I Tried the Viral Monos Carry-On, and Its Useful Travel Features Are Seemingly Endless
Stop gallivanting around the world with dad’s old piece of luggage from the '80s, and invest in the Monos Carry-On.
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Traveling with the wrong luggage can be a nightmare. No, really. Broken zippers, oversized carry-ons you end up paying an arm and a leg to check and jammed wheels can make a day at the airport way harder than it needs to be. Although it can be tempting to go the budget-friendly route, investing in a piece of high-quality luggage, like the Monos Carry-On, is actually more economical in the long run—and I’m the ideal person to test it.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m the queen of taking the wrong bag to the airport (so you can trust my judgment on if this carry-on is a pain to take to Timbuktu and back).
What is the Monos Carry-On?
The Monos Carry-On is a sleek piece of luggage designed to fit into virtually any airplane’s overhead bin. Besides being just the right size for a weekend getaway, the Monos Carry-On is crafted with high-quality materials, including aerospace-grade polycarbonate, made to last a lifetime. This polished and functional carry-on has extra-large YKK zippers, a TSA-approved lock and a smooth-operating handle with a hidden button.
Monos Carry-On features
If you adore a pop of color or a fun pattern, you’ll be stoked to see that Monos hears you loud and clear. The brand offers a variety of colors for purchase year round and limited-edition prints, like terrazzo, available sporadically.
Besides the color options, you can choose from four different Monos carry-ons: the regular Carry-On, the Carry-On Plus, the Carry-On Pro and the Carry-On Pro Plus. The Carry-On Pro and the Carry-On Pro Plus are the slightly larger versions of the original Carry-On, but are still said to fit into most (but not all) overhead bin space on major airlines. The Carry-On Pro is the same size as the Carry-On, but has the added bonus of a protected laptop space in the bag.
OK, back to the original Carry-On. This bag has a set of four spinner wheels (gone are the days of tipping your suitcase back on two tiny wheels), which spin an impressive 360 degrees. So yes, if you suddenly realize you NEED an iced caramel latte from Starbucks before your flight, you can quickly pivot your suitcase without issue.
I was also impressed with the bag’s built-in compression pad, which helps you stuff every last T-shirt into your bag. To be honest, this was the lifesaver I didn’t know I needed, and it might be for you, too, if you’re a chronic overpacker.
And if you’re into being a responsible consumer, you’ll love Monos’ commitment to being a climate-neutral brand. According to its website, it was one of the “first luggage brands to have net-zero carbon emissions.” Additionally, the brand gives 1% of its revenue to nonprofits dedicated to fighting climate change. How cool is that?
How I tested it
I recently went to visit my brother in Alabama for some quality sibling bonding time. And wouldn’t you guess that I brought my brand-spanking-new Monos Carry-On for the trip. Besides feeling simply adorable as I walked into the airport, I also didn’t feel like I was dragging a 25-pound boulder behind me. It was easy to move throughout the airport, and it fit neatly into the overhead bin on my regional jet. I was initially concerned it wouldn’t fit in the extremely tight space on such a small plane, but it slid in without issue.
The remainder of the trip was uneventful (in terms of my suitcase), but isn’t that what you hope for with a good piece of luggage? The outside protected my clothes and shoes and kept them dry, and the zippers didn’t move whatsoever during transit. I also felt like the laundry and shoe bags were particularly handy to keep my stinky clothes away from clean items.
- Only weighs 7 pounds and easy to hoist into overhead bin
- Outside is water-resistant
- Inner lining is antimicrobial
- Comes with internal laundry and shoe bags
- Compression pad pushes clothing down
- Available in a variety of colors and patterns
- 360-degree wheels
- Outer shell is made of polycarbonate
- Handle height has four adjustable settings
- Discrete lock to keep valuables safe
- High-quality YKK zippers
- Lifetime warranty
- Climate-neutral certified
- Financing is available
- Online colors may appear differently in person
- May scuff slightly in corners
Does the Monos Carry-On Plus fit in overhead bins?
The Monos Carry-On fits in every overhead bin on any flight (according to the website, I haven’t been on every plane ever). The Carry-on Plus fits in most overhead bins, but not on all smaller regional jets. If you’re someone who takes a lot of regional flights, I’d recommend choosing the regular Monos Carry-On over the Carry-On Plus.
What other reviewers had to say
Want to know what other shoppers truly think (besides yours truly)? Check out their Monos luggage reviews:
“After spending countless hours researching every major luggage brand, I ended up going with Monos and couldn’t be happier,” raves verified buyer, Sarah S. “I purchased both the large check-in and carry-on in olive green. They are so stylish and the quality is top notch. The way the interior is designed is so helpful when it comes to staying organized, and the included laundry and shoe bags are such a nice touch.”
“I appreciate the clean look of the bag and every last detail,” explains five-star reviewer, Elizabeth K. “It rolls so smoothly, it holds so much, it fits everywhere you need it to and it looks like a million bucks.”
“I LOVE the brown carry-on case from the terracotta collection,” says another five-star reviewer, Natalie F. “It’s so sleek, modern and warm! I’m also thankful it works for all airlines, including United (which has one of the smallest dimension requirements). I’m very excited to travel to Spain next month with this beautiful suitcase.”
Honestly, the only people I wouldn’t recommend the Monos Carry-On to are those on a budget–but even then, financing is available through Shop Pay, so no guffawing at the cost! You get what you pay for the majority of the time and, in this case, you’re paying for quality.
If you’re looking for a suitcase that won’t make traveling harder than it needs to be, the Monos Carry-On is it. I was impressed by the caliber of construction, lifetime warranty and careful attention to detail. It’s clear that this is a brand that cares about its consumers and makes sure the little things are just right. And isn’t that the type of product you really want to have for a lifetime?
Where to buy the Monos Carry-On
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