Does anyone else obsessively search for the best carry on luggage? I’ve been on a quest for about a year since my last carry on was destroyed by United. One that’s light but strong, fits a ton and is cute. I finally found my match in the Chester luggage carry on, the Minima.
The general size for a carry on for most USA airlines is 22″ x 14″ x 9.” That’s small enough to fit in an overhead bin and get you by with a few days or a week’s worth of clothes and accessories.
The Chester carry on measures in at 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ according to my highly scientific analysis with my luggage weight tape measure.
The carry on clocks in at 7lbs, making it one of the lightest options on the market, which is really essential if you’re flying on an airline that weighs your carry on (I’m looking at you, Norwegian).
The Chester luggage line is made from flexible polycarbonate, which I freaking love. It’s thin, it’s light, it fills you with delight (rhyme it in your head).
The best way to describe the suitcase exterior is that it looks like a hard shell from the outside, but when you press it, the bag has some give. This is great for travelers because it allows you to cram more stuff in there and the bag flexes ever so slightly. You also don’t have to worry as much about the bag cracking if it gets dropped or chucked off a carousel at the airport.
The Chester carry on does not include a second zipper to expand the bag. In general, I like the expander option because I like to shop when traveling. However, knowing that the bag didn’t expand did help keep my spending in check on a trip to NYC since I knew I couldn’t fit more in there, so overall that was actually a plus!
Chester makes the luggage in 7 different stylish and neutral colors, so you’re sure to find a color that works for you. I chose Aluminum Grey for its versatility, classic style, and ability for both me and my husband to use it.
The TSA lock is very smooth and easy to use. I’ve never had a bag that has one! I love the idea of a lock for those times when you leave a bag in a hotel storage room or if you stay in a hostel or shared AirBnb. Having a lock would have made me feel a lot more secure when I backpacked in hostels for 10 weeks in Europe.
One of the best things about the Chester Minima carry on is how much room is on the inside! The rails that connect the expandable handle to the bag itself are relatively flush to the bag exterior, so whatever you pack in the carry on sits nice and flat. I’ve found that some other carry ons have a lot of space between the rails and the bag, which is so wasteful of those precious inches.
The size is perfect for a weekend trip or a week if you can re-wear a few items or have access to a laundry machine. I was able to pack two medium packing cubes, a small packing cube, a toiletry bag, a pair of shoes, a tripod, a cross body purse, and a few other small things in the carry on. It still folded up perfectly and zipped without a problem!
In lieu of cross straps on the inside, the Chester luggage has two fully zippable compartments which each have mesh zipped pouches for things like toiletries or dirty laundry. The separate compartments are great, especially if you want to keep shoes or dirty items fully separate from the items on the other side of the bag. And did I mention the Chester comes with a built in laundry bag, too?!
Cats like luggage, too!
The luggage handle expands to two different heights, and the fully expanded version is just perfect for tall folks like me. I could walk with the bag rolling behind me on two wheels or with it fully upright and rolling on all four wheels.
And the wheels spin in all directions and are very smooth. Smoother, dare I say, than my husband’s carry on made by a different brand. And they are fully on the exterior of the bag, so if you roll through mud or something gross, the inside of your bag won’t pick up any of the dirt. You can easily wipe them down.
I tested the suitcase by walking with it fully packed for at least an hour over concrete, bricks, and tree roots, all while dodging other pedestrians. It was responsive to quick arm movements and handled bricks and rough sidewalks with ease.
The Chester Minima Carry On is a perfect bag for travelers looking for style, functionality, and affordability with a sleek exterior. It fits a week’s worth of clothes with ease, and you’ll never have to worry about security with the TSA lock and durable polycarbonate shell.
Chester luggage is also covered by a 10-year limited warranty, which shows they stand behind the quality of this product.
This site contains affiliate links which means The Roving Fox might make a small commission if you purchase something I recommend, at no cost to you. This suitcase was provided for review purposes.
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Hey there, I am Stephanie, aka “The Roving Fox!” I started this blog to share travel tips with friends, and eventually started incorporating more info about my hip labrum surgery, beauty products I love, and restaurant reviews. Please say hi here on the blog, on Instagram, or Facebook!
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