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luggage recommendations that fit carry-on dimensions?

I recently returned from a trip to Spain (from Oregon) and was lucky that they did not make a big deal about my Osprey carry-ons being slightly over the acceptable dimensions for carry ons. Several years ago we took our Ospreys on a European carrier and ended up having to pay $50/each because they would not fit in the sizing box that they have at the gate.

I would like to avoid having that happen again.  I would like to replace them with something that does fit the international luggage sizes (14 inches tall). I only see one option - the Eagle Creek, but it has some negative reviews. Does REI have any other options that fit dimensions for international carry ons? 

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@scooterpdx I’ve flown on about 10 different airlines and over 50 times. My northface backpack which is always stuffed to the brim has never even caught the eye of a flight attendant. 

I would suggest looking there. The jester is small with little to no pockets but I have also had the Reacon and the Burellus. Both are good choices. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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The problem is that some discount carriers can be very finicky about this. After all it's a great revenue generator for them. You're already at the airport with a paid ticket. They enforce their rules, knowing there's no chance you'll say no their extortion.

All I can suggest is to be aware of each airline's maximum carry-on dimensions (and maximum weight.) Then make sure when you pack that your filled bag with meet the requirements. Soft luggage is a must. Even if the bag is nominally larger than the sizing box you can still squish it to fit.

Weight is a bit harder. You can get small scales, but of course that's one more item to carry.

...Wanderer


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I second @Wanderer recommendations.  I have persuaded airline gate agents to allow a slightly oversized duffel by pleading that it was squishy.  I have also had to get very creative in packing to meet the highly restrcitive limitations (both size and weight) of some budget carriers.  

Most importantly, check all the baggage rules and regulations for the airline and even the specific flight you will be on before you pack.  Some trips require a layover and transfer to smaller commuter planes, which have even tighter size and weight limits, so, what you were able to carry on the main flight, may not be allowed on your transfer.

Unfortunately, there is no single sized piece of luggage that meets all the requirements you may encounter.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

 

Most importantly, check all the baggage rules and regulations for the airline and even the specific flight you will be on before you pack.  Some trips require a layover and transfer to smaller commuter planes, which have even tighter size and weight limits, so, what you were able to carry on the main flight, may not be allowed on your transfer.

In my experience when both the main flight and the commuter flight are on the same ticket, the commuter or partner airline will follow the main carrier's allowance. Nevertheless it's always worth confirming this with the smaller carrier. 

This principle also applies if the first leg flight is late arriving and you've missed the connection. If both are on the same ticket then you'll be on the next available flight with no penalties.

OTOH if the two tickets are separate, then you have to follow the rules set by each airline, including smaller baggage allowances, missed flights, etc.

Sometimes it's worth paying a bit more for airfare on a single ticket just for that peace of mind.

For example: Before the pandemic I flew on Aer Lingus to Manchester via Dublin. The flight to Dublin was on a wide-body. The flight to Manchester was on a much smaller turbo-prop with much more restrictive baggage allowance. They confirmed that all baggage that was on the first leg would be allowed on the second leg.  As it turned out my flight to Dublin arrived an hour late and I missed the flight to Manchester. Nevertheless Aer Lingus put me on the next flight. Apart from the delay everything was handled smoothly and hassle-free.

...Wanderer


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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