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…
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.
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