Travelpro Maxlite 4 22-Inch Expandable Rollaboard Review

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Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com
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Lightweight and relatively sturdy, this carry-on is a solid pick for most budget travelers. It can also expand to accommodate longer journeys or souvenirs picked up along the way.

The Travelpro Maxlite 4 22-inch Expandable Rollaboard is everything a carry-on needs to be, reviewers say. It's lightweight, easy to maneuver, and small enough to fit restrictive carry-on rules but expandable to offer more packing flexibility. Reviews on Amazon and eBags say the Travelpro Maxlite 4 (starting at $110, Amazon) is easy to roll through the airport on its two recessed inline skate wheels and more stable on uneven ground than a spinner bag with four wheels. Its retractable aluminum handle can lock in two positions, and the bag has well-padded side-, top- and bottom-mounted handles to make lifting it easier, as well as plastic feet that help it stand vertically. It also has reinforced corners to guard against damage.

At just 6 pounds, the Travelpro Maxlite 4 22-inch Expandable Rollaboard lives up to the lightness implied in its name. In testing done by experts at OutdoorGearLab, this model's very similar predecessor, the Maxlite 3, was among the lightest carry-ons compared -- and the Maxlite 4 is even lighter. The bag measures 22 x 14 x 9 inches, and the width can be increased up to 11 inches. Users say the dimensions provided by the manufacturer are correct, and this is a true carry-on as long as it isn't expanded. Reviews affirm that expansion provides ample room for souvenirs and other last-minute packing additions but may require the bag to be gate-checked.

These bags are available in purple, blue, and black, and the exterior is made of water- and stain-resistant polyester. The interior has two mesh pockets and garment straps but no folding garment compartment. An exterior pocket is big enough for a laptop or other items travelers need to access quickly. OutdoorGearLab's tests also suggest that the handle and zippers on the Maxlite line are sturdy, but there's some question as to whether a bit of ruggedness has been sacrificed in favor of minimal weight -- they note that they did find some dents in the Maxlite 3 after it was checked. Some users also complain that the bag tips, especially when it's expanded, although packing heavier items at the bottom of the main compartment can help prevent this.

While the Travelpro Maxlite 4 22-inch Expandable Rollaboard isn't the toughest bag on the market, reviewers are more than satisfied with its durability for the price. Occasional travelers who want a lightweight, versatile bag will be well-served by this one.