Searching for the best underseat carry on bag? Then you have found yourself in the right place. I love traveling light. Having less luggage make things so much easier. But going on a shorter trip you may not even need a full-size carry on luggage. Continue reading to learn more about the best underseat carry on luggage available right now!
Having less luggage not only saves your back, arms and shoulders but often also time and money. All the while making traveling and getting around way more enjoyable. No more need for airport luggage trolleys. Go with only one piece of luggage and you’ll not need to stand in the check in line either.
RELATED: 10 Best Packing Cubes For Travel
Best Underseat Carry On Bag 2018
Now let’s take a look at the list of the best underseat carry on bags! Most of these bags are with wheels. If you want a bag without wheels, take a look at Samsonite Silhouette Xv Softside Boarding Bag!
To learn more about every one of them scroll down! Most of the underseat carry on bags listed below are available in different colors. For more photos, availability, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the underseat carry on bag! I have also included a link to Amazon under every underseat carry on bag review.
|NAME||IMAGE||DIMENSIONS||COLORS||PRICE ON AMAZON|
|*** - our favorites|
|Samsonite Wheeled Underseater***||14″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ |
(36 x 34 x 22 cm)
|Black||Check the price!|
|Samsonite Mightlight 2||16.0” x 14.0” x 8.0” |
(41 x 36 x 20 cm)
|Black, Grape Wine, Majolica Blue||Check the price!|
|Travelpro Maxlite 4||16” x 13” x 8.5” |
(41 x 33 x 22 cm)
|Several (black, blue, red, purple)||Check the price!|
|LUCAS||15.7” x 15.7” x 9.8" |
(40 x 40 x 25 cm)
|Black, blue, red||Check the price!|
|Aerolite||16.6” x 14” x 7.8” |
(42 x 36 x 20 cm)
|Blue, orange, purple||Check the price!|
|Briggs & Riley||15.5” x 14” x 9.5” |
(39.5 x 35.5 x 24 cm)
|Red||Check the price!|
|Nicole Miller||16” x 15.4” x 9” |
(41 x 39 x 23 cm)
|Black, brown, silver / black||Check the price!|
|Travelon***||14” x 13.5” x 9”|
(36 x 34 x 23 cm)
|Several (black, chocolate, red, khaki, aubergine)||Check the price!|
|American Tourister Ilite||17” x 14.5” x 9”|
(43 x 37 x 23 cm)
|Black||Check the price!|
|Delsey||17.25” x 12.75” x 6.75”|
(44 x 32 x 17 cm)
|Black, red||Check the price!|
|Samsonite Silhouette Xv||16.25” x 12.0” x 10.5”|
(41 x 31 x 27 cm)
|Black, blue||Check the price!|
|Solo Bryant 17.3”||17” x 15” x 9”|
(43.2 x 38 x 23 cm)
|Black||Check the price!|
Our Choice – Samsonite Wheeled Underseater Small
Dimensions: 14″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ (36 x 34 x 22 cm).
Weight: 2.5 lbs / 1.13 kg
- Plenty of compartments
- The bag is available in 2 sizes
- Side pockets lined with plastic – for bottles / umbrella
- Removable hanging organizer
- Comes with a clear plastic pouch for toiletries
- Not the best design
Underseat Carry On Luggage Basics
Basically an underseat carry on bag is a travel bag, which functionally is like a suitcase, but smaller in size. As its name suggests, it’s usually small enough to be put under an airplane seat.
Having an underseat bag makes traveling even more easier. Because with it you can board a plane last, since you don’t need to worry if overhead compartments will be full or no, or whether there will be free space in it somewhere near your seat. The space under a seat in front of you always will be empty and waiting for you to store your bag there!
Also now some budget airlines have very strict regulations and do not allow full size carry-ons if you buy the cheapest basic ticket. So, it’s a good idea to start learning how to pack less stuff and travel with a smaller bag!
There are several types of underseat bags:
- Wheeled underseat carry on suitcase – a bag with wheels that is smaller than a full size carry on. Usually this kind of bag is softsided.
- Wheeled underseat tote – a small suitcase with compact wheels and a special zippered compartment for its rectractable handle. If carried in the crease of your elbow, it can pass for a regular tote bag.
- Wheeled underseat laptop case – a small suitcase designed for carrying a laptop and other electronics, as well as cables, books, documents and files. It can hold a change of clothes, depends on amount of electronics you are carrying.
- Underseat boarding bag – a large sturdy shoulder bag that can fit under a seat in front of you.
These are not the only bags that can be placed under a seat in front of you. Small backpacks and duffel bags, as well as handbags, shoulder bags and tote bags will fit under a seat as well. Those are smaller than the underseaters and sometimes lack organization.
Please note, if the description of a particular bag says that the bag is an underseat bag, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit under a seat on all planes. When in doubts, I advise you to read reviews and check travel forums to find out how large is the space between a seat and aircraft floor on that particular airplane, and whether particular bag will fit under a seat or no.
There are also other ways how you can use an underseat bag. You can buy one for your kid and use it as a school bag. The underseater can be used as an overnight bag and carried on a commute to work.
Finding the Best Underseat Carry On Luggage
Before buying a new underseat carry on consider:
1. Why Do You Need an Underseat Carry On?
Commute or air travel? Do you want to save your back and change your backpack to a small rolling carry on suitcase? Then buy a sturdy quality bag with durable handle and good smooth wheels as you are going to load it with heavy stuff, such as books and electronics and wheel around campus / airport. If you plan to use an underseat carry on on a commute, take into account that also for this purpose you’ll need a sturdy bag with durable wheels and handle. As you’ll be rolling the suitcase on pavements, lifting it up before getting on a train / bus.
Do you want to use a rolling underseater when shopping? Then go for an affordable and more simple yet durable bag, such as Olympia Rolling Overnighter (see it on Amazon).
2. Are You Planning to Carry a Laptop?
Are you going on frequent, short business trips, and carrying your laptop and other electronics, as well as some clothes? Then look at rolling laptop cases, such as Solo Bryant 17.3 Inch Rolling Laptop Case. Those will accommodate a laptop, tablet, some other small electronics and even some clothes, depending on how many devices you need to carry.
There are smaller rolling underseat bags for smaller laptops as well.
3. Compartments and Other Useful Features
If you usually are carrying a lot of small items, like, pens, cables, USB sticks, planners, etc., I advise you to buy an underseater that features a large front pocket with an organizational panel. Those have plenty of small pockets for small things. It will be way easier for you to find all your stuff, nothing will be lost among clothes.
Side pockets for water bottles / umbrella is a must, I would say! Check, if the pockets are lined with plastic or somewhat leak-proof. For example, Small Samsonite Wheeled Underseater has two plastic lined side pockets!
Removable panels with pockets that you later can use as a hanging organizer in your hotel bathroom is a nice feature, too. Small Samsonite Wheeled Underseater features a removable hanging organizer with three zippered pockets.
As I love to keep my stuff organized I would buy a bag (of any kind, not only a carry on) with plenty of pockets inside and out. For me it’s important to have a separate pocket or compartment for my documents – passport and tickets.
Are you traveling with two bags most of the time? Then buy an underseater with a strap at the back, so you can “piggyback” the underseater to your larger suitcase.
Best Underseat Luggage 2018
Best Underseat Carry On Bags
1. Samsonite Wheeled Underseater (Small) Review
I have previously reviewed a larger version of Samsonite underseat carry on bag. You can read about it here! It’s slightly wider than the smaller bag, but it still fits under a seat in most airlines. Both of them definitely are among the best underseat carry on bags you can get today!
Despite its small size the Samsonite Wheeled Underseater is very functional. It has plenty of pockets and compartments of various sizes. There are 3 zippered outside pockets: 2 side pockets for a bottle and umbrella, and a front pocket with several zippered compartments for smaller items, like cables, chargers and pens. The side pockets are lined with plastic – so, if a bottle or an umbrella is wet, it doesn’t leak through.
The main compartment is roomy and features 2 flaps with several small zippered pockets. The front flap has 3 (polyester, see-through plastic and mesh) pockets on it. This part is removable, and features a hanging strap. There are 2 zippered pockets on the back flap – one made from clear plastic, one – from mesh.
The small black divider which holds back all the contents of the bag when it’s being opened has 2 zippered pockets as well. The divider fastens with snap buttons. The underseat bag comes with a clear plastic pouch which can be used for toiletries.
The Samsonite Wheeled Underseater features push button locking handle and 2 quality smooth rolling in-line skate wheels. Please note, that the wheels are not spinner (360 degree) wheels, and thus the bag is not rolling while standing upright. The wheels are located at the rear of the bag, and there are feet on the bottom, so the bag stands upright securely.
The handle can be and covered by a zippered flap when retracted. There are 2 durable and comfortable handles at the top of the underseat bag.
Judging by online reviews, most people are using it as a weekend bag or as an addition to a larger suitcase. It has a strap at the back, and it can be nested on the top of the larger suitcase by putting the handle through the strap.
But of course, it is possible to travel with this small underseat bag… long term! If you are a minimalist, do your washing frequently and are good at packing (just like Kaspars!) you can travel with this bag for months on end, too.
Use packing cubes to save packing space – several small sized packing cubes will fit in the main compartment.
The suitcase is made of polyester / nylon material.
Before flying do your research online! If the gap between the floor and the seat on the aircraft your are taking is less than 9”, do not pack your underseat bag too full, otherwise it won’t fit! The bag will be considered as a personal item by some airlines.
Dimensions (including wheels): 14” x 13” x 9” (36 x 33 x 23 cm)
Weight: 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
2. Samsonite Mightlight 2 Softside Wheeled Boarding Bag Review
There’re not as many compartments as in other bags reviewed in this article. There’s a roomy main compartment which has a divider that unsnaps. There are 2 mesh pockets on the divider. There’s a large slip pocket on the inside of the front panel. It’s ideal for carrying papers, a tablet or a small laptop. The pocket is not padded. There are 2 zippered mesh pockets on each side of the main compartment. Zippered front pocket is large, but unfortunately, there’s no organization. There’s no clear plastic pocket for liquids or damp clothes either.
The Samsonite Mightlight 2 wheeled bag is made from rugged ultra-lightweight nylon fabric with SamGuard water-resistant coating. It features in-line skate wheels, which are constructed of polyurethane and have ball bearings to minimize frictional resistance and offer for smooth rolling. There are 2 plastic wheel guards. The push-button locking handle is made from durable materials, and stores neatly inside when not in use. There’s no zippered flap which goes over the retracted handle, but that’s not a big problem.
The bag features a back strap, so it can be attached to a larger wheeled luggage.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 16.0” x 14.0” x 8.0” (41 x 36 x 20 cm)
Weight: 4.8 lbs (2.2 kg)
3. Travelpro Maxlite 4 Rolling Tote Review
It’s suprisingly roomy despite the fact it’s so small. It has 2 compartments – a main compartment and large zippered outer compartment. There’s are a large pocked with mesh section on the lid of the main compartment.
There are 2 Velcro panels on each sides of the main compartment. Those make the rolling tote kind of top-loading. It’s a nice feature to have, as it makes it easier to look through your stuff during the flight or at the airport.
The Maxlite 4 rolling features 2 high performance ball-bearing in-line wheels and protective crash-guard wheel housings. The wheels roll smoothly, and there are two plastic feet at the front of the sturdy bottom part of the rolling tote.
The handle can be retracted and hidden in its own compartment at the top of the bag. There’s a sturdy plastic handle at the bottom of the bag, as well as durable handle at the top.
The rolling tote features a loop on the back, which allows to carry it hands free when traveling with another, larger, wheeled bag.
The Maxlite 4 tote is larger than other underseaters reviewed above. It might not fit under seats on some planes. Also it might not roll down the aisle on some jets. Do your research before buying luggage and booking a flight!
Dimensions (including the wheels): 16” x 13” x 8.5” (41 x 33 x 22 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
4. LUCAS Wheeled Under The Seat Cabin Bag Review
The wheeled underseater is roomy and has plenty pockets, which is perfect for storing toiletries, make-up, accessories and cables.
Its spacious main compartment with zippered fold-down entry gives you easy access to your things. There are 3 clear zippered plastic pockets on the flap and the divider. There’s front zippered pocket with a clear partition, zippered back pocket and 2 zippered side pockets for water bottles and an umbrella.
The Lucas under-the-seat bag comes with a passport and document holder, hanging toiletry bag and a pair of travel slippers for security checks.
The underseater has a single telescopic handle with push button. The lenght of the handle is 23.5” (60 cm).
Unfortunately, there’s no back strap, but it still can be attached to a larger piece of luggage using the straps at the top of the bag.
Available in several colors.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 15.7” x 15.7” x 9.8” (40 x 40 x 25 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
5. Aerolite Carry On Under Seat Wheeled Bag Review
It is made from beautiful quilted material. It’s design is a little bit different from that of the others I have reviewed. The main compartment of the underseater can be accessed from the top and front. When opened from the top, it’s like any other top loading bag, which is good while you are on the go – the things won’t fall out while you are looking through them. When you are packing it, open the zipper at the front. There’s a regular flap with several compartments on it. Just like with most underseaters. There’s a divider with a clear zippered pocket on it.
There’s plenty of pockets and compartments to help you keep your things organized. The largest front pocket is big enough for a tablet computer. There are 2 side pockets with mesh holders that can accommodate small water bottles / umbrella. The small zippered top pocket will hold small items, like, lip balm, gum, keys and so on.
The Aerolite bag features a single telescopic retratable handle and a durable grab handle at the top of the bag. The telescopic handle can be hidden (when retracted) in the special compartment, under the zippered flap. There’s a back strap, so this bag can be attached to a larger piece of luggage for easier transporting.
There are 2 in-line skate wheels, which aren’t protruding from the bottom at the bag. It can pass for a cute tote bag when handle is retracted and hidden in its own special compartment.
It’s made from durable lightweight material, and weights approx. 4.3 lbs (around 2 kg) when empty. The capacity of the bag is 28 liters.
Like with the other wheeled tote bags – it won’t fit under seats on some planes. Or, it might not fit under aisle seats of some aircrafts while it will fit under the rest of the seats.
Available in several beautiful colors.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 16.6” x 14” x 7.8” (42 x 36 x 20 cm)
Weight: 4.3 lbs (around 2 kg)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
6. Briggs & Riley Luggage Transcend Wheeled Cabin Tote Review
High quality, smartly designed premier rolling underseater with a lifetime warranty, and one of the best underseat carry on bags available. Needless to say, that this bag is made from quality materials – nylon two-tone twill fabric that resists wear, moisture, dirt and abrasion. The bag looks smart and is easy to maneuver.
It has several compartments and pockets which will keep your things organized. There’s a large main compartment which can hold a laptop, change of clothes, toiletries and some other things. There’s a lined pocket for a tablet at the back of the main compartment. It’s lined with soft microfiber material.
There are 4 elastic pockets – two on both sides of the main compartment and two on the outside.
Large front zippered compartment with multiple pockets is ideal for storing papers, magazines, cords, chargers, pens and other small things. There’s a smaller zippered pocket at the front, perfect for documents and passport.
The Briggs & Riley Luggage Transcend features durable retractable handle. It’s solid and retracts smoothly.
This underseater attaches easily to other Briggs and Riley suitcases thanks to Interlocking Handle System. Just pull on a strap at the back to extract a panel that goes on a telescopic handle of other Briggs and Riley suitcase.
Available in several colors.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 15.5” x 14” x 9.5” (39.5 x 35.5 x 24 cm)
Weight: 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
7. Nicole Miller New York Kristina Collection Under Seat Bag Review
The Nicole Miller New York Kristina rolling underseat bag is a feminine looking tote with a cute animal print lining. The pattern of the bag is pretty and stylish and there’s gloss black trim. The two straps at the top of the bag have the same glossy finish and are put together by a glossy wrap closed by a snap button. This gives the underseater a look of a smart hand bag.
There are plenty of pockets that will keep your things organized. There is a large back pocket for papers and magazines. Two zippered side pockets are ideal for storing small water and an umbrella.
There’s a main compartment with a divider that holds everything in place and a flap that folds over the main compartment. There are 2 zippered clear plastic pockets on the flap and 1 zippered clear plastic pocket on the divider.
One of the zippered front pockets is ideal for a tablet. Passport and ID can be kept in the smaller front pocket.
The bag features a single telescopic handle and two in-line (non-swivel) skate wheels. Unfortunately there is no strap at the back to let you attach it to another, bigger, piece of wheeled luggage.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 16” x 15.4” x 9” (41 x 39 x 23 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
8. Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On (with Back-Up Bag) Review
The Travelon wheeled underseat bag has plenty of pockets and compartments which makes it easy to organize your things. There’s a roomy main compartment that can fit plenty even for a such a small bag.
There are a few pockets on the lid – 1 zippered PVC lined toiletries pocket and 2 slip pockets. The divider that holds everything in place when the main compartment is opened has a large zippered mesh pocket. There’s an outer zippered pocket for a water bottle, as well as one zippered quick access front pocket and a large zippered front compartment that can hold a tablet computer.
The wheeled underseat bag has 2 stable in-line skate wheels and a flat sturdy bottom with plastic feet, so the bag stands upright securely. Please note, that the wheels are not spinner wheels! That means you’ll need to pull the bag, instead of rolling upright. But it’s not uncomfortable, since these king of bags are so small.
The retractable handle can be hidden in the special compartment which has a zippered flap on top of it.
The tote bag is large and made of rather thin lightweight material. It is perfect for carrying lighter items, like, a clothes and make-up. The tote has a strap at the back, that you can put over the handle of the wheeled underseat carry on. The underseat carry on itself has a strap at the back, so it also can be attached to a larger piece of luggage.
The luggage is available in several colors.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 14” x 13.5” x 9” (36 x 34 x 23 cm)
9. American Tourister Ilite Max Softside Wheeled Boarding Bag Review
It has a plenty of room for a couple of outfits, toiletries, a laptop computer and some other things, like, documents, cables and chargers. The front compartment has a few pockets for organization, which is great! Front compartment can accommodate a 15” laptop, papers, tablet. Note, it’s not padded.
Upon opening the main compartment of this suitcase you’ll see a large mesh pocket on the lid and adjustable straps for securing all your things in the main compartment, just like it is in larger suitcases.
The American Tourister Ilite boarding bag features good quality wheels and rubber edging on the corners. The wheels are smooth- rolling, and the bag rolls without wobbling.
Unfortunately, the bag doesn’t have a strap at the back for securing it at the top of other suitcase.
The American Tourister Ilite Max Softside Wheeled Boarding Bag is really more of a small suitcase than a boarding bag. But it still will fit in some of the airline personal item box, as well as will fit under a seat. When in doubts, check with your preferred airline before booking the flight, as the rules and planes vary.
Tip – don’t pack the front pocket too full, otherwise it’s highly possible you won’t be able to fit it under a seat in some aircrafts!
Dimensions (including the wheels): 17” x 14.5” x 9” (43 x 37 x 23 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
10. Delsey Luggage Helium Sky Trolley Tote Review
It’s a great bag with a roomy main compartment and a front pocket that has an organizational panel.
There are adjustable compression straps in the main compartment for holding all your things in place and a large padded laptop compartment on the lid. A 15” laptop will fit in easily, and a Velcro strap closure will hold it in place.
As I have already mentioned the largest front compartment has an organizational panel for all the smaller items. This compartment is large enough to fit a file folder. There are 2 small zippered front pockets at the front of the suitcase.
The Delsey Helium Sky trolley tote features 2 in-line skate wheels. Bag’s Smart Band (strap) will fit over a handle of a larger suitcase.
The bag is made from durable micro ballistic material with vapor barrier and corner protectors for long lasting use.
Available in red and black.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 17.25” x 12.75” x 6.75” (44 x 32 x 17 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
Best Underseat Bag Without Wheels
11. Samsonite Silhouette Xv Softside Boarding Bag Review
It’s small enough to fit under a seat and it can be carried as a personal item on some airlines. It has a plenty of room in the main compartment. It can hold a laptop, camera with lenses, some other small electronics and a jacket. A petite woman would be able to fit in at least a couple of outfits along the toiletry bag, laptop and other electronics. The U-shaped zippered opening of the main compartment makes is easy to pack and access all your stuff during traveling.
There’s a zippered outside pocket with an organizational panel for documents, tickets and other small items. The front pocket will hold a small tablet. There are 2 deep zippered side pockets and a side bottle holder that will hold a small water bottle (16 fl oz). Unfortunately, there are no inside pockets.
The Samsonite Silhouette Xv boarding bag is made from durable nylon, features removable shoulder strap and padded top handle. There’s a wide sturdy strap at the back, so it is possible to attach the Samsonite boarding bag to a larger wheeled suitcase.
I have said that it will fit under a seat and be carried as a personal item on some airlines. However, check with the airline before booking a flight, as the luggage restrictions and regulations vary, as well as the size of the aircrafts. Though, if you have just one bag with you on the plane, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 16.25” x 12.0” x 10.5” (41 x 31 x 27 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
Best Rolling Laptop Case
12. Solo Bryant 17.3” Rolling Laptop Case Review
Do you need a professional looking underseat bag that can safely hold your laptop, books, file folders and electronics? Then the Solo Bryant rolling laptop case is a good choice! It’s professional looking and sturdy. The bag has a slim profile, so it’s stylish and not bulky-looking.
The Solo Bryant is made from extremely durable material and equipped with a padded compartment for a laptop that can hold a large (17.3”) laptop. The padded laptop section is secured by a Velcro strap.
There’s a small front zippered compartment for a small notebook or a smartphone. The second compartment is large enough to hold small notebooks, an iPad, cables, phone, pens and other small items. The third compartment can hold files. There’s divider in the middle of this compartment. The main compartment has a padded sleeve for a laptop and some space for other things, like, books or some clothes.
The Solo Bryant rolling laptop bag features compact durable in-line wheels, that ride very smoothly, and a retractable handle. When the handle is retracted all the way down, it can be hidden in a special compartment under a zippered flap.
Dimensions (including the wheels): 17” x 15” x 9” (43.2 x 38 x 23 cm)
Dimensions of the laptop sleeve: 16.25” x 11.75” x 1.8” (41.3 x 30 x 4.6 cm)Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
If you have any more questions about travel gear, check out our other gear guides! Or contact us!
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.