Can a Duffel Bag Be Considered a Carry On Bag?

Can a Duffel Bag Be Considered a Carry On Bag?

Can a Duffel Bag be Considered a Carry-On Bag?

Named for Duffel, Belgium – the town where the all-purpose haulers originated during the 17th century – duffel bags are most known for their thick cloth and flexible shape. But duffels have come a long way since, and many now offer additional practical features, like drop bottom and removable compartments, wheels, extension handles, and more.

If you’re wondering whether a duffel bag can be used as a carry-on, the short answer is yes… probably. Duffels can be used as a carry-on during air travel, but it’s important to note that the carry-on duffel bag size and weight must meet specified airline requirements. Here’s everything you need to know about packing a duffel bag as your carry-on for your next flight.

Is There a Limit to Your Duffel Bag Carry-on Size?

A duffel bag is a flexible option if you don’t want to bring a rolling suitcase as your carry-on, depending, of course, on what you’re packing. While it may vary from airline to airline, the maximum duffel bag carry-on size is typically 22 x 14 x 9 inches for flights within the U.S. Bag size limitations on international flights can vary, so always check ahead of time on the airline’s website. 

The Maxlite 5® Carry-on Rolling Duffel adds built-in wheels to a modern, soft-sided duffel for ultimate convenience in addition to properly fitting in the overhead compartment of nearly all major domestic airlines’ full-size planes. One way to find out whether your bag will fit before leaving home is by placing it inside a box that matches the maximum size restrictions. Or you can use the airline’s sizer bin at the airport. Just be sure not to overstuff your duffel past the width allowed. 

Does a Duffel Bag Count as a Carry-on or Personal Item?

While it may vary by airline, there is one hard-and-fast rule when it comes to personal items: The bag needs to fit under the seat in front of you. If it doesn’t, it is considered a carry-on. When using a duffel bag as your carry-on, you can bring a briefcase, handbag, or small backpack as your personal item, since they are more likely to fit.

Pro Tips For Air Travel With Duffel Bags:

Be sure the size of your duffel bag does not exceed carry-on size or weight restrictions.

Pack your ID and travel documents in the outer pockets for easy access.

Use packing cubes to separate and organize contents. 

Carry a duffel bag that can double as a gym bag or excursion bag at your destination.

Adhere to all carry-on guidelines, including the TSA 3-1-1 rule, which restricts the amount of liquids you can pack to containers that hold 3.4 ounces or less in one clear, one-quart bag. 

What Are The Best Travelpro® Carry-on Duffels?

Travelpro® offers duffel bags to fit all travelers’ needs, whether you’re searching for an underseat bag that can be used as a personal item or a larger duffel that you will store in the overhead bin as your carry-on. There is even a nearly weightless foldable duffel that can be packed in your other luggage for use at your destination or used as a backup to provide extra space when you come home with more than fits in your main luggage.

Platinum Elite duffel on bed

The Crew™ VersaPack™ Weekender is a carry-on duffel with a built-in suiter for wrinkle protection; the stylish Platinum® Elite Regional Underseat Duffel is sized to fit under the seat on most airlines, and the Travelpro® x Travel + Leisure® Drop-Bottom Weekender is an ultra-luxe, buttery-soft, lightweight duffel that converts to a smaller bag when needed. Whatever your needs, find your perfect duffel bag that can double as a carry-on during your next flight by browsing the full Travelpro® collection of duffel bags.


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