Carpe Diem OUR Way Travel

The Best Kids Carry On Luggage for 2018

There are so many options when it comes to children’s travel bags and the best kids carry on luggage! If you are looking for the best luggage for kids, you have come to the right place! From ride on luggage to kids suitcases on wheels, to kids hand luggage and kids hard shell suitcases, this post will outline the types of luggage you may need on your next trip with your children and hopefully make it easier for you to narrow down all of the cute carry on luggage options and the functionality of the ever popular children’s ride on suitcase!



The Best Kids Carry On Luggage Comparisons


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Trunki The Original Ride-On Suitcase12"L x 8"W x 8"H3.8 lbs
Skip Hop Zoo Toddler Kids Insulated Backpack11"L x 5"W x 12"Hn/a
Skip Hop Zoo Little Kid Luggage12.5"L x 7”W x 16"Hn/a
Deuter Kikki Backpack15”L x 20”W x 16”D12 oz
Deuter Kid's Backpack10 oz
Heys Marvel 21 Inches12 x 21 x 9.5 inches6 lbs
Rockland Owl 20"13 x 20 x 10 inches6 lbs
American Tourister Star Wars 21" Spinner21 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches8.8 lbs
American Tourister Disney 18" Upright Hardside
18 x 13 x 8 inches4.5 lbs
Lassig Trolley Children’s wheeled bag11.5 x. 7.5 x 18 inches 4.4 lbs
Deuter Junior Backpack - Kid's
15 x 9 x 6.5 inches 12 oz
Aerolite Under Seat Wheeled Trolley Luggage16.50" x 13.80" x 7.80" 3.5 lbs
Zinc Flyte Kids Luggage Scooter 15"23cm x 28cm x 43cm6 lbs
Zinc Flyte Kids Luggage Scooter 18"26cm x 33cm x 48cm7.5 lbs
Kids Scooter Luggage 21"22 x 13 x 15 inches12 lbs



Kids Carry on Luggage: Toddler & Preschooler

There are so many options today for the best kids carry on luggage. There are several variables that go into what we pick for our kid’s small carry on luggage 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 Australia requiring connections), the age of your children (obviously you would not give a two year old the same kids carry on 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 in the children’s bags you will be carrying. Because in the end, you know that in order to get through the airport, you might just be carrying your children’s luggage!

Airplane Activities for kids!

One of the popular things to put into our kids carry on luggage is a pack of post it notes and markers! It lets them be creative! My 6 year old loves making “pokemon” cards and having a battle! If you want more ideas, check out Airplane Activities for Kids!




Trunki Kids Ride on Suitcase

(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 colours and styles for your first toddler suitcase and everyone who looks at it thinks it is the cutest luggage around! It is a great choice for carry on luggage for toddlers!
  • 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 on this kids ride on suitcase 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 and Kids Rolling Suitcase

(CLICK on the LINK ABOVE for Current Pricing)

What age is this kids carry-on luggage appropriate for?

  • Toddler and Preschooler


Why we love them?

  • FUN animals for kids to pick from bees, to monkeys to penguins make this cool luggage something your toddlers or preschoolers will want to wear or pull through the airport!
  • AFFORDABLE kids carry on luggage 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 a cheap luggage bag and also does double duty for preschool!
  • HANDS FREE: choosing a Skip Hop Backpack or your children’s cabin luggage keeps them hand”™s free to hold your hand in busy airports
  • It is the perfect SIZE for toddlers and preschoolers to carry their own things. Our 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 these kids bags 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 did break, after daily use. But that does not 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 this kids carry on luggage appropriate for?

  • various sizes of kids travel luggage 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… on this kids cabin bag 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.
Best Kids Carry on Luggage and Luggage for Kids: Ride on Suitcase Trunki and Skip Hop Backpack at the airport

Best Kids Carry on Luggage and Luggage for Kids: Trunki and Skip Hop Backpacks are a staple on our trips!



Best Kids Carry on Luggage: School Aged Kids Carry On Suitcases

My oldest is in grade two, and the toddler backpacks are looking pretty small on him now, but the typical school aged kids backpacks can sometimes look huge, so the goal is to find something that fits for kids ages 6-10 and after 10 then can usually use the same size as an adult without it looking huge. There is some adorable Disney kids luggage for this age group, and it is an ideal age for a backpack or a rolling suitcase as a choice for the best kids carry on luggage for your luggage for children. What my kids use somewhat depends on what I am bringing. If I have a backpack, they will probably have rolling luggage or visversa. This age group is often more picky about girls luggage and boys luggage and there is a plethora of options. Here are a few.

Heys Marvel 21 Inches, Comics for Boys


This Heys 21″ rolling luggage is the latest favorite of my 7 year old. At 21″ x 12.5″ x 9.5″ this carry on luggage for kids is fine for carriers that do not have small carry on restrictions. Its design helps it stand out if you want to get the larger one as a checked bag. It has four spinners which my kids like so they can push it if they do not want to pull it. It has one side that zips closed which means it can be opened during the trip without everything being spilled out your journey!

Why we love it?

  • Spinner luggage with 4 wheels is easier for kids as they can push it if they do not feel like pulling it
  • The design is attractive to boys and easy to pick out in a crowd or pile of luggage
  • Hard cases are my favorite type of luggage and I have never had a problem with Hey’s not standing up to rigorous travel

What we don’t love?

  • Check your airline restrictions as some airlines, especially low cost airlines, require smaller cabin bags


Rockland 20 Inch Kids Rolling Carry on Luggage


This Rockland 20″ Kids Spinner Luggage is priced perfectly for occasional use. It has great reviews on Amazon and is extremely lightweight. It is 20″ x 13″ x 10″ and also features the inside zipper pocket.

What we love?

  • This luggage is extremely light, which is great for kids and when you fly on airlines with weight restrictions, its lightweight design means you can pack more without going overweight.
  • Spinner luggage is my suggestion for kids as it is easy to carry

What we don’t love?

  • Check with your airline if the dimensions are allowed. While most airlines do not check, I am always careful.


American Tourister Star Wars 21inch Kids Rolling Suitcase



Why we love it?

  • Spinner luggage is much easier for kids to use in my opinion. Younger kids can push this type of luggage rather then pull the handle and if you have boys like me, this often turns into a game with their carry on.

What we don’t love?

  • It is a bit on the larger side, so check with your airline if 9.5” is allowed. Some airlines require 8” cabin luggage.

American Tourister Disney 18inch Kids Luggage on Wheels


Why we love it?

  • This airplane luggage is the perfect kids hand luggage as it is smaller than a typical carry on. It makes for a perfect carry on, or overnight bag and for the light packers, it could hold all of your children’s things for your vacation! (I am not one of those people haha).
  • I love how half of the case has a zip closure so you can put all of the things you will not need on the flight on one side, and it is not disturbed by opening and closing the case en route to your destination.
  • American Tourister makes cute kids character suitcases for boys and girls so picking them out is half the fun!

What we don’t love?

  • The handle is short on this style of kids carry on luggage so if mom or dad have to pull it, it is a bit of a pain.

Lassig Trolley Children’s wheeled bag


Why we love it?

  • I fell in love with the look of the Lassig Trolley and their adorable luggage designs for kids.
  • This kids pull along case is less than 8 inches wide so can likely fit under many airplane seats and should meet even the most stringent carry on requirements.
  • Its two height handle means mom and dad can pull their kid’s hand luggage bags if needed! The laundry bag bonus is great for those carry-on only travellers!

What we don’t love?

  • This style of cute kids luggage has one main compartment. You may find your child digging through its contents to find what they are looking for, so make sure you put their essentials in last or consider a small backpack to accompany them.


Kids Backpack Carry Ons

I wanted to add a couple backpacks as options for carry on bags for kids, as it leaves their hands free to help with their main suitcase and also makes travel days less hectic. There is no need to pick up the suitcase for them as you walk up the steps to an airplane, or step aboard a train, they can climb into a taxi with their backpack and leave it at their feet when you travel by car! It generally does not take up space in the trunk, and for the North American traveller who is travelling in Europe, their trunk space is much smaller than what we are used to at home!

Deuter Junior Kids Luggage Bag / Daypack and Hiking Bag


Why we love it?

  • This versatile bag can last your children as they grow. A kindergartener can carry it, yet it is not too small for a 10 year old to use it as well.
  • Need to throw it on your back, just let out the straps a bit and it fits for mom and dad to carry!
  • the Deuter junior kids luggage bag is designed for comfort and I love the small outside pockets, perfect for an iPod or a small toy.

What we do not love?

  • There is not much to say about what we do not love about this bag, Deuter is known for creating great bags, and we would love to have this one on our travels!

Best Kids Scooter Luggage


Have you ever seen a child scooting through the airport on a scooter! As a parent, having a child as young as two making their way down a long airport hallway with ease is any parent’s dream! Watching them carry their own items with ease is even better!

Toddler Scooter Carry On


What age group is this for?

  • Ages 2 – 4

What do we love about it?

  • Cuteness overload is one of our favourite things about this scooter luggage! Available in boys and girls designs, it is an effective way to get your child to make their way to the airport gate themselves, then it folds up and goes into the overhead bin!

What we do not like?

  • If you toddler is not wanting to use it, carrying them, and the scooter can be a pain in the butt! So think about your own child before you invest in this ride on suitcase!

Child Scooter Luggage


What age group is this for?

  • Ages 4-8 max weight 110 lbs

What do we love about it?

  • Cuteness overload is one of our favourite things about this scooter luggage! Available in boys and girls designs, it is an effective way to get your child to make their way to the airport gate themselves, then it folds up and goes into the overhead bin!

What we do not like?

  • If you toddler is not wanting to use it, carrying them can be a pain in the butt, but the versatility of this case makes it a winner overall!

Buy Scooter luggage here

Hope this helps you narrow down your search for your next holiday when you need carry on luggage for kids. Keep in mind your own child’s needs, what you plan to pack in it, and whether it is functional as the best kids luggage for your child


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

Airplane Snacks for Toddlers

Airplane Activities for Kids

The Best Car Seat Travel Bag


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Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.

14 thoughts on “The Best Kids Carry On Luggage for 2018

  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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