The Nomatic Carry-On Classic luggage is a great suitcase for day trips and short getaways.
With a makrolon polycarbonate shell, compression straps, and smooth wheels, it has everything you’d want in a carry-on bag.
But how well-built is it?
Should this be your next carry-on luggage?
In this Nomatic luggage review, I will be going in-depth about its different features, as well as who I think it’s for and who might not benefit from it.
I will also provide several alternatives at the end of this review.
Let’s get stuck in!
If this isn’t the first Nomatic review you’ve read from me, you probably know who they are by now!
A brand focused on creating travel bags and gear, Nomatic sells everything from backpacks and luggage to camera bags, duffel bags, apparel, and various accessories.
They pride themselves on their functional designs that will inspire you to keep moving and going on adventures.
Nomatic uses synthetic materials and manufactures its products in the Philippines.
One thing to note is that Nomatic is unavailable in the European market.
Instead, they operate under a different name, Gomatic, and have a slightly different product offering.
The best place to buy the Carry-On Classic is from their website.
You will get the Manufacturer’s Lifetime Warranty, which covers the functionality of the luggage such as zippers, buttons, and seam defects.
Make sure to register your product as soon as you receive it so you can get this benefit!
Unfortunately, the European store Gomatic doesn’t currently sell luggage.
Maybe it’s coming soon, but I’ve checked both sites and can confirm that as of the time of writing this review, Gomatic doesn’t have a luggage section.
Oh, it’s worth mentioning that they do sell repair parts, so you can easily replace broken parts and use your luggage for a longer time!
Alternatively, Nomatic has several offline retail stores across the USA, with a few locations in Australia, Canada, and Mexico.
I feel like this carry-on was made with the business person in mind, considering its smart and classy design. The hard shell and quality build also make it ideal for those who travel a lot.
Of course, this luggage is still suitable for leisure travellers and non-businesspeople! Especially if you like this type of sleek and modern look.
I don’t think this carry-on is the best choice for anyone wanting more tech organisation. It’s basic and to the point without the faff of fancy features.
It doesn’t have a dedicated laptop compartment on the front. So, if that’s something you want in a suitcase, check out the Carry-On Pro!
Again, this review is for the Carry-On Classic.
Nomatic has the Carry-On Pro, which is similar in style and features, except that it comes with a tech compartment at the front for easy access to your laptop and gadgets.
The Classic also provides a bit more storage in the main compartment, so it might be a better option if you’re not looking for a suitcase with a tech panel anyway.
The $399.99 price tag feels a bit much for me if we’re talking only about the basic structure of this luggage.
However, the material and hardware quality do make up for the price.
All in all, the Nomatic Carry-On Classic is a premium bag that feels very well-made.
The hardware is great, from the high-quality YKK zippers to the Hinomoto wheels, which roll smoothly and quietly.
In terms of craftsmanship and build, I couldn’t find any fault with this Nomatic bag.
One thing I would say is that the combination lock was a lot more fiddly than I would’ve liked and took a minute to get it properly locked in. But this really isn’t a big deal.
The makrolon polycarbonate shell is water-resistant, which is always nice.
It’s definitely a tough material though not completely scratch-free. But then again, this is true for other suitcases made from polycarbonate and not just this one.
The hardshell is bound to get some marks over time. Yet considering this is a carry-on and you’ll be the one to handle it most days, this shouldn’t be a problem.
You also get some gorgeous branded detailing on the exterior, which adds to that premium feel.
In terms of the fabric material inside, it’s very similar to the one Nomatic uses in their backpacks, which I’ve previously talked about.
Another thing lacking from this Nomatic luggage is that there are no bumpers on the outside that would prevent the case from hitting the ground when you open it fully.
But the way that the bag opens allows it to stay upright instead of flinging open, which is a good thing!
The Nomatic Carry-On used to be available only in black, but it now comes in Almond and Deep Olive.
They’re all relatively neutral and plain colours that work well with the modern vibe of their design.
The Carry-On Classic is a very convenient hand luggage for sure!
Measuring 22x14x9 inches in dimensions, it fits snugly on the overhead compartment of most airlines, while still being able to fit a lot inside.
This means it’s perfect for business travel and trips of 3 to 5 days.
The magnetic compression system, which I’ll go into more detail below, is worth mentioning.
It’s what makes packing such an easy and smooth experience with this Nomatic luggage.
Other than its well-thought-out interior and organisation, this carry-on is as basic as it gets, but it does everything well.
Great hardware, straightforward compartments, and no frills.
This is why it’s so efficient as a carry-on bag.
1. Spacious interior and organisation
The interior of this luggage are definitely one of the highlights for me.
On one side you have the meshed pocket, but what stands out is the attention to detail with the added pockets.
Usually, you get just one meshed compartment in a suitcase. The Nomatic Carry-On has multiple pockets that make it easy for you to organise items without the different compartments being too overwhelming.
These are especially useful for storing small accessories that might get lost easily, like cables, keys, and wallets.
And for even more organisation, the Nomatic packing cubes fit perfectly inside.
2. Customizable compression
On the other side of the interior, there are, not one, but two, compression pads, which isn’t something you see a lot of!
This allows you to compress just one side or both, depending on how much stuff you have.
Yes, there’s a lot of hardware here that does take up some of the space inside. But to my surprise, you can pack up A LOT in height as the compression pads work very well!
The magnetic compression system itself is simple and strong, which I can appreciate as it does make packing less stressful..,
Plus, you can fold in the compression pads if you don’t want to use them.
3. Polycarbonate shell
This luggage is made from 100% makrolon polycarbonate, which is lightweight but extremely durable—the perfect material for suitcases.
It’s very robust and impact-resistant too, so you know that your items inside are well protected.
4. Strong and comfortable handles
There are two handles on the Carry-On, on the top and the side, with some nice flexibility to them so that they’re not just rigged.
The handles lift up nicely to mould and expand for better grip. This is a nice feature for those with a larger hand.
I love how seamlessly they retract back when not in use so that they don’t bulk out.
On a similar note, the 3-stage extendable handle is smooth and thin. It comes with a rubber material on top for extra comfort.
It doesn’t have a lot of range of heights in comparison to the July Carry-On, but works really well overall and I have no complaints!
5. Silent Hinomoto wheels
Moving on to the spinner wheels. I always prefer suitcases with 360-degree wheels as they make maneuvering so much easier.
Especially when you’re travelling in a busy airport and train station, or with another suitcase, you don’t want something that slows you down.
The Nomatic Carry-On uses Hinomoto wheels, which overall are silent and pleasantly smooth.
6. Sleek, business-friendly design
Last but not least, I have to talk about the design!
The top side of this suitcase has a slope that’s very eye-catching and adds to its uniqueness.
Overall, it still feels simple and sleek without looking flashy, which is why it’s perfect for business uses.
I can definitely see people working in the travel industry using this luggage, especially those who fly a lot.
What are some cons of the Nomatic Carry-On Classic?
There really isn’t much, although the cost may be something to consider.
This isn’t the best carry-on if you’re looking for something more affordable, but ideal for frequent travellers who need a suitcase that is reliable and long-lasting.
In terms of the material, if I’m being fussy, the mesh pocket inside the suitcase feels very rough, so I’m not the biggest fan.
Another main feature this backpack lacks is a laptop or tech compartment.
To be fair, most carry-on suitcases don’t have this anyway, but it’s only noteworthy because you have that with the Carry-On Pro.
This is also not a big deal for me as I personally prefer to keep my laptop in my backpack anyway.
How does the Nomatic Carry-On compare upon first impressions and over time? Here’s what I think!
If you’re still here (or skipped forward to this part), you’re probably wondering if I think the bag is worth it.
This entire review comes down to this one question…
Should you buy the Nomatic Carry-On Classic?
My answer is, most likely, yes, you should!
It’s a fantastic all-rounder carry-on luggage that’s suitable for most.
I’d recommend it even more for business travellers and frequent fliers, as well as those who like the modern and sleek silhouette of this bag.
It’s also great for digital nomads or travel bloggers who don’t mind (and are used to) carrying their laptops in their backpacks, and using this carry-on only for their clothes.
And if you’re specifically looking for a suitcase that comes with a dedicated tech or laptop compartment, then the Carry-On Pro is the perfect alternative.
The Travel Bag 40L is a large travel backpack that can be converted into a duffle bag. This is an ideal non-luggage carry-on option for short getaways and weekend trips.
For an everyday backpack option with adventure-friendly features and specs, the Navigator Lite Pack 15L is great. It’s sleek and minimalist, comfortable, and offers excellent support!
Do you think the Nomatic Carry-On Luggage might not be for you? Check out these other alternatives:
Horizn Studios’ luggage has been amazing on all our adventures, with the M5 and H5 being their carry-on models. They’re basically the “essential” and “pro” versions of the Nomatic Classic and Pro.
Most luggage use polycarbonate as their hard shell material, but if you’re into the look of aluminum, the LEVEL8 Aluminum Carry-On might be great for you. This is a great budget option that’s extremely hardy and tough.
This is a high-end and smart hand luggage. It’s a little on the expensive side but if you’re looking for something with premium material and a luxurious style, I’d recommend the Carl Friedrik Carry-On Pro.
Alright, that’s all for the review today!
Have you ever tried the Nomatic Carry-On Classic?
What’s your favorite carry-on luggage?
Drop a comment below!
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