Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Welcome to Monederosmart! As we are honoured by your visit, we have prepared a special article for travellers, especially for those who are constantly on the move for work, personal reasons or just for fun. The truth is that everything is easier when you carry a suitable hand luggage.

Sure, good luggage in general will save you money, hassle and even illness if your clothes aren't as warm as they need to be, but hand luggage is luggage that will include the basic and unavoidable day-to-day necessities that are allowed by the carrier, such as toiletries.

Throughout this text you will find everything you need to know about hand luggage, its characteristics, types and other details of interest so that you can choose the best option, the one that suits your needs, your tastes and your routine.

The most important things

  • Carry-on suitcases are usually compact in size. Generally, their standard measurements are 55 centimetres high, 40 centimetres wide and 20 centimetres deep, and allow us to include our most fragile or important luggage (such as tablets, toiletries or personal documents) to carry it with us throughout the journey.
  • You can find basically 3 types of hand luggage: wheeled, backpack or hand bag. All of them have particular characteristics so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and your type of luggage.
  • Before purchasing your hand luggage, you need to take into account the material with which it is made (this in turn will determine its resistance), the dimensions with which it has, the compartments included to better distribute your belongings and security systems.

The Best Hand Luggage: Our Picks

Fortunately, there are many options to choose from when it comes to hand luggage, in terms of models, colours, sizes, materials and more. Here are our top 3 choices from the entire universe of luggage you can find.

Buying guide: What you need to know about hand luggage

We want you to choose the best hand luggage for you and that is why we made a step by step guide on all the options and features you'll find in the market. That way you can know exactly what you need and what final choice you should take to meet all your requirements.

most important belongings (Photo: MorningbirdPhoto /

What is a carry-on suitcase and what are its advantages?

We all know that suitcases are our most important companions on every trip. When we talk about hand luggage, we are talking about a smaller and more compact version of regular suitcases so that they can travel with each passenger without having to be separated from them.

Unlike standard suitcases (which you store away from you on planes and other transport), carry-on suitcases are positioned close to each person's seat, as you may store frequently used items such as some toiletries, personal documentation, technological devices, some permitted snacks and the like.

After knowing this, here is a list of advantages that you can get by taking a hand luggage with you and thus achieve a more enjoyable trip and have everything you need close by. Read on!

  • You can keep it close during the trip
  • Diversity in models
  • You will keep your documents close
  • You will be able to distribute your belongings
  • They represent an additional burden
  • It can bother during the trip
  • They can be very heavy
  • Not all sizes are allowed

Wheeled suitcase, backpack or handbag - what should you pay attention to?

We have already mentioned that there is a diversity of models when it comes to hand luggage, but what is really important is that you will be able to choose the best one for the amount of items you will carry, your stamina, your comfort, your other luggage and much more.

Basically, you can find in the market 3 types of hand luggage, among which are those with wheels (or carry-on), backpacks and handbags. Although these 3 models are accepted as long as they meet the requirements, you should consider which of them best meets your expectations

With wheels. The best thing about this model that emulates the traditional suitcases (carry-on) is that you can move it easily, thanks to its wheels, and you only have to pull it by the main handle, which is stored to install it in a better way when boarding. It can also be lifted by its external handles, although this may be much less comfortable.

Backpack. As with the school, this hand luggage has two large straps that you can carry over your shoulders for better distribution of the overall weight. You have the advantage of having both hands free, so you can keep other important documents or items there.

Tote bag. If you have a light load, this might be the best option for you. They usually have 2 handles to lift with your hands and an additional long strap to hold on your shoulders, depending on how you prefer to carry it. Not recommended for more delicate or heavier loads.

On wheels Backpack Rucksack Hand bag
Displacement Pulling On person On person
Type of load Medium to heavy Light to medium Light Light
Weight distribution No weight supported On shoulders On one shoulder or hands
Luggage protection Secure depending on material Secure depending on material Not secure

Depending on the material and its resistance, hand luggage can be affordable for every need and every budget. (Photo: StockSnap /

Buying criteria

You already know the types of hand luggage according to their models, but it is important to take into consideration other elements that will clearly define your travel experience. Here's a list of the most important ones to help you make a smart purchase.


We've talked about buying sturdy carry-on luggage, and by that we mean mainly the way they are made and how their material will interact with the environment and the luggage you include. In this sense, you will find basically 2 types:

Hard suitcase. Its outer shell is made of materials such as polypropylene and plastic (ABS) in order to provide greater strength and impermeability. This type of suitcase is usually more resistant to scratches, bumps or weather changes. They are commonly found in wheeled models and are recommended when the luggage is delicate or fragile.

Soft suitcase. It is one of the most common due to its comfort and lightness. It has resistant fabrics such as polyester or leather, its weight is much lower and allows a greater amount of luggage thanks to its adaptability and flexibility. You can fit them in all models and they are recommended when you need extra space and you don't have fragile objects.


As we have indicated, there is a wide range of sizes to choose from depending on the model. However, it is important to know the specifications of your airline before deciding on the size you will choose. The average maximum size is around 55 centimetres high, 40 centimetres wide and 20 centimetres deep.

The maximum weight of your hand luggage will also depend on your airline, but a maximum total weight of 10 kilograms is generally acceptable, so it is important that you choose a suitcase whose initial weight is not very representative. You can find them from 500 grams (usually small) up to 3.5 kilograms in weight.


One of the most important features of a carry-on suitcase is the existence of compartments, due to the possibility you will have to better organize your belongings, separate them by type (for example, hygiene items away from your laptop) and thus be able to locate them in a better way when you have to take them out. These are their types:

Internal compartments. These can usually be found in the main compartment. The intention is to be able to separate, within a large space, your belongings so that you can place them in a better way and they do not mix with each other. They also aim to keep the most delicate objects secure.

External compartments. These are located on the outside of the hand luggage and are usually sealed with zips, buttons, magnet fasteners or similar. They are usually much smaller than the regular sections and allow us to locate certain items quickly without the need to open the larger sections.


We know that hand luggage is always with us because it includes your most valuable, fragile or important belongings. But that doesn't mean that we can be exempt from theft if we are careless for a moment. That's why we recommend securing the most important pockets or zips.

Many carry-on suitcases include a security system with hidden or padlockable and lockable compartments, and if not, we recommend you purchase your own to ensure your cargo arrives safely and in full.

When buying a suitcase, remember that there must come an occasion when you have to carry it yourself. - Paul Morand

(Featured image source: Tucker Good / Unsplash)

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