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The best bags and carry-on luggage for short and long trips

According to an editor who travels for a living.

by Katie Jackson /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY
Family on summer vacation checking into hotel. Reception desk. Luggage.Getty Images stock
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Forget delays. Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of traveling. Often, the problem isn't what to pack, but what to pack it in. That's why having the right bag on hand can bring major peace of mind. It can easily be the difference between a good trip and a great trip.

TODAY Style recently looked at dozens of best-in-class luggage options for everything from a three-day spring break weekend to your annual summer sabbatical abroad. Here are 15 bags and suitcases worth investing in (and if these are two expensive for you, we put 5 at the bottom that are Amazon best-sellers under $55).

Bon voyage!

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No room in the overhead bin? That's OK. This dome-shaped bag fits under the seat in front of you. If you're worried about it being too small, rest assured because it comes with a matching tote for those impulse buys. We love the quilted microfiber material, and we're not alone. This bag has earned a rating of 4.4 stars across 807 reviews!

This comprehensive carry-on has four wheels for easy rolling, two zippers that meet in a Transportation Security Administration-approved combination lock and a built-in USB port and battery. The best part? All that weighs just 7 pounds! (For $20 more, you can add another 8 cubic liters of space for just and additional 0.3 pounds.)

If you travel with this cool cylinder-style bag, your suits and dresses will thank you. That's because rolling instead of folding leads to fewer, if any, wrinkles. Because of its sleek shape, SkyRoll's roll-up garment bag is also easy to fit into crowded overhead bins.

Fjallraven's 35-liter backpack-duffel hybrid is perfect for a weekend getaway or a short trip where function is as important as form. Instead of one inner chamber, the bag has two, making it easy to keep wet or dirty items separate. We also like knowing that this bag is good enough for royalty (Fjallraven is the purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden).

Cotopaxi is another go-to luggage brand for the active traveler. Their organized Allpa travel pack is meant to last a lifetime (the warranty is 61 years) and comes with loads of bells and whistles. There's a hip belt so your back doesn't bear all the weight, padded sleeves for your tablet and laptop, and a rain cover in case your adventures involve precipitation. The external zippers even feature webbing to deter pickpockets.

The downside of traveling with Calpak's faux marble finish luggage? If you're on the same flight as Vanessa Hudgens, you could get your bags mixed up. Reportedly, Chrissy Teigen, Emma Roberts and Taylor Lautner are also celeb fans of this affordable, luxe luggage line. This particular set features a carry-on size and a larger model for everything you can't bring on the plane.

With 90 cubic liters of space, this bag is perfect for packing everything but the kitchen sink. You also don't have to worry so much about it getting left out in rain or snow. It's made from weather-resistant nylon. And we love knowing 5.11 Tactical gear is designed for active duty officers, so it's built to last.

Once upon a time luggage mainly came in black and blue. But now, you can customize your own Ugo suitcase with everything from emojis to monograms and yes, fake zippers. This particular case comes with a TSA-approved lock and is sized to fit in any airplane cabin's overhead bin.

The cool factor of this bag is off the charts. Not only is it made of high-quality faux leather, it boasts some of the best mobile speakers on the market so your trip can have a soundtrack! The two removable, water-resistant speakers are compatible with any device you can plug headphones into.

American Tourister has been around since 1933, when its founder decided to build the toughest suitcase he could. The original selling price? $1. Today, American Tourister is beloved by avid travelers who appreciate the special "spinner" wheels that make maneuvering around a hotel or airport a breeze. We give this case style points because it comes in moonlight purple, which is pretty similar to Ultra Violet, Pantone's Color of the Year.

Filson has been making quality gear since 1897, albeit adapting its designs as the times change. For example, this rugged duffel-backpack hybrid comes with a padded sleeve for electronics. It's great for a safari (if you're that lucky) or simply a weekend camping trip in a national park. We think you'll also love that it's made in America.

Hurry! This suitcase from Perry Ellis is currently 50 percent off its original price of $250. Features we appreciate include the 360-degree spinning wheels, tie-down adjustable interior straps (so things don't shift in transit) and the cool color options: metallic blue and charcoal.

Megan Wood, an editor for TripAdvisor's Oyster, has personally inspected more than 500 hotels. Her bag of choice? This spinner from Bric's that she calls a godsend. "It's made in Italy and looks like it costs three times what it does," said Wood. "I've had women stop me in the airport to ask where I bought it and their eyes light up when I say it's available on Amazon."

This is pretty much the chicest smart suitcase on the market. Not only does it have a removable (TSA-approved) battery that charges everything from your iPhone X to your Macbook Pro, it also boasts Bluetooth connectivity. With the free Rebecca Minkoff Always On App, you can check the status of your battery and even track your luggage.

And here's one of the smartest smart suitcase on the market. Not only does it track your luggage and charge your devices (it has two USB ports whereas most smart suitcases only have one), it also has a built-in scale. That's right, the handle doubles as a scale so you can avoid hefty overweight baggage fees. We also like how the wheels are described as "silent."

If you aren't looking to spend more than $100 on luggage, fret not! Amazon's best-selling luggage starts at just $30.

Originally priced at $120, this bag is 63 percent off on Amazon right now! It also has over 2,000 positive reviews and a 3 year warranty.

This luggage set has almost 4,000 four-star reviews on Amazon. This is perfect for a seasoned traveler and includes an upright and a tote bag with locks and keys.

This garment bag keeps your clothes clean and wrinkle-free. It's wonderful to have it you are traveling for a wedding or on business. We love this line because it comes with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

This best-selling set takes a little bit longer to ship (it's not part of Amazon Prime either), but is well worth the wait. We love the colors and the amount of space you get with this bag.

This hard shell case has over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon and is incredibly lightweight. Inside it has straps to hold your clothing in place and a large zippered accessory pocket.

For more travel gadgets we love, including neck rests, tote bags and travel beauty essentials, read on here.