How to Pack a Duffel Bag for Carry-on Luggage Like a Pro

How to Pack a Duffel Bag for Carry-on Luggage Like a Pro

Duffle bags are excellent carry-on baggage for both long and short-haul trips. They're durable, adaptable, and spacious. So whether you're planning a weekend getaway (and want to avoid checking luggage) or you need a good-sized carry-on for a prolonged vacation, consider bringing a duffle bag as your carry-on.

You can maximize space and keep your stuff organized by following our advice on packing a canvas duffel bag.

What Duffel Bag Size Should I Get?

While duffel bags come in various sizes, a compact, portable choice is ideal for carry-on. Before you buy a duffel bag, make sure it meets the size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline you'll be travelling with. Although it varies per airline, the typical weight restriction is 7kg, so don't overpack!

How to Pack a Duffel Bag:

  1. Fold the Edges Down

Fold down the upper borders of your duffel bag as you begin packing it to provide easy access to the bottom of the bag. As you load the baggage, you'll fold them back up.

  1. Start Packing With the Heavier Items First

It's recommended to carry and stow your duffel bag zipper-side up when travelling. This is why you should keep heavier things at the bottom of the bag. Any lightweight or delicate things stowed at the bottom of the duffel compartment are likely to be crushed.

For a 1-2-3 easy duffel packing on your upcoming flight, follow these simple steps:

  • Shoes and other non-delicate flat objects should be placed at the bottom of the bag.
  • Roll all garment items (excluding your jacket) and stack them on top of your shoes.
  • Tuck your jacket in around the sides of your wrapped garment articles.

By placing the heaviest goods towards the bottom of your duffel, you'll establish a stable foundation for your bag to sit on.

  1. Store Paperwork on the Outside Pocket

Next, put all of your vital documents—passport, boarding pass, notepad, and so on—in an easily accessible outside pocket. Because these items are often misplaced, you'll want them to be easily accessible while also not drifting around the main compartment of your bag.

  1. Store Small Items in Accessory Bags

Other odds and ends, especially those you won't need while travelling, should be layered on top of your clothes in the main compartment. To keep tiny objects from drifting around and getting misplaced, utilize small compartments in your duffel or an accessory bag.

  1. Give Your Duffel a Good Shake

After you've finished packing, shake the bag. This allows the clothes to settle and makes more room for packing.

  1. Use a TSA Lock to Secure Your Duffel

Secure your luggage with a TSA lock before leaving for the airport. The Transportation Security Administration designed these locks to secure bags from potential theft while allowing security authorities to access the bag without causing harm if they need to inspect the contents.

  1. Wear Your Heaviest Clothes to Check-in

The weight of your body does not count toward the airline's weight restriction! You may save a lot of space in your suitcase by wearing your heaviest jacket, bulkiest shoes, and thickest sweaters.

You can always take it all off once onboard, but keep in mind that aeroplanes are notoriously chilly, so this technique serves a dual purpose.


You should be a packing pro by now, ready to tackle the world of lightweight, carry-on only travel! We are confident that if you follow these space-saving suggestions and restrictions, you will be able to fly with only a trusty carry-on duffel.

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