The Sporty One: Made from the same recycled nylon used in hiking gear, GoLite’s TravelLite 22" easily takes on the wilds of air travel. Or the wilds of, well, the wild.
Best Feature: Heavy-duty rubber reinforcements on corners. golite.com, $225.
The Flexible Find: Lacking the heavy internal metal frame that weighs down most rigid roll-aboards, the six-pound Hideo Wakamatsu 19" is one of the most compact models on the market. But this bag is no slouch: The durable tarpaulin fabric is both water- and shred-resistant.
Best Feature: External straps to keep everything tight. hideowakamatsu.com, $170.
The Multitasker: Made from recycled plastic bottles, the Samsonite eVolve 22" is full of useful perks, like a Neoprene laptop case that fits inside a padded outer compartment for easy TSA-checkpoint removal.
Best Feature: A watertight internal pocket to contain wet swimsuits or toiletry mishaps. shop.samsonite.com, $180.
The Stylish Strategist: Few bags maximize overhead space like the Heys Gamma X 21", with its curved shape that capitalizes on the standard bin’s slanted roof. Bonus: The rotating handle means you can maneuver over curbs and through mazelike security lines with a flick of the wrist.
Best Feature: Large, 3.5-inch wheels for added stability. heysusa.com, $150.
The Updated Classic: Talk about a dual personality: The Samsonite Winfield 20" combines elements of Swinging ’60s design—it’s divided down the middle with zippable flaps for secure packing—and 21st-century features such as TSA-approved built-in locks and an impact-resistant shell.
Best Feature: 360-degree spinning wheels. shop.samsonite.com, $117.