Not a lot of people think about it too much, but overhead bin space is anybody’s game. That’s the main reason why a lot of people rush to the gate as soon as boarding is called, but that means standing in line longer than necessary just to get your bags secured above you. Once the plane is in the air, you’ll have to squeeze through narrow seat pitches to get your stuff out of your bag and climb back into your seat.
Why not consider underseat luggage instead?
Bags that fit under the seat in front of you are both safe and convenient. You no longer run the risk of itchy hands getting into your bags without you noticing. You can also quickly pull out your phone, earphones, tablet or books from your bag without hassling yourself or anyone else.
At A Glance: Our Top Underseat Carry-On Luggage
The underseat room will always vary, and having to pay those extra fees to check in luggage is a pain. So, here are some of your best underseat luggage options that will work almost all the time. From lightweight luggage, to all the frills, here are our top choices…
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BEST IF TRAVELING WITH A BIGGER MAIN LUGGAGE
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BEST FOR LIGHT PACKERS
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BEST FOR BUSINESS TRIPS
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Most Stylish Underseat Luggage
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The Samsonite Wheeled Underseat Carry-on comes in two sizes. If you’re planning to use this as a main carry-on, better get a large size. It will still fit under the seat for as long as you also consider the baggage weight limit of the airline you’re using.
This carry-on underseat luggage is just like any roller luggage but smaller and easier to manage. This is best for business travel when backpacks or duffel bags don’t look professional enough.
The large bag is sized at 9x13x16 inches when empty, but can expand due to the flexible poly/nylon blend. However, don’t pack it too tightly as it might grow too tight for under the seat when fully loaded.
Organization options are great, with a large main compartment and built-in plastic packing compartments. There is a removable 3-in-1 pouch, a hanging organizer pouch, and even a side pocket for a water bottle. It also has a back flap so you can slide it over bigger roller luggage.
All in all, well thought out and a great option for under the seat!
The Aerolite Carry On Under Seat Wheeled Trolley is light, stylish, and will fit most underseat spots.
There aren’t too many internal pockets, but there are several external pockets for organization and quick access. It opens from the top, which might be difficult to get into if once the bag is under the seat.
Just make sure anything you would want to use during the flight is stored in external pockets.
Despite the lack of internal organization, this carry-on underseat bag can pack 28 Liters of items in the main compartment. This is roomy enough for perhaps two days’ worth of clothes. There is also a back flap to hook over bigger roller luggage.
It has a single telescopic handle to keep the luggage lightweight at just under 2 kg, and helpful wheels of course.
The biggest challenge is the external material of this underseat luggage. It’s thin and lightweight, which was intentionally chosen to keep the entire luggage lightweight. However, it won’t hold up to too much wear and tear, so make sure you meet the weight restrictions and avoid being forced to check the bag in.
Or, invest a little more, and get a Briggs and Riley :>
The Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Bag is a versatile option with a more feminine look. It has inline skate wheels with a retractable handle.
If you don’t want to roll this bag around or if you have to manage cobbled streets or flights of stairs, this handle can be tucked into the bag. Unfortunately, the bag doesn’t come with a shoulder strap, so you’ll have to make do with the handle.
The underseat luggage measures 14.5 x 14 x 9 inches. It will easily fit a 13-inch laptop, but probably not anything bigger. It has a front pocket that can fit a tablet, another side pocket for a water bottle, and (yes) another zippered side pocket for other items. There are several organization options in the interior, including a mesh bag and a zippered pocket.
While the exterior of this underseat carry-on is sturdy, the interior lining is thin and delicate. So, be careful about objects with sharp objects or too much pulling and tugging at the lining because it has a tendency to rip.
The TravelPro Maxlite5 Rolling Underseat Carry on bag that comes with a laptop/tablet sleeve and a removable mini-suiter.
The exterior material of this underseat carry-on is coated with water- and stain-resistant coating making it an ideal travel bag. There are several interior and exterior pockets for organization, but its well-designed interior lets you maximize all the space.
The main compartment opens fully with a zipper for packing. When you’re on the go, there are buttons you can fasten that keep the lid from fully opening and exposing all your items in public.
There’s a back strap for you to stack this underseat luggage on top of larger luggage. Or you can make use of the wheels, of course. You’re also protected with a lifetime warranty to repair any future wear and tear or damage.
Overall, this is not a huge bag, but you have to compromise space for the organization when it comes to underseaters. It will fit under almost all seats, even if you have to push it under smaller seats.
Roller bags are convenient carry-on bags, but it’s not always perfect for every trip. When you go through the narrow alleys and cobbled and brick streets of Europe, you’ll be wishing for an easy to handle bag. The Briggs & Riley Expandable Carry On Bag is a great and stylish option that will perfectly fit under any seat.
It may seem small at 16.5 x 11 x 4 inches, but it expands to 16.5 x 11 x 8 inches too. This size makes the bag ideal as a day bag or briefcase, as well as a carry-on or overnight bag.
The look is more business-like and stylish and can be held with a top handle or shoulder strap.
There are several compartments to organize all your items in this underseat bag. The middle compartment will fit a 15-inch laptop. It’s also made out of Ballistic Nylon, which means it’s protected against, stain, tear, water, dirt, and abrasion.
This underseat luggage on the expensive side of the spectrum, but, with proper care, this underseater can last you a lifetime.
After all, Briggs and Riley, along with Tumi are two of the best luggage brands out there. So, this is a great underseat carry-on to get.
Tumi are synonymous with quality and we have covered a huge range of their luggage in other reviews. This hardside underseat luggage is certainly far more stylish than many of the competitors on this page.
The first thing that stands out about this underseat luggage is the thought that has gone into organisation. There are numerous compartments that allow for easy division of your most important items in this carry-on. Tumi provide a removable laptop cover and file divider. Both of which can be left at home if you need the extra packing space.
On top of this, the carry on bag is made of super-strong polycarbonate material, so you know this case is going to last.
Tumi have also provided a TSA lock on this case that has an easy to use 3 number code. And, it comes with their own Tumi Tracer system which helps should you have to check this case in at any time, and it gets lost along the way.
Obviously, size is the most important thing to watch out for in an underseat carry-on bag. Generally, underseat luggage gives you around 8-9 inches of floor-to-seat space, but it will vary per airline. Measurements also change depending on how stuffed your bag is, so make sure you keep to the available space of the airline and don’t go overloading these things.
A great plus for underseat bag is how easy it will be for you to get your stuff. No need for squeezing through narrow seat pitches just to get to the overhead bin.
However, if pockets and compartments won’t be accessible from under the seat without pulling out the entire underseat luggage, then you won’t get this added convenience. So, be on the lookout for how it opens, and what you can reach from its stowed position.
An underseat carry-on bag is not only convenient, but it also tends to look more business-like. If you don’t want to be seen lugging around a backpack or duffel, underseat luggage offers many professional-looking options.
It’s also good to consider if you prefer wheeled bags or not, and the different ways you can carry the bag. This also plays a role in choosing an underseater. After all, carrying a bag for a longer duration in an airport is annoying and uncomfortable. So, a wheeled underseat carry-on that has wheels will definitely make your life a whole lot easier.
We all know that the best underseat luggage should be both convenient and versatile. Sometimes you won’t even have to carry a second bag anymore. Just make sure that whatever bag you choose, will fit the space and weight limitations of your airline.
For business trips, the Briggs & Riley Expandable Cabin Bag fits the bill.
It’s sleek and stylish with lots of space and organization. It’s also very durable and will give you years to make its price worth it.
Light packers should opt for the TravelPro Maxlite3 Rolling Tote. You can pack a surprising amount of stuff in this bag and it will remain light and maneuverable around the airport. Your entire travels’ worth of items can fit in one bag without the need of a main luggage.
If you’re traveling with a bigger main luggage, the Delsey Quilted Rolling Underseat Tote is a great add-on. You can wheel it around or carry it as a tote. It gives enough space for a little more than the essentials and comes in stylish colors.