Review & Compare | Travelpro 20″ Carry Ons

I was in the market for a standard size carry on bag and decided to do some online research to find out what travelers are liking best this year.  I narrowed it down to two but I couldn’t choose without seeing them in person, so I bought both but only kept one.  I give an in depth, side by side look at both bags here:

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Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

I was surprised that there weren’t more dedicated (and recent!) blog reviews for carry on luggage, especially with more travelers using carry ons to avoid checked luggage fees.  I instead turned to Amazon for user reviews.  It seems like many travelers are big fans of Travelpro carry on bags, which are applauded for their quality and functionality in a competitive mid-level price range.  I settled on two bags: the Travelpro Luggage Platinum Magna 20 Inch Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard (top left) and the Travelpro Crew 10 20 Inch Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard.

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Both bags are rated well on Amazon (although notably, each with less than 20 reviews) and have many of the same features.  They’re roughly the same size and weight, with the Crew 10 measuring just a smidgen deeper.  Here’s a breakdown of what I was looking for with this carry on to give you a better sense of why I chose these two bags:

✓ 22″ high x 14″ wide x 9″ (or so) deep to comply with most major domestic airline carry on restrictions (airlines actually count the wheels when measuring, so keep that in mind!)

American, United, and Delta carry on measurement maximums are 22″ high x 14″ wide x 9″ deep.

✓ Rugged wheels (two only, no spinners)

✓ Padded laptop compartment

✓ Top and side handles

✓ Expandable option

✓ Exterior zip pockets for quick access to documents/small items

✓ Roomy main compartment interior

Both the Platinum Magna and the Crew 10 meet all of these requirements, so my ultimate decision came down to very small details.  Let’s take a look at the design and features of each bag individually:

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The Travelpro Luggage Platinum Magna 20 Inch Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard is an easy breezy kind of carry on in with great user friendly features that aren’t fussy.  Measured from the ground up (including wheels) it is 22″ tall x 14″ wide x 9.5″ deep with a 42″ telescoping handle and weighs in at 8.2 pounds.  It’s made from an an “extra-durable 1682 twill nylon fabric with DuraGuard” for durability.  The bag is available in both black and sienna and retails for $242.73 on Amazon.com at the time of this post’s publishing.

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The individual exterior features of the bag are all well designed, sturdy, and functional.  The top and side handles are reinforced with leather for an easy grip.  It includes  an “add-a-bag” anchor and clip (see below) to secure a second bag.  The telescoping handle mechanism works smoothly and has a comfortable grip.  The removable, ball-bearing wheels and crash-guard wheel housing ensure a smooth roll with long-lasting durability.

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The more shallow front section includes a padded laptop pocket that doesn’t cut into the main compartment too much.  I especially like the removable business organizer, which is a feature I don’t often use in carry-on luggage since I generally carry a purse when I travel.  There is also a smaller zip pocket which is a great place to stash travel documents, snacks, and other small items for easy access.

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The Travelpro Platinum Magna is lined in a beige fabric, providing great visibility and contrast for packed items.  The only built-in organizational elements in the main compartment are a zip pocket along the back interior and a shallow mesh lined zip compartment on the top interior.  It includes butterfly style straps to secure items in place.  The carry on also comes with a removable shoe bag and a TSA approved luggage lock.

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The Travelpro Crew 10 20 Inch Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard seems to have a bit more going on at first glance, with more exterior built-in organization.  Measured from the ground up (including wheels) it is 22″ tall x 14″ wide x 10.5″ deep with a 42″ telescoping handle and weighs in at 8.2 pounds.  It’s made from a high quality nylon fabric with DuraGuard.  The bag is available in both black and merlot and retails for $124.31 on Amazon.com at the time of this post’s publishing.

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The external features of the Crew 10 are not that different from the Platinum Magna, although there are small differences in quality.  For example, the add-a-bag anchor is made from nylon rather than plastic and the included clip feels less sturdy.  The top and side handles aren’t quite as reinforced as well, although they still feel sturdy.  There doesn’t seem to be a noticeable difference in the quality of the telescoping handle.  The wheels and wheel casing again are similar with slightly less bulk, which might impact longterm durability, but it’s hard to say without road testing both side by side.

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The main difference with this bag is the included “business center” front pocket section which is built out, adding an extra one inch of depth to the overall measurements.  One side includes a padded laptop sleeve and the other built in organizers, notably not removable.  This feature is the main reason I went with the Platinum Magna.  I was worried that the Crew 10 would be too deep for standard airline carry-on allowances and that the bag would more easily topple over with my laptop in it.  As it turned out, the Platinum Magna doesn’t offer much more in terms of stability when packed with a computer in my experience when traveling with it.

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The Travelpro Platinum Crew 10 is lined in a light grey fabric, which in my opinion feels a bit less visually appealing for packing visibility.  It includes side wet and mesh zippered pockets and a shallow mesh lined zip compartment on the top interior.  Snap compression snaps secure packed items in place.  The carry on also comes with an offer for a free TSA approved lock.

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As you can see, the Platinum Magna and the Crew 10 are super similar, with one big exception: the price difference.  The Platinum Magna costs over $100 more than the Crew 10.  The differences in quality do not accurately reflect this price rift in my opinion.  I did settle on the more expensive of the two, mainly because I was worried about the extra inch depth in the Crew 10 and that it might be more likely to fall over when packed with a laptop since that pocket sticks out so much more.  In practice, however, the Platinum Magna did fall over quite a bit, which is a big pet peeve of mine, and in retrospect I would have kept the Crew 10 to try instead knowing this issue.

I filmed a Pack & Review style video of the bag I kept of the two, the Platinum Magna.  Check out this video if you’re interested in a closer look and hearing my thoughts on it post-travel:

I would suggest either bag as a great airline approved carry on with the exception of the laptop issue.  If you know of a carry on that specifically and effectively addresses this issue, please let me know.
Happy and Safe Travels!

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 * Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

35 comments

35 thoughts on “Review & Compare | Travelpro 20″ Carry Ons”

  1. I really like the travel pro bags you mentioned and I’ll have to check them out the brand I currently have is a tumi from Macy’s that I bought a couple years ago manly as I travel with my shih tzu lilly a lot and the top was big enough to strap her Carrier on top without it being akward I also like the warranty that came with it though I wish it came in different patterns . But it’s held up great so far between all my travel back and fourth for college. I included a link to the one I have at Macy’s it’s the new version. But still looks the same just has different wheels. http://m.macys.com/shop/product/tumi-alpha-2-22-international-carry-on-expandable-spinner-suitcase?ID=1439227&choiceId=cidKc0011-3036e1cf-331b-4a49-a34e-070e8e8a4f63%40H5%40you%20might%20also%20like%20…%2429334%241439227

  2. Just thought I’d chip in the fact that my Travelpro has over two million airline miles on it. Yes, it’s not the most beautiful of bags anymore, but man oh man has it lasted and been with me on so many wonderful trips. It’s like one of the family now to me. Every time I zip it up to go on another trip I give it a little pat and say “Thank you Travelpro”.

    Thinking about it, this baby may have more than two million on it. At this point, who cares. It’s been a great suitcase.

  3. What a great, in-depth post. Thank you! I also have a pet peeve for bags who fall over, I’m glad you mentioned it! I would have gone for the Magna simply because of the lining. I find that carry-ons get rummaged into quite a big more than suitcases and having lighter linings helps to identify items quicker, and without creating a mess.
    The price difference is a little bit of a shock, but I’m happy you published this review, I’m sure it will be helpful to those shopping around.

  4. Thank you for giving us an idea about the compare of the both suitcase.
    It s a really nice post and we can see the diffrerences with the nice pictures you ve sahred.
    Thank you and have a fab weekend!

  5. Great review! I hve never heard of this luggage before, but they both seem to be very good and practical cardy ons. Honestly don’t know which one I would pick, but due to the intense similarity I think the cheaper one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Hi Jen,

    About 9 years ago my husband and I were looking for quality travel gear. We looked and searched and asked about 200 people what they were using. I have a colleague that used to be a flight attendant who recommended Travel Pro. She worked for Delta and said that it was the BEST luggage known to man. We figured since she had vast experience with luggage and travel she must know what she was talking about. We have owned and used our Travel Pro luggage for 9 years and LOVE it. Ours is a bright blue color which I don’t know that you can get anymore. Every time we travel, people ask us about our luggage. I never thought I would say the “L” word about a suitcase but in fact I have and do every time we use it 🙂 You will love it for years to come! It is pricey for luggage but well worth the investment.

  7. I am a big fan of the 4 wheeled carry ons, I can’t imagine anything else now that I have used one! I only travel by air about once a year so I’m not as finicky about some of the extras, I guess, but 4 wheels are a MUST!

    1. I’ve read that the wheels are prone to breaking off from going in and out of the overhead compartments on spinners, which is one reason I’ve avoided them. Plus, the wheels have to stick out more by design instead of being set into the bag like with two-wheelers, which takes away some of your packing space if you’re counting the height of the bag from the ground up to comply with airline restrictions.

      1. Not true if you find the right spinners. Ours do not stick out we have traveled extensively with them on planes and ships and no issues.

          1. Another note with the Travel Pro series regarding the spinners…we have had our luggage for 9 years and have never had a problem with the spinners. Also, we have taken our “Carry on” size suitcases on numerous flights and have not ever had a problem with them being too big or spinners sticking out. Since Travel Pro is the luggage “designed” for all Fight employees (they have to use it, part of the uniform), it is designed to fit perfectly in small amounts of space but still give you plenty of room to pack. My husband and I went on a 14 day trip and were determined NOT to check any bags. Travel Pro came through like a champ. We were on 4 different flights for that trip and each flight was a different size plane (and seats). I was worried on one of the flights that the suitcase would not fit under the seat, but alas it did 🙂 You do have to be careful with the expandable portion though. On one of the flights, I did have to take out my blanket that I travel with to fit the case under the seat but I usually use it during the flight anyway, so that was not a problem at all. I had clothes for 14 days, a full size pillow and a blanket in the suitcase and it still fit (sans the blanket that I sat on) 🙂

        1. Mine definitively do not stick out, and since I don’t do a lot of plane travel, not sure of how they will wear in the future. That said, I know I will never go 2-wheeled again since having the spinner!

  8. What is the purple one you have pictured that you took to the conference you are currently at?
    I currently upgraded from a bag that I packed – and killed my shoulders, arms and neck, to one that rolls under the seat. It’s a rolling tote, so easy to cart around all day when I’m traveling and connecting (we always have 2 flights since we were in a small town) but I also wanted something to fit under the seat so I could access some things. Besides the overhead bins are always so crammed and hard to get to in flight. This is what I got and I loved using it on our last trip: http://www.amazon.com/Delsey-Quilted-Rolling-UnderSeat-EXCLUSIVE/dp/B00BRK3VUS

  9. THANK YOU for doing this review! We were in the market for one and I have been searching amazon and reading reviews too. This really helps me:)

  10. We have road tested several carry-on bags for when my husband travels alone. All the ones we tried with only 2 wheels toppled over. The only solution we found was to use the spinners which we prefer for walking through the airport anyway.

    1. My husband and I have never had a problem with the Travel Pro luggage toppling over as it has four wheels. It is fantastic luggage 🙂

  11. Love this product review Jen! I first found you on youtube while researching Run DIsney will you be participating in any upcoming runs? I am running my first 1/2 Marathon next month! Thanks for the inspiration Jen!

    Xo Miss Erin
    See what I have to say at:
    http://www.misserinsays.com

  12. I purchased the Travelpro Crew bag at Marshall’s a couple of months ago for $79.00! I love it! Before you buy, you might want to check Marshall’s to get it a little cheaper!

  13. One more comment and a tip about the Travel Pro series, and then I’m done (can you tell how much I love these bags :)) If you get the carry on with four wheels instead of two, you won’t have the tipping over issue. The Travel Pro associate that sold us our luggage assured us (more than once because I was nervous about TSA compliance) that they would pass muster. She also told us that if you get anything on the bags (food stain, etc.), use rubbing alcohol to get it out. I did some searching around and did find our bags (they still carry them lo and behold). Here is the link:

    http://atlanticluggage.com/Carry-on/Compass-Unite-21%22-Expandable-Upright-Spinner-Suiter

    I know the site says Atlantic but it is Travel Pro. This is the same bag as the Travel Pro Crew series but a lot less expensive. The sales associate showed us both series side by side and said that the only difference was price. Basically, Travel Pro Crew series costs more because they sell it to airlines (major bucks). We opted with the Atlantic series over the Crew because of the price. This particular series is being phased out and is in closeout right now. The price at this comment is about $75.00 for the bag. We paid $200.00 for the same bag 9 years ago when the series was brand new.

  14. You’ve made me super excited to buy luggage and pack. Going to a conference in July and interstate in October and I cannot wait to buy a new piece of luggage!

  15. I hate it when my suitcase tips too! I actually used to get embarrassed by it – isn’t that weird? I like your trick of putting your onboard carry-on bag and items in the rolling carry-on. Genius! I always put more stuff than I normally do in my Vera Bradley bag that I carry around and get the sore shoulder at the airport. Will have to try that!

  16. After seeing your review, I went looking for TravelPro online, as I’d never heard of it. I found it, and there is a TravelPro Luggage Outlet which was linked to their regular website. I found an older model Crew The Crew 8) in a really pretty spruce green, for a decent price. I just got it a week or 2 ago, and haven’t flown with it yet, but I did take it on a road trip and loved what I could fit in it! Thanks for the review!

  17. Thanks for the review on these products! I just purchased the crew 10 20″ it is en route to me so we will see what it is like once I receive it. One big problem I seem to find is that the carry on restrictions are quite small, for instance the restrictions for the two carriers I fly most frequently with are as follows..

    Air Canada 9 in x 15.5 in x 21.5 in

    Westjet 21 in. x 9 in. x 15 in

    You say they are 22″ tall which worries me now. I wish luggage manufacturers would just advertise the total length ( wheels/handles included)

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