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TSA-Approved Quart Size Bag & Ziploc Dimensions

By Oscar Brumelis


Updated on

If you’re traveling frequently, getting a reusable quart-size bag is more efficient than switching to a new Ziploc bag after every flight. But the problem is that not all “quart-size” bags are exactly 1 quart in size. It’s important to understand the details of quart-size bag restrictions so that you can have stress-free flights.

What TSA Defines as a Quart Size Bag

TSA (Transport Security Agency) limits the size of all liquids, pastes, gels, and aerosols in hand baggage with the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. It states liquids must be in 3.4 oz (100 ml) containers or smaller and packed in a single 1-quart bag (3 oz – 1 bag – 1 quart).

  • “TSA-Approved” quart-size bags aren’t approved by the TSA. They don’t approve or endorse any specific bags. Instead, they only say that the bag should be 1 quart in size.
  • TSA doesn’t mention 3 dimensions for the 1-quart bag. But they do say that it should not exceed 6 x 9 inches (15 x 23 cm)
  • They recommend that the bag be transparent, but it isn’t a requirement.
  • The bag has to be resealable. 
  • It has to be removed and placed in a separate bin when going through security.

How Big Can a Quart Size Bag Be

Your quart-size bag should be below 1 quart in volume, resealable, and ideally transparent. The problem is that most quart-size bags for sale are above 1 quart in size.

Acceptable sizes:

  • 6 x 9 x 1 inches (0.94 quarts)
  • 8 x 7 x 1 inches (0.97 quarts)
  • 7 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches (1 quart)

To calculate quarts, you need to multiply all three dimensions of the bag (height, width, and depth) and then multiply it all with 0.017316. For example, the most popular quart-size bag measures 7.5 x 5.5 x 2.2 inches.

  • 7.5 x 5.5 x 2.2 (dimensions)
  • Multiply 7.5 x 5.5 x 2.2 to get 90.75
  • Multiply 90.75 by 0.017316 to get 1.571427
  • That makes 1.57 quarts.

TSA Isn’t Very Strict About Quart Size Bags

TSA allows passengers to use slightly oversized quart-size bags. If the bag is transparent, resealable, and doesn’t look much larger than a 1-liter Ziploc bag, it will be allowed through airport security. Problems only occur with very strict officers.

Flying With Toiletry Bags Internationally

Overseas, the rules for carrying liquids in hand baggage are similar but in different measurements. The toiletry bag is usually restricted to 20×20 cm or 1 liter in size. If flying internationally, we recommend traveling with a 1-liter Ziploc bag that doesn’t exceed 20×20 cm instead of a reusable quart-size bag.

Pros and Cons of Using Quart Size Bags

  • A more sustainable choice if used long-term
  • Offers more space than Ziploc bags. You can usually fit about 10-12x 3.4 oz / 100 ml bottles inside.
  • It is much more durable, so you won’t have to find a new bag after every few flights.
  • Quart-size bags aren’t spill-proof.
  • Most quart-size bags are over 1 quart in volume, which means that occasionally, they won’t be allowed.
  • They aren’t 100% transparent. Some countries require toiletry bags to be transparent.

Pros and Cons of Using Ziploc Sandwich Bags

  • Lighter than quart-size bags
  • 1 quart/liter Ziploc bags will always be within the size limit, so you won’t have to stress about them when going through security
  • Ziploc bags are 100% spill-proof.
  • 100% transparent, which means they follow the rules in all countries.
  • Sandwich bags tear very easily, so you should always bring a backup.
  • They fit fewer liquid bottles inside. You can fit about 5-7x 3.4 oz / 100 ml bottles inside a Ziploc bag.
About Oscar Brumelis

Oscar is a freelance writer who loves traveling and hiking. He's been to over 30 different countries and hiked over 2000+ miles throughout his life.

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