monos luggage bags check in on the left and carry on the right

Monos Luggage Carry On In-Depth Review

Monos luggage is a newer brand in the luggage market, but its luggage has become quite popular in the travel gear industry over the last few years despite being relevantly new.

This review will discuss an in-depth look at Monos Carry On, Carry On+, as well as the Monos accessories they offer. This is a user-experience Monos luggage review. I purchased the Monos Carry On Plus, Metro Backpack, and compression cubes.

After using the luggage firsthand on a few different trips, I’ve got many positive things to share, as well as a few negative ones!

Monos does offer larger luggage sizes branded by the company as the Check-In Medium and Check-in Large, but in this review, I’ll only be covering the carry-on bags as well as a few accessories!

All prices listed in this article are priced at Regular Prices and in USD currency. Monos luggage has sales on their luggage often, especially during seasonal times of the year, so keep an eye out for that!

monos carry on plus in desert taupe with the Monos metro backpack

About Monos Luggage

Monos Luggage is a Canadian travel gear company based out of Vancouver. The company offers a wide range of travel bags, luggage, and accessories.

Established in the Spring of 2018, the Canadian travel brand makes exceptional travel gear that’s both stylish and well thought out for traveling.

Monos is an ethical brand that outsources sustainable, high-quality materials to ensure its products last longer. Monos is also certified climate neutral and has net zero carbon emissions.

Monos luggage has a minimalist and chic design, but most importantly, their luggage features super-functional features. Other substantial benefits of their luggage include smooth wheels, lightweight design, and durable bag shell.

RELATED: Carry On Luggage Brand Comparison

Features of Monos Luggage

Stylish & Timeless Design

Both style and design matter when considering a new carry on suitcase, and Monos bags provide both. Not only are is their luggage appealing, but also practical.

The designs are simple but elegant, although they don’t look flashy. And their compartments are well thought out, giving you lots of room to store your things.

All suitcases include high-quality color-coordinated YKK reverse coil zippers, a TSA combination lock, and an internal compression system on one side of the bag.

The telescopic handle is sturdy, featuring four different height choices. Last but not least, the Hinomoto Lisof wheels on each bag are silent, high-performance 360-degree spinner wheels.

I wish I had my Monos carry on plus earlier this year when traveling in Mexico; the Hinomoto Lisof smooth wheels would have been a breeze to travel with!

High Quality

Monos doesn’t cut any corners regarding the quality of its bags; it feels like a high-quality bag. What stands out the most is the aerospace-grade, water-resistant German polycarbonate hard shell on their bags.

It may feel cheap to you when you touch it, and some will say the bags don’t feel luxurious because of their lightweight. But that’s precisely what Monos is going for; their bags are designed to be light and convenient when traveling.

Monos says they’ve done 40 tests on their luggage to evaluate their bags extensively. Some of those tests included tumble tests, mileage tests, telescopic handle jerk tests, and many more.

Travel Friendly

Other than all the features we’ve discussed that make Monos carry-on bags travel-friendly, here’s a list of extra features within the bag for you to know of.

All bags include an anti-microbial laundry bag, two shoe bags, and a vegan leather luggage tag (even for their carry on bags). You never know if you might have to check in your carry on bag!

Inside all Monos luggage is a compression pad on one side of the interior that helps with saving space in the bag and compressing clothes. But if you want to fit as much as possible into their carry-on bags, their compression packing cubes are the best way to do it!

NOTE: Monos compression cubes are stylish and convenient but not cheap. If you’d prefer to spend less, you can pick up these compression cubes that are just as good!

inside of the monos carry on, showing complimentary accessories with luggage
Monos complimentary Laundry and Shoe Bags

Monos Luggage Warranty

All Monos luggage has a lifetime guarantee for the bag’s original owner. Monos also offers a 100-day free trial, which allows you to test the luggage in your home and outdoors (but not while traveling) before you decide if you’d like to keep your purchase.

Monos Lifetime warranty covers the following:

  • Cracks or breaks in the shell
  • Broken zippers
  • Broken or no longer usable wheels or significant damage to the bag’s telescoping handle

This warranty does not cover personal modifications or cosmetic damage to the luggage.

Different Monos Luggage Carry On Bags

Monos offers six different carry-on bags to choose from, quite the selection, I know. I’ll only be discussing the four primary carry on bag types they offer, also the most popular carry on bags among the six.

The ones missing are the hybrid carry-on, and the hybrid carry on plus models. Please look over their Hybrid collection on their website if you are curious.

overhead bins on a plane all open, empty plane
Credit: Meghna R

Does Monos Carry-On Plus fit in the overhead bin?

The Carry-On Plus is slightly larger than Monos’s original Carry On bag. On its website, Monos states that the Carry On Plus bag does fit the overhead bins of major US airlines (but it may need to be checked in on smaller planes).

Personal experience: I could fit this bag on two company flights in the US, WestJet and American Airlines and I’ve traveled with my Carry on Plus to NYC, Thailand, and Athens.

Regarding discount airlines like RyanAir, it would not fit the overhead bin. AirCanada, for example, recently didn’t allow me on with my Monos carry-on plus.

So, it depends on the airlines and the size of the plane whether you’ll need to check in the Carry On Plus.

  • Exterior measurements: 23″ × 15″ × 9.5″
  • Interior measurements: 21″ × 14.5″

Does Monos Carry-On Pro Plus fit in the overhead bin?

The Carry-On Pro Plus is slightly larger than Monos’s original Carry On Pro bag. On its website, Monos states that the Carry On Pro Plus bag does fit the overhead bins of major US airlines (but it may need to be checked in on smaller planes).

The Carry On Plus and Carry On Pro Plus bags have the same spec measurements.

  • Exterior measurements: 23″ × 15″ × 9.5″
  • Interior measurements: 21″ × 14.5″

The extra pocket on the front of the Carry On Pro Plus doesn’t mean the bag is larger than the Carry On Plus. That additional pocket takes away the interior room of the Pro Plus.

Monos Carry On

Monos carry on luggage in storm grey colour
Credit: Monos

The Carry-On is the basic model of Monos luggage. It is the best-selling Monos suitcase. It can be stuffed into overhead bins for all flights, making it the most popular bag.

The luggage is well-designed and has a solid build quality. The bags feature all the standard Monos features mentioned above: a durable polycarbonate shell, silent 360-degree wheels, a sturdy telescope handle, and more.

Fitting a volume total of 39.9L, the bag is spacious, especially for a standard carry on size.

Specs:

  • Exterior measurements: 22″ × 14″ × 9″
  • Interior measurements: 20″ × 13.5″
  • 2–5 days trip length
  • Weight: 7.01 lb
  • Volume: 39.9 L

Price: $200 US

Monos Carry On Plus

Monos carry on plus luggage in desert taupe color
Credit: Monos

Another popular choice is the Carry On Plus. This suitcase is larger than the standard Carry On. But it’s still considered a carry on, and can be stored in the overhead bin of most flights.

Holding a volume of 48 liters, it’s more space than the regular carry-on, measuring 39.9L. The bag comes with all of Monos luggage’s standard features and comes in 8 different colors.

Monos Carry On Plus suitcase is ideal for carrying all your clothing and belongings on a 4-8 day trip. 

If you’re visiting a warm destination, you can fit a month’s worth of clothes in this bag, and I’ve done it many times now.

Specs:

  • Exterior measurements: 23″ × 15″ × 9.5″
  • Interior measurements: 21″ × 14.5″
  • 3–7 days trip length
  • Weight: 7.38 lb
  • Volume: 48 L

Price: $215 US

Monos Carry On Pro

Monos carry on pro luggage in blue haze colour
Credit: Monos

The Monos Carry-On Pro is promoted as the upgraded version compared to the regular Carry-On Monos.

The only extra thing this bag features compared to the original Carry On is an integrated front compartment where you can store a laptop measuring up to 15.3 inches.

This compartment has three pockets. You can keep your laptop, mobile phone, and tablet in this compartment.

As practical as it may seem, if you have an extra bag to store your laptop. This extra compartment isn’t needed and is inconvenient because it steals space from the interior!

This lightweight suitcase can be stuffed into any overhead bin on international flights. Volume-wise, it only holds 36L, which is less than the standard Carry On, which measures 39.9L.

Specs:

  • Exterior measurements: 22″ × 14″ × 9″
  • Interior measurements: 20″ × 13.5″
  • Pocket measurements: 15.3″ × 10″ × 1″
  • 2–5 days trip length
  • Weight: 7.8 lb
  • Volume: 36 L

Price: $244 US

Monos Carry On Pro Plus

Monos carry on pro plus luggage in ocean blue colour
Credit: Monos

Similar to the regular Carry On Plus, the Carry On Pro is the same, except it comes with that extra compartment, similar to Carry On Pro, allowing you to store a 15.3-inch laptop and other electronics in the front.

The suitcase has all Monos features, including the integrated compression pad, vegan leather tag, smooth wheels, and more.

This suitcase can hold a volume of 46L, which is more than both standard carry-on bags from Monos but less than the original Carry On Plus, which can fit 48L. Again, that extra pocket in the front steals from the interior and isn’t worth it.

Specs:

  • Exterior measurements: 23″ × 15″ × 9.5″
  • Interior measurements: 21″ × 14.5″
  • Pocket measurements: 17″ × 11.25″ × 1″
  • 3–7 days trip length
  • Weight: 8.38 lb
  • Volume: 46 L

Price: $260 US

Why the Carry On Plus is the Best Option – Monos Luggage

First and foremost, the Carry On Plus bag has more volume than any other Monos Carry on luggage. It can store a volume of 48L, more than all other carry on bags from Monos.

The standard carry on carries a volume of 39.9L, Carry Pro carries 36L, and the Pro Plus carries 46L.

It has more room than the Pro Plus (even though the Pro Plus bag is more expensive) because the outside compartment on the Carry On Pro and Carry On Pro Plus take away storage volume from the overall luggage.

It is inconvenient if you’re traveling somewhere far and looking for as much space as possible!

monos luggage carry on plus specs
Credit: Mono.com

It’s much better to store more clothes in your carry-on bag and store your laptop in a personal backpack or alternate bag.

For those who would like to avoid using a piece of check-in luggage and budget as they travel, a slightly larger carry-on helps, but prepare not always to be able to bring it on the plane!

The Carry On Plus costs $215, less than the Carry On Plus and the Carry On Pro, and provides you with the most room. The Carry-On Plus is by far the most practical and best-value carry-on option from the Monos luggage line.

Monos Luggage – Negative Points

When it comes to Monos luggage, I’m quite satisfied with my purchase, but there are a few negative aspects you should know of.

Bags from Monos scruff up quickly, making your luggage look dirty when traveling. And they’re extra noticeable due to Monos stylish designs.

I recently traveled to Thailand for six weeks and took flights in the country as well to Phuket and Koh Samui. I was really able to put my Monos Carry On Luggage to the test, traveling by boat, plane, taxi, etc.

Well, my bag sure had quite a few scruffs after, and I’m the type of person who is quite mindful and careful with their stuff! These marks on the luggage are impossible to remove; I cannot remove most of the scruffs.

Monos luggage is known for getting marked up quickly, so they give you an eraser remover with all luggage purchases. While the eraser could work on some scruffs, it was useless in the long run. Major scruffs I couldn’t remove.

RELATED: Best Carry On Luggage Brands

multiple scruffs on monos carry on luggage

Also, the interior lining ripped inside the luggage; this was my first far-trip flight with this luggage. It’s not like I’ve had it for years, and it finally faulted. I’m disappointed in this regard.

Luggage should be built on lasting at least a few years, and no, this isn’t covered within the lifetime warranty they offer!

interior space of monos carry on luggage

These two points are my only negative criticism of Monos luggage. I wish their luggage wouldn’t scruff so darn easily! They cater to those wanting to look stylish as they travel, yet their bags scruff up quicker than any other brand. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Monos Luggage Carry On Accessories

Monos offers a variety of convenient travel accessories to buy. My favorite is the Metro Backpack and the Metro Duffel bag, which pair well with your Carry On luggage.

Both bags feature a strap that slides into your telescope carry-on handle—making it easy for you to get around with your bags.

Also, here are a few other useful travel accessories I strongly recommend you consider.

Compressible Packing Cubes

a set of four beige compression packing cubes from monos
Credit: Monos

Monos compressible packing cubes come in sets of 4 or 6 and a variety of three different colors. If you’re considering purchasing one accessory, choose these compressible packing cubes.

With these compressible packing cubes, you can save 30% of the capacity in your carry-on bag. I tried and tested them out. I purchased the four-pack and could fit in more clothing inside using them.

For those who haven’t used packing cubes before, they keep you organized when traveling; the last thing you want is digging through your luggage with clothing mixed up everywhere in your luggage.

NOTE: Monos compression cubes are stylish and convenient but not cheap. If you’d prefer to spend less, you can pick up these compression cubes that are just as good!

Monos Metro Backpack

brown vegan leather monos metro backpack
Credit: Monos

The Metro Backpack is a sleek, water-resistant backpack that offers convenient compartments for a travel backpack. Monos’ attention to detail when making this backpack shows. Inside, you will find a water resistance pocket to store any shoes or items that may be wet.

The outside compartment is perfect for tablets or a laptop for storage. On the back, you will find a strong magnet pocket used to store your passport, allowing for easy/secure access to your passport at all times. (both these aspects aren’t noticeable in the photo above)

Another unique feature is the unique QuickSnap modular Kit System on the front, a small toiletry bag that quickly snaps into place when you slide it in. You can remove it whenever you like (this is also featured in the Metro Duffel bag).

The best part about the design of this backpack is the zipper for the main compartment. It opens three-quarters to the bottom of the bag. It allows you to reach things on the bottom of your backpack anytime conveniently.

Last but not least, a tight band on the back of the backpack allows you to slide the backpack comfortably on your Monos luggage telescope handle.

Monos Luggage Cover

clear see through luggage cover made by monos luggage
Credit: Monos

The Monos luggage cover comes in all sizes for all bags, and it protects your bag from dirt, scruff, and other possible damages when traveling.

It has a minimal see-through design, so you can still see the color of your carry-on bag. I don’t see this as reasonably practical; I don’t think it’s a must, and I’d prefer to see my bag for what it is, so this is one accessory I did not bother purchasing.

If you’re that scared about scratches on your bag, this is a no-brainer.

Monos vs Away Luggage

These two travel brands are always compared to one another online. The reason is because of how similar they are to each other; each brand shares many luggage features on their carry-on bags. Even the names of their carry-on bags are similar.

Away Travel is a travel brand out of New York, USA. Monos is its competitor up North in Vancouver, Canada. I say that only because Away launched its brand on November 9, 2015, just a few years before Monos (2018).

Both companies allow you to trial your luggage for 100 Days.

Brand Comparison

Both companies make sleek-looking and well-designed luggage for travel. The zippers from Monos are YKK (best in the industry), and Away’s zipper manufacture is not disclosed. Wheels are the same with both brands.

Both brands also provide an integrated compression pad on one side of the luggage inside.

away luggage vs monos luggage in a comparison photo showing their luggage differences from the exterior
Credit: Eric T Merraki

Price

  • Monos Carry On: $200 US – Away Carry On: $252 US
  • Monos Carry On Plus: $215 US – Away The Bigger Carry On: $274
  • Monos Carry On Pro: $244 US – Away The Carry On with Pocket: $296 US
  • Monos Carry On Plus Pro: $260 – Away The Bigger Carry On with Pocket: $310 US

We’ve covered this in our Carry On Luggage Brand Comparisons for 2023 article if you’d like a complete in-depth breakdown of the two brands.

Monos Luggage – Final Thoughts

I purchased and used the Monos Carry On Plus, Compression packing cubes, and Metro Backpack.

So is buying a Monos carry on worth it? Overall, I’m happy with my purchases from Monos.

But the major downside is how easily the luggage gets scruffed up. I can only see myself purchasing more luggage from them once they fix this.

When I took this luggage from Toronto to NYC, a 90-minute flight, my carry-on bag was able to make it with minimal scruffs. But that was not the case when I flew to Phuket, Thailand, months later!

The design element of everything is very well thought out, and the practicality for travel is there.

Something important to mention about Monos Luggage is the exceptional customer service they provide. They’re diligent in making their customers happy.

Regarding price, Monos isn’t cheap, but it’s also not expensive. Their products are high quality, and you pay for what you get. For those looking for an alternative brand that is a tad cheaper, I’d recommend SwissGear or Samsonite.

monos carry on along with monos metro backpack on top

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