Are There Weight Limits For Carry-On Bags?

Are There Weight Limits For Carry-On Bags?

Let’s face it, carry-on weight limits on planes are confusing. Since each airline has its own set of rules when it comes to what passengers can take on a plane, it’s important to be aware of them well before you start packing for that sunny beach vacation.

Navigating carry-on luggage weight limits needn’t be a burden. Our tips and explanations will make sure you’re prepared.



‘Carry-on weight limit’ refers to the maximum non-checked bag weight an airline allows a passenger to take on an airplane. Many airlines have a standard weight for carry-on bags—around 15-22lbs or 7-10kgs. A common-sized bag for carry-on luggage  is 22"x14"x9". But, restrictions will be different for low-cost airlines as well as international airlines, so checking individual airline policies is crucial.

Airlines are enforcing size and weight limits more strictly than ever before. Below are guides to carry-on bag weight limits for several popular US airlines. As rules often change, refer to individual airline websites to make sure your bags adhere to the most current specifications.

  • American Airlines: Carry-on bag weight limit: 40lbs/ 18kgs
  • Air Canada: No maximum weight but dimensions limit apply
  • Air Transat: Carry-on baggage 22lbs/ 10kgs
  • Westjet: Carry-on baggage: 50lbs/ 43kgs
  • Allegiant Air: No maximum weight limit applies if you pay to carry-on
  • Delta Airlines: No maximum weight limit applies for domestic flights
  • Frontier Airlines: Carry-on bag weight limit: 35lbs/16kgs
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Carry-on bag weight limit: 25lbs/11kgs
  • JetBlue Airlines: No maximum weight applies—however, if purchasing the lowest-cost, basic airfare, a carry-on bag is not allowed, only hand luggage
  • Southwest Airlines: No maximum weight limit applies
  • Spirit Airlines: Carry-on bag weight limit: 40lbs/18kgs—however, if purchasing the lowest-cost, basic airfare, a carry-on bag is not allowed, only hand luggage.
  • United Airlines: Carry-on bag weight limit: 50lbs/23kgs—however, if purchasing the lowest-cost, basic airfare, a carry-on bag is not allowed, only hand luggage.


The secret to managing carry-on bag weight limits starts with packing. Packing lighter and packing more efficiently will undoubtedly troubleshoot hassles at the airport. Think about packing versatile clothing that can be worn more than once. Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Reveal Cube Set is ideal for carry-on luggage. Durable and lightweight and made of 100% recycled fabrics, packing cubes keep all your belongings organized when on the go.

Another tip to consider before taking off is the type of bag you choose to carry-on the plane. Are you always in boarding group 6 and nervous that overhead space will be gone by the time you find your seat? Under seat carry-on options like a backpack will ease your anxiety. Eagle Creek has backpacks that not only fit the bill, they fit comfortably under the seat.

Perhaps your frequent flier status means you never have to fight for overhead space. In that case, Eagle Creek’s newly refreshed Gear Warrior 2-Wheel Convertible Carry-On is worth checking out. With off-road-ready wheels and the ability to convert to a backpack, this versatile piece of luggage adapts to your travel needs.

For those with high status on specific airlines, there may be exceptions to the weight limit rules. Another reason to always refer to the airline’s website for the most up-to-date information for carry-on weight limits.



How can we find out if our carry-on is too heavy? As already mentioned, knowing each airline's luggage size restrictions is imperative. Investing in a luggage scale to weigh carry-on before flying is the simplest way to ensure compliance with FAA regulations. If you get to the airport and your bag is too heavy, you’ll not only be asked to check it, you may have to pay a fee.

Be mindful of your carry-on’s weight and size combined. As travelers, we often focus on the weight of our bags rather than the physical dimensions. As tempting as it is to want to stuff your bag into the overhead bin, airlines have rules, so it’s important to ensure it meets the criteria for both. As always, being prepared with information will lead to a smoother check-in process and less stress on travel days.


These days, more and more travelers are opting for carry-on luggage only. With flight cancellations, delays, and lost luggage, it’s easy to see why. Keeping up with airline rules and restrictions regarding carry-on bags is of the utmost importance. Being aware of weight and size limits for carry-on is not only a simple way to avoid fees and frustration, it’s the secret to smooth sailing at check-in.


By Jamie Edwards

Jamie Edwards is an award-winning travel writer based in Washington DC. She also created I am Lost and Found, a website devoted to inspiring travel. Jamie has traveled to 68 countries and all 7 continents—always seeking stories to tell about her far-flung adventures.