Carry-on traveling pack (size?)

Travel Forums Travel Gear Carry-on traveling pack (size?)

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1. Posted by Noseclump (Respected Member 302 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


I'll be going to Scotland, Serbia and Germany next summer and will be traveling (Scotland) and visiting family (Serbia/Germany), and thus taking various ocean-crossing (long-distance) and inter-european (short-distance and tiny) flights.

I've an old 70L pack I was going to bring, but I had the idea to try maybe just bring a pack small enough for a carry-on (since I really don't feel like bothering with the baggage-checking in thing on top of also having to wait in tongue-lolling line-ups for not being EU citizen but only Canadian).I've just tried looking randomly online and found a couple of 55L packs that seem to fit the airline's carry-on baggage size requirements…but I was wondering if anyone has flown in a similar way and only used a smaller pack as a carry-on? Just curious how feasable this is, or if it's ridiculous.

Thanks in advance!


2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

This may help;

3. Posted by Noseclump (Respected Member 302 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the link! But I should have been more specific, I meant, if anyone's been fine with bringing the bare essentials and traveling via only bringing carry-on-sized bag with them when going for a month-long trip. I already checked my airline's baggage sizes, so I know what they should be.

Thank you!

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2247 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Yeah I travel carry-on all the time. No lost luggage, no damage, no waits at baggage reclaim. And the joy of a light pack.

You need to be focused with your packing, and willing to do laundry while away.

Look out for smaller limits with the budget airlines though.

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1481 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

My friend Barbara and I usually travel two to three months at a time; and we always use a carry on bag and a "personal item." The latter is for my laptop and a camera or two, plus accessories.

Our bags have no wheels, so if we have to check in at the airport counter we simply show our bags and the agent almost always approve them as carry ons. The notable exception is Air France. If a flight is full, or nearly full, agents only will permit one item to be carried on, usually a personal item with electronics and other valuables.

As a man, I've discovered over the years that I only need two changes of clothing. I always bring a rain jacket, a fleece, flip flops, LED flashlight (torch), medicine kit and small foldable waterproof bag (Aquapac) for hikes. My main bag usually weighs no more than 7 kilos. The "personal item" also weighs about the same. Contents vary according to what's needed. For example, on a recent trip to the Himalayas I added a down vest as well as a fleece cap.

My friend Barbara's bags also weigh about seven kilos each. She accessorizes with scarves and brings a couple pieces of jewelry.

Limiting what you take on a trip provides flexibility. Should you need something you likely can buy it overseas. The notable exception is prescription drugs. The formulations might be different, or they simply aren't available. So I carry enough to last the entire trip.

My main bag is an old 40L Red Oxx Air Boss; and my "personal item" is a 36L Tom Bihn Brain Bag. Both have served me well in years of adventure travel. Barbara takes a Patagonia lightweight duffel bag that also has back straps. Her "personal item" is a 26L bag.

6. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1584 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I'm another one who travels with carry-on only. Last winter we went through Europe (UK, Amsterdam, Luxembourg etc) for seven weeks and I wore a pair of boots as my only footwear and a raincoat and fleece between places with the rest stashed into a 35L pack (it might have just crept under the 7kg limit!). Doing hand laundry as we went and having 'quick dry' layers seems to work. I also have carry a camera bag that is far too large but suffices as a second 'personal' bag but I also carry a small, pack-away 15L bag that I can use as a day-pack when necessary. Once you start travelling with carry-on only, you do get used to it pretty quickly.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1722 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

We check ours through but we only use a carry-on for trips of a month or more. We just do a laundry every week.

8. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 592 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I don't have a backpack yet but i still travel with only carry-ons, cabin-size suitcase with weels and handbag.
Longest trip which i have made has been only 2 weeks but packing in mind i cant think it to be any different than longer trip.
I have discovered this to be easier than carry "all your clothes" with you and endup actually wear less than half of them

9. Posted by Noseclump (Respected Member 302 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

That's all what I wanted to hear! Thank you all very much! I haven't bought a new backpack in a while (since mine is still going strong), but I don't feel like bringing so much at all anymore…I'm glad to hear it's doable!

Thanks again, and happy travels :) :) :)

10. Posted by Stefmuts (Respected Member 187 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I travel carry-on only on shorter trips (up to 4 days) just to get the max out of my time
But just add some laundry detergent and you're good to go for weeks!