Air travel is expensive enough these days without added fees for things like checked baggage.
Many airlines now even want to check your carry-on bags at the gate. I know I’m not alone in just wanting my bags with me on the flight.
So how do you avoid pesky fees and keep your bag with you?
The answer is underseat carry-on luggage.
With a bag small enough to go under the seat in front of you, there’s no need to worry about fees and collecting your bag after the flight.
For an upcoming trip, I’ve spent quite some time researching the best under-seat carry-on luggage.
So let me share with you what I’ve found with this guide to underseat carry-on bags, making your next flight a cheaper, easier one.
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- Picking the Right Underseat Carry-on Bags
- TOP 11 Reviews for Best Underseat Carry-On Luggage 2021
- Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On
- Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater
- TPRC Rafael Carry-on Underseater
- Delsey Sky Max 2-Wheel Under-Seater
- Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Bag
- AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage
- 5 Cities Carry-on Duffle Bag
- Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack
- Ciao Luggage Carry-on Suitcase
- ZEGUR Quilted Rolling Wheeled Travel Tote
- Aerolite Carry-on Under Seat Wheeled Bag
Picking the Right Underseat Carry-on Bags
Just like other types of luggage, there are hundreds of different underseat carry bags to choose from. While it’s nice to have options, depending on your needs, you’re likely going to want certain things from your luggage.
To help you find exactly the right underseat carry-on for you, check out these shopping tips below:
No matter what you’re talking about when it comes to travel, the cost is always a major consideration.
Travel comes with all sorts of expenses and I think we’d all rather spend our money on actual activities and experiences during our trip than on a bag.
But quality is rarely cheap, so aiming for the best value for money is the way to go. It helps to set a budget for when you shop.
Dimensions and Capacity
What makes a carry-on bag an underseat bag? Basically, it’s the dimensions.
This type of luggage needs to be able to fully fit under the seat in front of you on your flight. Otherwise, they’re going to need to go in over the head compartments.
Not all airlines have the same seat dimensions. So, unless you plan on only flying with one airline, you’re going to need to shoot for the safest minimum.
From what I’ve seen, that should be under 20 x 17 x 11 inches. However, certain airlines use the “linear inches” method which adds the three values together for maximum value.
Now you might be asking, can’t I just use my regular carry-on luggage?
Well, not always as underseat bags tend to have smaller dimensions than your regular carry-on. And that does mean it comes with less storage space than you might be used to.
You’re going to need something that fits under these dimensions to get it under the seat while trying to get the most storage space possible.
Weight of an Empty Bag
When picking the best underseat carry-on bags, the weight of the bag is a huge deal.
Here’s the deal…
Most airlines have a weight limit on what you can bring onboard. You don’t want all of your allowance being taken up just by an empty bag, now do you?
The more lightweight the luggage, the more you can pack for your flight.
Plus, there’s the simple fact that you’re going to have to carry this thing around with you wherever you go. Keeping that overall weight down means it’s less of a pain to carry as you travel.
The last thing I want to do is carry around a heavier case then I need to. Ultimately, it’s all about portability.
Speaking of which…
Luggage with Wheels
What’s better than carrying your luggage everywhere?
Rolling it alongside you, of course!
With the best rolling underseat carry-on luggage, you can comfortably move about in airports and around cities care-free. Thanks to their extendable trolley handle they’re just a great solution to carrying your bag everywhere.
But even among the best underseat carry-on luggage with wheels, there are different factors to consider.
For starters, there are different types of wheels, namely fixed inline wheels and spinner wheels.
When it comes to underseat carry-on, most bags feature fixed inline wheels, with the larger carry-on cases using spinner wheels that are able to rotate in all directions.
Handles and Straps
Now, for the best underseat carry-on bag without wheels, the most important feature is the handles and straps used for carrying your bag places.
Ideally, you want more than just a single simple handle – carrying things that way can be exhausting!
Many bags of this design come with either a shoulder strap like a duffel bag or even adjustable backpack straps. This way you can sling your bag over your shoulder and keep your hands free. I know how annoying it can be fumbling around with luggage in your hands.
Of course, you don’t just expect backpack straps on the best underseat carry-on backpack, but all backpacks.
What I mean is that this alternative option for something like the best wheeled underseat carry-on can be super helpful.
Pockets and Compartments
Since you’re traveling with a small bag, fitting as much in as possible is key.
But you also want to be able to find things in a pinch, which is where pockets and compartments come in handy.
Besides their main pocket, many carry-on bags will have internal and external pockets for all sorts of things to keep everything organized and accessible.
They can be front pockets, side pockets, tablet sleeves or outer zip pockets for documents and other small items.
TOP 11 Reviews for Best Underseat Carry-On Luggage 2021
Since the market of underseat carry-on bags is so huge, figuring out where to start can be mind-boggling, I know.
Rather than have you sit and trawl the Internet for a whole bunch of underseat carry-on luggage reviews, I’ve collected 11 of the best here for your viewing pleasure.
So that you have the best idea of which is right for you, I’ve added pros and cons for each of the best underseat carry-on bags, as well as other important details you’ll want to know.
Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On
Stylish and versatile, if you’re after a bag that will suit any occasion, then look no further than the Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On.
With its dome-shaped design and large main compartment, this bag is designed for ease of access.
Its dimensions measure 14 x 13.5 x 8.5 and the bag sports an attractive quilted microfiber exterior in multiple colors, along with two fixed wheels.
- Keep your clothes and accessories neatly sorted with its front organizer compartment and zippered front pocket, great for passport or plane ticket.
- The Travelon underseat bag not only has a mesh expansion pocket, but also a compact backup bag that can be packed away or taken out as needed. The backup bag measures 15.5″ x 13.5″ x 6″, giving you a huge boost in storage capacity.
- Features a side water-bottle pocket, allowing you to store a drink there once you’re through security.
- Since the backup bag counts as a second bag, it’s not particularly helpful as an underseat carry-on bag for individuals.
- Without the backup bag, the carrying capacity of the Travelon underseat bag is lower than average.
Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater
A trusted name in the world of luggage, the Samsonite range of luggage has something for every scenario including underseat carry-on.
With two sizes of underseat carry-on bag, it makes sense to go for the larger of the two because of its greater carrying capacity.
Made from a 900D Poly/Nylon blend, its dimensions are 16.5 x 13 x 9.25 inches. A rolling case, it features inline skate wheels and a retractable handle with push button lock.
- This bag is greater for the organized packer, with internal packing compartments, one removable organizing pouch, and one removable hanging pouch. There’s even a zippered WetPak pocket so that you can keep damp clothes separate from your dry ones.
- Side water bottle pocket so that you can keep a drink close at hand.
- Comes in a range of colors so that you can choose your style or match it with your other luggage.
- This bag already weighs 5.5 lbs empty, meaning you’re going to have to be mindful of how much you put in it.
- The dimensions of the larger model of this bag might not meet the standards of airlines who use a linear inches method like Virgin America.
TPRC Rafael Carry-on Underseater
The Travelers Club is all about traveling in style and that won’t be hard with the Rafael 15” underseater.
Whether traveling for business or on holidays, this bag will look the part with its elegant design.
Weighing in at 5.2 lbs and with dimensions of 15″ x 14″ x 8.5″, this compact bag is made with 1680 D. polyester and comes in black, navy and purple.
This roller bag comes with 2 inline wheels and a telescopic handle with push button control.
- Features the ability to have a personal power bank, so you can charge your phone over USB right from the case.
- Front and side external pockets for easy access, plus organization interior pockets.
- Open side pocket means there is the potential for items to fall out in transit.
Delsey Sky Max 2-Wheel Under-Seater
One brand that is keen to meet the needs of travellers looking for underseat carry-on bags is the ever-reliable Delsey.
Among their many different underseat bags though, the Sky Max stands out for its lightweight design.
Made from a special material called MicroBallistec and protected with skid bars and corner protectors, this is a heavy duty case.
This compact bag comes with dimensions of 15.5 x 14.75 x 9 inches and glides along on its 2 fixed wheels.
- Design includes 9 separate compartments for organization, including a sleeve for a tablet, as well as a wet pocket to separate damp and dry clothes.
- Weighing only 4.8lbs, this is a durable case that still manages to be lightweight thanks to its special MicroBallistec material.
- Additional bottom handle to make carrying and lifting even easier.
- As a newer Delsey model, the Sky Max is a bit more expensive than average.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Bag
High-end underseat bags don’t come much better than this, the Travelpro Maxlite 5. From its sophisticated and professional design, to its water-resistant polyester, this bag means business.
With dimensions that measure 17.5 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches, this sturdy carry-on comes with a great deal of capacity.
Great for organizers, it features numerous pockets, including a sleeve for tablets or laptops.
- Comes with a rear stacking strap, so that you can easily stack it on top of another, larger carry-on bag.
- Heavy duty handle that is able to support an additional case or tote if need be.
- A wet pocket for cosmetics or toiletries that is able to be removed entirely when necessary.
- Weighing in at 5.5lbs, it’s one of the heavier underseat rolling carry-on bags you’ll come across.
- It’s considerably more expensive than the competition, due to its design and brand name-power.
AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage
If function means more to you than brand names then it’s really worth considering looking at the AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage. Amazon.com home brand gives you everything you need out of an underseat carry-on bag, with some basic style.
Made with a polyester exterior and interior, comes in a variety of colors, the AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage is built to 13 x 13 x 9 inches dimensions.
It also features twin fixed wheels and a telescoping handle.
- Benefits from front and side exterior pockets and interior pockets to meet all your organizational needs.
- Lower in price than most name-brand 2 wheel carry-on bags as is its purpose.
- Lacking a little in style due to its plain design and look owing to its simply polyester material.
5 Cities Carry-on Duffle Bag
Not all underseat bags need to be rollers as the 5 Cities Carry-on Duffle Bag proves. With its straightforward design and look, this duffle bag works for all sorts of simple situations.
Measuring in at 16 x 10 x 6 inches this duffle bag is carried with an adjustable shoulder strap, so that it’s comfortable to carry by people of all sizes.
- If you’re after a cheap option, this is it as the Duffle Bag costs just a fraction of what other underseat cabin bags do.
- This cabin bag is ultra-lightweight weighing in at just 1.1lbs, so you won’t have to worry as much about weight.
- Comes with a key padlock, so you can secure your belongings and gain some peace of mind.
- Being a duffle bag with no wheels, naturally, you will have to carry the bag wherever you go.
- With only a main pocket and extra zip pocket, the bag offers little in the way of organization.
Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack
If a backpack is more your speed, then it’s hard to go wrong with the sleek Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack.
You’d never guess this was an underseat carry-on bag, which is why it may be the best underseat carry-on backpack out there.
Going right up to the limit with dimensions of 20.1 x 13.4 x 9.8 inches, you can use its buckle straps to ensure the bag doesn’t bulge out too much. Also comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.
- The backpack’s exterior is made from a water repellent polyester, helping keep your belongings dry.
- Main compartment able to fit a 15-inch laptop, while secondary pocket has organizational pouches.
- Also features a shoulder strap, so you can convert it from a backpack into a duffel bag.
- For certain airlines, its dimensions may exceed the room under the seat when completely full.
Ciao Luggage Carry-on Suitcase
While it may not be a household name yet in the luggage market, the Ciao brand has crafted a compact and functional underseat bag in their Ciao Luggage Carry-on Suitcase.
Made from a ballistic nylon, this bag measures in at 15 X 14 X 8.5 inches, resulting in a lightweight 2 wheel carry-on with considerable capacity. Inside, you’ll find several pockets and compartments to allow you to neatly organize your belongings.
- Weighing in at roughly 4lbs, this is a lightweight carry-on that leaves you with more weight allowance for your belongings.
- Unlike other rolling bags, this carry-on bag features a dual-pole extendable handle system for added strength and control.
- Offers great value for money considering it enjoys the same benefits of other bags at a slightly lower cost.
- While functional and lightweight, the design of this bag is rather plain looking and nothing fancy.
ZEGUR Quilted Rolling Wheeled Travel Tote
While luggage needs to be useful and functional, it also needs a level of comfort to it.
That’s where the ZEGUR Quilted Rolling Wheeled Travel Tote comes in, with its gentle quilted, polyster exterior.
With dimensions of 14x14x9 inches and weight of 5.25lbs, this bag fits squarely in the middle of the range.
- The bag is easy to clean with its inner plastic lining and with a lined pocket for toiletries, keeping it neat and tidy is a cinch.
- Made from 1800 denier polyster, the bag’s exterior is extremely durable.
- Not a great deal different to other cheaper, basic bags.
Aerolite Carry-on Under Seat Wheeled Bag
Somehow both simple and stylish at the same time, the Aerolite Carry-on Under Seat Wheeled Bag is surely one of the prettier underseat bags you’ll find. Still, it’s worth noting that it still works very much as a unisex bag.
Measuring in at 16.50″ x 13.80″ x 7.80″, this bag is bigger than it looks and is functional too with many pockets and back strap ideal for stacking on other luggage.
- Weighing at only 4.37lbs, the case is quite lightweight given its size.
- The bag comes with its own combination lock so you can keep your belongings safe when you’re not about.
- For all that it includes, the wheeled bag is great value for money, coming in cheaper than many budget competitors.
- Rather than a dual-pole extendable handle, the bag has a single-pole trolley handle which is more vulnerable to problems.
With a better idea of the important features to keep in mind and a look at the best underseat carry-on 2021 has to offer, you’re ready to start shopping.
It’s useful to consider what situations you’ll likely use your new bag for and what kinds of things you’ll want to pack in it. Think about which features matter most to those things, plus your general taste and style.
Only you know your taste, your needs and just how you like to travel. So take all of this advice and information and use it to find the best underseat carry-on luggage for you.
You’re already halfway there now, so what are you waiting for?
Already have a favorite underseat carry-on? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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