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What size "Packing Folder" fits in an RS carryon bag??


Well I've just received my Rick Steves carryon bag. It is very well made, I'm impressed! I didn't see this quality in the other bags I looked at, some of which were almost twice the price!

I wanted to ask a quick question. I'm going to be using this bag not only for leisure travel, but also for business trips. As I'm sometimes going to have to carry dress clothes, I'm trying to decide how best to do it.

I bought a set of the RS packing cubes, and I could try to "bundle pack" into the large cube, but I'm thinking that a Eagle Creek packing folder might work better for my dress shirts and slacks. If I use that, I think it will fit in the bottom of the bag. Then I could layer my packing cubes on top of it, add my new toiletry kit and go.

Can anyone tell me what size packing folder works best in the convertable carryon shoulder bag? I'm hoping to find out if the 15", 18" or 20" works best for folks.


Posted by
208 posts

Is your RS bag the non wheeled one? If so, it is listed as 20x14x9 and the 20in pack folder is 20x14 inches so it will just fit but there will be no wiggle room. So, I would probably go with the 18inch one or the 15in. Unless someone else has actually used the 20 inch one. I have used the 15in one in my carry on and loved it.

Posted by
769 posts

The 15 is porbably good enough. You probably dont need as much as the full size holds, and if you do - youd probably be better off with two smaller ones (easier to pack). Ive actually found taking only the 1/2 cubes (3x) works better for me - as they are easier to stack/move around in the bag - more modular. I leave the folder and the full cub at home usually. I also pref. the eagle creek ones - but I do have the RS ones too (new and old style). I take the older net-like one anyways to help keep souvenier goodies together.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Skip. I've just finished outfitting myself in the exact manner you describe. The 18" Eagle Creek packing folder fits very nicely inside the RS Covertible Carry-On. And the RS packing cube set does fit well right on top. You might be able to make the 20" folder fit, but it seems to me like it would be too much of a squeeze.

Posted by
44 posts

how many shirts and/or slacks do you usually need to be able to carry? And how many can be carried in the 15" and the 18"?? I think that might help you figure it out.

About the RS packing cubes, how well do they work for everybody? I know they're "softer" then the eagle creek, they don't stand up on their own unless they're packed. Which do you guys prefer?


Posted by
49 posts

I have the previous generation rick steves carryon bag and I can fit the eagle creek 15" packing folder, a similar size packing cube, the shoe bag, and a tube packing cube and still have some room to spare for other things on the side of the bag. I can fit the same in my roll aboard also (also the previous generation model). I don't know too much about the rick steves packing cubes, but they do look nice. I bought the eagle creek ones because they were easier to find and to be able to see with my own eyes.

Posted by
43 posts

Skip, someone gave me one of those packing folders but they seem such a nuisance!! I use two-gallon ziploc bags as 'file folders' for my clothes. I fold the shirt or pants, slip it into the large ziploc bag, push the air out, seal, and stack my files in my carryon. So easy, so cheap, and things just don't seem to get wrinkled. Also, the ziplocs don't take up any space.

Posted by
552 posts

I have to post another emphatic vote against the 20" folder.

Once two slacks and three shirts are placed in the 18", it fits pretty much as snug as could be in the 20 x 14 bag.

I'm pretty sure the 20" folder would not be accommodated.

Also, my 16.5" neck 40" long shirts still only fold about 2/3 - 1/3 around the plastic board with the collar snug against one edge (important for reducing bulk.)

My wife uses a 15" and her shirts come closer to folding in half. But then of course, it doesn't hold the bag as firmly outstretched.

Her bag is more thick and square and she can get a bit more in the outer pockets.

My bag is thin and rectangular and gets caught up less in doorways and such.
Plus, it's more comfortable for me to wear as it spreads the load.

The bottom line is: choose size to match body.

X-Large shirts = 18"

Medium = 15"

Large - it's your call depending on torso length.

Posted by
25 posts

Hi Skip,

My husband uses the EC 18" folder for his pants and shirts, inside an RS rolling bag. I use the 18" and can get away with using the 15", too, but it's pretty small.

The folders keep shirts and pants pretty well "pressed" and presentable looking. It's been a great tool for both of us over the last 3 years for both business and personal travel.

Happy trails!

Posted by
44 posts

Just curious Skip, what did you decide on? I've been considering buying one too, and wondered what worked out for you?