What Is The Perfect Sized Carry-On Bag?

Most people take a carry-on bag with them on the flight, whether going for business or pleasure. Some take a laptop backpack, 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 really comes down to what you need on a flight versus what you want to take, then finding a good balance. It also comes down to your aims of why you’re taking a carry on bag in the first place. Are you just wanting a few things for the flight alone, or do you want to fit 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.

Light Carry-On

When it comes to travel, often light is right. It means you’re freer to 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 of these options is also that they easily fit under the seat in front of you and avoid the hassle of finding a slot in the overhead compartment on busy flights. Also great for using as a handy day bag while out having fun on your trip. 

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 liters. This size will let you fit a laptop, chargers, a sweater for the flight, a reusable drink bottle, headphones, notebook, passport, wallet, phone, glasses, and a small toiletries pouch. For an excellent work/travel backpack, this style is a favorite with Pacsafe Global VP of Product Phil Hayes whenever he’s traveling.  

The 24L Venturesafe X Anti-Theft Backpack has also been designed specifically for carry-on travel. There are handy side pockets to slip your wallet, phone, and passport into when going through security checks and then get them out again quickly. Lockable zips also give that extra relaxation on long-haul travels when you need to get some sleep and want to know your laptop and the information on it is in lockdown when you do.  

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 liters 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.

The Venturesafe EXP45 Carry-on Backpack is one in this bracket that not only packs a lot in but has internal compression straps to help keep things in place and reduce bulk. It’s one of Pacsafe’s top-selling anti-theft carry-on backpacks.

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, feel the benefits of going light and making things easy. If you’re wanting some entertainment and a few extras, go between 24-28 liters for a backpack, and if you’re wanting to avoid check-in, look for bags around the 45-liter mark. Hopefully, that gets you off on the right foot and into the right backpack for your trip.

Safe Travels.

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