Disappearing leg room in economy class.
Checked bag fees so high they should be criminalized.
Interminable wait times at baggage claim.
These are just a few of the reasons that I increasingly eschew checked bags for a proper underseat luggage piece. Certain long-haul trips make checked luggage a necessary evil, but using convenient underseat carry on luggage can both make dealing with airports easier and get you on vacation faster.
In other words, what’s not to love?
Using your high school backpack or biggest purse won’t cut it, however. That is, of course, unless you don’t mind all your clothes being wrinkled and spending 15 minutes digging to find everything you need.
For the organization, convenience, and durability you need from luggage, here are my picks for the best underseat bags!
The Best Underseat Luggage
1. AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage
You know those underseat luggage pieces you see in the airport and all you can think is “How are they getting away with that as a carry on??”
Well, this is that! Although the AmazonBasics underseat luggage piece is large enough to fit in most overhead compartments, its also compact enough to fit comfortably under your seat – you know, for those flights when everyone's incessantly hogging the overhead bins!
Packing with the AmazonBasics suitcase is very intuitive, as it's highly functional. The underseat bag features a spacious main compartment, small zippered pockets that can detach to form a hanging toiletry bag and an extra-long handle perfect for resting another small bag atop your rolling luggage!
Best of all, Amazon is really stepping up their game on their in house products. Affordable, simple and no fuss – this underseat bag is perfect for those who want a functional, no frills suitcase at an unbeatable price!
2. Delsey Quilted UnderSeat Bag
While most underseat luggage totes go for substance over style, the Delsey UnderSeat Tote shows that you really can have it all.
While its quilted exterior will certainly make a style statement, the real beauty of the Delsey piece lies in its enormous main compartment, which can easily hold several days’ worth of clothes and an extra pair of shoes.
Additional features include interior toiletry compartments, exterior document holders, and a neat strap that allows the Delsey bag to slip into the handle of a larger piece!
3. Wheeled Underseat Cabin Bag
Despite standing just 16 inches tall, the LUCAS wheeled underseat cabin bag punches way above its weight (or height?).
The LUCAS underseat spinner luggage contains small zippered compartments on the bag’s front, side, and rear that are perfect for small documents other important items you need to quickly access.
The main body features one large compartment with transparent zippered pockets – helpful for the business traveler who can rely on expeditious security checks!
Finally, the LUCAS also provides some neat bells and whistles, including a detachable hanging toiletry bag, a standalone document holder, and travel slippers that make for quick and sanitary trips through airport security!
4. Samsonite Underseater Suitcase
It wouldn’t feel right writing a luggage article without mentioning Samsonite, the undisputed leader of the luggage industry.
While a bit pricey, the Samsonite Large Wheeled Underseater has all the features needed to make underseat luggage packing a breeze.
These include nifty side and front pockets for documents, a spacious main compartment, and an array of interior compartments that will make even the most obsessive compulsive packers feel organized to a tee.
What I love most about this Samsonite piece is its Wetpak compartments, which are specifically designed to pack and preserve wet items. Whether you’re having some fun in the sun or braving harsh elements, these features really come in handy!
5. Olympia Underseat Suitcase
While the Olympia Rolling Overnighter has a pretty basic design among the best underseat carry on luggage pieces (essentially just one large main compartment with a spacious front zippered compartment), this piece has some really cool safety elements.
For starters, the entire case is designed with a rip-stop polyester fabric and recessed wheels that make this bag extremely durable – perfect for short but frequent weekend getaways!
Additionally, the Olympia bag features a front compartment and laptop sleeve that are both heavily padded. When you’re dealing with the cramped corners of the underseat luggage world, this safety provides great peace of mind.
Throw in the adorable design, and this bag checks all the boxes for me!
Best Underseat Luggage 2019 – Summary Comparison
Whether you just want a basic, all black underseat bag that gets the job done, or something more stylish, we've got you covered!
Here are 5 of the best underseat bags that offer something for everyone.
Tired of fighting for overhead bid space? Grab an underseat suitcase and enjoy a stress free flight! Let us know your favorite underseat luggage in the comments!
Read More in my travel packing checklist series:
Best Travel Luggage
The Best Carry on Luggage for 2021
The Best Packing Cubes for a Perfectly Organized Bag
The Best Lightweight Luggage for Overpackers
The Best Hard Luggage Sets for Stylish Travelers
The Best Underseat Luggage for Minimalists
The Best Carry On Bags for Men - Rugged + Durable!
The Essential Business Packing List
The Best Laptop Cases for Working Women
The Best Laptop Bags for Men
The Best Travel Wallets for All Your Vacation Essentials
The Best Jewelry Cases Never Untangle a Necklace Again!
The Best Toiletry Bags to Clean Up Quick
Travel Packing Lists
The Best Travel Jackets for All Types of Weather
The Best Duffel Bags for Your Next Weekend Trip
The Best Travel Backpacks to Hold Everything You Need
Follow Sher She Goes on