Best Carry-on for Kids, Ultimate Guide to the Top Carry-on luggage for Kids

Traveling with kids can be stressful from what to pack to the type of transport options to take. However, investing in smart carry-on luggage can help make travel from one point to another more seamless. Furthermore, getting the correct kids' hand luggage will help make packing more organized and easier for your child (and you!)

In this article, we will provide an insight into everything you need to know about getting the perfect travel backpack and or hand luggage for your family vacations and the best carry-on luggage for kids. Family travel secrets revealed.

Table of Contents

1. Family Travel Gear and Accessories

2. Best Family Luggage Style to Choose

3. Things to Consider Before Buying Carry-on Luggage for Kids

4. The Best Carry-on Luggage for Kids of All Ages

Carry on for Kids - Family Travel Gear and Accessories

Before we get into the different varieties of travel gear suitable for family vacation, we will like to list some of the useful accessories that you may need on your travel. Before you can decide what to pack, you need to consider the length of your trip, your travel destination requirements, and the types of activities that you will be undertaking. A quick note on activities, plan activities that will keep everyone happy on vacation.

Essential Items That You Need To Carry Always

Here are some items that you will need no matter where you travel.

• Medical kit

• Travel Towel

• Wash Kit

• All-purpose multi-climate clothes

• Comfortable footwear

• Electronics such as phones, laptops with adaptors and plugs.

• Documents like travel insurance, passports, driver's license, etc.

• Sunglasses

• Water bottles

• Kid's comforter or favorite toys

• Money / credit cards

Items for Specialized Travel

If you are planning activities such as hiking, camping, watersports, and so on during your family vacation, these require specific items that you may not need during regular travel. If you have the items, bring them along, and if not, you can buy or rent as needed. Some of the items include:

• Sleeping bags

• Mosquito nets

• Hiking Shoes or boots

• Swimwear

• Trekking poles

• Waterproofs

• Skiwear, etc.

Carry on for Kids - Best Family Luggage Style to Choose

There will be lots of questions that will pop into your head when it comes to the perfect travel bag for the family. You may be wondering if you go with a large suitcase with a carry-on or just use a backpack with carry-on luggage. The options are endless. You will also need to decide if you will invest in a carry-on with a wheeled hard-sided suitcase or just a day pack.

Suitcases are great, however, bear in mind that suitcases are not necessarily the best option if you will be moving from place to place, going hiking or trekking, or if you will be transporting often. The best travel scenario for suitcases is for business travel or classic vacations where you spend most days in one hotel or even a cruise. And if you are thinking of a cruise, we highly recommend a Disney Cruise, an enchanting magical journey for all ages.

Most travelers usually opt for carry-on when traveling and will use daypack as the only luggage during the entire trip. You can easily pack enough clothes and gear that you need for months in a carry-on backpack.

However, when choosing a daypack, you will also need to consider its intended purpose. This means it is best to invest in an anti-theft daypack when traveling around the city, in buses, trains, and even hostels. You will need to have a trekking daypack when you are going light hiking. The most important thing is, does traveling with a daypack suit your family's needs?

Carry on for Kids - Things to Consider Before Buying a Carry-on

Here are some of the things that you should consider before you choose your kids' travel luggage.

Size and Weight

Take size into account, kids are smaller than adults so you need to go for kids' hand luggage and cases that have more compact dimensions to make it comfortable and easy to use for them. The best thing is that the average carry-on case is usually perfect for both younger and older children. However, there are some that are designed exclusively for kids that are usually slightly smaller than the standard.

Most kid's carry on should have enough space for keeping some toys, clothes, and other essentials needed for kid's travel. Furthermore, your kids' carry-on should also be lighter when it comes to its weight. You should note that no matter how cute and kid-friendly some boxes may look, at first sight, they may be too heavy for some kids. This is why you should be on the lookout for a kids' travel backpack that is not more than 7.5 pounds in weight.

Material and Durability

The materials normally used for kids' luggage are either wipeable vinyl or soft, water-resistant materials or tough and durable ABS or polycarbonate hard shell components which are easier to clean.

You will find traditional soft-sided cases and backpacks in varieties of cute designs and bold designs with cuddly characters. Cute as it may be, it will not be as durable as a hard side suitcase for kids but will be and usually lighter even when it is full which makes them easier for children to pull or carry.

On the other hand, hard-sided backpacks and suitcases are a super cute addition to full-size adult cases. They are more durable and it takes time before it wears. Saying that it is usually heavier as well and you will need to consider the strength and the size of your kids before buying one. There are both pros and cons for soft-side or hard-side, a decision your family will need to weigh up.


Most kids love and are happy just to drag and pull their suitcases over anything in their way. This is why most kid-sized suitcases come with spinner wheels or in-line skate-style wheels. However, the kids rolling luggage may be noisier than the wheels found on high-end, full-size cases. But you will also appreciate the plastic coverings in case your child takes the rolling suitcase over your own feet.

Compartments and Organization

Most travel luggage for toddlers doesn't usually have lots of compartments and pockets for you to easily separate items. However, you will find some suitcases with zippered dividers which makes it easy for parents to keep dirty and clean clothing from each other. You will also find some suitcases with mesh pockets where you can keep books, toys, and other essentials.

Furthermore, most kid's backpacks and carry bags have a front pocket where you can keep toys and snacks. They also have mesh pockets on the side for keeping cups and drink bottles.


Kids are known to be visual buyers and will prefer anything that is bright, colorful, and covered in their favorite characters. You will find lots of kid's spinner luggage and scooter luggage designed with colorful characters like Mickey Mouse, etc., to help appeal to younger children. You will also find varieties of sport, hobbies, and animal-themed cases and bags suitable for all ages.

A fun alternative to strollers for toddlers on a long journey is the kids ride on suitcases which you can pull when you want your kids to be close by. Check out the TernX Carry on, designed by parents for parents and built for kids.

Carry on for Kids - The Best Carry-on Luggage for Kids of All Ages

Here are some best kid's luggage that you can buy right now.

JetKids by Stokke BedBox

The BedBox is among the top carry-on luggage that you can buy for your kids. This hardshell ride-on suitcase can also be converted into an inflight bed when you are airborne. You can turn it into an inflight bed by just flipping the suitcase lid to extend the plastic bedplate and you can then roll out the mattress on the plastic bedplate. Although the bed can be best used by the window, it can still fit all types of plane seats. As all airlines have their own rules, please check with your preferred airline with regards to usage on board.

Skip Hop Kids Unicorn Luggage With Wheels

Kids will appreciate this carry-on luggage. Great for learning how to pack and unpack for vacation or a sleepover. The case is made with sturdy poly-canvas fabric and it comes with a retractable 13-inch handle which makes it easy for your kids to pull along behind them.

The main storage is spacious enough for you to pack all the essential belongings of your kids inside it. It also has a mesh pocket on the side where you can put your kid's bottle or drink cup. The best thing is that it comes with a handy front zip pocket with a divider where you can keep toys and snacks.

You will find this luggage in Bumble Bee, Unicorn, Dog, or Cow designs. You can also buy matching accessories made by Skip Hop such as snack pots, lunch packs, safety harnesses, and straw bottles to complement the case.

Trunki Original Kids Ride-On Suitcase

The Trunki kid's ride-on suitcase is the perfect luggage for toddlers. Your toddler will surely love the suitcase and it is a fun alternative to strollers if your kids prefer to ride on a rolling suitcase.

Trunki's original kid's ride-on suitcase has a main strap that you can use to pull the rider. Furthermore, it has a storage space that is usable to hold essential items. Everything in the design has kid safety in mind from the use of soft rubber to the all-plastic latch. You are going to find this bag in many different color choices and it comes with a five-year warranty.

Stephen Joseph Classic Rolling Luggage

This is a fun and colorful character case available in Llama, Unicorn, Shark, Princes, Dinosaurs, etc. Furthermore, it is made from strong and sturdy polyester which means it lasts longer and you can easily clean it between uses. This suitcase is just the right size for kids and the pull handle is at the perfect height for kids of all ages.

This kid's rolling luggage also features a big main compartment with lots of pockets where you can pack all your kid's clothes and essentials. It also has a large front pocket with two side pockets where you can keep snacks, toys, drink cups, electronics, etc., close at hand.

Away Kids' Carry-On

A carry-on for the older kids. This suitcase is not like most kid's suitcases on this list. It is not designed with cartoon graphics and other playful features to entice children. However, it's made with a break-proof polycarbonate hard shell which makes it a perfect suitcase that you can buy for your kids to use for years to come. It features four spinner wheels which comprise a telescoping C-shaped handle, grabs handles on the top and side, and TSA-friendly combination locks.

Apart from the 31L storage space, the case has a zippered secondary compartment and a hidden laundry bag. The best thing is that it comes with a rechargeable battery under its handle where your children can charge their gadgets on the go.

Goplus 2Pc Kid Luggage 12 Inch and 16 Inch Kids Carry On Luggage Set

The Goplus kid luggage has a lot of storage space and is a perfect addition for any kids who like to travel. They are lightweight and the correct size for smaller hands to carry. With their flexible combination of suitcase and backpack, you can easily use them for vacation, playdates, or even sleepovers.

Furthermore, they are made from durable polycarbonate, nylon, and ABS which means they can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. You are going to find them in Dinosaur, Lion, or Owl designs and its coordinated sets will surely make other kids envious of your kids. You can pack essentials and clothes in the suitcase and use the backpack to pack electronics, toys, and so on.

It also has multi-direction wheels that support 360 degrees rolling and a dual-tube adjustable pull handle for easy movement and handling.

Rockland Jr. Kids' My First Hard side Spinner Luggage

This cute suitcase is designed with a hard-sided, durable, polycarbonate shell and you will find it in a wide range of animal themes. Its size is also perfect for kids to handle and it has 360-degree spinning wheels for easy movement.

It also features a telescopic handle that is suited to kids of all ages. Furthermore, the case has lots of storage space where you can pack your kid's clothes and essentials. It also has a zippered divider and compression straps to divide space and keep clothes and belongings in place while traveling.

L.L. Bean Mountain Classic Cordura Pack

When traveling to places where rolling luggage is a huge pain, you can invest in this lightweight backpack for your kids. However, it is not for all kids as it is designed for kids aged 13 years old and above. It has 22 liters of storage space which should be enough for a long weekend trip or just an overnight camping trip.

The backpack also has a zippered compartment on the front pocket, a padded laptop sleeve, two organizational pockets, two water bottle holders, and a key attachment. The backpack can easily be used for everyday activities as it is made from durable water-resistant nylon. Furthermore, it is available in five stylish colors and your kid will easily find one that suits them.

Obersee Kids Travel Suitcase

If you are a parent with kids that is always hungry then the Obersee kids travel suitcase is for you. The Obersee's line of the rolling suitcase features an integrated cooler in their designs which makes it ideal for food instead of just must-have snacks. All you have to do is put cold snacks in the dedicated front pocket and you are ready to go.

This suitcase is suitable for kids from three to seven years old. It also comes with smaller outer pockets, a large internal pocket, and two water bottle pockets for keeping the essentials and clothing. The best thing is that the bag is made with 100% polyester which means your kid can use it for a long time to come.

American Tourister Kids' Softside Suitcases

You will find a wide range of American Tourister soft side bags to choose from. The case is suitable for all ages and you will also find American Tourister bags with Disney characters for toddlers and other cool designs for teenagers. You will appreciate that the front of the suitcase is made of vinyl which allows you the chance to squeeze extra items in the bag.

It also comes with a large mesh pocket to help divide the bag. The bag is lightweight, durable, and very easy to roll. Furthermore, the handle is very easy to pull. The American Tourister Kids' soft-sided suitcases are available in different sizes to help accommodate all age range.

American Tourister Hardside

This suitcase offers an extra layer of protection for your kid's belongings and comes in a wide range of cute Disney designs. It has a perfect storage space with a zip-around mesh divider to help create an extra compartment for your kids' essentials. It also has a zippered side where you can keep your kid's underwear and socks.

The American Tourister Hardside is very easy to manage and suitable for kids from age 3 years old and above.


Giving your Kids their own luggage encourages them to be more responsible, independent, and involved in family travel. The best thing is, there are a variety of kids' suitcases, rucksacks, backpacks, or combos to choose from. Pick wisely and your kids will surely love and appreciate all it has to offer.

May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.


We hope you have found these tips helpful. There are so many reasons to travel with your kids so go out there and unleash your wanderlust

Have a wonderful day wherever you are and safe travels.

Stay well, be well and stay social.