What Is The Perfect Sized Carry-On Bag?

Most people take a carry-on bag with them on the plane. Some have wheels, some are big, some are tiny. But what is the perfect sized carry-on bag?

At the end of the day, it depends on what you need on a flight versus what you want to take, then finding a good balance. It also comes down to why you’re taking a carry-on in the first place. Do you want a few things for the flight alone, or do you want to fit in everything you need for the entire trip? This guide on the perfect sized carry-on bag takes all of that into account and gives you three different options. The light carry-on, the medium carry-on, and the big carry-on.



1. Light Carry-On

When it comes to travel, light is often right. It means you can transit quickly, get around without fuss and yet still have everything you need. For most flights, the bare essentials are your phone, wallet, passport and perhaps some headphones and a Kindle to supplement any provided entertainment. You might want to take a water bottle too.

Anywhere up to 18 liters will fit all of this in and more, but we recommend to keep it around 10 liters or less if you want to go really light. If you’re looking for an on-trend item to carry this stuff, a sling is great for men while a crossbody is perfect for women. The bonus is that these options easily fit under the seat in front of you. They are also great as a day bag while out having fun on your trip. 

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2. Medium Sized Carry-On

The majority of people heading off on a flight are probably going to opt for a medium-sized bag. Backpacks are normally better because they strike the balance of being easy enough to carry, without resorting to wheels which can add bulk. The perfect sized carry-on here sits between 24 to 28 litres. This size will let you fit in a laptop, chargers, a sweater for the flight, a water bottle, headphones, notebook, passport, wallet, phone, glasses, and a small toiletries pouch. For an excellent work/travel backpack, check out this best-selling versatile backpack. 

The Pacsafe Ms Ls450 25L Backpack  is also fantastic for carry-on travel. There are lots of zippered compartments for your wallet, phone and passport. You can get them out quickly when going through security checks. Lockable zips will also give you peace of mind on long-haul travels. When you need to get some sleep, rest assured that your laptop and the information on it is perfectly safe. 


3. Large Sized Carry-On

Sometimes, the perfect sized carry-on is the carry on that lets you avoid checking in any bags. If you’re heading away for a week or more than can be tricky. It’s always worth knowing your carry-on limits for the airline you fly with. However, as a general rule, 45 litres is around the maximum you’ll be able to take depending on the dimensions of the bag itself. This means, if you’re savvy, you’ll be able to pack a spare pair of shoes, clothes that pair up to make multiple outfits, plus all of your on-flight essentials all in one spot. 

To summarize, if you’re looking for the perfect sized carry-on bag, first think about what you need for the flight. If you’re happy with a few things, you can go light and take a small bag with you. If you want some entertainment and a few extras, go between 24-28L for a backpack. If you want to avoid check-in, look for bags around the 45L mark. Hopefully, this will help you find a right backpack. 


This article is adapted from Pacsafe’s Travel Blog. 

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