Best Carryon Bag to take to Cancun, Mexico
November 28, 2011 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for the best carryon bag and the cheapest carryon bag dimensions up to 10 x 16 x 24 inches for travel to Mexico via Southwest.

I am headed to Mexico just for a short weekend (Thurs-Sun) and I want to pack everything in a small bag that meets Southwest's carry on regulations.

I was hoping to get recommendations for a top quality bag, and for a low quality cheap bag. I'm not sure which one I should get. Any other travel tips for Cancun are appreciated or any ideas on what I should absolutely take that will fit in the small bag are also appreciated!
posted by banished to Travel & Transportation around Cancun, Mexico (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Tom Bihn Aeronaut.

Greatest bag I have ever used. Used it for a 2 week trip to Italy and it held everything. 2 day trip. Exactly carry-on size. So easy to use. Holds so much. Very durable. Seriously. If you can afford a packing cube or two, those are great. Worth the money (if in your budget, of course).
posted by anya32 at 12:47 PM on November 28, 2011

Here is the link to my question a few months ago that lead me to the bag. Oh, and sorry to be vague above. I use it for short 2-day trips (super light) and for longer trips. I travel a ton for work and it is holding up very well.
posted by anya32 at 12:50 PM on November 28, 2011

I have an Osprey Porter 46 and am very fond of it; it's carry-on sized, easily held everything I needed to wander around China for a month, and looks pretty nice.

I don't know anything about Cancun, but for lots of info and advice on traveling light, check out
posted by Vibrissa at 1:42 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Take a look at the Red Oxx Sky Train. It's designed to airline carry-on specs and fits in the overhead bins even on the smaller regional jets while still holding a ton of stuff. All the hardware is super heavy duty and I can't imagine it ever wearing out or breaking. I also own the slightly cheaper Air Boss, but really miss the backpack straps when having to trek all the way across an airport to catch a connecting flight.
posted by Max Camber at 2:26 PM on November 28, 2011

If you're on the road a lot, the Red Oxx recommendations above are amazing and worth every penny.
posted by piro at 2:34 PM on November 28, 2011

For cheap bags, check out TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshall's. I got some kind of rolling carryon there over the summer for about 30 bucks. I've used it several times, it's holding up well, and it holds all kinds of stuff. Dimensions should all be printed on the tags so just make sure you've got Southwest's requirements with you if you go to browse.
posted by jabes at 3:21 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Briggs & Riley makes excellent high quality suitcases like this one. Their lifetime guarantee is no lie, they really service the bags for life.
posted by Nelson at 3:41 PM on November 28, 2011

my wife and i took a pair of these to scotland this summer, and they were brilliant - and now they're on sale...

eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender

posted by slaxer at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2011

...oh, and do get a packing cube and try the bundle packing from - i packed all of my stuff and at least part of my wive's, mostly because mine packed so much more compactly. I'm a convert.
posted by slaxer at 3:52 PM on November 28, 2011

I have the eBags Mother Lode Mini 21" Wheeled Duffel. I fly on Southwest frequently and it fits into the overhead compartments no problem. I like that it expands. I also like that it comes in colors other than black. When I took a bus one weekend, someone grabbed my black suitcase because it looked like his. It has a hard back so I've felt comfortable checking it. I don't like that it doesn't have a shoulder strap or a separate laptop compartment. Other than that, it's a solidly good bag.
posted by kat518 at 7:17 PM on November 28, 2011

Patagonia's MLC bag. I have an older version of this bag, and it's been absolutely wonderful on trips and has held up well.
posted by belau at 5:19 AM on November 29, 2011

I have both the eBags Weekender (not the Mother Lode one) and a couple years old version of the Patagonia MLC that I bought to replace it. This review shows my problem with the MLC: it's actually smaller than it needs to be. In thickness, it is an inch or two narrower than the carry-on limits, and doesn't have any real ability to grow. So I still end up using the eBags bag when I need a bit more room.
posted by smackfu at 6:14 AM on November 29, 2011

Also, honestly, for weekend trips, a nice rolling bag is usually better, and can be easily obtained for $20 at a local store. It's not the "best carry-on bag" that you want to carry with you for two weeks or two months of backpacking travel down dirt or cobblestone roads where the wheels do nothing, but it sure is easier to roll it from your car to the plane to the cab to the hotel.
posted by smackfu at 6:17 AM on November 29, 2011

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