These smart designs are making flying easier on everyone, and it sure beats stuffing an odd-shaped bag or backpack under the seat and hoping your valuables don’t get crushed in the process. If you plan on traveling overseas, this is the best luggage for international travel as well since those airline carry on requirements are more strict.
They might also save you some money in the long run.
With some low-cost carriers charging for carry-on bags (such as Spirit and Allegiant), avoid the fees and pack your gear in an underseat carryon instead. Now you have a personal item that goes under the seat – not a carry-on bag that goes in the overhead bin. #travelhack for the win.
In this underseat luggage comparison, we take a look at all the variables you need to consider before you purchase. Things like size, wheels, and materials are all important things to consider. Use our table below to quickly find what’s right for you, and then check out our mini-review for each featured bag.
Table of Contents
DELSEY Paris Sky Max 2.0 15" Roller Review
Travelpro Maxlite 5 15" Roller Review
LUCAS Wheeled Underseat Cabin Bag Review
AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage Review
Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Review
Samsonite Wheeled Underseater - Small Review
Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote Suitcase Review
Lily Bloom Under the Seat Carry on Bag Review
Travelpro Maxlite 4 Rolling Tote Review
TPRC 15" Roller Review
The Best Underseat Luggage – 2021 Underseat Carry-On Luggage Reviews (Updated!)
Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. There is no additional cost to you, and it helps to support this site. Thanks!
What to Look For When Buying New Underseat Luggage
Make sure your underseat luggage isn’t too big
Just because the description says it’s an underseater, double check the dimensions to be sure. If you have a look at our carry-on guide, you know that those typically run about 20-22″ is length. Underseat luggage is smaller, running about 13-17″ in length.
Obviously, there are going to be tighter space restrictions under a seat than in the overhead bins, so don’t buy a bag that’s too large to fit. If you stay towards the middle or smaller side of the spectrum, you should be fine and your bag will comply with most airlines’ carry-on rules. Our eBags Kalya model is 17″ x 13.75″ x 10″ and has worked for us so far.
Need to see if your bag will fit?
It's pretty easy to find airline requirements for carry-on bags, but not always for personal or underseat luggage. Here's a solution - look for the airline's pet carrier policy. Most airlines have posted requirements on the size of a pet carrier because it must fit under the seat in front of you. Problem solved!
Related: Choosing the Best Carry-On Luggage
Although weight is more of a factor with larger luggage, it’s still something to consider with underseat luggage. If you’re going to be managing an underseater in addition to a carry-on, then you may want something that’s lighter weight.
Be realistic about how much space you’ll require and how much you’ll be packing. We recommend skewing towards a lighter weight bag. Not only will this be easier to manage overall when you get out of the airport and are on your way, but it could also save you a lot of trouble when you’re getting a taxi or hauling your luggage up stairs at the subway station (looking at you Paris Metro…).
Wheeled Underseat Luggage – Four Wheels vs. Two
Underseat luggage comes with either two or four wheels (but sometimes none). The models with four wheels – or spinners – are able to stand upright on all four wheels and are extremely maneuverable. Drawbacks to this design are that the smaller wheels can be more fragile than other types, and your bag can roll away from you if you leave it on a slope or hill. Two-wheeled suitcases – rollers – are easier to keep stationary, but are less maneuverable. Again, this is a personal preference.
Four Wheel Spinners:
- Very maneuverable
- Stable and won't tip over
- Can roll away on a slope if you're not paying attention
- Wheels protrude and can be damaged more easily
Two Wheel Rollers:
- Wheels tend to be sturdier because they don't rotate
- Wheels are less apt to get damaged on rougher terrain
- Not as easy to maneuver as spinners
- Can sometimes tip over, especially if overpacked or heavy
- Rolling luggage can be tricky in tight spaces like subways and public transit
Hardside Luggage vs. Soft Sided Underseat Luggage
Luggage is made from different materials, and there are pros and cons to each. Generally, the hard-sided, polycarbonate type will be heavier than their soft-sided counterparts. Many people don’t mind the extra weight of the hard-sided bags because it offers better protection. It’s a personal choice, and you should make the one that feels right for you. We have a soft-sided spinner and are fine with it. Let’s compare:
Hard-Sided Underseat Luggage
- Offer the best protection against damage
- Get scratched easily and show wear quickly
- Don't offer as much forgiveness towards overpacking (unless they have an expansion feature)
Soft-Sided Underseat Luggage
- Are usually lighter than hard-sided suitcases
- Are more forgiving to abuse
- The material can rip
- Not waterproof, so it's vulnerable to a downpour to and from the hotel
Does Spending More Money Get You Better Luggage? Reviews vs. Price.
With our reviews, we’ve tried to find a good balance between quality and budget. We believe that you do get what you pay for, but we also believe in spending money on experiences rather than lots of stuff. Do you need the best luggage? No, but luggage is not a cheap item, and it’s important to get what you can reasonably afford.
As we were researching this article, we found that across most sites, there was a correlation between good reviews and underseat luggage in the $60-$120. However, we’ve included some outliers in our review because we think they represent an excellent value based on the amount of good reviews from Amazon, eBags, and other sites, or because of personal experience with luggage that we’ve owned.
Related: Need to check a bag? Visit our suitcase guide: Choosing the Best Suitcase for Travel
Reviews of the Best Underseat Carry On Luggage for 2021
17.25″ x 12.75″ x 6.75″
New to our list for 2021 is the new DELSEY Paris Sky Max 2.0. This makes a great addition to our list for two reasons – it’s super lightweight and it’s less than 8 inches long. This means that it meets or beats all the personal item carry-on requirements for nearly every airline out there (see our size guide here). While the gate agents are singling out larger bags to gate check, you’ll be cruising right through!
Other great features of this DELSEY underseater include 9 pockets for organization including a sleeve for your tablet, corner protectors and skid bars, telescoping handle, and a unique deep front pocket that makes getting to things easy on the go or on the plane. The integrated smart band attached to the back allows you to slip this bag over the handle of your larger luggage when you’re traveling with multiple pieces on longer trips.
Like many DELSEY bags, this one is a great value, but because of it’s size and included features, we think it deserves a spot on our list and puts it in the running for the best underseat carry on. DELSEY backs it up with their Limited 10 Year Global Warranty. DELSEY makes a variety of great luggage in all sizes (many show up in our other luggage guides here and here), so be sure to check out their site here to find your perfect bag.
Check here for the latest prices on the DELSEY Paris Sky Max 2.0.
17.5 x 14.5 x 8.5
100% Polyester fabric
Winner: Best overall underseat luggage for 2021.
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Underseater bag is perfect for travelers wanting a durable bag from a trusted company that carries a great warranty. The Maxlite 5 is the next generation series from Travelpro and gives you the same quality as their hugely popular Maxlite 4 series but comes in a more lightweight package.
This bag is packed with pockets and pouches, in addition to the standard large compartment. It features wet-pack compartments to keep your clothes protected from damp swim suits or other items that may leak during your trip. Inside and out, there are small pockets to keep all your gear nice and tidy.
With all the storage, price, and an industry-leading warranty, this would be a great bag for families, and kids in particular, who have lots of smaller gear and electronics to haul around. It also comes in some unique colors, so they're easy to keep track of. Get one color for each person in the family, and you'll be all set!
This bag from Travelpro is a great, lightweight option and is our pick for the best underseater of the bunch for 2021.
Check here for the latest prices on the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Underseater.
15.7″ x 15.7″ x 9.8″
The LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin Bag is one of the heaviest bags on the list, but it's also one of the largest at nearly 16" wide. If you're looking to travel with only one bag and want to put it under the seat or in the overhead bin, this may be the bag to consider. It's a great size for a quick trip of just a few days.
The T-handle grip is easy to hold on to (although some might prefer a full handle grip) and extends to 23.5 inches. Inside, there are clear zippered pockets that making finding items easy, an included document wallet, hanging cosmetic satchel, and travel slippers for cruising through TSA (although we recommend keeping your shoes on and applying for Global Entry).
The LUCAS Under the Seat Bag is a well rounded bag and is one of the most affordable on our list making it a great value. It also comes with a 2-year warranty, so if you're looking for cheap luggage that's highly rated, consider this LUCAS bag for your underseater luggage.
Check here for the latest prices on the LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin Bag.
13.4″ x 9.4″ x 14″
The AmazonBasics Underseater is perfect for - as the name suggests - someone looking for a basic bag that's affordable and works as advertised. At only 13" square, this bag is sure to fit wherever you need it to, and weighing less than five pounds, it's not a piece of under seat roller luggage that will hold you back.
This bag features several zippered compartments inside and out for storing gear and personal items. One thing it does lack is an elastic side pocket for water bottles, but for the price, we can overlook it. Like other bags in this roundup, the AmazonBasics Underseater features a telescoping handle and a luggage strap in the back for sliding it over another piece of luggage if you choose.
With over 1000 reviews and 4.5 stars, we feel good about putting this bag on our list, as we feel it offers a good value, and it comes with a 1-year warranty to back it up.
Check here for the latest prices on the AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage.
16.5″ x 13.5″ x 9″
The Samsonite Underseater Spinner is one of the few 4-wheel spinners on our list, but if that's the type of bag you prefer, this is a good value. Not only is it very maneuverable, it has a built in USB port for charging your devices, which is a nice touch found in the eBags Kalya bag as well. Just attach your battery pack on the inside and plug in your devices without having to open your bag and find a charger cable - pretty slick.
Inside you'll find lots of compartments similar to the Samsonite roller, as well as net pockets for shoes. This bag also features a padded sleeve for tablets and electronics, and a locking 3-height handle to help you get around.
With a 10 year warranty from Samsonite, this under seat carry on spinner luggage is worth a look if you prefer the increased maneuverability.
Check here for the latest prices on the Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port.
13″ x 13″ x 9″
Winner: Best underseat weekender bag
Just like the name suggests, the Samsonite Wheeled Underseater - Small is just a smaller version of the larger Samsonite underseat luggage in our list. At 13"x 13" and only 5 pounds, this bag will fit just about anywhere, and is a nice size if you pack light or plan on pairing it with a larger carry on bag.
Just like its big brother, this bag has lots of zippered pockets for storing your smaller items and also comes with a removable 3-1-1 pouch and a removable shower kit bag. It's made from durable 100% polyester and comes with a manufacturer 3-year warranty.
If you're looking for an underseat bag that's on the smaller end of the spectrum, this this Samsonite is worth looking at.
Check here for the latest prices on the Samsonite Wheeled Underseater - Small
14.5″ x 14″ x 9″
Delsey always seems to find a way into our comparison guides - both for suitcases and carry-ons - and this Delsey underseat luggage is no exception. Delsey makes innovative and functional luggage at a great price, and that's why we keep featuring it.
This 2-wheel under seat carry on sports a unique quilted fabric exterior that makes it stand out against all the rest in the field. Lots of interior pockets make keeping your small items organized a breeze. Interior sleeves keep small electronics protected and safe. The mesh side pocket is a quick way to store a bottle of water or other items that you want to have quick access to.
We especially like the built-in pass-through strap on the back near the handle that allows it to slip over another bag. This is perfect for working in conjunction with a carry-on like the Delsey Helium Aero International Carry-On. It's a duo that's hard to beat.
This Delsey bag comes with a limited 5 year warranty.
Check here for the latest prices on the Delsey Quilted UnderSeat Tote.
16″ x 14.5″ x 9″
Winner: Lightest Weight Bag
It didn't take a long time of searching to take notice of this lightweight luggage from Lily Bloom. Don't be distracted by the whimsical prints though. This bag is highly rated on both Amazon and eBags, and people love it.
Besides the unique prints, this bag is made of cotton canvas which makes it the lightest bag on our list at only 4 pounds. It's still relatively large at 16" x 14" though, so it is plenty capable. Inside you'll find several zippered pockets along with a large clear pocket. It also comes with a 5-year warranty, making this bag a good value for under seat carry on luggage.
I know that this cute carry on luggage would be perfect for some in our family for the cat motif alone, but it's extremely light weight and their warranty makes this a great buy and one we recommend.
Check here for the latest prices on this Lily Bloom under seat rolling carry-on luggage.
15.5″ x 13″ x 8.5″
100% Polyester with stain & water resistant coating
TravelPro is one of the best luggage brands out there, and their gear is typically top-notch. With a limited lifetime warranty, it's clear that they are ready to put their money where their mouth is. The Travelpro Maxlite 4 Rolling Tote is no exception.
This bag carries forward the attractive design from their other luggage in the Maxlite 4 series. At six pounds and 15" wide, it's a large enough bag to hold enough clothes for a short trip, but also keeps everything in a compact size. It lacks a lot of small zippered compartments and pockets, but if you're using packing cubes, this won't be an issue and actually may be a space-saver for you. The two larger pockets in the front allow for easy storage of magazines or newspapers, or other smaller items.
A molded handle on the bottom doubles as a bag rest, and makes this easy to get in and out of the taxi or the overhead bin. Crash-guard wheel housings and a protective coating on the fabric will help keep this bag looking good for a long time. With over 150 Amazon reviews and 4 stars, this TravelPro underseat luggage is a bag we're happy to put on our list.
Check here for the latest prices on the Travelpro Maxlite 4 Rolling Tote.
14″ x 13″ x 8″
The TPRC 15" Under Seat Carry-On Bag with USB is new to our list for 2021. If you're looking for a bag that needs to perform on a low budget, this may be exactly what you're looking for.
At six pounds, this bag is one of the heavier bags on our list, but it's also compact and maybe most important, is one of the most affordable pieces of luggage on our list. If weight doesn't matter much to you, then take a look at the TPRC.
It's made from 1680d Polyester, has an open pocket on the side for easy-to-store itmes, has a telescoping trolley handle, and can easily fit over your other luggage. It also includes and built-in USB charging port. Just hook your power source up on the inside and plug your device in on the outside. The TPRC also comes in your choice of three colors, and has nearly 1,400 ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.6 stars, which definately deserves a look at this price.
Check here for the latest prices on the TPRC 15" Underseat Carry-On.
Don't Forget the Packing Cubes!
Packing cubes are an essential piece to our family's travel luggage and packing success! Each member of our family gets a set in their own color, and we pack a few empty ones to keep dirty clothes in. Here are some popular ones to choose from.
Enjoy your trip!
We hope you've found what you're looking for and that we've helped you narrow down your choices to get a great piece of luggage! If you have any questions, let us know or drop us a line on our social channels below.
Safe Travels, Everyone!
Carry On Luggage Size Restrictions Reference
|Airline||Overhead Bin||Under Seat|
|Alaska Airlines||22'' x 14'' x 9''||17" x 11" x 9.5"|
|Allegiant Air||22" x 14" x 9"||16" x 15" x 7"|
|American Airlines||22" x 14" x 9"||18 x 14 x 8|
|Delta Airlines||22" x 14" x 9"||21" x 15" x 16"|
|Frontier Airlines||24" x 16" x 10"||14" x 18" x 8"|
|Hawaiian Airlines||22" x 14" x 9"||16" x 10" x 9.5"|
|jetBlue||22" x 14" x 9"||17" x 13" x 8"|
|Southwest Airlines||24" x 16" x 10"||18.5" x 8.5" x 13.5"|
|Spirit Airlines||22" x 18" x 10"||18" x 14" x 8"|
|United Airlines||22" x 14" x 9"||17" x 10" x 9"|
Follow us on Pinterest for some great family travel inspiration, and pin this for later to your favorite travel board!
You May Also Like
- Larger luggage: The Best Suitcase for Travel:2021 Suitcase Reviews (Updated!)
- Carry-on luggage: The Best Carry-On Luggage (Updated for 2021!)
- Travel Cameras: Choosing the Best Travel Cameras
Come follow us on our social media channels - we'd love to meet you!