Best hand luggage UK 2023: top cabin bags that comply with EasyJet, BA and Ryanair sizes

Top cabin bags and suitcases that you can carry on to an airplaneTop cabin bags and suitcases that you can carry on to an airplane
Top cabin bags and suitcases that you can carry on to an airplane | Top cabin bags and suitcases that you can carry on to an airplane

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Here are some great carry on bags that will fit within hand luggage dimensions for airlines including Easyjet, BA and Ryanair

Don’t let a cumbersome piece of wheeled check-in luggage slow you down at airports. A cabin bag can save you time and stress.

What should I look for in a cabin bag?

First and foremost, you need to make sure your chosen cabin bag fits within the baggage dimension allowances of the airline you are travelling with - it’s no good buying a bag and then realising it won’t be allowed onboard! All of the bags listed below are airline compliant.

Once you’ve made sure the bag is indeed small enough, the next thing to consider is what features work best for you. It’s usually a good idea to look for a bag or suitcase which offers at least one zipped compartment so that precious and valuable items, such as your passport and travel documents can be kept secure. This also means that you’ll always know where they are so you can grab them when needed.

Firstly, smaller suitcases or hard cases are probably the most durable option and offer hard-wearing protection for frequent travellers.

Small over the shoulder bags or duffel bags are also an investment and can be a stylish option too. Thirdly, there’s the backpack or rucksack option, which can be very useful when it comes to a bag providing additional or secondary uses once at your destination - everyone needs a good, reliable rucksack in their life!

Best cabin bags at a glance:

What is it made from?

The next thing to consider is the material the bag is made of. Some are plastic so they tend to be the most hard-wearing, but this also means that they are of course the most rigid so there will be no squeezing them in to the smallest of spaces in the over-head lockers.

Material bags have the advantage of being adaptable to any size or shape of space available - as long as they’re not fit to burst with items - but this lack of structure does also mean that it can be harder to keep possessions organised and firmly in place - so you may find that clothes are a little crumpled when you reach your destination.

The other advantage to material bags, of course, is that they tend to be more lightweight - meaning you can pack even more possessions.

What happens if you exceed the hand luggage limit?

If you have hand luggage that is over the limit, be prepared to place it in the hold and have an excess baggage fee charged. We have a list of great luggage you can check-i

To avoid this, remember to always pre-book an extra bag online rather than risk being charged at the gate, which will cost you more.

What should I take in hand luggage?

We know that packing can turn it to a bit of a nightmare, so we’ve put together a handy guide on how to pack for your holiday. We’ve also rounded up all your holiday beauty and toiletry essentials so that you don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind.

Again, what you pack in your hand luggage depends on your personal circumstances.

If it’s the only piece of luggage you have with you’ll need to make sure it has absolutely everything you need - your passport, travel documents, money, clothing and shoes, toiletries, your devices, device chargers and any medication you may need. Though always remember that any liquids must be 100ml or less.

After a piece of luggage you can place in the plane’s hold? These are the best wheeled larger suitcases.

Away The Carry On Suitcase

This is a good hard case option that comes with 360 degree spinner wheels that work well, a variety of pleasing colour options and clever features we were really impressed by.

It has a hidden laundry bag inside the bag itself, for keeping dirty and clean clothes separate, and an ejectable USB charger with slots to charge your devices up to four times on a single cycle.

Impressive stuff.

Bellroy Oslo Backpack

We liked the super slim profile of the new Oslo backpack from Bellroy - a company we appreciate for their clever travel and organisation products.

This backpack has a clean design, a minimal flat profile and easy access storage and laptop space. It also has a designated pocket for charger, cables, and tech accessories. It’s good for business travellers flying light.

Gandys Weekend Bag

A personal favourite of ours and a bag that we keep coming back to, this is a versatile shoulder weekend bag that we found to be great for hand luggage too.

With classic holdall features, including a removable shoulder strap, and a hardwearing leather exterior base, plus a larger interior space. It’s crafted in waxed cotton canvas, genuine leather trims and has a handsome map print lining.

Stylish, elegant and easy to carry, we also liked the quality of the zips, which are sturdy and well built.

Travelpro Platinum Elite

This option is a premium travel experience from an American brand, now shipping to Europe, well known for providing hand luggage and travel bags for pilots and flight crews around the world.

It is an excellent bag - smooth, easy to use, well built, durable and sturdy.

Horizn Studios H5 Cabin Bag

Horizn Studios are big on creating travel bags, cases and products that are focused on ethically produced materials and sustainability.

The H5 hard shell case is an excellent option and currently on sale. Features a four stage telescopic handle, four wheels and enough space for about 5 days of travel.

Cotswold Outdoor

Fjallraven is a Swedish brand which has been loved by travellers for many years, and this particular style of bag has been wowing people since 1978.

So brilliant, it’s remained uncharged for over 40 years and continues to be a best-selling product.

At dimensions of 36x25x3cm, this is a bag that will fit each one of our main four airlines’ under-seat size requirements.

It has two flat side pockets and a zipped pocket on the front, so it’s perfect for those bits and bobs that you want to keep close at hand throughout the flight - your phone, some earplugs, perhaps an eye mask if you fancy an in-flight snooze.

The front flap can also be fully opened, so there’s no more rummaging around to find that one thing you want, you can quickly access all of your things at once with no faffing around in a small space.

It also has an address label inside the main compartment, so you can have peace of mind that if anything happens and you become separated from your bag during your travels it will find its way back to you.

This is a good option for people who travel light and don’t need to take much with them, perhaps because they will be staying with friends or family or in a second home.

Multiple colours available including blue ridge (pictured), pastel lavender, deep turquoise and pink.

This backpack is priced at either £68 or £85, depending on the colour chosen.


This carry on bag is the ideal choice for people who frequently travel for work and need to have their devices - a laptop, phone or tablet - with them at all times.

It has been made specifically to fit a laptop inside, and even has a security-friendly, lay-flat tech compartment that lets you take your devices through the security scanner without having to take them out of the bag.

There’s also a large capacity main compartment, side zip accessory pockets, water bottle pockets, front organizer compartment and a top quick access pocket for smaller items.

So, there’s plenty of space for you to carry associated accessories for your devices, such as a charger or headphones, along with clothing, any 100ml toiletries you may have, and even any food you have bought for your flight.

Though the dimensions of this bag are 47x34x23cm, putting it over all main four airline’s under-seat sizes, it can easily be squashed so that it will still fit under the seat as required. Just make sure that everything you have in it can also be easily squashed too.

Eastpak Tranzpack Strapped 42 litre backpack

Always on the go? Eastpak’s clever Tranzpack works as a backpack, a duffel and a cabin bag in one, so it’s a great choice for hitting the road with.

There are multiple ways to carry this versatile bag – top and side handles make it work as a carry bag or a briefcase, or you can pull shoulder straps out of the back panel to wear it as a rucksack.

We also liked the roomy front pocket and the multiple attachment loops for hanging extra kit.

The versatile ways to carry this pack and the fact that it’s small enough to work as a cabin bag despite its roomy 42 litre capacity make it ideal for travelling and weekends away.

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