When winter sets in and it’s dark by 4pm, we all dream of escaping to somewhere warmer and brighter. For a few days away that don’t involve wearing our heavy winter coats or thick woolens, a neat little carry-on case is a necessity – just the right size to throw in some light-weight pieces of our favorite beachwear. And when we arrive at that sunny destination, there’s no waiting around at the reclaim carousel.

We’ve tried, tested and researched several hard and soft cabin-friendly cases and we think this particular selection of mini luggage will hold all your essentials for a short vacation (think a couple of t-shirts, your favorite Tom & Teddies, a linen shirt and perhaps a pair of chinos!) with room for the kids’ stuff too!

Delsey Helium Aero Carry-On Spinner – $$

Delsey Paris offers a great range of mid-price luggage and its International Carry-On tops the list for a great-looking and functional suitcase. Its 21.25 x 11.25 x 14.5 inch hard shell comes in a plethora of shiny colors – the cobalt blue one is lovely. It’s got the usual compartments and pockets inside and the pull handle has two adjustable heights. It’s also lightweight and holds a deceptively large amount of clothing – enough for a 5-day trip in our experience!

Samsonite Aspire Xlite Expandable Spinner 21.5″ – $

This Samsonite case is a good one as it expands to increase capacity when you need to pack just that little bit more. A soft but well-padded outer, four wheels for upright rolling and a sturdy frame all add up to make this one perfect for short-haul.

Eastpak Tranverz S Suitcase – $

We’d describe this as a mix between a duffel and a case as it’s made from tough fabric with bound handles and straps, but also has smooth-rolling wheels and a solid pull handle. It’s a bit more sporty and rugged than a traditional carry-on case but has the same dual inner compartments as most hard-shell luggage. One of the best things for us: it flattens down neatly after unpacking so it can be stashed away in a cupboard or under your hotel bed!

Chester Carry-On Lightweight Suitcase Spinner – $$

This 21.5” x 13.5” x 8.5” hard-shell case by Chester is definitely a winner. It’s smart and robust and comes in a few different neutral colors, not just business-traveler black. We like the interior compartments for organizing clothes and separating clean and dirty laundry at the end of the trip. It’s also super easy to pull around with its 4 smooth-turning wheels and telescopic handle.

Antler Juno B1 4W Cabin Case, Orange – $$

If you fancy a case that will co-ordinate perfectly with your sunny vacation mood, look no further than Antler UK’s hard-shell orange option. Not only is it bright and bold, it’s tough and lightweight and holds around 3-4 days’ worth of clothing plus toiletries. A thoroughly modern-looking option to wheel onboard.


Tom & Teddy, Trym Lodge, 1 Henbury Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3HQ


Tel: 0117 959 6440