Do you want the convenience and versatility of a carry-on duffel bag, but aren’t sure what size to buy? Knowing the restrictions imposed by airlines is the key to avoiding unnecessary fees, missed flights, and embarrassed moments. Fortunately, choosing the perfect size is easy once you understand the guidelines.

Most major airlines now impose a size limit for carry-on items of 45 linear inches. This means that the length, width and depth of the bag when measured together must not exceed 45 inches. In addition, some airlines may limit the weight of the carry-on bag to around 40 pounds. To be sure, it is important to verify the latest regulations for the airline you are taking on your trip.

When selecting your carry-on duffel bag, always allow an extra inch or two beyond the 45-inch linear requirement. That way, if the bag is filled to capacity, you won't have to worry about it being too big for the regulations. Another tip is to get soft luggage, as it can compress slightly if you go over the maximum size. A semi-rigid or hard case is too difficult to compromise in size.

When choosing a carry-on duffel bag, look for a lightweight model made of nylon or polyester. Such materials are far more durable and can stand up to being checked, storing in overhead compartments, and harsh conditions better than traditional leather models. Sturdier materials can handle the extreme shifts in temperature that will occur during air travel without damaging or warping the bag's shape. Additionally, having four rotating wheels on the bottom of the bag can ease the strain of loading and unloading it.

When you know the restrictions, it is easy to find the perfect carry-on duffel bag size. Be sure to check the airline regulations and look for a lightweight, durable bag that offers four-wheeled navigation and a few extra inches beyond the required 45-inch linear size restriction. By following these simple guidelines, you'll have no problems bringing your carry-on aboard planes, and you'll be able to travel in comfort and style.