How to Measure Carry On Luggage

Step 1: Check Luggage Restrictions

Before you begin packing, we recommend you go through our airline carry on guides for all the major carriers where we went through delta airline polices, american airlines carry on policies, united airlines policies and their luggage limitations.

Step 2: Use a Tape Measure

Once you have an idea of what your airline allows, use a measuring tape and note down the dimensions of your carry on luggage. This includes measuring the length, width, and depth/height. Airlines use inches to measure the maximum allowable luggage size, so you should do the same.

Remember to include handles (folded down) and when measuring.

Step 3: Compare Your Measurements

Next, multiply the length, width, and height you just measured to calculate the volume of your luggage. While your bag might be the perfect length, height, or width, airlines might call you out on its volume. This is a rare case, and it doesn’t mean they won’t allow it or charge you extra, just that they’d ask you to show them what’s inside or remove some items.

Compare your measurements with the information you collected in step 1.

Step 4: Weigh Your Luggage

We’re sure you must be thinking ‘what about weight’ up to this point, and now is the time to cater to that. Weigh your carry on luggage after packing what you need. A handheld weight scale will go a long way if you travel a lot, but if you don’t have one, that’s fine.

Stand on top of your bathroom weight scale and note your weight. Pick up the bag and see how much it increases. Remember to stand up straight and not to move around a lot.

Subtract the two values and you’ll know the weight of your luggage.

What is Allowed In Your Carry On Luggage?

Two suitcases, one covered by a piece of cloth

TSA has strict guidelines when it comes to carry on luggage as well as checked baggage about what you can take and prohibited items. Here, we have listed some of the common things you can take in your carry on luggage.

  1. Small tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, etc. However, make sure they are under seven inches.
  2. Nail clippers, pill cutters, and scissors under four inches.
  3. Non-flammable liquids, gels, and aerosols under 4 ounces.
  4. Drinks and toiletries under 4 ounces.
  5. Matches and lighters (except strike-anywhere)
  6. Dry batteries (AA, AAA, C, and D)
  7. Lithium batteries less than 101 watt-hours as long as they’re in a device
  8. Knitting needles
  9. Electronics smaller than a standard-size laptop
  10. Medicines and medical equipment
  11. Baby food and equipment
  12. 1 Diaper
  13. E-liquids, vapes, and electronic cigarettes under 4 ounces
  14. Disposable and electric razors.
  15. Wedding dresses
  16. Small pets (in their carrier)

Need to buy carry on luggage for your next trip? Check out our latest review on the best carry-on luggage in 2020.


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