With chic fabric and countless pockets to keep you organized, this is one of our favorite stylish carry-on bags yet.

By Madison Alcedo
August 28, 2019
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Courtesy of Nordstrom

When it comes to investing in a new travel bag — whether it’s a carry-on suitcase, roomy backpack, or a weekender bag — there are a few things on my wishlist criteria, including pocket count, weight of the bag, and overall style. So when I discovered Calpak’s new line of soft-side luggage, I was happy to find that the collection checked all of my boxes when it comes to chic bags that also help you stay organized on the go. 

One of the main things I’ve learned in my 25+ years as a flight attendant’s daughter is the importance of the carry-on suitcase. After flying standby for the majority of my life, I realized there’s nothing more helpful than having a dependable carry-on that’s lightweight, holds a lot, and can easily fit in the overhead bin (especially if it’s over-stuffed!). Plus, if you’re flying as a stand-by passenger, checking a bag isn’t always ideal in case you don’t make the flight you originally planned on taking, which means that handy carry-on bag is more crucial than ever. 

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That’s why I’m seriously loving Calpak’s new soft-side spinner carry-on suitcase. It passes all of my carry-on luggage criteria with flying colors. While I’ve gotten use to hardside luggage, I’ve noticed that soft-side bags generally feel lighter, which makes lifting them into the overhead bin easier. Plus, the flexibility of the soft fabric also makes it easier to squeeze in that last-minute item you can’t decide if it’s worth leaving behind. 

What’s also great about the new Calpak soft-side spinner is that the polyester fabric is scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting scuffs and marks if you have to check it for a flight. With an exterior front and side pockets, plus two interior pockets and compression straps, it gives you plenty of room to organize items inside the suitcase along with extra space in the outer pockets to stow items (like your laptop or boarding pass) that you need easy access to. My biggest pet peeve in a suitcase is when it doesn't have a side handle — trust me, it’s super handy for lifting — and luckily, the Calpak suitcase has both a top and side fabric-padded handle. 

Available in black or a pretty chrome-bronze color, the suitcase is one of three bags in Calpak’s new soft-side collection. You can coordinate the suitcase to its matching duffel bag, which would work great as your one personal carry-on item since it has nine pockets – including the trolley pocket that goes over suitcase handles — and a separate shoe compartment. Or, if you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing and need a small bag to carry your essentials, the new collection also features a wearable belt bag that’s lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day. Whether you want to go with a monochromatic look or mix and match shades, you can shop all three of Calpak’s new soft-side bags in either black or bronze, below. 

Calpak Luka 21-Inch Soft Side Spinner Carry-On Suitcase 

Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com; $165 

Calpak Luka Soft Side Duffel Bag

Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com; $98

Calpak Luka Belt Bag 

Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com; $45