As someone who aspires to pack light but always ends up with way too much, having a quality carry-on for the overflow is a must — not to mention it forces you to pack light on a shorter trip. Let me introduce you to my latest piece of luggage: The Carry-on Pro from Carl Friedrik. It’s a beautiful premium suitcase that’s designed for frequent travelers. Let’s get into my Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro review and I’ll tell you all about it!
Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro review
What is Carl Friedrik?
First, if you’re not familiar with the brand, Carl Friedrik is a London-based brand that was launched in 2013 by two brothers. They’re all about well-made premium leather and travel accessories. Functionality is the game of the game above all else with a bit of understated elegance mixed in.
If you’re a professional who travels frequently and wants to look put together with a quality piece of luggage, this is THE carry on you’ve been waiting for.
The first thing I noticed about the Carry-on Pro is that it is one sexy hard-shell suitcase. The durable aluminum lock frame looks incredibly high end and has sturdy built in combo locks to keep your belongings safe. The build quality is stunning and the leather accents you’ll find on the handle and horizontally across the top of the suitcase when upright give it an extra bit of flair.
In addition, something else I noticed and loved was the easy-to-access padded laptop compartment right on the front of the suitcase that zips open. It makes it a breeze to grab your laptop or tablet without having to open the main suitcase and go digging around. Your laptop is right at your fingertips whenever you need it along with some other interior storage pouches for a book, pens, phone, or whatever.
You’ll also notice that this suitcase doesn’t zip closed. The main compartment pops open and locks closed via an aluminum locking mechanism. It’s my first suitcase that doesn’t have a main zipper. The front laptop compartment does open and close with a zipper (no lock on that).
Here are the Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro’s specs:
Width: 38cm (15 inches)
Height: 55cm (21.7 inches)
Depth: 25cm (9.6 inches) 27cm expanded (10.6 inches)
Weight: 4.3kg (9.5lbs)
Here are the Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro’s best features:
Sleek look and feel. This suitcase looks luxurious and is a breeze to pack, snap open and closed, and wheel through the airport.
Spinner wheels. I will never go back to suitcases without spinner wheels. The Carry-on Pro turns on a dime and maneuvers flawlessly.
Pop-out laptop compartment. I love this front compartment because it’s easy to access and keeps your things organized. My laptop, book, notepad, and pens are all just a quick zip away and each have their place. It tilts opens at an angle so your hand can easily fit in and grab what you need. With other suitcases, front zippers don’t always open up wide enough to be able to get your hand in.
Textured surface. Regular hard-shell luggage can scratch and that’s my beef with hard-shell luggage in general. The good news is you can wrap it or get a luggage sleeve if you end up checking it, but covering up this gorgeous suitcase would pain me. That’s why I was happy to see that the Carry-on Pro has a subtly textured surface that minimizes the appearance of blemishes.
What can be improved:
No zipper panel closure for each main inside compartment. I wish this suitcase had a zippered protection closure on each side so your items can stay on their respective sides and don’t fall out when you open it. The compression panel is great, but when you have a bunch of smaller items, sometimes that doesn’t cut it.
Not a budget buy. At US$565, the Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro is not a budget buy and is made in China (leather comes from Italy). If you don’t travel often, it might not make sense to drop this kind of cash on a suitcase. There are definitely cheaper options out there. At the price point, I expected it to be made in Europe.
Is the Carl Friedrik Carry-on Pro worth it?
Disclosure: I was gifted the suitcase for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.