Choosing the Right Cabin Suitcase

October 04, 2018 4 min read


Not as straightforward as choosing a medium or large travel case, we've written a go to guide on choosing the right cabin suitcase for the type of travel you do.

Cabin suitcases generally work harder then their larger siblings as we often use them for an extra couple of trips each year, whether it’s interstate work trips, overnight getaways or even to haul extra gear to the office for a big day. We tend to use them differently to large suitcases too, whilst sometimes they are used simply for your clothes, generally we want to take our tech with us, have easy access to tickets and books etc and we always want to stuff that extra jacket in just in case.

In theory, cabin suitcases don’t get checked in, meaning they are not subjected to the same rough handling as large suitcases, but their wheels and handles do tend to get more of a workout as we use them more frequently, lift them overhead more and bang them around.

Whilst we understand the desire to match your cabin suitcase to your big suitcases, sometimes it can be a good idea to look at others available as there are a huge range of bags with added features that may benefit your short in between trips. For example, cabin bags with laptop compartments, backpack straps, super lightweight or expandable functionality could just be what you need.

Here are 5 unique cabin suitcases and who they suit;


1. Victorinox VX Touring Expandable 2 in 1 Carry-On Wheeled Duffel & Backpack

Essentials: 2.7kg; 43 - 47L; $789 $473.40

Like its long name suggests, this bag is a case of what doesn’t it do?! This bag looks like a suitcase, packs like a suitcase, is soft like a duffel, has wheels and a handle like a suitcase, has hidden backpack straps, a laptop compartment and an expander. It has been designed for almost any type of travel and is money well spent if you do a variety of trips. This hardworking bag is still lightweight at 2.7 kg, and is a very generous 47L.

Best Suited To: Travellers who do mixed travel, business one weekend, then camping the next. This bag is tough and extremely versatile.


2. Roncato D-Box Cabin Suitcase with removable laptop backpack

Essentials: 2.3 kg suitcase + 0.7kg backpack (3.0kg total); 37L suitcase + 4.2L backpack; $699 $419.40

Whilst this is a very specific example, I’m sure most business travellers find themselves in this position. They land interstate, and either go straight to meetings, or their rooms aren’t ready for check in so they store their overnight gear and head to work. The D-Box has a removable laptop backpack, allowing you to unclip the front pop it on your back and continue on. When the two are attached, it operates like a perfectly normal cabin suitcase, saving the nuisance of a separate briefcase which are bulky and often a nuisance to travel with.

Best Suited To: Frequent Business travellers who fly in the morning and head straight to work.


3. Samsonite Prodigy Cabin Size Mobile Office

Essentials: 2.8 kg; 40L; $429 $257.40

A hard cabin suitcase with an easy-to-use while on-the-go laptop & business compartment and storage for a night or two’s gear. Whether you use this for business travel, or simply to effectively transport your laptop for leisure travel, this case keeps your laptop secure and it’s easy to get in and out quickly and easily through security. It’s hard to find smart, hard sided laptop suitcases so this one stands out from the pack. It also stands out as it’s one of very few ‘non-black’ mobile offices on the market (it’s available in black too for traditionalists!).

Best Suited To: Those who do short overnight business travel in between longer trips where they like to take their laptop on board. This suitcase simplifies travelling with your tech, and the hard side structure keeps everything protected.


4. Osprey Meridian 22 Wheeled Backpack (60 Litre)

Essentials: 3.8 kg; 60L; $449.95 $339.95

The Osprey Meridian 22 is hugely popular for good reason. Trade in your average cabin suitcase for this one and discover this bag can take you anywhere. Perfect for your traditional travel, the hidden backpack straps, removable daypack, high chassis, off road wheels and extra generous 60L packing space allows you to go off road, on water, camping, road trips, weekend getaways, work trips, 1 night or 5 nights; in short, this bag suits just about any trips you want to take! Osprey comes with a lifetime warranty too; this bag will last for years of adventures and is well worth the investment.

Best Suited to: The Meridian’s daypack does have a 15-inch laptop sleeve, so truly can do anything, however, it’s probably not suited to regular business trips. It’s terrific for all other types of travel though and you’ll find yourself reaching for it again and again.


5. Victorinox Spectra Expandable Global Carry-On

Essentials: 3 kg; 26-35L; $929 $557.40

Taking its cues from Victorinox’s swiss army knife, the Spectra expandable luggage range has been designed to be multi-purpose and offer versatility to its owners. The Spectra suitcases are all absolutely premium from handle to wheel, with proven performance through its years of availability. The Expandable Global Carry-On has the added benefit on an expander function allowing you to increase or decrease the capacity according to your needs. The removable business sleeve also allows you to customise the case, with a comprehensive business fit out when needed, then simply remove if you’re travelling for leisure.

Best Suited To: This suitcase is perfect for frequent business travellers, it’s a hard worker and will stand up to the demands of frequent travel. Simply remove the business sleeve when travelling for leisure.

Whilst we love a matching luggage set as much as anyone (actually probably more), for many travellers, a harder working cabin suitcase may offer more versatility and value for money for multiple trips through the year.

Discover our full range of cabin suitcases here.

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