Which cabin bag to choose: 8 tips


Before choosing an offer considered to be cheaper than another on a cabin bag, you need to understand how to choose the cabin bag model that's best for you.

This small travel bag has already won you over with its cabin format, as all the details such as the handle, wheels, trolley, and extendable option have been redesigned for its small dimensions.

With a smaller volume in liters but just as smart a design, this cabin bag is ideal if you want to take it everywhere with you.

This small piece of luggage will delight all those who don't want to have any trouble transporting this little 4-wheeled bag during their journey.

But there are other important factors to take into account, such as your choice of airline. Read the following article to make sure you don't miss out on anything when choosing your cabin baggage!

1- The size and dimensions of the cabin baggage

Airline companies

Which cabin bag should I choose? First of all, check the dimensions authorized by the airline you are traveling with. The standard dimensions are 55 x 35 x 25 cm. However, it is important to check your airline's restrictions carefully, as tensions may vary.

Exceeding the regulatory size may result in additional charges or even a ban on boarding your suitcase. In this case, the airline will place your suitcase in the hold of the plane, like a large or medium-sized suitcase.

Beware of low-cost airlines

On a low-cost flight, this can happen quickly, as the authorized dimensions are often smaller than on a standard airline. The best cabin suitcases therefore also depend on the airline you choose for your trip.

In general, when you take the train, you'll have fewer worries about the size of your cabin baggage. However, it's worth checking with each airline.

Additional hand baggage

For your small additional piece of hand luggage, you will generally be entitled to dimensions of 40 x 20 cm x 20 cm, to be confirmed according to your airline. What is valid for Air France is not necessarily the same for Transavia. Take this into account when making your purchase!

Choosing your cabin bag: What size do I need?

Secondly, assess your cabin baggage capacity requirements. If you travel light, a small cabin bag will suit you. If you need several outfits or need to carry electronic equipment, opt for a larger cabin bag.

However, be careful not to overload your baggage, as you may have to carry it with you throughout your journey.

The compartments of your cabin baggage

Thirdly, check the compartments and functionalities of your suitcase. Choose a cabin bag with several pockets and compartments for your personal belongings. You can also choose a suitcase with an outside pocket or organizer to simplify access to your small items.

If you're traveling with a computer or tablet, make sure your cabin bag has a dedicated, padded compartment to protect it.

The weight of the cabin bag

Fourthly, check the weight of your cabin bag. Weight limits vary from airline to airline, but in general, the maximum authorized weight is 10 kg. Choose a lightweight suitcase to avoid exceeding the weight limit.

Opt for resistant materials to ensure the durability of your suitcase and avoid travel-related damage.

To find a suitcase with quality materials and optimized weight, look for the big brands that offer innovative technologies like Samsonite's Curv.

2- Rigid or flexible cabin suitcase? The comparison

Every experienced traveler knows that choosing the right suitcase is crucial. Particularly when it comes to a cabin suitcase, which is often the only piece of luggage you can take with you in the cabin.

But with the plethora of cabin suitcases on offer, it's not always easy to know which is the best cabin suitcase.

One of the most important choices when it comes to finding the best options for your hand luggage is between a rigid and a soft suitcase.

We'll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two options, to help you make the choice that best suits your needs.

Rigid Cabin Suitcase

Rigid cases are made from materials such as polycarbonate, polypropylene, or ABS, which are renowned for their high impact resistance. These cases have a more modern, trendy look than soft bags. They are also water-resistant and easy to clean.

The wheels on hard cases are generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear than those on soft cases. What's more, the maneuverability of hard cases is excellent, thanks to the use of multi-directional wheels.

That said, while hard cases offer excellent protection for your belongings, they tend to be less flexible and may not offer enough storage space for larger or bulky items.

Best suitcases: Why choose the Soft Cabin suitcase?

Soft suitcases are made of fiber, fabric, or canvas. They are lighter than rigid suitcases, which can be an advantage if you need to carry your luggage over longer distances.

Soft suitcases often have extra exterior pockets, side compartments, and straps, giving you more storage space than a traditional rigid suitcase. They are also more flexible, allowing you to manipulate the shape of the case to suit the space you need.

However, soft cases can be a little more fragile than hard cases. They may not be the best option for transporting fragile items and may offer less protection against water.

Cabin Luggage 55cm LILAS

3- Carry-on suitcase: features


As well as strength, it's important to choose a suitcase that's easy to transport. Cases with 360-degree swivel wheels are the most practical, as they make it easier to maneuver the case in airport corridors.

Suitcases with retractable handles, located on the top and side of the suitcase, are also a good option, as they make carrying the suitcase easier.

When it comes to the suitcase trolley, it's best to opt for a double-tube telescopic handle, with a wide reinforced handle for effortless movement.


The organization of your cabin bag is important to make packing easier. Cases with several compartments are more practical for this purpose.

Some models also have interior or exterior pockets specially designed to hold shoes, documents or valuables. This will keep your belongings tidy and make it easier to find what you need when you arrive at your destination.


The final criterion to consider is the security of the cabin bag. Luggage with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) locks is the safest, as customs officials can open it without having to break it if necessary.

What's more, opting for a suitcase with a code lock will protect you against theft.

4- How many wheels does a cabin suitcase have?

Two-wheeled cabin suitcases

The first suitcases were traditionally two-wheeled, and they are still popular today. These suitcases have straight wheels that roll along before being tilted to move sideways.

Two-wheeled suitcases are generally lighter and less bulky, making them perfect for short trips when you don't need to take a lot of stuff with you. The main drawback is that you have to constantly rock the suitcase to move it from one place to another, which can become tedious on a long journey.

Four-wheeled cabin suitcases

Four-wheeled suitcases have wheels built into each corner of the case, allowing them to turn 360 degrees with ease. This allows you to move the suitcase in any direction, whether forward, backward, or even around bends.

Four-wheeled suitcases are more stable and comfortable to move, making them an ideal choice for longer trips when you need to carry more stuff.

However, four-wheeled suitcases tend to be heavier and bulkier than two-wheeled suitcases.

Innovative wheel systems

With recent innovations in suitcase design, there are now hybrid options for those who can't choose between two or four wheels. Cases with three wheels, for example, have two wheels at the back and one at the front.

This ensures that the case doesn't tip over when you pull it behind you, which is ideal for cobbled streets or uneven pavements.

In addition, some suitcases come with wheels that convert to four-wheel castors at the touch of a button. This gives you the flexibility to choose according to your needs as a traveler.

5- How do I close my cabin bag?

If you're a regular traveler, you'll know that it's essential to choose the right cabin bag for your flight. However, it's also important to consider the way your suitcase closes.

You may be wondering which is the best option for you. We'll explore the different closure options for cabin bags and help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Zip fasteners

The zip is the most common method of closure for cabin bags. It's popular because it's simple and practical.

However, it's worth noting that zips tend to break more easily than other options. So it's important to opt for a good quality zip if you're going to be traveling regularly.

Combination lock

A combination lock is a more secure locking option. It locks the suitcase using a combination of numbers set by the owner.

This method is ideal for trips where you are carrying valuable items or need extra security. However, be sure to write down the combination somewhere outside the suitcase to avoid forgetting it.

Key locks

Key locks also offer extra security for your items. However, it's important to note that you need to have the key with you at all times.

If you lose the key, it can be difficult to open your suitcase safely. So it's important to be careful when handling the key.

TSA lock

An increasingly popular option is the TSA lock. This method allows the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to check the contents of your suitcase without damaging your lock.

It is particularly useful for international travel. However, it's important to note that not all TSA suitcases are created equal. Make sure you choose a good quality model.

Snap closure

The snap closure is a relatively new closure option for cabin luggage.

It's particularly useful for trips where you're carrying clothes that you don't want to crease. This method is less common than the other options, but it is constantly evolving and becoming increasingly popular.

6- What budget should I set for my cabin bag?

The cabin bag market has the advantage of offering options for all travelers, and the reviews left on websites can also help you decide on the best value for money.

On average, the budget for a standard cabin bag is between €60 and €90. If you want to find the best value cabin suitcase, you can find options for less than 50 euros by waiting for promotions from major brands or by opting for highly competitive brands such as Camps United.

Discover Camps United: the 100% USA brand

There's something really special about Camps United luggage. Everything is done to evoke the world of the great American universities, with the unique atmosphere of the campuses of the 60s and 70s, while adding a touch of modernity at the same time. The only risk is that you won't want to part with your suitcase!

The designs are inspired by the great Ivy League universities. If you're a fan of American TV series, now's the time to go for it! To prevent theft, a 3-digit padlock is fitted to all suitcases, even the small cabin cases.

We're often tempted to leave our cabin baggage unattended for a short while, for example, to go to the toilet, but this makes your cabin baggage vulnerable to theft, even if you carry it with you the whole way. So it's best to be extra careful!

Camps United is, therefore, the ideal solution for unique style on a budget, and naturally forms part of our comparison of the best cabin suitcases.

What budget should I set for my top-of-the-range cabin baggage?

For holidays with a top-of-the-range suitcase, you can expect a much wider price range, depending on the luggage model, size, brand, etc. Between €120 and €400 on average, with models going up to over €800 for ultra-luxury luggage.

7- What accessories should I use with my cabin baggage? The guide

Hand luggage

Having a small piece of extra hand luggage means you can store lots of extra items, which can be handy when you only have to make do with a cabin bag.


A rucksack is ideal for carrying a laptop, documents, or items that don't fit in your suitcase. It also allows you to keep all your valuables within easy reach.

Vanity case

Vanity cases are perfect for storing toiletries and make-up, so you can freshen up on the move. You can also use them to store any other items you need to access easily in your cabin bag.

8- What material should a cabin suitcase be made of? The comparison

There are many options on the market for the material of your cabin bag. While we've looked at the different options for rigid suitcases, it's worth mentioning the advantages and disadvantages of each model to narrow down your choice of a suitcase for your holiday.


Aluminum is lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant, making it a good choice for carry-on luggage.

It is also more likely than other materials to conform to the shape of its contents, which can make packing easier. On the other hand, aluminum is generally more expensive than plastic or fabric cases.


ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a plastic material that can be used in cabin luggage. It has high impact resistance, making it a good choice for rough handling by airlines or others.

It's also lightweight and one of the most affordable hard-shell options. However, it's not the strongest option in terms of impact resistance!


Polycarbonate is one of the strongest plastics available and is used in many carry-on cases.

It is highly impact-resistant, making it an ideal choice for protecting fragile items during transport. Polycarbonate is also lightweight and generally more affordable than aluminum cases.

However, due to its rigid nature, it can be difficult to store small items in polycarbonate cases.


Polypropylene is often used in more delicate cases, such as those designed to carry electronic equipment.

Its flexibility makes it easy to store small items such as chargers and cables, while offering good protection against shocks and impacts. In addition, polypropylene is generally transparent or translucent, making it easy to see the contents without opening the case.


Curv is a composite material made up of layers of carbon fiber. It offers superior impact protection while being lightweight and rigid.

What sets Curv apart from other materials is its ability to be molded into complex shapes, making it ideal for cases that need to contain irregularly shaped objects. It is also highly durable.