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Questionable Dimensions of Carry on backpack

I am a carry on fanatic and I use backpacks and not roller bags. I also need to have a good hip belt that will lighten the load if I have to walk far. I recently used the Osprey Porter 46 bag, it fit in all the overhead bins, but it was hot and the hip belt was almost useless. I just bought a Gregory Praxus 45 L bag. It seems nice, but when I checked it's size compared to all my other bags, it seems that it is about an inch longer at 23 inches instead of 22. I don't want to be paranoid of using this bag for the first time, but I am worried that the length might be a problem on any flights to Europe and in Europe. Does anyone know if a bag that is 23 inches in length would not fit in an overhead bin? Thanks

Posted by
264 posts

International carry on sizes are different in europe. We almost missed our connecting flight in Heathrow because our 22” carry on was too large and the made us check the bag. I’d worry more about whether you can carry it on plane at all.

Posted by
84 posts

Was it too long, or maybe it was too high or wide....I know the bag I got is good on the the other dimensions. That is what I am afraid of. Thanks

Posted by
21037 posts

Exceeding any of the dimensions can be a problem. You may be asked to put the bag in a sizer. If it doesn't have a frame and you have under-packed, perhaps you can make it fit. If you pack it full, it clearly will not fit in the sizing box of any airline whose limit is 22" or less"

Have you taken any budget flights within Europe? Some of the airlines have extremely low weight limits--I think as low as 8 kg. (17.6 lb.). I think they may have stricter size limits, too, but I confess I've never paid much attention because I always check a bag. I'd do some Googling for carry-on limits for EasyJet, RyanAir, and any other major players in the airline market serving countries you plan to visit.

Posted by
11213 posts

Here's what I want you to do....

Take the bag and hold it vertically so the 23" is from top to bottom. Then push down lightly from the top. Does the bag push down or is there something inside that keeps it from happening? If it can be pushed down, don't pack that top area and you should be okay fitting in a sizer or the overhead. If there is a stay or something inside keeping its shape, then you could have a problem.

Posted by
704 posts

My solution has been to have my ultralight day pack with my e-gear, sweater, magazines, etc at the top of my pack to be pulled out before measuring/boarding. I am going to get them out anyway for my flight/train, and once on foot I have left enough room in the pack so everything fits in to leave my hands free.

Posted by
84 posts

On a recent flight on Easyjet from Rome to London, I had to put my small daypack inside the main bag because I was only allowed to take one bag. Luckily, the Porter 46 could be cinched down so tight that they fit in the overhead.

Posted by
84 posts

I just double checked the new bag with it's straps tucked away, next to the Porter 46 with it's straps tucked away, and I think the new bag will be fine. Thanks to everyone that responded. I appreciate it.

Posted by
154 posts

I generally use rolling bags, but on occasion will go with a backpack for short trips. I've found that a lot of "travel backpacks", while sturdy and durable, aren't always flexible enough to squeeze into a sizer, or ideally fit under an airline seat, especially if maximally loaded.

Recently, though, I picked up a backpack from Amazon that's 40L and amazingly flexible and lightweight. I don't know how to paste it here, but it's made by Boulder Pack Co. and is a military-style "tactical" backpack. There are a lot of similar such packs at a reasonable price. (I got mine in black so as not to look like I was getting ready to invade North Africa;) It's large, but with strategic packing will squeeze into any domestic sizer. If fully loaded, it'll go in the overhead, and if not, squeezes under the seat in front. The key is the fabric, which is 600D polyester, weighing in in at 3.6 pounds. There's a side carry handle and the bag expands a couple of inches if necessary. Hideaway waist belt, too.

A bag like this is probably a decent compromise between size and flexibility, and could be used for a long trip when expanded or a short one in the normal configuration. And by going basic black, I don't look like a 62 year old vet reliving the old days.;) I also found it pretty comfortable to carry, which is a big deal for me these days. Anyway, worth a look.

Posted by
5783 posts

Your problem is not so much fitting the backpack into the overhead as much as fitting it into the "sizing frame" is asked. A long bag can fit sideways in the overhead, but in doing so, it takes up more room. The airlines specify the dimensional limits to get the maximum number of carry-on bags into the overhead. On many if not most aircraft, if every passenger brought on a maximum allowed carry-on, not everyone's carry-on would fit the overheads on a full flight.