I am kind of obsessed with luggage, always looking to find the perfect carry-on bag for our trips. However, traveling with only a carry-on is a skill I am still perfecting. This means I need a bag that holds a ridiculous amount of stuff, but still meets the carry-on luggage requirements across multiple U.S. airlines. I’ve tried a few bags with varying success, but still had not found a great carry-on after my last one was crushed on our Disney Cruise. Imagine my excitement when I got to try out the well-reviewed Chester Minima Carry-On in exchange for an honest review.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Chester Minima Carry-On Review
What Is The Chester Minima Carry-On?
Chester is a new luggage company whose first offering is a cleverly designed carry-on bag. The Chester Carry-On is a hard sided bag with a sleek, sturdy polycarbonate shell and spacious design.
What Are The Dimensions Of The Chester Minima Carry-On?
The dimensions of the Chester Minima Carry-On are listed as 21.5 inches x 13.5 inches x 8.5 inches. Unfortunately, a lot of times the dimensions on-line do not include the handle or wheels. This makes finding a bag that actually meets the carry-on requirements of various airlines challenging.
As soon as my Chester Minima Carry-On luggage arrived I got out my own tape measure to check the true external dimensions. My rough measurements confirmed that the entire bag does, in fact, measure in at 21.5 inches x 13.5 inches x 8.5 inches. This means that the Chester Carry-On luggage really is compliant with all the US air carriers that I use when flying (Southwest, United, American).
How Much Can I Really Fit In The Chester Minima Carry-On?
I’m a reformed overpacker, but that doesn’t mean I am a minimalist. Because I still want to bring plenty of options, I am often disappointed with the available space in most carry-on luggage.
I could not believe how much fit into this suitcase. For example here is everything I packed in the Chester Minima Carry-On the first time I took it on a long weekend trip to Disney World.
All of these items fit in my Chester Minima Carry-On:
- 1 pair each of jeans, capris, shorts, and leggings
- 2 tunic-length cardigan sweaters
- 2 t-shirts
- 3 tank tops
- A belt, undergarments, socks, and 5 necklaces
- 6 pairs of Minnie ears
- Cosmetic case (affiliate link: buy it on Amazon)
- 2 pairs of pajamas and slippers/slipper socks
- My TSA-compliant 3-1-1 bag
- Hair straightener
- Longchamp Le Pliage bag (folded)
Even after adding all of these items into the Chester Carry-On luggage I still had a little bit of unused space. Ultimately this is what I love most about this bag.
The Chester Minima Carry-On has a listed capacity of 38 liters (1.3 cubic feet). My previous preferred carry-on has the same capacity, but because of its wheel and handle placement it does not meet United or American Airlines carry-on size restrictions. This large capacity and small exterior size are why the Chester Carry-On is the best carry-on bag I have used so far.
Other Things I Love About The Chester Carry-On
Easy To Roll
I’ve rolled the Chester Carry-On luggage over airport floors, sidewalks, textured concrete, tiled floors, low pile carpet, and wooden plank bridges with ease. The wheels seem to glide over each of the surfaces I tried. These smooth wheels made handling the bag much easier.
Two Zippered Compartments
My favorite carry-on design is a suitcase that opens into two open, undivided compartments. This design allows me to fit a lot more items than a bag with pre-determined segments.
Most two-compartment hard side carry-on luggage I have purchased have one side with a zippered closure. This means that the other side of the luggage is secured with just an elastic strap.
This flawed design of other bags has led to items falling out when I reopen the bag. I love that each side of the Chester Carry-On luggage has a full zipper panel to keep everything secure.
Built-in Pockets And Laundry Bag
The cover on the left side of the bag has two zippered pockets that can hold smaller items. In the inside of the right compartment is a small zippered pouch that holds a reusable laundry bag. This means you won’t have to swipe the bag from your hotel closet when repacking to go home.
TSA approved lock
When traveling with a carry-on you don’t generally worry about a suitcase lock. However, there can be times that an overhead bin shortage, taking smaller planes, or leaving luggage with bell services means your luggage is unattended. In these times the built-in TSA approved combination lock provides peace of mind.
What I Didn’t Love About The Chester Carry-On
There was very little that I didn’t love about the Chester Carry-On luggage. The only real challenge is the handle and wheels are slightly recessed into the body of the bag. This meant there are a couple of shallow spots in the right side compartment. I had to be a little clever to fit items into those areas, but I still had plenty of space for everything I needed. I even had a little extra space for a small souvenir to come home with me.
Chester Carry-On Review Final Thoughts
I am extremely particular with what I want in carry-on luggage and have been disappointed many times by other bags. I wondered if the positive reviews of the Chester Minima Carry-On luggage on Amazon and their own website meant it could live up to my expectations.
Surprisingly, it did! In fact, the Chester Carry-On is the best carry-on luggage I have used.
If you want to purchase your own Chester Minima Carry-On luggage here is a link to Chester directly (affiliate link). Smart Mouse Travel followers can use code SMT10 for 10% off your order. You can also purchase the Chester Carry-On on Amazon (buy it on Amazon: affiliate link).