…you can carry on board with most budget airlines.
I just paid more than £40 to put a 15kg bag in the hold on a Ryanair flight to Oslo….ouch! Forty odd quid for a small case when I could have carried on 10kgs plus another 10kg’s each for my kids. Yup, 30kg’s for FREE. And I paid to put 15kgs in the hold. Muppet.
Determined never to be ‘stung’ again I searched to find a cabin bag exactly the maximum size I could carry on an Ryanair flight. I was amazed at how difficult it was. Lots of smaller bags, but I wanted to take the maximum, why restrict your free luggage allowance? Mostly because not putting a suitcase in the hold, means luggage space in the cabin baggage is at a premium.
My budget was under £40, because it makes sense to buy a cabin bag for less than the cost of putting a bag or suitcase in the hold, (making it a no-brainer). Well, that turned out to be more difficult than I thought too! Lots of cheap cabin bags that were smaller that Ryanair’s max sizes of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and some hand luggage that was the right size, but way over my £40 budget.
There is also a lot of ‘confusion’ (why I don’t know, the rules are crystal clear) about what the sizes mean. Lets be honest, it’s not rocket science, the cabin bag sizes I just quoted are MAXIMUM sizes, including everything, wheels, handles or anything else that is a part of, or attached to the bag or suitcase. End of. No discussion. No, “well I took it last time and it was all right”. No, “no one checked it when I flew to Caracas last week”. Etc. etc. etc. 55x40x20 means EXACTLY that. Oh, and only 10kgs too. And yes that means 10kgs including the wheels, handles etc 🙂
Anyway, after a lot of research and reading reviews I found the ‘perfect’ hand luggage or cabin bag for a budget airline flight. It’s called the Cabin Max Backpack Bag, (bit obvious huh?)
The cabin max backpack bag is designed to fit the maximum size allowed on a Ryanair flight, thats 55cm x 40cm x 20cm which translates to a massive 44 litres! I can get all my stuff in mine with space left over for some of the kids overspill! It’s even water resistant, not that it is ever going to be sat out on the tarmac waiting to be loaded into the hold!!
My cabin max bag is a simple soft nylon carry all with a padded back and pull tight straps to compress everything down to that crucial maximum size, even if you have packed it to bursting! There is no frame or wheels to gobble up your precious weight allowance, meaning that the cabin max backpack weighs way under a kilo! My considerably smaller kids cases weigh 2.5kg’s!!
I also love that the cabin max bag has 3 main zipped compartments and 2 more inside, because don’t forget that you can’t take another bag with you. This isn’t your hold luggage going on board with you, this IS your hand luggage and so all your bits and bobs or your hand bag must fit inside it. (another area that seems to cause confusion, with Ryanair, one means one. Simple).
You might think “I want a wheeled cabin max”. No you don’t. No, really, you don’t! Trust me, it is that part of the wheels/frame caboodle that weighs so much on a conventional case. And don’t forget your hand luggage can only weigh 10kg’s making it easy to carry using the adjustable backpack style shoulder straps or normal carrying handles.
The backpack style of the Cabin Max means that your hands are free for those check in moments. This works really well for me with two kids and their cabin bags to carry on board too.
And the cost is way under my budget, in fact at the moment it is not much more than half!
So, where can I get one?
Hold your horses! I’m getting around to that! I got mine from Amazon.co.uk, because I couldn’t find it cheaper anywhere else, you may follow this link for their latest prices for the Cabin Max backpack bag, with free delivery and of course Amazon’s famous no quibble guarantee (or just click on the photos you like!)
If you’re in the good ‘ole US of A, you can hit this link to go to the Cabin Max page on amazon.com and enjoy the cheap prices that you guys enjoy over the pond! (Lucky so and so’s).
Additional versions of the Cabin Max Bag
You can simply click on each photo to see prices etc at amazon.co.uk. Right, here are the latest versions and colours….
The range just gets better and better! this is the “Cabin Max Carry On Maximum Allowance Easy Pack 44l backpack suitcase”, bit of a mouthful but it looks like a real nice bag. Here is a pic….
and of course there is purple for the more adventurous travelers among you…
Wheeled version of the Cabin Max
If you absolutely insist on having wheels on your Cabin Max, well now you can! Here are some photos from GadgetUK, the manufacturers of the Cabin Max range…
and again in murple purple!
Cabin Max Backpack Main Features in Photos
Here are a few more shots to give you a better idea of how the ‘regular’ cabin max backpack looks, although nothing prepares you for how big they actually are! (When I clapped eyes on mine for the first time I almost didn’t believe that it complied with the rules!)
Here are some links to websites that have great advice about travelling with only hand luggage…….
Martin Lewis (awesome and possibly best site online for saving cash!) also has some beat-budget-airline-charges tips on his website.
The great skyscanner site has a useful post about How to pack your Cabin Max
Don’t forget that to ensure you don’t fall foul of the ‘other’ rule, i.e The 10kg rule; you might want to read what I thought about my set of Luggage Scales………….These are from the same manufacturer as the Cabin Max and cost under a tenner.
If you want to see how much you can get into a carry on bag……
Here is a cool video on just how much you can get into a cabin max sized bag! Hit the mute button though, unless you like really cheezy music….. lol!
And finally, one for anyone who has ever flown “no frills” with a certain Irish airline……..Go here: Fascinating Aida, if you want to see more of these fabulous ladies!
Great, thanks for making it this far, I hope that you get on with yours as well as I do mine. Please feel free to leave a comment if you want to add to this thread or just say hi. And don’t forget if you go to amazon through this site you will help chip in towards my enormous coffee bill 😀
Incidentally, the Cabin Max started out at £49.95 and because of your demand for this great bag most versions have dropped and are now under £30. And don’t forget that people were commenting on Amazon that it was great value when it was nearly £50 quid!