Best Wheeled Underseat Carry On Luggage 2017

LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin Bag

LUCAS Underseat Bag reviewed below

If I’m traveling on planes where I’m not assured of overhead bin space, or I want to have access to my laptop or accessories mid-flight, I opt for wheeled underseat carry on luggage that is guaranteed to fit under any aircraft seat but also gives me ample packing space for at least a 2 day trip. I also sometimes have difficulty hefting a larger bag into an overhead bin as I’m on the short side, so it’s just easier to take a smaller one with me.

On longer trips, I sometimes take my underseater along with a personal item bag with me on the flight and check in a regular upright suitcase. This way I don’t have to worry that there’s a risk of my carry on bag being placed in the hold at the last minute. Even aisle seats on internal European or Asian flights will have space underneath for it.

There are no official dimensions for wheeled underseat carry on luggage, but the general accepted overall linear measurements should total no more than 38 inches, with the depth being no more than 9 inches. Some non-structured bags can be larger than this as long as you don’t pack it fully. You can also pick a slightly taller bag as long as you’re OK with having it stick out in the front under your feet.

You can pick out your underseat bag with wheels from a really wide range because more and more luggage brands are wising up to the need for carry on luggage that fits under seat specifically. There are even more rolling tote bags or rolling backpacks, but not all of them are small enough for the strictest requirements. For example, Samsonite has many wheeled totes on offer, but while most of them fit under normal seats on larger carriers, they sometimes don’t squeeze into the smallest of spaces. Samsonite has very specific and good small and large versions of a wheeled under seater for small planes and large planes.

If you don’t mind a slightly larger bag but want the versatility to use it on both business and leisure trips, check out the Lipault Vertical Rolling Briefcase. A very recent addition to the market is the Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 wheeled tote.

If you’re looking for more of a business look and not something to pack clothes in, try a briefcase style bag.

A few airlines have recently become stingier with these dimensions and their aisle seat spaces beneath have narrowed. This makes it tough to get a bag with wheels into those spaces. In fact there is only one brand that has recently made one that will definitely fit. Keep reading to see which one it is! If you want to see more established options, take a look at the rest of the best underseat carry on luggage pieces below.


The Smallest Wheeled Personal Item Bags

BoardingBlue United and American Airlines Free Rolling Personal Item Under Seat

BoardingBlue United and American Airlines Free Rolling Personal Item Under SeatThese days, most carry-ons that need to fit under the narrowest of aisle seats don’t come with wheels. But for those that just can’t carry a backpack, tote or duffel bag in that size, this new Boarding Blue Rolling Personal Item Under Seat Bag is a good bet.

It measures 17″ long, 10″ wide and 9″ high and can hold 2-3 days worth of stuff. Customers love that it is allowed as an underseat personal item on United Airlines, American and Wow Airlines and that it has plenty of external pockets for just that little bit extra packing space.

It has a dual pole telescopic handle and inline skate wheels for rolling, or you can carry it in your hand by the dual handles. There is also a padded side grab handle and a piggyback strap at the back.

One exterior side holds an elastic top mesh pocket for a water bottle and there’s a small zipped pocket right on top to hold a charging device and cables, so you can quickly recharge your devices at the airport without opening the main compartment. There’s also a zipped front pocket and the main compartment’s flap opens down and out via dual zippers. The inside of the flap has a padded tablet sleeve with velcro closure. The contents of the inside of the bag are prevented from falling out when the bag is opened while standing up by a snap button gusseted divider panel that has its own zippered mesh pocket.

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Aerolite Carry On Under Seat Wheeled Trolley Luggage Bag

Aerolite Carry On Under Seat Wheeled Trolley Luggage BagAnother underseater that’s quite small and very light is the 28L Aerolite Carry On Under Seat Wheeled Trolley. It measures 16.5 x 13.8 x 7.8″ and weighs 4.37 lbs and fits under any seat, including aisle seats on Frontier or Spirit Airlines.

This is also a single pole telescopic handle bag with inline skate wheels. It is stable while rolling and does not tip sideways. It has one padded top carry handle as the second option for transport and a piggy back strap at the back lets you slide it over another bag’s telescopic handle.

There are pockets and compartments galore on this bag, so the ultra-organized traveler will love it. There are two u-shaped double zippered front compartments – the larger one placed above the other. Each of these also has a straight zippered pocket lying on top. Two zippered vertical pockets on either side can hold water bottles or a travel umbrella.

The main compartment has a top lid opening via double zippers. This design is helpful for packing things that could otherwise easily fall out when you open a compartment with a front opening lid.

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There is also an Aerolite version available in the UK sized for European budget airlines.


Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 16-Under Seat Rolling Tote

Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 16-Under Seat Rolling ToteAnother underseater that’s small and super light is the 27.3 L Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay Rolling Tote. It measures 16 x 13 x 8″ and weighs 4.2 lbs and fits under even a Frontier Airlines seat. Inspite of it being a structured bag, its weight is kept down because of the light frame and Dreamful® material used, which is lighter than polyester or nylon. However, the construction is very durable and abrasion resistant. It is one very stylish looking bag too!

This is also a dual pole telescopic handle bag with inline skate wheels. The handle is nice and long when fully extended but has multiple lower stops as well. It has one top carry handle and a piggyback strap at the back.

This is also a very well designed bag for organized travelers who like to have easy access to things at all times. There are two zippered front compartments and two zippered vertical pockets with gussets on either side can hold an umbrella and water bottle.

The main compartment has a front lid opening with two zipped pockets on the inside of the lid. A plastic zipped bag forms a front wall to prevent things from the main compartment falling out. The translucent plastic bag cannot be detached but it is useful for storing toiletries or damp items.

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The Malibu Bay is also available through Amazon’s Global store in the UK.


Bestselling Under Seat Carry on Luggage With Wheels

LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin Bag

LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin BagCustomers gush over this bag because of its great value. This very popular and inexpensive cabin bag from Lucas is made of lightweight polyester and weighs just 6 lbs. It measures 15.7″ x 15.7″ x 9.8″. While this is a little larger than what is ideal for an underseater, it does fit under all seats if it is not stuffed to the gills. This is possible because of the way it is designed. It is one of the most popular bags because it is inexpensive and very light but roomy enough to hold a 15″ laptop.

You can open the bag either while it is upright or on its back, as the zippered front flap folds completely down. A clear zippered partition pocket acts as a clear divider for the roomy main compartment and prevents its contents from spilling out.

The bag includes a separate hanging toiletry bag, a travel document holder and light slippers to keep your feet clean while going through airport security.

The front flap holds two clear zippered compartments on the inside for your other accessories. The outside of the flap has 3 pockets of different sizes, there are two zippered side pockets and one large zippered back pocket. These give plenty of additional organizational space without taking away from the space offered by the main compartment.

The telescopic handle is a single tube with a push button release and the wheels are inline skates.

It is available in black, purple or red and features yellow trim.

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Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote

Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat ToteThis quilted bag from Delsey also opens from the front via double zippers that run from the bottom of either side.

This underseat tote measures 14.5″ x 14″ x 9″ and weighs 5 lbs and 9 ozs. While it will fit under all middle and window seats, it may not go under aisle seats on small aircraft. This bag is currently available in a stylish brown with a contrasting blue for the interior lining.

This bag is great for organization freaks as there are pockets everywhere! The main compartment can hold a few items of clothing and a pair of shoes, while a full length mesh zippered pocket can keep some items separate. A U-shaped organizer compartment in front opens via a single zipper and is great for travel documents and accessories. It also has a padded foam compartment for your tablet. There are two side pockets present – one is a mesh elastic top pocket that’s big enough for a small water bottle and a rolled up magazine. The other is a vertical zippered one with an expansion mesh panel and can hold a compact umbrella, even when wet because it’s fully lined.

A pass-through band at the back makes sliding it over a telescopic handle easy. Its own retracting handle locks into position while pulling on the two inline skate wheels.

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Other Top Rated Underseat Carry on Bag for Men and Women

Travelon Wheeled Underseat 15 Inch

Travelon Wheeled Underseat 15 InchThis best-selling bag came out in 2014 and amassed very good reviews immediately. It’s in the style of the bags above but with more structure and durability and is sized just perfectly to even fit under aisle seats on small aircraft. The older quilted model from Travelon which is very popular just doesn’t fit under an aisle seat and is not the kind that you can risk getting gate checked, so this Travelon 15 Incher is a great alternative.

Its dimensions are 8.5 x 15 x 14 inches and weighs just 5 lbs and 4 ozs. It’s available in wine red, purple and black in 100% polyester.

The main compartment is very roomy and features two zippered pockets and two open top pockets in the inside. The front U-shaped zipped organizer compartment has a padded pocket for an iPad as well as more pockets for small items. A straight zipped pocket is placed in front of that to store last minute items like keys and loose change at security checkpoints. There’s one side pocket for a water bottle that folds down flat when empty.

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This is also available in the UK through Amazon’s Global Store.

Nicole Miller New York Kristina Collection 15″ Under Seat Bag

Nicole Miller New York Kristina Collection 15For a feminine but stylish look, the Kristina Collection 15″ Under Seat Bag by Nicole Miller New York might do the trick.

This sturdy polyester bag is available in black, brown or silver and all have high gloss black trim. It measures 16 x 15.4 x 9 inches and weighs 6.5 lbs. While it will fit under the middle and window seats of all planes, it won’t fit under an aisle seat of airlines like Frontier and Spirit.

The telescopic handle is single pole and is slightly finicky when extending it. The two top carry handles are kept together for carrying by a snap button wrap. There is no strap at the back to let you piggy back it on top of another wheeled bag.

This bag is another one with lots of pockets on the inside and outside. The main compartment opens from the top with its lid falling out to the front. Inside are three clear zipped pockets – one large one on a front wall that prevents the contents of the main space from falling out, and two on the inside of the lid. Behind the front wall is enough space for quite a few things.

The exterior features a large zippered pocket at the back for magazines, etc. There are two vertical zippered side pockets on the side with a mesh elastic top pocket inside each. The front exterior features a double zippered u-shaped organizer pocket with a smaller pocket on top of that the closes by a hidden zip. Right at the top of the main lid is a zipped pocket as well.

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Best High End Under Seat Rolling Carry on Luggage

Briggs & Riley Transcend Rolling Cabin Bag

Briggs & Riley Transcend Rolling Cabin BagIf you want the best quality luggage with lifetime warranty and are willing to pay for it, then look no farther than this updated Transcend Rolling Cabin Bag by Briggs & Riley. It measures 13.5″ x 15.5″ x 8.5″ and weighs 6 lbs and 4 ozs. It is available in black, crimson red and hunter green and is made of a tough but soft two-tone twill nylon fabric.

The main compartment opens via a wide U-shaped zippered front flap to allow easy access to its contents. Inside you will find a padded laptop pocket for devices up to 15.6″ and a padded tablet pocket. Side elastic top mesh pockets are good for socks or undergarments, while the rest of the space is roomy enough for the rest of your clothes.

The front features a zippered organizer compartment with pockets, loops and straps for a magazine, files, keys, pens, earphones, power brick and other accessories. A smaller zippered pocket in front of that is to store items for quick access at the security check. Two elastic mesh pockets on the sides are perfect for a water bottle and umbrella.

Top and back grab handles of soft neoprene makes carrying it by hand easy. The telescopic handle is mounted on the outside of the bag so as not to take up any packing space inside.

There’s a hidden Nubuck ID tag and clip on handle on the back for stacking it on a larger Briggs and Riley bag.

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This B&R Transcend is also available in black or red for UK customers.

We hope that with this list you have found the best wheeled underseat carry on luggage piece for your needs. Let us know if you have questions in the comments section below.


Best Wheeled Underseat Carry On Luggage 2017 — 12 Comments

    • Allegiant allows only a personal item that fits under the seat without charge. You can take a regular carry on with you that can fit in the overhead bin but that is charged. For most other airlines, you get to take a small personal item as well as a regular carry on, in which case a wheeled underseater would be classified as the latter.

  1. I agree your information is outdated. American Airlines smaller planes are W 16″, H 12″, D 9″ under the seats, which leaves out most of your suggestions. The only one I found is the Samsonite Small Underseater, which is very pricey…$200. A rolling suitcase is a must for the elderly… I guess the luggage companies need to make one for the elderly which is affordable.

    • I have linked to a separate review of the Samsonite underseater right at the beginning of this post. I also suggest trying any of the suggestions here that are just half an inch larger in one dimension than the American Airlines specs. Most of the time they’ll fit fine if you don’t pack them to the gills since they’re softsided.

  2. March 2016: United Economy Plus aisle seat on their upgraded 737-900 is narrower. The under seat luggage now measures 13 inches wide, 19 inches deep and 8 inches high. Really need luggage that is soft and pliable to fit the space. I recently purchased an upscale pricey wheeled bag to fit under the seats and on most aircraft was great only to board the 737-900 and not fit. I am too short to put in overhead and most of time no room anyway. Need the production people to design a soft sided small purse- like with wheels to fit .

  3. A very nice comparison of small rolling luggage. Thank you so much. I am seeking a bag that will hold enough clothing for a couple weeks at a time and get me around while traveling Europe. The wheels have to hold up to cobblestone and uneven surfaces. I have recently purchased the Lucas Under Seat case, and packed it for a 10-day Alaskan cruise. I was able to fit sneakers plus 2 pairs ballet flats, 5 sweaters, 2 long sleeve shirts, 6 tank tops, workout pants, Swimsuit and sarong, nightgown, bra, 4 pairs socks, 10 pair undies, 3 long pants, 2 capris, 3 scarves, shower shoes and jewelry. That is just the interior compartment. I also have ear muffs, gloves, makeup and toiletries in the clear outer compartment. It is stuffed full, but I’m hoping it will still go under the seat.

    • I’m amazed that you managed to fit that much into the Lucas! Underseat bags are not meant to hold everything you need for a two week trip with doing laundry somewhere in between, so I’m sorry that I can’t be of much help there. Why not try a 21″ carry on? Won’t fit under the seat but will in the overhead bin.

      • My ultimate goal is to learn how to take only what I need, and not stuff it so full. This is a trial run and I’m sure I will find I don’t use it all. I just think this size will be the best when bouncing around Europe on buses and trains.

        • I agree! I travel quite a bit to Europe and try to stick to a wheeled carry on only. My current one is a 21 incher and I find it easy to handle everywhere.

  4. The 8″ high requirement killed me. All of the smaller luggages are at least that. I SO agree with the previous posted that someone needs to make a soft sided purse-sized rolling back for older people with arthritis! Someone get on Shark Tank!

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