I Tried the “Lightest Double-Wheel Suitcase,” and My Friends Couldn’t Believe How Much It Fit

updated Dec 1, 2023
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Credit: July

Two weeks ago, I packed for back-to-back Thanksgiving travels and a Florida bachelorette party with one goal in mind: Not to check a bag at the airport. As a chronic overpacker, I knew this would be a tall order, especially having to fit four days of beach gear, plus a week’s worth of everyday winter clothes and holiday outfit options. Oh, and my favorite pair of knee-high leather boots also (somehow) needed to make the cut.

I’d gotten a sample of July’s Carry On Light — aka “the lightest double-wheel suitcase in the world” — a few months ago, and I wanted to put it to the test for my flights but worried it might be too tiny. Turns out, after a little clothing curating and zipper shimmying, I packed for 11 days and two different trips with just a small duffel bag and this 7.5-inch-deep July luggage (yes, including the knee-high boots). My packing situation actually proved so impressive, that my friends at the bachelorette party asked to see a full carry-on reveal when we got to our Airbnb. They genuinely couldn’t believe that such a compact bag could hold so much — and honestly, neither could I.

Quick Overview

A Quick Overview of the July Carry-On Light

  • Incredibly lightweight at just 3.9 pounds
  • Durable hard-shell exterior with built-in TSA lock
  • Water-resistant, zippered nylon linings inside
  • Provides 32 liters of packing space
  • Extensive color and personalization options available

Design Features That Stand Out

When I tell you this luggage is borderline paper-clip-thin, especially compared to similar four-wheel counterparts on the market, I mean it. That said, it’s still deceptively roomy. The well-organized interior shells include two zippered compartments — one on each half — to help compress and secure your clothes and shoes. If you’re still stressed over packing space, though, July also carries a slightly roomier expandable version of this luggage, plus compatible packing cubes.

I’d never owned a hard-shell suitcase before this, so I was instantly impressed by the Carry On Light’s sturdy polycarbonate exterior, as well as the three-digit combination lock with built-in zipper holders. It also comes in seven different shades, including clay, charcoal, and a limited-edition dark brown. I chose the forest green for a forgiving, dark-ish hue that looks somewhat unique, plus I personalized the back with my initials. The Australian luggage brand offers comprehensive customization options, with a range of fonts and color pairings, and at one point you could even add a portrait of your pet!

How It Performed

I quite literally packed this Carry On Light to the brim (aka its potential breaking point), but it still managed to easily zipper shut… and not burst open like I feared. I’m talking four tops, one sweatshirt, a jean jacket, two pairs of jeans, swimsuits, pajamas, two dresses, workout clothes, underwear, socks, a hat, sandals, and tall boots (albeit completely flattened). The luggage glided incredibly well all the way from security to my gate, too, even with a practically-double-the-size duffel stacked on top. (TMI, but I’m always literally sweating in airports lugging heavier roller bags, and that didn’t happen this time!) Whenever I travel with a carry-on, I also dread the inevitable hunt for overhead bin spots, so luckily this took up minimal space between other passengers’ bags and I could easily lift it up solo. It did pick up a few scuffs over the course of my trips, but they rubbed off instantly.

Credit: July

What We Loved

  • Small, but spacious. Including the wheels, this bag measures 21.25″ tall by 14.17″ wide by 7.5″ deep. The interior clocks in at 18.31″ tall and 13.98″ wide.
  • Easy to spot from baggage claim. My green carry-on already stood out from the black-luggage-masses, but my monogram, plus the “July” logo engraved onto the back, helped me identify it on the carousel in an instant.
  • Maneuverable four-wheeled design. Two sets of double wheels make this a breeze to roll around, plus help prevent the lightweight design from tipping over.
  • Adjustable handle. I’m just 5’2″ tall, and many luggage handles hit at an awkward height for me. The Carry On Light’s twin-bar design allows you to lock it into one of two positions.
  • Light-as-air shell. When this first arrived at my apartment, the package essentially felt like an empty box. I absolutely love how weightless this carry-on is, no matter how much gets stuffed inside.

Good to Know

Because of the Carry On Light’s ultra-thin frame, it can be a little tough stacking bulkier backpacks or weekenders on top, since you only have less than 8″ of surface area for balance. That said, the handle still slid seamlessly through the pocket of my duffel, which didn’t budge at all. I also packed sneakers and toiletries in a separate bag, so I can’t speak to how well this can fit bulkier essentials like chunky shoes or makeup carriers. Note that there’s no side handle, as well, only one at the top of the suitcase, which limits luggage tag placement.

Should You Buy the July Carry-On Light?

It’s a definite splurge at $245, but July’s high quality and lifetime warranty (!!!) make this a true luggage keepsake. It’s a practical choice if you’re looking for something that’s:

  • Long-lasting, stylish, and shockingly lightweight
  • Able to fit almost as much as a standard-sized carry-on, yet with smaller dimensions
  • Effortlessly transportable through airports, train stations, and beyond
  • Functional for both quick weekend trips and longer getaways (one reviewer used it during a 3-week Italian vacation)
  • Thin enough to lift and fit in most overhead compartments — without awkwardly asking for help
  • Easy to store, especially in small spaces, either under your bed or in a closet

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