Please sign in to post.

Carry-on Bag Recs for Kids?

We're headed to Italy for two weeks -- and lots of train travel and walking with our bags. Do you have recommendations for smaller-sized carry-on bags (backpack-style or convertible; no wheels or heavy frame) for kids, ages 11 and 8? In a couple of previous trips (with less walking), they were fine with pulling their small rolling bags but now they're capable of carrying a light bag on their backs, which I feel would just be easier than dragging bags from train stations to hotels.

I have the RS convertible carry-on which is OK for me but a little too large for my kids.

Thanks so much for any recommendations!


Posted by
1221 posts

For your needs, you don't really need Luggage with a capital L. Target has some decent-looking kids backpack options for pretty cheap. If you want a little more durable, I'd try your local sporting good store for backpack-style gear bags.

Posted by
295 posts

My kids are 10 and 12. I started taking them to Europe when the oldest was 8. When I take them to Europe we use the RS 20 in wheeled bag. Its easy for them to handle. Light weight and has sturdy wheels. Its also a carry on. They are able to lift it up to board a train. Easy to wheel through train stations or airports and most hotels have elevators. You might consider a wheeled bag. Otherwise, look at LL Bean or Lands End for kid backpacks. The problem or challenge with most backpacks are that they don't really hold enough for a 2 week trip to Europe unless you go to a adult size pack.

Posted by
82 posts

Have you looked at the Red Oxx Skytrain? It is a backpack (but can be carried by hand and on the shoulder as well). The dimensions are 20 x 9 x 13. It is carry-on size and very durable. If you get one for them, you will probably want one for you as well. Red Oxx has a lifetime warranty (if it tears up they will fix or replace it). They come in 12 colors so your children can pick their favorite color. We have a few pieces of Red Oxx and use them for more than travel. (My husband uses his Red Oxx PR5 to carry his football referee gear so it goes every Friday night during football season.) If you try it, I don't think you will be sorry. It is made in Billings, MT.

Posted by
23431 posts

We used good, old, school book bags. Cheap and durable. About the correct size since their clothes are not that big or heavy.

Posted by
26 posts

We are leaving for Europe in a week with our four kids. Our older teens will be fine with the RS convertible packs, but for our younger two (11 and 12) we got them the Osprey 46 backpack - a bit smaller than the RS bag and more structured, so it's much more comfortable on their backs, yet it's big enough for them to use for many years. I see the bag also comes in a size 30, which may be nice for your 8 year old. I just packed their bags today, and there is still lots of extra room for souvenirs! Here's a link to the pack: . So smart to pack light for easy travel. Enjoy making wonderful memories with your kids!