Frequent personal or business travelers who prefer to keep their belongings by their side or under the seat can benefit from under seat luggage.
These bags are small enough to fit under seats at airplanes, trains, and buses. They allow you to store a bag right under you instead of needing to place it in an overhead compartment.
But choosing the best under seat luggage for your needs is not easy. There are hundreds of options from every company under the sun. All these bags look appealing when they are new, but few possess the durability to last many years of frequent travel.
No one wants added hassle when they are traveling. To ensure you have a smooth traveling experience, you must pick the perfect under-seat bag. It should fit under seats at planes and trains, while it should have enough room for the items you take on two or three-day trips.
This is why we created our guide to the best under seat luggage. After extensive testing and research, we narrowed it down to the best five under-seat luggage bags.
Besides, we hope that reading through our guide will help you while choosing an under-seat bag to take on your next trip!
What Size Bag Can Fit Under an Airplane Seat?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Size Bag Can Fit Under an Airplane Seat?
- 2 Comparing The Best Under Seat Luggage
- 3 1. Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote – The Best Under Seat Luggage
- 4 2. Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater – Large Size Under Seat Luggage
- 5 3. Nicole Miller Taylor Collection 15″ – Classy Under Seat Luggage
- 6 4. Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On – Lightweight Under Seat Luggage
- 7 5. Kenneth Cole Reaction Excursion – Affordable Under Seat Luggage
- 8 Things You Should Know Before Buying Under Seat Luggage
- 9 Under Seat Luggage FAQs
- 10 Ready To Buy The Best Under Seat Luggage?
Since airlines don’t disclose exact measurements for space under your seat, only buy luggage that is less than 11” tall by 17” wide by 18-20” long to be on the safe size. Keep in mind that 24 inches is the largest size carry on and is usually measured 17×10 inches (Source).
Comparing The Best Under Seat Luggage
|Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote|
|Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater|
|Nicole Miller Taylor Collection 15″|
|Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On|
|Kenneth Cole Reaction Excursion|
1. Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote – The Best Under Seat Luggage
Featuring a stylish quilted exterior and a very plush internal lining, the under-seat tote is perfect for anyone who is planning a one to three-day trip. The main compartment will hold clothes and can even fit an extra pair of shoes, if necessary.
The bag has multiple interior pockets, where you can place your toiletries and other items that you do not want to mix with your clothes.
There is a front organizer that you can use for all the items you need to access immediately. Travelers can place their tickets, passport, battery packs, headphones, and other accessories in that pocket.
2. Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater – Large Size Under Seat Luggage
If you are traveling overnight for business or spending a weekend away, this under seat bag is an excellent accessory.
The front compartment is easy to access, allowing you to store items that you may need to access before or during your flight. The internal component is roomy enough for all your clothing and accessories. There are interior compartments that you can use for toiletries and other items.
There is even a wetpack zippered compartment that you can use for items that may be dirty or wet, allowing you to keep everything else dry and clean.
With overall dimensions of 16.5 x 13 x 9.25, you should be able to fit this bag under the seat at most domestic and international flights.
3. Nicole Miller Taylor Collection 15″ – Classy Under Seat Luggage
It comes in many different colors, with each of them maintaining the same level of sophistication. With cotton canvas, you should be able to squeeze this bag into compartments that are a little smaller than its dimensions.
The handle works through a push-button mechanism, meaning it is easy to close up completely when the bag is being stored.
There are zipper pockets on the side and front of this bag, along with a large inside compartment that you can use to store your clothes and other items.
The only downside to this bag is that it does not have as many interior compartments as the above two options. But it does have more compartments on the outside, which you could use to store toiletries and other such items.
It is a matter of preference, whether you would like to have such items stored outside or inside compartments.
4. Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On – Lightweight Under Seat Luggage
Featuring a lightweight yet stylish construction, the bag has a main compartment that includes an organizer compartment. You can place your clothes and bigger items in the main area while keeping toiletries separated in the organizer compartment.
There is also a zippered front pocket, which is ideal for keeping items that you quickly want to access while at the airport or aboard a plane. You could keep a tablet, battery pack or your wallet in that compartment.
Travelon’s bag does come with wheels, while it even includes a water bottle pocket. The bag has a dome shape, which was a purposeful decision from Travelon as it allows you to easily access items inside the bag.
5. Kenneth Cole Reaction Excursion – Affordable Under Seat Luggage
Small enough to fit under the seat at major domestic and international airlines, it is made of lightweight material. The push-button handle mechanism is very durable, while the wheels are sturdy enough to ensure you can move it around on any type of surface.
The bag also has a back strap, which you can use to slide it over the handle of a larger bag. If you are planning a longer trip, where you have two bags, you can easily place this on top of your bigger carry-on or check-in bag.
Along with a large main compartment for storing clothes and bigger items, there are two separate organizer zippered spaces that you can use for toiletries and accessories. There is also a thin compartment at the front, where you can place paperwork, a passport, boarding passes and more.
Things You Should Know Before Buying Under Seat Luggage
Under seat luggage is designed to fit underneath seats when you are traveling on an airplane, train or bus. While these bags may be diminutive in size, they can still fit enough items to last a two or three day trip.
With under-seat luggage, you do not need to worry about any of those charges. And you have the peace of mind that your luggage is right under your seat.
There is no chance of someone grabbing it by mistake as they look to get their own personal item bag from an overhead compartment!
Wheeled vs. Shoulder Bag
The typical under seat luggage you will find online have wheels. But you do have the option of buying a shoulder bag that has similar dimensions, as it will fit under the seat.
But we recommend wheeled under seat luggage because it is a lot more convenient to trek around airports, hotels and other places you may be visiting. Shoulder bags seem easier, as you can just sling them on your shoulder. But they quickly feel heavy and tiring to carry around.
An under-seat bag with wheels is easy to cart around, especially as it is much lighter than regular carry-on or checked-in luggage.
Every airline, train company, and bus company has its own dimensions for under seat space. If you are a frequent traveler, you probably have preferred companies that you book your tickets through.
Whether you commonly travel by plane, train or bus, it may be a good idea to identify the under-seat dimensions for each company that you use for those trips. Most of the spaces will be very similar, but subtle differences can determine whether a particular bag fits or not.
Double-check the carryon luggage dimensions of your under seat luggage to be sure that it is not too big. Most carry-on bags run somewhere between 20 and 22 inches in length. The under seat luggage is slightly smaller, and most models run about 13-18″ in length.
In order to comply with airline space restrictions, choose a smaller model that will fit under the seat. Aim for something about 18″ x 15″ x 10″ to avoid problems when traveling by plane.
To ensure your bag will always fit, regardless of what airline or train you book for your trip, buy under seat luggage that fits in the smallest under-seat space. For instance, JetBlue has the smallest under seat space among airlines. If your bag fits within the JetBlue space, it will fit under all domestic airline seats!
Construction and Functionality
Many people prefer hardshell luggage when they are buying check-in or overhead compartment bags. But when you are purchasing under seat luggage, a hardshell is a bad fit.
Hardshell bags do not squeeze well. If the bag is the same or slightly bigger dimensions than an under seat space, a hardshell bag has no chance of fitting. But a softshell bag can be squeezed, especially if it is not full to the brim.
An under seat bag should be very functional, allowing for easy packing for shorter trips. We recommend under seat bags that have multiple pockets, as it makes for easier compartmentalizing.
You could place your toiletries in one space while keeping your clothes in another. A small pocket for your personal items, such as a watch, wallet or battery pack, is also useful.
While weight is a factor that comes into play for larger bags, it is still something you should take into consideration. If you will be managing an under seater in addition, then you will need to go for a lightweight option.
It is advisable to skew toward a lighter under seat bag. This will make it easier for you to manage your luggage when you’re on your way or when getting out of the airport. With lighter luggage, you will not have difficulty hauling your bag upstairs at subway stations or getting a taxi.
Under seat luggage has either 2 or 4 wheels in most cases. There are also models without wheels, but they are rare and not so popular.
The under seat bags that come with 4 wheels (known as spinners) are highly maneuverable and capable of standing upright on all wheels without tipping over.
The downside of the 4-wheel design is that the small wheels are fragile and prone to damage. Also, if you leave your luggage on a slope, it can easily roll away if you don’t pay attention.
On the other hand, 2-wheeled bags (also known as rollers) are easy to keep stationary. Their wheels are sturdier as they do not rotate. However, they are not as maneuverable as their four-wheel counterparts.
That’s why you may have trouble rolling your luggage in tight spaces such as public transit, narrow sidewalks, and subways. Furthermore, these bags tend to tip over sometimes, especially when overpacked.
Whether you will buy a bag with two or four wheels is a matter of personal choice. As always, go for an option that best suits your needs and preferences.
Under Seat Luggage FAQs
Q: What’s Under Seat Carry-On Luggage?
A: As its name suggests, under seat carry-on luggage is a bag that is specially designed to fit under the seat. That can make your flying experience much smoother.
The smart design of this luggage makes flying easier, which is particularly helpful for international travel that implies carry-on requirements. This allows for easy unboarding. No rush for flights, no damage.
Q: Why Do I Need Under Seat Luggage?
A: Everyone travels and packs in a different way. Not every traveler requires under seat luggage. And those who do not make short trips, where under seat luggage is most useful, may not need such bags at all.
But if you are someone who travels often for business or personal reasons, a few days at a time, under seat luggage can be incredibly helpful. It eliminates the need for checking in bags, which cost more money at almost every airline in the United States.
And some airlines have started charging for luggage that uses the overhead compartments on planes. It is not a widespread practice, but if you are booking with a budget airline, you may find an added charge for using the overhead compartment.
Q: What Size Is Going to Fit Under Seat?
A: The airline doesn’t specify exact dimensions for the area below seats. However, go for less than 20″ long (including handles and wheels and) by 16″ wide by 11″ tall when shopping for under seat luggage to make certain your items will fit. Everything above these measurements may not fit while traveling.
To see whether your bag will fit or not, check airline specifications for carry-on bags. Look for the pet carrier policy in particular. Airlines usually post requirements on the pet carrier size, as it should fit snugly under the seat.
Ready To Buy The Best Under Seat Luggage?
If you recently got a job that involves a lot of travel, you may be searching for the best travel gear to buy. Under-seat luggage is an important component of travel gear, as it gives you the opportunity to place your bag under your seat. No more fighting over the limited space in overhead compartments with other passengers!
We hope that our guide will help you during this buying process. Instead of needing to sift through 50 or 100 options, you only need to assess the top five under seat luggage options available today.
Each of these bags will serve you well if you travel frequently. The Delsey UnderSeat Tote is the best option if you are not concerned about price. The Kenneth Cole Reaction Carry On Bag is a terrific choice for budget buyers.
If you have used any of these personal item bags, please leave a comment below with your experience. We always like to hear from our readers about their experiences with these carry on luggages. Enjoy your trips!