Can You Carry on a 50L Backpack? 

 March 8, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

Backpacking bags are popular choices for travel because they are convenient and leave your hands free. Fifty-liter backpacks are one of the best capacities for the job, but can they be used as a carry-on?

The standard dimensions for carry-on luggage in most airlines is 9 x 14 x 22 inches, with a maximum weight of 22 pounds. A 50L backpack would not be accepted as a carry-on by most airlines since it’s too large, but you would have to check with the specific airline you’re flying with.

Read on below to learn more about using a 50L backpack as a carry on.

Is a 50L Backpack Too Big for Carry On?

A 50L backpack is spacious enough to carry your belongings for a long holiday or a backpacking trip.

There are many popular 50L backpacks well-loved by travelers, such as the following:

However, when flying with most airlines, a 50L backpack would have to be checked in.

The standard dimensions for carry-on bags is 9 x 14 x 22 inches, which is the size of an everyday backpack. Fifty-liter backpacks are usually around 29 x 13 x 10 inches, give or take depending on the manufacturer. Packing a 50L backpack would also make it heavier than the standard carry-on weight capacity of 22 pounds.

Because of this, most bags that are over 45L cannot be used as a carry-on for a majority of airlines. However, the best way to know for sure if you can use it as a carry-on is to check the carry-on restrictions of the airline you are flying with.

If you're looking for a large carry on backpack, check out our comparison tool that lets you compare carry on backpacks, or read our article on selecting the best carry on backpack.


A 50L backpack is great for traveling, but most airlines will not accept it as a carry-on luggage. It will be best to check with the airline for their carry-on restrictions, though you may have to use a backpack under 45L as long as it fits the size restrictions.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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