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Posted March 2, 2020 in Gear Reviews by Jim Markel
Essentially a carry-on bag is one that you can bring with you on the flight.
Therefore, the airlines collectively determined carry-on is a specific size. This is generally accepted as a combined length plus width plus height to be no larger than 45 linear inches (115cm). Typically, a bag’s individual specific length, width and height may also not exceed 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (56cm x 336cm x 23cm).
Weight restrictions are becoming more commonplace in western nations. Most airlines now no longer allow as much you can lift into the bin without assistance from crew members. That said, be aware Red Oxx Carry-on bags can easily hold up to 50 pounds (22.7 kilos).
Every domestic Airline has a different measurable carry-on allowance. The overhead bin sizing requirements nowadays are quite specific. It can be a real hassle to try to figure out which bag will fit a particular airline overhead bin.
Worse, now budget airlines “Basic Economy Class” won’t even let you use the overhead. So your bag has to fit under the seat.
Red Oxx has done all the hard work and research for you. To resolve these questions, we purchased an official International Bag Checker used by the airlines from Visiontron. During our bag development prototype testing phase, fitting the checker is a vital requirement during prototype testing. Our bags are designed for a perfect fit.
In this “baggin’ the bin” matching carry-on bag guide you will learn which bag will fit with each Airline’s overhead bin, or under the seat. It’s your one-stop Airline Carry-on Baggage Guide for future reference.
But first, to answer a common question.
As defined by our travel light philosophy, Red Oxx does not build, nor recommend, carry-on bags with wheels for the following reasons.
The bags that Red Oxx builds do not have wheels for these reasons. Therefore, they are inherently far more durable. No wheels or flimsy handles to break. Soft-sided bags are flexible and spacious because they can stretch. In addition, they are much easier to store because you can flatten them. Soft-sided bags are more useful overall.
Baggin’ the Bin – Your Airlines Carry-on Guide
• 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22.9cm x 35.6cm x 55.9cm).
Carry-on bags for Alaska Airlines / Horizon, Red Oxx recommends:
Mini Boss. This handsome briefcase was designed for carry on smaller flights. It fits international overhead bins. These bins tend to be slightly smaller than in domestic aircraft. The Mini Boss features a unique padded laptop/notebook compartment. There’s plenty of room for a weekend’s worth of travel.
• 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22.9cm x 35.6cm x 55.9cm)
The Air Boss Suitcase fits perfectly in Allegiant’s overhead with an inch on all sides to spare. It’s sleek styling and sturdy construction, makes for a handsome bag for the business traveler. This classic carry-on suitcase is the progenitor of all our carry-on bags.
Sky Train is a Hybrid Backpack Style Bag. Hybrids allow regular carry by a hand, or shoulder strap, or by using backpack straps. Its exterior measurements are nearly the same as the Air Boss. The Sky Train was developed for smaller-framed travelers and the adventure types. These adventure travelers are those who like to move about long distances on foot. They’ll enjoy the Sky Train’s carry flexibility. When you have to race across the airport to make your flight you’ll appreciate this feature.
The Sky Train’s five different easy carry options are defined by:
1. using the Claw strap over the shoulder or cross-body,
2. by hand with the handle on top or the side,
3. or use the amazingly comfortable retractable backpack straps. The later, of course, makes for excellent hands-free travel.
• 7 inches x 15 inches x 16 inches (17.8cm x 38.1cm x 40.6cm).
For Allegiant Air Personal Items, Red Oxx recommends:
Gator EDC Bag as Personal Item Tote. This everyday carry bag is a favorite with our CEO. Jim uses it to haul around his camera, Kindle, electronic gear and more. It’s a “Handy all-round padded daily use travel tote” he says.
• Up to 45 linear inches (115 centimeters) when added together as a total. For instance – 9 inches wide x 14 inches tall x 22 inches long (22.9cm x 35.6cm x 55.9cm).
When traveling on American Airlines, Red Oxx recommends:
Tres Hombres Convertible Carry-on Backpack, the Air Boss, or Sky Train. While the Tres Hombres pushes the limits of carry-on linear dimensions, it’s beauty lies in the external compression straps. This feature allows you to cinch the bag down to “fit” American Airlines’ bag checker.
If that size strikes you as still too large, there is now a smaller version of the Tres called the “Lil Hombre Convertible Backpack Duffel“.
• A Travel Purse, CPA Laptop Briefcase, and similar bags such as a Market Tote Shopping Tote are all personal items. There’s also a tablet specific bag, the Micro Manager. All these qualify as personal items.
Regarding American Airlines Personal Items, Red Oxx also recommends:
Metro Laptop Briefcase. Both the Chica Travel Purse and the Metro Briefcase feature padded walls to protect your electronic gear from bumps and drops.
The Market Tote can be folded flat and carried inside your carry-on for use bringing home souvenirs from your trip. It’s long carry handles were designed for shoulder carry.
• Personal Item only, with sizing of 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches (45cm x 35cm x 20cm).
For American Airlines Economy Class, Red Oxx recommends:
Since the sizing requirements are basically the same as their Personal Item restrictions, the Red Oxx Gator EDC and K-12 Kat Pack will fit perfectly under the seat. If you avoid packing the front raised pocket or the flap pocket, you can probably squeeze a Roadster Mini Ruck also under the seat.
• Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 114cm) in combined length, width and height. This includes any handles, with the exception of small musical instruments that fit in the overhead compartment bin, or under-seat space, if available during boarding.
• Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check which is approximately 22 inches long x 14 inches tall x 9 inches wide (56cm x 35cm x 23cm). The Baggage Checker is located near the check-in counters. As mentioned, Red Oxx actually owns an International Baggage Checker, which is slightly smaller than the domestic version. All Red Oxx Carry-on Bags are tested for fit within our checker.
Flying on Delta Airlines Red Oxx recommends:
Air Boss Carry-on Suitcase for economy class business travelers. Try the Sky Train for economy leisure travelers. Sports travelers happily report doing well with the Tres Hombres. It’s three 20-” long compartments are ideal for SCUBA fins and other sporting gear.
• One purse, briefcase, Lil Roy digital camera bag, or Gator EDC bag.
• Or one laptop computer (please note that computers cannot be checked).
• Conversely, one item of a similar or smaller size, like a Mini Tote, to those listed above.
The following items do not qualify as personal items on Delta Airlines and are considered as freebies:
• A jacket or umbrella.
• Food or drink purchased after clearing the security checkpoint.
• Duty-free merchandise.
• Special items like strollers, child restraint seats or devices such as wheelchairs or crutches.
Carry-On Bags can be no larger than 24″ tall, 10″ wide, and 16″ long and no heavier than 35 pounds. Think shoulder carry Safari-Beanos duffel bags, etc.. Carry-On Bags must be able to fit either underneath the seat or in the overhead bin.
• 14 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches (36cm x 46cm x 21cm).
All Frontier passengers are allowed one free personal item that will fit under the seat in front of you. It can be no larger than 14 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 18 inches long. Think backpacks, purses, briefcases and computer bags.
Regarding Frontier Personal Items, Red Oxx recommends:
Roadster Mini Ruck Rucksack or the K-12 Kat Pack Backpack. For instance, both will fit neatly under the seat, while allowing access to your belongings inside.
jetBlue Overhead Bin Size: 22 inches long x 14 inches wide x 9 inches high (55.9cm x 35.6cm x 22.9cm).
• In order to fit in the JetBlue overhead bin, your carry-on bag must not exceed the overhead bin size on all of their aircraft.
For JetBlue, Red Oxx recommends:
JetBlue tends to offer smaller jets, thus the shorter than typical two foot baggage bin. In this case, the Sun Chaser Sports Duffel and the smallest of the Safari Beanos series, the PR-4 Small Duffel will fit perfectly.
Under the seat measurement per aircraft:
• Aboard the Airbus A321: 17 inches length x 13 inches width x 11 inches height (43.2cm x 33cm x 27.9cm).
Red Oxx recommends:
Here the Gator EDC qualifies as a Compact Carry-on because it’s a perfect fit. The Gator is only 12 inches long x 6 inches wide x 9 inches tall. Next up in size that will also fit is the CPA Briefcase.
• When aboard the Airbus A320 and E190: 18 inches length x 15 inches width x 8 inches height (45.72cm x 38.1cm x 20.32cm)
Red Oxx recommends:
While designed as a briefcase, the CPA Laptop Briefcase will fit perfectly under the seat. While laying on it’s side it’s only 17 inches long by 11 inches tall by 7 inches wide.
• 15 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches (38cm x 46cm x 21cm).
One personal item such as a purse, briefcase, laptop, etc. may board the aircraft.
FAA/TSA regulations also allow the following items, as these do not count towards the customer’s carry-on limit:
• Duty-Free items that are reasonable and limited in amount.
• One diaper bag for customers traveling with an in-lap infant.
• Special items such as a coat, umbrella, infant car seat, etc.
• Assisting disability devices like wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc.
• Southwest Airlines has a rather generous overhead bin. It limits carry-on bag dimensions to 10 inches x 16 inches x 24 inches.
Red Oxx recommends:
Safari Beanos PR5 Duffel is a nice fit. Similarly, any bag in our Airline Carry-on category will fit Southwest’s overhead bins.
• 13 inches x 18 inches x 8.5 inches (33cm x 46cm x 22cm).
Personal items include purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, or laptops (case included). Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carry-on item at the discretion of the flight attendants.
• Carry-on bag: Maximum of 22 inches long x 18 inches tall x 10 inches wide (56cm x 46cm x 25cm). Spirit may require that a carry-on bag travel as a checked bag if it cannot be safely stowed in a bin on a particular flight.
When flying on Spirit Airlines, Red Oxx recommends:
Safari-Beanos PR-4 Small Carry-on Duffel or Sun Chaser Sports Duffel both take advantage of Spirit’s generous overhead bin width measurements. The PR-4 is a smallest version of the Safari Beanos duffel series. Both measure 19 in L x 9 in H x 9 in W.. However, the Sun Chaser will have a longer full-length main compartment space, because it has no end pockets. The raised pockets were moved to the side. The Sun Chaser duffel can be positioned in the bin for easy access to these two handy side pockets.
• Personal item may be a purse, small backpack, etc.: Dimensions must not exceed 18 inches long x 8 inches tall x 14 inches wide (45cm x 20cm x 36cm).
• The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag on United Airlines are 9 inches wide x 14 inches tall x 22 inches long (22cm x 35cm x 56cm).
Red Oxx recommends:
Once again, both the Sky Train and the Air Boss are a perfect fit in the United Airlines overhead bins. The Safari Beanos PR5 however, is too long at 24 inches.
• The maximum dimensions for your personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22cm x 25cm x 43cm).
Following United Airlines specifications, Red Oxx recommends:
Basically, a Metro Briefcase works well as a personal item. The Metro will fit any laptop with a screen measuring up to 17 inches.
• Personal Item only, with sizing of 17 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches (43cm x 25cm x 22cm).
If you’re using United Economy Class, Red Oxx recommends:
Again, with United Airlines, their sizing requirements are basically their Personal Item restrictions. Therefore, the Red Oxx Gator EDC Bag and K-12 Kat Pack Backpack will all fit perfectly under the seat.
In conclusion, various airlines have various individual requirements for different situations. While this article is updated on a regular basis for quick reference, above all, it’s recommended that you consult directly with your favored airline.
Meet Mr. Bag Checker, our carry-on bag development sizing tester