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Carry on backpack?

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lissie45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning to walk CF 2020 - once my partner recovers from cardiac surgery
Check the airline you’re flying, I generally find it’s not the size that’s is the limit but the weight, but they are all different
 

TimH

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April 2016
Le Puy route May 2017
Camino Norte June 2017
St Francis Way Sept 2018
In my view your objective for the Camino should be not to carry any more than you can take as hand luggage. I have a bad back and knees and have managed to carry everything I need for four Camino walks now in nothing more than I can carry in an Osprey Talon 33. That said my wife prefers a 40 litre pack. Either way we take nothing but hand luggage and just wash our clothes every night or smell for a day or two. Certainly makes you focus on what you REALLY need to carry and a light pack makes the walk so much more enjoyable.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
You can find the only specific and accurate answer to your question on the website of your airline. If you don't know which airline you will use, look at the possible options. They will give the allowable size dimensions as well as the maximum weight. They will not give a volume (e.g. in litres).
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I carry a 40 l. backpack and guarantee its carry-on status by putting medication, electronics, documents, whatever I don't want to have to replace or want to use on the plane, in a small Sea to Summit dry bag (with shoulder and waist straps if needed). It fits easily under the seat in front of me, as is required for a small second bag, which has so far always been permitted in the airline regulations for carry-on. As I always walk in the fall, I could not fit my needs in a 33 l. pack. I also always wear my hiking footwear on the plane. I want to arrive with it. Anything else could be replaced if my pack were put into the baggage and did not arrive. You can also keep a warm jacket or alternate outer layer with you: just put it in the overhead luggage space with your bag. You see that I am suggesting how to get more on the plane than you might if you did not plan for it. But this does not mean to take more than you need. Or less. You can make yourself very uncomfortable by leaving behind the necessaries. If you are planning to arrive somewhere where it is easy to replace gear and clothing, you don't have to panic so long as you have your footwear, medication, electronics and documents. Buen camino.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Airline don't make any guarantees for carry-on luggage.

If you flight is full and you are the last to board, it is likely you will need to gate-check, regardless of size.

You can increase chances for carry-on bin space by paying for premium setting which usually board earlier.

-Paul
 

J F Gregory

Camino Frances April 2023
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Portuguese 2021, Frances 2 2023
The best thing you can do is check the carrier. They change their regulation without much advance notice. I do international travel a couple times a year and pack in a 38 liter kit. I have never had a problem with the size of the kit, but some carriers like British Airline go by the weight of the kit. There ways to get around that by being sneaky. In my travels for 1 week or 1 month is the same about 3.1 kg.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Please note that the “litre” size is NOT a good measure of what an airline will allow. My wife’s size-small 50L Osprey is actually smaller than my size-large 40L REI pack. It’s best to go by actual HxWxL measurements and stay under 10kg
 
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J F Gregory

Camino Frances April 2023
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Portuguese 2021, Frances 2 2023
Please note that the “litre” size is NOT a good measure of what an airline will allow. My wife’s size-small 50L Osprey is actually smaller than my size-large 40L REI pack. It’s best to go by actual HxWxL measurements and stay under 10kg
Your are right that is why it is important to contact the carrier and go by their regulations. I do not like checking baggage. I lived in Hawaii many years ago when the only gateway city was Honolulu. to go to an outer island you had to transfer to an interstate company. We lived on Kauai and was visiting on Honolulu. We checked out bag for the 20 minute flight home. Our bag got lost. and went to Singapore and back. It was delivered to us 48 hours later.:)
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Osprey 68, strapped down to be as small and flat as possible is no problem - so far. Taken it on Ryanair, Easyjet, BA and Vueling.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
The most import measurement appears to be the backpack's length.
In watching security staff doing the checking, this always appears to the initial check.
55cm is a maximum length that seems to satisfy all airlines I have ever flown with.
If your pack appears a little bulky, wear an extra shirt, put on your fleece and/or rainjacket, put socks or whatever in your pockets.
Carry something folded over your arm.
Once onboard declothe and reload your backpack.
Occasionally I have felt like the MIchelin man, but it's not for long and solves the problem.
Regards
Gerard
 
Last edited:

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
There was a plan proposed by luggage industry for "certified" carry-on luggage. A special carry-on luggage would be designed with an exact set of dimension which all airlines would agree to accept as carry-on luggage. The luggage would be sold with special tag or logo indicating "certified" carry-on status.

It was a great plan, but the airline industry could not agree on exact luggage dimension and refused to give up flexibility to force a gate check.

There is no way to *guarantee* carry-on in the cabin, only methods to improve chances for success.


-Paul
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Any good 40L to 48L pack should meet carry on requirements. To ensure this, I recommend working toward a target weight of 10 to 12 lb. That not only ensure it will be an acceptable size but your shoulders and back will thank you for it.

When you arrive at the airport, there is usually a standardized frame to assist travellers in determining whether their bag(s) meet carry on requirements. Try them out when you get there. But the best way to be sure ois to check with TSA Authorities in each country you will be visiting.
 
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Lost Pilgrims

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2017)
What is a good carry-on friendly backpack to take, as in how large can u go in regards of backpack dimensions, on your average international flight?
We had 36 litre Osprey backpacks and were allowed to carry them on with us on the airplane. We did check ahead of time at the airport to make sure though. We didn’t want any unpleasant surprises at our actual departure.
 

KariC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
What is a good carry-on friendly backpack to take, as in how large can u go in regards of backpack dimensions, on your average international flight?
I hiked with and carried on the Osprey Exos 58 - super light weight and just the right size for me.
 

kjpyle

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances -
Sept-Oct 2017
I knew the REI pack I was taking would be at the very limit; so I built a box out of scrap wood whose interior dimensions matched the airline's carry on dimensions. As long as I could get the pack into the box (opened on two opposite sides for easy extraction of the pack) I knew I could get it into anything they would have to measure it. And I never had any kind of problem getting it into an overhead storage bin. I also used strapping to keep it from bulging in the middle.
 

Gwyn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Burgos 2018
SJPdP to Santiago 2019
Always remember not to carry on any scissors a knife or anything sharp as they will be confiscated!
 

Flattmeister

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015),
Portuguese from Porto (2016)
Norte/Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2018)
Please note that the “litre” size is NOT a good measure of what an airline will allow. My wife’s size-small 50L Osprey is actually smaller than my size-large 40L REI pack. It’s best to go by actual HxWxL measurements and stay under 10kg
Good advice from Vacajoe.
If you happen to be after an inexpensive, carry-on friendly backpack there is the Forclaz 50 from Decathlon. I used it backpacking for nearly 4 months this year and had no issues taking it carry-on with the 7 different airlines I flew (Malaysian, Vueling, Brussels, Volotea, Ryanair, SAS and British). As long as it is not overfilled, taking it carry-on is not a problem.

I used it for the Camino Frances this year SJ to SdC and last year Camino Norte/Primitivo starting in Irun. There are better backpacks out there, but it's a cracker of a backpack for the money.
 
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Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
The most import measurement appears to be the backpack's length.
In watching security staff doing the checking, this always appears to the initial check.
55cm is a maximum length that seems to satisfy all airlines I have ever flown with.
If your pack appears a little bulky, wear an extra shirt, put on your fleece and/or rainjacket, put socks or whatever in your pockets.
Carry something folded over your arm.
Once onboard declothe and reload your backpack.
Occasionally I have felt like the MIchelin man, but it's not for long and solves the problem.
Regards
Gerard
Good practical advice.
 
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
how large can u go in regards of backpack dimensions, on your average international flight?

Kia ora

Firstly I suspect you live not a million miles from me. PM if you would like to do things in greater detail from much the same perspective.

Secondly, check out a few airlines. Include Ryanair and Easyjet, for example as well as some major long haul carriers. And choose the most restrictive.

Thirdly, there is a weight restriction. Often this is 7 kg. So, if you have included the kitchen sink or umpteen dozen changes of clothes ....

Fourthly, you cannot put sharps, such as knives and forks (spoons most probably OK), tent pegs, walking poles (some disagree - take a chance if you wish) and a water bottle with water (or other favourite refreshment) inside, into any carry on bags.

Kia kaha
 

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