What to Look Out for When Buying a Carry-on for Kids

Preparing your child for travel might seem like an easy task, but the actualities of all the imperative things can start to pile up pretty quickly.

Undoubtedly, among the biggest things to consider is providing your kids with their own carry-on luggage.

If you are fine with everything popping out like a jack-in-the-box when you open your luggage, then it is certainly possible to pack your kids’ items in your own luggage.

However, this is not likely a permanent solution. Before long, your kids will want their own carry-on luggage.

Yes, you can find cheaper alternatives, but it might be worth your while to look a little further or put in a few more bucks for your kids’ first-ever carry-on luggage. You may want to check out bagsbrothers.com for the best reviews when shopping.

Things to Consider When Buying a Carry-on for Kids

Before you make a decision about which piece of carry-on to buy for your kids, there are a few factors to consider.

Size and Weight

Since children are smaller than adults, they need carry-ons with more compact dimensions in order for them to be functional.

Most standard sizes for adult carry-ons are just about right for older children, but most carry-ons designed specifically for kids are a little bit smaller.

That said, there should be enough space in the carry-on luggage to fit the essentials like clothes, shoes, toys, gadgets, and other items your child needs.

There is no silver bullet, but we recommend starting your kids off with an adult carry-on. In essence, these are a bit larger than the standard children’s luggage you often find in department stores.

When considering the weight of your kids’ carry-on, it is better to go with a lighter option. A four-year-old may find it difficult to pull a heavy hard-side carry-on behind them, regardless of how child-friendly it may look.


Most children are not as adept at avoiding obstacles as adults and are likely to drag their carry-on luggage over anything that gets in their way as a result. For this reason, most kid-sized carry-ons come equipped with spinners, which are designed to last.

You may find the wheels on this type of carry-on luggage are noisier than the ones found on full-sized luxury options.

However, you may appreciate the chunky plastic coverings of the wheels when your kid runs the carry-on over your own or another person’s feet.


Most carry-ons for kids are usually made of resilient and durable ABS or polycarbonate materials. It is not like buying softball socks for your kids that you can easily pick up from any online store, just by looking at the size and colors. But, it has to be an extensive research and by visiting a local departmental store that sells such designer ‘carry on’ stuff for kids. Others may be made of a type of wipeable vinyl or something similar.

Soft-side carry-on luggage and backpacks that are more conventional are usually available in various cute designs, displaying attractive characters and striking colors. On the flip side, they are usually not as superior in quality as hard-sided ones.

Regardless, even when they are fully loaded, soft-side carry-on luggage is lighter than hard-side carry-on luggage, making them ideal for little hands to easily pull or carry.

On the other hand, hard-side carry-ons and backpacks that are child-sized are a great addition to full-sized adult carry-ons. They are usually more durable and resilient.

Although this type of carry-on may last you longer, it may also be weighty for kids to carry. Thus, it is important to consider the size as well as your kids’ strengths before investing.


Most kids’ carry-ons don’t have a lot of pockets or compartments, but there should still be some that have enough divisions for separating particular items, like socks and underwear.

A mesh pocket is useful for books, toys, and other essentials. It can be found in some carry-ons that often come with a divider for separating clean and dirty clothes. You especially want this section present in kids’ luggage, as little travelers aren’t likely to care whether or not their clothes smell.

Front pockets on carry-ons and backpacks make it easier to keep your kids’ favorite snacks, and toys close at hand, while mesh pockets on each side will store water bottles and cups within reach. Pick carry-ons that have these features if your child is fond of snacking.


Kids are primarily visual people, and they are magically drawn to anything that features their favorite cartoon characters or designs.

Most brands of carry-ons use bright, colorful, and fun designs to appeal to younger children. There are also many backpacks and carry-ons themed after sports, hobbies, and animals that children of all ages should appreciate, as well.


Allowing your kids to use carry-on luggage made specifically for them is a great way to make traveling fun while encouraging them to pack on their own at the same time.

Choosing carry-on luggage that is not only manageable but also sustainable for your kids should be the best bet. It also delivers better bang for your buck!