Friday 10: Carry-ons for the flight and beyond

Carry-on luggage has been something of a hot button issue lately. American, Delta, and United reduced their carry-on size limits over the summer to 22" l l x 14" w x 9" h. 

Fees for checked baggage are the norm now, too. Two Canadian airlines, West Jet and Air Canada, recently started charging $25 for checked bags under the guise of making it cheaper for those who only travel with carry-ons. 

So what's a traveler to do? Fork over the fees or try to pack everything in an ever-shrinking carry-on? 

I fork over the fee! Unless I'm going on a short trip, I don't like to fit my whole trip into a carry-on. And as much as I like to pack light, I hate trying fight for overhead bin space.

Instead, I pack a small carry-on of my on-board essentials and a change of clothes. That's it. It's easy to travel with. No need to worry about checking anything at the gate. No fighting for space. 

So what does my ideal carry-on look like? Small, stylish, simple, zips/closes completely, and, ideally, is reusable on the trip. Today's Friday 10 is a list of some that fit the bill for me. 

#1 The Scout by Bradley Mountain

A beautiful, simple day pack made of waterproof Martexin Duck Canvas and leather. Not only is this easy to wear in the airport, but it would be a perfect day pack. I'm picturing going to a market, packing it full of goodies, and going on a hike. Entirely sourced and made in the USA. Also comes in Olive. 

#2 Rain Zip Tote by Bookhou

I love the pattern on this tote! It's eye-catching without being too loud. The bottom is a medium weight charcoal grey waxed canvas that gives the bag extra durability. The interior has a couple of roomy pockets. It zips fully, which can be difficult to find in a nice tote, and comes with a detachable leather cross body strap. Bonus: It's made in Toronto! Bookhou also makes some different sized totes in other cool patterns and solids. 

#3 Dry Bag by Winter Session

Yes, another waxed canvas bag because I love waxed canvas. It's durable, classic, and it only gets better with age. Winter Session makes this functional, handsome dry bag with some nicely placed exterior and interior pockets--including a phone and laptop sleeve.  Also comes in Olive.

#4 Twill Snap Backpack by Everlane

Another take on the classic backpack, this time by Everlane. Simple, versatile, easy to wear and use. Includes a padded laptop sleeve that will fit a 15" Macbook. The price is also pretty fantastic for something that will be in style for a long time. I love the leather details against dark navy color, but it's also available in a variety of other beautiful colors

#5 Filson Rolling Carry-On

The only rolling carry-on on my list. It's a splurge, but this Filson looks great and is built to stand the test of time. It's got business and leisure covered and fits the new carry-on size restrictions perfectly (for now, at least). Currently available in Tan and Otter Green.

#6 Westmore Collection Laptop Duffel by Hex

Something a little different from your usual laptop bag or briefcase. The pattern is subtle but warm and the leather details look beautiful while still being functional. This duffel also has padded, fleece lined compartments for your important devices, including an exterior phone pocket and interior laptop pocket. The laptop pocket is designed to fit a 15" Macbook Pro. The exterior is water resistant. More colors and patterns available from Hex here

#7 Courior Bag by Heritage Leather + Apolis

Heritage Leather and Apolis teamed up to make this bag and it doesn't get much more classically beautiful than this, in my opinion. American leather and 10 oz water repellant army duck. Adjustable shoulder strap. Holds a 17" laptop. Also available in navy, army, and earth

#8 The O.G. (Overnight & Gym) by Lo & Sons

  Lo & Sons  |  The O.G . | $295 USD

Lo & Sons | The O.G. | $295 USD

My current carry-on is very similar to this, but it doesn't have all of the extras that make this one just about perfect. There's a padded laptop pouch! A padded tablet pouch! A separate compartment for shoes! I love me some compartments. Head over to the Lo & Sons website for a video of the bag in action. My only gripe is that they don't ship internationally. Shown in army green, but also available in black, navy, and espresso. 

#9 Overnight Bag by The Little Market

The Little Market's overnight bags come in a variety of happy, bright, beautiful patterns made from fabric that's handwoven by Guatemalan artisans. Maybe $240 seems a bit steep for this tote, but what I love about The Little Market is that they are committed paying artisans living wages for their unique, handmade pieces. Read more about their values here and check out what else they have to offer. (I'm a little bit in love with this striped seafoam towel)

#10 Le Pliage by Longchamp

  Longchamp  |  Le Pliage  | $145 USD

Longchamp | Le Pliage | $145 USD

I tried not to like Longchamp's Le Pliage for a long time. Who wants to pay $145 for a simple nylon bag? But somehow it's grown on my over the years because it's simple, iconic, and functional while still being stylish. It fits a ton of stuff and then folds down into a neat little pouch. After the flight you can toss it in your purse and take it with you or use it as a purse.  I admit, I'd happily wear and use one now! Available in 12 colors


Do you have any favorite carry-ons? Would your rather pack a big carry-on than pay a checked bag fee? Let me know in the comments. 

Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

P.S.: You might want to check out my post on 10 weekender bags, too!