Gear: cabin lug­gage

When Wan­der­lust be­gan, our founder trav­elled around South Amer­ica with just a sin­gle piece of hand lug­gage – choose the right one these days and you, too, can go cabin-ap­proved only…

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Hand lug­gage-only? We vet eight cases to see which has it in the bag


With air­lines de­creas­ing and in­creas­ing lug­gage al­lowances all the time, it’s dif­fi­cult to keep track (not that we’re re­fer­ring to any par­tic­u­lar Irish bud­get air­line). But do check the di­men­sions fit – par­don the pun – with most air­lines so you’re al­lowed to fit them into the over­head locker or un­der the seat in front of you.

Un­packed weight

Vi­tal to con­sider. With most al­lowances hit­ting the scales at 7kg to 10kg, ev­ery gram your bag weighs pre-pack­ing is one less for your vi­tal equip­ment.


Some will come with or­gan­iser pock­ets, spe­cially padded sleeves for laptops and tablets and vented sec­tions to keep wet/dry or clean/dirty clothes apart. Weigh up if these things are im­por­tant to you, as hav­ing them can of­ten in­crease cost and grams on the scales.


Brands vie for your love with added-value ad­di­tions rang­ing from combi locks built into cases, to rugged wheels and the abil­ity to ex­pand or con­tract the in­ner ca­pac­ity. But be­fore you are per­suaded to part with your hard-earned cash, do con­sider if you re­ally need them all.


All cases tested here fea­ture a sin­gle or dou­ble tele­scopic han­dle, which al­lows you to tip and wheel your lug­gage. Sin­gle ones take up less room but can make the case harder to ma­noeu­vre; dou­bles eat up in­ter­nal space but make mov­ing it around eas­ier. Also look for mul­ti­ple grab han­dles: these make the bag eas­ier to pick up or lift up into lock­ers on planes.


Two wheels mean you have to tip to roll; four means you can sim­ply push or pull. More wheels means more weight but greater sta­bil­ity. – it’s al­ways a compromise.

Smith took large Phoebe cases Editor-at- ap­proved cabin- fol­low­ing coped. the how they road see out on the

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