These Are My 9 Favorite Underseat Carry-On Bags

Forget the battle for overhead bin space. Here are my top picks for underseat carry-ons.
Woman at airport with carry-on luggage (Photo: Shutterstock)
Woman at airport with carry-on luggage (Photo: Shutterstock)

There’s a reason savvy travelers favor carry-on luggage. There’s no risk of a carry-on bag getting lost, which is especially important if you don’t have a direct flight. I’m a big fan in particular of underseat luggage, rolling suitcases that are small enough to skip the overhead bin and fit perfectly underneath the seat in front of you.

How to Find the Best Underseat Luggage

A good underseat carry-on bag offers easy maneuverability, features that can help you stay organized, and a size that maximizes packing space but fits under the seat without a struggle. There are plenty of great options from trusty underseat luggage brands like Samsonite, Travelpro, and Briggs & Riley. Here are my picks for the best underseat luggage in a variety of price points from budget-friendly to splurge.

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Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-on Rolling Underseat Bag

Best overall underseat luggage

view of exterior and interior of black Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat luggage
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 underseat carry-on has a padded laptop sleeve, exterior pockets, and an exterior strap so you can stack it on top of a larger carry-on bag (Photo: Travelpro)

Where to Buy: Travelpro and Amazon

The small but mighty Travelpro Maxlite 5 underseat luggage has a place for almost everything. Unzip the main opening of this rolling carry-on to find a roomy interior that features a padded sleeve for storing a laptop or tablet and a removable hanging “wet” pocket for toiletries or other items you want to keep separated. Exterior pockets offer easy access for must-haves. Don’t be shocked when you realize how much it can fit.

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A lightweight but sturdy handle plus ball-bearing wheels help the bag roll easily without wobbling, while a rear strap lets you stack it on top of another rolling bag if you’re traveling with more luggage. And it’ll stand up to frequent trips thanks to the bag’s coated polyester fabric that’s water- and stain-resistant.

TPRC 15-Inch Smart Underseat Carry-On

Best budget underseat luggage carry-on

exterior and interior (zipped open) TPRC 15-Inch Smart Underseat Luggage carry-on
TPRC 15-Inch Smart Underseat Carry-on is a super affordable option that makes use of every precious underseat centimeter (Photo: Amazon)

Where to Buy: Amazon

The affordable TPRC 15-inch smart underseat carry-on is made of durable polyester and features lots of zippered pockets inside and out, plus an open-side pocket for holding essentials. A telescoping trolley handle with push-button mechanism and smooth-rolling in-line skate wheels make navigating around the airport easy and comfortable.

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Keep cell phones and other devices charged and at the ready with this underseat carry-on’s side USB port—just add your favorite power bank and USB cord to avoid the dreaded dead battery. This is a hard-to-beat underseat carry-on bag for its quality, price point, and ease of mobility. And its minimal but still stylish exterior makes the bag appear more expensive than it is.

Briggs & Riley Baseline 2-Wheel Cabin Bag

Best splurge underseat carry-on bag

exterior and interior of Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Bag underseat luggage
Briggs & Riley Baseline 2-Wheel Cabin Bag takes a luxe approach to underseat luggage, with interior organization, exterior pockets, and ballistic nylon exterior (Photo: Briggs & Riley)

Where to Buy: Briggs & Riley and Amazon

The interior of the Briggs & Riley Baseline 2-Wheel Cabin Bag includes a spacious main compartment with three elastic mesh pockets so you can easily access smaller items. The exterior offers a slew of features like a front section with pen loops, a padded pocket for your tablet, and side zippered pockets for holding water bottles, cell phones, and other necessities.

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Low-profile wheels and an aircraft-grade aluminum telescoping handle with multiple stop heights make the bag easy to maneuver through the airport and into position under the seat. Webbing handles with a magnetic leather strap help you comfortably throw it into the trunk of your rental car or Uber. And the bag’s ballistic nylon exterior fabric resists moisture, dirt, and other wear and tear. You can even get it monogrammed for a personal touch.

Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port

Best spinner underseat carry-on bag

Purple Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port underseat luggage
The Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port has spinner wheels and a USB port for easy charging, plus a sleeve on the back for easy stacking on a larger carry-on suitcase (Photo: Samsonite)

Where to Buy: Samsonite and Amazon

The well-priced Spinner Underseater from Samsonite offers features like multidirectional spinner wheels for 360-degree rolling, a push-button locking handle, and a USB port for charging devices while on the move (batteries not included). There’s a padded compartment for tablets and laptops up to 13.3 inches, a zippered mesh interior pocket, and lots of exterior pockets for headphones, books, and other travel gear. A sleeve on the back allows it to be stacked onto a suitcase for trips when you need more luggage.

Delsey Paris Chatelet Air 2.0 Underseater

Best luxe-looking underseat luggage 

Delsey wheeled carry-on underseater
The vintage fabulous Chatelet Air 2.0 Underseater has plenty of organization built in(Photo: Delsey)

Where to Buy: Delsey Paris and Amazon 

You’ll look right out of the golden age of travel with the gorgeous Chatelet Air 2.0 Underseater from Delsey Paris. The rolling bag features an interior with elastic side pockets, a zippered pocket, and straps to keep everything just where you want it. A zippered exterior pocket and a combo trolley sleeve-pocket provide additional storage spots to help you easily store, say, a days worth of clothes, your toiletry bag, and medicines—all the things you should be carrying with you onboard even if you’re checking luggage.

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A soft-grip handle makes the bag easy to transport through the airport, on the plane, and beyond. The durable, water-repellent exterior fabric is made from recycled water bottles and accented with vegan leather trim, while the interior lining is coated with antimicrobial technology to reduce odors and bacteria. Good looks, high function—this bag has it all.

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-on Luggage

Best colorful underseat carry-on bag 

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-on luggage in green
The hardshell Hue Mini Carry-on comes in fun colors and has plenty of interior pockets (Photo: Calpak)

Where to Buy: Calpak

With color choices like “Poppy” and “Pink Sand,” you won’t lose sight of Calpak’s Hue Mini Carry-on Luggage. The oh-so-cute polycarbonate hard-shell bag features lots of interior pockets plus straps for keeping everything in its place. Roller wheels make the lightweight luggage easy to maneuver, and it scores added points for its minimalistic design, quality construction, and ability to hold a lot in a small space. It’s also a great size for kids who are amassing airline miles right alongside their parents.

Yotefe 18-Inch Underseat Luggage with Multidirectional Spinner Wheels

Best minimalist rolling underseat carry-on bag

exterior of a silver Yotefe 18” Under-Seat Luggage with Multidirectional Spinner Wheels
Yotefe 18” Underseat Luggage (Photo: Amazon)

Where to Buy: Amazon

The sleek and stylish Yotefe Underseat Luggage comes in several metallic color choices. Inside is a high-capacity interior with a separate zippered mesh pocket plus cross ribbons for corralling all your gear. An adjustable telescoping handle and 360-degree double spinning wheels help make walking through the airport (and up and down plane aisles) easier.

Beyond Roller Bags: Weekender Bag Underseat Carry-Ons

If you want to skip the wheels, there are still some great underseat carry-on options that will allow you to make the most of your underseat space. Bonus: These weekender style bags are great for short trips (they’re called weekenders for a reason), so you’ll get plenty of use out of them. Here are two of my favorites.

Nomad Lane V4 Bento Bag 

Best splurge weekender-style bag

V4 Bento Bag from Nomad Lane Personal Item Bag in black
The V4 Bento Bag from Nomad Lane opens up the middle like a suitcase and stows like an underseat carry-on (Photo: Nomad Lane)

Where to Buy: Nomad Lane

Blending good looks with high function, the V4 Bento Bag by Nomad Lane opens down the middle like a suitcase to make packing a cinch. It’s got a place for everything, with features like a padded sleeve (for up to 16-inch laptops), tech organizer, clear toiletry pouch, and key leash. An external water bottle pocket can be zipped away when not needed, while the trolley sleeve can be used as a pocket if desired. A detachable shoulder/crossbody strap and two quick-access top pockets up the functionality even more.

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag Large

Best weekender underseat bag that can handle anything

dark green Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag
The neoprene Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag includes a padded laptop sleeve, shoe bag, and key leash (Photo: Dagne Dover)

Where to Buy: Dagne Dover

The water-resistant neoprene exterior of Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall provides durability, while the interior offers function galore, with a padded laptop sleeve, stretch key leash, and shoe bag. An array of pockets inside and out serve as even more storage spots, and handles, a shoulder strap, and luggage-handle sleeve offer carrying choices.

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The lightweight neoprene bag comes in six go-with-anything colors, including basic black and a luxe-looking camel shade. And its durable, made-to-last exterior isn’t the only thing to write home about: The bag’s interior lining and its shoe bag are made from recycled polyester that gives recycled bottles a new life. 


What’s the benefit of an underseat carry-on bag?

While many of the best luggage brands have carry-ons that are sized to stow in the overhead bins, underseat luggage takes advantage of that guaranteed area by your feet, meaning you won’t have to fight for precious overhead space or be forced to check your carry-on at the gate on a crowded flight. The compact dimensions of the small underseat luggage style help prevent overpacking, too.

Does an underseat carry-on count as a personal item?

Yes. Really, anything that can fit under the seat in front of you counts as a personal item (rather than as a carry-on)—the idea being that the item isn’t taking up space in the overhead bins. Underseat luggage is specifically designed to help you maximize every centimeter of underseat space (unlike a tote bag, purse, or backpack), so it can ultimately allow you to carry on more than you would otherwise.

What size bag can fit under an airplane seat?

How much space there is under a seat depends on the airplane and the configuration. Travelpro has a handy chart with dimensions by carrier. In general, the range is about 14 x 12 x 9 inches on the small side to 18 x 14 x 8 on the larger side. If you tend to fly a certain airline, check the dimensions of that airline before you invest in underseat luggage.

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Beth Luberecki
Beth Luberecki is a Florida-based freelance writer who writes about travel, business, and lifestyle topics for a variety of publications and websites. She enjoys exploring destinations close to home and farther afield with her husband and teenage daughter. Visit her website at or find her on Instagram at @bethlubereckiwrites and @findingfloridafun.