Carry On Backpacks Sizes: How to Choose the Best One
The Tortuga Promise
At Tortuga, our mission is to make travel easier. Our advice and recommendations are based on years of travel experience. We only recommend products that we use on our own travels.
Table of Contents
Most frequent travelers have had their luggage soiled, broken, or lost because they chose to check it, rather than carry it onto their flight. Putting your luggage into the airlines’ hands is risky.
To ensure that you’re never forced to check your bag, use a carry on backpack rather than a suitcase. If your flight is full, overhead bin space will fill up quickly, and passengers will be asked to gate check their bags.
Passengers with wheeled luggage are told to check their bags, while passengers carrying backpacks or duffle bags are often exempt.
Carry On Backpack Should I Buy?
The most important factor when choosing a
To prevent problems at the airport, your bag should be no larger than these dimensions. Just because it’s advertised as “carry on sized” doesn’t mean it will actually qualify, so make sure to read the dimensions on product pages before you buy.
And before flying, check your airline’s website for their
All 40L Tortuga travel backpacks fit within the dimensions quoted above (22 x 14 x 9″), so you can stay
Different packing styles — and trip lengths — call for different luggage.
Who Should Choose a Large
Carry On Backpack
If you’re packing for long-term travel (think months or years), a large
If you’re new to
If you typically pack light but like to buy things on the road, a large
Who Should Choose a Medium-Sized
Carry On Backpack
Budget Airline Flyers
If you frequently fly on budget airlines (like RyanAir), consider a medium-sized
If you’re a minimalist packer, a medium-sized
The maximum weight for carry-on-sized luggage differs by airline and by region.
In the United States, airlines are typically stricter about size than weight. If you’re primarily traveling on major airlines and/or traveling domestically, a backpack’s weight is less important than its ergonomics.
Some airlines allow
Some budget, European, South American, and Asian airlines only allow
Learning to pack correctly will make a far bigger difference than choosing a backpack that weighs less but feels heavier because it lacks proper ergonomics. You’ll be much happier with a bag that’s comfortable to carry, and packing well takes care of the rest. Look for a travel pack that uses an ergonomic design similar to a hiking backpack.
Make sure to check with your airline before flying. When packing, use a luggage scale to weigh your bag if you’re concerned about weight so that you are within the
Humans come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re particularly tall or particularly small, make sure your
The Travel Backpack by Tortuga has a height-adjustable suspension to fit almost any torso. It’s the first
Adjust the shoulder straps up and down to fit your torso. Make sure the chest strap and hip belt are snug. The hip belt should rest on your iliac crests (the high bony part of your hips)—not on your hip joints. This will transfer weight away from your shoulders. If the hip belt is too high or too low, adjust the shoulder straps accordingly.
The secret to a comfortable carry is the right fit. Don’t sacrifice ergonomics.
The main compartment should allow you to organize your stuff quickly and easily. Ideally, you’ll have a spacious main compartment to easily organize your stuff. This is what separates the best
You don’t want too many divided compartments as that reduces the flexibility you have to pack with. Instead, opt for packing cubes to keep organized.
Breeze Through Security
The biggest potential hassle with
For an even speedier journey through security, choose a checkpoint-friendly backpack with a lie-flat compartment. The TSA allows travelers to leave their laptops inside of their backpacks if the bag has a separate, lie-flat compartment. Unzip the laptop compartment of your
Most people carry a one-quart plastic toiletry bag which must be removed from your bag and placed in a small bin for inspection. To simplify this process, choose a bag with an easy-access pocket to stash your 3-1-1-compliant bag. Don’t be that person holding up the line at TSA as you dig through a jumbled bag, searching for your toiletries.
The Tortuga Travel Backpack has hip belt pockets so that they’re within reach when you need to empty your pants pockets in the security line. Just place your wallet, cell phone, and any other personal belongings in the zippered hip belt pockets before placing your bag on the conveyor belt.
When your bag comes out the other end, put it back on and your personal belongings will be back at your fingertips.
Carry On Backpack Should I Buy?
The Tortuga Travel Backpack combines the ergonomics and portability of a backpack with the obsessive organization and easy packing of a suitcase.
The Travel Backpack is our most ergonomic, most organized, and most adjustable backpack. The 40L will max out