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How to choose the right cabin suitcase for the plane

You are going to travel by plane, but you do not know how to prepare your luggage, but especially how to choose the right suitcase to take the plane. Indeed, traveling by plane implies respecting a few rules and this varies according to the airline with which you are going to travel. Here are some clues to help you better prepare your cabin suitcase.

Reminder on cabin baggage regulations in airlines

Before you start choosing the right suitcase for air travel , you should first be aware of the cabin baggage regulations.

Dimensions and weight

The dimensions and weights of carry-on suitcases vary by airline, but the size should generally measure no more than 55cm x 35cm x 25cm or 55cm x 40cm x 20cm according to IATA, the International Transport Association Aerial, with a storage volume of 38.5 cm3. However, the travel class can also influence these dimensions.

Authorized accessories

In addition to the cabin suitcase, you are also allowed to carry a handbag, travel pillow, laptop bag or backpack. However, the maximum dimensions of a backpack must be 20 x 20 cm.

The type of suitcases

A suitcase can be flexible, rigid or in the form of a travel bag.

soft suitcase size

They are generally comfortable and easy to carry. They are therefore perfect for occasional trips and can slip into the cabin without any worries. The advantage with soft suitcases is that they are easy to compress so as not to clutter up, even if they are full.

Rigid suitcases

This type of suitcase is mainly resistant and adapts to intensive use. That said, hardside suitcases take a beating and can protect fragile luggage. These are in high demand thanks to their robustness and safety, but they are on the other hand heavier.

travel bags

These bags are specially designed to be placed in the cabin. In addition, their polyurethane and Teflon materials allow them flexibility and impermeability which are often appreciated to make it a hand luggage.


These include the material of manufacture of each suitcase.

ABS cabin suitcase

These are rigid suitcases made of polymer. They are therefore very resistant to shocks and suitable for intensive use. Moreover, this material is the heaviest compared to the others, which does not give you the opportunity to carry several things.

Polyester or fabric

Polyester or fabric suitcases are soft suitcases. They are useful for occasional trips. In addition, they are requested for their lightness, which allows you to have a rather voluminous luggage without having to break the regulations.


As part of the rigid suitcases, polycarbonate suitcases are also resistant and can provide good protection for luggage. The difference with polymer suitcases is that polycarbonate is light when empty. In addition, they can be used regularly.


Hybrid suitcases include those that are made from a mix of fabric and plastic, which allows for both flexibility and rigidity for convenience. They are also very light and can be used for intensive use.

Size, weight and capacity

As you will have understood, the standards imposed by the IATA must not exceed 56 x 45 x 25 cm, therefore a maximum volume of 30 to 45 liters. So be careful not to exceed these standards, otherwise you could be exposed to an additional tariff. However, this size is more than enough to carry your belongings if you go on vacation. Regarding the allowed weight, it should be 10 to 18 kg depending on the airline.

The number of wheels

The number of wheels on your suitcase can influence your suitcase choice, as you’ll need luggage that’s easy to carry, as you’ll be moving through many parts of the airport. In addition, suitcases without wheels are used less and less recently.

That said, rolling suitcases can have 2 or 4 wheels. The 2 wheels are easy to transport thanks to their lightness. Less expensive than 4-wheeled suitcases, they provide a minimum of comfort during transport. Be sure to choose heavy-duty wheels, though, because if you have heavy luggage, the wheels may get damaged quickly.

In addition, suitcases with 4 wheels are easier to handle, as they can rotate 360°C. In addition, they provide good stability, which makes you less tired. So you can transport them without any difficulty.

The closing system

This is an important element to ensure the safety of your luggage, in addition to the material of the suitcase. Some models therefore offer a closure with a code or combination that also allows you to protect yourself against possible theft.

There are also closures in the form of key locks or the famous TSA or Transport Security Administration padlocks. Moreover, there are suitcases already available with this type of integrated padlock.

The compartments

If you have several things, it is important to take into account the number of compartments in your suitcase. This will allow you to better store them without clutter. However, there are various types of separation in cabin suitcases.

The plumber separation

It is a suitcase that is separated into two independent parts. The first part is usually larger while the other part is more restricted. The latter, located on the top of the suitcase, allows you to store easily accessible belongings. As for the largest part, it is used to store your clothes and other belongings.

The 50/50 split

According to its name, this type of suitcase offers two parts which are separated by a central closure. You can put all your stuff equally in each part. In addition, each compartment is separated by a zipper so as not to confuse the two parts once the suitcase is closed.

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