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