Solgaard Carry-On Closet Review

The Solgaard Carry-On Closet’s shelving system offers a lot of ways to organize clothing, but it takes effort to manage its potentially bulky size.

Our Verdict

7.5 /10
Good info






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  • Suitcase-style buckles are easier to open than typical zippered designs
  • Included built-in closet system is optional to use
  • Has a pass-through charging ports


  • “Frictionless” wheels still make a bit of noise
  • Magnetic buckles can disengage accidentally under the right circumstances
  • You can’t use the front-side organization once you fully pack the shelving system

Technical Details

3 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 4/145 Airlines

  • Weight (lb)

    8.1 lb (3.7 kg)

    Do not include the weight of the closet insert (.75 lbs | .4 kg)

  • Dimensions

    22.4 in x 14.6 in x 9.6 in (56.9 x 37.1 x 24.4 cm)

    Includes the wheels

  • Notable Materials

    Recycled Plastic, Polycarbonate, Aluminum, Unbranded Zippers

  • Warranty Information


Full Review

We’re no strangers to the allure of nostalgia. Whether it’s the familiar tunes of the last decade or the smell of an old family recipe, there’s just something comforting about them. This can be very trivial, too, as we found out with the Solgaard Carry-On Closet and its suitcase-style buckles. We’re used to seeing zippered designs on rolling carry on luggage, but these buckles are a throwback.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Outdoor
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | This carry on expands to a full-on wardrobe.

The buckles are just part of this bag’s whole suitcase vibe that feels monolithic and sturdy. In all, though, they’re not even the most interesting component of the bag. No, the headlining feature has to be its “shelving system” that effectively turns this bag into a traveling closet, hence the name.

Those are just some of the bigger bullet points of this bag’s long list of features, so let’s dive in to see the rest!

External Components

The outside of the Carry-On Closet is dominated by a polycarbonate shell. That is just a fancy term for “plastic,” but it’s the quality-feeling kind, as evidenced by the lack of scratches on this unit we’re reviewing. We’ve only managed to land a few fingerprints and stains, but the unit is otherwise pristine. To give credit where credit is due, Solgaard strategically placed grooves and pegs around the bag’s surface to make contact with surfaces instead of just letting it lay flat.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Corner
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | The polycarbonate shell remains pristine after testing.

At the front are ribs that run across the width of the bag, while the back has a U-shaped portion raised from the rest of the surface. Meanwhile, the side where the bag’s hinges are has four pegs to stop them from getting damaged. The bag’s top corners also have pieces of trim that serve as reinforcement, though they look more aesthetic than anything.

The wheels follow the typical spinner luggage pattern: four sets of wheels, with one on each corner. Each set has a pair of wheels that rotate independently. This setup lets the Carry-On Closet roll in any direction, whether you’re pulling it at an angle on two wheels or rolling it on all four sets of wheels. We’ve no complaints here since the wheels spin and rotate without issue, although Solgaard’s claim that these are “frictionless wheels that barely make a sound” seems overzealous. They definitely make some sound and are not the quietest among the carry on luggage we’ve tested.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Wheels
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | They call these wheels “frictionless.”

You get to pick from two handles to carry the Carry-On Closet by hand, one at the side and one at the top. We prefer to use the one at the top since its rubbery material is soft. However, the hard plastic side handle is more practical since it orients the bag sideways, thus further from the ground.

The lock uses a simple three-digit combination. Enter the code, and you can push the flanking tabs inward to release the spring-loaded buckles. The buckles themselves are blank slabs that don’t feature any aesthetic garnishing. That said, Solgaard’s decision to go with a buckled closure instead of a zippered one impacts the packing process—we’ll discuss more in the last section.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Lock 1
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | The lock is TSA-compliant.

We’re willing to bet plenty of you will appreciate this feature: charging pass-throughs. Embedded just below the telescoping handle are a USB-A and a USB-C port, which connect via a built-in cable to your power bank, which you can put inside. It’s handy if you frequently find yourself waiting in airport lounges where there’s always a shortage of outlets. Sure, you may be packing a power bank in your sling, but it’s always good to have a backup.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Power Bank Port
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | It’s like having a personal wall socket.

The telescoping handle is pretty standard, with two metal shafts connected by a handle at the top. The handle houses the button, which releases the lock, allowing you to extend the shafts in two levels. There is some wiggle along the shafts, but our biggest concern is the handle’s plasticky feel and rounded shape that just wasn’t comfortable.

Fit Notes

Though we find the Carry-On Closet’s wheels middling in terms of noise, they generally roll easily. We’ve run them across pavement, carpeted floors, and even tiled ones, and there are no issues to report. Since the bag is quite tall, the handle’s first adjustment felt ideal for the more petite members of the Pack Hacker crew; full-length adjustment was a bit too much for most use cases.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Walking
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | The wheels aren’t completely silent, though they roll just fine.

Again, carrying the bag sideways like a suitcase is an option. However, the side handle lacks the padding to make it comfortable for long-term carrying. It’s mostly there for moving the bag from a cab’s trunk to the hotel’s trolley.

Inside The Carry-on Luggage

Like a lot of carry on luggage, this one doesn’t have any external pockets for quick-grab items, so you’ll have to bring a daypack and/or a sling unless you’re fine with not having access to your gear during flights. And we really hope you’re not someone who insists on opening their carry on luggage in-flight. There’s barely enough room for that, especially in economy class.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Empty
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | Your power bank goes in that pocket with the built-in cables.

As mentioned earlier, Solgaard opted for a dual buckle closure instead of a zippered one, as you’d typically find on other carry on luggage. The major advantage is speed and ease of access, as undoing two buckles is much faster than dragging a zipper all the way around. That’s not all, though. Once opened, straps on each side tether the halves together and prevent the front from completely folding over. It also keeps the suitcase from falling open when hanging the Carry-On Closet off the telescoping handle (more on that later). This design reminds us of Pelican’s hard cases but with clothing in mind.

On the front side of the Carry-On Closet is an area cordoned off by a zippered flap. You’ll find a similar space on a lot of carry on luggage, and they hold a lot of gear. Some opt to stash pouches like toiletry bags and makeup kits in them, but we also toss in bulkier items such as a pair of low-profile shoes (sneakers) and a travel hair dryer. That said, you may not be able to use this space depending on how much you pack the included shelving system.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Cubes 2
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | Using your own packing cubes is also an option.

On the back side are two pockets hanging from the top and bottom. You can store small extra gear in them like everyday carry accessories or toiletries. However, the top one is primarily for storing a power bank that connects directly to those USB pass-through ports we mentioned earlier. These two pockets also double as panels holding down whatever gear you put in the large open space underneath. We’d typically stash all sorts of packing cubes and pouches in that space. However, in the Carry-On Closet’s case, you can use the included shelving system instead.

Solgaard’s shelving system isn’t exactly unique, as we’ve seen removable systems of organizing gear from other brands. That said, Solgaard’s design is one of the more expansive ones. Fully expanded, it spans almost the entire height of the Carry-On Closet. It’s meant to hang off the telescoping handle, fully extended. The shelving system itself is divided into four main sections, further subdivided into compartments. In all, it has enough variety in pockets to store large pieces of clothing like denim pants, all the way down to small rolls of socks and underwear.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | It’s a traveling wardrobe.

The shelving system’s party trick is the way it compresses. Cinch down the sides, and it shrinks accordingly, just like how you squeeze a multi-layer sandwich to fit your mouth. It’s a pretty tricky process, though, with how many sections there are to compress. Imagine trying to squeeze down a multi-layer BLT with the contents slipping out the other side; it’s kind of like that.

It is a pretty contained setup once you compress the shelving system, slot it into the main compartment, and lock it down by those two pockets from earlier. It is worth noting that the magnetic buckles of the two pockets can accidentally disengage if they get jostled the wrong way, so you may find them disconnected once you open the bag. Additionally, if you’ve fully packed the shelving system, it will bulge and rob space from the front-side compartment, the one cordoned off by the zippered flap.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Stuffed
Solgaard Carry-On Closet | Squeezing the entire shelving system inside takes effort.

All in all, you have plenty of options for organizing gear in the Carry-On Closet, though it’s challenging to utilize all of them in the provided space. It takes some creativity to squeeze more gear in unoccupied spots, like the top and bottom sides of the shelving system. On the other hand, the Carry-On Closet also feels too spacious for minimalist packers like us, leaving us with enough room to experiment with how to put all of its organization to better use. It’s an interesting all-in-one system for those not packing much, but it’s challenging if you plan to max it out.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Interesting opening—feels like a suitcase from the days of yore
  • Built-in organization system is an interesting concept
  • Digging the sleek design
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Shell held up well over testing; no major scratches or scuffs
  • Organization system is great, though it takes up a lot of room in the luggage
  • Briefcase opening is satisfying to use
By Lauren Maternowski
Created February 15, 2024 • Updated February 15, 2024
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