Carry on backpacks, any recommendations?

Looking to buy a carry on backpack, that's sized up to the maximum sized allowable. as we don't like the hassle of waiting for luggage after a long flight. (+additional costs, of course)

I've been eyeing the cabinmax metz from, but shipping costs are expensive, though their backpacks do seem pretty awesome.

Any other recommendations, ideas?


Related Stores


  • +2

    30 pounds delivery fee from the UK- cute. I got my Osprey Farpoint 40- recommended- from UK for $9 delivery fee. Also consider Osprey Porter 46.

    • I have a farpoint 40 too, great backpack and actually fits inside the carry on cage (porter 46 doesn't quite).

      • That's what the measurements say about the Porter, but I've seen a hundred people whenever carry on luggage is discussed say they've never had any problem. If I try with a Porter I will probably be the first. Not that I'm paranoid- not much.

      • Portor 46L can go as carryon. I've done it twice in the past 3 months. Once with Virgin and once with Qantas

        • Yep, I'm not saying it doesn't work/they don't allow it. Just to be aware that if they force you to place inside the cage at the gate it will not fit. I've never seen or heard of this happening though.

        • @stirlo:

          Don't chance it if it's so important to you that it go carry on and not end up in the hold. Those measuring cages do get used from time to time. Gate staff can be very expert at spotting oversized carry on, especially if flight is full or close.

      • Porter 46L can go as carry on. I've been all over the place with it and never had a problem as carry on fitting in the overhead cabin.

        But I'd pay extra for a Farpoint or other cause I find the straps dig into my shoulders when it gets heavier.

        • Don’t both the Porter and the Farpoint exceed some airlines international carryon luggage dimensions.

          Osprey Farpoint 40L 54x 35x 23cm

          Such as

          Silk air: 22"x16"x8" (55 x 40 x 20) = 115
          China eastern: 55 x 40 x 20 cm = 115cm
          Emirates: 55 x 38 x 20 Cm = 113cm

        • @Pretten:

          The thickness that it exceeds the measurements from is dependent on how much you fill it. There's no fixed frame making it 23cm thick so it can be squished.

          This differs from the Porter 46 which is 59cm long and has a fixed frame so will not fit.

      • Do these open like a suitcase?

        I already have large backpacks, and they're a pain to get stuff from the bottom on short daily stops, so im looking to buy something specifically for this purpose

        • The farpoint 40 has zips that go around 3 sides so can be fully opened up. I believe the Porter is similar:

    • I misread your comment and though you got an Osprey Farpoint 40 for $9 delivery free. Google shows them all as $130+. I wanted to buy 5!

    • Another vote for the Osprey Farpoint 40, very light and heaps of compartments, easy access etc.

  • +1
    • +6

      anyone else read that as "brokeback packer" instead of "broke backpacker"?

  • Osprey Porter 46L

    I got this from Wild Earth when it was on sale for $90 odd a few months ago

  • Porter 46, used it on many airlines and perfect size.

    Farpoint just as good and better for hiking, but rate the extra space and fold away straps.

  • +1

    Carry On Backpacks - One of the lesser know Carry On films.

    • +1

      Oh, matron.

      • U guys r starting to show ur age!

  • I use the LiteHaul Carry On from Kathmandu. Recently got back from a two week trip to Nepal using only this pack. Served me well, highly recommend!

  • look on Amazon for the AmazonBasics backpacks. A few of us here at work have them and they can fit quite a lot. They also open flat so you don't have to take your laptop out for xraying (in theory, some places have still asked for it to be removed)

    • +1

      Hah I bought a bag once for that purpose.. I ended up taking it out everytime anyway as I didn't want to be the guy who banks up the security line!

  • +1 for Osprey Porter 46L, used it as carry on multiple times on Jetstar and domestic in Vietnam. The style of the backpack is convenient for packing.

  • hard to go against the weight of opinion for Osprey.

    Consider maybe Caribee Skymaster 40 which appears very like Cabinmax metz.
    Maybe cheaper, not sure.

    Have done 2xeight weeks in europe with this, 3rd one coming up.

    • That looks good. A bit more pricey, but gotta google some more. Thanks

    • I agree the Skymaster 40 is a good choice.
      It is spacious,
      Light weight (plenty of weight capacity for contents). A couple of years ago Choice's #1 pick for carry on luggage weighed just under 5
      Kg leaving just 2 Kg for the contents. Grrr…r
      Compliant with IATA maximum dimensions for over head luggage. This last aspect is very important because a lot of luggage sold as carry-on cases is non compliant.

  • I use a North Face Basecamp Duffel Small size. It's 50L and weighs 1.23kg. Fits carry on easily, is bomb proof and hard to pick pocket. Have used it for trips through Nepal, South America and Asia and just keeps going.

    It's not cheap though.

  • +1

    First the caveat.

    Some airlines are now enforcing the 7kg carry-on weight limit.
    At Coolangatta I've seen Tiger employees systematically going down the boarding queue with scales,
    checking the weight of carry-on bags (and they hit quite a few with extra fees !).
    QF are not much better (although they do it at the check-in counter). And don't get me started on JQ.
    So invest in a digital handscale so you know beforehand how much to stuff in your jacket pockets !

    Now the recommendation.

    Get a bag that opens flat like a suitcase (not top loading like a bushwalkers backpack).
    I still use a Tortuga Air V2 (sadly now out of production) but lately revived as The Setout Divide
    which is a similar 26L (expandable to 34L) measuring 20” x 13” x 6” costing USD179.
    If I were shopping for a new carry-on this would be the benchmark bag for me.

    Yes, I paid full price for my Tortuga.
    No, you can't have it !

    • yeah, you got that right mate.
      Happened to me with Jetstar in VIC.

      and Ryanair is known to check.

      this is what attracted me to the cabinmax, as they make the most use of the allowable cabin bag size, and open like a suitcase, and are 700 grams.
      I'm sure bags like the ospreys are better quality, but they're either a little too big, or too small, and don't quite open like a suitcase, even though they open in 3 sides, there's still a bit on the side that doesn't open.

      the caribee someone suggested seems to do this, but doesn't have any horizontal straps which are a must if walking for a bit with a big weighted bag.

      I'm still sold with the cabinmax unfortunately, I might actually take a disposable bag on my way to Europe, and order one to the hotel once i get there for $0 postage..

  • I've got a 35L Denali.
    That's all I use + a handbag), even on my last trip which was 13months. Travelling light is a definite a life-changer for me.
    It's the weight that bothers the airlines. Some also insist that size-wise, it should fit under the seat.
    All the best. Let us know what you get.

    • I must be doing something wrong because I can never fit anything under the seat. The idea of fitting a backpack there is pure science fiction.

  • Even though most state around the 7kg mark, I've seen plenty of people (especially with Scoot) take on full size suitcases as carry on! My guess is they leave it with 'relatives' to mind while they check in!

    • Scoot is 10kg for economy. How are they able to take something that big it won't fit in the overheads.
      I have seen people take guitars , multiple bags. I had one Airasia flight they had to stack bags in the cabin.

      The last Airasia flight I flew on a few people where pulled aside for carrying big bags and to many bags in Australia.

  • +1

    Cabin Zero TRAVEL CLASSIC 44L
    Caribee Sky Master 40L
    Lowe Alpine AT Lightflite Carry-On 40L
    High Sierra Zooka 17" Laptop Backpack
    Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack
    High Sierra Swerve 16" Laptop Backpack
    Cabin Zero TRAVEL CLASSIC 36L

  • Kathmandu have an excellent carry on bag - it fits a ton and sturdy. Worth the money.

Login or Join to leave a comment