Do Backpacks Count As Carry On [Airline Guidelines]

Anyone with experience traveling by air will tell you that the process can be complex and intricate. As we have to follow many policies and guidelines, it is normal to get confused.

Do backpacks count as carry on? Travelers very commonly worry about the payment system and immigration. Another thing that people often tend to ask us if they count backpacks as a carry-on or not. Well, we are here to talk about just that. According to the conditions, the size of the backpack is crucial here.

The backpacks that have small-scale sizing will fairly accommodate underneath an airplane seat. For example, daypacks,  bags to keep your laptop in it, etc. But your larger weekender backpacks or something as big as a 60-L backpack for hiking purposes will not accommodate well within the space lying under the seat. We have researched some US airlines to figure out what exact parameter they base their size regulations for carry-on, and we will share the findings with you below.

Do backpacks count as carry on

What Is Considered Carry-On Baggage?

When flying with your personal belongings, you’re allowed to bring on a limited amount of carry-on baggage that’s less than 62 inches (158 cm) wide, 38 inches (96 cm) high, and 21 inches (53 cm) deep. This includes your clothes and other personal belongings, but excludes large luggage, backpacks, and other large items.

You’re also allowed to bring on one carry-on bag that’s up to 23.6 inches (60 cm) wide, 10.4 inches (26 cm) high, and 7.87 inches (20 cm) deep – plus any number of small bags that total up to 3.4 ounces (100 grams).

What Is The Standard Size Of A Carry-On?

What Is The Standard Size Of A Carry-On

The standard size for carry-on baggage is a single bag that’s 23.6 inches (60 cm) wide, 10.4 inches (26 cm) high, and 7.87 inches (20 cm) deep – plus any number of small bags that total up to 3.4 ounces (100 grams). This means you can’t bring an oversized or heavy bag with you on your flight, but it also doesn’t mean that backpacks aren’t allowed as carry-on baggage. As long as the backpack isn’t larger than 38 inches (96 cm) wide by 21 inches (53 cm ) tall, and it fits in the overhead compartment without needing to fold over or stretch out the bag, you’ll be able to bring that backpack on board your plane.

Best Carry-On Sized Backpacks

Best Carry-On Sized Backpacks

When it comes to packing for a trip, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that your carry-on bag is big enough to fit everything you need. Here are some of the best carry-on sized backpacks that will fit all of your needs:

  1. The North Face Base Camp 36 – This backpack is perfect for travel because it is both lightweight and spacious. It can hold a lot of clothes, books, and other items, making it a great option for long trips.
  2. Patagonia Black Hole 50L – This backpack is designed specifically for travel and has a number of features that make it ideal for carry-on travel. These include a large main compartment and several smaller pockets that make organizing and finding things easy.
  3. The Osprey Farpoint 55 – This backpack is perfect for carrying a lot of items without feeling weighed down. It also has a variety of features that make it ideal for travel, including an expandable main compartment and comfortable shoulder straps.
  4. The Columbia River Hiker 50 – This backpack is perfect for carrying a lot of gear without having to lug it around on your back. It also has a variety of features that make it ideal for travel, including padded straps and mesh pockets on the sides.

Hopefully, these tips will help you find the perfect carry-on sized backpack for your upcoming trip!

Dimension Guideline For Carry-On Under Delta Airlines

Dimension guideline for Carry-on under Delta Airlines

Anything exceeding the expanse of 22 x 14 x 9 inches will not receive carry-on stature. It will not be compatible with the overhead compartment as well.

Dimension Guideline For Carry-On Under United Airlines

Dimension guideline for Carry-on under United Airlines

For you to carry the backpack in the passenger’s compartment, the dimension should be 9x14x22 inches. This limit of measurement will also comprise wheels and handles, if there are any. You can accommodate any personal item beneath the seat in front of you, and its measurement should not surpass 9x10x17 inches.

Dimension Guideline For Carry-On Under American Airlines

Dimension guideline for Carry-on under American Airlines

The size of carry-on bags is limited to 22 x 14 x 9 inches. They will count wheels and handles within this measurement as well. You can bring along one personal commodity of choice, ergo your laptop bag or purse, given that it fits under the seat.

Dimension Guideline For Carry-On Under Southwest Airlines

Dimension guideline for Carry-on under Southwest Airlines

Carry-on bag measurements can reach a maximum of 10 x 16 x 24 inches. The protocol is to place the bag or bag in the overhead compartment. Taking the bag out of the compartment becomes easy and quick if we situate it overlooking forward. Personal and carry-on, both options are open for pet holders lest you are flying with pets. Personal items should come within 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches.

Dimension Guideline For Carry-On Under Jet Blue Airlines

Dimension guideline for Carry-on under Jet Blue Airlines

The carry-ons should find themselves in the overhead cabin while measuring within 22x14x9  inches. The personal items’ dimensions should not go beyond the restriction of 17x13x8  inches.

Can We View A Backpack To Be A Personal Item?

Can we view a backpack to be a personal item

If your backpack’s size is compatible with the conditions of the respective airlines, then,  yes, we can reckon a backpack as a personal item. You must explore and meet the airline’s instructions to transport your backpack as a personal possession.

Backpacks that are typically lightweight and of a decent scale can be taken as personal objects. As you have two places around your seat in a plane wherein you can keep your belongings, it is wise to put the larger backpack in the overhead compartment and place the smaller one under the seat.

How Big At Most Can A Carry-On Be?

How big at most can a carry-on be

As long as the proportion is concerned, each airline has distinct from the other with their measurement regulation for carry-ons. All you have to judge is whether they are of the optimal size to accommodate under the seat or in the overhead cabin. The fluctuation of airline instructions makes it hard for us to propose an exact number or size limit. Judging by most airlines’ regulations, we will still go ahead and advise not to go over 45L in overall volume.

How Heavy At Most Can A Carry-On Be?

How heavy at most can a carry-on be

As a rule of thumb, do not select anything as a carry-on that weighs heavier than 50 pounds. While traveling within the United States boundary, weight does not play a crucial factor in size regulations so much as the size measurements, for instance, length,  breadth, and height. You should bear in your concerns the hardships that come with transporting anything weighing more than fifty pounds.

Witnessing an injury before a journey is not suitable. It has the potential to ruin all travel arrangements. Before choosing anything as a carry-on,  you must be mindful of the fact that you are the one who will end up carrying the bag until it gets to land on the overhead cabin. Before boarding an international flight, it is wise to research the terms and systems set by the airline of that country and all the layovers that fall in between to learn how a backpack classifies as a carry-on over there.

Check-In Bag Or Carry-On?

Check-in bag or carry-on

The advantages of traveling with a carry-on are undoubtedly above and beyond compared to flying with a check-in. The most apparent explanation is that your things are never far from your hands. Since you are the one in charge, you can cease to worry about misplacing your baggage. When the transfer of luggage from one plane to another happens with transit flights,  this becomes critically relevant. Additionally, there is the advantage of saved time. So it’s a win-win.

More Than One Backpacks As Carry-On

The Best Carry-On Travel Backpacks for 2021 | Reviews by Wirecutter

You can carry more than one backpack with you in the passenger’s compartment,  but higher than two will not be suitable. You can carry two backpacks as one can serve as a carry-on finding its place in the overhead compartment and another as a personal item,  sitting underneath the seat before you.

Difference Between Carry-On And Personal Item

Difference between carry-on and personal item

According to the airlines, there is a distinction between a carry-on and a personal item. There are two different places designated for these two elements. Moreover, a personal item may be a  laptop bag or a small backpack, or a tote bag. On the other hand, a larger backpack, compact suitcase, or shoulder bag are examples of carry-ons. Here accommodation and size are crucial in creating the distinction.

Could Personal Items Act As A Carry-On?

Carry-on and Personal Item Size Limits for 32 Major Airlines

In case you do not have anything that qualifies as a carry-on, but you do have an extra personal item, you can bring that along and keep it in the place where a carry-on would be.

What Is The Standard Size Limit For Carry-Ons?

Carry-on Baggage | Carry-on Bag Policy

Carry-ons must not surpass the dimension limit of 22x14x9 inches. Even though regulations may sometimes be confusing, they must maintain discipline and safety. Sometimes our security depends on the items with which we travel. I hope now you know is do backpacks count as carry on or not. Hence, proper knowledge of guidelines is necessary. We hope this effort of ours was informative and helpful.


Do backpacks count as carry on items when travelling? This is a question that comes up quite often, and the answer is not always straightforward. In some cases, backpacks might be counted as part of your checked luggage. However, if you’re travelling with a limited amount of luggage, it’s probably better to just pack everything into your carry on bag.

This way, you won’t have to pay extra for excess baggage fees. Your airline will also be able to determine whether or not your backpack is part of any of your luggage items, so make sure you pack everything that’s allowed in a carry on.


How To Tell If Your Backpack Counts As A Personal Or Carry-On Item?

Generally, backpacks that are larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches, or if they have a weight of more than 7 pounds, are considered personal items and are not allowed in the carry-on section of an airplane. If your backpack falls into one of these categories, you will have to check it in at the checkpoint.

Is A Backpack A Personal Item?

Yes, a backpack can definitely be considered a personal item. In fact, most people would classify it as an essential item for everyday use. That being said, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently imposed stricter regulations on backpacks and other large luggage items. Specifically, the TSA has stated that all backpacks must be placed in a checked bag when flying. This rule is currently in place for all flights until further notice.

If you’re traveling with a backpack that doesn’t fit in your checked bag, you will need to find a storage solution. You can either store your backpack at the airport or take it with you on the plane. However, make sure to follow the TSA’s guidelines carefully and keep all of your belongings safe and secure during your travels.

How Picky Are Airlines About Carry-On Size?

Airlines are generally pretty picky about the size of carry-on bags. You’re usually limited to a bag that is no bigger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches. This is typically the size of a standard suitcase, and is enough space to fit your clothes, toiletries, and any other necessary items for a short trip.

If you’re traveling for an extended period of time, you might want to consider checking into a travel luggage allowance plan. This will give you enough space to bring along your entire wardrobe and everything you need for the duration of your trip.

What’s The Difference Between A Carry-On And Personal Item?

A carry-on is any item that you’re able to bring onto an airplane with you. This includes your clothing, belongings, and most importantly, your laptop. While a personal item is any item that’s not allowed on the plane in your carry-on bag – this could include medications, explosives, or other hazardous materials.

Keep in mind that some items that are allowed in a personal item bag may not be allowed in a carry-on bag, so it’s important to check ahead of time!

How Many Carry-On Bags Can You Bring On A Plane?

Each airline has their own restrictions on what you can and cannot bring on your flight, so it is important to check with your airline before you travel. Generally, you are allowed to bring a limited number of carry-on bags and checked bags.

The number that each airline has set varies, so it is best to contact them directly to find out what is allowed. Generally, you are not allowed to bring large items like furniture or appliances in your carry-on bag.

Michael C. Herrera

I’m a travel blogger with a focus on safety. I’ve been to all seven continents, and I love sharing my tips for staying safe while traveling. I also have a lot of experience with travel hacking and finding the best deals on airfare and hotels. My blog features reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

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