Updated: Aug 29
Best Smart Carry-On
Over the last five years we have seen a huge increase in smart luggage available in the marketplace so selecting the best smart carry-on luggage is no easy task.
The market saw the first introduction of smart luggage initially through startups, this took off dramatically and has grown in popularity ever since. We are now seeing more and more mainstream luggage manufacturers produce their own smart luggage as the demand continues to rise.
The products we have selected below are ideal for anyone who is wanting to join the smart luggage community and make the step up with their travel baggage. The frustration of failing to find an airport charging station whilst traveling will be a thing of the past, as these carry-on items below provide flash charging USB ports among many other benefits.
With many brands offering attractive features selecting the best smart carry-on luggage can be challenging. We have rounded up and shortlisted this down to the best two on the market.
The Carry-On by Away is a great choice for someone who wants to buy their first smart carry-on but is not looking to break the bank. When looking for the best carry-on smart luggage available on the market this was a carry-on we had to include. Away has manufactured a high-quality carry-on at a fraction of the price of other available products on the market. The case has received excellent reviews across the board from consumers, so we had to include this in our list of the best smart carry-on luggage.
This smart carry-on includes an ejectable, rechargeable battery to meet your charging needs whilst on the go. The carry-on has a durable hard-shell exterior and retractable handle with a combination lock for extra security. Another nice little addition to this carry-on is that it offers two compartments with a waterproof nylon bag. This allows for you to pack away those wet items without having to worry about them getting the whole case and rest of your clothes wet.
As mentioned above, generally this carry-on has received great reviews from consumers but one downside to the case is that it doesn’t have outside pockets. The option to use the outside pockets when traveling can be helpful but this carry-on doesn’t provide that option. Another downside is that it can be too small for some travelers in comparison to other carry-on cases so that is something to consider before purchasing.
In general, the Away Carry-On is deserving as one of the best smart carry-on luggage with its sleek looks and great features all at a reasonable price.
● Durable polycarbonate shell
● Ejectable battery that charges your phone
● TSA-approved combination lock
● 360° spinner wheels
● Suitcase features leather details
● Black leather luggage tag
● Interior compression system
● Hidden laundry bag
● Brand: Away
● Weight: 3.4 kg
● Capacity: 39.8 L
● Exterior Measurements 55.1 cm x 34.8 cm x 22.9 cm
● Interior Measurements 50 cm x 34 cm
The Frame Carry-On by Arlo Skye is the perfect case that combines style with substance. This case had to be selected on our list of best carry-on smart luggage, as it offers all the great features of a smart case but with super durability. The frame of this carry-on is built with aluminum, so is able to hold its own against any drops and other punishments. I’m sure we have all had the experience of waiting for our case to arrive to find out that the airport staff haven’t treated our case with much love in transit.
The biggest reason for selecting this carry-on as one of the best smart carry-on available is because the case is durable whilst not compromising it’s looks. As we all know, many durable carry-on cases on the market are durable but not always the pretties on the eye. Where this carry-on is winning is that it combines the durability with its great looks and smart features. In our opinion, the case ticks so many boxes when looking for the best smart carry-on.
One of the best smart features of this case is that it offers lightning fast charge time from its multiple USB sockets. A cell phone can be charged fully in under an hour with this carry-on. Additionally, the case has replaced traditional zippers with secure locks that require code to open for extra security.
This carry-on by Arlo Skye has a stylish design, durable frame and lighting fast charger. Usually when picking the best smart carry-on luggage people will select the prettiest. This usually ends up breaking within a year of purchase due to the lack of durability. However, if you go for The Frame Carry-On this super durable luggage will likely last you many years without needing a replacement.
The biggest downfall of this carry-on case in some regard is the aluminum exterior. The all-chrome exterior might not dent due to its durability, but the case will certainly scratch easily. The all-chrome look may not be for everyone too and so it may be worth going with the black color as this will also hide any scratches better.
In review, the Arlo Skye carry-on is deserving of the title as one of the best smart carry-on luggage on the market. The carry-on combines style with substance and a durable sleek case that packs in a good amount of smart features.
● Removable battery, adapter, and USB Type C cable
● Full grain leather name tag
● Two shoe bags
● One laundry bag
● Cotton storage cover
● Brand: Arlo Skye
● Weight: 4.4kg
● Capacity: 38 L
● Exterior Dimensions with wheels / handles: 22.0" x 14.0" x 9.0"
● Interior Dimensions: 20.0" x 13.4" x 9.0"
Key Features to Look for in a Smart Carry-On
As we have outlined above, there are many benefits to a smart carry-on with smart luggage offering high-tech capabilities such as device charging, GPS tracking and even electronic locks. But many airlines aren’t as excited about smart luggage as we are.
To further help you with your search for the right smart carry-on, we have outlined some of the features you should pay attention to during your selection.
Airlines Battery Rules
Smart carry-on luggage is mainly powered by lithium batteries, which are known to be fire hazards, especially on airplanes. As a result, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) recommended that airlines stop allowing the use of smart luggage with non-removable lithium batteries in 2018.
In selecting the best smart carry-on luggage for this article, we had these regulations in mind. So be rest assured that the smart carry-on luggage we have recommended meet the requirements of the IATA and TSA requirements. Therefore, it is important to do your research into how the smart carry-on is powered.
It is worth noting that with so many smart carry-on luggage available on the market, offering all sorts of cool techie features it is important to do your research before buying. The last thing you would want is to have a smart carry-on with all the flashy lights, but later learn it doesn’t meet airline requirements.
When selecting a carry-on, make sure that the bag is cabin compatible and meets airlines restrictions. In the USA, that is usually 45 (22 x 14 x 9) linear inches include the wheels and handles.
Many manufacturers will produce their bags to meet these requirements but it's worth noting that you don’t just rely on the seller’s website. Do your own research to make sure you are selecting the best smart carry-on luggage that meets the correct dimensions.
This is one of the main features to look for when purchasing a smart carry-on. In your search you may have found the best carry-on luggage for techies, but how does this look on the scales. When traveling with carry-on luggage it's important to stick below the weight capacity to avoid any extra fees. In Europe, the maximum weight is 8kg and the USA 18kg per carry-on.
Manufactures are now using materials to help lighten the load on travelers to avoid overweight baggage fees but before purchasing any carry-on make sure you check the weight. This is something you will thank yourself for later down the line when packing for your trips.
Wheels is another important feature to consider and its worth to note that the bigger the wheels the better. The reason being, with bigger wheels the smoother the role, therefore, not having to deal with getting stuck on each little bump. Another key is selecting a carry-on that has four wheels rather than two which will allow for the carry-on to spin 360 degrees for easier navigation.
In the hunt for the best carry-on smart luggage, it's worth to note that the wheels are usually the first to break, having four makes it more likely there will be a malfunction. When shopping, ensure you are looking for a carry-on that is durable both with the exterior case but also the wheels.
Our Top Pick
All the cases on our list have been carefully selected to bring you the best smart carry-on luggage available on the market. Each one of the cases are reliable, cost effective, and possess all the key features.
Our top pick is the Frame Carry-On by Arlo Skye, this carry-on has all the key features and meets the buying requirements listed whilst looking slick at the same time. The Arlo Skye carry-on is durable (among the most durable on the market) so the likelihood of you looking for a new replacement carry-on anytime soon is very unlikely as this case will serve you well and for a long time.
By Mark Ollerton - Freelance Writer