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Think traveling with just an underseat carry on is impossible? To get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of the best under seat luggage and we’re showing you how to pack strategically to make the most of low-priced airfares. Find out how!

 

Packing cubes are the secret to traveling carry-on only. Watch this video to learn why!

 


Best Under Seat Luggage


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

Airlines are constantly downsizing their offerings, and in the latest move to offer basic economy fares, some airlines now charge for carryons making use of the overhead compartments.

Before you worry, let me clarify. Several US-based airlines have now added new basic economy fares with competitive pricing but without luggage options. While this move has received much criticism, this isn’t necessarily a negative.

I spoke to a representative from a major US airline carrier and they explained their decision to offer this new basic fare.

To summarize, the major airline carriers in the US want to offer budget-friendly airfares similar to the low-budget carriers such as Southwest, Jet Blue, and Spirit. These low budget carriers charge a minimal fee for a seat but make their money upselling other items such as luggage space and food.

Europe’s budget airlines, RyainAir and EasyJet, have done this for years and now American based airlines are catching up. Savvy travelers can benefit from these fare wars and see this an opportunity for more budget travel options within the US; which has been expensive to travel domestically compared to Europe.

Let me show you how you can downsize your belongings to take advantage of these fares and travel only with a “personal item” such as the underseat luggage featured below.

 

 

Choosing the Best Under Seat Luggage

 

In order to travel just with a personal item you need to first choose the perfect underseat carry on. This bag has to fit perfectly under the seat of domestic airlines all while providing you ample room for everything you need to bring.

To be honest, an underseat carry on isn’t drastically smaller than a regular carry on. However, it is important to note that the dimensions of the bags and the space under the airplane seats will vary between airlines. Visit the website for the airlines you travel most frequently in order to choose the most versatile option.

 

Tip: the middle seat has the most space and it’s usually the least expensive! Keep this in mind when booking your flight.

 

 

Wheeled Under Seat Carryon vs Shoulder Bag

 

Traditional “underseat luggage” features wheels, which many find more convenient than a regular shoulder bag or backpack. For the sake of this article, we’ve focused specifically on wheeled underseat carryon styles but you can also visit this post for ideas on weekender bags.

One of the biggest challenges with trying to find the best under seat luggage is that the majority of styles are designed for business travel. Consequently, this limits the space available for clothing and shoes.

Rest assured, the underseat luggage we’ve featured in this post offers the most spacious interior maximizing the space available for your belongings!

 

 

Best Under Seat Luggage Review

 

 

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Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 Rolling Tote

 

Travelpro Maxlite 5

 

At TFG, we’re big fans of Travelpro and their Maxlite bags. The latest version, the Maxlite 5, is one of the best underseaters for flights. The bag’s best feature is the wide open space. We like the fact that it does not include a compartment for a laptop or business documents because that means that’s it’s much more functional as a carry-on bag.

A half pound lighter than the maxlite 4 version, this ultra lightweight, rolling carry on tote is ideal for every trip. Buy it here!

 

 

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Samsonite Wheeled Underseater

 

Samsonite Wheeled Underseater

 

Samsonite is on our list of the top luggage brands and this wheeled underseater makes this list, too. This durable luggage is built to handle the harshest of travel elements thanks to its polyester and nylon fabrics featuring excellent wear properties. Your luggage will look as great on the 100th trip as it did on the first.

The zippered compartment allows you to separately pack damp or soiled items, while the removable 3-1-1 pouch and removable, hanging organizer pouch make it easy to organize all of your essentials. Buy it here!

 

 

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Nomad Lane Bento Underseat Bag

 

Nomad Lane Bento Bag

 

This is the ultimate under-seat bag at only 2.9 lbs! The Nomad Lane Bento bag opens up like a suitcase and has several organizational pockets. Not only can it organize things like pens, and electronic accessories, you can pack for a weekend easily, such as one to two outfits, shoes, a small bag of toiletries, and still fit your 15” laptop. 

 

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Editor-in-chief Alex with her Bento bag and packing cubes

 

It fits under many standard US airline seats and there is even a TSA-approved charging port for your devices! Made of nylon and vegan leather, the bag measures 17” x 8” x 10” and also has a trolley sleeve and shoulder strap attachment. Buy it here!

 

Read my full review on the Nomad Lane Bento Bag to find out why TFG readers and I have become such great fans of this bag!

 

 

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Delsey Paris Cruise Lite Softside Luggage Wheeled Underseat Carryon

 

Delsey Paris Cruise Lite Underseat Carryon

 

After searching high and low for the best under seat luggage, the closest I got was the Cruise Lite by Delsey. This bag conveniently features a roomy interior with tie down straps, a double padded sleeve for a tablet and up to a 15.6″ laptop, and a zippered compartment for personal items, exterior includes one zippered compartment with a dedicated neoprene pocket for a power bank and cable port to charge electronics on the go. A smart band on the back of the case allows you to slip over the handle of your luggage and doubles as a pocket when not in use and is supposed to fit under the airplane seat of most airlines.

It ticked off most of the boxes including a nice wide open space so you can organize your belongings the way you want to. Underseat luggage tends to have too many compartments limiting their use to business documents.

This bag, however, has a spacious interior where you can fit just about everything you need for a simple travel itinerary. At 5.9 lb, it’s the perfect weight to adhere to limited baggage restrictions. Buy it here!

 

Read these tips on how to pack for 5kg baggage allowance!

 

 

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Away Everywhere UnderSeat Tote

 

Away Underseat Tote

 

Away everywhere underseat tote couldn’t be left off our list. While it has various organizational pockets, it still has a roomy main compartment, which is enough to pack clothing and a pair of shoes. As a plus, it’s also available in two pretty colors! 

One user says “I love my everywhere bag, recently travelled with it on a domestic flight and it was so convenient to place the bag under the seat, The best part of the bag is the zippers that go down to the lower portion of the bag, which when opened gives easy access and visibility to all the contents.” Buy it here!

 

 

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Briggs & Riley Underseat Luggage

 

Briggs & Riley Underseat Luggage

 

Travel in style with the Briggs and Riley underseat luggage featuring a trendy nylon design. Along with its good looks, it’s compact in size, offering useful storage space, a telescoping handle, and smooth rolling wheels.

The bag has a roomy main compartment, several interior pockets, and a handy front organizer so everything has a space for easy access. Whether you’re headed on an overnight business trip or a weekend getaway, this durable and high-quality underseat luggage makes traveling a breeze. Buy it here!

 

 

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ECOSUSI Weekender Duffle

 

ECOSUSI Weekender Duffle Bag

 

At only 1.8 lbs and a price tag that’s under $40, the ECOSUSI duffle bag is economical and has enough space to organize your belongings. There’s a main compartment to add packing cubes and toiletries, while another pocket is for a laptop or tablet, and two slip pockets can hold smaller items. It also has a handy trolley sleeve.

With an adjustable padded shoulder strap and a water-resistant outer coating, this bag is ideal for shorter jaunts and fits under the seat nicely! Buy it here!

 

Find out why the ECOSUSI duffle bag is one of the most popular under-the-seat trolley bags!

 

 

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Vera Bradley Cotton Compact Under Seat Travel Bag

 

Vera Bradley Weekender UnderSeat Carryon

 

Our readers love Vera Bradley travel bags as their best under seat luggage, and so many recommended the Compact Weekender bag.

One reader says, “Vera Bradley is very lightweight with a bunch of pockets. I got the large backpack because it was easy to carry on and off trains. It has a place on the back to fit on your suitcase. The weekender bag is wonderful also and is bigger than the backpack.”

Another reader adds, “I have a small Vera Bradley weekender that I use under the seat for when I go home to see my parents. Can easily fit 5 days worth of stuff in there.”

The minimalist, clean design with spaciousness is exactly what we want in a small carry on! Big points for the wide open space! Buy it here!

 

 

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Delsey Chatelet Underseat Luggage

 

Delsey Chatelet Wheeled Underseat

 

Delsey is one of our readers’ favorite brands and their Wheeled Underseat Bag is equally stellar. It weighs 6 pounds and gets rave reviews, with many saying it’s “sturdy and lightweight.”

The bag’s best features include a hidden front pocket to grab items while on the go and a plush interior with zippered pockets, sturdy straps, and handy shoe pockets. Buy it here!

 

 

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TPRC Underseater Luggage with USB Port

 

TPRC Underseater 

 

TPRC has some of the highest rated underseat bags at 4.7 out of 5. This 15” is made of a durable travel-ready polyester. It has three zipper pockets on the front, one on one side, a regular pocket on the other with the USB port to charge devices, a velcro loop on the back to attach to other luggage, wheels that are inline and steady, a long handle that goes all the way down, and fabric handles if you simply want to carry it.

The interior has multiple transparent pockets to see exactly what you packed and a pocket on one side where you connect the USB port to the battery, and a zipper in the back for storage. Impressive amount of organization weighing only 6 lb. Buy it here!

 

 

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Bagsmart 17 Inch Non Wheeled Underseat Carry On Bag

 

17″ Underseater by Bagsmart

 

Another reader favorite, this under seat bag by Bagsmart is a good buy. Its roomy main compartment has enough space for a couple of packing cubes and maybe even a thin pair of shoes such as ballet flats or sandals.

One traveler packed a pair of shoes, iPad, rain jacket, a pair of pants, 3 shirts, a skirt, two socks, a few undies, and a small Ziploc bag with toiletries. We’re impressed!

It has a front organizer that can holds a tablet, travel documents, or other small essentials. As a plus, it also holds a 15.6 inch laptop but this is a nicely built-in feature that doesn’t compromise space.

It makes a great choice to be used in various ways and places, suitable for travel, business trips, gym, commuting, outdoor activities, universities, offices, excursions. Buy it here!

 

Travelon is so trusted by our readers for their anti-theft products such as purses and money belts!

 

 

best-under-seat-luggage

High Sierra Endeavor Wheeled Compact Carry-on

 

High Sierra Endeavor Wheeled Underseat

 

The feature-packed High Sierra Compact Carryon is small enough for easy storage on planes yet large enough for clothing, including a zippered shoe pocket that’s expandable. It has usefully laid out compartments that aren’t limited to use for business travel. Though for that purpose, it does have a completely padded area for tablets and laptops (up to 15”). 

It’s water resistant, has a sleeve for stacking onto other rolling luggage, and even has 4-wheels so you can easily wheel it down the plane aisle.Also has ton of pockets and an easy to operate push button locking handle. Buy it here!

 

 

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Rockland 16″ Underseat Women Luggage Carry On

 

Rockland Underseat

 

If you’re looking for a stylish under seat bag then the 16-inch Rockland with wheels is a great choice. Travel with easy and style with this cute red carry on!

You can cart this compact carry on through the airport with ease due to its 2-wheel roller system and retractable extending handle. It fits perfectly under almost any airplane seat and is airline approved by some of the most popular US airlines.

This carry on is perfect for the fashionable traveler because it’s not only stylish looking, it’s functional. We all know the importance of staying organized during your travels and this airport bag has built-in organizational pockets (the big one is perfect for using some of those fancy Compass Rose packing cubes you have), along with a padded pocket in the front for a laptop or tablet. It’s described as “the perfect size and sturdy.’ Buy it here!

 

 

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London Fog Jacquard Ultra-Lightweight Under the Seat Bag

 

London Fog Jacquard Under Seat Bag

 

Not only does London Fog make classic trenches, this brand also produces trendy and practical under seat bags. At 15”, this carry-on is designed to comfortably fit underneath most airline seats so you can easily access everything you need while flying.

The wheels make this easy to use as a rolling tote, a business case, or an overnight bag. Along with a roomy interior, the bag has 2 clear zip water-repellent pockets, a zip mesh pocket for accessories, and a padded tablet compartment, while the exterior has two front and two side zip pockets. Buy it here!

 

 

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Baggallini Classic Rolling Tote Bag

 

Baggallini Carryon Rolling Underseater 

 

The Baggallini Carryon is another win by from this popular brand.This wheeled underseat carryon weighs 6.15 pounds. The nylon fabric is water-resistant and it’s equipped with RFID slots to protect your ID. There is also a computer pocket! 

While it doesn’t have a strap to be layered over a larger suitcase, this is the ideal option for someone who strives to pack light enough to travel with only an underseat carry on or a business traveler on a 1-2 day trip for meetings. One reader says of this bag, “Fits under the seat. Taken this everywhere! Love it.” Buy it here!

 

 

Product Comparison Chart

 

Still undecided? Here’s a quick overview of the best underseat luggage: 

BRAND / MODEL REVIEW RATING / PRICE
Travelpro Maxlite 5 The bag’s best feature is the wide open space. We like the fact that it does not include a compartment for a laptop or business documents because that means that’s it’s much more functional as a carry-on bag.

Size/ Weight:
8.5 x 14.5 x 17.5 in / 5.4 lbs
Check Price
Samsonite Wheeled Underseater This durable luggage is built to handle the harshest of travel elements thanks to its polyester and nylon fabrics featuring excellent wear properties.

Size/ Weight:
9 x 13.5 x 16.5 in / 5.5 lbs
Check Price
Nomad Lane Bento Bag This is the ultimate under-seat bag at only 2.9 lbs! The bag opens up like a suitcase and has several organizational pockets.

Size/ Weight:
17 x 8 x 10 in / 2.9 lbs
Check Price
Briggs & Riley Underseat Luggage Travel in style with the Briggs and Riley underseat luggage featuring a trendy quilted design. Along with its good looks, it’s compact in size, offering useful storage space, a telescoping handle, and smooth rolling wheels.

Size/ Weight:
8 x 14 x 15.5 in / 5.94 lbs
Check Price
Away Everywhere UnderSeat Tote While it has various organizational pockets, it still has a roomy main compartment, which is enough to pack clothing and a pair of shoes.

Size/ Weight:
16.3 x 10.2 x 7.3 in / 2.75 lbs
Check Price
ECOSUSI Weekender Duffle At only 1.8 lbs and a price tag that’s under $40, the ECOSUSI duffle bag is economical and has enough space to organize your belongings. There’s a main compartment to add packing cubes and toiletries, while another pocket is for a laptop or tablet, and two slip pockets can hold smaller items. It also has a handy trolley sleeve.

Size/ Weight:
18.5 x 7.8 x 8.4 in / 1.8 lbs
Check Price
Vera Bradley Cotton Compact Under Seat Travel Bag The minimalist, clean design with spaciousness is exactly what we want in a small carry on! Big points for the wide open space!

Size/ Weight:
7 x 16 x 10 in
Check Price
Delsey Chatelet Underseat Luggage Delsey is one of our readers' favorite brands and their Wheeled Underseat Bag is equally stellar. It weighs 6 pounds and gets rave reviews, with many saying it’s “sturdy and lightweight.”

Size/ Weight:
8 x 15.75 x 16.75 in / 6.1 lbs
Check Price
TPRC Underseater Luggage with USB Port TPRC has some of the highest rated underseat bags at 4.7 out of 5. This 15” is made of a durable travel-ready polyester. It has three zipper pockets on the front, one on one side, a regular pocket on the other with the USB port to charge devices, a velcro loop on the back to attach to other luggage, wheels that are inline and steady, a long handle that goes all the way down, and fabric handles if you simply want to carry it.

Size/ Weight:
14 x 8.5 x 15 in / 5 lbs
Check Price
17″ Underseater by Bagsmart Another reader favorite, this under seat bag by Bagsmart is a good buy. Its roomy main compartment has enough space for a couple of packing cubes and maybe even a thin pair of shoes such as ballet flats or sandals.

Size/ Weight:
17.7 x 7.9 x 11.8 in / 2.18 lbs
Check Price
Delsey Paris Cruise Lite Softside Luggage Wheeled Underseat Carryon At 4.8 lb, it's the perfect weight to adhere to limited baggage restrictions.

Size/ Weight:
14.5 x 15.25 x 9 in / 4.8 lbs
Check Price
High Sierra Endeavor Wheeled Compact Carry-on It's small enough for easy storage on planes yet large enough for clothing, too.

Size/ Weight:
17.24 x 12 x 7.75 in / 6.1 lbs
Check Price
Rockland 16" Underseat Women Luggage Carry On This carry on is perfect for the fashionable traveler because it’s not only stylish looking, it’s functional. We all know the importance of staying organized during your travels and this airport bag has built-in organizational pockets (the big one is perfect for using some of those fancy Compass Rose packing cubes you have), along with a padded pocket in the front for a laptop or tablet. It’s described as “the perfect size and sturdy.’

Size/ Weight:
9 x 14 x 15 in / 3.99 lbs
Check Price
London Fog Jacquard Ultra-Lightweight Under the Seat Bag At 15”, this carry-on is designed to comfortably fit underneath most airline seats so you can easily access everything you need while flying.

Size/ Weight:
8 x 13 x 15 in / 5.79 lbs
Check Price
Baggallini Classic Rolling Tote Bag The Baggallini Carryon is another win by from this popular brand.This wheeled underseat carryon weighs 6.15 pounds. The nylon fabric is water-resistant and it’s equipped with RFID slots to protect your ID. There is also a computer pocket! 

Size/ Weight:
14.5 x 8.5 x 15 in / 6.15 lbs
Check Price

 

 

best-under-seat-luggage

Compass Rose Compression Packing Cubes

 

Packing Your Underseat Carry On Bag

 

Once you’ve chosen the best under seat luggage for your trip, use packing cubes and other luggage organizers to organize and compress your clothing tightly to make the most of less space.

There are a variety of packing organizers ranging from compression sacks to packing cubes to ziplock bags. Personally, we like using these packing cubes and our readers agree. They’ve helped millions of our readers travel carryon only – learn more!

 

 

Downsizing Clothing

 

The idea of packing in a packing cube may seem impossible, and it is if you don’t plan strategically. To make this a reality, use our signature capsule wardrobe framework that show you how to downsize your clothes for any trip to take only what you need to avoid overpacking.

We recommend starting with our ten-piece travel wardrobe and revolving or adding items as needed.

 

Need more clarification? Read our packing ebook, which reviews the capsule travel wardrobe concept on detail showing you exactly how it’s possible to pack light for every trip.

 

 

Downsizing Shoes

 

Once you’ve managed to downsize your clothing, the next big challenge is downsizing your shoe collection. When traveling with only one underseat carry on, you want to bring no more than two pairs of shoes and plan to wear your heaviest pair on the plane.

Make sure you follow these guidelines so that the two pairs you bring are versatile and mix and match with all your clothing.

Don’t forget that comfort is the number one priority. The wrong pair of shoes can ruin your trip!

 

Read our ultimate guide on how to choose travel shoes for more details!

 

 

Downsizing Toiletries

 

Lastly, it’s time to downsize your toiletries, hair styling tools, and makeup. Our Ultimate Guide to Travel Toiletries shows you exactly how to pack less beauty products without giving up your favorite things – plus it has a free printable toiletry list!

Next, create a capsule makeup collection so you can make the most of mess stiff without sacrificing your beauty routine. If your hair is high maintenance, consider bringing a compact multi-tool like this one.

 

Tip: These travel containers are my secret to decreasing my beauty products and toiletries for any trip!

 

 


What do you think is the best under seat luggage? Share in the comments below!


 

For more packing strategies, please read these posts:

 

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