Can You Bring Backpacking Backpack as Carry-On?

By Anna Duncan

Travelers often want to bring their backpacking backpack as a carry-on item when flying. This is understandable, as the airlines are known for charging exorbitant fees for checked baggage. But, can you really bring a backpacking backpack as a carry-on?

The answer is yes, you can bring your backpacking backpack as a carry-on, but there are certain guidelines that must be followed. First of all, it must meet the size requirements set forth by the airline.

Most major airlines accept carry-ons that measure no more than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. If your backpacking bag is larger than this dimension, it cannot be brought on board and will need to be checked.

In addition to size restrictions, airlines also have weight limits for carry-ons. Generally speaking, most airlines will allow bags up to 40 pounds in weight.

It’s important to remember that these weight limits may be higher or lower depending on the airline and destination. So make sure you check with your airline before flying.

Finally, the type of bag can also be important when bringing it on board an airplane. The vast majority of airlines do not allow hard-sided luggage as a carry on item; they must be checked in with other belongings.


In conclusion, yes you can bring your backpacking backpack as a carry-on item when flying but it must meet certain size and weight restrictions set by the airline and typically cannot be hard-sided luggage. Be sure to check with your airline before traveling to ensure that your bag meets their requirements.