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Carry-On Luggage Size Chart for 64 Major Airlines [Dimensions, Sizes & More]

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Carry-On Luggage Size Chart for 64 Major Airlines [Dimensions, Sizes & More]

Table of Contents

Carry-on luggage size chart for major airlines.

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Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, every airline has its carry-on luggage size restrictions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so you need to check your airline’s specific policy before traveling to ensure your carry-on bag isn’t rejected with potential additional charges.

Below, you’ll find a helpful chart detailing the most popular airlines’ carry-on restrictions, including the size and weight of a standard carry-on, and whether this varies due to the cabin you’re traveling in. We’ve also covered checked luggage sizes and allowances , too.

Don’t forget that there are many ways to avoid paying for baggage fees such as carry-ons and that’s what we cover in our in-depth article.

In some cases, you’ll see that the airline has a rule about maximum linear dimensions . That means that when you add a piece of luggage’s length, width, and depth together, the sum can’t exceed a specific number.

For example, if you have a suitcase that’s 28 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 18 inches deep, the linear dimensions would total 66 inches, too big for many airlines.

Unless specified, the maximum weight allowance is across your standard carry-on luggage and personal item combined. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered carry-on luggage.

There’s no industry standard for sizes for carry-on luggage, with every airline assigning their own size and weight restrictions. If you want to purchase a carry-on bag that would be accepted by most airlines, then the most common maximum size would be 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm), including handles and wheels.

Which carry-on luggage is best?

The best carry-on bag depends on your own requirements. For example, do you need a wheelie case or a backpack, or a bag with a laptop compartment or built-in security? We’ve rounded up what we consider the best carry-on luggage bags for any traveler , ranging from soft-sided and hardshell wheelies to convenient backpacks.

Is a backpack considered carry-on?

A backpack would be considered a carry-on item if it adheres to the maximum size restrictions of a specific airline. Most airlines have a larger size allowance for a standard carry-on piece and slightly smaller one for a personal item (where permitted).

What is not allowed in a carry-on bag?

For safety reasons, there are certain items that are prohibited to be stored in carry-on luggage. These include individual containers with liquids over 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or a combined amount of liquids over 1 quart (1 liter); sharp objects such as scissors, blades, or pen knives; firearms; sporting equipment such as baseball bats or hockey sticks; tools; and lighters, matches, or other flammable items.

Is there a weight limit for carry-on luggage?

As with size restrictions, there are no industry standards for maximum weight allowances for carry-on luggage. These are defined by each individual airline, with some airlines actually not publishing a specific weight restriction — just that you must be able to lift the bag into the overhead compartment yourself.

It’s also worth checking whether the airline’s stated weight allowance applies just to your carry-on piece or whether it applies to the combined weight of your carry-on and personal item.

What is the difference between a personal item and carry-on?

Many airlines allow passengers to bring a personal item in addition to a carry-on bag. A personal item is usually a smaller bag, such as handbag, briefcase, or laptop bag , that can be stored under the seat in front of you. Some airlines specify size and weight restrictions for personal items, while many don’t specify maximum sizes or weights.

What is hand baggage only?

If you’ve booked a “hand baggage only” fare (sometimes referred to as a basic fare), this means that you may only bring hand baggage that is within the airline’s restrictions. No checked baggage is included. Depending on your airline, hand baggage may include 1 standard carry-on bag and 1 smaller personal item. Each airline sets its own size and weight restrictions for carry-on, so check the table above for more information.

What does TSA allow for carry-on?

TSA allows passengers to pack certain items in their carry-on baggage and prohibits others. Liquids may be brought on board under the 3-1-1 rule: a maximum of 3.4 ounces per container up to a total of 1 quart, stored within a clear, zip-top bag, with 1 bag permitted per passenger. Exemptions to this rule are made for infant necessities or required medication. Items such as lighters, blades, and baseball bats are not permitted in your carry-on.

See more information in our guide to how to easily get through TSA airport security .

What is the standard size of a carry-on bag?

There are no universal standards for carry-on baggage, with each airline setting its own size and weight restrictions. If you want to purchase a bag that adheres to most airline standards, then look for a case that’s no larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm), including all handles and wheels.

Can I take my phone charger in my carry-on?

General chargers for electronic devices can be packed as carry-on or into your checked baggage . If you’re using a portable power bank , then most airlines require you to pack this in your carry-on bag. This is because of the risk of lithium batteries catching fire in the hold.

Is a 24-inch suitcase a carry-on?

A 24-inch suitcase would be considered a carry-on by some airlines — but not all. Some airlines state maximum linear dimension only, so as long as your other 2 measurements are smaller to allow for the 24-inch length, then this would be fine. But generally, a suitcase measuring 22 x 14 x 9 inches would be the most widely accepted. This includes American Airlines and United Airlines .

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Carry-on luggage size and weight limits by airline (2024).

Just like checked bags, carry-on luggage size restrictions can vary by airline.

Carry-on Luggage Sizes by Airline

cabin luggage travel size

Key Takeaways

  • The carry-on size limit for many airlines is 22 x 14 x 9 inches.
  • Most domestic airlines do not have a weight limit for carry-on bags.
  • You can typically bring a carry-on bag in addition to a personal item.
  • Your personal item should be able to fit neatly under the seat in front of you.

If you're traveling with carry-on luggage and/or a personal item, you'll need to adhere to size restrictions in the same way you do with checked bags . These rules include the dimensions of your carry-on bag and, in some scenarios, even the weight.

What size luggage is a carry-on?

While carry-on luggage sizes can vary by airline, several major carriers go by these dimensions.

Airlines calculate carry-on luggage size measurements using two methods:

  • Height by width by depth:  Most – but not all – airlines measure bags by inches or centimeters using this formula: height by width by depth, such as 22 x 14 x 9 inches. (Note: The dimensions listed below, which are given according to that formula, may differ slightly from the way each individual airline formats its size requirements.)
  • Linear inches:  A few airlines have linear inch restrictions for carry-on baggage, meaning the airline gives one number for the total of all three dimensions. As long as the combined height, width and depth don't exceed that number, you're in the clear.

Can a 24-inch bag be a carry-on?

Yes, a 24-inch bag can be used as a carry-on suitcase when flying with the following airlines: Frontier, Southwest and Sun Country . However, if you're shopping for new carry-on luggage, it's best to opt for something that meets the requirements for most major airlines (22 x 14 x 9 inches or smaller).

Is there a weight limit for carry-on bags?

Most major domestic airlines do not impose a weight limit on carry-on bags; however, several international airlines have weight restrictions for carry-on luggage and, in some cases, personal items.

Carry-on vs. personal item: What's the difference?

A carry-on bag is typically stored in a plane's overhead bin, while a personal item should fit under the seat in front of you. Most airlines allow economy passengers to bring one carry-on and one personal item – such as an underseat bag – at no extra cost.

Carry-on luggage sizes by airline

Click on the major domestic and international airlines below to see their carry-on luggage size restrictions in inches for economy passengers – and note that any handles and wheels on your bags count toward size limits as well.

Domestic Airlines

Alaska airlines, allegiant air, american airlines, delta air lines, frontier airlines, hawaiian airlines, southwest airlines, spirit airlines, sun country airlines, united airlines, international airlines, all nippon airways, british airways, cathay pacific, klm royal dutch airlines, qatar airways, scandinavian airlines, singapore airlines, turkish airlines, virgin atlantic.

See all Alaska Airlines carry-on policies.

The fee is often around $20 if you pay for your carry-on baggage at the time of booking; it costs a hefty $45 if you add a carry-on bag later – and up to $75 at the gate.

See all Allegiant Air carry-on policies.

The above rules also apply to basic economy tickets.

See all American Airlines carry-on policies.

Note that if you're flying to or from Beijing or Shanghai, there is a 22-pound weight limit for a carry-on; for Singapore, there is a 15-pound limit.

See all Delta Airlines carry-on policies.

There are two instances where the carry-on bag fee is waived:

  • You're an elite member of the  FRONTIER Miles rewards program .
  • You bought a specialty ticket like the WORKS bundle.

Also note that carry-on bag fees, which typically start at around $30, depend on your destination, and that prices are cheapest if you add baggage when you make your booking. You'll pay more to add it later, especially if you do so at the airport. Sometimes it's actually cheaper to purchase a checked bag instead of a carry-on.

See all Frontier Airlines carry-on policies.

See all Hawaiian Airlines carry-on policies.

If you booked a Blue Basic ticket, you're only permitted to bring a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you. If you bring a carry-on bag, you must pay $65 to check it at the gate (or up to $180 if you've already checked two other bags). This will change on Sept. 6, 2024, when JetBlue will begin offering one free carry-on bag to all Blue Basic customers, regardless of purchase date.

Currently, select customers with Blue Basic fares can bring carry-on bags for free. These include:

  • Active U.S. military personnel
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Customers flying to London

If you purchase a higher-class seat or if you reach Mosaic status on JetBlue's TrueBlue rewards program , you can also bring a carry-on bag for free on a Blue Basic ticket.

See all JetBlue carry-on policies.

See all Southwest Airlines carry-on policies.

Spirit's carry-on bag fees vary between flights, but they tend to start at around $25 to $30 for U.S. domestic flights. If you need to bring carry-on luggage, it's always cheapest to pay for it when you first book your flight. It will cost you more to add a bag afterward – and at least double the initial fee if you do it at the airport.

See all Spirit Airlines carry-on policies.

The Sun Country Airlines fee for a carry-on bag is around $30 if you pay for it when booking, or more if you add it later.

See all Sun Country carry-on policies.

There's one notable exception for carry-on baggage with United: Passengers with a basic economy ticket can only   take one personal item on board – no carry-on bag. This policy applies to travelers flying basic economy domestically or between the U.S. and Canada. If you have a basic economy ticket and are going to Central or South America (including Mexico) or taking trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific flights, you can bring a full-size carry-on bag.

See all United Airlines carry-on policies.

Aer Lingus' carry-on policy depends on where you're flying. For trans-Atlantic flights, you can bring one carry-on bag within the dimensions above, plus a small personal item for free. If you're flying within Europe on Aer Lingus, the rules are a bit different: You'll have to pay a fee to bring a carry-on with you on board, starting at 5.99 euros. However, you can check that same bag for free.

If you're flying Aer Lingus Regional (a service with smaller planes, flying mostly around Ireland and the U.K.), a smaller carry-on limit applies: 18.5 x 13 x 8 inches, with a weight limit of 15 pounds.

See all Aer Lingus carry-on policies.

All Aeroméxico customers can bring a standard carry-on bag and a personal item on board. Be careful with the weight limit, though: For international flights or basic fare flights within Mexico, these two items combined cannot weigh more than 22 pounds. So, if your carry-on bag weighs 15 pounds, for example, your personal item cannot be more than 7 pounds.

See all Aeroméxico carry-on policies.

While there's no weight limit for carry-on luggage, Air Canada says your carry-on bag should be light enough that it can easily be lifted into the overhead bin. Also note that airport purchases (for example, larger duty-free items) count toward your baggage limit.

See all Air Canada carry-on policies.

Note that both your personal item and carry-on bag (referred to as "hand baggage") combined must not weigh more than 26 pounds if you're traveling economy. The weight limit is 40 pounds for premium economy and other higher-class cabins.

See all Air France carry-on policies.

A variety of personal items (think a handbag and umbrella) are permitted as long as they fit under the seat in front of you; this includes any items purchased at the airport.

See all All Nippon Airways carry-on policies.

If airline staff put a yellow tag on your bag, it should be stored under the seat in front of you.

See all British Airways carry-on policies.

Cathay Pacific has shifted from a weight allowance to a piece allowance, and this policy varies by itinerary. Passengers are generally permitted to bring one carry-on bag plus a small personal item (and assistive devices like a walking stick), but it's best to check your booking carefully to confirm the exact allowance. You're asked to check in any baggage that's too heavy to lift into the overhead compartment.

See all Cathay Pacific carry-on policies.

Since easyJet is a budget airline, standard fares only allow customers to bring one personal item (called a "small cabin bag") aboard for free. Fees for standard carry-on bags are between 5.99 and 32.99 British pounds, depending on your destination and when you add an extra bag to your reservation.

See all easyJet carry-on policies.

The above rules apply to all economy passengers except those traveling from Brazil, whose carry-on luggage can weigh up to 22 pounds. Emirates only allows economy passengers to bring one item on board; whether you bring a carry-on bag for the overhead bin or a personal item to tuck under the seat, this bag must comply with the size limits.

See all Emirates carry-on policies.

Be aware that the 22-pound weight limit applies to both your personal item and carry-on combined. If your flight was booked through Iberia but is operated by Vueling, similar rules apply, but the size limits for your carry-on bags are slightly smaller.

See all Iberia carry-on policies.

If you're traveling on the cheaper Light ticket, you may be asked to check your carry-on bag for no extra cost, if space is limited.

See all KLM Royal Dutch Airlines carry-on policies.

See all Lufthansa carry-on policies.

The above rules apply to LowFare+ customers. Passengers who fly LowFare (comparable to Basic Economy fare) can only bring a personal item (underseat bag) measuring 15 x 11.5 x 7.5 inches.

See all Norwegian carry-on policies.


Economy passengers can opt to bring a nonrigid garment bag measuring 45 x 24 x 4 inches (or 73 linear inches) instead of a standard 22 x 14 x 9-inch carry-on bag. The above rules apply to all economy tickets and vary for higher classes on international and domestic flights with Qantas.

See all Qantas carry-on luggage policies.

Qatar Airways allows passengers to bring multiple personal items provided they fit under the seat in front of you. Unlike with other airlines, laptops and laptop bags do not count as personal items and must fit within your main hand baggage allowance. For tickets issued in Brazil, the carry-on weight limit is 22 pounds.

Be careful: Qatar doesn't accept carry-ons longer than 20 inches, which is shorter than many other airlines.

See all Qatar Airways carry-on policies.

Ryanair is a low-cost carrier, so unless you pay extra, you can only bring one small bag that fits under the seat in front of you, per the personal item guidelines above. To bring a larger carry-on bag, travelers need to purchase Ryanair's Priority & 2 Cabin Bags option, which typically costs between 6 and 32 euros depending on your destination.

See all Ryanair carry-on policies.

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Most (but not all) Scandinavian Airlines fares allow you to bring one traditional carry-on bag, plus a personal item, which SAS calls an "underseat bag." There's one exception: Passengers traveling within Europe on the Go Light fare must pay for a larger carry-on bag. If you booked a Go Light ticket for intercontinental flights, a carry-on bag is included.

See all Scandinavian Airlines carry-on policies.

Singapore Airlines has an unusual method for measuring carry-on bags – the dimensions of the bag must not add up to more than 45 linear inches total. For example, a bag measuring 15 x 15 x 15 inches would be suitable. All passengers can bring one bag of this size, plus a smaller personal item. The personal item, whose dimensions are specified above, does not count toward the 15-pound carry-on limit.

See all Singapore Airlines carry-on policies.

See all Turkish Airlines carry-on policies.

Virgin Atlantic lets every passenger bring a carry-on bag, including children younger than age 2. You can bring a bag weighing no more than 13 pounds for your child, in addition to a collapsible stroller and/or car seat. Each passenger is also allowed to bring a handbag or small backpack, an umbrella, a walking stick and airport purchases. Take note: Laptops do not count as personal items on Virgin Atlantic and should fit into your main carry-on bag. There's no specific size limit on the other personal items, but bags or airport purchases should fit under the seat in front of you.

See all Virgin Atlantic carry-on policies.

Note that the above rules apply to passengers who book a TimeFlex or Premium Fare, as well as anyone traveling with a child under age 2 and/or requiring special assistance at the airport.

See all Vueling carry-on policies.

See all WestJet carry-on policies.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Amanda Norcross is a seasoned traveler who packs just one carry-on bag and a personal item – even when adventuring with her toddler . She used her personal experience and research skills to put together this guide, and notes that even if your carry-on bag meets size restrictions, you may still need to check it at the gate because of limited space in the overhead bin. Luckily, it's still free.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Carry-on Backpacks
  • What Is Allowed in a Carry-on?
  • What to Pack in a Carry-on Bag
  • The Best Travel Insurance Companies

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Airline carry-on luggage size: Everything you need to know

Caroline Tanner

One of the most stressful parts of flying can be the packing process, especially if you're trying to fit your items into one or two carry-on bags.

Regardless of whether you are flying a U.S. carrier or internationally, your flying with both a full-sized carry-on and personal item depends on the policy of the specific carrier. We've outlined many of those policies in this guide. Additionally, all airlines have size requirements, and some have weight restrictions.

Read on for all you need to know about traveling with carry-on bags.

What size is carry-on luggage?

cabin luggage travel size

As you've likely observed, most domestic airlines allow passengers one personal item that fits underneath the seat in front of them and one larger carry-on suitable for the overhead bin.

Some airlines specify size requirements for both items, while others only restrict the overhead baggage. Just remember that a carrier's policy for the larger carry-on accounts for the size of your entire bag, including your luggage's handles and wheels.

The standard size requirements across the board for most domestic airlines for your larger carry-on is around 22 by 14 by 9 inches, so that's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

Here are the carry-on policies broken down by U.S. airlines:

Carry-on items stored overhead must be 24 by 16 by 10 inches. Personal items for under the seat – including purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, laptops and backpacks — cannot be larger than 16 1/4 by 13 1/2 by 8 inches.

The combined length, width and height of carry-on baggage should be less than 45 inches. Individual items must be less than 22 by 14 by 9 inches.

American Airlines passengers should heed the 18 by 14 by 8-inch limit for personal items and 22 by 14 by 9 inches (including handles and wheels) for overhead items, which also must fit in the sizer at the gate.

All under-seat personal items on United must measure within 9 by 10 by 17 inches, while larger items cannot exceed 22 by 14 by 9 inches, including handles and wheels.

Similar to the other domestic carriers on this list, JetBlue says that personal items must measure less than 17 by 13 by 8 inches, handles and wheels included, while overhead items shall be smaller than 22 by 14 by 9 inches.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines recently changed their carry-on bag size limit for overhead items to be within 22 by 14 by 9 inches, including the wheels and handles.

Hawaiian Airlines

Carry-on items aboard Hawaiian Airlines flights cannot exceed 22 by 14 by 9 inches.

cabin luggage travel size

The standard carry-on size for international carriers is slightly smaller than that of the U.S., measuring overall at 21.7 by 15.7 by 9 inches, including handles and wheels.

Here are the carry-on policies for economy passengers on major international carriers:

  • Air Canada: 21.5 by 15 by 9 inches.
  • British Airways: 22 by 18 by 10 inches.
  • Emirates: 21 by 14 by 7 inches.
  • Singapore Airlines: The sum of length, width and height of each piece should measure less than 45 inches.
  • Cathay Pacific: 22 by 14 by 9 inches.
  • Air New Zealand: The sum of length, width and height of each piece must measure less than 46.5 inches.
  • Turkish Airlines: 21 by 15 by 9 inches.
  • Virgin Atlantic: 22 by 14 by 9 inches.
  • ANA: 22 by 16 by 9 inches.
  • Korean Air: The total dimensions of the bag must be less than 45 inches (20 by 21 by 15 inches).
  • Japan Airlines: 22 by 16 by 10 inches.
  • La Compagnie: 21 ⅔ by 13 ¾ by 9 ⅚ inches.

Read more: Your essential guide to duty-free shopping at the airport

Is a carry-on considered a personal item?

cabin luggage travel size

As mentioned, all airlines differentiate between smaller personal items and larger carry-on items. If your carry-on bag fits under the seat in front of you, it's considered a personal item, which includes small backpacks, purses, briefcases and laptop bags.

Larger bags, including suitcases that fit in the overhead bin compartment, are labeled as larger carry-on items.

Most domestic airlines allow passengers two carry-on items, depending on their fare type. For example, Southwest stands out among carriers for allowing passengers two free carry-on bags and two checked bags, regardless of fare type. That's also the case for Delta, American, Alaska and Hawaiian passengers.

The cheapest fare types on both United (basic economy) and JetBlue (Blue Basic) restrict fliers to one personal item that can fit under the seat in front of you.

Among international carriers, your fare type also determines whether you are eligible to bring one or two carry-on items, so be sure to pay attention to baggage allotments when booking.

For carry-on guidelines for specific airlines, see our guide for the current carry-on baggage policies for 10 major U.S. and international carriers .

Carry-on luggage weight limits

Though airlines care about size, most domestic airlines do not have weight restrictions for carry-on bags, but some enforce weight limits for specific routes. For example, Delta restricts passengers flying to and from Beijing and Shanghai to a 22-pound carry-on, while bags are limited to 15 pounds to and from Singapore.

Low-cost airlines Frontier and Sun Country both have 35-pound limits, while Hawaiian Airlines limits their carry-on bags to 25 pounds.

Otherwise, you won't likely find a blanket weight policy for carry-on bags for domestic carriers.

Just make sure your bag does not weigh too much that it becomes oversized.

On the other hand, the majority of international carriers specify weight requirements for carry-on bags dependent on the fare type. For economy fares, carry-on weight limits vary among major carriers, including:

  • Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand: 15 pounds.
  • Turkish Airlines: 17 pounds.
  • Virgin Atlantic, ANA, Korean Air, Japan Airlines: 22 pounds.
  • La Compagnie: 39 pounds.
  • British Airways: 51 pounds.

What is allowed in a carry-on bag?

cabin luggage travel size

The U.S. Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) monitors carry-on bags just as they do with checked luggage, prohibiting certain items, including firearms, lithium batteries and other potentially hazardous items outlined here .

Within those confines, you're further restricted to liquids less than 3.4 ounces per their 3-1-1 rule, limiting items like toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion to 3.4 fluid ounces within a quart-sized bag. TSA recommends you pack full-sized liquids in your checked luggage.

In addition to liquids, your carry-on is the safest place for your most valuable items, such as your purse, electronics, passport, jewelry and medicines.

For inbound international flights to the U.S., you can carry on liquids exceeding 3.4 ounces if purchased duty-free and remain in their secure, tamper-evident bags. You'll also want to hold on to your original receipt to show the purchase was made within the preceding 48 hours, which TSA may request for screening.

Other international border agencies have similar rules prohibiting bringing certain items on airplanes, so be sure to check with your individual airline regarding those rules.

Bottom line

Depending on your fare type, most domestic airlines generally permit travelers to carry on two items — one that fits underneath the seat in front of you, generally labeled as a personal item, and a second item that fits overhead. However, you must meet certain dimension thresholds, which vary by airline.

Personal items include small backpacks, purses, briefcases and laptop bags, while larger bags, including suitcases that lie fit in the overhead bin compartment, are labeled as larger carry-on items.

Carry-on policies greatly vary by international carriers, depending on the fare type, which also determines weight requirements for carry-on bags. However, U.S. airlines generally do not have weight restrictions for carry-on items.

Related: Here's what to pack in a carry-on bag every time you travel

Luggage shop by size

Travelpro®’s Guide to Carry-On Luggage Size By Airline

Travelpro carry-on luggage size is the perfect for the overhead compartment of most airplanes.

Shopping for new carry-on luggage involves more than just picking a bag that fits your style. It's important to ensure it's the right size to be stored in the overhead bin or fit under the seat in front of you without issues.

While most domestic and international airlines publish their accepted measurements for carry-on luggage, some luggage makers produce bags labeled “carry-on baggage” that exceed those size restrictions. You don't want to arrive at the airport with your luggage packed only to find out that your bag is too big and has to be checked. That’s why Travelpro® goes the extra mile to test our spinners, carry-on luggage and bags with real-world sizer bins used by airlines worldwide.

RELATED: Find your perfect bag with our luggage finder quiz .

We make it easy and stress-free for you to shop for a bag that won't exceed size limits for in-cabin luggage by indicating which products have been Sizer Bin Tested under FEATURES on our product pages. We also provide detailed information on the size and weight of our and checked luggage .

What Size is a Carry-on Anyway?

When airlines refer to your "carry-on bag," they are referring to smaller suitcases, duffel bags, and weekenders that fit in the overhead bin space onboard. "Personal items," in airline industry terminology, are small enough to fit under the airplane seat, like travel totes and purses, laptop bags , diaper bags, and briefcases or backpacks . 

T+L carry-on spinner and underseat tote.

Maximum Carry-On Size

Your max carry-on size depends on whether your bag will fit in the overhead bin. Most bins can only handle carry-on luggage that is 22 inches tall, including wheels. Larger than that, and the bag would have to be turned sideways, which takes up too much room.

Domestic Carry-On Size

Domestic flights generally offer a little bit more space than international flights. Few domestic airlines put a weight limit on your carry-on luggage as well. TSA typically does not look at your carry-on size but there are a few established TSA guidelines for liquids and other items you pack in your carry on.

International Carry-On Size

International flights tend to be a little stricter with their sizes. Most will weigh your carry-on before you board. If it is overweight, you could be charged a fee.

Get specific rules and recommendations on carry on size for international flights with our guide.

Carry-on Size Per Airlines

The answer to, “What size is a carry-on suitcase?”, depends on whether you're flying domestically or internationally. Standard, domestic, carry-on luggage size is currently limited to around 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide. A few airlines allow larger bags to be carried on.

If flying internationally, plan to pack lighter or check your bag. Published carry-on size limits for international airlines range between 15.7-22 inches tall with varying widths and depths. Our handy chart below compares carry-on size limits by airline.

Carry-on Luggage Sizes: Domestic Airlines

Carry-on luggage sizes: international airlines.

Read in-depth luggage and carry on regulations for United and all other popular airlines on the blog.

Carry on Luggage Weight

While all domestic airlines have weight limits for checked luggage, most don't publish weight restrictions for carry-on bags. International airlines post weight limits ranging from 15 to 26 lbs., but it's doubtful that your carry-on will be weighed. Just be sure you can lift it over your head to place it in the overhead bin unassisted. For safety reasons, airlines operating smaller aircraft, like commuter planes, adhere to strict weight limits for baggage you bring onboard. In fact, many of these planes don't have overhead bins at all, so smaller personal items are all you can bring into the cabin. Everything else will be stowed as checked luggage. When carrying on and toting bags through endless terminals or city streets, choose lighter-weight luggage. Travelpro® makes several styles of lightweight luggage that are just as durable as heavier bags. Our Maxlite® 5 Expandable Carry-on Spinner , for example, weighs only 5.4 lbs., so you can pack what you need and still keep it light. Read more about lightweight, highly-durable luggage here .

Travelpro softside maxlite luggage on a scale with a dog to showcase how lightweight the luggage is.

Carry On Luggage Size Matters

You can also find baggage sizer bins at the airport. Baggage sizers are essentially “cubbies” built to the airline’s carry-on size restrictions. Because these sizer bins and requirements vary by airline, you can usually find them near the airline’s ticket counter and at the gate.

When measuring your bag's height, include the wheels and the handle, and don't forget about the depth. Your carry-on luggage needs to fit within all size limits.

Travelpro® makes elite expandable luggage  that increases packing capacity when needed, which can be quite helpful when shopping on your trip. Just don't pack your suitcase until it bulges, and avoid cramming too much in the front pockets if your bag has them. Overpacking risks making your bag too fat to fit in the overhead bin.

TIP:  Hard shell luggage  doesn’t stretch like soft-sided bags, so if you are worried about your bag's girth or tend to overstuff your luggage, a hard-sided carry-on may be a better choice than a soft-sided carry-on made from flexible fabric.

Knowing the carry-on size for airlines first means you can find the perfect bag before you head out. Check out our blogs on  and Hard Shell vs. Softside Luggage .

Happy travels!


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  • At the airport

Carry-on bags

Carry on bags at the gate

Know what you can carry on

There are some items that can only travel in your carry-on bag (and some items that must be checked). Make sure you know where to pack these restricted items – and if you can carry them on.

Restricted items

  • TSA restricted items Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

1 personal item and 1 carry-on

Personal items.

Your personal item like a purse or small handbag must fit under the seat in front of you. Dimensions should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).

These don’t count as your personal item or carry-on:

  • Diaper bags (1 per child)
  • Breast pump
  • Small, soft-sided cooler of breast milk
  • Child safety seats, strollers and medical or mobility devices

Carry-on bag allowance is 22 inches high by 14 inches long by 9 inches wide

Carry-on items

You can bring only one carry-on item along with your personal item. Your carry-on must fit in in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. If it doesn’t fit, it will need to be checked. Be sure all your carry-on items are labeled in case they are checked.

Some airports and planes may have additional carry-on restrictions.

Carry-on bag

The total size of your carry-on, including the handles and wheels, cannot exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm) and must fit in the sizer at the airport.

Soft-sided garment bag

Your soft-sided garment bag cannot exceed 51 inches / 130 cm (length + width + height).

Musical instruments

Your musical instrument must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

Traveling with musical instruments

Regional flights on American Eagle ® planes have limited overhead bin space. If your carry-on is larger than the personal item dimensions, you must valet your bag before boarding.* We’ll tag and check your bag at the gate for you free of charge. When you arrive, you’ll receive your bag on the jetbridge after exiting the plane.

Remove any batteries, electronic cigarettes and other restricted items from checked bags.

*Embraer ERJ-175 planes allow carry-on bags and don’t offer valet service.

Carry-on pets

For carry-on pets, review our policy for guidelines, limitations, and restrictions.

Traveling with carry-on pets

TSA allows certain duty-free liquids through security in your carry-on bag if they’re packaged in a security tamper-evident bag. If you’re traveling with liquids or are unsure about any item, please contact the TSA.

TSA liquids rule Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

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  • Oversize and overweight bags
  • Traveling with children

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Carry-on bags

You can bring one carry-on bag and one personal item for free on most domestic and international flights. But there are a few rules you’ll need to follow.

cabin luggage travel size

Size limits

cabin luggage travel size

Special items

cabin luggage travel size

  • Basic Economy

cabin luggage travel size

Gate-checked bags

Make sure your bags meet our size limits before you get to the airport.

Carry-on bags can be no larger than 9 in x 14 in x 22 in, or 22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm.

Your Carry-on bag must fit in the overhead bin, so it must be 9 in x 14 in x 22 in (23 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm). When measuring your bag, be sure to include the handle and wheels.

Personal items can be no larger than 9 in x 10 in x 17 in, or 22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm.

Personal items

These items must fit under the seat in front of you, so they must be 9 in x 10 in x 17 in (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm). Common things include purses, backpacks and laptop bags.

If you’re at the airport and not sure if your bag is the right size, you can use our bag sizers to measure your bag.

Any bags in addition to your carry-on and personal item, or carry-on bags over the size limit, will need to be checked. If you do have to check bags you may have to pay a fee.

Related links

  • Checked bags
  • Seats for bags

Traveler pro tips

You can bring a few items in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item for free.

  • Jacket or coat
  • Things to read
  • Food or other items bought at the airport
  • Mobility devices , including wheelchairs, canes, and crutches
  • A car seat, child safety harness or stroller
  • A diaper bag and breast pump (even if you’re not traveling with your child)

Some items have a few extra rules for how they can be packed. We also always recommend checking with the TSA before packing anything you’re unsure of in your carry-on.

If you have a smart bag that uses lithium batteries, the batteries must be removed before they’re brought on board.

Liquid, gels and sprays

The TSA allows you to bring liquids, gels and sprays in your carry-on bag. However, the container can be no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 mL) and must be placed inside a quart-size clear, sealable bag.

The TSA recommends you place powders in your checked bags. But you can bring up to 12 ounces (350 mL) in your carry-on bag when you fly domestically in the U.S.

Musical intruments

You can bring a small instrument on your flight in a hard case. It’ll be considered your carry-on if you place it in the overhead bin, or your personal item if you place it under the seat in front of you. Learn more about musical instruments .

Medication, vapes, and essentials

Always make sure you place any medication, vapes, e-cigarettes, keys and other essentials in your personal item in case your bag is gate-checked.

You can bring medical syringes on your flight as well. If you need to use your syringes during the flight, ask a flight attendant to help you dispose of them safely.

Fragile, bulky or unusual

If an item is too fragile or bulky to check, or you feel it needs to be handled with special care, you can buy a ticket for it .

For most trips you can only bring one personal item when you’re flying in Basic Economy. You can’t bring a carry-on bag unless you’re flying to South America, across the Atlantic or across the Pacific. All other bags have to be checked. Note, if you check a carry-on at your gate, you’ll be charged the standard bag fee plus an additional $25.

If you’re a MileagePlus members with Premier status, traveling with a Premier member, are the primary card member of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member you can bring one free carry-on bag.

Sometimes a plane is too small to fit carry-on bags or runs out of overhead space quickly. In these cases, your bag will be gate-checked for free and can be picked up when you leave the plane, rather than at baggage claim. This happens most often on United Express® flights.

  • If you’re flying CommutAir, you’re only allowed one personal item on the plane.
  • All other United Express carriers do allow carry-on bags but have limited space.

To find out if you’re flying on United Express, view your trip in My Trips . In each flight segment we’ll tell you if your flight is operated by another carrier.

If your carry-on bag is bigger than our size limits or goes over the carry-on bag allowance for your ticket and has to be checked at the gate, you can pick up your bag at baggage claim when you get to your destination.

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The Ultimate Guide to Luggage Sizes: What Size Should You Get?

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Did you know that choosing a suitcase (or multiple cases, for that matter) in the right size can save you some money in luggage fees and help you become a more organized traveler?

On one end, unused space in your luggage will result in wrinkled clothes and a messy suitcase. Not to mention the extra weight and possible luggage fees. And on the other – having too little space will limit your packing capacity. That’s why nailing the correct luggage size is very, very important.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about all the different luggage sizes, restrictions, and more, so you can understand what size luggage is better for you. Make sure to check out our FAQ section at the bottom if you still have any questions!

Luggage Size Chart

But before we begin this article, down below you can check out our infographic and table with the most common luggage sizes, which will offer an easier way to grasp the differences between them.

luggage size guide

Measuring Luggage

measuring luggage with a book

Basically, each airline has different size and weight restrictions for hand and checked luggage. Usually, premium airlines will allow slightly larger bags, and cheaper ones will allow smaller ones with tighter weight limits. Your job as the passenger is to find out the restrictions yourself because they change all the time, and it would be impossible for us to list and update each airline individually.

There are two types of size restrictions that you need to know. The first one is dimensions – height (top to bottom), width (side to side), and depth (front to back). It will usually be applied for personal items and carry-ons and could be stated as follows: 55 x 35 x 25 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches). Airlines will usually offer measuring boxes inside airports, where you can put in your bags to check if they fit.

The second measurement is linear inches. Linear inches just means the total sum of height, width, and depth, and it’s mainly used for checked luggage, which needs to be under 62 linear inches. So to get linear inches, measure the height, width and depth individually and add them all up.

To measure the dimensions of your suitcase, you can place it next to a wall and measure the height, width, and depth by placing a measuring tape next to the wall. To get a more exact measurement, you can place a book or something flat on the other end of the measuring tape. Make sure to include the wheels, handles, and anything else that’s sticking out! Another thing to keep in mind is that fabric suitcases might become a bit larger once they’re packed to the brim, so before measuring, pack your suitcase full and measure in the widest end.

Hand Luggage

Different hand luggage sizes: personal items, international carry-ons, and domestic carry-ons

Hand luggage means all the bags that you’re allowed to take with you on the plane without checking them in. Usually, it’s a carry-on, a personal item, and any other items that aren’t counted towards the allowance, such as duty-free items .

Hand luggage has to be stored under each passenger’s front seat or in the overhead compartments, which are located above each seat. You won’t be able to access it during take-off and landing because they have to be tucked away securely in case of an emergency.

When you arrive at the airport, you won’t need to go to the check-in desks if you have just hand luggage, and you’ve already printed your tickets back home. You’ll be able to go straight to security , where TSA (Transport Security Agency) will screen your hand luggage for any prohibited items. After that, you’re free to do duty-free shopping or wait at the designated gate until boarding starts.

Carry-on Luggage vs Personal Items

The main difference between carry-on luggage and personal items (other called “underseat luggage”) is that carry-ons need to be stored in the slightly-larger overhead compartments and personal items under each passenger’s front seat. Usually, most people choose smaller rolling suitcases as their carry-ons and backpacks, duffels, or tote bags as their personal items. That said, you can use any type of bag as a carry-on or a personal item, whether it’s a briefcase, rolling suitcase, duffel bag , backpack, tote, or even a regular shopping bag.

You won’t really be able to access stuff from your carry-on during the first and last 15-30 minutes of the flight, as well as any turbulence, so pack your most necessary items in your personal item, such as your laptop , headphones, e-reader , any medicine, e.t.c.

Personal Item Size and Weight Requirements

Most airlines won’t specifically mention an exact size requirement for personal items, and instead, they’ll just say that it has to fit under the front seat. On average though, it should be 6-9 inches in width, 10-14 inches in height, and 17-18.5 inches in length . They avoid stating the exact measurements because each airline has different types of aircraft in their fleet and each aircraft has a different amount of space under each seat. To get the exact personal item size requirements, you should probably ask the airline directly, or check our list where we compiled personal item restrictions for most popular airlines .

Some airlines also have individual weight restrictions for personal items. But most of them just have some kind of weight limit for the total weight of your personal item and carry-on.

Tip: Looking to purchase a personal item? Check out the Matein Travel laptop backpack , which I’ve used as my personal item on multiple flights without any issues. It always fits under the front seat and it’s surprisingly spacious.

Carry-on Size and Weight Requirements

On average, carry-ons usually have to be 8-10 inches in width, 13-15  inches in height, and 19-23 inches in length. Each airline has different carry-on size requirements, however, the most popular one is 22 x 14 x 9 inches . The restrictions are so different between airlines because the overhead compartments tend to differ in capacity across different aircraft.

In terms of weight, each airline has different weight requirements for carry-on luggage. Most airlines in America don’t have any weight requirements for hand luggage but some do, especially budget airlines. If the airline has a carry-on weight limit, it’s usually between 15-35 lbs (7-16 kg) . Some airlines will also have a specific weight limit for the total weight of carry-ons and personal items.

Tip: Looking for a new carry-on? I’ve used the Travelpro Maxlite 5 19-inch fabric carry-on for a while now and I love it. It’s spacious, lightweight, and very durable. Even though it’s slightly over the limit in width, I’ve never had any issues with that on international flights.

Domestic Carry-Ons vs International Carry-Ons

When you’ll be shopping for a new carry-on, you’ll notice that some of them will be marked as “international carry-on” and some as “domestic carry-on.” That’s because carry-on size restrictions are usually stricter for international flights and looser for domestic ones. If you’re flying domestically, you might get away with a 23-inch (longest side) carry-on, but on an international flight, you’ll probably be limited to 19-21 inches.

So essentially, domestic carry-ons will be slightly larger than international ones. If the carry-on is too large , you will be asked to check it in, and you’ll have to pay additional fees. That’s why it’s important to buy a smaller carry-on if you’re planning on flying internationally. Usually, international carry-ons will have to be under 22 x 14 x 9 inches .

Hand Luggage Fees

Almost all airlines will allow bringing one personal item completely for free. When it comes to carry-ons though, most airlines allow bringing one for free, but budget airlines might charge a fixed fee depending on your class, which could be anywhere from 10$ to 50$. For instance, Spirit airlines will charge 31-50$ for carry-on luggage and Ryanair will charge about 6-20 EUR.

Keep in mind that most of these items are usually allowed for free in addition to other hand baggage:

  • Assistive devices for the disabled
  • Other wearable clothes
  • Walking canes
  • Food in disposable containers meant to consume on the airplane
  • Child restraint seats
  • Duty-free items
  • Reading materials
  • Cameras ( some airlines consider cameras as personal items, while others don’t. )
  • Pet carriers ( Some airlines consider pet carriers as personal items, while others don’t. )

Read Next : 12 Best Underseat Bags Without Wheels in 2022

Hand Luggage Advantages and Disadvantages

Using only hand luggage and avoiding checked luggage altogether is a technique used by many, me included because it offers many benefits:

  • No need to wait in line at the check-in counter
  • Most of the time, completely for free
  • Less likely to be stolen or lost because it’s on you at all times
  • Easier to carry around, especially if you use a backpack as a personal item together with a carry-on suitcase
  • The best place for keeping valuables and fragile items
  • You can access all of your items during the flight
  • Less likely to break because it isn’t exposed to baggage handling

However, there are some drawbacks to using only hand luggage, such as:

  • Less packing space
  • Harder to manage for families because they usually need to bring more items
  • It needs to be lugged around the airport after security instead of being handed over at the check-in desks
  • Usually, has much stricter weight limits

Tips for Buying Hand Luggage

  • If you’re flying on short flights, consider using only an underseat rolling suitcase or backpack. People who fly for business often only need to fly out domestically for a quick meeting, so a lot of them travel with only a personal item. You can easily fit a spare shirt in there as well as some toiletries and a laptop, which is really all you need.
  • For up to two-week vacations, a carry-on and a personal item offer more than enough space. Personally, I’m a light packer, and I can travel for up to three weeks or even a month using only a carry-on and a personal item. For most people, this offers enough space.
  • Consider getting a backpack with a back strap as your choice of personal item. That way, you can secure it around the retractable handle on top of your carry-on, which makes it incredibly easy to lug around. Especially in crowded areas, such as public transport and airports.
  • If you’ll be flying internationally, get a carry-on under 22 x 14 x 9 inches with wheels and handles included. On domestic flights, you’ll probably be able to use something larger, but if you want to avoid paying extra fees down the line, make sure your carry-on is under this limit.
  • Make sure to get lightweight hand luggage. The weight restrictions are pretty strict as it is already, so make sure to get a lightweight carry-on and personal item. Especially the carry-on, because you’ll have to stow it in the overhead compartments. So instead of going with a hardside carry-on, get a fabric one instead, which will most likely be lighter.

Read Next: Airport Travel Terminology 101 – The Ultimate Guide

Checked Luggage

Different checked luggage sizes: Small, medium, and large checked luggage

Checked luggage is all baggage that’s too large or too heavy to be carried on the flight, and has to be checked in instead. This means that you’ll need to hand it over at the check-in counters at the airport. The baggage will then be transferred over to baggage handling and it will be loaded in the cargo hold of the airplane . When you land, you’ll have to pick up your checked luggage from the luggage conveyor belts in the baggage reclaim area.

You can use other kinds of baggage as well for checked luggage, not just suitcases. You can also use large backpacks, duffel bags, totes, musical instruments in their cases, large trunks, and other oversized items. A lot of times, you’ll have to check in specialty items, such as large musical instruments and all kinds of sporting equipment, such as bicycles, snowboards, golf clubs, e.t.c.

Read Next: What to Put in Carry-on and What in Checked Luggage (Guide)

Checked Luggage Size and Weight Restrictions

Most commonly, checked luggage will have a size restriction of 62 linear inches (height + width + length) and a weight limit of 50 or 70 lbs. These are the IATA guidelines that are enforced in the EU and US which are there to keep the baggage handlers from handling too heavy bags. Oversized and overweight baggage will be accepted, but it will be labeled as oversized/overweight and you’ll have to pay a fee for that unless it’s sporting equipment. For instance, American Airlines will accept oversized bags up to 126 linear inches (320 cm) and overweight bags up to 100 lbs (45 kg.)

Small vs Medium vs Large Checked Luggage

Checked luggage comes in different sizes, and usually, the longest dimension is 23-32 inches long. Depending on the longest side, checked luggage is usually divided into three sizes, which are small, medium, and large. Small checked suitcases usually are 23-24 inches on the longest size, medium ones 25-27 inches, and large ones in 28-32 inches. Quite often, suitcases above 30 inches will actually be oversized, because they’re over 62 linear inches with wheels and handles included.

For most people, a medium checked suitcase will be the best option, because it will be just within the checked luggage size limits and offer a large amount of space for all of their items.

Read Next: 8 Best 62-Inch Checked Suitcases in 2022

Checked Luggage Fees

On most international flights, airlines will allow you to bring one or two checked bags completely for free. On domestic flights, usually, they’ll offer either one free checked bag or none at all. This depends a lot on the airline though. Additional bags will cost on a per-bag basis, starting with cheaper rates and continuing with more expensive ones. For instance, for American Airlines on domestic flights, the first checked bag will cost 30$, the second 40$, and the third one 100$ .

If you aren’t flying alone and you’re carrying a lot of checked bags, it’s usually a better idea to split them evenly among all the passengers to save some money on the checked baggage fees. It also isn’t advisable to bring more than two checked bags because the fees start to get pretty costly after that.

The fees for overweight and oversized luggage can get very expensive, upwards of 100-200$ for each bag, so before you arrive at the airport, make sure that each bag is under the weight limit.

Checked Luggage Advantages and Disadvantages

Although there are a lot of disadvantages for flying with checked luggage, there are some advantages as well, such as:

  • Checked bags offer much more space
  • Better for families who carry a lot of items
  • Checked bags don’t need to be carried around the airport after checking them in
  • No need to worry about size and weight, as the restrictions are pretty hard to reach
  • You should be able to get away with a slightly oversized checked bag because they’re rarely measured

However, there’s a reason why I don’t travel with checked luggage. In my opinion, it has more disadvantages, such as:

  • With a personal item, carry-on, and a checked suitcase, it’s much more difficult to use public transport
  • Checked luggage is mostly a paid service, especially with budget airlines
  • There’s just too much space if you’re a light packer
  • Checked bags can get damaged from baggage handling
  • Items get lost or stolen much more frequently when packed in checked luggage
  • You won’t be able to access the contents of checked luggage during the whole flight
  • In case checked baggage gets lost, you’ll be left without a lot of items and your trip might be ruined
  • You’ll have to wait in the check-in line at the airport

Tips for Buying Checked Luggage

  • Avoid plastic checked suitcases. Hardside ABS, Polycarbonate, or Polypropylene suitcases can crack pretty easily. When they’re thrown in the baggage area under a pile of other suitcases, this can happen very easily. That’s why you should choose an aluminum checked suitcase or a fabric one, which will be much less likely to break.
  • Before buying a checked suitcase, double-check that it’s below 62 linear inches.  Oversized checked luggage fees can get pretty expensive, usually between 100-200$. To avoid this hefty fee make sure that your suitcase is below 62 linear inches (height + width + depth) with handles and wheels included. A very large amount of large checked suitcases, in fact, about 50-80% of them are oversized, so pay close attention to the dimensions.
  • A medium checked suitcase (25-27 inches) is more than enough for most people. Usually, medium checked suitcases are 58-61 linear inches in size, which is just below the 62 linear inch size limit, so when you’re looking for a checked suitcase, get one in this size.
  • Get a bright or patterned checked suitcase. Checked luggage gets lost much more frequently. So when you’re shopping for a new case, make sure to get one that’s colorful and easy to recognize . It will be much easier to spot on the baggage carousel and if it gets lost, the chances of finding it will be much better because you’ll be able to describe it better. If you already own a dark checked suitcase, get a colorful patterned luggage cover .
  • Avoid checked luggage with spinner wheels. Rolling, inline (2 wheels) suitcases are better options for checked suitcases because they’re much less likely to break while the bag is checked in. Spinner wheels are much more likely to fall off because they’re extended out from the main shape of the suitcase. It’s actually one of the most common things that break on checked bags.
  • Consider getting a pelican trunk instead of a typical checked suitcase. They’re basically indestructible and they’re one of the most popular choices for climbers, camera crews, and other people who need to bring a lot of expensive checked gear.

What Size Luggage Should You Get?

Checked luggage next to a carry on

There are all kinds of different factors that determine what kind of suitcase you should get. Before buying any luggage, you should understand how often and where you’ll be traveling, how many people you’ll be flying with, what are your packing traditions, and so on.

Are You an Over-Packer?

There’s nothing wrong with being an over-packer, but it will affect what kind of luggage you should choose and how much you’ll be paying in fees. Most over-packers like to travel with a checked suitcase and a personal item, such as a small backpack, skipping the carry-on entirely. You’ll be able to pack your valuables and essentials in the personal item and be left with a very large amount of space in your checked suitcase, where you can pack all of your clothing and anything else you’d need. A medium checked suitcase will usually offer about 90-100 l of space while a carry-on only 35-50 l, so the difference is pretty significant.

How Long You’ll Be Traveling?

The length of your trips/vacations also determines what kind of luggage you should get. If you’ll be traveling for months, unless you’re an extreme minimalist, you’ll need to bring some kind of checked luggage. But for two to three-week trips, it’s perfectly fine to bring only a carry-on and a personal item, unless you’re an over-packer or you need to bring other kinds of gear for your job, planned activities, e.t.c.

Where You’re Flying to and What Are Your Planned Activities?

Think about what you’ll be doing and what gear you’ll need. Do you need scuba diving or skiing gear? Are you into photography and need to bring a large tripod? Are you flying to a cold-weather country and you need to bring a lot of extra warm clothing? The kind of travel that you’ll be doing, determines what size luggage you should get.

Think about valuable and fragile gear specifically. Try to keep the most valuable items in your hand luggage. If that isn’t possible, remember to ensure your gear and invest in a durable, large enough, checked suitcase or trunk. A good option for that is the pelican trunk , which is the industry standard for professionals.

Tip: It’s Better to Buy a Smaller Suitcase, Instead of a Larger One

Many people will probably disagree but I personally think that it’s always a smarter choice to buy a smaller suitcase instead of a larger one. This will make you become a lighter packer, which could end up saving you some money in the long run on checked baggage fees.

A lot of times, people are bringing gear that they don’t really need and end up with heavier, oversized suitcases. Remember that you’ll also have to carry your luggage around the town and to the airport. You’re on a vacation to get new experiences, not buy a lot of unneeded stuff, and be exhausted from carrying an oversized suitcase. Of course, if you’re traveling for work, that may not be true, but for general leisure travel, it’s a better idea to get a slightly smaller suitcase than you think you’d need.

What Size Luggage I Use Personally

I usually travel one or two weeks at a time, so a personal item (backpack) and an international carry-on are more than enough to fit in everything that I need. I rarely use checked luggage because I’m a minimalistic packer.

My favorite has become the B06XZTZ7GB ?tag=cleverjourney-general-th-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1′ title=’Matein laptop backpack’ target=’_blank’ rel=’nofollow noopener sponsored’ data-aawp-product-id=’ B06XZTZ7GB ‘ data-aawp-product-title=’Matein laptop backpack’>Matein laptop backpack for a personal item, which fits perfectly under the front seat and has many neat compartments for everything that I need. It’s 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches large, but I never pack it full, so it always fits under the front seat.

And for the carry-on, I use the B07BM9DFX9 ?tag=cleverjourney-general-th-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1′ title=’Travelpro Maxlite 5 International 19-inch carry-on’ target=’_blank’ rel=’nofollow noopener sponsored’ data-aawp-product-id=’ B07BM9DFX9 ‘ data-aawp-product-title=’Travelpro Maxlite 5 International 19-inch carry-on’>Travelpro Maxlite 5 International 19-inch carry-on , which is pretty light and small enough for domestic luggage restrictions. It’s 21.75 x 15.75 x 7.75 inches large with wheels and handles included, so sometimes it’s a little bit above international limits, but I’ve never had any issues with it. I’ve tried squeezing it inside the measurement boxes myself, and I managed to fit it in with a tight squeeze.

My laptop backpack has a rear strap that wraps around the carry-on’s retractable handle so my backpack can be secured on top of it. It’s handy because my carry-on has spinner wheels, and it’s super easy to move around. In tight spaces, for instance, in the subway, it’s much easier to store the backpack on top of the carry-on.

If you’re a light packer like me, I’d suggest going with a backpack and a carry-on. It’ll be enough for 1-2 week trips, but if you wash some clothes midway and don’t buy too many souvenirs, you can stretch that to three weeks or even a month. If you’re traveling longer than that or you’re an over-packer, you should get a 25-27-inch medium checked suitcase instead of the carry-on.

Also check out: Airplane seat upgrades

Frequently Asked Questions About Luggage Sizes

What’s the largest luggage size for checked-in luggage ( 62-inch luggage ).

In order to comply with the 62-linear-inch checked luggage size requirement, you shouldn’t get a suitcase larger than 29-30 inches (longest side.) Almost all 31 and 32-inch suitcases will be oversized. Even a lot of 28-30-inch suitcases are oversized, so you have to double-check the product description and find out how large they really are. Count the total sum of the height, width, and depth, with wheels and handles included to get the true linear-inch measurement. The largest suitcases within the 62-linear-inch restriction are about 100-120l in volume.

To maximize the amount of space that you can have inside, choose a fabric suitcase, which will open from the top, instead of the middle, as you see on most hardside cases. This means you’ll have a larger main compartment. Also, make sure to get it with inline rolling wheels, instead of spinner ones, which results in a lot of unused space.

Tip: If you want to maximize the amount of space you get from a 62-linear-inch checked suitcase, get the Pelican 1615 travel case , which is exactly 62 linear inches in size and is virtually indestructible.

What’s the largest size for hand luggage?

When we talk about hand luggage, there are different restrictions for personal items and carry-ons. There are also different restrictions for each airline. In general, personal items should be below 17 x 10 x 7 inches in dimensions and carry-ons under 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

The largest size restriction for personal items that we found was on Southwest airlines, where personal items need to be under 18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches. The largest size restriction for carry-ons was on Alaska Air, which was 24 x 17 x 10 inches. Generally, more expensive airlines will have looser restrictions for hand luggage.

What are the 3 luggage sizes?

If we’re talking about dimensions, the three luggage sizes are height (from top to bottom), width (from side to side), and depth (from front to back).

If, however, we’re talking in terms of luggage types, what people most likely mean with the 3 luggage sizes is personal items, carry-ons, and checked luggage, which have three different size and weight restrictions.

What’s the best luggage size for 20 and 23 kg?

The most common weight restriction for checked luggage on budget airlines is 20 or 23 kg (44 or 50 lbs). The best luggage size for this weight restriction is between 25-29 inches (longest size) . That’s because 20 or 23 kg checked luggage has to be under 62 linear inches (157 cm). You can calculate the linear inches by adding up height, width, and depth. Most suitcases above 29 inches will be over this limit, which means you’ll have to pay oversized baggage fees. You should always include the wheels and handles in these measurements.

Can I use backpacks and duffel bags as hand/checked luggage?

Yes, you can use backpacks and duffel bags as checked luggage. Theoretically, you can use any type of bag as checked luggage, as long as it’s durable enough to withstand baggage handling. You could even use a cardboard box , although it may not be a wise idea.

Personally, I’ve only traveled with a large backpack as my checked luggage. That’s because I do a lot of hiking and my hiking backpack is much larger than a carry-on. It’s pretty common for people to travel only with a large backpack (not only hike) and keep their essentials in a plastic bag or a tote bag during the flight. This gives you a lot of freedom because everything you need is packed inside one large backpack.

Do I need to include wheels and handles when measuring luggage?

You always need to include wheels, handles, and other elements that are sticking out when measuring luggage. A lot of people don’t know this and they end up purchasing oversized luggage, only to regret it later. You also need to take into account that if you’re buying an expendable suitcase, it will become a few inches wider when expanded.

What size luggage should I use for a week-long trip?

For a week-long trip, everyone should be able to fit everything they’d need in a carry-on and a personal item. Some people struggle with over-packing and end up using checked luggage for week-long trips, which can be avoided with smarter packing choices. When packing for your trip, always lay everything out and re-evaluate each individual item individually. Ask yourself if you’ll be using these items on your trip. And if the answer is “Maybe” you should leave that specific item at home. Personally, I can fit everything I’d need for 2-4 weeks in a single carry-on and a personal item.

What if my checked luggage is oversized?

IATA, which is the largest worldwide airline regulator, states that checked bags can’t be over 62 linear inches in order to keep the baggage handlers from working with oversized bags. Anything over 62 linear inches will be labeled as “oversized” and will cost you an extra 100-200$, depending on the airline.

Even if you pay the hefty oversized luggage fees, there is a limit to how large checked luggage you can bring. Each airline considers this individually, and, for instance, American Airlines will allow oversized bags up to 126 linear inches (320 cm).

The rules are slightly different for sporting equipment, though. Bicycles, for instance, will almost always be allowed, even if they’re oversized, and their luggage fees won’t be as expensive.

What if my checked luggage is overweight?

Overweight checked luggage is allowed, but will be marked as overweight and will cost an additional 100-200$, depending on the airline. IATA states that checked baggage can’t weigh over 70 lbs (31 kg), to protect the baggage handlers from working with overweight items, so anything over that will be marked as overweight. Each airline has a different limit on overweight checked luggage. For instance, American Airlines will allow checked baggage up to 100 lbs (45 kg).

Do carry-on measurements need to be exact?

Unfortunately, carry-on measurements need to be exact. Most airlines have measurement boxes inside airports, which are in the exact measurements of their restrictions. If your carry-on looks oversized, they’ll ask you to put it inside the measurement box. Carry-on suitcases aren’t really flexible, so you won’t be able to get away with an oversized carry-on. If, on the other hand, you’re using a duffel bag or a backpack as your carry-on, then you might get away with a slightly oversized bag, as you’ll be able to squeeze it inside the measurement box.

Should I get hard or soft luggage ?

There are pros and cons for both, but I personally tend to lean towards fabric luggage. It’s lighter, less likely to crack or break, and you can extend it slightly outwards if you’ve over-packed. On the other hand, hardside luggage offers more protection to your items and is better-looking in my opinion. Modern hardside suitcases made from Polycarbonate are also pretty durable and don’t weigh much more than comparable fabric alternatives. So it doesn’t really matter that much whether you choose a hardside or softside bag – it’s more a matter of preference.

The only real instance where I wouldn’t use a hardside plastic suitcase is in checked luggage. They’re put under a lot more pressure from baggage handling and quite often, they get thrown around and placed at the bottom of a pile of checked suitcases. They’re much more likely to each up with cracks or dents, so using a fabric-checked suitcase would make more sense.

Should I get a rolling or spinner suitcase ?

There are advantages to both, but generally, it’s better to stick with spinner suitcases for carry-on luggage and rolling ones for checked luggage. That’s because while spinner suitcases are much easier to move around, they’re much easier to break off the suitcase. And in checked luggage, they’re much more likely to break off from luggage handling.

Rolling suitcases will usually be more spacious because the wheels are somewhat integrated within the main frame. On spinner suitcases, they’ll extend outwards of the suitcase, which results in a lot of unused space underneath the suitcase. Remember that the wheels are counted towards the total measurements.

But if you’re having back problems or in general lugging around a suitcase gives you hard time, then a suitcase with spinner wheels might make more sense. Compared to inline rolling suitcases, they’re much, much easier to move around – they practically roll by themselves.

How much luggage can I bring on international flights ?

Most airlines will allow one personal item and one carry-on for free on international flights. As for checked luggage, most airlines will allow one or even two checked bags for free for each passenger, and the rest will need to be paid for with additional fees, ranging from 30-100$. In general, the fees increase for each next checked bag and could be as follows: 30$ for the first checked bag, 40$ for the second, and 100$ for each next one.

You’ll be able to bring up to 10 checked suitcases (even though it’ll cost a small fortune!) but on some international destinations, a bit less. Airlines operate within the rules set by airline regulators, and in some countries, each passenger can have only two or three checked bags.

How many pieces and what size should a luggage set be?

Most luggage sets come in three pieces: one carry-on (19-23 inches), one medium checked suitcase (25-27 inches), and one large checked suitcase (28-32 inches). I would advise against getting a 3-piece luggage set like this because quite often, the largest piece in the set is oversized, which means that it’s above the 62 linear inch limit and you’ll have to pay oversized luggage fees.

Instead, it would be much more beneficial to get a 2-piece set containing a carry-on and a medium checked suitcase, or a 3-piece set that also contains a personal item (underseat bag). If you’re getting a 3-piece set with a large checked bag, make sure that it isn’t oversized.

Luggage sets are often cheaper to get than buying each piece individually, so it’s quite often a smarter choice to buy a whole set.

Final Words

Getting the right size luggage is really important because if it’s oversized, you might end up paying extra in fees, or just end up with a lot of unused space. For anyone new to traveling, I’d advise getting a small backpack as a personal item and a carry-on that’s within 22 x 14 x 9 inches. This is more than enough for most trips, and I’m usually able to squeeze in everything needed for 2-4 weeks in there. If you’re an over-packer, you might need to swap that carry-on with a medium checked suitcase, which would be 25-27 inches in size (longest end).

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The Ultimate Carry on Luggage Size Guide

Published October 26, 2023

Written by:

Fred Perrotta

Fred Perrotta

Co-founder, tortuga.

Fred Perrotta is the co-founder and CEO of Tortuga. His first backpacking trip to Europe inspired him to start the...

Headshot of Jeremy Michael Cohen

Jeremy Michael Cohen

Jeremy Michael Cohen is a co-founder of Tortuga. He also works as a screenwriter and director. Aside from travel and...

Man checking departures board at the airport

The Tortuga Promise

At Tortuga, our mission is to make travel easier. Our advice and recommendations are based on years of travel experience. We only recommend products that we use on our own travels.

Table of Contents

Getting past the ticketing agent, the gate agent, and the flight attendants can feel like running a gauntlet.

Will your bag fit? Will you have to check it, pay for it, and hope that it shows up at baggage claim?

We’ve all been there. That’s why you should travel with carry on bags and never check your luggage.

The first step to traveling light is to learn the rules. The second step is to get the right carry on backpack .

Carry on luggage sizes and weights differ by airline, fare type, and region.

In this article, you’ll learn the rules: what qualifies as a carry on , what the size and weight limits are by airline, and what bag to bring. Since the rules aren’t consistent, you’ll also learn the minimum and most common sizes by region and around the world. Then you can be sure that your bag is ready for world travel.

Carry-On-Sized Travel Backpacks

Pack for trips of one week or more without checking a bag.

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What Counts as Carry On Luggage ?

Carry on luggage is the primary bag you bring onboard a plane and store in the overhead bin. Carry on luggage may also be called cabin luggage or hand luggage, especially in Europe. Most people carry a suitcase, backpack, or duffel bag as their carry on .

You may have a carry on in addition to checked luggage that you give to the airline and is carried in the plane’s cargo hold. Checked luggage costs extra, is a hassle to deal with, and frequently gets lost. At Tortuga, we believe in traveling light, which means carry-on-only. We won’t cover checked luggage in this article. Instead, we’ll assume that your carry on is your main bag.

Lastly, a personal item is your secondary bag which you bring onboard the plane but store under the seat in front of you. Personal items include purses, lap top bags , totes, or anything else that can fit comfortably in the cube-shaped space under the seat. Personal items are bags, not suitcases. The rules for personal item sizes are even more confusing than those for carry ons.

Most airlines allow you to bring one carry on and one personal item with you onto the plane.

However, basic economy tickets are more restrictive. When flying on a basic economy fare, you aren’t allowed a carry on . You can only bring a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you . Some budget airlines are similarly restrictive. In both cases, you can either pay to add a carry to your fare or pay extra for a different type of ticket that includes a free carry on . Make sure to pay attention to the luggage information when booking a flight so that you don’t bring too many bags and have to pay for them when you arrive at the airport.

cabin luggage travel size

Carry On Luggage Sizes by Airline

The most common size for carry on luggage on domestic airlines in the United States is 22 x 14 x 9? or 45 linear inches (length + width + height). The 22? height limit includes the wheels and handles for suitcases.

Most airlines’ size limits are similar to these dimensions.

Some airlines only specify total linear dimensions, not individual dimensions. Some airlines allow larger bags. Some airlines are more restrictive.

Use the charts below to get started but always confirm the size guidance on your airline’s website before flying.

If you’re traveling on multiple airlines, use the strictest size guideline. If you’re flying on a budget airline expect them to be more serious about enforcing the size and weight limits.

If you’re planning to buy a new carry on bag , check the airlines that you fly most often and buy a bag that will fit on all of them. A 40L bag will fit on almost all airlines.

Below are tables of carry on luggage size restrictions and weight limits by region and airline. Each airline’s name is linked to its website so you can get the full details and latest information directly from your airline. I’ve also included minimums, maximums, and modes (most common) for each region and across every airline. Use these summary statistics to find a carry on that fits common measurements and isn’t too big in any one dimension.

Any discrepancies between measurements are due to converting between metric and imperial and rounding up or down to make the sizes as clear as possible. In some cases, airlines provide guidance in both measurement systems.

American Carry on Luggage Sizes

¹ “[I]ncludes one piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item weighing a maximum of 10 kg (22 lb) between them (except on domestic flights)”

² “Singapore, Singapore – Changi International Airport (SIN) carry-on should not exceed 15 lbs. (7 kg); Beijing, China – Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) requires that domestic hand carry bags should not exceed 10 kg. Individual carrier rules apply for international flights. Shanghai, China – Pudong International Airport (PVG) carry-on should not exceed 22lbs. (10 kg)”

European Carry on Luggage Sizes

¹ The sum of all three dimensions (length + width + height).

² The weight limit is for the combined weight of a carry on plus a personal item.

Asian Pacific Carry on Luggage Sizes

¹ The weight limit is for the combined weight of a carry on plus a personal item.

² The sum of all three dimensions (length + width + height).

Middle Eastern Carry on Luggage Sizes

Worldwide carry on luggage sizes.

Woman walking through airport

How Strict are Airlines About Carry On Sizes?

Every airline differs in how strictly it enforces its carry on rules. Budget airlines are stricter than major carriers. Every airline is stricter on small, regional flights than on its larger planes.

Based on my years of travel experience, I recommend bringing a carry on item that complies with your airline’s rules. If you do, even if you’re bag is slightly over-packed, you should be safe. Yes, you’ll have some leeway with airlines, but please don’t flout the rules.

Having a soft-sided bag that’s not 100% full will give you some flexibility if you’re asked to put your bag in the bag sizer (the cage next to your boarding gate). As long as your soft-sided bag isn’t totally full, you can smush it down a bit to fit.

Carrying a travel backpack , rather than a suitcase, will also help as gate agents are stricter with suitcases. You may have seen agents asking passengers to “gate check” suitcases on particularly full flights. They are unlikely to ask anyone to gate check a backpack because they’re lighter than almost all suitcases. We’ve found that to be a huge benefit of carrying Tortuga backpacks over the years.

Finally, don’t forget about weight. Most travelers focus on the size of their bag but ignore weight limits. Airline employees rarely weigh bags. I’ve never been asked to weigh my bag on a domestic flight. But I have had agents ask to weigh my backpack for an international flight. This has only happened to me when I had to check in or get my ticket at the desk. I’ve never had a bag weighed at the gate.

To be safe, don’t overpack your bag.

Buy a handheld luggage scale for $10-20 , and weigh your bag after you’ve packed for your trip. Over time, you’ll develop a good sense of how much you can pack without going over any weight limits. If you avoid having to check your bag even once, the scale will have paid for itself.

The Best Carry On Backpack

The right-size backpack can qualify as a carry on bag . Carry on bag limits are mostly within a narrow range of sizes, but the limits do vary between airlines. Choose your bag based on how and where you fly.

If you only or mostly fly domestically in the United States, a bag measuring 22 x 14 x 9? will work well. A 40L size will let you max out your packing without breaking any rules. Notice that in the Americas chart above, all of the airlines with more restrictive size limits—Aeromexico, Air Canada, and Avianca—are outside of the US.

If you travel internationally, choose a smaller bag that’s compliant in more regions and on more airlines so that you don’t have to check airline websites for every single flight you take. Paradoxically, you should choose a smaller bag if you take longer trips.

The Tortuga Travel Backpack comes in two sizes: 40L and 30L so that you can choose the right size for your travel style.

Personal Item Sizes

Personal item sizes are trickier than carry on item sizes. Many airlines don’t publish specific size guidance. However, the guidelines that do exist vary greatly, even more than carry on sizes.

The most important thing is that your personal item bag fits under the seat in front of you. As long as you can fit it under the seat for takeoff without your bag sticking out, you should be fine.

Read more about the differences between a carry on and a personal item . Then check out the full guide to personal item sizes to be sure that you’re compliant and have the right bag.

TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule

The final consideration for packing your carry on is the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids limit . Your liquids go inside of your carry on , but TSA’s limits are important in ensuring that your bag—and everything in it—is ready to fly.

Here’s what the TSA allows:

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in a small bag and separating them from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.

Your liquids must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. Those containers must be in one, quart-sized, resealable bag. A ziplock-style plastic bag works fine.

Any containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) must be packed in your checked luggage.

Keep these numbers in mind when buying toiletries. You can find carry-on-friendly versions of most products and brands. Watch out for products in small containers that are just slightly over the limit. I’m always surprised to find 4 ounce containers of toiletries. Those are close but not compliant.If you can’t find your favorite brands in 3.4 oz sizes, buy the larger size and squeeze some into a Gotoob —a refillable silicone bottle—for traveling.

Experts’ Advice on Traveling With Carry On Luggage Only

Opt for neutrals and fewer shoes.

Consider packing a wardrobe of mostly neutrals, or at the very least, colors that tend to go well together. This way, you can re-wear and mix-and-match your options so you can pack less overall. Also, you need fewer shoes than you think; a walking shoe, one elevated shoe, and one pool/beach shoe will do just fine.

Laura Ball , Luxury Travel Advisor, Bon Appetit Travels

Maximize Personal Item Allowance

Take advantage of that personal item ! Most airlines have specific requirements and limitations on sizing and weight, but many allow for full-size duffel bags or large purses as your personal item, which can nearly double your storage capacity. 

Plus, the age-old trick of “wearing your weight,” meaning wearing your heaviest or bulkiest clothing items and shoes on the plane, helps too!

Kaitlan Whitteberry , Luxury Travel Advisor, WHIT Travel 

Use Packing Cubes for Organization

Packing cubes are a game-changer! If you are only traveling with carry on luggage, your suitcase might be a little more tightly packed than if you also had a checked bag. And when your bag is more tightly packed, it’s much harder to find the items you’re looking for—and it’s much harder to repack as efficiently. 

As a woman, I know that I personally always have to pack so many different kinds of items and a lot of them are small and thus get lost in the mix. Travel cubes, though, allow you to pack by keeping certain categories of items together, and then you can just pull the specific cube out that you are looking for and instantly have what you need.

Brittany Mendez , CMO,

Adopt Practical Strategies for Family Travel

For planning family trips, my top tip for packing carry on luggage is all about practicality. I always advise my clients to opt for versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched for both parents and kids, so that making outfit choices on the go is a breeze. 

Also, it is always a good idea to bring a foldable, reusable bag; it comes in handy for stashing souvenirs, snacks, or wet clothing during the trip. To save space, consider sharing toiletries among family members, or using your accommodation’s toiletries, if provided. Don’t forget to double-check the airline’s carry-on size and weight restrictions to avoid any surprises at the airport!

Catherine Dassopoulos , Travel Advisor, Catherine & Co

Staying carry-on-compliant can seem confusing at first. But the airlines aren’t as strict as you might imagine from the details on their website. Carrying a travel backpack that is small enough to fit every single airline and fare type is ideal but impractical.Instead, choose a bag that fits most airlines , pack light, and weigh your bag before you leave.

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Tortuga travel backpack pro $350.

Max Carry On Size

Fred Perrotta is the co-founder and CEO of Tortuga. His first backpacking trip to Europe inspired him to start the company. For over a decade, he’s traveled the world from his home base in the Bay Area while working remotely. When he’s on the road, Fred enjoys both walking and eating as much as possible.

Read more from Fred

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What are the size restrictions for carry-on bags?

Size dimensions of carry-on baggage allowed in the cabin of the aircraft vary by airline. Contact your airline to ensure what can fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

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Carry-On Luggage Size Guide - Different General Rules on Carry-On Bag Dimensions

When it comes to suitcase preparation, many travellers tend to overlook hand luggage. As a result, carry-on luggage size is frequently one of the causes of check-in difficulties for many tourists. In fact, air carriers provide specific regulations on luggage to ensure the safety of passengers.

For first-time travellers or when you wish to bring some necessary products but aren't sure if they'll be approved on board, the airline restrictions on hand luggage are useful information. If you have purchased plane tickets, you must prepare your hand luggage and checked baggage in accordance with each airline's baggage requirements. The information about carrying on luggage dimensions below will help you easily pass through the airport check-in gate without any problems.

What Is Carry-On Luggage Size Restrictions?

A package or suitcase holding things that you are permitted to bring on board is known as hand luggage. There will be different hand luggage sizes , weights, and other requirements depending on the airline, which should be determined before travelling. During the flight, passengers are allowed a restricted number of carry-on baggage, as well as valuables and needs. Being overweight will result in a slew of expenses as well as a disruption in your travel.

carry on luggage size

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Hand luggage on airlines is typically required to not exceed 7 kilograms and overall dimensions of length, breadth, and height must not exceed 115cm, according to international standards. Because they match the specifications needed by airlines and are suited for short excursions, 20-inch travel bags are the most popular carry-on alternative.

Why You Should Travel With Carrying On Luggage?

When travel becomes more common, the last thing any traveller wants to worry about before heading to the airport is lugging a bag or carrying a backpack . Because the hand-carry luggage size and weight of hand baggage are strictly regulated by most flights. So you'll need to figure out how long your vacation will last, what activities you'll be doing, what season you'll be visiting, and so on before selecting a suitcase or carry-on luggage to store all of your essentials.

Carrying on luggage is the greatest solution for individuals who enjoy minimalism and compactness if your vacation is only a few days longer. The carry-on luggage is easy to carry on the shoulder and manoeuvre due to its small size. You can travel light, without having to carry large luggage and move about the plane comfortably.

If you just have carry-on luggage, you will only have to pay a minimal cost for checked baggage. However, before choosing hand luggage, be sure to examine the facts about each airline, as well as the weight, size, and quantity of carry-on bags.

In addition, you won't have to wait long at the baggage claim area and you won't have to worry about losing your luggage.

cabin luggage travel size

What Is The Size Of The Carry-On Bag On Every Airline? 

Each airline has its own baggage weight limit. If you don't want your carry-on luggage to be overweight and you don't want to suffer airline penalties, you need to follow the baggage laws from the moment you pack your luggage for the trip.

The first step in packing overweight carry-on luggage is to familiarise yourself with the airline's carry on luggage dimensions restrictions. Knowing the weight and size restrictions can make it easier to organise your bags.  

There are two pieces of baggage, each weighing roughly 7-10kg. We recommend that you pack your items in such a way that they can easily pass through the door without compromising aviation security because restrictions are in place to guarantee that passengers are as safe as possible throughout the journey.

Passengers who are found to be carrying overweight luggage must pay an extra price at the airport; finding a location to pay the fare takes time, but the fee is greater than pre-booking overweight baggage. Airlines use carry-on luggage rules to guarantee a safe trip. To prevent jeopardising aviation security, which is directly tied to your and others' health and lives, you should not carry too much weight.

The CabinZero Collections: Best Airlines-approved Carry-on Packs

Knowing the immense benefits they bring, it makes sense to invest in worthwhile backpacks. This is especially true when you go for the carry-on-only route, a path that many people are taking up due to how liberating it is.

And we at CabinZero understand that all too well. You are no longer bound by your own belongings and gear and the worry of keeping them in check. Instead, now you are granted the freedom of enjoying your trip hassle-free and focusing on what matters.

To that end, we introduce you to our most thoughtful product, the CabinZero backpack family. More than just a rucksack, they are a companion to accompany you through thick and thin on a trip.

1. Cabinzero Classic 28L: Best For All Purposes

cabin luggage travel size

“Stick to the classic, and you can’t ever go wrong.” Alexa Chung couldn’t have said it better. You know a backpack is good when you use them year after year without ever thinking of switching to another. Cabinzero Classic 28L is one such bag.

It can easily fit all airlines’ carry-on bag descriptions ∗ . The universal carry-on size, light-feather weight (<1.34 lb) and smartly designed straps system make the Classic 28L a joy to carry around. You will feel like it’s an extension of your body before long.

A good backpack always comes with good internalisation. Upon unzipping all the way to the bottom, you will find a main compartment along with air mesh zippered pockets and a laptop sleeve. When you think the bag can’t take anymore, you’d be surprised to learn that it can take even more.

Available in about 30 colourways, there is no shortage of ways to express yourself on the road. Compact, reliable and durable, it’s the best carry-on backpack you need for a getaway.

∗ Note: The content determines the bulkiness of the bag and can affect how it fits into the overhead compartment and/or under the seat. While the Classic 28L can pack more, be sure to adhere to the airline’s size and weight requirements.

2. Cabinzero ADV Pro Backpack 42L: The Suitcase On Your Back

cabin luggage travel size

The Cabinzero ADV Pro 42L is for the daring and the adventurous souls. Trekking deep into the forest, exploring off-the-beaten-path, cashing after waters or the Northern light, you will want a backpack as reliable as this.

Thanks to the Nylon 500d Rip-Stop body with a water-resistant coating, it can withstand even the harshest elements. With an ample space of 42L, you don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind on a long trip.

As big as it is, you can transform the whole thing into a neat suitcase by stowing away the back straps. This is useful when you rest before going on the next adventure, with the backpack doing the same in the corner of a hotel room.

Comfort can make or break your whole trip. Thus, we have incorporated the best features you could ask for to make carrying even the heaviest loads a breeze: mould form EVA back panel, PE frame sheet, straps airflow system, etc.

Overall, the CabinZero ADV backpack 42L is a top-quality backpack that is perfect for any traveller looking for durability, comfort, and functionality. You can travel for days on end with this buddy on your back.

3. CabinZero Classic Cross Body 11L: Best Personal Items Bag

cabin luggage travel size

As you already know, most airlines allow passengers to bring a personal item bag alongside the handbag. If you want something that can double as a day bag for an excursion, CabinZero Classic Cross Body 11L fits the bill nicely.

What makes the pack shines as a day bag is how roomy it is despite the compact form. It isn’t sizeable enough for a 13’ Macbook, but a 7.9-11’’ tablet can snuggle in easily. 

Otherwise, be it lipstick, phones, a power bank, medicine, or any small items, the 11L bag can handle it all. The Classic Crossbody 11L will be treated as personal attire at the airport, suitable to keep your immediate-use things within reach.

In addition, you will feel safe when it is sitting across your body with anti-theft features and Okoban tracing. Besides the zip lock, there’s a hidden pocket with RFID technology for additional security .

The only nitpick is that the shoulder strap only rests on your shoulder if you wear the bag on your left side. Some folks may find it a bit unintuitive, but not a deal breaker or uncomfortable by any means.

FAQs About Airline Carry-On Size Regulations

Which items can and can't i take in hand luggage.

Aeroplanes are not like automobiles, trains, ships, or any other conventional mode of transportation. To raise people into the air and deliver them to their destination as rapidly as possible, this vehicle uses a combination of several units and technical assistance. However, in comparison to all other modes of transportation, aviation prioritises security, enforcing stringent restrictions over passengers and cargo. If you bring forbidden things that aren't authorised, you'll be denied transportation, and larger items will be punished or barred from flying.

  • Passengers are permitted to carry clothes, shoes, phones (which must be turned off or put on aeroplane mode before the plane takes off), dry food or small amounts of water, laptops, cameras, medication, small bottles of drinking water, and pets (which must follow the rules).
  • Baby food (powders and liquids) and, if accompanied by a baby, a stroller or pushchair are also available. Currently, all airlines allow children's car seats to be brought inside the cabin. It should be noted that this is a kid or infant seat. If you travel with a stroller, you are permitted to bring it as hand baggage as long as it does not exceed the airline carry-on size dimensions and is packed in line with safety requirements.
  • Passengers with a history of or who are suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure are permitted to bring medicine, tiny oxygen cylinders under 230g, pacemakers, wheelchairs, and blood pressure monitors.
  • Cosmetics that are compressed, such as powder, lipstick, and makeup tools, are not sharp. Liquid cosmetics, such as fragrances and beauty solutions, must be packaged in bottles with a total volume of less than one litre.
  • Allowed to bring a guide dog for the disabled or other pets that satisfy the airline's requirements.
  • Musical instruments and athletic equipment are considered carry-on or checked luggage and are subject to additional fees.

airline carry-on size dimensions

To ensure flight security and safety for customers, all airlines have regulations on prohibited baggage to be brought on board in both hand-carried and checked-in form as follows:

  • All baggage does not meet the size and weight requirements
  • Prohibited items from being carried on board according to the Dangerous Goods Regulations of the World Aviation Organisation, the World Air Transport Association and of the countries whose flight routes are prohibited
  • Meat of animals or raw animals
  • Human remains
  • Sharp objects that can cause injury such as razors, paper knives, scissors with a blade length of more than 6cm, pliers - wrenches - wrenches - screwdrivers - batons or sharp objects with a length above 10cm, dangerous tools, metal cane/umbrella handle, camera/camera tripod.
  • Saws or saw blades, sharp tools, sports clubs (snooker, golf, baseball, skiing, etc.)
  • Objects that can cause explosions such as bullets, mines, military explosives, firecrackers (fireworks, fireworks, firecrackers, flares, ...), gasoline, lighters - matches.
  • Weapons: guns, slingshots, laser guns, knives, swords, spears, spears, bayonets or toys that look like real weapons.

What Is The Weight Limit For A Carry-On Bag?

Typically, regardless of the airline you fly with, each boarding ticket includes a set quantity of carrying on bag sizes. Normally, each boarding ticket includes hand baggage regulations. Furthermore, the luggage weight restriction is adjusted to fit the size of the passenger compartment and assure passenger safety during the ride.

The appropriate hand baggage weight is no more than 7kg if you can carry from 5 to 10kg on European and American aircraft, 12 to 18kg on Asian carriers, and notably up to 23kg on Asian airlines. The rationale for the 7kg restriction when flying is that there is a separate rule to govern and assure safety based on the load-bearing and the size of the hand baggage compartment. 7kg is also an appropriate weight for transporting, as well as carrying up and down. From a financial standpoint, the larger and heavier the luggage, the higher the shipping expenses.

Aegean Airlines, for example, permits each passenger 8 kilograms of hand luggage. Passengers on Air Canada are permitted to carry up to 10 kilograms. Carry-on baggage weighing more than 5 kg is not permitted on Air China flights.

>> Read more: H ow many ounces can you take on a plane?

What Size Luggage Is Allowed For Carry-On?

A companion suitcase is always present on many people's lengthy flights by airline. Airline baggage regulation is information that everyone should be aware of, because most travellers who fly for the first time or at least often meet these errors, end up paying a lot of additional money at the airport or having to leave some luggage behind. You must be informed of the current restrictions on checked luggage sizes of various airlines in order to have a smooth trip and a short check-in time.

carrying on bag sizes

As a general rule, each bag must be stored beneath the seat in front of you or in the plane's hand luggage size compartment. If the aforementioned standards are not followed, it must be checked in as checked luggage. Some items can not be allowed in carry-on depending on the aircraft type and the size of the luggage compartment, even if the maximum size and weight rules are satisfied.

What Happens If My Carry-On Is Too Big?

International airlines that serve cross-country flights are frequently highly rigorous regarding luggage, so you must research each airline's and even the flight's unique requirements ahead of time. Many airlines require travellers to bring only one piece of baggage and no forbidden items.

If your luggage is overweight, the airline will either ask you to repack it and pay additional fees, or it will be sent via freight. The overweight charge, however, will be more expensive if bought at the airport rather than in advance. If you wish to save money on this cost, you can share certain goods in your travelling companion's luggage if they are still overweight.

What Is The Difference Between A Personal Item And A Carry-On?

It is considered a personal item if it fits under the seat size luggage in front of you. As a result, compact backpacks and sling bags will frequently qualify as personal goods. However, if you are travelling with a bigger suitcase or a large 65-litre pack for a lengthy journey, your luggage will now be classified as a backpack and will be considered hand luggage.

hand luggage size

A personal item cannot be bigger than 14"H, 18"W, 8" D. These are usually purses, totes, computer bags, briefcases, small backpacks and diaper bags! This personal item must be no larger than 14” X18”x8” and fit under the seat in front of you.

Cabin baggage size: You must be able to stow your carry-on luggage beneath the seat or in the overhead bin. It can't be more than 24"H, 16"W, and 10"D "D and no more than 35 pounds (with handles, wheels, and straps). Large backpacks , duffel bags , and tiny suitcases/wheeled luggage are the most common.

Is It Acceptable For Me To Carry A Power Bank On The Flight?

The answer is probably yes to you. A power bank with a capacity of around 10,000mAh and a voltage of 3.7V, built using lithium-ion technology, with a capacity of approximately 160Wh is acceptable for flight. Each passenger is only permitted to bring two power banks. However, with this item, travellers are only accepted to bring hand luggage and carry-on items, and no checked baggage is allowed.

Each airline has its own set of hand-carry luggage size regulations. Baggage that is overweight or contains items that are not on the list of objects to be transported will take longer to manage and will have an impact on your attitude throughout the journey. As a result, you can save the aforementioned reference information to make each preparation step easier.

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The Best Carry-on Luggage of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

For frequent fliers or light-packing vacationers, these are the best carry-on bags.

cabin luggage travel size

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • Other Carry-ons We Liked

Our Testing Process

  • Tips for Buying
  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure/Joy Kim

Every frequent flier needs a good carry-on. And even if you travel only occasionally, you'll be glad to have one on hand. But besides allowing you to bypass checked baggage , what makes a high-quality carry-on? If you ask us, it's about capacity, maneuverability, durability, and design.

With this in mind, we tested 436 carry-on bags, including suitcases, duffels, weekenders, backpacks, and underseat bags to see which models check all the boxes. We packed them up, spun them around, hoisted them overhead, rolled them over various surfaces, and whacked them with a baseball bat to see how they'd hold up in a real-life setting. We also built an airplane set in our New York City lab to hoist them into overhead bins before our editors bring each bag on real trips to see how they fare long-term. The results of these tests were considered — along with price, weight, dimensions, materials, and smart features — to narrow down the best carry-ons currently on the market.

Best Overall

Samsonite freeform carry-on spinner.

Earning perfect scores in all tests, this all-star carry-on has a spacious capacity, a super-durable thermoplastic shell, and smooth-rolling wheels.

There's no designated zippered section for dirty clothes.

We tried lots of excellent suitcases, but the Samsonite Freeform Hardside Spinner was a clear winner. Exceeding expectations in all our tests, it's easy to maneuver on two or four wheels and rolls smoothly on various surfaces, including carpet and hard flooring. We also like that the aluminum telescoping handle extends and locks with the push of a button. This all-star suitcase has various pockets within the main compartment, and it expands a couple of inches when you need extra space. We were able to pack enough clothes for a four-day trip, including two pairs of shoes, multiple jackets, and two toiletry bags — no expansion needed. We wish this carry-on had a zippered section or removable bag for dirty laundry, but it does have a separator to keep your shoes away from your clean clothes.

We loved the sleek, minimalist-modern design of the Freeform, which comes in 12 hues ranging from white to mint to merlot. After hitting it with a baseball bat, the polycarbonate (high-strength thermoplastic) shell remained scuff-free and showed virtually no signs of damage. Even after six months of regularly traveling with this bag, it shows no signs of wear and tear, and we were able to easily buff out any minor scuffs it had accumulated. Considering the reasonable price, durable construction, and spacious capacity, we think it's a great choice for frequent fliers and anyone in need of a high-quality carry-on.

The Details: Hardside | 21 x 15 x 10 inches | 5.6 pounds | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels | 10-year limited warranty

Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Travel + Leisure / Jhett Thompson

Best Overall, Runner-up

Tumi alpha international dual access carry-on.

This bag has two access points and a removable garment bag for a suit or dress.

When the front-access section is fully packed, it will eat into the space in the main compartment.

The Tumi International Dual Access carry-on was a close runner-up to the Samsonite Freeform. It moves like a dream on various types of flooring, thanks to the four smooth-gliding dual spinner wheels and comfortable telescoping handle. Even after using the bag for three months, the wheels never got caught on any surfaces, making it easy to run through the airport or navigate a new city. Made of the brand's signature ballistic nylon, it also passed our baseball bat test with flying colors.

We were able to pack everything into the bag’s various compartments and loved the flexibility of a removable suiter for trips with dressier attire. The clamshell design also features several interior pockets and compression straps on one half to easily hold our four-day-trip packing list. The front-access portion can easily fit a sweater or light layer when the main suitcase isn’t stuffed full, or you can use it for tech items or a small makeup bag instead. There are also two pockets on the exterior for smaller items like an umbrella , as well as a built-in USB port you can connect to a power bank (sold separately). Though the price is higher than many other carry-ons, this is an investment in an undoubtedly high-quality carrier that will last for years to come.

The Details: Softside | 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 10.7 pounds | 35-liter capacity | Expandable | 4 dual spinner wheels | 5-year warranty

Best Expandability

Away the carry-on flex.

This carry-on is pretty spacious to begin with, but you can unzip the expander for 2.25 inches of extra space.

It might not meet all carry-on sizing requirements when you fully expand it.

This durable carry-on manages to be compact and portable while still offering a ton of space inside thanks to two large interior compartments and a helpful compression system. You can zip your items in on one side and buckle them in on the other, using the mesh pockets to store smaller items for organization. As all overpackers know, sometimes you just need a few extra inches of space — and The Carry-on Flex features a zipper expander that adds an additional 2.25 inches if you happen to buy one souvenir too many on a trip and need to fit it all in on the way home. However, be wary of your airline’s overhead bin allowances because using the expander may make your carry-on one inch too large, and you may be forced to check it (the expanded dimensions of the bag are 22.7 x 14.7 x 9.6 inches).

Other highlights we loved during testing included the smooth wheels that can roll in any direction; the different height options of the handle; and the notch on the underside of the bag that makes it so much easier to lift out of a car trunk, into an overhead bin, or off of a luggage carousel. The bag also felt very sturdy and tough with no dents and barely a scratch after we threw it off counters and hit it repeatedly with a baseball bat during testing.  

The Details: Hardside | 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches | 8.15 pounds | 39.8-liter capacity (unexpanded), 46.7-liter capacity (expanded) | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels | Limited lifetime warranty

Travel + Leisure / Joy Kim

July Carry On Trunk

We love this trunk for how sleek and stylish it looks while still having useful features like an ejectable power bank and a customizable handle height.

You have to be more intentional about what you pack since the trunk has no expandability.

This stylish carry-on trunk features a clamshell design that opens right down the middle rather than the 30/70 design that many trunks typically have . It feels like a luxury bag thanks to the zipperless clasp closures, ejectable power bank, and multi-stop rubber handle (you can customize the handle to sit at any height you want). We found the trunk super easy to maneuver over different surfaces like carpet and concrete pavers during testing, and it rolled effortlessly on four wheels. When we rolled it on two wheels, it did slow down slightly, but it was still easy to move, and the weight felt evenly distributed through the bag and handle.

The trunk had no scuffs after we pushed it off a counter three times, though it did collect black marks during our real-world travels, but we were able to easily wipe them away without permanent damage. We did manage to give it a few very small dents after hitting the trunk with a baseball bat, but they were barely noticeable. One thing to note is that this trunk has no give because of its hard shell and clasp closures, so you cannot overstuff it, and you have to be more picky with your packing list.

The Details: Hardside | 21.5 x 14.75 x 8.75 inches | 8.4 pounds | 42-liter capacity | 4 spinner wheels | Limited lifetime warranty

Travel + Leisure/Joy Kim

  • Travel + Leisure/Jhett Thompson

Best Lightweight

Delsey paris hardside expandable luggage with spinner wheels.

At just over five pounds, this hardside suitcase is lightweight and compact while still fitting an impressive amount of clothes.

It sustained minor denting during testing, and the handle is somewhat short and felt a little loose.

The carry-ons we tested ranged in weight from about 13 pounds down to 4.36 pounds. Weighing just over five pounds, the Delsey Clavel was the best lightweight options we tried . This hardside spinner has a polypropylene (thermoplastic) shell that held up pretty well during our tests, though a particularly hard bat swing did dent it slightly. After traveling with the bag for six months, it only has minor scuffs — even after it was checked. While it looks small, it holds a surprising amount of clothes, even without the expander, and should fit into an overhead bin without any issues.

This carry-on maneuvers well over cracks and bumps. However, the handle is somewhat short and feels slightly loose. Still, we think the price is fair and would recommend it to anyone in the market for lightweight, fuss-free baggage for shorter trips.

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 14 x 10 inches | 5.3 pounds | 43-liter capacity | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels | 5-year limited warranty

Best Budget

Amazon basics hardside spinner.

This wallet-friendly carry-on has a scratch-resistant shell and a surprisingly spacious capacity.

It only comes in four colors and doesn't have any smart features or a combination lock.

For something more affordable , look no further than Amazon. We found that this budget-friendly hardside suitcase maneuvers really smoothly, even on carpet and over bumps, and handles turn like a champ. Not only that, but the scratch-resistant shell held up surprisingly well through our bat and drop tests. We were able to fit four days worth of clothing, shoes, and toiletries without having to expand the bag, though we're comforted by the fact that there's room to spare. After six months of regularly using the bag, we found it to be the perfect size for weekend trips. The Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner exceeded our expectations in more ways than one. And while it only comes in four colors, we're big fans of the simple, sleek design.

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 15 x 10 inches | 6.3 pounds | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels

Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best With Laptop Compartment

Samsonite just right carry-on spinner.

It’s packed with organization features, including a padded laptop sleeve, a wireless charging pocket, and removable packing cubes.

There was some peeling and scratching on the outer material and wheels of the bag after our durability tests.

If you tend to travel with a laptop and other devices, the Samsonite Just Right Carry-on Spinner is especially handy with a tech organizational panel that you can unzip and unfold at the front of the bag to easily store and access your valuables. This panel features a 15-inch laptop sleeve, a padded tablet sleeve, a document sleeve, a wireless charging pocket, a USB charging port, and plenty of zippered storage pockets. There are locks for both the main compartment and the laptop compartment, and the bag also comes with removable packing cubes for additional organization.

Though the suitcase felt a bit heavy after we packed it, it was very easy to maneuver, gliding through turns and different terrains beautifully. It suffered some minor marks after we threw it off counters and hit it with a baseball bat, including some peeling and scratching on the exterior and the wheels. One of the top corners was ever so slightly dented as well, but chances are you’ll stick this carry-on in the overhead bin rather than checking it so it won’t get banged around as much, especially if you have your laptop inside. All of the built-in tech compartments, elastic compression straps, and bonus packing cubes are an excellent way to keep all of your valuables in place. 

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 14 x 9.3 inches | 7.9 pounds | Expandable | 4 dual spinner wheels | Limited 10-year warranty

Best Softside

L.l.bean medium carryall pullman.

This rugged softside bag has plenty of pockets for organization, including one for shoes.

The main handle only has one height setting, and the additional grab handle is located on the left side of the suitcase, which is more convenient for lefties.

The L.L.Bean Carryall Spinner Pullman is a redesign from L.L.Bean’s luggage collection, made with a new fabric and style that we love for a softside carry-on. The rugged, abrasion-resistant material on the outside of the suitcase feels like it can stand up to rough handling, and the shell of the bag has some rigidity that makes it feel extra sturdy for a softside bag. We also loved this carry-on for its unique outer pockets that you just can’t find on a hardside bag, like a shoe pocket that keeps your dirty boots or sneakers separate from the clean clothing inside. We packed socks and underwear in the zipper compartment on the lid of the suitcase, which saved interior space for the rest of our clothing. While the carry-on rolled smoothly on the concrete and linoleum floor of our obstacle course, it was a little harder to maneuver over carpet. It also caught our attention that the side handle is located on the left side of the bag, which made it a little awkward for our righties to hoist the carry-on into the overhead bins on our airplane set — although this would be a plus for left-handed travelers.

The Details: Softside | 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 7.9 pounds | 40.7-liter capacity | 4 spinner wheels | 1-year return policy

People / Joy Kim

Most Spacious

Travelpro x travel + leisure carry-on spinner.

This 45-liter carry-on has plenty of room, a two-inch expander, and tons of interior organization.

It may not fit in some overhead bins if you use the expander.

Spaciousness is key when it comes to a carry-on, especially if you’re using it as your main suitcase. This 45-liter Travelpro carry-on had an impressive amount of space for our packing list during testing, and it also has a generous two-inch expander if you need more room. While some hardside bags are very rigid, we noticed that this one has a bit of give if you do need to pack it extra full. Despite being slightly flexible, it proved to be rock-solid when it comes to durability, surviving our drop and bat tests without a single scratch. We think this makes an excellent investment for frequent flyers with top-notch organization inside, including two split-case compartments with two separate zippered divider panels, multiple accessory pockets, and a removable pouch. We were also impressed with the quality of the compression straps, which were adjustable and stylish without sacrificing durability. 

The Details: Hardside | 23 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches | 8.6 pounds | 45-liter capacity | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels | Limited lifetime warranty

Travel + Leisure / Alexander Huang

Best Aluminum

Tumi 19 degree aluminum international carry-on.

This sleek aluminum bag is just as durable as it is beautiful.

Weighing more than 11 pounds, this is heavy for a carry-on.

This stunning Tumi carry-on will make a statement in any airport, with four metallic colors to choose from and a durable aluminum shell to protect your belongings. As the priciest option on this list, you are paying for the Tumi label, but we can confirm that this is a high-quality piece that is worth the investment. This 31-liter bag is on the smaller size for a carry-on — and like most aluminum bags, it feels quite heavy (weighing more than 11 pounds) — but we were impressed by the built-in organization that makes it easy to pack. Both halves of the suitcase have fully zippered closures and compression straps — an ideal combination because you can use the compression straps to get the contents as tightly packed as possible and put less strain on the zippers when you ultimately zip each side closed. There are two smaller zippered flaps on each half of this suitcase so you can fit smaller items in there, as well as an internal card pocket and a hanger bracket to hang garments. We thought the wheels were very sturdy (both when rolling the bag and when hitting the wheels directly with a baseball bat), and the leather-wrapped handles are comfortable to pull. The latches feature two TSA-approved combination locks with push buttons to open them, and you can also monogram the bag with custom initials.

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 11.2 pounds | 31-liter capacity | 4 dual spinner wheels | 5-year warranty

Most Durable

Briggs & riley sympatico domestic carry-on expandable spinner 22-inch.

The shock-absorbing Makrolon polycarbonate stands up to dents and scratches, and the wheels glide with ease over bumps and around corners.

The expander is located on the inside, which is a little counterintuitive.

Fans of Briggs & Riley luggage won't be surprised that the Sympatico Domestic Spinner was the most durable carry-on we tested. This compact suitcase is a little expensive, but hear us out. The exceedingly robust, shock-absorbing Makrolon polycarbonate shell sustained exactly zero dents or scratches during our bat and drop tests and still looks brand new after six months of frequent travel.

Durability aside, this carry-on was easy to maneuver on hard floors and carpet, around tight corners, and even over bumps. It also has a good amount of packing space with plenty of organizational features. We like how thoughtfully designed its features are, with elements like pockets, dividers, and expanding sides that really help you maximize the space in this smaller carry-on bag. One thing to note is that the expander is on the inside, which isn't the most intuitive. Other than that, we loved the look of the glossy exterior and think it definitely reflects the premium price tag.

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 8.8 pounds | Expandable | USB port | 4 spinner wheels

Most Stylish

Delsey chatelet air 2.0 21-inch spinner.

The Chatelet Air 2.0 has a gorgeous vintage appeal, and despite the elevated aesthetics, it doesn't sacrifice functionality or durability.

It's not expandable, so the compact design is best for short trips.

If luggage aesthetic is a top priority, Delsey's Chatelet Air 2.0 might be your best bet. Inspired by traditional Parisian architecture with unique lines, contrast stitching, and a vintage appeal, this suitcase is a sight for sore eyes. Sleek design aside, it's exceptionally functional. There's a fully zippered compartment on one side and compression straps on the other, plus pockets throughout and even a handy USB port.

What's more, the zippers open and close smoothly, and it glides effortlessly with the four spinner wheels on carpet, hard floors, and even stone pavers. It's durable, too, sustaining no visible damage after three months of use including two international flights in which the bag was checked. This bag is a standard carry-on size, and we were able to fit everything on our packing list . However, it’s probably best for short trips as there wasn't really any room to spare when we finished.

The Details: Hardside | 22 x 15 x 10 inches | 8 pounds | 44-liter capacity | USB port | 4 dual spinner wheels | 10-year limited warranty

  • Leticia Almeida

Travel + Leisure / Leticia Almeida

Best Compression

Paravel aviator carry-on plus.

A compression board makes it easy to fit everything into the zippered compartments, and there's a removable laundry bag for dirty clothes.

This suitcase isn't expandable, but it's one of the larger carry-ons we tested.

For highly organized travelers that want to fit a lot in a carry-on, we recommend the Paravel Aviator. After regularly traveling with the bag for six months, we really love the exceptional capacity and organizational features. Even though it's not expandable, the built-in compression board makes it easy to fit everything into the zippered compartments. It also comes with a removable laundry bag for dirty clothes.

Inspired by retro luggage with a modern twist, this classy carry-on is gorgeous. Not only that, but the durable polycarbonate exterior feels sturdy and sustained just a few minor scuffs during our tests. It's super easy to maneuver, too. Although the Paravel Aviator is somewhat steep in price, we think it's a worthwhile investment for those in the market for a high-quality suitcase. While updating your luggage collection, lovers of vintage-inspired design and organization should also consider a train case .

The Details: Hardside | 23 x 15 x 9.5 inches | 8.5 pounds | 46.6-liter capacity | 4 spinner wheels | USB port | 10-year limited warranty

Best Underseat

Calpak hue mini carry-on luggage.

It's conveniently compact, but still spacious enough to hold multiple outfits.

There's no outer zipper pocket, and it's definitely not as spacious as some others.

Looking for something you can stash underneath the seat in front of you? This 29-liter underseater from Calpak might be just the thing. Measuring 16 x 14 x 8 inches, it's conveniently compact but still spacious enough to fit a couple days' worth of outfits. There's also a laptop sleeve, making it a top choice for short business trips. Despite the mini design, the sophisticated color options and modish silhouette will leave no confusion over whether it's for an adult or a child. The four spinner wheels offer excellent maneuverability, too, and there's even a TSA-approved lock if you ever decide to check it. If we could change one thing, we'd add an outer pocket for easy access in-flight. But other than that, we think the price is more than fair for the quality, features, and durability.

The Details: Hardside | 16 x 14 x 8 inches | 6 pounds | 29-liter capacity | 4 spinner wheels | 2-year limited warranty

Travel + Leisure / Conor Ralph

Other Carry-on Bags We Liked

While we tested plenty of high-scoring carry-on bags, there were many items that almost made our list but didn’t quite make the cut due to several weaknesses with maneuverability, capacity, design, durability, and/or overall value revealed during testing. 

Delsey Paris Cruise 3.0 Carry-on : We appreciated the large capacity and expandability of this bag, allowing us to easily fit everything on our packing list. But the wheels are somewhat large, which makes it hard to fit into an overhead bin.

Arlo Skye The Zipper Carry-on Max With Front Pocket : Even though it doesn't expand, this suitcase fit everything on our packing list, did well rolling over bumps, and showed no signs of damage from our bat swings. Plus, like some of the other Arlo Skye luggage pieces , it comes with a removable power bank. While we have few complaints. we were concerned about this bag fitting in the overhead bins.

Samsonite Tru-Frame Carry-on Spinner : We loved this carry-on for its futuristic, zipperless design and durability, though it felt a bit more compact than some of the more spacious carry-ons on this list.

July Carry On Pro : We found this suitcase to be aesthetically pleasing, plenty spacious, and easy to maneuver. While the feature-rich design is enticing, it was pretty similar to the Away Carry-on, which compressed a little better.

Calpak Ambeur Front Pocket Carry-on Luggage : This is a stylish option that comes in a handful of metallic colors for under $300. We love that it has a laptop compartment on the front of the suitcase, though it seems to poke out from the suitcase the more we packed it, and we found the zipper of the compartment to be stiff.

Zero Halliburton Classic Aluminum 3.0 International Carry-on : This is one of the most durable suitcases we've ever tested, though it felt a little small for a carry-on. Ultimately we preferred the Tumi option on our main list as our favorite aluminum carry-on.

The Travel + Leisure team performed various luggage tests in our New York City lab to evaluate the capacity, maneuverability, durability, and design of each carry-on. We filled each carry-on bag with enough clothing and essentials for a four-day trip, including six shirts, three pairs of pants, five pairs of socks, five pairs of underwear, two jackets, and two pairs of shoes, plus one small and one large toiletry bag. We then analyzed how well the bags handled the cargo.

After packing them up, we rolled the bags around on different surfaces (when possible) to see how well they maneuvered over pavement and carpet, and we maneuvered them through human obstacle courses to see how they can handle sharp turns in tight spaces. We also recreated an airplane set in our lab to lift the bags into real overhead bins and push them underneath seats. We whacked the fully packed bags with a metal baseball bat and pushed them off a table to see how well they held up to wear and tear.

After testing these bags in the lab, we sent them home with our T+L editors to travel with the bag for a period of six months to continue evaluating the luggage in the real world. Keeping price, size, adjustability, features, and standout quirks in mind, the carry-ons with the highest scores in all testing categories were ultimately chosen for this roundup, and we will continue to update it as we test more carry-ons.

Tips for Buying Carry-on Luggage

Consider hardside vs. softside luggage.

When buying carry-on luggage , you'll see a range of hardside and softside options. Suitcases with hard shells can be better for protecting things from crushing and are generally easy to wipe clean. However, depending on the color and material, they can be prone to scuffing.

Softside luggage, on the other hand, is typically a lighter weight, more flexible if you tend to be an overpacker, and often just as durable as its hardside counterpart. While a textile shell can be trickier to clean, it may not show as much dirt or scuffs either, and it likely won't dent like a hardside bag can. See our rundown of how to choose between hardside and softside bags for more information.

Look for lightweight construction

Lightweight luggage is crucial when choosing a carry-on. Be sure to note the empty weight of the suitcase or bag before buying it, as heftier designs will make a jam-packed carrier all the more cumbersome. Weight affects not only maneuverability, but also your ability to hoist it into the airplane's overhead bin. The wheeled carry-on suitcases we tested ranged in weight from 4.36 to 12.9 pounds. Anything heavier than that is going to be too heavy for many people.

Decide if you want extra organizational features

Some carry-on luggage is relatively basic, with a main compartment and a pocket or two. However, many suitcases, weekenders, and duffel bags have additional organizational features that make packing and accessing your stuff much easier. This may include a laptop sleeve, a shoe separator, a laundry bag, various zippered sections, exterior pockets, and even charging capabilities .

Choose between handheld, spinner, or two-wheeled luggage

When it comes to choosing the best carry-on bag for you, first consider your traveling style and packing needs. Spinner luggage, which features four wheels that can spin 360 degrees, is easy to maneuver whether you're running to your airport gate or making your way through a new city. Bags with spinner wheels are generally quite easy to roll over various surfaces, making them a great option if you plan to walk for long periods of time with your luggage. They allow you to maneuver well-stuffed expandable luggage more easily. Two-wheeled bags, however, may be less sturdy, but they'll give you a few more inches of extra space when packing. Bags with only two wheels also tend to be slightly lighter than their four-wheeled counterparts. Lastly, opting for a weekender or carry-on backpack means you can dash around as needed, and your bag will be more compact, but you will have to manage all the weight on your back or shoulders instead of rolling it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rules vary among airlines , but most allow carry-on luggage no larger than 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. Some are slightly stricter, setting the limit at 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Keep this in mind when using your suitcase's expander, as the additional couple of inches could put you over the size limit. When in doubt, check the airline's website.

Some airlines have a carry-on weight limit of roughly 35 pounds. However, this is often not strictly enforced, and many domestic airlines don't have a limit at all. Bear in mind some international flights may restrict carry-ons over 22 pounds. Either way, make sure you are able to lift your bag on your own, otherwise, it's probably too heavy.

All liquids, including makeup, lotion, and other cosmetics, must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces in carry-on luggage. (For checked baggage, you can bring pretty much any size.) Powdered makeup, bar soap, and solid deodorant are usually allowed in larger containers. Lighted makeup mirrors are also permitted in carry-ons. You'll also want to put all liquid beauty and personal hygiene products in a clear plastic bag before going through airport security. You can review the TSA's official liquids rules here .

AirTags are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage. These trackers use such low energy Bluetooth that they're safe and TSA-compliant. For other GPS trackers, you should check with your individual airlines to make sure that your device is allowed, especially if they use a higher level of power.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, commerce writer Theresa Holland pored over in-house testing insights for dozens of bags, then cross-checked product descriptions and manuals to compile a comprehensive list of the best carry-on luggage currently on the market. Of the above brands, she owns carriers and on-the-go accessories from Away, Tumi, Paravel, Amazon Basics, Monos, and July.

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The Best Carry-On Luggage of 2024

Watch out, wobbly handles. back off, boring colors. these compact carry-ons are making their way to an overhead compartment near you..

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Woman with a red Lojel suitcase at a train station

Lojel’s Cubo Small carry-on offers a rare top-loading opening for a hard-shell suitcase.

Courtesy of Lojel

Where in-line fixed wheels and rickety handles were once the standard, sleek and sturdy luggage options have rolled in to steal the show when it comes to the best bags for short trips . These rolling carry-ons—and backpacks and duffels for the wheel-averse—are compact and colorful but spacious enough to pack what you need for a few days of adventure.

Before you purchase a new carry-on, you’ll want to consider the kind of traveler you are and the features you’ll want in your next piece of luggage: Do you prefer hard shell or soft shell luggage ? Two wheels or four? Or are you heading to a city or going somewhere off the grid where wheeling a suitcase along dirt paths will be a hassle? If you’re traveling for work, will you need a bag with a laptop compartment? Most importantly: Will it fit into the overhead bin on an airplane? ( Carry-on size restrictions vary from airline to airline, but most domestic carriers allow bags up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches to be placed in overhead bins.)

With all the bells and whistles, though, one question remains: Which one is actually right for you? We reviewed 13 of our favorite carry-on bags to make your decision easier.

Away Bigger Carry On in slate gray

In 2023, Away gave its hard-shell luggage a full redesign based on customer feedback over the years.

Courtesy of Away

The Bigger Carry-On by Away

Best overall

  • Buy now: from $295,
  • Style: Hard-shell spinner luggage
  • Capacity: 47.9 liters
  • Dimensions: 22.7 x 14.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Weight: 7.4 lbs.

The 7.4-pound Bigger Carry-On by Away recently underwent a full redesign in 2023, based on customer feedback over the years. At its core, the new Away suitcase is still recognizable with its hard polycarbonate shell that is separated into two larger clamshell compartments that offer a whopping 47.9 liters of space. It includes TSA-approved locks, a hidden laundry bag, and an interior mesh compression system that packs down bulky items. But it also now comes with an underside grab handle that makes it easier to pull and lift from overhead bins or baggage carousels. Away also redesigned the trolley handles on its suitcases to be more comfortable and stable.

Plus, this bag has one of the most value-minded prices of all the luggage on the list. Despite its reasonable price, the bag looks really sleek and has Hinomoto wheels—arguably the highest quality wheels in the luggage industry and made with ball bearings to ensure an ultra-smooth ride. Plus, Away’s limited lifetime warranty covers any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and more. The polycarbonate exterior is available in a number of matte- and gloss-finished colors, including clay pink, black, orange, and several shades of green.

>> Read the honest review: Is the Away Bigger Carry-On Worth the Hype?

Pink July carry on

Worried about the corners of your suitcase getting crushed? July makes its carry-ons with aluminum bumpers.

Courtesy of July

Carry On by July

  • Buy now: $295,
  • Capacity: 42 liters
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 15 x 8.5 inches

Essentially Australia’s version of Away, July started selling its bags online in the United States in 2021. Made with a crush-proof German polycarbonate shell, the standard July Carry On offers lots of space for your belongings (42 liters) while only weighing 7.4 pounds and still meeting domestic carrier size requirements. Available in nearly a dozen matte colors from a sleek forest green to a trendy pink clay hue, these bags are made with a multilevel telescoping handle for people of various heights, proprietary SilentMove 360° spinner wheels, and aluminum bumpers to prevent the corners from being crushed.

The bags also include an ejectable USB-C battery, integrated TSA locks, a hidden laundry bag, and a Y-strap compression system to help pack it all in. Want to personalize your bag? For an extra $50 you can add your name or initials in a variety of fonts and alphabets. July luggage is backed by a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defaults and includes a 100-day trial in case you change your mind for whatever reason.

Silver Rimowa Original Cabin carry-on

The Rimowa Original Cabin carry-on comes in silver, seen here, plus black and subtle champagne gold called Titanium.

Courtesy of Rimowa

Original Cabin carry-on by Rimowa

Best aluminum carry-on luggage

  • Buy now: $1,430,
  • Style: Aluminum zipperless luggage
  • Capacity: 35 liters
  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs.

German heritage brand Rimowa is known for its aluminum-shell luggage that is built to withstand wear and tear but also bend, depending on its environment. The 9.5-pound, 35-liter Original Cabin carry-on is only separated into two clamshell sections on the inside, but what it lacks in interior compartmentalization, it makes up for in exterior flash and durability. Its sturdy handle slides up and down with ease and adjusts perfectly to travelers of all heights, and its zipperless construction and TSA-compliant locks mean you can worry less about people breaking into it.

But the wheels are its best feature: Rimowa’s proprietary Multiwheel system is made with ball-bearing-mounted wheels with cushioned axles. To the layperson, that means they offer the smoothest roll of any suitcase we’ve ever used—and not just on airport linoleum. They’ve also glided across bumpy pavement, rough carpeting, and even dirt roads. Plus, all new Rimowa suitcases purchased from July 25, 2022, now come with a lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee that covers all functional aspects of the suitcase.

>> Read the honest review: Is Rimowa Aluminum Luggage Actually Worth the Price?

Monos Carry On Pro Plus in white with abstract stone print called terrazzo

Instead of carrying your laptop’s weight on your shoulders, pop it into the exterior pocket on this stylish Monos suitcase.

Courtesy of Monos

Carry-On Pro Plus by Monos

Best carry-on with laptop pocket

  • Buy now: from $284 (was $315–$345),
  • Capacity: 46 liters
  • Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 8.38 lbs.

The Monos Carry-On Pro Plus is the bag that finally convinced Michelle Baran, Afar’s senior travel news editor, to hang up her Team Checked Luggage hat and finally join Team Carry-On. “What I love about this super lightweight spinner is that it features an exterior pocket that fits a 15-inch laptop,” Baran said. It comes in eight standard colors, as well as a few limited-edition ones including the highly recommended Terrazzo pattern that looks just like the beloved tile of the same name. Major added bonus: Monos is an eco-conscious company that uses vegan materials and recyclable and reusable packaging, plus 1 percent of revenues go to nonprofits dedicated to “preserving and restoring the natural world.”

White suitcase

Aer’s first rolling luggage comes with brakes built into its wheels.

Courtesy of Aer

Carry-On by Aer

Best wheeled carry-on with brakes

  • Buy now: $319,
  • Capacity: 48 liters
  • Dimensions: 22.7 x 15 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 8.4 lbs.

Founded in San Francisco in 2014, Aer built its brand on making simple travel backpacks made from durable Cordura ballistic nylon. These sleek, minimalistic bags come with pockets for all the essentials (passport, laptop, etc.) and can be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag, or briefcase. In 2024, it launched its first wheeled suitcase made with the same dedication to ultra-durable materials and smart design. Available in five colors, the 48-liter Aer Carry-On has an integrated pocket inside for an AirTag , a trolley handle with four height settings, Cordura recycled ripstop interiors, and most importantly—a Hinomoto wheel brake system to prevent the suitcase from rolling away.

Samsara Grand Carry-On in bright yellow

Worried about getting gate checked? This Samsara carry-on comes with a designated exterior socket for an Apple AirTag.

Courtesy of Samsara

Grand Carry-On by Samsara

Best smart carry-on suitcase

  • Buy now: $440,
  • Style: Hard-shell zipperless luggage
  • Capacity: 43.5 liters
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 15 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 10.8 lbs.

Samsara luggage has all the features you’d expect from a premium suitcase—smooth 360° spinning wheels, a telescopic handle, TSA-compliant combination locks—and some that might surprise you like the clever built-in compartment for securing an Apple AirTag (not included). This zipperless luggage also features a flat top that doubles as a work space and a compression system to help keep your clothes in place. It comes in black, yellow, or white.

This hybrid carry-on is also made with a combination of polycarbonate and recycled (and recyclable) aviation-grade aluminum for extra durability. And if there are problems, Samsara backs up its products with a five-year warranty on the body and a one-year warranty on parts (including the handle, wheels, and locks).

Silver Arlo Skye Frame Carry-On

You don’t need to battle with zippers to open Arlo Skye’s Frame Carry-On.

Courtesy of Arlo Skye

The Frame Carry-On by Arlo Skye

Best hybrid carry-on luggage

  • Buy now: $428 (was $475),
  • Capacity: 40 liters
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.

At 8.1 pounds, Arlo Skye’s Frame Carry-On is a bit bulkier than most hard-shell suitcases, but its hybrid polycarbonate shell is reinforced with an aluminum frame, making the bulk more bearable. The zipperless, 40-liter bag latches with two TSA-approved combination locks and is decked out with a compact charging station, portable charger, charging cable and adapter, two shoe bags, and a laundry bag. It rolls nicely and features an antimicrobial lining infused with natural silver fibers to prevent germ growth and odor-causing bacteria. Structurally, the bag looks a bit industrial, but the sleek color combinations—black, navy, and champagne with silver accents—ensure you’ll be rolling around the airport in style.

Travelpro soft-sided suitcase in classic black

This soft-sided suitcase comes in classic black, as well as pink, purple, blue, and green.

Courtesy of Travelpro

Maxlite 5 22” Expandable Carry-On Rollaboard by Travelpro

Best soft-side carry-on luggage

  • Buy now: $136 (was $170),
  • Style: Soft-side two-wheel luggage
  • Capacity: 52 liters
  • Dimensions: 23 x 14.5 x 9 inches (23 x 14.5 x 11 inches expanded)
  • Weight: 5.4 lbs.

There’s a reason Travelpro is a go-to brand for flight attendants. Its durable black nylon suitcases are virtually indestructible, have a timeless appeal, and are a fan-favorite of two-wheeled and soft-side luggage devotees . The ultra-lightweight (only 5.4 pounds!) Maxlite 5 carry-on suitcase is sized to meet most domestic airline carry-on size restrictions. In addition to one extra roomy interior compartment, this soft-shell bag also has two exterior front pockets for easy access stashing. When you need some wiggle room, the suitcase can also expand up to two extra inches to maximize its packing potential. (Thankfully, Travelpro tapered the design of this expansion zipper so that the bag’s center stays low in order to prevent toppling that some two-wheelers are prone to.) If anything does happen to your Travelpro suitcase, it’s backed by the company’s limited warranty that covers things like broken zippers, wheels, handles, and more.

Lojel cubo small in gray

Lojel’s Cubo Small offers a rare top-loading opening for a hard-shell carry-on.

Cubo Small by Lojel

Best top-loading hard-shell carry-on

  • Buy now: $330,
  • Capacity: 37 liters (42 liters expanded)
  • Dimensions: 20.9 x 14 x 9.8 inches (20.9 x 14 x 11 inches expanded)
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.

Typically, hard-shell suitcases feature a (somewhat divisive) clamshell style of packing. The best feature of this carry-on from Lojel is that it has a top-loading opening for those who prefer that. Its other features make it a solid choice, too. Made with durable polycarbonate from 50 percent recycled materials, the Cubo Small also has 360° spinning wheels, the ability to expand two inches if needed, TSA-approved locks, and a front compartment where you can easily access items like laptops and wallets. It comes in nine colors: burgundy, rose, off-white, mustard, navy blue, warm gray, black, stone blue, and cactus. Each suitcase has a 10-year warranty .

Black hard-shell carry-on with laptop pocket

The new Delsey Turenne carry-on comes with business-trip ready features like a laptop pocket and an AirTag holder.

Courtesy of Delsey Paris

The Turenne 2.0 Carry-On by Delsey Paris

Best business carry-on

  • Buy now: $330,
  • Capacity: 37 liters
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs.

This French luggage brand has been finding new ways to upgrade luggage for travelers since 1946. Made with a 100 percent polycarbonate hard shell, the Turenne 2.0 Carry-On is an upgrade of the brand’s hit Turenne Carry-On with even more tech-friendly features. Like the original Turenne, each suitcase includes a USB port (power bank not included), integrated TSA locks, and antibacterial laundry and shoe bags. This redesigned model also offers an interior AirTag holder (device not included), an easy-access front pocket for your electronic devices, and a removable lining that can be washed in-between trips.

The carry-ons are available in four matte colors: navy blue, light blue, red, and black. These scratch-resistant bags are durable enough to withstand being dropped without any marks. They are also made with Delsey Paris’s Securitech zippers , which are three times more resistant to intrusion than a standard zip, according to the brand.

The real draw of this bag is its shock-absorbent 360-degree spinner wheels that make traveling across different surfaces totally seamless. Gravel, carpet, tile, or anything in-between, this bag will keep your belongings moving with ease. This model of Delsey Paris luggage is backed by a 10-year limited warranty.

The black Timbuk2 Wingman travel backpack

The Timbuk2 Wingman backpack has dual laptop pockets, a large main space for clothing, and a separate zippered compartment for shoes at its bottom.

Courtesy of Timbuk2

Wingman Travel Backpack Duffel by Timbuk2

Best carry-on backpack

  • Buy now: $179,
  • Style: Backpack
  • Capacity: 38.3 liters
  • Dimensions: 22 x 12.6 x 7.87 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

The Timbuk2 Wingman is a versatile piece that can be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffel, thanks to hideaway compartments that conceal straps and keep your bag looking sleek and professional. Its main compartment has a wide zippered opening that goes around three sides of the bag. The bottom cargo pocket is great for keeping shoes or wet objects separate from your clothes. As for keeping the rest of your travel essentials (passport, laptop, cords, water bottles, and such) organized and at the ready, there are four smaller pockets located around the sides and top of the bag. Only available in black, the bag is made from a mix of durable Cordura canvas and rubberized nylon, making it easy to wipe off and clean after each trip.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 40L

Patagonia Black Hole Duffels are lightweight but fit a ton of stuff.

Courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 40L

Best carry-on duffel bag

  • Buy now: $159,
  • Style: Duffel bag
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs.

Patagonia’s Black Hole duffels are hugely popular among outdoor enthusiasts—and for good reason. The ecofriendly brand’s durable and lightweight duffels are made with 100 percent recycled polyester fabric, lining, and webbing that is also water repellent. Available in four different sizes, the small 40L bag is the only one sized to fit in an overhead compartment though you might be able to get away with the larger 55L bag on domestic airlines.

The large main compartment comes with a full-length zippered opening that lets you access all your belongings at once. The large mesh pocket on the lid’s interior helps organize small items such as toiletry bottles, charging chords, or socks, while a zippered exterior side pocket lets you stash items quickly on the go. Padded backpack straps keep your shoulders from getting too sore and can be removed if you prefer to carry it with the traditional duffel straps. When you’re home, the entire bag can stuff into its own pocket for easy storage.

Gray Royce & Rocket carry-on open to pink interior

If you struggle to stay organized, this carry-on’s shelves are helpful.

Courtesy of Royce & Rocket

The Castle Carry-on Expandable by Royce & Rocket

Best carry-on with shelves

  • Buy now: $430,
  • Capacity: 37.85 liters (46.25 liters expanded)
  • Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches (21 x 14 x 11 expanded)
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs.

Featuring two fold-down shelves (which lay flat when not in use to ensure you’re not losing valuable space), the Castle Carry-on is excellent for those who struggle with staying organized—they’re perfect for arranging packing cubes and toiletry bags on once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Both the carry-on and the check-in-size Classic Bag are designed to be highly efficient and functional—beyond the dual shelves, they include a compression system and a slew of pockets (our favorite being the hidden pocket for additional privacy). It also has a TSA-approved lock, the ability to expand up to two inches, and Hinomoto Lisof Silent Run 360° Wheels. It comes in black, burgundy, and silver; customers can choose a tobacco or pink interior color.

From a sustainability standpoint, all of Royce & Rocket’s products have packing that is 100 percent recyclable. The suitcases also have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects related to the wheels, zippers, handles, compression straps, shelves, and cracks in the polycarbonate shell, so it’ll be a suitcase you’ll have for a while.

Bailey Berg, Michelle Baran, and Cat Sposato contributed additional reporting to this story. This article originally appeared online in 2019; it was updated most recently on June 18, 2024, to include current information.

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Main content

Free baggage rules at lufthansa.

Illustration zeigt Person mit erlaubtem Freigep&auml;ck // Illustration shows person with allowed free baggage

The size, weight and quantity of free baggage and carry-on baggage items permitted on Lufthansa flights are subject to a number of criteria which we will outline on this page.

Baggage calculator

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. There you’ll also find prices and dimensions for the carriage of optional baggage.

General terms and conditions

Please also read the information provided here on the rules that apply to the individual travel classes, to journeys operated by several airlines, or to checking baggage through to your final destination on connecting flights.

Basic rules for bag drop-off

Make sure you have attached your name and (mobile) telephone number to each piece of baggage (on the inside and outside) before checking it in at the airport. Bag tags and/or stickers for your baggage items are available free of charge at the check-in counter. You are also welcome to use your own bag tags. In addition, print out the following contact form, fill it out, and place it inside your item of baggage.

Please observe the baggage check-in deadlines for your respective travel class and airport.

The data collected by Lufthansa is generally used to fulfil the contract of carriage you have with us. It includes both passenger and baggage data. To ensure the onward transportation of your baggage with other airlines, as well as its timely processing at airports, we pass data on to the airlines and airports concerned. In addition, we support the German Customs authorities in the fulfilment of their legal duties by allowing limited access to selected data.

Size per piece of baggage

cabin luggage travel size

The maximum size per piece of baggage is  158 cm  (width X + height Y + depth Z). Larger, heavier or additional bags are carried as excess baggage. You can find the prices in our baggage calculator.

Free baggage on flights within Europe according to travel class¹

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. You’ll also find prices and dimensions for the carriage of optional baggage there. Your permitted free baggage allowance is also indicated on your ticket/passenger receipt.

cabin luggage travel size

1 item of carry-on baggage up to 8 kg

cabin luggage travel size

1 item of carry-on baggage up to 8 kg 1  item of baggage up to  23 kg

cabin luggage travel size

2 items of carry-on baggage, each up to 8 kg 2  items of baggage each up to  32 kg

1 IATA rules stipulate that the following countries belong to Europe: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (excl. Greenland), Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway (+ Svalbard & Jan Mayen), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia (European part – west of the Urals, i.e. Moscow – DME, St Petersburg – LED), San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City.

These rules also apply to flights between Baku and Ashgabat.

Free baggage for intercontinental flights according to travel class

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. There you’ll also find prices and dimensions for the carriage of optional baggage. Your permitted free baggage allowance is also shown on your ticket/passenger receipt.

cabin luggage travel size

1 item of carry-on baggage up to 8 kg 2  items of baggage each up to  23 kg

cabin luggage travel size

2 items of carry-on baggage, each up to 8 kg 2  items of baggage each up to  32 kg

cabin luggage travel size

2 items of carry-on baggage, each up to 8 kg 3  items of baggage each up to  32 kg

Book additional baggage in Economy, Business and First Class

Passengers travelling in Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First Class have the option of booking additional items of baggage for a fee at the Lufthansa service counter at the airport, by calling the Service Center or online themselves under “My Bookings”.

This also applies to additional items of baggage that exceed the permitted maximum weight and size for the different travel classes.

Book additional baggage on the Economy Light fare

If you are travelling on the Economy Class Light fare, you have the option of booking one item of baggage per route, weighing up to 23 kg, online for a fee. The outbound and return flights each count as one route, even if a connection is involved. Once payment has been made, the baggage charge cannot be refunded or offset.

On flights between Europe and the USA/Canada on the Economy Light fare, a second item of baggage can be added to the booking for a fee at the Lufthansa service counter at the airport.

If you wish to check in a larger, heavier or additional item of baggage, the flat rates per additional item of baggage apply to the Economy Class Light fare.

If you are travelling on the Light Fare, you cannot take any sports baggage (e.g. skis, snowboarding equipment, etc.) free of charge as your booked item of baggage or in addition to your booked item of baggage.

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. You can also find there the prices and maximum allowed weight and dimensions of additional baggage, excess baggage, and sports baggage.

Free baggage allowances for status customers

For HON Circle Members, Senators and Star Alliance Gold customers on intercontinental flights, the first item of baggage on the Economy Light fare is free of charge and can only be declared at the check-in counter. If the first item of baggage on the Economy Light fare is booked online, at the Service Center or via a travel agency, corresponding charges will apply.

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class, status and fare. You’ll also find prices and permitted maximum weight and dimensions for the carriage of optional baggage there.

Free baggage rules for babies and children

  • Irrespective of the booked travel class (except for the Economy Light fare), the route and their Miles & More status, babies (0–2 years) are entitled to a free allowance of one item of baggage up to a maximum of 23 kg and 158 cm (width + height + depth).
  • Children over 2 years have the same free baggage allowance as adults in each travel class.
  • If you are travelling with children aged between 2 and 7, you also have the option of bringing your own child restraint system . If a child restraint system is used for a child aged under 2, you must purchase a separate seat for the child.
  • Suitable child seats, baby baskets or foldable pushchairs 1 may be brought on board as additional carry-on baggage free of charge. Pushchairs 1 will be labelled accordingly during check-in and transported in the cargo hold. You can take so-called “pocket buggies” on board with you as part of your permitted carry-on baggage allowance.
  • If you wish to take a foldable buggy or pushchair 1 with you as far as the gate, please find out more about it here.

1 Please note that it must be a fully foldable travel pushchair.

You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. You’ll also find prices and permitted maximum weight and dimensions for the carriage of optional baggage there.

Please note: On the Economy Light fare, only the accompanying adult can book an item of baggage as an extra. Further items of baggage must be purchased as ​ excess baggage.

Checking through baggage on connecting flights

If you have booked a connecting flight, in most cases your baggage can be checked through to your final destination. That means your baggage will automatically be transported to your destination airport without you having to do anything when connecting to another flight.

Baggage cannot be checked through, if:

  • there is a change of airport at the transfer location,
  • there are operational and local restrictions,
  • if the customs regulations of the transit country require that you collect your bags yourself from Baggage Reclaim, take them through Customs and then check them in again.

Example : passengers entering India/USA/Canada on an intercontinental flight, who have booked an onward flight within those countries, are required to collect their bags from Baggage Reclaim during the stopover, take them through Customs and then check them in again at a check-in counter or bag drop-off counter.

Special regulations

Baggage regulations for checked baggage on journeys operated by several airlines.

When booking a journey with more than one airline, the baggage regulations of the airline flying the  ​ most significant route  of the itinerary (usually the longest geographical route), and under whose flight number this route was booked, shall apply. For these purposes it is irrelevant which airline actually operates the flight.

The baggage regulations always apply up to the point at which you interrupt your journey for more than 24 hours ( stopover ).

Example: you have booked a round-trip flight from Vienna to Johannesburg with connections in Munich and Frankfurt.

Your outbound flight:

  • From Vienna to Munich with flight number OS 115 (OS = Austrian Airlines), operated by Austrian Airlines.
  • Continue without a stopover from Munich to Johannesburg with flight number LH 9542 (LH = Lufthansa), operated by South African Airways.

The baggage regulations for your outbound flight therefore comply with Lufthansa’s baggage regulations.

Your return flight:

  • From Johannesburg to Frankfurt with flight number SA 7573 (SA = South African Airways), operated by Lufthansa.
  • Continue without a stopover from Frankfurt to Vienna with flight number OS 7260 (OS = Austrian Airlines), operated by Lufthansa.

The baggage regulations for your return flight therefore comply with South African Airways’ baggage regulations.

Special rules for USA and Canada flights for journeys with several airlines

The following baggage regulations apply to flights from, to or via the USA/Canada as defined under the consumer protection laws of the US and Canadian authorities (US Department of Transportation and the Canadian Transportation Agency):

  • For all legs of a journey to/from or via the USA or Canada, consistent baggage regulations must be adhered to (e.g. free baggage allowance, size/weight of the baggage, carry-on baggage).
  • The baggage rules set by the airline which is listed first on the ticket are those that usually apply in these cases. If Lufthansa is listed on the first flight segment of your ticket, Lufthansa’s baggage regulations will apply to your entire journey (outbound and return flight). Rules on carry-on baggage may vary (local laws).
  • Exception: Airlines listed first on the ticket can transfer the determination of regulations to the "relevant carrier" (Most Significant Carrier rule). Lufthansa therefore cannot guarantee that, for a Lufthansa-issued ticket, the Lufthansa baggage rules will always apply (other airlines often have different baggage rules).
  • Details of the free baggage allowance for your specific flight are shown on your ticket and in the email confirmation from Lufthansa.

On flights to the USA, locked baggage items may be forcibly opened by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for monitoring purposes or if the baggage is deemed suspicious. For this reason, a TSA-approved bag lock is recommended. Further information on TSA procedures is available at .

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Illustration zeigt gef&Atilde;&curren;hrliche Gegenst&Atilde;&curren;nde an der Sicherheitskontrolle // Illustration shows dangerous goods at the security check

Dangerous goods

The carriage of certain items in checked baggage or carry-on baggage is prohibited by law.

Illustration zeigt zwei Personen mit ihrem Sporgep&Atilde;&curren;ck am Flughafen // Illustration shows two people with their sport luggage at the airport

Sports baggage and special baggage

Whether for snowboarding, surfing or golf, you’ll find all the information about registering your sports baggage and special baggage and the various transport options here.

Illustration zeigt &Uuml;bergep&auml;ck auf dem Bag Drop Automaten // Illustration shows overweight luggage on bag drop terminal

Excess baggage

In the case of excess baggage, there are a few things to bear in mind. You can find out all about this subject, as well as the flat rates, here.

cabin luggage travel size

Best cabin luggage, tried and tested: Top cabin bags to shop for your flight

W hether escaping the UK for desperately-needed winter sun, counting down to an Easter spring fling or fantasising about the long-awaited summer getaway, the pre-holiday period is an exciting time.

It can be a stressful one too, especially if you loathe packing and leave it until the last minute (not naming any names). It doesn’t help that some airlines have introduced the concept of ‘free’ underseat cabin bags with pedantically differing requirements.

We won’t get into the sheer injustice (much) of having to fork out for a standard cabin bag when you’ve already paid for a seat that comes with a designated overhead compartment. Let’s just say it's a rankle that most of us - through gritted teeth - have had to accept to get to the prized sunlounger on the other side.

Low-budget airlines are notorious for implementing free bag rules, with staff patrolling boarding gates to uphold policies and issuing penalties to anyone who exceeds their limits. 

What size cabin luggage am I allowed?

The problem is that each carrier has different rules, so it can be challenging to know what bag to pack - especially if your return journey is with a different airline to the outbound. It’s all too easy to get caught out and land yourself a penalty (the holiday souvenir no one wants), a sum that’s sometimes more than the cost of the flight itself. 

To protect your holiday fund against being wasted on baggage fees, we’ve listed the free bag dimensions for popular budget carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, WizzAir and Jet2.

Our list also includes cabin bag sizes for the likes of BA, Emirates, Etihad, Norwegian and Virgin, popular airlines with long-haul routes that either charge passengers to bring bags onboard or have limits on cabin baggage sizes and weights.

Remember, these dimensions and weights are for basic fares, which typically apply only to the cheap seats (economy class). If you’ve purchased business or higher, your cabin and hold baggage allowance will reflect the premium price (i.e. you’ll be allowed to take more). If you’re unsure, the best place to check is with your airline or travel agent.

Free bag dimensions for budget and popular airlines

  • easyJet: 45 x 36 x 20cm only, 15kg.
  • Jet2: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm only, 10kg.
  • Norwegian: 30 x 20 x 38cm only, 10kg. 
  • Ryanair: 40 x 25 x 20cm only, 10kg.
  • WizzAir: 40 x 30 x 20cm only, 10kg 
  • British Airways: 56 x 45 x 25cm + handbag/laptop bag 
  • Emirates: 55 x 38 x 22cm, 7kg + handbag/laptop bag
  • Etihad: 56 x 36 x 23cm, 7kg + handbag/laptop bag
  • Virgin: 23 x 36 x 56cm + handbag/laptop bag
  • KLM: 55 x 35 x 25cm + handbag/laptop bag

With the right destination (somewhere warm), duration (weekend or less), and clever packing (roll *everything*) you can sail into your precious annual leave feeling relaxed rather than riled with a rubber-stamped cabin bag. 

Plus, there is an upshot to only carrying less luggage: you can skip hanging around at baggage reclaim and get on with your holiday faster. We’ll raise a piña colada to that. 

Shop the best holiday hand luggage and cabin bags below

Best travel handbags and capacious crossbodies

Choose your travel handbag wisely to keep your tickets, passport and other essentials close.

Uniqlo Round Mini Shoulder Bag

What could easily be crowned 2023’s bag of the year is finding further traction in 2024 thanks to a fresh collab with Marimekko.

Uniqlo has kept its cult sling bag’s forgiving proportions and slapped a fun oversized polka dot pattern on it. Stuff your passport, wallet and phone in here as well as plane essentials like lip balm and eye drops, with plenty of room to spare. 

It also comes in a grey tone, which will better stand up to the travails of travel.

Buy now £14.90, Uniqlo

Eastpak Bumbag Double

A bumper bumbag with a separate compartment not only makes organisation a breeze but means it has space for practically anything you might need for a full day out and about. Eastpak's design is available in a range of colours to coordinate with your style and is made from hard-wearing, easy-clean polyester.

Buy now £35.00, Eastpak

Marks & Spencer Faux Leather Cross Body Bag

M&S’s similar faux leather crossbody is the perfect everyday bag and will be your travel hero too.

It will work with almost any outfit - yes, even cabin-comfortable sweats - with the gold-tone hardware elevating it to new heights.

Note the multiple compartments, as well as the zipped section, all perfect for keeping travel essentials and must-haves safe.

Buy now £35.00, M&S

LK Bennett Issie Natural Raffia Shoulder Bag

One for palm tree-lined promenades and sun-soaked beaches, LK Bennett’s easy-going crossbody design is the perfect holiday accessory.

The raffia texture suits a chilled setting and the fact it has a soft body means you can sling it into a suitcase for easy packing if needed. It’s mid-sized, giving plenty of space to store the essentials as well as a few souvenirs along the way.

Buy now £110.00, LK Bennett

Marni Small Basket

No brand exudes Mediterranean longing like Marni. The fashion house’s azure blue basket bag is kryptonite for fashion followers jetting off in style this summer. Featuring a lined interior with a zipped pocket, the valuable piece offers the perfect pop of colour with the embroidered Marni logo on the front

Buy now £416.50, Fenwick

Rains Tote Bag Rush

Brace yourself for the British drizzle with Rains’ Rush tote. Its waterproof qualities will protect your possessions against the elements and provide a sleek touch to any outfit.

Buy now £65.00, House of Fraser

Best underseat cabin bags

Spend your holiday fund on souvenirs, not extra baggage. These small bags are ideal for a short getaway. Find the full list here.

Antler Chelsea Overnight bag

  • Size: 41.5 x 26 x 18cm
  • Weight: 0.8kg

A tiny bag, that, with the right packing methods, can see you through enough outfits for four days, Antler’s Chelsea Overnight bag is a pretty remarkable thing. The £70 price tag is on the pricier end of the scale, but when you consider add-on baggage costs, it will quickly pay for itself. There are pockets inside for organisation and an adjustable carry-strap to allow you to wear it cross-body.

Buy now £140.00

Flight Knight Lightweight 4 Wheel ABS Hard Case Suitcases

Best for: runway style

From British Airways to Wizz Air, this cabin bag has been approved by a host of carriers as a free carry-on. A strong ABS shell keeps your things protected and also helps you stay within strict luggage policies, while a one-metre telescopic handle and 360-degree spinner wheels make it a dream to transport from check-in to the departure gate.

Inside, the main compartment can be split into two with a zipped divider and there are luggage straps to keep everything in place. It makes use of every millimetre of space, and as well as trips away, is useful for hospital stays and overnight wedding events too.

Buy now £44.99, Amazon

Cabin Max Anode 30L

Best for: light and easy

Designed to save you from paying extra airline fees, this hard case wheelie bag is perfectly sized for easyJet’s baggage policy. It’s super lightweight too, weighing a sprightly 2.2kg and glides along like a dream on four spinner wheels.

Inside there’s plenty of space to pack clothes for a short break and organisation is helped along with packing straps, a zipped divider and a zipped pocket to keep smaller items like chargers and toiletries.

It comes in graphite grey, black, lilac and sea green if this cobalt blue doesn’t do it for you.

Buy now £40.00, Cabin Max

Aerolite Holdall Bag

Best for: keeping a low-cost trip low-cost

Specifically designed to comply with Ryanair’s super-strict luggage rules, this charcoal-coloured bag measures an exacting 40 x 20 x 25cm but with some clever and considered packing, should have plenty of space to pack enough outfits for a long weekend away. It’s kept lightweight with two ABS hard shell panels to protect your things with hard-wearing polyester sandwiched in between.

Open it via the main compartment, or if you just need to grab your passport or phone, a smaller u-shaped opening makes it easier to reach for travel essentials. Carry it with the handles or sling it over your shoulder using the non-slip shoulder strap.

Buy now £22.99, Travel Luggage & Cabin Bags

Longchamp Le Pliage extra large travel bag

  • Weight: 445g
  • Size: 55 x 40 x 23cm
  • Capacity: 21.7L

The beauty of Longchamp’s cult Le Pliage bag range is its ability to fold into itself and become less than A3 in size. This has made the piece a go-to for globetrotters the world over, especially if you are planning on a shopping spree when you reach your destination. It comes in a variety of sizes and colours and is crafted in a canvas material with leather handles so it will stand the test of time.

Buy now £160.00, John Lewis

SZLX Large Travel Backpack

Best for: pockets and sections galore

Available in pleasing pastel hues as well as classic black and white, this compact backpack can hold an astounding amount thanks to all the compartments.

There are plenty of sections to keep your things organised; a roomy main area for clothes and underwear with sleeves and pockets to keep small tech and travel documents in place; a dedicated shoes compartment for an extra pair of trainers; space to keep a 14-inch laptop; and a slim front pocket to stow sub-100ml toiletries.

There are side pockets too, which can be used for reusable water bottles or an umbrella, and there’s a USB charger port so you can add your own cable and battery pack. Keep your most precious things in the slim anti-theft zipper pocket on the mesh panelled reverse.

Buy now £39.99, Amazon

Best cabin bags on wheels

Stroll through the terminal and onwards with ease thanks to robust cabin bags set on wheels.

Antler Clifton Cabin with Pocket in Woodland Green

Size: 56 x 35 x 23cm

Take everything you need for a long weekend in Antler's Clifton case, which comes in cabin size as well as larger options for the hold. The ribbed design is crafted from a hard yet light shell with plenty of zips and compartments to organise your things. A double TSA lock keeps your stuff secure while allowing security access should they need it.

Our favourite feature is the front-facing expandable pocket which makes essential documents and gadgets easy to access without unearthing all the carefully packed contents of the main compartment.

Buy now £187.00, Antler

AWAY The Carry-On Flex

Size: 55.1 x 34.8 x 22.9cm

AWAY makes some of the hardest-wearing cabin bags in the game, making them a favourite for frequent fliers.

Its Carry-On Flex range comes in muted colours as well as bold and bright shades like this sorbet orange that you'll be able to spot a mile off.

The Flex is so-called because it can expand by up to 6cm, making it more forgiving if you've overdone souvenir shopping. This upgrade separates it from AWAY's line of standard cabin bags, but both ranges offer TSA combination locks, 360° spinner wheels, a polycarbonate hard shell and a telescopic pull handle to guide it along terminals, cobblestones and pavements smoothly.

Buy now £265.00, AWAY

Horizn Studios H5 Cabin Luggage

Size: 40 x 55 x 20cm

Making a minimalist statement, this sleek bag can accommodate up to 36L, offering a generous capacity that should see you through up to five days of travel.

While choosing white hold luggage suggests a devil-may-care attitude, a white cabin bag is in altogether safer hands (yours) away from careless baggage handlers. Besides, if you do rack up a few scuffs, the polycarbonate hard shell makes them easy to clean off.

Inside you'll find an organisation wonderland of compartments and mesh screens, all lined with recycled polyester and secured with a TSA-friendly lock. A set of four spinner wheels glide along smoothly and silently, helped by a four-stage telescopic handle. There are also compression bags to help you pack and a laundry bag to separate dirty clothes from fresh ones.

Buy now £430.00, Horizn

Carl Friedrik The Carry-on X

Size: 38 x 55 x 25cm

Yearning for the days of luxury flight travel? The bar-like interiors may be long gone but you can retain a scintilla of class thanks to luxury bag brand Carl Friedrik. The company builds robust bags for both the cabin and hold with a raft of ingenious ideas to help business and leisure travellers alike.

The hard shell cabin design is fitted with the usual features - Hinomoto spinner wheels, telescopic handle, TSA locks - but also boasts compression straps and pads to squeeze more into the case (up to 43L). A front pocket keeps essentials close to hand while contrast leather detailing increases the luxe appeal. A delight to have and to hold.

Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Buy now £465.00, Carl Friedrik

July Carry On

Size: 55 x 38.5 x 21.5cm

Feel like you're flying first even if you're just going on a cheap Continental escape with Aussie brand July's cabin wheelie in tow.

Available in fun colours including a small palette of limited edition hues, the German polycarbonate hard shell design sits on silent-operation spinner wheels to take on practically any terrain with a multi-stop telescopic handle to pull it around with ease, no matter how heavy.

Extras include an odour-proof laundry bag, compression straps, a mesh compartment for laptops and anti-stain lining to dispel any accidental stains and spills. You can also charge small gadgets without opening the bag thanks to an ejectable battery and USB and USB-C docks.

Sold with a lifetime warranty on manufacturing faults.

Buy now £208.25, July

Dunelm Palermo Cream & Tan Suitcase

Size: 54.5 x 38.5 x 20cm

It's hard to imagine not tripping the fantastic by the Mediterranean when you've got this vintage-inspired bag in tow. Dunelm presents this chic cabin bag, complete with compression straps, a laptop insert and a telescopic handle for easy transporting. It must be said that some of the components are not as high-quality as the other options on our list (the lower price tag comes at a cost) but it's a decent option if you want to keep your cheap jolly cheap.

Buy now £35.00, Dunelm

LUGG 20 Inch Skywander Lightweight Travel Cabin Bag

Size: 55 x 23 x 38cm

Proving that good things do indeed come in small packages, Lugg's Skywander cabin bag is the ideal travel companion for trips big and small.

The lightweight design comes in a cheering range of colours and is finished with a water-resistant coating on the ABS hard shell exterior to ensure your stuff stays nice and dry. There's plenty of space to store clothes, tech and toiletries inside with a TSA lock keeping everything secure. 

Strong and sturdy with reinforced corners to protect against accidental knocks, it comes highly rated by past Amazon shoppers.

Buy now £34.99, Amazon

Samsonite Proxis 4-Wheel 55cm Expandable Cabin Case

Best for: business

It’s hard to beat Samsonite if you’re someone who travels regularly and the brand’s Proxis 4-Wheel 55cm Expandable Cabin Case is a top choice for effortlessly carrying your belongings from A to B to C and then back again to A. The Proxis suitcase is a globetrotter’s dream, with a hidden section that expands to provide extra storage space, a TSA-approved lock for security, and four double wheels to ensure easy movement. Lightweight, and fitted with two carry handles, it’s also easily portable.

Buy now £359.00, John Lewis

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Carry-on Tote 2 Wheels

  • Size: 39 x 41 x 22cm
  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • Capacity: 32L

If you’re travelling for work or don’t fancy the thought of having to iron your clothes on your hard-earned annual leave, the Travelpro Carry-on is designed with built-in pockets and even the ability to place hangers. The compact sizes packs a lot more than you’d expect and you can stack your briefcase or any other bags on top with ease.

Buy now £125.00, Amazon

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  • News Travel

Ryanair passengers caught out by luggage fees despite ‘approved’ bags – here’s the pre-flight check you should make

  • Hope Brotherton , Travel Reporter
  • Published : 10:15, 18 Jun 2024
  • Updated : 8:37, 20 Jun 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

AIRLINES will often make extra money by charging passengers to bring extra luggage on board the plane.

Holiday costs can dramatically increase if hand luggage is deemed oversized, meaning it has exceeded the baggage restrictions set out by the airline.

Passengers should use one simple trick to avoid hefty fees at the boarding gate (stock image)

In recent weeks and months, several passengers have been forced to pay hefty fees after their bags were deemed too large by boarding gate staff .

Earlier this week, one passenger revealed she was made to pay £70 on her Ryanair flight because her hand luggage was "too deep" for the baggage size checker.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) , she wrote: "Anyone else been charged at the boarding gate by Ryanair for a paid for cabin bag being 'oversized'?

"I was told my case (bought because it claimed to be overhead locker compliant) was too deep and they made me pay £70 at Leeds-Bradford on Thursday."

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Her post was accompanied by a photo showing her mint green suitcase jutting out mere centimetres when placed in the baggage size checker .

This isn't the first time a passenger has been asked to pay for their luggage because it was deemed too large for the airline's requirements.

In 2023, one woman was told she would have to pay an extra $99 (£81) because her  bag was too big  for the cabin.

In a video, which was posted on TikTok , she was able to prove airport staff wrong by easily slotting her bag into the  size checkers , showing that it was clearly within the limits.

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Other passengers have previously taken  drastic measures  to avoid having to pay for their bigger bags.

For example, a group of easyJet customers were seen snapping the wheels off their cases to make sure they fit  the airline's sizes .


To avoid these hefty fees and the stress at the boarding gate, holidaymakers can use one simple trick to make sure their luggage adheres to the restrictions laid out by the airline.

Even though luggage companies may advertise bags as being compliant for overhead lockers, this may not be the case.

This is because airlines have different requirements, so a bag that's suitable for a British Airways flight might be too large for Ryanair -even if the difference is only a few centimetres.

Passengers who want to make sure their luggage is compliant before arriving at the airport should use a measuring tape to measure their bags.

Suitcases with wheels should be measured from top to bottom, with the wheels included.

Passengers should also make sure they measure the depth of their suitcase too, as this often gets forgotten.

Aim to add on an extra inch to your measurements, so you have a little bit of leeway when you're at the airport.

Any passenger who has ordered brand-new luggage for their summer getaway that claims to be compliant with airline restrictions, should also be measured - just in case it is a fraction too large.

If your bag is too big for the restrictions laid out by the airline your travelling with, then you have time to return the luggage before your trip.

And if you're shopping for luggage at a shop or supermarket, take your measuring tape with you.

This is so you can make sure your luggage is compliant before purchasing.

Passengers who are travelling with just an underseat bag, like I often do, should also pack a measuring tape with them.

I use my measuring tape when I'm packing for my return flight, just to make sure my rucksack isn't too deep or tall.

If it is a little too large, I'll unpack items like my book or tablet, or an extra layer of clothing, to decrease the size of my bag, so it adheres to the requirements.

By carrying on these items, it simply looks like I am getting ready for my flight rather than being cheeky with the limits.

For Brits worrying about their  hand luggage  for upcoming flights, here are all the rules for the most popular budget airlines in the UK.

All  Ryanair  passengers are allowed to bring a small personal bag on board, but it must fit under the seat in front.

Passengers can pay to bring a larger cabin bag onboard, which must be no bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weigh no more than 10kg.

Each person is allowed to bring a small cabin bag on board.

Passengers can pay to bring a larger cabin bag onboard, which must be no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including any handles or wheels.

Jet2  passengers can also bring a small piece of hand luggage on board free of charge.

Those bags must not weigh more than 10kg and can’t be any bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including any wheels and handles.

Holidaymakers can also bring a small, personal, item onboard, such as a handbag, laptop bag or airport purchase.

Wizz Air  passengers can take one small cabin bag for free onto the plane.

Passengers can pay to bring a larger cabin bag onto their flight, which must be no bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 23 cm and weigh no more than 10kg.


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Hand luggage rules for uk airlines.

We've rounded up how much hand luggage you can take on UK airlines when booking their most basic fare.

One personal bag measuring no more than 40cm x 20cm x 25cm

One personal bag measuring no larger than 45cm x 36cm x 20cm

One personal item that fits underneath the seat in front and one cabin bag no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm weighing up to 10kg

One personal item that its underneath the seat in front and one cabin bag no larger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm weighing up to 10kg

British Airways

One personal bag no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 15cm and one cabin bag no larger than 56cm x 45cm 25cm weighing up to 23kg

Virgin Atlantic

One personal item that fits underneath the seat in front and one cabin bag no larger than 56cm x 36cm x 23cm weighing up to 10kg

Meanwhile, travellers love  this bag  that they claim prevents them from having to pay for hand luggage.

And this woman revealed a hack to get  extra hand luggage  on a flight.

Airlines all have different hand luggage requirements, making it difficult for passengers to know if their bags adhere to airline rules (stock image)

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Carry style and elegance with you, wherever in the world you travel to, with a luxury suitcase from our premium baggage collection at Globe-Trotter.

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Large check-in, xl suitcases.

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Custom Carry-On - 4 Wheels

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A BATHING APE® Carry-On - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Carry-On - 4 Wheels | Midnight

Centenary Carry-On - 4 Wheels

Safari · Carry-On - 4 Wheels | Ivory/Natural/Gold - GLOBE-TROTTER

Safari Carry-On - 4 Wheels

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Octopussy Carry-On - 4 Wheels

NO TIME TO DIE Luggage Collection · Carry-On - 4 Wheels | Ocean Green

NO TIME TO DIE Luggage Collection Carry-On - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Carry-On - 4 Wheels | Oxblood/Black/Gold - GLOBE-TROTTER

Custom Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels | Black/Black/Gold - GLOBE-TROTTER

Centenary Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels | Navy/Navy - GLOBE-TROTTER

Caviar Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels

New - Centenary · Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels | Marmalade/Brown - GLOBE-TROTTER

Custom Large Check-In - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Large Check-In - 4 Wheels | Black/Black - GLOBE-TROTTER

Centenary Large Check-In - 4 Wheels

Centenary · Large Check-In - 4 Wheels | Midnight

NO TIME TO DIE Luggage Collection Large Check-In - 4 Wheels

New - Centenary · Large Check-In - 4 Wheels | Black/Black/Gold/Gold - GLOBE-TROTTER

Safari Large Check-In - 4 Wheels

cabin luggage travel size

A BATHING APE® Large Check-In - 4 Wheels

cabin luggage travel size

Centenary XL Trunk

Centenary · XL Trunk | Navy/Navy - GLOBE-TROTTER

Safari XL Trunk

Cruise · XL Trunk - 4 Wheels | Royal Blue/Navy - GLOBE-TROTTER

Cruise XL Trunk - 4 Wheels

New - Centenary · XL Trunk | Midnight - GLOBE-TROTTER

Centenary XL Suitcase

Centenary · XL Suitcase | Olive/Black/Black

Safari XL Suitcase

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The Vampire's Wife Air Cabin

Centenary · Air Cabin | Green/Brown - GLOBE-TROTTER

Centenary Air Cabin

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Best luggage for families in 2024

By Leah Groth , Meredith Gordon , Kaylyn McKenna

Edited By Fox Van Allen

Updated on: June 24, 2024 / 11:40 AM EDT / Essentials

CBS Essentials is created independently of the CBS News editorial staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.


If you've ever ventured on a meticulously planned vacation only to have the fun ruined by a broken suitcase, or luggage that didn't suit your needs, you know firsthand that the right luggage can make or break a family trip. Packing for yourself and your family requires precision and organization, making sure all your travel essentials find their place while saving room for the treasures you may purchase along the way. Nothing can simplify travel better than the perfect suitcase.

However you like to travel, you'll want to dive into our list of best luggage for families in 2024. From triple-tasking ride-on carry-on bags and kid-sized suitcases  to luggage sets and large trunks, you're going places this summer.

The best luggage for families in 2024

We've compiled luggage selections for all types of families and travel styles. Whether your kids prefer their own carry-ons or you need a large checked bag to hold all of the family's travel essentials, we've found the best luggage for your summer family vacation.

Best summer luggage sale: Save 30% on Samsonite this summer

  • For the family that likes to stay organized on vacation : Royce & Rocket The Castle
  • For the family with a toddler : JetKids by Stokke Bedbox ride-on carry-on suitcase
  • For the family that tends to overpack : Travelpro Platinum Elite 
  • For the parent that needs a roomy check-in : Away The Large Flex
  • For the family that likes to travel in style : Monos Check-In Large
  • For the family that loves to match : Coolife luggage set
  • Best luggage for kids : Disney hardside spinner carry-on

Keep reading to learn more about our top picks and find the right luggage for your family. If you need more ideas, check out our full roundup of the best luggage in 2024 .


Samsonite is one of the top names in luggage. Known for lightweight, durable pieces designed to endure many summer family vacations, the brand is currently offering 30% off sitewide, with free shipping.

That means you can pack with confidence this summer with Samsonite's standout pieces, including the Freeform Medium Spinner (pictured here) now $168, reduced from $240; the 4.2-star rated Voltage two-piece se t now $240, reduced from $400; and the brand's terrific Carrier GSD travel backpack now $50, reduced from $90. 

Why we like Samsonite luggage :

  • The luggage is lightweight, yet durable.
  • Larger piece suitcases feature wheels that spin in any direction, making the bags easier to maneuver in transit.

For the family that likes to stay organized on vacation: Royce & Rocket The Castle


Anyone who struggles to stay organized while temporarily living out of a suitcase will appreciate the clever built-in shelving of this super-sized 31-inch piece of checked luggage from Royce & Rocket. 

Keep all of your family's items neatly organized by stacking everything on the two-tier shelves that fold down when the suitcase opens. Available in burgundy, silver and black exterior colors with the option of a pink or tobacco interior. 

Why we like the Royce & Rocket The Castle checked luggage:

  • The included compression system and castle shelves help you fit everything your family needs and stay organized throughout your trip.
  • It includes a mesh zip and lots of internal pockets for easy organization.
  • It features a TSA-approved lock .

For the family with a toddler: JetKids by Stokke Bedbox ride-on carry-on suitcase


This 19-inch carry-on serves multiple purposes. It's a suitcase, ride-on transportation for little ones up to 77 pounds, a foot rest and it provides an in-air sleeping surface for kids age 2 and up. It's an excellent starter option for kids who want their own luggage but may get tired of walking or holding onto their suitcase in the airport. 

The case comes with an extendable lid elongating the seat, making it a great place to rest feet. During the flight, a built-in mattress helps this suitcase transform any airplane seat into a comfy makeshift bed. 

"I dragged my feet on this purchase because of the price tag, but I have zero regrets after traveling solo with my two-year-old and five-year-old,"  one parent who purchased the suitcase  says. "This thing was so easy to maneuver through the airport and through the plane aisles that my two-year-old pulled it herself for most of the trip. The bed feature was super easy to set up and we used it to and from our destination." 

Why we like the JetKids ride-on carry-on suitcase:

  • It has a versatile design that allows kids to pull or ride on the suitcase. 
  • It has a fun kid-friendly design. 
  • It offers ample storage to fit all of your child's travel essentials. 

For the family that tends to overpack:  Travelpro Platinum Elite  


The roomiest of the popular Travelpro Platinum Elite collection, the 29-inch check-in size offers 143.5 liters of packing space for families. Constructed out of a stain-resistant fabric with stylish leather accents, the softside suitcase offers durability and protection for your family's items. Keep clothes organized with the internal tie-down system, integrated accessory products, a built-in, foldable suiter and a removable, TSA-compliant wet pocket for toiletries.

Need more room? The suitcase also boasts a tapered expansion, offering an extra 2 inches when needed. Prices vary by color. 

Why we like the Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner:

  • It's expandable up to an extra two inches in case your family overpacks or ends up buying a few too many souvenirs on your trip
  • It features eight self-aligning spinner wheels for a smooth glide.
  • It comes with a TSA-approved lock to keep your family's belongings secure.

For the parent that needs a roomy check-in:  Away The Large Flex

Away The Large Flex

Away Travel's hard-sided polycarbonate bags offer great protection for all your family's belongings. At 29 inches (plus 1.75 inches of expandable flex space) and 99 liters of interior space, The Large Flex serves as a great option. 

Features of this popular suitcase include 360-degree spinner wheels, a removable, washable liner and TSA-approved locks. If you don't like it, return it within 100 days for a full refund. 

Why we like the Away The Large Flex suitcase:

  • It provides plenty of space for parents who are packing for themselves and their children.
  • It's designed to hold enough for a two-week trip, or enough for a parent and child on a shorter trip if sharing luggage.
  • It's durable, but still relatively lightweight.

For the family that likes to travel in style:  Monos Check-In Large


Available in a bunch of great colors and with features like an effortless telescopic handle, lots of pockets and compartments with zippers and an easy-to-use lock, this large check-in bag is worth considering. 

The 30-inch, 99-liter Monos Check-In costs $100 less than the similar style from Away, with many of the same features plus a 100-day trial period and lifetime warranty . You can also pack smaller suitcases like the Monos carry-on into the large check-in for storage when not in use

Why we like the Monos Check-in Large suitcase:

  • It offers a spacious interior for your items.
  • This luggage is made with a high-quality polycarbonate shell.
  • It comes in thirteen color options and offers a sleek, stylish design.

For the family that loves to match: Coolife luggage set


Keep your family in coordinating style with a matching set of luggage. This top-selling polycarbonate hardshell luggage set from Coolife comes in sets of three (one carry-on and two check-ins) or four (two carry-on pieces and two check-ins) and costs less than a single suitcase from the competition.

Each suitcase comes equipped with quiet, multidirectional spinner wheels, an aluminum telescopic handle and interior mesh pockets for organizational purposes. Another cool feature? The suitcases fit inside one another for storage. Available in multiple colors. 

Why we like the Coolife luggage sets:

  • Having matching luggage for the whole family makes it easier to keep track of your bags or find them at baggage claim.
  • The bags are lightweight, making them easier for younger family members to roll.
  • Each luggage piece features interior mesh pockets for organization.

Get a three- or four-piece set at Amazon by clicking the buttons below.

Best luggage for kids: Disney hardside spinner carry-on


Kids determined to carry their own luggage  will like the Disney-themed collection from Target. Available in a variety of sizes and themes, including Disney Princess, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and "Frozen," the bag rolls on side-mounted skate wheels and has dual handles for maneuverability.  

The carry-on has earned an impressive 4.5-star rating with 62% of Target buyers stating they'd recommend it. Target is home to a variety of Disney-themed luggage in various sizes and color options. We've linked to them all.

Why we like the Disney hardside carry-on:

  • You can buy this suitcase in a variety of design options featuring popular characters. 
  • Reviewers report that it's durable enough to stand up to drops, scraps and kicking from little ones. 
  • It's made with a lightweight polycarbonate shell.

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  1. 2024 Carry-on Luggage Size Chart for 64 Airlines [Dimensions]

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    Baggage allowance for on board baggage on international and Cyprus flights have changed. The new rules apply to tickets booked from after 14 February 2024. If you bring additional item or items over the size limit into the aircraft, extra charges will apply for each additonal item while boarding. You can review the baggage allowances available in each flight package in the tables below:

  25. Ryanair passengers caught out by luggage fees despite 'approved' bags

    Passengers can pay to bring a larger cabin bag onboard, which must be no bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weigh no more than 10kg. EasyJet Each person is allowed to bring a small cabin bag on board.

  26. Luxury Luggage

    Strong, reliable and lightweight, our Medium Check-In suitcase is ready to go whenever you are. View Medium Check-Ins. CUSTOM. Custom. Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels. $3,245. Centenary. Medium Check-In - 4 Wheels. $2,595.

  27. Best luggage for families in 2024

    For the family that tends to overpack: Travelpro Platinum Elite. For the parent that needs a roomy check-in: Away The Large Flex. For the family that likes to travel in style: Monos Check-In Large ...

  28. Woman mauled by wolves while jogging in French safari park

    Vivian Song 23 June 2024 • 3:52pm. Wolves lurking outside a hut at Thoiry Zoo. A woman suffered serious injuries after she was attacked by three wolves while jogging at a luxury zoo lodge in ...