Knowing your travel luggage size specifications before you head to the airport can make or break a domestic or international trip, whether you plan on carry on or checked bags. As much fun as it is to be on vacation, getting there can be a real hassle, especially if you are flying. For instance, if you are traveling to a foreign country, you need to determine the size and weight specifications for carry-on luggage, as well as checked baggage.

Airlines have very specific regulations as to the size and weight specifications of luggage for international travel, and it is important that you do your research before flying, to make sure your luggage falls within those specifications. Every airline is different, and they all have their own rules and regulations regarding luggage. When it comes to international flights, those regulations are often much stricter than they are for domestic flights, and various countries also enforce their own rules.

Most of the time, the luggage size specifications are generally in the same ball park for all airlines, with just a few small differences.

While there is not enough space in one article to talk about the luggage size specifications for all airlines, we can give you some basic information that will work with most airlines.

Travel Luggage Size Specifications for Carry-On Luggage

Carry-on luggage is allowed on all international flights, but the allowed size and weight of the bag depends on each individual airline. For instance, some airlines require the bag weigh 11 pounds or less. The size specification can also depend on how much room is available for carry-on luggage.

Airlines are able to change their carry-on policies for different trips, and sometimes, it happens at the last minute. If you are going to be traveling with carry-on luggage, it is a good idea to ask about the size restriction on the day of the flight, even if you have previously researched this, just to be on the safe side.

Generally, a piece of carry-on luggage should be no more than 45 square inches, or about 22” X 14” X 9”. You may be allowed to have a bag that is up to 55 square inches, but there are only a few airlines that will accept bags larger than 45 square inches.

Most luggage stores sell suitcases of the proper size, and they are labeled as carry-on luggage. If your bag is larger, or an unusual shape, you may not be allowed to take it with you on the plane.

Buying Carry-On Luggage for International Travel

One of the biggest problems with luggage stores is that they don’t always label a bag as being a carry-on, and when they do, often the bags are not properly measured. They measure for the inside of the bag, without taking the thickness of pockets once they are stuffed full of your items.

They rate the pockets as having zero thickness instead, and they do not take framing, wheels, or handles into consideration when they are measuring. So, once you are all packed, a bag that you thought was the right size may actually exceed the size limit and will be rejected by the airline. If this happens, you will be required to check the bag, which may be very costly at the airport.

It should also be noted that even if your bag does fit into the size specification set by the airline, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to fit under your seat, and there may not be any space in the overhead compartment.

Rather than being stuck holding your bag in your lap for the entire trip, it is simpler just to buy a carry-on bag that is smaller than the specifications, and hope for a wing seat, as there is more under-seat room in these seats.

Weight Restrictions for Carry-On Luggage

If you are flying domestically, you likely will not have to worry about a weight restriction for your carry-on luggage. But, if you are going to be on an international flight, you might be surprised as to how strict many airlines are about their weight restrictionse. For instance, some airlines only allow carry-on luggage to weigh a maximum of 11 pounds.

In some cases, the bag alone may weigh nearly that much, without having anything in it. There are some airlines that even only allow a total of 20 pounds for baggage, and that is carry-on and checked luggage combined.

This is something else that you will need to research before you travel, so you will know if you can take your bag on board with you.

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Compare Carry On Luggage

Travel Luggage Size - Carry On Bag Comparison.

Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Expandable Carry On Review

Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Expandable Carry On - The Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Expandable Carry On has a huge fan base of devotees, mostly due to it’s 100% ABS construction, 55 color choices, expandable capacity, spinner wheels, sturdy zippers, 5 year warranty, durability and light weight.

Full Review: Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Expandable Carry On Review


Kenneth Cole Reaction 20 Inch Upright Carry On Review

Kenneth Cole Reaction 20 Inch Upright Carry On - The Kenneth Cole Reaction ABS 20-inch Upright Carry On features 95% ABS (hardside) construction, four wheels, two handles, expandability, molded side feet and multiple color choices. I have been using my own Kenneth Cole Reaction carry on case for 8+ years, both for carry on and checked luggage, and it has stood the test of time around the world several times, having been on at least a dozen different airlines.

Full Review: Kenneth Cole Reaction 20 Inch Upright Carry On Review


Samsonite Winfield Hardside 20 Inch Luggage Review

Samsonite Winfield Hardside 20 Inch Luggage - The Samsonite Winfield Hardside 20 Inch Luggage is designed for the frequent flyer, offering a sturdy polycarbonate shell, superior impact absorption, compartmentalized interior, multi-directional wheels and TSA locks.

Full Review: Samsonite Winfield Hardside 20 Inch Luggage Review


Delsey Luggage Helium Aero International Spinner Luggage Review

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero International Spinner Luggage - The Delsey Luggage Helium Aero International Spinner Luggage boasts hardside construction, dual packing compartments, an expandable main compartment, multi-directional wheels, a TSA-approved lock and a variety of color choices.

Full Review: Delsey Luggage Helium Aero International Spinner Luggage Review

See More: Travel Luggage Size Specifications and the complete Airline Luggage Guide.

Carry On Luggage Amazon Best Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Rockland Luggage 2 Piece Set, Charcoal, One Size
6,105 Reviews
Rockland Luggage 2 Piece Set, Charcoal, One Size
  • 19"H x 13"W x 7.5" expandable 2 " with 2 corner wheels.
  • Note: Wheels 2"
SaleBestseller No. 2
AmazonBasics Hardside Carry On Spinner Travel Luggage Suitcase - 20 Inch, Black
1,889 Reviews
AmazonBasics Hardside Carry On Spinner Travel Luggage Suitcase - 20 Inch, Black
  • 20-inch hardside spinner luggage for weekend getaways or as international carry-on
  • Protective hard shell with scratch-resistant finish; made of extra-thick ABS (thicker than the competition) for enhanced strength and durability
  • Fully lined interior with divider; 150D-polyester interior organizer with 3 zippered pockets for conveniently storing smaller items
  • Expandable for up to 15% additional packing capacity; solid, strong zippers; telescoping handle for comfortable maneuvering; securely mounted short handle
  • 4 double spinner wheels ensure smooth-rolling mobility in any direction
Bestseller No. 3
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable(only 28') Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry on (Charcoal, S(20in_Carry on))
871 Reviews
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable(only 28") Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry on (Charcoal, S(20in_Carry on))
  • The suitcase benefits hugely from its ABS+PC hard plastic shell. it goes through insanely strict quality control test standards, creating strong and sturdy pieces that can withstand any forms of rough handling.Please note this luggage is sold separately, but If you intend to buy two or three suitcases, the small suitcase can be stored inside the bigger one
  • 2-year warranty. With built-In TSA lock, you can make sure your valuables are secure and safe.
  • Quiet airplane spinner wheels and an adjustable 3-level 100%pure aluminum telescoping handle allow you to quickly maneuver in tight spaces and it's sturdier than most of the telescoping handle on the market.
  • Make packing clothes easy with the fully lined interior and the multi-use organizational pockets.
  • Three different size: Size: 20inch (21 x 8.5 x 15), 24innch (17 x 10 x 24.5) 28inch (20.5 x 11x 29), Please note that ONLY 28in is Expandable, adding 15%to the scalable space.


Compare Checked Luggage

Delsey Helium Aero Review

Delsey Helium Aero - checked luggage suitcase, offering double spinner wheels, dual compartments and only weighing 10.2 pounds, making this checked luggage a favorite among vacationers and professional explorers alike. Go with a checked luggage suitcase from a subpar manufacturer and you will soon find no amount of cash saved is worth the torn seams, low capacity, and general inconvenience.

Full Review: Delsey Helium Aero Review

Samsonite Silhouette XV Review

Samsonite Silhouette XV - The Samsonite Silhouette XV offers a multi-directional spinner design, polycarbonate construction, and an easy identification system. What further separates the Silhouette XV from the countless cases manufactured by rival brands? Samsonite has produced hundreds, maybe even thousands, of seriously impressive checked luggage suitcases, but few have been as impressive as the brand’s Silhouette XV. So, what exactly makes the Silhouette XV stand out from the many other checked luggage options Samsonite has produced?

Full Review: Samsonite Silhouette XV Review

Travelpro Crew 26 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter

Travelpro Crew 26 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter - This expandable rollaboard suiter offers durable wheel housings, as well as corner guards, side feet, and skid guards help to prevent scratching at the main wear points. The body of the Travelpro Crew expands, so you can pack a lot of luggage into this suitcase, and not have to worry about paying for extra baggage.

Full Review: Travelpro Crew 26 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter


Checked Luggage - Amazon Best Sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28' Hardside Expandable 8-Wheel Spinner Checked Luggage, Rose Gold
356 Reviews
Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28" Hardside Expandable 8-Wheel Spinner Checked Luggage, Rose Gold
  • EFFORTLESS HANDLING: (i) Multi-directional 8-wheel spinners allow smooth 360° degree movement over any terrain for complete mobility free-weight rolling (ii) Four molded side feet allow luggage to stand upright on its side (iii) Retractable push-button telescoping handle extends 41 inches for ultimate control and maneuverability (iv) Exterior features a top, bottom, and side grab handle.
  • ORGANIZED COMPARTMENTS: (i) Two spacious fully lined compartments allow for double-sided organized packing (ii) Expands an additional 2.0 inches for greater carrying capacity. (iii) Interior main compartment features a large mesh zipper pocket, a second mesh zipper pocket, a large zipper organizer pocket, and two elastic shoe pockets. (iv) Interior garment restraint clip-in panel helps hold clothes and contents in place.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & DURABLE: (i) 28" Weight: 11.0 lbs (ii) Durable, lightweight, and water-resistant hardshell (iii) Easily cleaned. (iv) Molded corner guard reinforcements absorb/deflect shock for maximum impact resistance. (V) Lightweight construction helps you adhere to airline weight restrictions to avoid unneeded airport fees.
  • PRODUCT SPECS: 28" Overall Dimensions: 30.0" H x 21.5" W x 13.0" - 15.0" D. (Dimensions includes handles and wheels). 28" Packing Dimension's: 28.0" H x 20.0" W x 12.5" - 14.5"D. Check-size luggage, not a carry-on size.
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: (i) Backed by a manufacturer 10-year limited warranty. The perfect 28-inch lightweight hardside expandable 8-wheel spinner dependable checked size suitcase for travelers whom value both style and function.
Bestseller No. 2
Samsonite Checked-Large, Silver
2,286 Reviews
Samsonite Checked-Large, Silver
  • 28" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and is the ideal checked bag for longer trips
  • PACKING Dimensions: 28.5" x 20.5" x 13.5", Overall Dimensions: 30.5" x 21.5" x 13.5", Weight: 10.35 lbs
  • 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Samsonite products are rigorously tested to ensure our products meet stringent standards. This bag comes with a 10-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
  • MICRO-DIAMOND POLYCARBONATE texture is extremely scratch-resistant, keeping cases beautiful trip after trip
  • SIDE-MOUNTED TSA LOCKs act to deter theft, ensuring that only you or a TSA agent have easy access to your belongings when traveling
SaleBestseller No. 3
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable(only 28') Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry on (Charcoal, L(28in).)
860 Reviews
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable(only 28") Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry on (Charcoal, L(28in).)
  • The suitcase benefits hugely from its ABS+PC hard plastic shell. it goes through insanely strict quality control test standards, creating strong and sturdy pieces that can withstand any forms of rough handling.Please note this luggage is sold separately, but If you intend to buy two or three suitcases, the small suitcase can be stored inside the bigger one
  • 2-year warranty. With built-In TSA lock, you can make sure your valuables are secure and safe.
  • Quiet airplane spinner wheels and an adjustable 3-level 100%pure aluminum telescoping handle allow you to quickly maneuver in tight spaces and it's sturdier than most of the telescoping handle on the market.
  • Make packing clothes easy with the fully lined interior and the multi-use organizational pockets.
  • Three different size: Size: 20inch (21 x 8.5 x 15), 24innch (17 x 10 x 24.5) 28inch (20.5 x 11x 29), Please note that ONLY 28in is Expandable, adding 15%to the scalable space.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Samsonite Checked-Large, Brushed Anthracite
4,072 Reviews
Samsonite Checked-Large, Brushed Anthracite
  • 28 inches SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and is the ideal checked bag for longer trips
  • PACKING Dimensions: 28.0 x 19.75 x 12.5 inches, OVERALL Dimensions: 31.0 x 20.0 x 12.75 inches, Weight: 11.5 pounds
  • 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Samsonite products are rigorously tested to ensure our products meet stringent standards. This bag comes with a 10 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
  • FOUR, MULTI DIRECTIONAL SPINNER WHEELS for effortless mobility, re engineered lightweight
  • HANDSOME SLIDER in square full capacity design featuring 10 oversized zipper and interior divider with organization pockets
SaleBestseller No. 5
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Lightweight Expandable Suitcase , Black
364 Reviews
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Lightweight Expandable Suitcase , Black
  • A half pound lighter than max lite 4, this lightweight 25 inch spinner maximizes your packing power and is the ideal checked bag for medium to long trips. Polyester fabric with stain resistant, water repellent duraguard coating and high strength zipper pulls
  • 4 wheel spinners rotate 360 degree for a smooth roll. Lightweight, sturdy PowerScope handle stops at 38 inch and 42.5 inch features a patented contour grip with rubberized touch points for easy maneuvering. Unique bottom tray design increases durability
  • Expands up to 2 inch to maximize packing capacity. Features low profile top, side and bottom carry handles, two exterior compartments, full length interior lid pocket, side accessory pocket and adjustable hold down straps for packing convenience
  • Limited Lifetime Coverage plus trusted companion promise, which covers the cost of repair for damage from airline or other common carrier for 1 year
  • Case Dimensions: 25x18x11, Overall Dimensions: 27x18.5x11.5, Weight: 7.3 lbs

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Size and Weight Specifications for Checked Luggage

Checked baggage specifications can get a bit confusing, as there are two systems used. If you are going to be on a flight either to or from the US, expect the airline to use a two-piece system that allows two pieces of luggage that weigh up to approximately 70 pounds.

If you are going to be on an international flight in any other part of the world, the specifications are as follows:

  • Coach Class Passengers – Maximum of 20kg/40lbs total checked baggage weight
  • Business Class Passengers – Maximum of 30g/66lbs total checked baggage weight
  • First Class Passengers – Maximum of 40kg/88lbs total checked baggage weight

You will also need to find out if the weight of your carry-on bag is included in the total allowed luggage weight, as this is a restriction of some airlines.

There is also a size restriction for checked luggage. In most cases, the size of a suitcase should not exceed 27” X 21” X 14”. If your bag is oversized or overweight, or if you require additional baggage, you may be allowed, provided you pay an additional fee.

If you want to avoid any extra fees, make sure your baggage falls well within the restrictions of the ariline with which you are traveling.

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Conclusion

As long as you are aware of all of the restrictions about the size and weight of both carry-on and checked luggage for any flights you will be traveling on, things are going to be a lot easier for you at check-in time.

It is also a good idea to find out about any restrictions on personal items in your baggage, as some may not be allowed by the airline, or by the countries you plan on traveling to.

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