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Carry-On backpack size

Austin, Texas
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21 posts
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Carry-On backpack size

On my last few trips abroad, I've noticed that Most airlines let people carry-on travel packs that seem WAY bigger than the official size criteria. I'm thinking about getting a 65 (or 85) liter pack for my next trip. Is that too big? Does it depend on the airline???


Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Carry-On backpack size

I have absolutely no idea how big a 65 or 85 liter pack is. Your carry-on, no matter what type bag, needs to be within the carry-on size limit that is outlined on each airline's webpage.

Edited: 5:43 pm, December 02, 2010
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Carry-On backpack size

The trouble is that many airlines now charge for checked baggage so everyone tries to squash all their gear into a carry-on. Fine if you are flying all with an airline that allows it. Not fine if flying say, Qantas, Ryanair, Emirates, Cathay. The smallest bag that meets all airline requirements in dimensions, including wheels and handles, is 19"x9.5"x13" though Emirates gets one dimension down to 8".

Note also that some airlines allow only ONE carry-on, including a handbag or camera bag. These days I travel with a minimum size carry on containing handbag, camera etc, and a small checked bag as well.

So check what you are flying and abide by their rules, including weight restrictions. If you are going to risk it, carry a light fold up bag inside, so if you have to check the oversize or overweight bag, you can unload your valuables into a carry-on.

Mesa, Arizona
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3. Re: Carry-On backpack size

I can get away with this Ebags weekender convertible. Its is 3066 cu. inches and the dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9


I've never heard of a bag measured by LITERS. Ebags has good specifications on most bags......

This website has some of the carryon requirements as well as weight. What I fail to understand is if an airline allows 40lb wgt for carryon..how the heck do you lift it overhead. Always check the size on the airlines own website. and if your airline flies more than one type of aircraft (as in the case of Jet Blue with A320 And Embraer 190, the size of the carryon IS DIFFERENT (smaller for the Embraer since their overhead is smaller.).


65 cu liters is 3966.5 cu inches and 85 cu li is 5187 cu inches...so I'd say 65 liters is pushing it. You'd need to check the dimensions or go with something like my ebags weekender convertible. but it does not have all the cinches/straps as a regular backpack might have.

Edited: 7:11 pm, December 02, 2010
Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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4. Re: Carry-On backpack size

The size used by many airlines is 56x45x25cm which is about 65l - but some airlines use far smaller - around 40l for Ryanair for example.

And then unless you are flying BA or Easyjet you have to worry about the total weight of your bag & it's contents as most airlines have a weight limit of about 10kg for cabin luggage.

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: Carry-On backpack size

Some airlines have 6 or 7kg limits. Try checking this site for size;



Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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6. Re: Carry-On backpack size

Some airlines are stricter than others when it comes to enforcing carry-on rules. It just depends. These days, many folks bring their farm onto the plane. People who board late aren't going to find any overhead bin space.

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7. Re: Carry-On backpack size

Hi We are flying with KLM later this month and taking our backpacks. Mine is 35litres and no problem with dimensions, my husbands is 45Litres and is actually a wee bit too big but we are going to try and get it through using compression straps to take it in a bit as it will not be full. If that fails we have an allowance of two checked in pieces each so it will just have to go in the hold.

I would think 85litres is far too big for hand luggage.

Edited: 4:58 am, December 03, 2010
Luang Namtha, Laos
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8. Re: Carry-On backpack size

Each time I see people having their big carry on luggage, I ask myself why I must obey the rule LOL. But I know I must save the hassle of having big luggage being questioned by the airline staff. It’s not nice to be seen like that in front of so many passengers.

Lewes, United...
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for Road Trips
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9. Re: Carry-On backpack size

When it comes to carry on luggage there seems to be 2 schools of traveller:

One type always checks the website for the relevant Ts & Cs and abides by the airline's carry on restrictions (size and weight, as appropriate) and never has to worry about being stopped as they won't ever have a problem. It seems frequent flyers will mostly tend this way, and even check the regs from time to time of carriers they regularly use in case of updated carry on regs (for updated read smaller, usually!). These passengers might also feel mortified to be found to not have complied with the regs, so avoid confrontation by ensuring them comply.

The other type may or may not check in advance what they're allowed, but, on the basis that on previous flights (irrespective of the airline, route, class of travel, etc) they've seen other passengers getting away with vast excesses, feel they too are always entitled to get away with carry ons of a greater size, weight, quantity and number. They are also often quite thick skinned and happy to argue their personal, specific reason for being exempt from needing to comply with whatever regulations all the other passengers have complied with. Of course, they do get away with it sometimes. However,when things don't quite go to plan, they turn up on this forum to complain.

Of course, to add to the above mix is the issue that most airlines are seen to be inconsistent with their enforcement of their own regulations, and some airlines more so than others. This inconsistency isn't necessarily of the airlines' own making, but perhaps can be related to different airports and different countries, as the check in and gate agents aren't always direct employees of the airline, but may well be contracted handling agents or airport employees.

And somebody may just be having a bad day.

So, OP, which category do you fit into? Then you can decide what size of carry on back pack you need!!!!

Happy flying ;-D


Mesa, Arizona
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10. Re: Carry-On backpack size

if you think your backpack is over the size, dont pack it tightly, then likely you can use the compression straps to MAKE it fit.

I think I mentioned that I have an Eagle creek convertible backback. I CAN manage 4 days with that bag (and with the toiletries that fit in the 1qt zip-lock).

I have back problems (among other issues), but DRAGGING a suitcase bothers me and, strangely, carrying the backpack does not (and you'd think it WOULD).

To the OP....I'll be curious to know what you finally do buy...and if it works.