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Favorite Light-weight Cary-on for Lufthansa

I will be flying on Lufthansa next year. Since I need to purchase new luggage anyway, I’d like to get something that meets their max carry-on dimensions (55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm). Anyone have a great lightweight bag they can recommend? I’d prefer something with wheels rather than a backpack; my short torso makes most travel backpacks very uncomfortable.

Posted by
5818 posts

Lufthansa's carry-on limits are both size and weight (8 kg). If you want to maximize your carry-on contents, you will want to keep your weight empty to a minimum. Wheelies add weight because of the need for a structural frame in addition to handles and wheels.

Posted by
1179 posts

I have to agree with Edgar. The weight limits really do make wheelies a less optimal choice for Lufthansa.

I’d make a couple of suggestions.
First, consider a smaller backpack bag that fits your torso. You’ll have less room but you’ll make weight.

You could also consider the IT luggage. It’s fragile. Or go for ultralight luggage like the Alto Small carry on.
It will take 2 of your 8 kg. That means you’ll need to take less clothes to make weight.

Here is an article about “lightweight” luggage. It’s light for wheelies but not for backpacks.

FWIW Lufthansa doesn’t weigh the personal item. So put your heavier stuff in there. Electronics, jewelry, shoes, and some clothes are a good way to move the weight allotment.

Posted by
73 posts

Lufthansa can and will weigh carryons and check the size if they deem appropriate on any given day. I have seen it happen.

So - these dimensions convert to roughly 21"x14"x9." There are a lot of bags in this category. makes a good tool because Ebags lists dimensions of bags and weight. 8 kg is roughly 17 lb.s. This will be a factor for you.
Cindy H's advice above is good. Use both a wheeled case and a "personal item" - lightweight tote with trolley strap or a lightweight backpack.
I used Cindy's advice a while back and got a Patagonia light weight tote/backpack on sale at It's very light. I use packing cubes with it. (Ebags - 1 medium and 3 slimline). I place the medium cube full of clothes vertical in the pack, so it forms the "back pad." This makes it comfortable to carry. I was amazed at how much I could fit in this pack. Fully packed with clothes - it weighed about 8 pounds. It fits underseat.
You could combine this with a small wheeled "underseat" bag or another type of wheeled carry-on. Get a luggage scale and weigh your bag before heading to the airport to stay under 17 lb.s for your wheeled bag. Keep your wheeled bag (empty) at 6 lb.s or less.

Here's a few options to get you started: Delsey Sky Max or Hyperglide. RS mini Ravenna. Seriously - there are a lot of options for you. Stay with a "trusted" brand like RS, Delsey, Eagle Creek, ebags, samsonite, etc..

Posted by
7572 posts

I have noticed that very many experienced travelers using TravelPro Ultralight carry on's. We had regular TravelPro 22" wheeled carry on's and switched over to their 21" ultra light carry on's with swivel wheels. The swivel wheels make rolling bags sideways down airplane aisles easier. They're reasonably priced on Amazon too.

Posted by
5818 posts

Note that 55 cm / 2.54 cm/inch = 21.65 inchs.

Consumer Reports report that a 21 inch bag may be actually 22.5 inches high or even 23.5 inches high. Bring your tape measure. Some manufactures of wheelies forget to include the height of the wheels.

For example, the TravelPro Maxlite 3 21" Expandable Spinner ($280) is
labeled as being 21 inches high x 14 inches wide x 9 inches deep. A
suitcase of those dimensions would be within the size limit for
domestic carry-on on American, Delta, and United— 22 inches high x 14
inches wide x 9 inches deep.

However, when we measured the bag, the actual size was 22.5 inches x
14.75 inches x 9 inches—exceeding the company's claimed size by 1.5 inches in length and 0.75 inches in width.

Posted by
18620 posts

If the bag, with wheels, is actually longer than regulation, you can always take off the wheels and drag it.

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you everyone for the suggestions! Unfortunately, a lot of them are just outside the Lufthansa size requirements. The eagle creek international bag looks like a contender and only weighs 4.6 lbs. I also found a different IT bag (the Debonair) that meets the size requirements and is only 4.3 lbs, but looks a bit flimsy.

I did a test pack this evening ... clothes/shoes came out to 9.5 lbs and electronics were 2 lbs. As Cindy mentioned, I'm planing on putting the toiletries in my personal item. So if I go with the eagle creek bag, that leaves me with a 1.5 lb buffer.

The eagle creek load warrior is indeed a "contender." My only issue with it is the "T-bar" handle. I prefer a typical "arch" handle for lack of a better word.

(That is, two rods connected by a handle.). EC has a small "flat bed" bag that would work. I would check out a few more brands for comparison. You are on the right track.

Posted by
1789 posts

If you are planning on the EagleCreek bag, you can get an extra 10% on top of the 30% if you order before the end of the year. Use the code VIP10