6 Carry-On Bag Types to Travel in Style

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Are you a card-carrying member of the jet-set club? Whether you travel for business or pleasure, you want to look your best upon takeoff. After all, you never know who you will meet when you go on a journey, from a cutie assigned to the adjoining seat to the CEO of a company where you recently submitted a resume. Peruse these 6 carry-on bag types so you can travel in style.

The ideal carry-on luggage marries form and function with style. You can choose from a variety of models, each with unique features suited for specific purposes. Evaluate your needs and then indulge in a bit of retail therapy with one of these carry-on bag types.


Did you think you left this behind with your school days? Nonsense! Today, many adults carry backpacks instead of other types of baggage because of the comfort factor. If you have a shoulder, neck or back injury, this style of carry-on bag can save you considerable pain if you adjust it appropriately.

Take the time to readjust the straps for your attire — your bag will hang differently over a button-down than a bulky sweater or a suit jacket. Adjust the length of the straps so the backpack doesn’t swing from side to side when you walk. If your model comes with a chest strap, using it can further alleviate pressure.

Resist the temptation to sling your carry-on over one shoulder. If you wear it correctly, you should ease any typical discomfort from heavy luggage considerably. 

Duffel Bags 

Do you have multiple layovers, or do you need to use public transportation when you reach your destination? If so, a duffel bag may make the ideal carry-on luggage choice for you. Trying to heft a standard suitcase up and down bus stairwells can cause considerable shoulder strain. 

This style of luggage also comes in handy if you’re traveling over rough terrain. While a suitcase will roll over pavement and tile, it won’t do well on dirt or cobblestone — and it can prove unwieldy to lift. You can pick up and carry a duffel with ease, and they’re typically lighter in weight.

Oversized Briefcase 

Good news — designers have improved the traditional briefcase significantly in recent years. No longer do most models consist of slimline numbers that can hold paperwork and little else. Now, many versions have specialty pockets for various electronic devices, as well as additional space. If you’re traveling to a tropical location for a brief getaway, this type of carry-on bag can potentially hold both your tablet and your necessary toiletries, as well as clean socks and underwear. 

Messenger Bag

Before you shake your head at anything that you associate with a bulky purse, think back to the last time you sneezed. Whom did you ask for a tissue? Probably a woman, because you knew she had one tucked in her bag. Today’s messenger bags for men feature sleek styling that makes them impossible to confuse with a DKNY evening clutch. You’ll look enviably hipster — if that’s the image you prefer to project. 

Soft Roller 

Are you the sort who can’t resist a souvenir, even if you don’t know how you’ll transport it home? If so, soft-sided rolling luggage could make a perfect carry-on, as long as your travels don’t take you over rugged terrain. Because the sides give at least somewhat, you can usually squeeze in one more item — if it isn’t too bulky. Plus, traditional suitcases feature straps and pockets that hold your gear in place — helpful if your hotel room lacks an ironing board. 

Hardsided Security Bags 

If you carry valuables in your take-on luggage, or you have significant security concerns, you can invest in a hard-sided suitcase. These babies will hold up to jarring and tossing while protecting the contents within — useful if you’re bringing home china from Beijing. Plus, depending on the material you choose, these are virtually impervious to thieves. 

Select the Right Carry-on to Fly in Style 

The perfect carry-on luggage for you blends your signature style with the precise functionality you need. Consider these carry-on bag types and select a new one so you can fly more fashionably. 

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