Carpe Diem OUR Way Family Travel Blog

Kids Carry-on Luggage Comparisons


Kids Carry-On Luggage Comparisons 2017



There are so many options today for carry on luggage for kids. There are several variables that go into what we pick to travel with including, the length of the trip (is it a one week holiday or months of travel), the length of airplane travel (is it a two hour flight to Disneyland or an overseas flight to Austrialia requiring connections), the age of your children (obviously you would not give a two year old the same backpack as a ten-year old, nor would you need to pack the same things for them – you can check our our great packing list for toddlers and preschoolers for packing ideas or snacks), and finally, your own comfort level. Because in the end, you know that in order to get through the airport, you might just be carrying their luggage!




(CLICK on the LINK ABOVE for Current Pricing)

What age is this appropriate for?

  • Toddlers to Kindergarteners

Why we love it?

  • It’s FUN! Trunki makes a variety of colors and styles for your children and everyone who looks at it thinks it is the cutest luggage around!
  • It’s FUNCTIONAL! The Trunki has plenty of space for toys, clothes, diapers and snacks for your flight or travel plans. It is easy for your child to pull it through airports and it is also quite easy for adults to pull children down long terminals if their little legs get tired and you are traveling without a stroller.
  • it’s DURABLE! The hard sided case can stand up to a preschooler’s best attempts at squishing it. Whether it is riding on it, or pulling a sibling, or sitting, climbing or jumping on it, the trunki has survived my two boys! It is also great if you have anything you don’t want to get squished in a backpack!
  • It’s a TOY! Often times, airports require a lot of waiting, whether it be to drop luggage or to board the plane, the trunki provides entertainment that no other backpack can do on its own. Without opening up the case (we do not do that until we board the plane), kids can run, chase, pull and play to get out some extra energy before a flight or while waiting in line!

What we don’t love?

  • Your child cannot put it on their back to have free hands (and either can you, if you end up carrying it, but it does have a long shoulder strap option to throw it over your shoulder.
  • If you have rambunctious preschoolers, the trunki can crash into things (or people) as kids run through airports
  • No water bottle storage (except inside the case)




Skip Hop Backpacks or Rolling Suitcases for Kids

(CLICK on the LINK ABOVE for Current Pricing)

What age is it appropriate for?

  • Toddler and Preschooler


Why we love them?

  • FUN animals for kids to pick from bees, to monkeys to penguins!
  • AFFORDABLE price point for kids product. We all know travel is not cheap for a family. So if keeping costs down are a concern, a backpack like the skip-hop is ideal for your preschooler!
  • HANDS FREE: The Skip Hop Backpack keeps kids hand’s free to hold your hand in busy airports
  • It is the perfect SIZE for toddlers and preschoolers to carry their own things. Ours kids love wearing their backpacks (even around the house) and filling them with treasures
  • There is a water bottle holder on the outside which is great to pack a reusable water bottle for airports or day trips
  • If your child tires of carrying it, its easy to throw over your shoulder or use a clip to attach it to your backpack or carry on while traveling. We always have a few of these clips hanging off our bags!


What we don’t love?

  • While the Skip Hop backpack is quite durable, the pull for the zipper does break eventually, after daily use. But that doesn’t stop us, my kids have used these packs daily for daycare for over a year, and only very recently did the yellow banana tear off the monkey backpack



Deuter Kids Backpacks

(CLICK on the LINK ABOVE for Current Pricing)

What age is it appropriate for?

  • various sizes from toddler to school aged children

Why we love them?

  • DURABLE for travel, hiking or daily use for school. This is a miniature version of an adult deter pack, and made with the same attention to quality.
  • SAFETY FEATURES such as reflective tape for when you are out after dark
  • There is water bottle storage on the outside of the bag, which is great because we always bring our own water bottles to the airport.
  • CHEST STRAP which keeps the straps positioned properly and helps distribute weight for older children’s heavier packs

What we don’t love?

  • There is not much we can say about these packs that we do not love except that compared to the other preschool and toddler carry-on products, deuter backpacks offer less color selection. Also be careful with the sizing, the Penguin bag is definitely toddler to preschool size, not large enough for school aged children.
Killing Time with the Trunki - carpe diem our way

The Skip Hop and Trunki in action at the airport

The Best Kids Travel Carry On’s Compared

WANT PRICING? Click on the Photos below to see current pricing!


 Which one suitsyour needs?
Trunki Skip Hop Backpack Skip Hop Rolling Suitcase Deuter Kiki Backpack
Backpack N Y Y Y
Hands Free N Y Y Y
Chest Strap N N N Y
Hard Case Y N N N
Various Colors/Prints Y Y Y Y
Water Bottle Pocket N Y Y N
Rolling Y N Y N
Weight 1.7 kg / 3.8 lbs n/a n/a .340 kg / .75 lbs
Size 12″L x 8″W x 8″H 11″L x 5″W x 12″H 12.5″L x 7”W x 16″H 35”L x 20”W x 16”D

Looking for more kids travel advice? Check out some of our other popular articles:

Airplane Snacks for Toddlers

Airplane Activities for Kids

How to find the best prices – Google Flights Review

How to survive your Toddler’s First Flight


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the Best Kids Carry on's for your Family vacation

Lindsay is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and very recently discovered she loves to write.

14 thoughts on “Kids Carry-on Luggage Comparisons

  1. Maddy

    I don’t have children but I’ve seen loads of kids at airports with Trunki’s and they look so fun. I know loads of friends with kids who would find this comparison post really useful so thanks for writing it :)

  2. Sara Broers

    This is a timely post. Someone wanting to know what to give a traveling family for the holidays, this answers a lot of questions for them. Any of these pieces of luggage would make traveling fun for any kid.

  3. Katy Clarke

    Great timing – I was just looking at these today for some upcoming trips. We have twins so I’m all about making things easy. The Trunki’s look a bit cumbersome to me. What do you think.. we have 3 year olds

    1. Lindsay Nieminen Post author

      My 5 and 3 year olds LOVE them! They hold more than a backpack, and they fit under the seat! they are easy to carry for mom and dad too! We usually bring just ONE for both kids, but they end up fighting over it! So when we do Carry on only, they get a trunki each!

  4. Pingback: Packing Tips - The Family Backpack

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