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8 KG weight limit

So I carried my new Travel Pro on American and British Air without problem this summer but am looking now at TAP Portugal or Air Italy for next May's flight. I never weighed my bag packed but am sure it was more than the 8 KG weight limit of these airlines.

I was wondering what those of you who packed this light actually took and where you found you could save weight.

Posted by
1514 posts

My bag usually weighs 20 pounds. I am flying Turkish Airlines in 3 weeks and they have an 8 kg (17.6 lb) limit. I think I may leave my second pair of shoes at home. I usually travel solo and this year my son is joining me. I think that will make it easier as we can split the heavier stuff. Good luck!

Posted by
23440 posts

If carrying anything that is heavy for its size -- batteries for example -- go into the pockets. One time we did get caught with having to put the jacket on top of the suitcase when it was weighed. Fortunately it was one of the times when I had not loaded the jacket pockets.

Posted by
1434 posts

I use an Osprey Fairview which I think weighs almost half of the 21" Travel Pro. So that's almost 3 lbs right there. I also minimize paper, only printing out those things that have to be printed and printing double sided. Everything else is on my phone with an ipod as a backup. No additional electronics. Books (including travel guides) are also downloaded to the phone. All extraneous US cards (library, Costco, etc.) are left at home along with all US coins. My warm weather packing list is: 1 waterproof hooded raincoat; 1 cashmere sweater; 1 pashmina; 1 pair sandals; 1 belt; 2 pants; 1 capri; 1 reversible skirt; 5 short sleeve or tank tops; 2 long sleeve shirts; 3 bras; 6 undies; 5 socks; 1 hat; charging chord; adapter; bathing suit; pj's and toiletries. I come in at just under 8 kg. I assume you will also be allowed a "personal item" carry on so some things can go in there and you can tie your raincoat or sweater around your waist when you board. I always want my sweater or pashmina handy as a pillow or blanket in any event.

Posted by
683 posts

Wife and I always come in under 8 kg; we take all lightweight, quick-dry travel clothes: 2 pants, 1-2 t-shirts, 2 shirts (or tops for her); wash stuff in the sink every so often. For cold weather we have synthetic long sleeve tops and hooded rain shells; with another shirt for an additional layer we are comfortable down to 40 degrees F or so, which is as cold as it ever gets during the months we travel. We actually have a fairly extensive packing list, but we weigh everything to the gram on a kitchen scale, and are careful to get the lightest of everything. For example, this spring I went with Smartwool ankle socks over the regular length, since cold was not going to be an issue, and saved .6 oz or so on each sock (3 pairs, though I think I'll start taking just 2). If you PM me your email, I could send you my packing list.

One thing that really, really helps in my case is that my bag only weighs 1 1/2 pounds--it is a Campmor, in a model that is no longer made (originally 1 lb. 12 oz., but I cut off the hide-away backpack straps that I never used); just a tough synthetic-fabric bag without much structure, but I am willing to live with that; packing cubes help a lot to give it a regular shape. My wife OTOH has a wheeled bag that probably weighs 4 pounds; she saves weight by packing mostly just clothes, and I have all the maps, ripped-out chapters of RS guidebooks, laundry stuff, first aid and all kinds of other things. She actually takes 2 big fat paperbacks, which she leaves them behind after reading, and still comes in at c. 15 lbs. We both take a lot of pills and supplements, well over a pound each, so that weight decreases with passing days.

We also take a day pack (HikePro, 6.5 oz.) in which we keep the iPad Mini, snacks, water bottles, and (for flights) travel pillows.

Posted by
1259 posts

Search the forums and interwebs in general for “light packing lists” and “ultralight packing lists” and “packing lists for carry-on only”. You will find literally hundreds of fascinating threads, one or more of which will synch with your age/gender/trip length/experience/propensity for comfort.

Posted by
3049 posts

I did 11 days in Spain with an 8kg weight limit - it's when I replaced my roller bag with a carry-on sized backpack and yes, I did laundry twice. Not ideal but I'm getting better. I adore my bag and have lent it to friends when they're traveling with similar limits.

Even my husband, he of the fashionable duffel, wants one now.

The only time I miss a roller bag is walking long-distances in airports/trains but the ease of getting around cities/up stairs/etc makes up for it as does that sweet ability to pack in one...more...blouse.

I also of course wear my heaviest shoes/sneakers on the plane, as well as a heavy sweater if needed. If the airline allows it I take a larger purse as well and stuff some stuff in there.

Posted by
697 posts

Assuming there’s no weight restriction on your personal item, move all the heavy stuff there just for the flight. Electronics, toiletries, liquids, meds, etc. You can redistribute at your destination to balance the weight (I prefer to wind up with the heavy stuff in my roller for the “ground” part of the trip).

Posted by
2565 posts

Thanks for all the ideas. I don't find backpacks comfortable so while I can see that could cut out a couple pounds, it would not be worth it.

I usually only have the things I will use on the plane in my personal item but I certainly could put some heavier things in there. Good idea.

I think paper is a culprit of mine. I tried unsuccessfully using Tripit this past trip and ended up taking my usual pile of paper (and not even printed double sided). I tried using Trip it after making reservations and having confirmations emailed to me so maybe that was the problem. Anyway, this thread reminds me I ought to figure it out!

And maybe I should buy a scale, so I can make judicious choices!

Posted by
3049 posts

I don't love the TripIt app - I find just having everything in Google Docs/Email to be more efficent. You can also download offline maps in GoogleMaps and offline languages for GoogleTranslate. But realistically printed paper isn't accounting for a huge portion of the weight. I just prefer to have things organized electronically so I know where it is and don't have to go through my bag.

Any toiletries you know you can buy on the ground you could just leave behind as well. Liquid is weight and a pain to deal with when going through security. Unless you're really tied to a particular product, things like shampoo, lotion, etc isn't necessary when you're going to any country with a decent drogerie like DM.

Shoes add significant weight - if you're going to Italy in May, maybe buy sandals once you're there? You can always do what I did for my June boat trip and take some falling-apart items to use casually and trash them at the end of the trip, replaced by your newer items or not at all depending on what you need.

Posted by
726 posts

I second the suggestion to use a scale. I encountered some major surprises the first time I tried it. For example, on my first trip to Europe I had been planning to pack some Chico's Travelers items. I figured that if they were named 'Travelers' then they would be appropriate for traveling. Oh my, I was shocked when I weighed them. They are some of the heaviest things in my closet. Needless to say, they didn't go with me on the trip.

A few places where I can usually shave off some weight:

  • Suitcase. There is a tremendous range of weights in suitcases. I have a lovely carry-on size bag that my mother gave me. The problem is that it weighs 8 pounds empty. Wheeled luggage will cost you a few pounds, but you can still get a reasonably light bag. Osprey, for example, makes a 42 liter wheeled bag that comes in at 4.5 pounds.
  • Shoes. Shoes are heavy. There's just no way around it. I usually wear my heavy pair on the plane and pack a light pair as a backup. I never put more than one pair of shoes in my suitcase.
  • Toiletries. Toiletries can get out of control if you aren't careful. Decant moisturizers and such into smaller/lighter containers whenever possible. Ask yourself if you can buy some toiletries once you arrive at your destination.
  • Electronics. Do you really need to pack that computer? camera? tablet? If you decide that you need all those electronics (as I often do), try to reduce weight of chargers and cables. Take things you can charge via USB instead of having separate chargers for everything.
  • Clothes. Working with a capsule wardrobe, where each item goes with every other item, goes a long way to keeping the weight down.
Posted by
15580 posts

Samsonite makes a wheeled bag that is 55 x 35 x 23 CM so it fits most European carry on limits. And it weighs juste over 3 lbs. Sadly it's not sold in the U.S. but you can get it through Amazon. I have the two wheeled version and it is good. I'm thinking of getting the spinner. This bag will save you a few pounds over your Travel Pro.

Samsonite Uplite 55

Posted by
7668 posts

I think that to stay below 8 kg, you are looking at switching to a backpack type lightweight bag. The allowance for a personal item is not helping either, that needs to be small and has a limit of 2 kg.

Maybe the obvious answer, that would avoid all the worry, sweat, purchasing a new bag, having a scale, hoping you can sneak on a little more, stuffing your pockets with batteries, and all the other just to pay to check a bag.

I assume you are looking at these airlines because the price is attractive, and AA and BA are much more expensive. Take some of those savings and price out what the checked bag will cost, the total will likely still be far less than AA/BA. I tried to look to find a checked bag fee for TAP, but it is dependent on route, class of ticket you buy, and it seems a few other factors as well. But in searching for a ticket, you should be able to price out a bag. I did see a warning though that purchasing through a discount site (CheapoAir for example) puts you into the lowest ticket fare class and the highest fees and penalties the bag would cost more than someone booking "main cabin" or one of the premium fares. You should buy directly from TAP, and sometimes paying a bit more may be a benefit based on what your needs are.

Posted by
2565 posts

Actually American is not that much more money. And I could carry on with American without any issues as I just did it this summer. They are not as restrictive. My reason for not wanting American is return flight is earlier (11 am vs 1:00 pm) and would have to spend last night in Milan rather than Lake Como. I didn’t want to have to change hotels and I wanted last night in Lake Como not Milan. But perhaps that is foolish.

That said, I just packed my bag to go to Boston for a conference and decided to weigh it (weighed myself and then self and bag). It weighed 16 lbs. So maybe is possible even without a new bag.

Posted by
2768 posts

Yes, you can do it in a light roller bag, as long as you are allowed a personal item. I've found that clothing isn't really the problem so long as your items are "normal" and not all made of super-thick fabric. Your average clothing items in a carry-on size suitcase just won't add up to that much weight. It's the "other stuff" - electronics, liquids, books, and shoes that can be an issue.

So for me - anything heavy goes in the personal item. For me, that's my camera and ipad. You mention paper - if you don't want to go paperless put your files in the personal item. Same for books if you don't use e-books. I don't carry paper unless necessary, like tickets where e-tickets aren't available. If you want help with ways to limit paper, plenty of us can help, but if not - shove the paper into the personal item. My liquids bag is another culprit - I like my own shampoo and lotions, but the bag weighs nearly a pound. So into the personal item it goes for weighing. I can move it back to my carry on later.

For clothing/shoes, anything on your body doesn't count (within reason, don't try to wear 20 articles of clothing!). Wear your heavier clothes. This often means shoes, jeans, and jackets. Wear those on the plane - pack the lighter shoes and wear the heavier boots or sneakers.

Posted by
393 posts

This spring, my wife and I were in Switzerland and flew to Naples. SwissAir had a similar weight restriction.

A computer bag, purse, messenger bag count as a personal item and don't count as part of the weight limit.
We packed Rick Steves roller carry-on and weighed them. One was right at the weight limit and the other was below.

I was WAY more nervous before-hand than needed. :-)
Do a trial pack.

Posted by
44 posts

We're kind of in the same predicament, with our Alitalia flights in the Fall. I thought about just paying for a checked bag, but there's a connection that is kind of tight, and I learned my lesson the hard way with our first extended trip to Europe, when my checked bag didn't make the flight from London to Madrid. Problem was, from Madrid we were moving on to Venice and onwards staying in apartments so I was really concerned I might be separated from my stuff for a long while. And my first few days were spent on and off the phone with customer service, which was no fun.

So, we're going to rise to the 8kg challenge. First: we got new carry-on luggage as our current cases are 22" (too tall) and weight 7 lbs. I picked up a digital luggage scale at TJ Maxx so I could accurately weigh the options. There's actually quite a lot of variability -- the American Tourister cases labeled 5.2 lbs actually weighed 5.6 pounds. And the iT Debonair cases described as
4.4 lbs actually weighed 4 lbs! The scale will definitely help when it comes to final decisions on what to take.

As for which items make the cut, I'm going to do my best to remember that whenever we travel, no matter how much or how little I pack, I still seem to wear the same few items over and over :~).

Posted by
302 posts

I always scoffed at the digital luggage scales, as a longtime carry-on only devotee. Until weight limits like this are becoming more common. For me it was Norwegian, and their 10kg total including the small- sized personal item that previously served as my overflow storage. The scale was really helpful, when you realize the ounces start to add up for pants, etc. So just because it fit within the permitted dimensions, I consistently was over 20 lbs.
Stymied, I finally got a soft- sided Eddie Bauer duffel that weighed half (under 3 lbs) of my "light" roller (6.5 lbs). You might not want to go to these efforts, but I was moving constantly starting w my Oslo arrival and couldn't take a chance.
My way pared down combo first aid and toiletry bag was 1 lb- in the end I put that, and my charger, and tablet in the pocket of my anorak tied around my waist at check-in. Practicing at home with the scale made all the difference- regular scales are not as accurate. Did a little mental victory dance when the agent cleared me!

Posted by
19156 posts

I really don't get it. All I see here is people trying to figure out how to game the system - how to maximize the weight of stuff they take (put it in their pockets, put it in their personal item, etc), so that they can take more than the airline's weight limit.

But then you have to drag all that stuff, and there are time when you really do have to carry it. Why burden yourselves with so many things you don't absolutely have to have. Why not find a way to only take what you need?

I don't take the absolute minimum I can take. I have thought of it, believe me. Everything I take is picked to be able to dry overnight. It always does. I really only need one set of clothing. I could wash it out before bed and let it dry overnight. I've thought of sometime going to Europe with just the clothes on my back. Or maybe just one change, and alternate. No, I think I take a reasonable amount. In addition to what I wear, I take two more pair of washable slacks, several pair of walking shorts, four washable shirts, and two changes of underwear. I take a sweater to wear under my jacket on a cold day. In the summer I wear a light jacket on the plane; in colder months it's a down parka. That's all the clothes I take. I wear the only pair of shoes I take.

With three pair of slacks and five different shirts, I could make up fifteen outfits, but I rarely stay in one place for me to be seen once in each outfit, twice in a shirt. But really, who out there is keeping track? Or if they are, do I care?

Yes, I have to wash out underwear almost every night, 18 times in a 21 day trip, and shirts 16 times in a 21 day trip. One of the milestones of my trips is when I realize I have enough clean shirts, and then enough clean underwear to make it home without washing. But if I doubled what I take, I would only reduce the underwear nights by three and the shirt nights by five. It wouldn't make that much difference, and I would be carrying a lot more.

I only take one pair of shoes, and I wear them.

My personal item is a small laptop in a case, about 3½#.

So, what I take in my carryon bag weighs less than 10 pounds. My bag weighs a bit more than two pounds, so the total is around 12 pounds - not too much for my back.

I've been traveling this way now for over ten years, and I've never, ever wished I had brought something more.
Someday, if it ever happens that I can't carry that little amount on my back, I can get a 5# roller and still be under 8 kg.

The Magic Word for me for packing light is Laundry. I pack about 4 days worth of clothes and either do laundry myself at a laundromat or pay the laundromat to clean it for me.
I don't carry make-up. If I can wear sturdy "hiking" sandals - then, I eliminate socks and I don't bring other shoes. (Depends on location and weather.)
My packable raincoat is my only jacket. (Again, weather and location matter)
No umbrella.

Think about what NOT to pack. Think smaller, less, lighter weight.
38 - 40 liter bag keeps you from over-packing.
Packing cubes may add weight, but are still worth it for organization.

Posted by
1259 posts

Some wheelies and hardsides are 2.5 to 4kg empty. My cavernous Patagonia MLC45 masses 1.6kg and it is considered a heavy bag by passionate onebaggers. I did the Scotland 10 -day tour last year with a simple REI 40 liter duffle, 1.0kg, and had room to spare so the MLC seems almost empty when all the cubes are zipped in.o

Try reviewing some of the mass reduction methods and successful packing lists at these:

I don't know your body size. The Patagonia MLC45 bag is good for taller people over 5'8" or so - like my husband.
I am under 5'5" and need a smaller bag like Eagle Creek migrate. I stay with a bag 19-20" long. It makes a difference.
While the Patagonia bag is a good one - there's no way I could carry that comfortably.

Posted by
2565 posts

Personally, I think there are several issues here.

One is not taking more than you can comfortably manage carrying your own luggage on and off trains (and lifting it up to put above seat) and up multiple flights of stairs. I have reduced the bulk of what I take and can do that easily. But even though I could easily carry my suitcase up five flights of stairs in Edinburgh last month, it weighs more than many airlines allow for carry on.

So this is where "gaming" the system comes in for many people. I must admit I have done it one US flights too. But this in my mind is separate from being able to carry your own luggage.

And I have checked in luggage without incident a number of times but there have been a couple luggage fails in my family this past year (one lost luggage and another connecting flight almost missed because of having to retrieve luggage after landing in US) that have made me want to avoid that risk.

And we all have what we believe we have to take for a good trip. I have substituted lighter versions of some things without regrets and there are some things I might be able to do without. But there are some things I can't give up if I am going to have a fun trip to Europe, which after all is the goal. For example, I have difficult feet and cannot get by with one pair of shoes no matter how comfortable and well broken in to start.

So I am going to take the advice of several posters and get myself a scale and do a trial run. I will try some of the advice as to packing of other posters. I also will consider other airlines that have as rigorous carry on standards.

Posted by
302 posts

"Gaming the system" would be trying to sneak an extra bag or something else with nefarious intent. I weigh 105 (very ethical) lbs, but pay the same for my airline ticket as someone twice my weight.!Putting some stuff in the pockets of a jacket doesn't seem tricksy to me! I am following their rules for baggage requirements!

Posted by
18572 posts

Do these flights allow one carryon and one personal item. When I do want to limit myself to carryon, then the heavy stuff goes in my laptop case (the 1 personal item).

Posted by
9792 posts

My way pared down combo first aid and toiletry bag was 1 lb- in the end I put that, and my charger, and tablet in the pocket of my anorak tied around my waist at check-in.


I don't see these things as gaming the system either — obviously one can carry way more than 8 kg comfortably, so it's a non-sequitur to say that if you can't meet the 8-kilo limit, you can't handle your bags. And Karen above mentioning that she only weighs 105 pounds has a point too — she's getting on the plane with people who weigh 150, 200, 250 pounds, but yet she's restricted to the same 8 kilos as far as her luggage goes. Obviously the far bigger difference is in the bodies coming on the plane. What's fair about that?

Posted by
4442 posts

On the other hand, the 105 lb person's clothes are smaller, so easier to fit into the small weight allowance.

Posted by
1259 posts

So I carried my new Travel Pro on American and British Air without problem this summer but am looking now at TAP Portugal or Air Italy for next May's flight. I never weighed my bag packed but am sure it was more than the 8 KG weight limit of these airlines.
I was wondering what those of you who packed this light actually took and where you found you could save weight.

We never really answered that, did we?
This writer for Her Packing List has studied packing for 7kg instead of Trying to go carryon-only, although there is no real information in the short article:

Here are some other links from that range from stuffing a typical 40 liter bag to the absolute minimum:

Posted by
1514 posts

It is getting closer to my trip so I pulled out the suitcases from the closet. I am also flying on a short flight on Pegasus airline and reviewed their baggage rules. They allow one 45 cm bag at 8kg (same as Turkish Airlines), but their personal item has a max dimensions of 20 x 20 x 35 cm. Yikes.
I wanted to buy a Fairview 40L for my son to use. My ulterior motive was that then I could choose between my Osprey 46 or the smaller bag in the future. My son did not want me to spend money and said he would rather take a small roller bag that we already own. So, we weighed the bag and it is almost 10 pounds empty. Geez!
So, then I just haaad to get the new bag. It was on sale on ebags. It will be here Thursday. What fun!
I will carry a Tom Bihn medium cafe bag. But we don't have any other suitable bags for my son's personal item so I had to get one. I decided on this bag

Even more fun than ordering new bags was cleaning out the closets. Tomorrow morning VVA will pick up 2 55 inch humongous cases and some large tote bags that are really nice, but we just don't need them.

I really like the idea of traveling light.