I was to be in the States for 10 days and was determined to achieve my 'effortless travel' goal of looking fabulous while toting carry-on luggage only. I espouse Kipling bags because they are light and they compact down flat. With pockets on the outside and a top zip, I have easy access into my carry-on rolly bag. This cuts down on airport faffing and makes it much quicker to get through security.
I have mostly concerned myself with size dimensions when selecting carry-on bags. But after recently helping a neighbour select a suitcase, I became aware of suitcase capacity, which deserves a bit more investigation. Each airline has their own cabin size bag allowance, but let's call it an average of 55x38x23cm (21.5x15x9in) with weight restrictions from 10kg (22lbs) to unlimited. My Kipling carry-on is 55x35x23cm (21.5x14x9in), just about average, with a volume of 33litres (9g). Rimowa, the hip, hard side luggage brand has a carry-on that is a 31L (8g). A similar soft case to mine by Samsonite is 55x40x20cm (21.5x16x8in), but the volume is 57Litres (15g)! Could this be why others can swag with their rolly bags, but I cannot?
The plus side of having a smaller volume bag is that the weight will never exceed limitations, and I will always be able to manage to lift it into the overhead bin without help from the burly flight attendant. Louis Vuitton's wheeled carry-on bag has a great feature in that the handle is on the outside, leaving the floor of the inside of the bag flat, therefore creating more capacity. Probably not worth the extra thousands, but a good idea other brands could adopt. Needless to say, I failed miserably with my Adventures in Carry-on. The weather was so hot I went through three changes a day and after checking the cost of laundry, I found it cheaper to just buy new. In the corner of my mind, I knew that I had to bring an extra checked bag home with me, giving me the wiggle room to buy lots and lots of books!