Are Duffle Bags Allowed As Carry On

Are Duffle Bags Allowed As Carry On?

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When it comes to traveling from one destination to the next, you'll need to be knowledgeable about the current TSA and travel regulations when it comes to packing your bags. No matter if you’re a beginner or a frequent flyer, there’s no excuse for not following regulations.

If there comes a time where your bags do not meet the current standards, you will either be asked to step aside and redo your bags or won’t be allowed to take it onto the plane. Now, you can use multiple types of bags as your carry on luggage. This includes backpacks, purses, totes, and much more. However, many still question: are duffle bags allowed as carry on?

In this article, we will help you understand if you can or can’t use your handy-dandy duffle bag for your next flight. We’ll also share with you other traveling tips, so better read on!

Carry On vs. Checked-In Bags

A checked-in bag refers to what goes into the main hold of the airplane. A carry on bag, on the other hand, refers to the type of bag that you’re going to take on the plane. This is usually placed overhead, in lockers, or underneath your seat.

Every airline features different rules when it comes to how many carry ons you can take onto the plane and how many checked-in bags are allowed per person. However, when it comes to the type of baggage you use, the airline generally doesn’t care as long as it fits into the airline's size regulations.

The baggage must also be able to fit into the overhead compartments or underneath the seat. Having an unconventional bag may cause the staff to deny you to bring it on. As a flyer tip, always make sure that the bag you’re bringing has the capability to completely close.

Are Duffle Bags Allowed As Carry On

Are Duffle Bags Allowed As Carry On?

Looking at the differences between carry on and checked-in bags, then we can say that, yes, duffle bags are allowed onto the airline. This is, of course, as long as they meet the following size restrictions set by the airline itself.

Often, we see flyers struggling to measure the size of their baggage, which is especially true when it comes to duffle bags. This is mainly due to the type of material that duffle bags are made out of. Stretchy materials that can be folded and unfolded may be difficult to measure, hence why you’ll need to double check if it fits airport baggage regulations.

Carry On Weight & Size Restrictions For Duffle Bags

In order to give you an idea as to the different carry on size restrictions of different airlines, here are what the most popular airlines have to say on this matter:

  • Delta has a limit for their carry on bags, which can’t be larger than 9 by 14 by 22 inches in size.
  • Southwest, on the other hand, has a limit on their bags too, which can’t be larger than 10 by 16 by 24 inches in size.
  • Lastly, Alaska Airlines has restrictions for their carry ons as well, which must be 10 by 17 by 24 inches in size.

If you believe any of your carry on bags are too big, then try looking for a sizing template that will be displayed throughout the airport. If your bag ends up being too big, then you will be asked to check it into baggage or to change your bag.

Under no circumstances will they allow you to place it on the plane if it doesn’t meet their requirements. Thus, it’s crucial that you know your bag’s dimensions before you pack your stuff. There’s nothing worse than getting pulled out of line by TSA and told that your duffle isn’t allowed because it’s an inch over the fixed size.

Why Use a Duffle Bag As a Carry On?

Duffle bags are much better than traditional carry on suitcases, totes, and backpacks. Here’s a quick overview as to why you should choose to use a duffle bag as a carry on:

  1. Duffle bags weigh less than suitcases. This is because they are made from lightweight fabric instead of a hardened exterior.
  2. Duffle bags provide you with more space and can fit larger or oddly shaped items inside without poking a hole or causing the bag to burst open.
  3. Duffle bags come with multiple compartments and often have exterior pockets for easy access to your wallet, passport, or cell phone.
  4. Duffle bags also have multiple handles. These handles make them easier to carry and store.
  5. Duffle bags come in various styles and designs, which offer you a bigger selection to choose from.


Traveling can be tiring, especially when you’re trying to get all of your items together in one bag. Fortunately, where other bags lack, a duffle bag easily excels in. Bringing a duffle bag as a carry on may be questionable at first, but as long as you know how to measure the dimensions, then you should be good to go!

When it comes to placing your items into the duffle bag, always make sure that the bag is closed and secured. Many duffle bags come with an extra strap to help ensure that no items fall out, so make sure to use it.

The only downside to using a duffle bag as a carry on is that you'll likely have to put it overhead instead of underneath the seat in front of you. This means that you won’t be able to reach in and grab an item while you’re flying.

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