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22" Wheeled Duffel bag as carry on luggage

I bought this 22" inch duffel bag that has the following dimensions: 13"H x 22"W x 12"D

https://www.macys.com/shop/product/nautica-submariner-22-wheeled-duffel?ID=6339294

Most airlines specify the height of carry-on as 9" (including American and Delta).

This duffel can be squeezed to 9" from the top when not filled completely with stuff.

Will it be allowed? Anyone has experience traveling with these types of duffels?

Posted by
5019 posts

Depends. It depends primarily on two things:

Which airline. Every airline has their own limit, there's no universal standard, period.

If your bag fits within the specified dimensions (including, wheels, handles, and any other protusion) then you're fine. If it doesn't, then the question is: are you feeling lucky? Because you are counting on luck - the mood of those whose job it is to enforce the rules. Some people get lucky sometimes, others don't. You might want to consider what the consequences would be if you are not lucky. In some cases, it's no big deal. In other cases, it might cost you a lot.

It comes down to a pretty simple truth: Follow the rules - exactly - and you'll be fine. Exceed the limits and...there's no telling what'll happen. You might slip by, you might not, nobody can tell you for sure.

All that said: I would not count on that bag on many airlines.

Posted by
5486 posts

Check true out-to-out dimensions, especially the long dimension which looks controlled by the bag's frame/handle/wheels assembly.

Note that if your Delta flight is a code share operated by KLM, KLM's 55 cm (21.5") rule would apply.

Posted by
1503 posts

Your luggage is too big.

Also expect your measurements are low. Get a tape measure and measure it yourself. Luggage manufactures like to leave out things like handles and wheels , which you have plenty of on that piece of luggage, but the airlines do measure those things and they count.

Posted by
1503 posts

If you just bought it I would recommend you take it back and get something that actually can be carried on legally

As someone who flies a lot I can tell you that a lot of gate agents are going to stop that bag and tell you no

Posted by
3 posts

Please consider this topic closed. Thanks to those who tried to help sharing their real experience.

Posted by
6542 posts

You will have an easier time getting it on an American airline than an European airline. They take an inch to be a serious manner, even though my carry on bag fits on all Boeing airplanes.
And my 21" bag is actually 22" when the wheels are included.
My most trouble has been with the gestapo gate attendants at Norwegian Air Shuttle--wanting to make an example out of me.

Posted by
6128 posts

Another potential problem I see is how far sideways( width) does it puff out when the depth gets mashed down to 9 inches?

And it is really only 22 inches long (tall)?

If primary use is US domestic, you may be OK most of the time. International/foreign airlines more likely to be a problem

And there is no hiding that bright red bag.

Posted by
395 posts

Anyone has experience traveling with these types of duffels?

I have a rolling duffel that I love. Problem is that it calls attention to itself because it look fatter than other luggage. And mine is a conservative color. On a positive note the few times the size of my bag has been called into question, I have been questioned I easily shove my bag into the test bin.

Posted by
8569 posts

You forgot to ask about the weight. Remember, many non-U.S. airlines also weigh carry-ons. How much does this bag weigh?

Posted by
11 posts

we’ve been using the RS Ravenna rolling carry on, and never had a problem, even on connecting Euro cheap flights ( Easyjet) It holds a months travel cloths if you pack thoughtfully, the problem with soft dufflebags is no matter how you try not to overstuff you always end up with a lumpy balloon of a bag, on every flight I always see someone trying to hammer an awkward bag into the overhead compartments, even though they may have no more packed than me, the nature of the bag lends itself to bunching and just looks like a pain. with the right bag you will never check luggage again and will love the freedom of leaving the airport while everyone else is still searching the luggage carousel

Posted by
2361 posts

The bottom line: Only the gate agent(or check-in agent) can answer this question definitively and then it's too late to use a different bag. My husband recently was required by Air France to check the carryon that Delta sent him as a gift for being a million-miler. He was furious because the bag had gotten by in the past (which had been his reasoning at home when I told him his bag didn't meet Air France's requirements.)

Posted by
5486 posts

Gate agents for full single aisle flights are more likely to gate check large carry-on bags. I've seen gate agents at European airports prowl the waiting area searching out the big bags in advance of boarding. Long carry-ons that cannot fit the overhead without being placed sideways take up the space of two legal carry-ons. This tends to be especially true of the rollers where the long dimension has a rigid frame/wheel/handle assembly the keeps the overhead compartment door from latching. Proactive gate agents will try to intercept the non-compliant bags before the get on board and slow down boarding.

Posted by
2795 posts

Follow the rules - exactly - and you'll be fine.

The problem is that since most luggage purchases are now probably done on-line, it is rarely possible to know the precise dimensions of a bag until you've bought it. The EBags web site may be more accurate than other retailers and manufacturers web sites, but I'm not certain of that. I'm in the position now where I need to buy 2 European-compliant (Lufthansa right now) carry-ons, and I do have questions as to whether certain bags will suffice. I have seen comments that indicate that the measurements for the RS rolling carry-on are accurate, which has me leaning towards that.

Posted by
20598 posts

If you can access past issues of Consumer Reports, they had a report a couple of years ago comparing advertised size and actual size of carry on luggage. Most measurements only measured the size of the bag and did not include handle or wheels. The variety of bags available from TJMaxx to Macy, you should be able to find the bag your want and measure it first hand even if ordering on-line.

Posted by
2361 posts

Robert, I know many people hate Amazon, but their reviews and questions are helpful and if you keep the box it came in and it measures too big, its not a big problem to send it back via your local UPS store. Been there, done that for a trip on Air France-I got the TravelPro Maxlite 5 International Carryon and it passed when my husband's Samsonite did not.

Posted by
3 posts

Just wanted to respond and thank again for the helpful replies - and there were many.

The key point is that the way the gate agents usually look at the size is via the metal size checker. The actual size of the one from Delta is described here: https://renespoints.boardingarea.com/2014/12/18/real-delta-carry-size-check-maximum-size-tested-numbers/

Based on the many responses, seems that for the large planes these types of duffels, if not filled to the capacity, are allowed, especially if they can fit this metal size checker and if the airlines allows 22" inch bags as carry-on, some only allow 21 or 21.5 and are strict about it.

Posted by
3249 posts

This is a link to the Consumer Reports article mentioned above, "When Carry-on Luggage Isn't Carry-on Size." It's 4 years old now, so some of the brands and models tested may no longer be available, but the principles are the same.

If the sizer is constructed the same way as the picture in the article linked by the OP, a typical 22x14x9 bag should fit. But I've run into sizers that have an interior support structure which effectively makes them smaller.

My soft-sided 22x14x9 42L Eagle Creek bag like this is shallow enough to put it in one of those, but narrow enough to get caught under the upper support structure and make it very difficult to get it out.

It sounds like a real pain, but taking your bag, packed like you plan to pack it, to the airport and testing it for size and weight could avoid potential hassles later.

About a year ago, I got this 20.25x14x8 36L Eagle Creek International bag. The width and depth numbers are actually slightly smaller and are rounded up. It's obviously smaller and weighs less than the previously linked one. So far it's cleared all sizers and fit in every overhead bin, either turned on edge (the 8" size) or on its back, with the wheels at the back and handle at the front of the bin. I used it this past summer for a 5 week trip and the capacity was fine for how I pack.

I've had to gate check my 22x14x9 one on small planes and I was very pleased that the 20.25x14x8 one has not been questioned, so far.

As others have said, any gate agent could challenge it anytime. And if your bag is shaped a bit differently or looks too big, you can also be a target for gate checking when the plane is full and carry-on space is iffy.

Posted by
152 posts

Lo, I have that Eagle Creek international-sized bag too, and also bought it about a year ago. Looks like that bag (Load Warrior) has been replaced by a similar bag called Gear Warrior that, if I recall, is about an inch taller than the Load Warrior.

I've had good luck with that older model, but not sure if the new one would cut it with some sizers and picky gate agents on international flights, though it's fine for domestic use. Despite the annoying T-handle (a pet peeve of mine), it's a nice, durable bag.

As an aside, it seems like EC pays better attention to international baggage limits than a lot of other brands. What some advertise as "international carryon" size doesn't pass muster on a lot of the European carriers. Buyer beware;)