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How much does your empty bag weigh?

I can’t do backpack so I have the Monos carry on plus and it weighs 7.38 pounds. It’s a hard roller. But I haven’t even begun adding clothes to it and to get under 20 pounds seems like it will be a huge challenge.

So just wondering how much your empty bag weighs in at?

Posted by
401 posts

I have an Osprey Farpoint backpack and a 2012 Osprey Ozone 22" roller. The roller weighs in at about 4 pounds empty, the backpack about half a pound lighter. Made the 8 kg limit on my flight back in 2017 with the backpack, but was at about 25 pounds this last trip with the roller since we were carrying heavy gifts on our outbound flight.

Posted by
1454 posts

My Osprey Ozone is 4.53 lbs/2.1 kg. Holds 46L. My TravelPro Maxlite 5 International is 5.4 lbs/2.4 kg. Holds 45 L.

Posted by
7075 posts

I have an old GoLite brand soft sided 22" wheeled carryon that weighs about 4-1/2 lbs. I don't think they make them anymore, I got it at an outlet mall about 10 years ago and it's been all over Europe on several long trips and is still holding up well. It's my favorite of all the bags I've had.

Posted by
27415 posts

The It brand of luggage is some of the lightest on the market. My first It bag (soft-sided with two wheels and larger than a carry-on) weighed about 3.5 lb. It is not a premium brand, and the wheels are likely to be the first point of failure. I say that because I'm hard on my luggage, usually changing hotels 20-30 times per trip and virtually never taking taxis, and the wheels do eventually fail after 100 days on the road. It's a trade-off: A bit more weight can mean a sturdier bag, but you have to move that weight around, and then there's the issue of airline weight limits.

TravelPro seems to be a better-quality brand that weighs less than most.

Posted by
2912 posts

I got a new RS Rolling Carry-On recently as a replacement for my old one. It weighted 5 lbs out of the box, not the 6 1/2lbs listed in the specs (so said my handy dandy luggage scale). I don’t pack ultra light—suitcase weighed 20lbs last trip and tote was 7oz empty, 6lbs packed.

If I were you, I’d get a lighter suitcase. 2 1/3lb difference between yours and mine is a pair of sandals and two shirts OR a pair of leggings, a shirt and a cashmere sweater.
(Yes, I weigh everything. Goal is carry on only and to lift bags easily over my head.)

Posted by
4174 posts

I have 3 bags that each weigh about 4.5 pounds empty. Already I have 2.88 [1.3 kg] pounds to play with that your heavier empty bag takes away from you. My self-imposed weight limit is 20 pounds [9 kg] fully packed.

None of my bags is hard-sided. All are 2-wheeled. All have T-shaped monopoles. All are very simple in design with limited external pockets. Those features, or lack of them, help to make them lighter. All are old and no longer available except maybe used.

There are newer versions that may be heavier or have less capacity. I always look at other suggestions, but so far have found nothing better than what I already have. Note that I jumped to the bait when they were on sale, so I didn't pay full price for any of them.

These are my current bags:

Osprey Ozone -- neither is expandable.

  1. T-shaped handle. 42 L. 55x36x23 cm. [21.6x14.2x9 in.]. This is the typical US airline size and has the largest capacity, but its shape makes it harder to pack.
  2. Global. T-shaped handle. 38 L. 50x40x20 cm. [19.6x15.7x7.9 in.]. Note the difference in shape -- shorter, wider, shallower. This is my favorite. In spite of the limited capacity, it's the easiest to pack.

Eagle Creek International Load Warrior -- Expandable, but I've never needed to do that.

T-shaped handle. 36 L. 53x35x20 cm. [20.8x13.8x7.8 in]. Expands to 39 L. 53x35x24.5 cm. [20.8x13.8x9.6 in]. Note that it expands in depth only.

I use Eagle Creek compression packing cubes as my primary packing organization tools and a few other packing cubes that are not compression ones. They help make more room in my bags, but taking the air out doesn't lighten the load.

Posted by
2595 posts

I had a bag that weighed as much as yours. After struggling to put it up above my head on multiple trains (I am not sure how much it weighed packed but it was no 20 pounds!), I got a travel pro max elite. I absolutely love it. It is 22 inches though which is fine for carry on for US based airlines but not necessarily European ones. So last year I got the Rick Steve’s one that horsewolfie has.

I would definitely buy a new bag. There are many options out there that would easily shave a couple pounds off.

Posted by
18773 posts

Because of the airlines i end up having to use my bag weighs 8kg when packed. Not more, not less. The only thing that goes in my bag is fabric, everything else goes in the personal item. I generally run out of space about the same point as I run out of volume, so a larger or lighter bag will not change much.

Posted by
7012 posts

My TravelPro Maxlite 5 International is 5.4 lbs/2.4 kg. Holds 45 L.

I have the same bag Trotter does - mine is a spinner and I love it; especially the low weight.

Posted by
180 posts

My empty bag weighs 7lbs. Ugh. But I did not want to have to purchase a new one. I got it down to 22lbs packed for our month long trip last month.

Posted by
102 posts

Thanks, everyone. Since my bags are in great shape I’ll keep them until I need new ones, but now that I’m more aware of bag weight I’ll do more research when it comes time for new ones. My husband is 6’6 and has no trouble lifting the bags and we aren’t flying anywhere where they weigh your carry on so we’re good for now. Just reading all of these threads got me to wondering…

Posted by
14249 posts

Melody, I think it's great to think about this ahead of time especially if you travel when you don't have your "sherpa" along to wrangle your bag, lolol!!

I wanted to get down to low enough that I met the Air France weight guidelines for bag and personal item last year. After research, consulting with everyone here, getting awesome advice by PM, I, too went with the highly overpriced but very light Osprey Ozone in August 2022. It weighs 4.5 pounds. It packs a bit weird but repeated trips with it and packing cubes has helped with that. It's got the monopole handle but I don't usually stack a bag on top so that didn't bother me.

BTW, I did wind up checking this bag 3 times recently when I went to Orkney and Shetland. The local airline that services the islands, Loganair, has impossibly small dimensions so everyone except perhaps an overnight traveler has to check. The Ozone did well and came out no worse for the wear. It's a soft side with some framing on it but the fabric didn't look all that sturdy, lol.

WHEN you are ready to start your search, I recommend setting up some kind of spread sheet so you can compare price, size, weight and any other characteristics. Compare sizes using the metric measurements. Often the inch measurements are rounded from the metric so you'll get one company rounding up and the next company rounding down. I got so confused until I realized it was better to look at the metric size even though I do NOT think in metric, lol.

Posted by
3241 posts

I have a Heys Zero Pro 21” spinner that I bought in Marshall’s 5 years ago for $100.
I see it’s still sold on the Heys website.
It weighs 2kgs.
I’ve packed for three weeks in it very easily!

Posted by
493 posts

Getting mine ready for test pack #1. I leave for Central Europe 2 weeks from today. My suitcase is a 2 wheeler, made by Hadaki but no longer available. It weighs 4lbs 2.5 oz., 19 1/2” x 14.25 x 7. I love it but it is easy to overstuff so I have to guard against that. My other bag is slightly bigger and is 5lb 3 oz. I was surprised how much difference 1 lb made in traveling with the new one.

Posted by
102 posts

Thanks for the additional replies! So much to think about. We have a 3 week trip to Prague and various places in Germany and Poland coming up next May and I’m really already starting to think about packing because it’s exciting.

I do remember a 2 week Scotland trip where I was going to take a pair of jeans, a pair of pants and a pair of Capris. But I left the jeans on the drying rack by mistake. Looking back, I made it through just fine, except for some embarrassment when I wore my kitty pajama bottoms to the laundry mat. Ahhh, good times!

Posted by
14249 posts

except for some embarrassment when I wore my kitty pajama bottoms to the laundry mat. Ahhh, good times!


To me part of the challenge for packing light (in addition to having the lightest weight suitcase possible) is the clothing selection and what I’m going to use for capsule wardrobe colors! That took some time to start with but for the last few years (and in to pre-Covid travel I’ve gone with the same Cobalt, aqua, black and white. 2 of the shirts are looking shabby so they’ve taken their last trip. Unfortunately Lands End doesnt carry the cotton/modal tees much any more, so have to look for replacement shirts.

I recommend starting to put your packing lists on paper too. I think at least half the weight/volume in my suitcase is non-clothing items.

Posted by
3241 posts

I’m the same, Pam.
In packing light it is so important to be sure that every top goes with every bottom, or you just will not wear the items that don’t.
Last trip to Sicily in spring I took pink and purple as my accent colours.
That was because I found the perfect pair of lightweight ankle length pants in a pinky/lavender colour at an Eddie Bauer sale and just had to pack them. 🙂
I always have black and white as the base colours even here at home.
This next trip’s accents will be blue and purple….but only because I bought a new navy blue crossbody bag.🤣