Can I Use A Duffel Bag as A Carry On?

A duffel bag is a perfect companion for traveling.

It offers ample space to put all your travel things in a single bag easily.

The problem arises when it comes to traveling by plane. You must need a carry-on bag to take with you on the plane.

Here comes the question, Can I use a duffel bag as a carry on?’

Yes, you can use a duffel bag as a carry-on as long as it meets the size limitation of an airline. Different airlines have different size limitations for carry-on bags. Make sure you know the size before taking a bag.

Can I Use A Duffel Bag as A Carry On?

The size of your duffel bag will determine whether you can use it as a carry-on or not. Airlines set a limitation for the bag size. If your bag size is equal to or below the limit, you can use it as a carry-on.


What size duffel bag can I carry on?

The usual limitation is 22 x 14 x 9 inches or 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters for most airlines. You will also find 22 x 16 x 8 inches or 35 x 20 x 20 centimeters size limitations for budget airlines.

Take a tape or see the user manual to know the size of your bag. Then you can easily get the answer to your question “Does a duffel bag count as a carry on?”

Why is A Duffel Bag A Great Option as A Carry-On?

A traveler with a duffel bag going on an air trip

Duffel can be a great option as a carry-on if it matches the size. You will have lots of benefits including—

Suitable for Business Travel – Simplicity at Its Best

Business professionals always like simplicity. Too many pockets, exaggerated colors, or details are not what is expected from a business professional.

A duffel bag delivers a simple design with fewer pockets and color. It also delivers ample space to carry all the necessary items for your business travel- from clothes to files.

Perfect Size for Traveling Packing

Travel does not require too many items. You can complete a 7-day trip with a few dresses, shoes, and some basic items. A medium carry-on duffel bag is perfect for taking all those items. Its main compartment has enough space to fill everything you need.

But make sure to pick the right size packable or foldable duffel bag for travel. It will help you take all the necessary items without exceeding the airline limits for carry-on.

Lighter Than Carry-On Cases

A carry-on duffel bag is at least 10 times lighter than any carry-on case. The base weight varies with the materials for sure. But it will always be a lot lighter. You can take many things without bearing the additional weights.

Designed to Carry Easily

It is no wonder that duffel bags are designed to carry. The ergonomic design comes with different types of handles and carrying options. You can use your hand, shoulder, or entire body to carry it smoothly. Carry on cases do not offer such options.

Ease of Access

Duffel bags do not come with lots of compartments or pockets. It helps you access any necessary items easier. Simply open the zipper and take whatever you need. You can easily find any items quicker than ever for this easy accessibility.

Also Read: A Complete Guide about How to Wash A Duffel Bag.

Alternatives to Carry-On Duffel Bags

If you do not like to take your duffel bag as a carry-on, try to use some alternatives. You will not get all those ‘duffel bags’ benefits from those options. But you can try some alternatives include-

  • Carry-on luggage
  • Carry-on backpacks
  • Carry-on garment bag

Who Should Take A Duffel Bag as A Carry-On?

A duffel bag is a lot more versatile than any other travel bag or carry-on bag. Different types of business people, travelers, or campers are using this bag.  But this bag will be best for –

  • Casual packers – The duffel bag allows anyone to pack fast. If you are one of those who love to grab, pack, and go, nothing can be better than a duffel bag. Its single compartment makes packing and accessing easier.
  • Road trip- You cannot take any luggage or garment bags on a road trip. You need something spacious and easy to carry. That is exactly what a duffel bag offers.
  • Tough terrain – Rugged and tough terrains challenge you in every step. Any bags but a duffel bag might not handle the challenges at all. You should pick a good carry-on duffel bag for tough terrain.
  • Overnight trips- An overnight trip require a simple and easy-to-carry travel bag. But the space should be good enough to carry your necessary items for one night. A duffel bag can be suitable for such trips.

Can I Check A Duffel Bag at The Airport?

Yes, you can check a duffel bag at the airport as checked luggage. Up to 62 linear inches are approved for checking at the airport. But a duffel bag with such size might be too heavy to carry when traveling.

Are Duffle Bags Allowed as Checked Luggage?

The duffel bags are allowed as checked luggage as long as the bags meet the size, weight, and shape limit. Make sure your bag,

  • Is not in any odd-shaped.
  • Is less than 50 pounds.
  • Is durable enough to handle the movement when tossed around.
  • Has no loose strap.
  • Is less than 62 linear inches.

What Is Not Allowed in A Carry-On Bag?

You cannot take your duffel bag or any other bag as a carry-on if it has some illegal items inside it. Different countries and governments have different rules. But these are the common things that are not allowed in a carry-on bag.

  • Firearms or any explosives.
  • Baseball bats.
  • Other sporting equipment that can be used as weapons, self-defense, or sprays.


Can I use a duffel bag as a carry one?

Yes, you can as long as it does not cross the size limitation. A duffel bag can be a great option as a carry-on when traveling or moving to any new place. It allows you to put so many things together without spending any additional money. Make sure you know the size of your bag and the limitation of the airline company. Pack your duffel bag smartly to utilize the space. Do not take anything in the bag that is not allowed in a carry-on bag. Have a safe journey.

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