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Trouble finding rolling bags for Icelandic Air

Another forum discussed this, but I do not have SAGA premier, though I am a SAGA member. The dimensions cannot exceed 21.6" x15.7" x7.8" . I'm having a very difficult time finding a carry on bag, especially to meet the 7.8" dimension. I have some mobility issues so I need a rolling bag and even the underseat bags are larger than 7.8". I need a new carry on anyway, but would love suggestions and recent experiences for non SAGA Premier ticket holders.

Posted by
150 posts
Posted by
6788 posts

Caveat: I haven't flown Icelandic since the 1980s, so can't offer any contemporary experience. But, if the dimensional limits are as you state (21.6" x15.7" x7.8"), then the Rick Steves Rolling Carry-On Bag ("RSRCOB" for short) could potentially work for you, and fit those dimensions. I say "could potentially work" because it depends...on you.

The stated dimensions are of this bag are 21" x 13½" x 9" (including wheels). I have two of these bags, and the stated dimensions are true, when the bag is filled (full, not bulging, not stuffed so full that it's ready to explode).

The critical dimension, as you noted, is the *depth*.

Here's the trick: If you leave the bag about half-full, it would be about 7" deep. I've measured this myself, repeatedly.

The bag's construction is such that one side (what I call the "back" side) is made from molded plastic, hard material that gives the bag it's structure (an exoskeleton of sorts). The other half (what I call the "front" side") is made of fabric, like a backback, and is completely flexible...if you don't fill it up.

Empty, the bags dimensions are about 21" x 13½" x 7". It can't get any smaller than that, because that's the dimensions of the plastic shell. That shell is about 6-7 inches deep (it varies because the telescoping handle takes up some space). If you only fill the bag to about 2/3 of it's maximum depth, it'll be under that critical 7.8" dimension.

I have tested this in my home, and it works. I have not tested it yet at an airline gate where they're checking bag sizes. I've got a flight in September on an ultra-low cost European airline that needs to get under 7.75" in depth. I'm pretty sure it'll pass muster - I just need to exercise a lot of self-restraint when loading things in the bag (and that's what cargo pants are for, no?).

Take a look at this bag. I like it for many reasons, including it's flexibility and (in this case, it's adaptability). Maybe it'll work for you.Hope that helps.

Posted by
2089 posts

I just flew to Iceland again a couple weeks ago. I took my Rick Steves 21” rolling bag and it fits in their sizer. Just don’t stuff it full. Here at SEA they were putting everyone’s bags into the sizer, even Saga flyers. Ours easily fit. Remember they also need to be less than 22pounds.

Posted by
1331 posts

I have used my Travel pro max light underseat bag (linked below) as a carry-on. I put it in the overhead bin.

to me it’s really just a little too big to go under the seat, although they advertise that. travel with it was OK but not the best because I found it was really really small. but for international carriers like Iceland air, it works for a carry-on. I traveled three weeks on a Scotland/ London trip in 2022 and also an Iceland Portugal trip in 2023 using this bag. For the Iceland Portugal trip it was really too small because I had a mix of temperatures from really cold to very hot. So my packing was a challenge with this bag but it may work for you.

https://travelpro.com/collections/underseat-bags/products/maxlite%C2%AE-5-rolling-underseat-carry-on?variant=19641448956002

Posted by
2332 posts

Condor has a similarly tiny carry on limit. This bag from Walmart worked.

Protege Pilot Case 18" Softside Carry-on Luggage, Black

Posted by
8178 posts

Hard to believe that Icelandic would be so petty as to put every bag in The Rack.

Like they said, just pack relatively light as you can and take your 21" roller with you.

I was only once questioned on a budget airline--Norwegian Air Shuttle. When I got on the plane, half the people had oversized rolling bags. They were revenue producing.

Posted by
335 posts

I just bought an IT Luggage "Lykke" carry-on bag. I have not tried it out yet, so have no actual-use report yet. However, the dimensions are very close to what you are looking for - 21.7 in x 14 in x 8.1 in. The structured depth of the case is 7.5 in - the remaining .6in is the soft zippered top, so should easily smush down to 7.8 in if you don't overstuff it. And it only weighs 5.2 lbs.

Also only $105 on Amazon right now, so not a huge investment.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B4R3SDMN?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

Posted by
2089 posts

David--Icelandair has always been very strict here at SEA. They were not giving SAGA any special privileges regarding luggage size on our most recent trip.

Posted by
411 posts

I don’t own this but Rick Steves also has a bag, Rolling Backpack Carryon that is listed as 20x14x7, including wheels. And it only weighs 5 1/2 lbs which is pretty light for a bag that size. The description says it’s designed for European airline overhead bins. I never see it discussed on the forum but if I were buying a new carryon I’d get that one before the other one recommended. (And I’d also get rid of the backpack straps that I’d never use.😊)

Posted by
14061 posts

When you are bag shopping/comparing, I suggest you use the metric measurements. The inch measurements are almost always rounded up or down. Go by Icelandic's 55x40x20 cm measurements.

The bag I got in 2022 when I was searching for the lightest possible bag to meet Air France's dimensions and weight is the Osprey Ozone. It weighs 4.5# and is 55x35x25 so is 5cm out on the depth dimension.

Since they have a strict weight allowance, get the lightest bag that will work for you.

Posted by
193 posts

I agree with mikliz97. The Rick Steves' rolling bag at 21" x 13½" x 9" in. (including wheels) has been very reliable. It is smaller than most American luggage brands. It was designed to fit into European sized luggage racks which use the metric system. I've used it on many trips on different airlines as a carry-on. Never had a problem. It is so well designed, especially the outer zippered compartment, useful for storing something you want easy access to without opening the whole bag.

Posted by
4439 posts

it's easy to find suitcases everywhere, department stores and discount stores. take a tape measure and DIY and don't spend a lot, this is not a legacy purchase you'll hand down to your heirs. It's a travel tool.

Posted by
2945 posts

All I can add is be careful in that we had regulation carry-on, but stuffed one too many sweater in there and the bulging resulted in the gate attendant not allowing it. I think we bought two sweaters and that's all it took.

Posted by
305 posts

IKEA has a rolling bag that meets the dimensions you list https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/vaerldens-carry-on-bag-with-wheels-black-80546172/.

I used it for a recent trip and it worked well. Surprisingly fit a lot of stuff. It seems the body of the suitcase is a similar size as many carryons, however, it doesn't have a bulky zip top with pockets, so makes it slim. I was able to pack as much as I typically do in cubes and just added an Eagle Creek large packing folder on top (that I usually put in the zip top). It made it slightly bulge, but still fit the sizer at the airport (Lufthansa gate staff were hunting down carryon bags to ensure they met size/weight requirements).

Posted by
19118 posts

The listed weight is 1014 oz! That's over 63#. I'd call that a heavy carry-on bag.

Posted by
19118 posts

Ounce is a unit of weight, not volume.

Fluid ounce IS a unit of volume, but they did NOT say "fluid ounce". Anyway, fl oz is not normally used as a unit of volume except in cooking. Why would someone use fl oz in this case as a unit of volume unless they wanted to obfuscate something?

Or maybe they are just Chinese and don't know what units of measurement we customarily use in this country.

Posted by
305 posts

I can verify it weighs ~ 5lbs.

Or, as IKEA lists under ‘packaging,’ 4 lb 16 oz lol

Width: 13 ¾ "
Height: 7 ¾ "
Length: 21 ¾ "
Weight: 4 lb 16 oz