If you want to know how many liters is a carry-on bag and what is the maximum carry-on size of the luggage for your airline? Then, this article is for you. 

In general, a carry-on backpack is below 40 to 45 liters and has a dimension of 22*14*9 inches including the wheels, handles, and all the pockets. The airline have their policies where they can consider the backpack as a carry or not.

After reading this article, you will know what is the correct carry-on backpack size with dimensions and whether you can use a duffel bag as a carry-on or not.

So, let’s get started.

What is a carry-on bag?

A carry-on bag is any bag that you bring on the airplane and stays with you.

As opposed to that luggage which goes in the cargo area of the airplane and is checked for the flight.

Based on the country you live in, the carry-on bag may be named as hand luggage or carry-on luggage.

How many liters is a carry-on bag?

Carry-on backpack

There is no perfect answer to this question. The carry-on bag size may differ from airline to airline.

Some airlines allow you to get a little big bag on the airplane as a carry while some do not.

You may have seen the luggage sizer on the gate of the airline, where they may ask you to place your bag inside.

If it doesn’t fit the requirement to be a carry-on then you may be forced to check the bag and in most cases, airlines need a luggage check fee for it.

This is why you must check the airline you’re traveling with to get the best information about the correct carry on backpack size.

The carry-on size of the luggage is less than 45 liters or 2772 cubic inches.

The same is for carry-on duffel bag size in liters.

You may get some details about the Carry-on bag size on the internet about the particular airline that you are traveling with.

But, to be on the safer side you should directly talk with the airline.

Now, you know how many liters is a carry on bag.

But there is still more to know.

So, let’s dive deep into the topic.

How Strict is the Airline With Carry-on size?

In my experience, I have never felt the airlines are too strict with the exact luggage carry-on size. 

My bag is never checked on most of the airlines but in case you are at Ryanair airline, then it can be a little trouble with the size restriction of the luggage.

I am not saying that the airline is too strict but it follows the rules and restrictions.

I would suggest you travel in a backpack rather than a suitcase which may draw more attention from the staff and ultimately cause you to check the suitcase.

Here is a pro tip for you!

Try to board the plane as soon as possible as the space for your carry-on in the overhead bins can run out.

You can pay extra money to the airline to ensure priority boarding.

I find this worth it as it reduces the stress whether your backpack will make it to the overhead bins or not and there would be less waiting to board the airplane.

What is the weight of the carry-on luggage?

There is no restriction to the weight of the carry-on in US domestic airlines. But some other airlines have weight limits on the weight of the carry-on luggage.

The weight of the carry-on bag is between five to twelve kilograms. And, in Asia and Australia, the limit weight of carry-on luggage is 7Kg.

But, you know the feeling of carrying a backpack or bag with necessary items in it.

The weight of the bag for travel is going to be more than 10 kg when you are planning for a well and comfortable trip.

So, in this scenario, you are already over the limit of the airline. But luckily, in my experience, very few airlines bother to weigh carry-on bags.

Also, my backpack weighs one or two times in my whole life.  Maybe because I use the below-mentioned secret tips.

#1. Try to use backpacks over the suitcase.

I usually try not to draw the attention of the airline staff to me. 

If you will carry a backpack that does not look heavy and big then the airline is more likely not to weigh the backpack.

Also, it is easier to travel with a heavy backpack rather than a big and heavy suitcase when you know how to do it right.

Moreover, the suitcase itself is a heavy matter. So, it will increase the overall weight and will draw the airline’s attention. 

So, it will be better for you to use the backpacks over the suitcase.

#2. Wear It:

This is a pro-level tip that you should always keep in mind to avoid the overweight over the weight of the backpack and keep it fit.

You should wear jackets, shoes and some other clothes that you think you can wear 

(only perform this tip if it is cold outside and you are comfortable ).

This can help you to reduce the items that you are packing in your backpack.  If you have a jumper or a jacket, then try to tie it around your waist. 

Also, in case if your airline is strict with the weight then fill your pockets with the heavier items. 

For this, the pockets of the cargo or jacket would be the best option.

#3. Use online method to check-in:

It would be better for you to print the boarding pass in advance so that you can avoid the check-in des.

The check-in desk is the place where your luggage is most likely to weigh.

If you check-in online then you can go straight to the security which would be the ultimate benefit.

#4. Compress your Backpack/Luggage:

Make sure you compress your backpack properly so that it does not look big and heavy.

Use can use the compression belt for this. 

The compression belts will help you to make your backpack size look smaller.

#5. Request Politely:

Lastly, may this does not happen to you but in case if your backpack is still overweight over overweight will surely let you go.

If you can convenience them properly then you are on the safe side. 

Deltacarry-on restrictions.

Carry on size backpack liters

So, here is a great way that can help you to confirm whether your backpack will be considered consider as a carry-on or not.

To check the carry-on size of the backpack in a liter, here is the article on how to measure a backpack.

Which you should read to understand how you are going to measure the volume of the backpack in liters.

After that follow the steps:

  1. Measure the backpack dimensions.
  2. Convert it into liter.
  3. Compare it to the carry-on dimensions for your airline.
  4. Check if either fits or not.

Now, after this, you must be clear with the carry-on backpack size.

List of Airlines, Carry-on bag size, and the Weight Allowance

North America

AirlineSizeWeight Limit
Air Canada21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inchesNo
Aeromexico21.5 x 15.7 x 10 inches10 kg
Delta22 x 14 x 9 inches No
JetBlue Airways22 x 14 x 9 inches No 
Alaska Airlines22 x 14 x 9 inchesNo
Spirit Airlines18 x 14 x 8 inchesNo
Southwest Airlines24 x 16 x 10 inchesNo
United22 x 14 x 9 inchesNo


AirlineCarry-on Bag SizeWeight Limit
Cathay Pacific22 x 14 x 9 inches7 kg 
Air India22 x 16 x 8 inches8 kg
Air Asia22 x 14 x 9 inches7 kg
Air China22 x 16 x 8 inches 5 kg
Qatar Airways20 x 15 x 10 inches7 kg
Lion Air16 x 12 x 8 inches7 kg 
Singapore Airlines22 x 14 x 9 inches7 kg
Thai Airways22 x 18 x 10 inches7 kg


AirlineCarry-on SizeWeight Limit
Air Berlin22 x 16 x 8 inches8 kg
Aeroflot22 x 16 x 10 inches10 kg 
Alitalia22 x 14 x 10 inches 8 kg
EasyJet22 x 18 x 10 inchesNo
Jet222 x 18 x 10 inches10 kg
Lufthansa22 x 16 x 9 inches8 kg 
KLM22 x 14 x 10 inches12 kg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can a 50-liter backpack be carry on?

No, in most of the airline the 50-liter backpack is too big to be considered as a carry-on.

Can a 40-liter backpack be a carry on?

Yes, in airlines 40 liter backpack is under the carry-on capacity. So you can have a 40 liter40-liter backpack.

What is the biggest carry on size?

The biggest carry-on size of the backpack or any luggage for the airline is 45 liter which is equivalent to 2772 cubic inches.

What happens if carry on is too big?

If your carry-on bag is too big then you would be forced to check it at the gate and you may have to pay the bag checked fee for it.

Is a Duffel Bag a carry on?

Yes, a duffle bag is also considered a carry-on if it is less than 45-liter capacity.

My Views on Carry-on backpack size 

Do not let weight be an issue in your traveling. Try to follow the above-mentioned tips that will work well for you.

  • You should try to choose a backpack that is below 45 Liter capacity or 22*14*9 inches in dimension. 
  • You should not aim for a higher-capacity backpack if you want to be on the safer side.
  • Do not aim for a 45.87-liter backpack.
  • Aim for a lower-capacity bag.

Here, I would also like to mention that this is an average carry-on size and capacity.  So, you must also check and consult with the airline you are going to travel to.

I will always prefer to be my first choice whenever it comes to a carry-on.  I hope you get a clear idea of how many liters is a carry-on bag.

Now, it’s your time to share your experience and your choice with the carry-on bag size.

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