Travel needs vary greatly. And there’s no ultimate carry-on bag that will suit everyone’s needs. But what you will find are great bags performing specific tasks well. They might really be nailing access. Or have the flexible business/leisure travel look down pat. Maybe they offer adaptable capacity to accommodate a diverse range of loads. But ideally you want a piece that delivers a well-rounded feature set to help make your travels smoother across a variety of environments and carry needs. Pieces like our Best Carry-On Bag finalists.

But which piece soars above the rest as a superior solution for your carry-on requirements? Make your choice below.

Voting closes: 23rd June

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Eagle Creek Wayfinder

Eagle Creek’s Wayfinder Backpack brings a variety of useful travel features together in a thoughtfully considered whole. The 30L and 40L sizes are well suited to carry-on use and come in unisex and women’s-specific fits. Each size includes a padded 17″ laptop sleeve, a padded back panel, a sternum strap and stowable waist belt, lockable zippers on the main compartment, and a pocket for wet or dirty gear. And always welcome quick-access pockets keep essentials at the ready. The packs are also made with bluesign® approved fabrics and materials recycled from landfills, and backed by Eagle Creek’s No Matter What guarantee.

Eagle Creek Wayfinder

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Aer Travel Pack 2

Aer dishes up a variety of upgrades to their award-winning Travel Pack, a tough and low-key carry-on backpack that moves easily between work trips and weekend getaways. Updates include a luggage passthrough sleeve, lockable zippers, redesigned shoulder straps for improved comfort, a quick-access laptop pocket and improved organization panel. And the pack is now compatible with an optional hipbelt for carrying heavier loads. The main compartment lays flat for easy packing, plus a dedicated shoe pocket stores your footwear separately from the rest of your gear. Add in the burly, water-resistant 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon exterior and you’ve got a trusty pack that will embrace demanding travel use.

Aer Travel Pack 2

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OPPOSETHIS Invisible Carry-On Backpack 2.0

OPPOSETHIS deliver a sleek, understated and updated take on their carry-on pack that glides smoothly from work to play. The redesigned bag is smaller than the original, tailoring it to short 2-3 day trips and making it versatile for use as an everyday bag too. The pack also welcomes redesigned front pockets for improved functionality, and does away with the side flaps and expandability to create a more simple, uncluttered feel. The clamshell opening enables convenient packing and access to gear, while the suspended and padded laptop compartment provides dedicated storage for up to a 15″ laptop.

OPPOSETHIS Invisible Carry-On Backpack 2.0

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Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack

Packing needs vary. Sometimes you need a lot. Sometimes just a few essentials. So the Setout Divide Backpack is designed to handle both requirements. The expandable design can grow from 26L to 34L so you can easily adapt on-the-fly. Additionally, the thoughtful organization keeps your gear well in check. The clamshell main compartment offers easy packing and retrieval of gear, while a dedicated rear laptop compartment and front organizer compartment take care of your tech and smaller, frequently used travel items. Plus with its padded, removable hipbelt, luggage handle passthrough sleeve, and top and side grab handles you’ve got flexible carry options too.

Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack

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NOMATIC 30L Travel Bag

NOMATIC’s 30L Travel Bag is a functional, feature-packed carry-on backpack designed for shorter trips spanning one to three days. Design elements such as a wide-opening main compartment for easy packing and access, dedicated storage for a laptop and tablet, a ventilated shoe compartment, multiple organization pockets, and the ability to quickly alternate between backpack and duffel carry modes makes it a practical and adaptable companion for work and leisure trips alike. And with its durable, weatherproof build and luggage handle passthrough sleeve it’s prepped to tackle a range of travel environments and needs.

NOMATIC 30L Travel Bag

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Mystery Ranch Mission Rover

If adaptable portability is a priority, look to Mystery Ranch’s Mission Rover to get your gear where it needs to go. The bag offers three carry options thanks to its stowable backpack straps, removable shoulder strap, and grab handles that allow you to carry it briefcase-style. Access and organization are well considered too, with a clamshell main compartment, interior organization pockets, and quick-access exterior pockets including a versatile dirty laundry or shoe pocket. Not to mention the rugged 500D Cordura build embraces tough travel, allowing the Rover to go anywhere, anytime, no problem.

Mystery Ranch Mission Rover

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Peak Design Travel Backpack

Peak Design’s take on a travel backpack delivers their signature combination of sleek styling and bold innovation. The result? A savvy travel companion that adapts to a variety of loads and settings for enhanced travel flexibility. The bag offers a standard 35L size that expands to 45L or compresses to 30L, so you can adapt to large travel loads or slimmed-down daypack use. Back panel access, dual side access and front access, along with a host of pockets and exterior attachment straps ensures you can reach items throughout the bag without enduring annoying rummaging. And with its stowable harness system it’s simple to store in tight spaces such as overhead compartments. The pack is also made with a weatherproof, durable recycled nylon canvas shell designed to stand up to frequent travel use.

Peak Design Travel Backpack

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RMU Outdoors BRFCS35.50

Adventure-ready luggage? That’s where the RMU Outdoors BRFCS35.50 backpack shines. The bag expands from 35L to 50L to accommodate a range of loads, and can also be carried as either a backpack, briefcase or a shoulder bag. And for smoother storage you can stow away the harness and waist belt too. A quick-access laptop compartment keeps tech at the ready for airport security checks, while the durable weatherproof build takes tough travel in its stride. Nifty features such as a clamshell opening, a false floor to store valuables, a helmet sling, and a removable compression strap round out the functional, versatile design.

RMU Outdoors BRFCS35.50

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Thule Landmark 40L

Thule brings their many years of design experience to the table with the efficient, straightforward Landmark 40L. A functional, understated travel backpack that quietly and effectively gets on with the job, offering practical organization to suit a variety of work or leisure trips. A top organization pocket, side water bottle pocket and side-access laptop compartment provide handy storage for items you reach for regularly. The wide-opening main compartment provides duffel-style packing ease, with a discreet pocket for storing valuables. And the stowable shoulder straps and waist belt keep you moving comfortably on the go.

Thule Landmark 40L

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Topo Designs Travel Bag 30L 

One bag that hops from city streets to rugged outdoor settings? With multiple carry options? And a little playfulness? The Topo Designs Travel Bag 30L embraces the challenge, with its tough 1000D nylon build and three carry options including backpack, shoulder bag and briefcase-style carry. The dedicated 15″ laptop compartment and quick-access pockets stash essentials within easy reach, while the lay-flat main compartment gives you easy access to specific items without undoing your packing. And with three colorways to choose from, you can keep things low-key with all-black styling or add a pop of color with Topo’s distinct olive and navy colorways.

Topo Designs Travel Bag 30L

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EVERGOODS Civic Transit Bag 40L

The Civic Transit Bag 40L takes outdoor-inspired functionality and fuses it with ultra-clean, urban-ready aesthetics. The fully padded bag’s tough, weather-resistant build and comfy suspension enable it to venture outdoors on wilder adventures, while the pared-back exterior slips just as easily into city work trips and provides snag-free storage. The clamshell main compartment features organization pockets on one side and a raised edge on the other, which serves as a handy catch-all area and aids compression. There’s a quick-access laptop compartment too, as well as multiple grab handles for convenient maneuverability.

EVERGOODS Civic Transit Bag 40L

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REI Ruckpack 40

The Ruckpack 40 finds an enticing middle ground between hike-ready pack and urban travel companion. The padded waist belt, sternum strap and ventilated back panel keep you comfy on the move, with a stowable suspension system to reduce snag potential when storing the bag. It’s also hydration bladder compatible and offers attachment points to secure gear externally. Additionally, the wide-opening main compartment provides hassle-free packing and access. The pack comes in men’s and women’s-specific fits and also includes a handy raincover to counter unexpected showers.

REI Ruckpack 40

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MEC Vapour Overnighter Pack

With its super-sleek looks, useful clamshell opening and solid weather protection, the MEC Vapour Overnighter Pack is a worthy go-to solution for unexpected getaways, overnight work trips and minimalist packing alike. Then add in the fact that it weighs just 875 grams and you can breathe easy when it comes to baggage weight restrictions. The pack is made with weatherproof 210D high-tenacity nylon, taped seams, and water-resistant zippers. So when those gray clouds are looming, you can proceed with confidence. 

MEC Vapour Overnighter Pack

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Trakke Storr Carry-On Backpack 2.0

Want a handsome, ruggedly built and weatherproof bag that embraces one-bag travel and looks suave doing so? The updated Storr Carry-On Backpack delivers the goods with undeniable class. The revised design welcomes increased capacity, now offering 35L of storage space. A small zip pocket has also been added to the front of the pack for quick-access storage. Speaking of access, the clamshell opening lets you get to gear in a jiffy, while the exterior-access laptop sleeve accommodates up to 15″ tech. And the handcrafted construction featuring dry-finish waxed canvas and durable, water-resistant zippers is top-notch. So you’ll be enjoying this eye-catching and hard-wearing travel pack for years to come.

Trakke Storr Carry-On Backpack 2.0

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Kathmandu Federate Adapt Pack

Adaptable volume is the name of the game with Kathmandu’s Federate Adapt Pack. The pack combines top-loading and clamshell-style back panel access and can transition from a 50L check-in bag to a 38L carry-on bag or a 28L daypack. The breathable, comfy harness stows away when not in use and the pack comes with a removable shoulder strap. For added functionality and versatility, the pack also includes a removable packing cube to store non-essentials in your accommodation when venturing out with the bag as a daypack.

Kathmandu Federate Adapt Pack

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Osprey Ozone Duplex Series

The chances are pretty high that you’re not going to want to haul all your travel packing gear around your destination when you just need a few essentials. So Osprey designed the Ozone Duplex series as a smart two-in-one carry-on solution that partners a cargo bag with a daypack. The key is their easy attachment and detachment to adapt to different carry loads. You simply buckle them together to carry as one bag during the journey, then separate them when you want to leave the majority of your gear in the cargo bag at your destination and head out to explore with just the daypack in tow. Osprey have paid attention to creating a comfortable and effective suspension system that can carry both packs at once, along with travel-friendly features such as wide main compartment openings and a variety of pockets for easy organization and access to gear. The series comes in gender-specific fits including the men’s Ozone Duplex 65 and women’s Ozone Duplex 60.

Osprey Ozone Duplex 65

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North St. Bags Weekender Backpack

With its burly build quality, practical access and urban-savvy styling, the North St. Bags Weekender Backpack is the kind of bag you can reach for on weekend getaways, overnight trips or even for day-to-day use. The 28L pack features an externally accessed, suspended laptop compartment, along with a clamshell main compartment for packing ease. A choice of quick-access pockets store smaller essentials, with the ability to add optional modular Velcro-in organization pockets if desired. The bag is handmade in Portland and backed by a lifetime guarantee too; welcome peace of mind for unpredictable travel environments.

North St. Bags Weekender Backpack

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Chrome Industries Summoner Backpack

Chrome Industries delivers a fine blend of form and function with their Summoner Backpack. A versatile carry-on bag with clean aesthetics and a range of practical, travel-friendly features including a clamshell main compartment, externally accessible laptop storage, plus a variety of interior and exterior pockets to keep smaller items tidy and within reach on the go. Additionally, a front zipper lets you access gear stored in the main compartment. The pack is made with a stylish Polyester/600d Twill fabric and provides top and side grab handles, as well as compression straps when you need to cinch it down.

Chrome Industries Summoner Backpack

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Attitude Supply ATD1 Backpack

One pack for your everyday and carry-on needs? Attitude Supply designed the ATD1 Backpack with this aim in mind. The rolltop pack can expand from 20L to 55L, providing plenty of space when you need to carry large loads or bulky items, with the flexibility to carry compactly for daypack use. And for added convenience, the bag also provides back panel access to the clamshell-style main compartment so you can easily reach items throughout the bag. Grab handles on all four sides make it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, while a front pocket keeps frequently used items close at hand. The bag is made in Italy with water-resistant 500D Cordura to endure hard-wearing travel use.

Attitude Supply ATD1 Backpack

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Heimplanet Transit Travel Pack

Practical design with the versatility to adapt to work and play travel needs? No problem for Heimplanet’s Transit Travel Pack. The pack blends a clean, urban-friendly aesthetic with eco-conscious construction, featuring a durable, sustainably-made DYECOSHELL fabric exterior. The clamshell opening makes packing and access a breeze, with interior organization including a laptop sleeve to keep your travel gear neat on the go. And the removable hipbelt and removable sternum strap enhance carry comfort and load stability when you’re out and about.

Heimplanet Transit Travel Pack

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Mission Workshop Radian

Mission Workshop’s Radian serves up an enticing mix of ruggedly clean aesthetics, durability and modularity. The pack is handmade in the USA in a choice of weatherproof fabrics and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Complementing its tough build is flexible front panel and rolltop access, stowable backpack straps, quick-access tech storage, and a range of modular accessories that can be attached to its ARKIV rail system. Tough, adaptable, and darn good-looking.

Mission Workshop Radian

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