Is a Camera Bag Considered a Carry-On?

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In the 21st century we are living in, the idea to travel the world seems more realistic than ever before because airplane tickets are cheaper, and finding affordable accommodations is just a matter of scrolling through Airbnb. Traveling allows the unique opportunity to meet new people, experience different cultures, relax and create memories that you will fondly remember.

If you are interested in keeping those memories, investing in a proper camera is a great thing to do. Vlogging is a popular way to present your travel experiences to those around you. If your plan is to film while you are on the road, there is one last thing you will need and that is a proper camera bag.

Finding the right camera bag shouldn’t be a problem and it all comes down to what the purpose of your trip is, and how large you want the bag to be. At the end of the day, the main idea of a camera bag is to keep your filming equipment safe from theft and protected from harsh weather conditions.

Still, it is an extra luggage item and if your airplane company doesn’t allow more than one carry-on bag, it might represent a problem. Thus, the big question is – is a camera bag considered a carry-on? The answer depends on a number of factors. Let’s take a look.

What is Considered a Carry-On?

Before we suggest a few tips about flying with your camera equipment, it is important to consider factors that affect whether your camera bag will be considered a carry-on or not. The first thing that you need to know is that no airplane company allows you to take heavy luggage items as a carry-on. What this means is that unless you are going on a few days trip and all you need is a few shirts and pants, most of your items can’t fit in a carry-on. Still, this doesn’t mean that your camera bag can’t be a carry-on.

Most airlines pose strict size requirements when it comes to carry-on items. A general norm is that any bag below 22 inches in length, 14 inches in width, and 9 inches in height can be considered a carry-on. Bearing this in mind, most camera bags are able to fit overhead requirements, and unless you are taking a spacious bag with 4/5 DSLR cameras and 10 extra lenses, you should be fine.

Along with that, another way you can fit your camera bag in the overhead section is by using the benefits of taking one personal item with you. So what you can do is take one DSLR camera out of your bag and claim it as a personal item.

There are a number of benefits to having a camera bag by your side, including safety reasons, as well as the convenience of being able to use your camera for vlogging while you are on the flight.

Tips for Flying With a Camera

The camera bag is considered a carry-on item (in most cases), and that comes as a huge advantage, especially if you are a professional photographer. Bearing this in mind, we have prepared a few tips on how to travel with your camera and the ways you can maximize use of your bag space.

Starting off with packing, you want to look for a camera bag that has a number of divided compartments but still allows for tight packing, as you don’t want your filming equipment to be bouncing around during the flight.

Packing your DSLR camera, lenses, flashes, and other accessories separately is a great way to keep things organized and safe from any external damage. It is recommendable that the dividers are removable as such a feature will allow you to maximize the space, and fit two cameras in a compartment that would usually hold only one DSLR.

The most important tip is to pack the lens and camera body separately. The reason is that any possible pressure applied to the lens while it is on the camera may result in a few hundred dollars’ worth of damage.

Last but not least, it is always smart to add extra padding to protect your equipment from pressure and possible drops (even if your camera is in the overhead space, rather be safe than sorry).


As long as it fits the size requirements (22 x 14 x 9 inches), you will be able to take your camera bag as a carry-on.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about tight packing. On the contrary, making the most out of your camera bag will allow you to record your vivid flying experience, as all the equipment you need will be with you.

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