Guide to Luggage SizeAre you wondering which size of luggage is perfect for your needs? Don't worry - we're here to help! Read below for all the information you need to know: luggage sizing, airline size limits, the difference between carry-on and checked bags, what fits in an overhead bin or under the seat on a plane, and more to help you decide which suitcase or companion bag is the right size for you.
Finding luggage that fits you perfectly is essential - just like the perfect pair of shoes! After all, you'll be relying on it to take all your belongings on your journeys, so picking the right piece of luggage isn't as simple as just getting a large or small suitcase.
Compact travel totes, weekenders, and carry-on bags for travelling light are available. Check-in luggage also comes in various styles and shapes, including suitcases of multiple sizes with hard shells or soft sides –some expandable, some not. Maybe a duffle bag that rolls is better for your needs, or a garment bag… So even before you get to the rainbow of available colors, there is much to consider.
The perfect piece of luggage can make travelling a breeze - starting with the correct size for your needs and then picking the style that speaks to you will save you plenty of hassle, time, and money!
FAQsFrequently asked questions we get from travelers on how to choose the right luggage size:
These are all great questions that we will answer, along with other important information to help you choose the right luggage size and style for you.
To kick off, let's uncover what establishes the size of a suitcase – and how to gauge yours. Airlines often have specific size constraints for both your carry-on and checked luggage, but these boundaries can differ depending on the airline, the journey and if you're in coach, business or first class. To add to the confusion, some carriers list the measurements for carry-on bags by height, width and depth – for example, 56 x 40 x 25cm– while other airlines lump together the three dimensions to create a single total – which would be 126 total linear cm in this case.
Stand your bag upright with the wheels (if applicable) on the bottom and the extension handle on top, but don't extend it. Measure from the base of the wheels up to the top, most likely the handle, to get the bag's height. This is the most important measurement to be aware of before packing a carry-on!
Second, measure the width from side to side at the widest point, which is probably the back of the suitcase, if it is Soft-sided. Hard shell bags are generally more symmetrical, and the width doesn’t vary from bottom to top.
Last, check your bag’s depth. The depth of your suitcase, like its height, is significant with carry-on luggage if you are flying because it will have to fit into the plane's overhead bin. Note some of our softside bags have a 24.13cm depth.
To figure out how tall your bag is, place it up with the wheels on the bottom and the extendable handle at the top (don't stretch it out!). Measure from the base of the wheels to the tallest part - likely the handle. This will tell you the height of the bag and is the most important measurement to consider when packing a softside carry-on.
Carry-Ons and Personal Items
Travelling with carry-on luggage is an easy and convenient way to jet set; these bags are designed to fit snugly into the overhead bins on an airplane and take up little space in car trunks. Rolling suitcases are the most common, yet there are also duffel bags, garment bags, and more that abide by the airline's carry-on size restrictions. Not to mention, softside carry-ons can stretch and compress better than hardshell suitcases, making them ideal for fitting into those tight overhead compartments when you have too much to bring.
A carry-on bag is perfect for quick and mid-length trips if you don't need to bring much. Please take a peek at our handy chart below to find out what fits in a carry-on. Purses, totes, and small backpacks are known as "personal items" in the airline industry. Personal items that fit in the plane's seat compartment don't count as part of your carry-on luggage allowance.
Carry-on Luggage Size Limits
Most domestic airlines' published dimensions are 55 x 40 x 23 cm. Most sizer bins allow for approximately a pair of cm of leeway in each direction. At our store, you can find models that precisely fit these published dimensions and slightly bigger ones, offering extra capacity without sacrificing the ability to fit in the sizer bin or overhead bin.
Don't want to risk having to part with your carry-on bag? Double-check the size limits of your airline's website before your trip. Be sure to pack your suitcase wisely; if it's too full, it might not fit in the overhead bin, meaning you'll have to surrender it to the flight attendants for check-in. Some international airlines require smaller carry-on sizes than domestic airlines, so always stay up-to-date with the current regulations.
At Travelpro®, we go the extra mile to ensure that all of our carry-on luggage is designed to pass the test of time and the test of the sizer bins found in airports around the world. We strive to make it easy for you to pick a bag that won’t have you struggling with size limits. All the details of our luggage dimensions are provided on the product pages.
Benefits of Carry-On Luggage
Pack lightly to dodge baggage fees! These days, most major airlines give you one free carry-on bag that fits in the overhead compartment. Personal items can come for free, but they must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you on the plane. Standard carry-on luggage is too large to fit in the space, so look for Travelpro's® compact under seat luggage for an easy solution. Before taking off, check with your carrier to get the size limit of personal items.
Carrying on their luggage instead of checking is the perfect solution for travellers looking to save time. Being able to keep an eye on your bags eliminates the need to linger around the baggage carousel and worry if your suitcase has arrived safely.
By always keeping a watchful eye on your bag, you can avoid the discomfort of loss or theft. However, the prospect of your bag getting misplaced or ending up in an unexpected destination while changing flights can unsettle even the most experienced jet-setters.
No weight limit exists for most carry-on bags, and the airline will unlikely weigh your in-cabin luggage; however, you must be able to hoist it into the overhead storage compartment unaided.
On the Flip Side
Travelling light can be liberating, but limiting your items to a carry-on can be challenging if you can't fit everything you need. Sure, you can get away with wearing a pair of jeans more than once, and you don't need four pairs of shoes for a three-day getaway. Nevertheless, trying to fit all your items into a single carry-on for a week or longer can be difficult unless you plan to do laundry or purchase items during your stay.
Not everything can be brought into the plane's cabin - from golf clubs to a cardboard box, items that are too large to qualify as a carry-on must be placed in checked luggage. This includes sports equipment, instruments, lithium batteries, liquids over 100m, and weapons, including baseball bats, metal knives, box cutters, and pocket knives. Make sure to place these items in your checked luggage before you board your flight, so they remain inaccessible during your journey.
Checked Baggage Size and Weight Limits
Most domestic airlines follow a single rule of 158cm regarding checked baggage size limits. International airlines may differ slightly. Bags larger than 158cm can still fly but may be subjected to additional fees. Generally, the weight of the packed bag is a more significant concern than the size. So, calculate the size of your check-in luggage in the same manner as your carry-on and then combine the two figures to determine the total dimensions.
The weight of your checked bag is important. The standard weight limit for checked baggage on domestic aeroplanes is 23 kg per bag. However, budget carriers Allegiant and Spirit Airlines shrink this allowance to 18 kg, while international airlines Norwegian Air and Korean Air give you a whopping 31 kg assistance per checked bag.
Checked Baggage Fees
It's estimated that baggage fees cost passengers a staggering $5 billion last year - and that's just the US-based airlines! While Southwest Airlines allows up to two free checked bags per passenger, most other airlines don't offer such luxuries - the average cost per bag per segment being around $30. Unsurprisingly, this fee is applicable regardless of whether you fly nonstop or with a connection.
Baggage Fee Exceptions
Many airlines waive checked bag fees for those flying Business or First Class, active duty military personnel, and those with elite status. However, remember that overweight bags may be subject to additional charges, and bags that exceed the 45 kg weight limit won't be allowed to fly. In addition, despite whether the bag is free or comes with an extra cost, the size limit still applies and can't exceed 158 cm.
Choosing the Right Size Checked Bags
You can check in any size of luggage, but the most common checked bags are larger than typical 55 x 40 x 23 cm bags.The most popular size check-in luggage is 63 to 69 cm tall and various widths.
Medium-sized check-in luggage measures 63-64cm tall and around 45 cm wide.* One medium-sized suitcase will generally hold your needs for a week-long getaway. (See our sizing chart for more detail.)
Large check-in luggage is great for longer trips, lots of gear or multiple people. Large suitcases, including trunks and large duffel bags, measure 66cm and taller*, giving you loads of packing space. Mind the rules, though! Large bags make it easy to exceed weight and size limits.
*For exact measurements on a particular bag, please refer to the individual product description page
Durability is essential for any size bag, though checked bags take the most abuse in transport. Travelpro® luggage is engineered for resilience and backed by dependability warranties. The larger the bag, the heavier it can be when packed. Look for luggage that rolls effortlessly on strong wheels with sturdy extension handles that can be used to stack and secure smaller luggage on top.
Check out our handy chart below for luggage sizing by contents and length of trip:
|Length of Trip
|Type of Luggage
|1- 2 Days
|Week-long trips and longer