Baggage fees don't have to be a fait accompli. If you arm yourself with the right lightweight carry-ons (plus a few smart supplements), you'll be able to bring more on board—and you might even skirt that two-bag limit.
FOR FAMILY FLIERS
Roller: Leave it to Jeep to design a rugged piece of luggage. Made from the same sturdy plastic as the company's car parts, the 20-inch Battalion bag can take whatever the kids dish out. ebags.com, $200.
Tote: The grown-up pattern of LeSportsac's ripstop-nylon Ryan Baby Bag ensures it will be your go-to shoulder bag long after you've survived the terrible twos. lesportsac.com, $128.
Kiddy roller: A frog-shaped Ecogear Ecozoo roller should inspire Junior to pull his own weight (at least down the jetway). ecogear-products.com, $50.
FOR AIR-TRAVEL AFICIONADOS
Roller: Delsey's new 21-inch Helium Fusion Lite 2.0 delivers in all the right ways: It's light all right—just over nine pounds—travels on inline-skate wheels, and can expand by two inches. macys.com, $90.
Laptop case: For all it's built to hold (a laptop, power cords, a mouse, and file folders), it's a wonder Case Logic's 14.5-inch nylon Laptop Attaché doesn't cast a bulkier shadow. caselogic.com, $30.
Backpack: The Reisenthel Mini Maxi rucksack zips into a wallet-size pouch that you can tuck into your suitcase for later use. reuseit.com, $18.
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