How Much Does an Empty Suitcase Weight on Average?

The average weight of a standard, medium-sized case is 4.1 kg (9 pounds), and a lightweight one would be around 3 kg (6.6 pounds).

For a regular large case, that weight increases to 5.4 kg (11.9 pounds), while a lightweight option would be 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds). 

Also, remember that hardshell cases always weigh up to 2 kg (4.4 pounds) more than their fabric counterparts.

It’s essential to know the weight of an empty suitcase so that you can ensure your carry-on or checked luggage doesn’t cause you to pay extra. 

Although weighing your bag is the best way to find its weight, some cases don’t weigh properly. Thus, here are the approximate weights of some popular suitcases. 

Carry-On Luggage Suitcase Weight

Carry-on luggage isn’t always lighter than large suitcases. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to pack a lot because a larger case might be better than a smaller one. 

Fabric carry-ons, 20-21 inches (50-53 cm), weigh around 3.6 kg (8 pounds) when empty, which is much more than expected. Usually, for carry-on luggage, you only have an 8 to 10kg (18-22 pounds) weight limit, so if your carry-on case weighs nearly 4 kg (8.8 pounds), you don’t have a lot of room left.

Medium Fabric Suitcase

Medium soft side luggage around 24-25 inches (61-63.5 cm) wide weighs about 4.1 kg when empty. With most airlines, like United Airlines, you have about 23 kg (50 pounds) as your allowed checked luggage weight, so 4.1 kg isn’t a bad option to help you pass weight restrictions. 

But, these cases are only 1 kg (2.2 pounds) lighter than a large fabric case, so depending on how many things you need to take, it might be best to upgrade to a larger case. 

Medium Fabric Lightweight Suitcase

Of course, lightweight luggage weighs less than other options, and most medium-lightweight suitcases or soft bags weigh around 3 kg (6.6 pounds) when empty. Thus, they make an excellent option for lightweight luggage, especially as a lightweight carry-on. 

Medium Hard-Shell Suitcase 

Hard-shell cases always weigh more than their fabric counterparts at an average of around 6kg. However, it depends on what material the hard side luggage is made of, as this can make them lighter or heavier. 

But either way, if you use medium-sized hard-sided luggage, 6 kg (13.2 pounds) of your 23 kg (50 pounds) available weight is already gone. So, you don’t have that much room left to pack. 

Large Fabric Suitcase

Larger suitcases are, of course, heavier and weigh about  5.4 kg (11.9 pounds). 

While the fabric you choose can also affect the weight, if you want to be as light as possible, without spending big bucks on lightweight cases, try to avoid buying a bag that has pockets and attachments on the outside. 

Large Lightweight Suitcase

Now, large lightweight suitcases are where you will find a lot of value for your money. With that said, a sizeable lightweight case doesn’t come cheap, but it does save you nearly 2 kg (4.4 pounds) in weight. 

The average large lightweight case weighs only 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds), much less than average. So, if you want to pack as much as possible, it’s 100% worth investing in this lightweight luggage option. 

Large Hard-Shell Suitcase

Again, hard suitcases always weigh more, but people choose them because they are sturdier and often easier to move around. Most hardshell cases come with four wheels on the bottom, allowing them to glide effortlessly across the floor. 

The average weight of a large hardshell is 8.5 kg (18.7 pounds). So, they work best as checked bags which have higher weight restrictions than hand luggage. 

Do Lightweight Cases Last Long?

Where you buy your luggage can affect how durable your new suitcase is. For example, if you buy a ‘lightweight’ case for a low price, you can automatically presume that it’s not going to last long. 

The stitching is not great in these suitcases, and they don’t have anti-rip technology. Thus, they may break during travel. 

But, high-quality lightweight cases are definitely a good investment. 

How Can I Make My Case Lighter?

Always buy suitcases that have fewer attachments and small zippers and closings. Locks and wheels may also add a bit more weight. 

Furthermore, you should know that vacuum storage bags will not reduce the weight of your carry-on or checked bag. 

But, if you do go over the weight restrictions, you can always move items to a temporary bag that you take with you on the plane. But, remember, you are usually only allowed two bags to bring with you. 

So, How Much Does a Suitcase Weigh?

As stated above, the average weight of a case bag is about 4.1 kg (9 pounds), giving you plenty of room to pack while still allowing you room to pass weight restrictions. 

But, if you go over the 23 kg (50 pounds) limit, remember that the only way to save weight is to get a different bag or take items out. Storage bags won’t help you here.