It has happened to all of us: you find the perfect carry-on bag that is the maximum size allowed. You pack it, and it is practically bursting, but worth it because it means not having to pay for a checked bag. Then, when you get to the airport, they weigh it, and it’s too heavy. Which means you either have to part with your favorite pair of slip on shoes, or fork over the money to check it. We’ve rounded up 8 bags that weigh under 5 lbs, so you can start packing without fear.
All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and Airfarewatchdog may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.
The Best Wheeled Carry-On Luggage Under 5 Pounds
IT Luggage World’s Lightest 21.8 2 Wheel Carry-on
The name says it all: World’s Lightest. At 3.8 pounds, we were hard-pressed to find anything lighter. With an ergonomic handle, lightweight fabric, and 2 outer zippered pockets, there is plenty of room to store all of your travel necessities without breaking your back. Their bigger suitcases are also incredibly light, with the 30” suitcase weighing in at just 5.29 lbs. Available in 6 colors.
Lipault Paris Original Pliable 22" Upright
This suitcase just squeaks in, weighing in at 4 lbs, 13.45 oz. Nonetheless, it is nice and light, and the perfect carry-on suitcase. Made from an easy to clean nylon twill fabric, with a retractable pull handle and a large front zip pocket, making it the perfect carry-on for your next trip. Best of all, when it comes times for storage, this suitcase folds flat until you need it again.
Related: The 10 Best Underseat Carry-On Bags for Basic Economy
Eagle Creek Expanse Wheeled Tote
This may be the perfect carry-on for a long weekend, or for the super light packer. Weighing in at 4 lbs 9 oz, this little guy has a padded pocket for your tablet or laptop, and is made with durable ripstop, poly and Bi-Tech Armor Lite™ materials made to last. Plus, with Expanses “No Matter What” warranty, your items will be covered “no matter what” happens to them! Available in 4 colors.
Atlantic Softsides Rolling Underseat Carryon
The perfect bag when you are traveling light. At 4.5 lbs, you’ll be able to pack just what you need, without worrying about the bulk that comes with some bags. The fabric has a water resistant coating, perfect for rainier days or destinations. It has outer and inner pockets, a roomy interior, and can fit under the seat for maximum ease. Available in 3 colors.
Related: The Essential Carry-On Bag Packing List
The Best Carry-On Duffel Bags Under 5 Pounds
Delsey Optimax Lite 2.0 Carry-on Duffel Bag
If you prefer a duffel to a rolling suitcase, this Delsey carry-on is for you! This bag comes in at just 1.6 lbs but maximizes its size with multiple exterior pockets and a spacious central compartment. A removable shoulder strap and smart band made to slip over the handles of larger luggage gives you multiple ways to carry this bag through the airport. It's soft shell and compact size make it easy to fit into the limited space available on a plane, train, or bus.
The Away Everywhere Bag
Another win for tote bag lovers, this cute, compact bag is perfect for all of your travel needs. It includes six interior pockets, a hidden exterior pocket, a 15" laptop sleeve, and a hidden waterproof zipper pocket—and still weighs in at just 2.8 lbs (3.4 lbs with the removable shoulder strap)!
Related: 13 Totes That Do the Most
The Best Carry-On Backpacks Under 5 Pounds
Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack
Sometimes you can't beat a good, old-fashion backpack, and this bag from Amazon Basics goes above and beyond. At just 3.64 lbs, it features a zippered laptop sleeve, several external pockets, and a removable waist and sternum belt to help support the weight. Internal compression straps keep your items in place and the removable shoulder strap converts this bag easily into a convenient tote.
The Vancropak 40L Travel Backpack
This expandable backpack is a great option if you're looking to pack for several days in just a carry-on. Adjustable chest straps help keep stress off your back when carrying it as a backpack, or you can tuck away the backpack straps in the hidden rear panel and carry it by either the side or top padded handles. It comes in two colors and weights just 2.6 lbs.