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The Best Underseat Luggage With Wheels

First, it was budget airlines with cheap tickets but excessive luggage charges. Then, the post covid summer of 2022 lost luggage chaos made us take a closer look at the best luggage trackers on the market.

But both situations have taught us that there is a lot to be said for a good piece of underseat luggage.

Collage of underseat carry on bags.

You might be taking advantage of a cheap fare for a few days away and don’t want to pay luggage charges for a full-size carry-on bag and, hopefully, a space in the overhead compartment.

Or, you want to ensure you have at least a few day’s clothes and essentials in case your luggage is lost. Underseat carry-on luggage is always a good investment.

Wheeled Underseat Luggage Vs Underseat Totes or Duffles

Typically, underseat luggage has meant a small cabin bag with wheels. Traditionally, they were used by cabin crew and business travelers.

For the above reasons, their popularity has extended to the general jet set. A wheeled carry-on is more convenient for navigating airports or as your primary bag for a weekend getaway. They are less strain on the back, neck, and shoulders than an underseat tote and can also compliment a luggage set making luggage stacking simpler.

So for this purpose, we have focused solely on underseat luggage with wheels.

See the end of the article for facts on underseat luggage sizes, carry-on definitions to avoid luggage charges, and spinner wheels versus rolling carry-on bags.

Best Rolling Underseat Bag

This selection of underseat luggage is all designed to fit under the seats of most major domestic airlines, meeting the personal item criteria.

However, as mentioned, every airline, aircraft, and even varying seats on board, such as aisle or exit rows, will have different underseat storage capacities.

Always check sizes before flying, especially if there is an additional charge for carry-on luggage.

Baggallini 2 Wheel Underseat Wheel Luggage 

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 14.5″w x 15″h x 8.5″d
  • 13″ Laptop sleeve
  • USB Charging Port
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
Baggallini 2 Wheel Under Seater Black

I’ve been a fan of Baggallini since I started using their Getaway Travel System a few years ago for short trips. The 4-wheel 22″ carry-on case, expandable packing cubes, and super organized hanging toiletry bag are my go-to luggage combination for nearly every short trip.

Founded by flight attendants, it’s not surprising they also got it right when it comes to really good rolling underseat luggage.

Baggallini 2 Wheel Under Seater Black

Made with water-resistant, hard-wearing nylon, it has all the features you need when you travel. RFID-protected slots, passport holder, USB charging port, padded computer pocket, luggage sleeve for juggling multiple bags, and compression straps.

Weighing only 6 pounds, it meets most airline requirements for an under-seat personal bag.


Travelpro Maxlite 5 Compact Underseat Luggage

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 17.5″w x 14.5″h x 8.5″d
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • 13″ Laptop sleeve
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Lightweight Rolling Underseat Compact Carry-On Upright 2 Wheel Bag, Men and Women, Champagne, 15-Inch

Consistently voted one of the best underseat bags for flights, the Travelpro Maxlite® 5 Rolling Underseat Carry-On hits the mark for well thought out and practical carry-on luggage.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Lightweight Rolling Underseat Compact Carry-On Upright 2 Wheel Bag, Men and Women, Champagne, 15-Inch

It has numerous organizational pockets, including a side water bottle holder and a 13 “padded laptop or tablet sleeve. The wide opening makes it easy to pack, and there’s a rear strap for luggage stacking.

The removable, hanging wet pocket for storing cosmetics and toiletries is an excellent feature.

The only downside is no internal compression straps.


Samsonite Underseat Spinner Luggage with USB Port

Best Underseat Spinner luggage

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 16.5″h × 13.5″w × 9″d
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • 13.3″ Laptop sleeve
Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port, Ocean, One Size

Samsonite is a tried and true quality luggage company. I have certainly put their wheeled duffel to the test over the years and recommend it, especially for cruise packing.

The underseat spinner bag is a perfect companion for almost any luggage set-up – it has a rear smart sleeve so you can stack it onto other luggage handles.

People love this bag’s roomy storage compartments, including interior mesh organization pockets and a padded laptop and tablet sleeve. It does, however, lack internal compression straps. Expect to hold up to two days’ worth of clothing easily.

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port, Ocean, One Size

There is also an exterior zippered pocket with an organizational panel for smaller items and an additional exterior pocket for quick stash items.

The bag does have an integrated charging port to connect to a personal charger (not included). I don’t find this feature as important as most planes have USB chargers.

This bag also wins on superior maneuverability thanks to the four multidirectional spinner wheels.


TPRC Smart Under Seat Carry-On Luggage with USB Port

Best Budget Underseat Bag

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 14″ h x 15″w x 8.5″ d
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • USB Charging Port
TPRC 15-Inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On Luggage with USB Charging Port, Navy Blue, Underseater

The surprisingly budget underseat rolling luggage that flight attendants recommend is one of the highest-rated underseat bags – it comes in at under $100.

It is one of the most used underseat bags with wheels on budget airlines such as Frontier and Spirit.

TPRC 15-Inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On Luggage with USB Charging Port, Navy Blue, Underseater

It has an impressive amount of organizational pockets, compartments, and transparent accessory pockets that are perfect for toiletries. It also has a side USB port for easy charging devices (power bank and USB cord not included) and a rear sleeve for easy luggage stacking.


Rockland Upright Wheeled Underseater Luggage

Most Lightweight & Large Capacity

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 15″h x 14″w x 9″d
  • Weight: 4 lbs
Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Underseater Carry-On Luggage, Red, 16-Inch

One of the roomiest and lightest underseat wheeled carry-on, the 16″ Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Underseater is perfect for packing bulkier clothing such as jeans and jumpers.

This bag will happily accommodate cool-weather clothing with room to spare. With warm weather clothes, expect to fit at least three days worth.

Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Underseater Carry-On Luggage, Red, 16-Inch

The large main compartment has room for clothes and shoes, two slip pockets, and two zippered pockets, including a plastic pouch for toiletries and a removable mesh pocket for small essentials.

There are also two external zippered pockets (one is large enough for a small laptop or tablet but not padded) and expandable side pockets for quick stash stuff like headphones and water bottles.

The only downside to this bag is the maneuverability can be a bit clumsy but not a bad payoff for such a lightweight, large-capacity bag that fits under the seat of most budget airlines.


American Tourister Expandable Softside Rolling Luggage

Most Steamline Design

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 18″h x 14″w x 8″d
  • Weight: 6 lbs
American Tourister 4 Kix Expandable Softside Luggage, Teal, Underseater

This is a very streamlined and practical underseat bag. The American Tourister Tourister 4 Kix underseater doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles but does the job and consistently meets the size requirements of budget airlines.

American Tourister 4 Kix Expandable Softside Luggage, Pink, Underseater

The deep main compartment has compression straps to keep everything neat, and a large internal zip pocket keeps things organized. A large external pocket can hold a small laptop or tablet. It’s roomy enough that some people have happily packed up to four days worth in this bag.

The two inline wheels maintain the bag’s size profile without compromising on space.


DELSEY Paris Chatelet Wheeled Underseat Bag

Best Splurge

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 16″h x 15″w x 8″d
  • Weight: 6 lbs
DELSEY Paris Chatelet 2.0 Softside Luggage Under-Seater with 2 Wheels, Brown, Carry-on 16 Inch

Style is at the forefront of the iconic Delsey Paris Chatelet design, but not at the sacrifice of function.

The durable, eco-friendly chevron pattern fabric is made with recycled water bottles with vegan leather trim to match the iconic DELSEY Paris Chatelet luggage set.

Designed to fit under most airplanes’ seats, it has a very compact profile with good capacity. What I like about this underseat bag, besides its chic styling, is its compactness and neat finish. No bits dangling or protruding out.

DELSEY Paris Chatelet 2.0 Softside Luggage Under-Seater with 2 Wheels, Brown, Carry-on 16 Inch

The lush interior has compression straps, elasticated slip pockets, and a zip pocket for storing accessories. There is also a smart band for luggage stacking on the back, which can be zipped up and used as an extra pocket.


Steve Madden Rolling Underseat Bag

  • Exterior dimensions, incl. handles & wheels: 15″h x 14″w x 9″d
  • Weight: 5 lbs
Steve Madden Designer 15 Inch Carry on Suitcase- Small Weekender Overnight Business Travel Luggage- Lightweight 2- Rolling Spinner Wheels Under Seat Bag for Women (Harlo Black)

If style is as important to you as function, the Steve Madden 15″ Underseat Wheeled Bag is a very popular model. It has a stylish vintage design (which comes in around eight different colors and patterns) with contrasting accents but also lots of organizational features.

A popular feature, the multiple clear plastic zip pockets for toiletries and cosmetics make it easy to find and organize things. Some spacious exterior pockets include side pockets for water bottles or umbrellas, which could fit a pair of shoes at a pinch.

Steve Madden Designer 15 Inch Carry on Suitcase- Small Weekender Overnight Business Travel Luggage- Lightweight 2- Rolling Spinner Wheels Under Seat Bag for Women (Harlo Gray)

The only downsides to this bag are some of the external dangling accessories and accents, like the zip pulls, tend to catch when trying to slide under the seat. Some find the single telescopic handle too short, creating strain when pulling the bag. It also doesn’t have a rear strap for luggage stacking.


Product Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick review of the best underseat luggage

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an under the seat bag considered a carry-on?

No. The underseat bag is considered a “personal item.” Most airlines allow passengers to carry one carry-on bag and one personal item, which can be a backpack, purse, laptop, duffle, or other items that fit under the seat in front.

The carry-on bag (usually a max of 22″x14″x9″) is stowed in the overhead compartment. The personal item must fit underneath the seat in front of you.

What size bag fits under the seat on a plane?

Underseat cabin bag size restrictions vary wildly between airlines and aircraft from as little as 15.7 x 11.8 x 3.9 inches up to 18 x 16 x 10.5 inches. The average size allowable for underseat luggage is 18 x 14 x 8.5 inches. Many airlines will not disclose the measurements, so check in advance if you are unsure.

Spinner or Roller Underseat Luggage?

This topic is entirely personal, but when it comes to underseat luggage, I choose a 2-wheel roller over a 4-wheel spinner.

Spinner luggage is much more maneuverable and forgiving on your back and shoulders, which is a great choice for larger luggage. However, the name of the game with underseat luggage is size and weight. Spinner wheels, by design, stick out, potentially costing you precious inches of packable space.

Spinner underseat bags often have smaller external height and width dimensions but are often at least an inch larger in depth. This could be a big consideration when doing a bag size check at the gate.

Two-wheel roller bags should have inline wheels that sit almost flush with the bag’s profile so the bag’s external size is nearly the same as the internal size. Rollers also do better on uneven terrain, making sense for a smaller bag.

Unless there is a specific reason you require upright spinner wheels, a two-wheel roller will often be more compact and have a larger internal volume.

American Tourister 4 Kix Expandable Softside Luggage, Pink, Underseater

American Tourister 4 Kix Roller Underseater External Dimensions: 8x14x18 inches

American Tourister Zoom Turbo Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Underseater

American Tourister Zoom Turbo Spinner Underseater External Dimensions: 9x14x16 inches

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