseat carry-on
  • Colours: 2, depending on what’s available
  • Warranty: Limited 3-Year Warranty

Buyer’s Guide: how to choose the lightest carry-on luggage

When it comes to buying the lightest carry-on luggage for either domestic or international travel, here are a few factors I think are important you should be aware of.


When it comes to carry-ons, size matters.

But before deciding on the size of my carry-on bag, I usually consider two things:

  • the storage capacity of the bag in relation to the length of the trip; and
  • the carry-on size requirement of the airline I’ll be flying with.

If I’m planning a longer trip, I’ll want a larger carry-on bag with more packing capacity, so I can fit all my clothes, shoes, and other essentials. On the other hand, if I’m only going away for a weekend, I’ll probably opt for a smaller bag with less packing capacity, because I know that would be lighter and easier to manage.

For instance, a carry-on suitcase with extra compartments and packing cubes is my best bet if I’m packing for a week or more, and will stick with the Osprey Farpoint 40l backpack for a few days trip.

The second factor I consider is the carry-on size requirements of the airline I’ll be flying with before I choose my bag.

Some airlines have stricter size regulations than others, so I want to make sure my bag meets those limits to avoid any issues at the airport.

Here’s a carry-on size guideline to help:

  • Carry-on size for domestic airlines: The standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (this includes the handles and wheels, not just the measurement of the case itself).
  • International carry-on size: When traveling with smaller, regional airlines outside of the United States, you’ll want to get luggage that stands at 21 inches or less.
  • Personal item size: In addition to the carry-on luggage, many airlines allow passengers to board the plane with a personal item- a laptop bag, purse, an underseater bag, etc. The most common dimension of a personal item is 16 x 12 x 6 inches.

Always verify the accurate dimension and weight requirement with your airline. 


Lightest carry-on luggage

As someone who travels frequently, I understand the importance of keeping my bag as light as possible to avoid any unnecessary strain on my shoulders and back.

The lighter my bag, the more comfortable and effortless it is to carry around.

This is especially when navigating through airports, where I may need to walk long distances or lift my bag into overhead compartments.

Obviously, if portability is your priority, you’ll want to go for a backpack, duffel, or even an underseater bag. They tend to be lighter and take up less room on airplanes or in public transit than their suitcase counterparts.

For instance, the lightest suitcase here weighs 3.9 lbs, while the Luca Duffel is 1.95 lbs and the Deuter Speed Lite 21 backpack comes in at just 1 pound.

Material & durability

Lightest carry-on luggage

With carry-on luggage, in particular, you want something light enough to easily transport but also durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel.

For soft-sided bags, the lightest carry-on luggage is made from softer and lightweight materials like polyester and nylon but if you’re planning on using your bag regularly, it’s worth opting for something a bit more robust like ballistic nylon or Cordura nylon

But what about hard-sided luggage?

Well, polypropylene and polycarbonate are the most recommended materials because they tend to be much more lightweight than aluminum which in turn is super durable, but also the heaviest.

In fact, the folks at say that “polypropylene is the lightest material used in hard side luggage, and I agree, but I would recommend polycarbonate instead over it cos of its durability.

Remember, carry-on bags are often put through some serious wear and tear since they’re constantly being hauled around in tight spaces.

That is why they need to be made from materials that can withstand a lot of punishment without falling apart.


Once I am convinced about the size, weight, and features I want in my carry-on bag, I proceed to read the reviews to know the pros and cons of the bag according to genuine users. 

User reviews show me how the bag works in practice and alert me to any potential issues that may not be clear from the bag’s specifications or descriptions.

The good news is that for the bags I do not personally own, I have done a ton of research on the reviews of the bags and have included only the well-rated options.

Extra features

Lightest carry-on luggage

When looking for the lightest carry-on luggage, it’s important to think about the features that would be most valuable and convenient for you.

For organization, you may consider features like pockets, compression straps, dividers, a padded laptop sleeve, expandable zippers, and more.

I would also look out for comfort features like padded straps and a comfortable handle if it’s a backpack; smooth rolling wheels, and a telescopic handle for wheeled bags. This way, you can carry it for longer periods without straining your shoulders or hands.

And of course, convenience is key.

I imagine you’d choose a bag with a water-resistant exterior, built-USB charging ports, or a built-in lock to keep your valuables safe over those that do not.

What is a lightweight carry-on?

I think carry-on luggage should weigh less than 5 or 6 pounds. Anything more than that may be too heavy to lift, carry or manage on your own.

How can you choose a lightweight carry-on?

A good place to start is to go for bags that are made with lightweight materials such as polycarbonate or nylon because they are often durable and will still meet most airlines’ size requirements for carry-on bags.

Also, bags with plenty of organizational pockets and compartments not only keep your belongings arranged but only help with weight distribution. So look out for those.

And I hope you are aware that a suitcase can still be filled heavily even though it is lightweight.

So remember to pack lightly by only carrying what is absolutely necessary and use packing techniques like rolling your garments or utilizing packing cubes.

What is considered a piece of carry-on luggage?

A piece of carry-on luggage is any bag that you bring with you on the flight and put in the overhead compartment above your seat.

It could a suitcase, backpack, or duffel bag.

The generally acceptable dimension for carry-on luggage is 22” x 14” x 9”.

Each airline has its guidelines regarding the size of carry-on bags, so if in doubt, it is always a good idea to check their website.

How much weight is allowed in the cabin?

Lightest carry-on luggage - person checking carry-on bag in airport size checker

Most airlines do not have a specific restriction regarding the weight of your carry-on luggage or personal item.

While they will always weigh your checked bag, they usually don’t bother weighing your hand luggage.

However, you should make sure that you can comfortably lift your luggage above your head into the overhead bin.

Which is lighter hard or soft luggage?

Are soft or hard suitcases lighter?

Softside luggage is generally lighter than hard-side suitcase, making them easy to carry around.

This is because the materials used to make softside luggage are lightweight and less dense than those used for hard-side suitcases.

Also, they tend to be lighter because they’re not made with a rigid frame. This also makes them more flexible such that you can add more items to your bag during travel.

Hardside suitcases on the other hand offer more protection for your belongings, but they’re often heavier and less versatile than softside luggage.

So if you’re looking for something lightweight and durable, softside luggage is a good option.

Why buy lightweight luggage?

Lightest carry-on luggage - lady attempting to lift a suitcase

What are the benefits of carrying light luggage?

It’s simple. The less weight you lug around, the better.

I doubt you need convincing, but here are reasons why you should choose light and compact bags over heavy ones:

  • You’ll board and exit the plane more swiftly if you have a light bag.

Because they are easy to carry, you can quickly navigate the terminal and make your way to your gate. This can save you a ton of time, particularly if you’re traveling for work or have to catch a connecting flight.

  • You won’t have to deal with the inconvenience of carrying hefty bags

You may easily whiz through the airport terminal into your next location because, as I have already noted, lightweight luggage is waayy easier to deal with. No standing in line at the baggage claim, no oversized baggage fees, and no strain on the back, shoulder, or other parts of the body that can lead to pain or injury.

  • Bags that are lightweight come in handy when using public transportation

From airports to buses, trains, or hotel rooms, you won’t feel as tired carrying it about or lifting it into your car or onto the overhead bin because it’s lighter and easier to store and move. 

Final Thoughts

When shopping for a new piece of baggage to bring on your next trip, the 16 lightest carry-on bags under 6 lbs reviewed below should be a good place to start.

You can be sure that no matter what bag you go for, it will satisfy your demands because they were all chosen for their lightweight construction and practicality.

Over to you.

Let me know your thoughts, questions, or experiences with light carry-on luggage in the comments!

This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. These bags have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.

7 thoughts on “Top 16 Lightest Carry-on luggage Under 6lbs! (UPDATED)”

  1. Femi, thanks for a very detailed post which comes at just the right time as I am just about to embark on my holiday to South Africa and it has been quite a while since flying due to the pandemic. As a result I am not clued up at all anymore in regards to luggage requirements etc. and can certainly do with a light carry-on luggage solution.

  2. Hey Femi,

    thanks for the in-depth guide. I’m off on holiday to Turkey in October and we need to get some decent luggage ready for it, as it’s been years since we last went away.

    There is so much to consider, but your guide has made it much easier to find what I think I need. Understanding the individual airline’s requirements is essential, but your list makes buying the right stuff easier.

    Thanks again

  3. I have had a lot of good experiences with Travelpro. It’s a budget-friendly brand, but the quality isn’t suffered by any means, though!

  4. My eyes light up at the sight of my new carry on luggage
    It’s small and light, perfect for my next trip
    I eagerly unzip the bag to find it’s full of surprises
    A lifetime of memories stored in one little bag
    I can’t wait to get started on my next adventure
    With my trusty new carry on by my side.

    Thank you for an excellent article and great recommendations!

  5. What a wealth of information you have provided in this article. Thank you so much for helping with my search to find a new piece of luggage I can use as a carry-on.

    After reading through the options here, I really like the July Carry On Light. Weighing in at less than 4 pounds??

    That is just fantastic, and the fact that it fits in an overhead. Perfect.

    I also love that it is waterproof, however, it is not like I will be carrying on any more than 3 oz of liquid. (wink wink)

    Thanks for the warning about the bright color options and the scratches that may show up more easily.

    You say personalization is free.. What type of personalization do they offer? Like embroidery or something?

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    • Thanks for your input, Ashley! I am glad you found the article helpful.

      The July Carry On Light is a great option and it’s wonderful that it meets your needs for weight and size.

      The personalization is free and can be anything from embroidery to lettering ana monogrammed patch. Hope that helps!



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