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Kid-Approved Luggage That Small People Will Actually Want to Carry

Don't leave home without 'em. (Unless you really like lugging your kids' stuff around yourself.)

Nikki Ridgway · 9 months ago

  • travel

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It’s just a fact: When families travel, there’s always someone stuck holding the bags. And usually that someone = a parent.  To ease the load when hitting the road, consider one of these fun (but… shhh!... practical) bags that kids will be proud to carry on by themselves.

1. Emily & Meritt Hard-Sided Carry-On Spinner

A hard-sided carry-on from celeb stylists Emily Current and Merrit Elliott, this sweet but stylish case is a teenager’s dream and can be personalized with a full name or initials. The in-line wheels make for a moan-free transfer through the airport terminal, and the weather-resistant plastic shell means you don’t have to be too worried about the everyday wear-and-tear of travel.

2. Skip*Hop Zoo Safety Harness Backpack

If traveling as a pack feels like herding animals, then this zoo-themed backpack is an appropriate pick. Better yet, there’s a long, detachable tether on the underside of the bag, so your littlest can’t stray too far in a busy airport or new destination. The adjustable straps mean the bag will grow with your family, and there’s a cute bottle holder for easy access on the road.

3. Star Wars R2D2 Underseater

There’s a lot to love about R2D2 reincarnated as a two-wheeled upright bag, from the USB-charging port and C3PO luggage tag, to the “This Is How We Roll” tagline and R2D2 printed embellishments on all four sides. It’s perfect for the Star Wars lover in your life.

4. The Kids’ Carry-On by Away

Much-loved suitcase company Away offers a pint-sized version of their best-selling suitcase in six kid-friendly colors. At just 6.5 pounds and with 360-degree spinner wheels, it’s a breeze to push no matter how much they overpack (and there’s a special compression system to handle that anyway!). There’s also an ejectable battery for recharging all devices and, perhaps less exciting for your junior traveler, a hidden laundry bag.

5. The Mini Logan Suitcase

This brightly-colored roller carry-on is specially designed for young travelers aged 3 to 5, with its fully rotating wheels and easy-access front pocket. Beloved stuffies (or water bottles) catch their own ride in a special velcro side strap. Like most State bags, the lining is made from recycled water bottles, and there’s a matching backpack and dopp kit for a fully coordinated travel gear upgrade.

6. JetKids by Stokke

Stokke’s beautifully engineered JetKids carry-on is a next generation ride-on bag, with space for all the kid essentials and a magic trick up its sleeve. In five quick steps, the bag reconfigures into a platform that turns an economy seat into a lie-flat bed, complete with its own soft bedding. There’s also swivel wheels and an adjustable strap in case parents want to wear it as a shoulder  bag. A splurge to be sure, but with even a chance of extra sleep, well worth the investment!

7. Minion Softside Luggage

Cute, funny, and easy to spot in even the busiest airport, this Minion-adorned suitcase is the pick for your most fun-loving family member. Clocking in at just over three pounds, the softsided bag is small enough to take on board as carry on, and has inline wheels and a self-locking handle.

8. Little Herschel Trade Carry-On

Herschel is known for its color-blocked backpacks, but with these kid-friendly carry-ons, they’re venturing into bolder prints and brighter hues. We’re talking a space theme, alligator motif, flower power, slithering snakes, and more. The 34-liter bag is big enough for longer vacations, but has easy maneuverability thanks to the four-wheel base and a tall, retractable handle.

9. Ziggy Carry-On Roller Luggage

Although not specifically designed for kids, the zippy design and neon colors of French Bull’s Ziggy Carry-On make it a hit with the tween and teen set. Hardsided but still lightweight at just over six pounds, there are eight multi-directional wheels, a wipe-clean shell, and an interior mesh lining to keep everything in place. 

10. Rolling Deluxe Book Pack

Made for the school hallways, but perfect for exploring the wider world, L.L.Bean’s classic rolling backpack has in-line skate wheels, back straps, two water bottle compartments, a computer sleeve, and retractable handle. Choose from the camo or graphic green, knowing this versatile bag is as useful and durable lugging textbooks as it is transporting beach reads and vacation souvenirs.