Beat the Ryanair easyJet cabin hand luggage restrictions: My top 5 carry-on backpacks ( Updated Jan 2023)

It started as a personal endeavour 11 years ago but now searching Google, seems after so many years of flying low-cost airlines, many of us are still on that nightmare quest to find the best Ryanair easyJet carry on backpacks. Trying to fit in with Ryanair-Vueling-Jet2- easyJet cabin hand luggage restrictions is a real labour of love so this is where I hope this article helps.

Travelling hand luggage only can not only save you money but also save you time on a weekend short break. You can check in online and save the hassle of queuing at a check-in desk. Plus once you arrived at the destination, you don’t have to piss around at the luggage carousel. You can jump on the bus or a cab and start your holiday. So driven by personal need and to help you,  I researched and pulled together a guide to the best carry on cabin luggage, travel backpacks and hand luggage that fit within Ryanair easyJet’s restrictions.

First of all, lets check out what these hand luggage restrictions are and what key factors to look out for.


Ryanair Carry on hand luggage 

Within the basic fare you are allowed to carry for free a small carry on bag

Ryanair say the size of the free small carry-on bag is 40 x 20 x 25cm and can be a maximum of just 20 litres and I quote from their website ‘must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.‘ If the small bag doesn’t fit then customer will have to pay a fee of €/£25 at the gate and their bag will be tagged and placed in the hold.

If you still want to bring a larger suitcase or backpack with you ( 10 kgs allowance) alongside a the free small bag ( 40cm x 20 cm x 25cm) then you have to pay €14 per person. 

easyJet carry on size for hand luggage

easyJet changed their carry on hand luggage policy on 10th February 2021. The hand luggage you can take onboard is now determined by the seat you’ve booked. Everyone can take one small cabin bag per person on board (maximum size 45 x 36 x 20cm, including any handles or wheels), which must fit under the seat in front of you. 

If you have booked an Up front or Extra legroom seat you can also bring an additional large cabin bag –56 x 45 x 25 cm, standard dimension for carry on luggage.

Vueling carry on size hand luggage

Vueling still offer the luxury of carry-on luggage but note that they must not exceed the external dimensions of 55cm X 40cm X 20cm. If you do purchase an Excellence Fare you can bring a whopping 14kg of hand luggage.

Vueling’s parent airline, British Airways currently allows free carry on luggage as long as the weight does not exceed 46 kgs.

Jet 2 carry on luggage size is 56cm x 45cm x 25cm or less.

TUI’s carry on luggage dimensions are 55cm x40cm x20cm

2. Weight

The general rule of thumb is not to carry more than 10 kgs with your carry on luggage, unless if you are flying with British Airways where the allowance is a whopping 46 kgs.

So again, pack well: checkout the One Bag website which shares with you tips on how to pack light.


Travelling carry-on only: Invest in packing cubes

Travelling Carry On Packing Cubes

Biggest tip for travelling carry-on only: Invest in packing cubes

Before you start looking at all the carry-on luggage options, I strongly urge you to invest in packing cubes. I recently was introduced to packing cubes from Amazon and these cubes have changed my life. Best thing is that they help keep your belongings neatly stored and conveniently organized. You can pack in so much more with these cubes. Plus the cubes protect your garments against wrinkles, reducing the need to iron once you arrive at your final destination.

This Amazon ( Retails at £13.99 ) 7-in-1 Packing Cube Set includes 3 mesh bags, 3 flat pockets and 1 shoe bag; ideal for separately storing and packing clean and dirty clothes, wet towels, underwear, and toiletries; also allows you to pack your shoes without risk of damaging or staining garments.

The best Ryanair carry on bag

So what are the best options for hand luggage out there that are within Ryanair’s restrictions.

Here’s are my top choices (by no means a definitive list but a good idea of what’s out there, be great to hear of what you have, comments please below!)

1.) Cabin Max Metz 44L Ryanair Cabin Bag 40x20x25 Hand Luggage Backpack

The Cabin Max Metz is the perfect carry on bag that complies both with easyJet and Ryanair’s new “free” carry on luggage dimensions- coming in at 40x20x25 cm, offering a staggering 44 litre capacity and a weight of just 500 grams the Cabin Max Metz 44l backpack is perfect if you want to travel carry on only and not pay extra for carry on hand luggage.

There is a neat front organiser pocket with compartments that allow you to store your tablet, Kindle, travel documents, pens and tickets + a quick access pocket on the front of the bag.

Price: The Cabin Max retails at a very budget friendly £29.65 via Amazon UK and via

The other carry on hand luggage option ideal for a short trip that fits within the 40x20x25 cm is my friend, Monica aka the Travel Hack’s stylish Travel Hack Stowaway Ladies Cabin Backpack which you can travel for free with Ryanair.

The features of the Travel Hack Stowaway Ladies Cabin Backpack include 

  • A laptop sleeve compatible for devices up to 13″. 
  • An easy access top pocket where you can store passport, purses, phones and essential travel documents.
  • A pretty decent 20L internal capacity. 
  • There is also a holder for your water bottle and a strap on the rear panel to combine effortlessly with any rolling luggage.

Price: The Travel Hack Stowaway Ladies Cabin Backpack retails at £34.95 via Amazon UK

2. Aerolite Cabin Holdall

35cm x 20cm x 20cm

14 litres

The Aerolite Cabin Holdall for just £24.99 , ticks all the boxes when it comes to Ryanair’s new luggage size requirements for carry-on luggage and can also fit under the seat in a Ryanair cabin. With a price point of only 7 pounds, the quality of this bag is not the most durable. It weighs only 400 grams and has a long shoulder strap along with a top handle for ease of carrying.

There is a zipped front compartment for stashing away easy to grab items- money, passports and boarding passes and comes with a padlock with key to keep your items secure.


3. Berghaus TwentyFourSeven Rucksack

44cm (H) x 28cm (W) x 22cm (D)

15 litres

The Berghaus TwentyFourSeven bags come in a variety of shades and sizes but the one that should fit the Ryanair restrictions is the 15 litre rucksack. Measuring 44cm (H) x 28cm (W) x 22cm (D) this small and durable rucksack can also double up as a wonderful daypack when you reach your travelling destination.

Some of the innovative features of the rucksack are a fully padded back, so that it is easy on the back muscles, making carrying loads around all day a breeze. In addition the bag has a bottle pocket and is hydration system compatible.

The bag features adequate compartments to store your everyday requirements. There is a zipped main compartment that can store a tablet or small laptop, a zipped front pocket  along with an internal organizer to keep all valuables secure.

The bag is made of polyester material and comes with an external carabiner.

It costs £30 via Amazon UK and $41 via

4. Qwstion Daypack

Specification 42×29×12 cm, 14 litres 

If you want to travel carry on carry-on within Ryanair new carry on regulations and looking for a stylish daypack, the Qwstiom is a beautiful daypack, albert the most expensive on this list.

Even as the BudgetTraveller, I have a tendency to spend lots of money on backpacks and luggage ( other vices are wine, concert tickets and Skyscanner )  and this beautifully designed daypack from Qwstion has been my pride and joy to use on trips and also for day use when I’m home.Ok -some key features to go through with you.

This sleek designed compact day pack measures 42x29x12 cm in its dimensions – Ryanair allows 40 by 20 by 25 so its perfect.

I’ve travelled with this a few times and had no issues.It has a volume of 14 litres and weighs nearly 1 kilogram. There’s a single large main compartment with two zippers and handles on the backpack that allow for horizontal or vertical carrying.

A 15-inch laptop compartment makes this daypack a tech friendly addition to your luggage retinue. There’s a quick access inside pocket to stash necessary items as well as well as a hidden inside pocket for essentials.

The Qwstion daypack retails at €190.


The best easyJet carry on cabin luggage 

Here are the best options for hand luggage out there that are within easyJet’s restrictions.


1. Arcido Faroe Backpack

Arcido Faroe Backpack

The Arcido Faroe backpack has been my trusted companion for many trips. Dimensions are 55cm X 35cm X 20cm so ideal if you booked priority seat with carry on luggage with Ryanair or the upfront seat /extra legroom option with easyJet.

What I love about the Arcido Faroe is that it has dedicated pockets for laptops, chargers, your clothes and passports: perfect carry on backpack for a weekend break or short business trip.

Acrid Faroe Laptop pocket

Cool features of the Arcido Faroe include a special media compartment at the back of the bag which features a pull-tab laptop section, a mesh pocket for keeping all the cables and a further internal pocket for storing all your important travel documents.

I don’t have an extra laptop case ( lost mine a few months back ) so besides giving extra protection, the pull tab makes it dead easy for me to pick out my laptop from my bag at airport security.

Arcido Faroe Backpack clothes compartment

The Arcido Faroe also has a main compartment that includes compression straps to secure clothing packed in that area while allowing direct access on the go. I love how it opens up like a suitcase which allows you easy access to everything in the bag. No rummaging through the back of your rucksack for your socks!

There is a neat top outer pocket on the Faroe where you can keep your keys, loose change and valuables close at hand.  A passport pocket is on the back of the bag, keeping your most important possessions safe.

You have 35 litres of space here but it feels far more generous. Plus it weighs only 885 grams. The other thing I was looking for in my perfect carry-on luggage was the style factor and is this where the Arcido Faroe makes a backpack look cool. It is made with a rugged, heather grey Blendex Kodra that gives it a smart yet understated look.

The bag has a water resistant backing which makes it difficult for water to seep through into the bag. The bag also comes with a 5 year warranty which is great and a testament to the quality.

Price: The Arcido Faroe backpack retails at €76.95 via the Arcido website.





2. Arcido Akra


I am also a big fan of the the Arcido’s new carry on bag- the Akra. Akra is 35L backpack that is big enough to hold everything you want to take with you on your trip. Perfect carry on hand luggage that’s also is within the size limits for budget airlines. Similar to the Faroe, the Akra has features designed to help you stay organised on the road.

A special laptop harness adjusts to fit whatever size device you’re carrying. Light, durable and water-resistant it is pretty easy to carry around. Contoured backstraps, magnetic sternum-and-hip clasps and a ventilated backplate make carrying a full load comfortable and easy.



Dimensions are 55 x 35 x 20cm so perfect again if you have priority seating with extra carry on luggage/ extra legroom /Upfront seats with easyJet.

Capacity is 35 litres.

It is made of 100% waterproof materials, which includes a traditional cotton canvas that’s lined with PVC and waterproof zippers. Similar to the Faroe, the Arcido Akra bag looks really cool as these pictures will testify.  Arcido retails at a much more pricey €118.95 via the Arcido website


3. The North Face Jester Backpack

This travel backpack was my go to backpack for the last 5 years. Retailing from $99 on Amazon US and from £39 on Amazon UK  it is a pretty solid value for money option. North Face rucksacks are excellent quality plus with a weight of just 600 grams this offers you the lightest carry on option. Plus you also have a generous 30 litres space.


The Jester features a large main compartment with front accessory pocket with organiser and key clip, a bungee system on upper pack face, mesh water-bottle pockets, a removable hipbelt, a large reflective patch for nighttime visibility and a carry handle. Dimensions are H48 x W33 x D18cm.




  • Marcela Faé says:

    coool. hope i win =D

  • It’s amazing how much can go into one of the carry-on bags. We traveled to France a few weeks ago with EasyJet. Four carry-ons for four people were more than enough.

  • Lynsey Buchanan says:

    I love the The North Face Jester Backpack

  • Romy says:

    Hi Kash,

    don’t really like to fly RyanAir or EasyJet – I try to avoid booking them as much as I can, to be honest. But your choices of bags are really cool and an inspiration to pack light. Thanks.

    • Alessandra says:

      Hey Romy, I am just wondering if there is a specific reason why you avoid low-cost airlines? Thank you in advance

  • Mary Lou Van De Bon says:

    We have worn out our current carry-on bags and are on the quest for replacements. As my husband and I are older (63 & 54) we want light weight bags that are easy to carry and lift over our heads. Thanks for a thorough review of some great option for us to consider.

  • Heather Desjardins says:

    We are looking for carry-on options and this was a helpful article. Before having our toddler I would get away with carry-on bags only as much as possible. Now there is so much gear for her that’s less possible, but a good carry-on that is well packed can get you through if your luggage is lost.

  • Kathryn says:

    10kg is okay. Most budget airlines flying out of Australia now give you 7kg total! That’s doable for a short term trip but not longer term.

  • Tammy Doty says:

    I just got back from going to Rwanda and Amsterdam. I checked bags for every flight and it was a hassle. Next time I travel, I plan on doing it with just a carry on, and this bag seems just the right package for what I need! What a great design. Thanks!

  • João Soeiro says:

    The performance of the Arcido bag is superb ! I surely recommend it !

  • Emnk says:

    I usually travel with just carry-on sized Rimowa and if needed, a day/work bag (purse or computer bag). But some of the hopper flights I have been taking are tempting me to go smaller.

  • Natalie Crossan says:

    I love carry on bags, means I don’t have to rely on my suitcase so much should the airport lose it! I’m always worried about that x

  • Gee says:


    Thank you for the share. I may be using one of these airlines in the winter for two destinations. Im terrible for overpacking. Ugh.

  • Germaine says:

    This is really handy to know. Even though I have never used those airlines, I need convenient carry-on luggage that is neat and easy!

  • zaid says:

    If i am using a soft case like rucksack travel exceed the dimension of cabin allowance and don’t overpack and if it can fit in tester cage. will it be fine for easyjet?

    looking forward to hear from your answer comment


    • Hi Zaid

      Sorry am late to you on this one. It should be fine but you’re always running a risk if you overexceed the stated dimensions. Best to buy a backpack that fits within the restrictions for peace of mind

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