Short-backed female seeking carry-on advice

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cgichard

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I am 5ft 1/2 in and my back is also short. I'll be travelling from Australia on Singapore Air initially and their carry-on limit is just 7kg. Later in the trip probably on Lufthansa and theirs is 8kg. The carry-on size limits are the usual 115 cm/45 in.. I'll need the pack for travel on planes, trains and buses, not back-packing. I'd love to do it all from one bag but I don't think I can manage within 7kg for a 5-week trip even in June-July, although my last 10 days will be with my sister in the UK where I can do laundry and borrow some of her clothes.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has managed this and what carry-on luggage they used: bag convertible to fully adjustable bakpack (although I'm in my 70s I wouldn't have a problem with 7 kg), with or without wheels etc. I'd also need a handbag that would hold a book, jumper, water-bottle, noise-cancelling headphones,travel wallet etc. (but no electronic devices except the headphones) - as capacious as possible, but still unquestionably a handbag.
 

sergeyvzn

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I am 5ft 1/2 in and my back is also short. I'll be travelling from Australia on Singapore Air initially and their carry-on limit is just 7kg. Later in the trip probably on Lufthansa and theirs is 8kg. The carry-on size limits are the usual 115 cm/45 in.. I'll need the pack for travel on planes, trains and buses, not back-packing. I'd love to do it all from one bag but I don't think I can manage within 7kg for a 5-week trip even in June-July, although my last 10 days will be with my sister in the UK where I can do laundry and borrow some of her clothes.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has managed this and what carry-on luggage they used: bag convertible to fully adjustable bakpack (although I'm in my 70s I wouldn't have a problem with 7 kg), with or without wheels etc. I'd also need a handbag that would hold a book, jumper, water-bottle, noise-cancelling headphones,travel wallet etc. (but no electronic devices except the headphones) - as capacious as possible, but still unquestionably a handbag.

No one checks your carry on luggage if you fly with Singapore or Lufthansa as long as it does not look too huge or heavy. Take whatever you like including your handbag. In fact, it's not uncommon to see people carrying up to 4 items on board. As long as you can fit them in the overhead locker or under a seat in front of you, you'll be fine, just be reasonable
 

richh1833

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No one checks your carry on luggage if you fly with Singapore or Lufthansa as long as it does not look too huge or heavy. Take whatever you like including your handbag. In fact, it's not uncommon to see people carrying up to 4 items on board. As long as you can fit them in the overhead locker or under a seat in front of you, you'll be fine, just be reasonable

This is correct! In my experience (mind you this was exSGN), I was coming back from a 6 month trip in the US and spent 3 months in VN. I bought some heavy duty photography gear (tripods). I ended up checking in 4 items and carried on 2. SQ is pretty lax but then again it depends how full the flight is and it's at the discretion of the check-in desk so best to strike up a friendly convo to distract them :eek:! Good luck!
 

phily

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I'd love to hear from anyone who has managed this and what carry-on luggage they used: bag convertible to fully adjustable bakpack (although I'm in my 70s I wouldn't have a problem with 7 kg), with or without wheels etc. I'd also need a handbag that would hold a book, jumper, water-bottle, noise-cancelling headphones,travel wallet etc. (but no electronic devices except the headphones) - as capacious as possible, but still unquestionably a handbag.

I'd say that the solution is with your handbag. And I wouldn't be troubled about putting 8kg in your backpack.

And how about replacing the bulky headphones with some good quality earbuds, some of which are also noise-cancelling such as the Bose QC20.
 

Quickstatus

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So long as it fits in overhead it will be OK.
My carryons are about 48in which is a bit bigger but not much more.

Just bear in mind that you most likely have to lift the carryon into the overhead compartment. So while the airline probably won't bat an eyelid with you carrying on more than 7 kg, will you be able to lift the bag above your head into the overhead storage AND having to take it out and put it back in several times during the flight. The Singapore Girl most likely won't be able to if it's 20kg.

While I like to help, one of my pet hates is helping people put their overweight items into overhead compartments. I will help the pregnant, the disabled, the elderly but I draw the line at the able bodies ones who have massive carryons.
 
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sergeyvzn

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So long as it fits in overhead it will be OK.
My carryons are about 48in which is a bit bigger but not much more.

Just bear in mind that you most likely have to lift the carryon into the overhead compartment. So while the airline probably won't bat an eyelid with you carrying on more than 7 kg, will you be able to lift the bag above your head into the overhead storage AND having to take it out and put it back in several times during the flight. The Singapore Girl most likely won't be able to if it's 20kg.

While I like to help, one of my pet hates is helping people put their overweight items into overhead compartments. I will help the pregnant, the disabled, the elderly but I draw the line at the able bodies ones who have massive carryons.

I still remember how a friend of mine -an overseas student here in Oz -was once checking in for her flight home on Korean Air. She had like 7 carry on items on her persona which must've weighed combined more than 40 kg, I kid you not! She looked like a heavily decorated Christmas tree -:)))After some prolonged negotiations with the checkin agent she was allowed to check in and safely made it home
 

cgichard

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This is all very reassuring.

Philly, I'll certainly check those Bose ear buds. Things have evidently moved on since I bought my Sennheiser earphones.

Be assured, Quickstatus, I always put my carry-on under the seat in front of me, especially as my preference is a window seat; I've mainly travelled without a handbag and there are items in there that I'll want during the flight. I also like to use it as a footrest and it helps for making me more horizontal when attempting to sleep. I know I can't reach into the overhead lockers without standing on the aisle seat, so I might put a coat in there but nothing at all heavy. But previously I have had checked luggage as well. This time I would like to be HLO.

So now the question becomes: what pack do you recommend that is close enough to the carry-on weight AND able to fit under an economy seat AND suitably configured for my height. My preference would be for a backpack style with wheels.
 

Quickstatus

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To fit something under seat in front the best bags are the soft backpacks. Hard case wheelie bags won't or may not fit especially if the seat in front gas an electronics box underneath. There are some soft case backpacks with a wheelie option but carrying that on your back can be uncomfortable.

My suggestion:

Get a normal small sized backpack ( goes under seat) and then get one of these for overhead.
http://www.bagworld.com.au/shop/detail/samsonite-cosmolite-fl-small-cabin-55cm-hardsid-d/
 
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phily

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So now the question becomes: what pack do you recommend that is close enough to the carry-on weight AND able to fit under an economy seat AND suitably configured for my height. My preference would be for a backpack style with wheels.

If your preference is a pack, then go to some outdoor shops such as Paddy Pallin or Mountain Designs, and look for a daypack by volume. You'd probably be looking for a 25-35 litre pack that is within the size limits of 56 x 36 x 23, or at least one that can squash into those dimensions when packed and if confronted at check in. I like the ones with the mesh that separates me from the pack as they reduce sweating when bushwalking, but they have a stiff frame that adds to the dimensions.
 

mooingchicken

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I am 5ft 1/2 in and my back is also short. I'll be travelling from Australia on Singapore Air initially and their carry-on limit is just 7kg. Later in the trip probably on Lufthansa and theirs is 8kg. The carry-on size limits are the usual 115 cm/45 in.. I'll need the pack for travel on planes, trains and buses, not back-packing. I'd love to do it all from one bag but I don't think I can manage within 7kg for a 5-week trip even in June-July, although my last 10 days will be with my sister in the UK where I can do laundry and borrow some of her clothes.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has managed this and what carry-on luggage they used: bag convertible to fully adjustable bakpack (although I'm in my 70s I wouldn't have a problem with 7 kg), with or without wheels etc. I'd also need a handbag that would hold a book, jumper, water-bottle, noise-cancelling headphones,travel wallet etc. (but no electronic devices except the headphones) - as capacious as possible, but still unquestionably a handbag.

If you arnt backpacking around why are to doing hand luggage only? I would think checking in a bag thats a little bigger still can be carried or have wheels would be easier then the trouble of trying to fit everything into a normal sized backpack. That being said ive seen people with crazy amounts of "carry on". baggage is included in those airlines, unless there is extra charges for bags on your other transport options. I know i wouldnt like to do 5 weeks with just carry on 7kg and im a guy...

But as said check out all the general luggage shops as well as the adventure shops anaconda, Mountain Designs ect they have a good range of backpacks from small to proper treaking/hiking/backpacking style bags. If you plan on wearing it and walking alot, get one with the rigid back and the waist straps, as this will take a lot of weight off your shoulders and neck area
 

Quickstatus

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But as said check out all the general luggage shops as well as the adventure shops anaconda, Mountain Designs ect they have a good range of backpacks from small to proper treaking/hiking/backpacking style bags. If you plan on wearing it and walking alot, get one with the rigid back and the waist straps, as this will take a lot of weight off your shoulders and neck area

Mountain designs have some very lightweight backpacks
 

cgichard

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Yes, I certainly need to look and try on in person. Though I don't know anywhere that would have a range as big as baggageworld.com

To the person who asked why I want a backpack as carry on when I'm not going to be backpacking: for easier travel on mixed types of transport. For example, at 2 of my destinations (France and Wales) I'll be arriving by air, onward by train and then by bus. For a short person it is much easier to get in and out of trains and buses with the weight on one's back than by lifting luggage. The same applies to underground transfers in London that often involve quite long flights of steps, as do hotel room on upper floors without lifts.

Two of my segments are on group tours where most people will be doing just that tour and have only one piece of luggage. I've done these sorts of trip before with a fairly small carry on bag (much bigger than a handbag) and a small-medium size suitcase, and I've often been the only person with 2 items of baggage to transport. So despite the nuisance of doing more washing en route I'd really like to try taking less and using only one item of luggage. I'm sure I could do this with just a backpack (preferably with wheels - the most walking I'll be doing with it will probably be along those seemingly endless corridors within airports and wheels would be a great advantage then) - it's the weight limit for cabin baggage that is problematic.
 

mooingchicken

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Yes, I certainly need to look and try on in person. Though I don't know anywhere that would have a range as big as baggageworld.com

To the person who asked why I want a backpack as carry on when I'm not going to be backpacking: for easier travel on mixed types of transport. For example, at 2 of my destinations (France and Wales) I'll be arriving by air, onward by train and then by bus. For a short person it is much easier to get in and out of trains and buses with the weight on one's back than by lifting luggage. The same applies to underground transfers in London that often involve quite long flights of steps, as do hotel room on upper floors without lifts.

.
Fair enough, Im doing a similar trip, over 7 weeks, group tour, by myself ect. I currently have something simialr to this https://www.bagworld.com.au/shop/detail/high-sierra-at25-76cm-wheeled-backpack-duffel-blu/ but probably about 90cm long. thinking about downsizing for this trip. but I know I couldnt do it with 7kg, I take that for a weekend to melb. But i do like having a choice of jeans/jackets/shoes haha

BTW I find carrying these types of bags quiet uncomfortable, and generally only use the wheels, never the back straps. I wouldnt recommend buying them for this purpose.
1. there is no waist strap (atleast on mine) so all the weight is on the shoulders, (which at the end of a trip can be heavy)
2. because they have the extend handle and wheels the back is straight and rigid, ie, doesnt wrap to your back like a proper "backpacker style" does. Its just flat straight and hard, or worse some of them have the tubes for the extendable handle that stick out and dig into you
I have only used the backstraps twice that i can remeber, both was because it was compleatly muddy and pouring rain
 
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vetrade

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Everyone has their own preferences and I don't like the wheeled backpacks - they are fine to drag along behind you but because of the rigid bits they never seem to be comfortable to actually wear on your back for very long - and I find it much more convenient to have the pack on my back when moving through crowds or on trains etc. I have a soft backpack that is quite small and weighs virtually nothing empty, and has 2 separate large compartments as well as a mesh bit on one side. It is really surprising what I can fit in it. I wouldn't worry about going over the carry-on weight limit - my carry-on is always well over the 7kg but I have never been questioned about it, and I think that is because it doesn't actually look too big. Soft packs are able to be squeezed into smaller spaces too.

The key to a comfortable backpack is broad, padded shoulder straps, adjusted to have the pack parallel to your back and not so loose that the pack leans away from your back, which seems to fatigue shoulder muscles sooner. You can always attach some extra padding to the shoulder straps if you feel you need it.
 

cgichard

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I have a soft backpack that is quite small and weighs virtually nothing empty, and has 2 separate large compartments as well as a mesh bit on one side. It is really surprising what I can fit in it. I wouldn't worry about going over the carry-on weight limit - my carry-on is always well over the 7kg but I have never been questioned about it, and I think that is because it doesn't actually look too big. Soft packs are able to be squeezed into smaller spaces too.

Thanks vetrade for the additional reassurance about the small appearance of the bag being more important than the actual weight. Please do tell me the brand/model of the pack you're describing. As long as it can be adjusted for a shorter torso it sounds like a good choice for me. The more I think about it, the less I think I shall need wheels.
 

get me outta here

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I have the Caribee Skymaster 40 Carry On. Caribee Sky Master 40 Reviews - ProductReview.com.au.

I bought it on ebay a few years ago and am very happy with it. It does have wide shoulder straps whilst still being exceedingly light. It's easily available.

It's fine for me although I am little taller than you.

It's never been weighed on check in, and will squash down easily if necessary. I can cut a swathe through people dragging bags behind and it fits nicely in the o/head but not sure I'd want it at my feet. I like that there are a few internal straps to pull down tight to protect any undue pressure on the zips. Mine is still as good as new.

Ebay link w' free postage: Caribee SKY Master 40L Carry ON Travel Backpack Gear BAG | eBay
 

vetrade

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Thanks vetrade for the additional reassurance about the small appearance of the bag being more important than the actual weight. Please do tell me the brand/model of the pack you're describing. As long as it can be adjusted for a shorter torso it sounds like a good choice for me. The more I think about it, the less I think I shall need wheels.

Sorry cgichard, I can't give you a brand name. The pack I'm using was part of the kit I got for the Global Corporate Challenge last year and unfortunately the only tag it has says it was made in China but no other details. FWIW mine is 450mm high and 380mm wide, so it's quite compact and looks like it would be suitable for a shorter person.
 
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cgichard

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I have the Caribee Skymaster 40 Carry On. Caribee Sky Master 40 Reviews - ProductReview.com.au.

I bought it on ebay a few years ago and am very happy with it. It does have wide shoulder straps whilst still being exceedingly light. It's easily available.

Thanks, that looks good. But one poster on Product Review said:"We bought 2 of these bags to go to Asia for 5 weeks and that is how long they lasted the shoulder strap is sewn to the pad does not go from one side to the other, it came apart." Not sure if they meant the shoulder strap or one of the backpack straps. I would expect the shoulder strap to be removable; I probably wouldn't use it, if left on they tend to catch on things, but in both the links the photos show it worn with shoulder strap not as a backpack. Pity there are no photos of the inside.

Thanks also vetrade: those dimensions are useful.
 

get me outta here

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Here's a pix of the inside. Interesting, mine has lasted for years and done many many weeks. But, I do look after my stuff which is very easy w' carry one. In Bali on a small bus it fell out of the back into a dust pile. I rubbed it over w' a damp cloth and it was as good as new.

PS, yes I have removed the shoulder strap as I never use it and to save weight.
$_12.JPG
 

cgichard

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Thanks for the pic. Looks good. Do you use travel cubes for your packing? And do the shoulder straps tuck away, making it what seems to be called a 'convertible'?
 
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