The 8 Best Underseat Luggage Bags of 2022

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Low Section Of Woman Packing Suitcase

Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm/ Getty Images

There are a lot of anxieties that come with air travel, and one of those might be concern over storing your bag in an overhead compartment. Hear me out: Today, a lot of luggage looks similar. It wouldn’t take much for someone to grab your bag thinking it’s their own. Having to dig your gum or phone charger out of a bag mid-flight while it’s stowed above is not always the easiest task. Plus, there’s just some sort of comfort knowing all of your essentials are less than a foot away at any given time. If these kinds of things set you in a pre-flight spiral, consider opting for a piece of underseat luggage.

Underseat luggage is great for many reasons, and while the main one may be obvious—easier access to your belongings mid-flight—there are plenty of others that make this travel tool an unsung hero. Oftentimes, these bags are designed with tons of pockets, making the design great for parents traveling with their kids. They also often have a pocket along the backside, making it easy to drop the bag right on top of a checked bag on wheels. Let’s revisit that “traveling parent note”: Even if you plan on stowing a piece of luggage in an overhead compartment, having snacks, books, toys, diapers, and other kid-rearing essentials right on hand is a complete game-changer. 

Ahead, we break down eight of our favorite underseat luggage options and review them for accessibility, durability, style, and more.

Table of contents

Best Overall: Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Spinner

4.7
Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Bag

Courtesy of Briggs & Riley

What We Like
  • Unconditional lifetime guarantee

  • 360-degree swivel wheels

  • Outside handle design

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The thing we love about the Baseline-Softside Cabin Spinner Bag from Briggs & Riley is not that it was designed with two straps and a retractable handle. It’s the expansion technology built right into the bag. It’s hard to find luggage that fits multiple scenarios, specifically a wheeled carry-on that can fit under the seat if needed and expand for longer trips to be stored in the overhead compartment. This suitcase expands 33 percent, thanks to a locking system inside of the case. This bag also has Briggs & Riley’s iconic outside handle, meaning the interior of the bag is designed to have a flat surface so you won’t have to expect wrinkled clothes upon arrival.

Best Budget: TPRC 15-Inch Smart Carry-On Luggage

TPRC 15-Inch Smart Carry-On Luggage

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • USB charging port access

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels don’t swivel

The Smart Carry-On bag from TPRC comes with all of the perks of a much more expensive bag: in-line skate wheels, lots of pockets, durable materials, and a retractable handle. But there’s one feature you don’t often find built into a suitcase of this price point: a USB charging port. The power bank and charging cord are not included with the bag, but the built-in access already puts it above other options at this budget.

Best Splurge: TUMI Voyageur Oxford Compact Carry-On

Tumi Voyageur Oxford Compact Carry-On

Bloomingdale's

What We Like
  • USB port charging access

  • Adjustable interior design

  • Great style

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If style is on your must-have list for an underseat bag, look to TUMI, which is known for its simple and modern luggage designs. The brand’s Voyageur Oxford Compact Carry-On is more expensive than others on the market, but the durable construction will make it a travel companion for years to come. This bag was designed with separate media zip pockets, which takes its organization to the next level, and a lockable pocket for storing a laptop. You can choose to use the interior space as two separate pockets or adjust it to work as a larger, single space for packing with a unique U-zip pocket design.

Best Smart Luggage: Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Added laptop protection

  • USB charging port

What We Don't Like
  • Tricky handle

This carry-on spinner from iconic travel brand Samsonite not only offers a USB port built-in to the design, but it also works extra hard to keep your devices safe. The laptop sleeve is padded to help take on any bumps your trip may bring. Oftentimes with smaller bags like an underseat option, your device will poke out of the pocket—this bag takes on that challenge with an elastic band to help secure your laptop in place. This extra band helps make sure it doesn’t go anywhere when placed under the seat in front of you.

Best for Business Travel: Travelon Anti-Theft Revolution Carry-On Spinner

Travelon Anti-Theft Revolution Carry-On Spinner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Sleek design

  • RFID blocking design

  • Extra-secure zipper technology

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t fit under all airplane seats

Unpacking can sometimes be just as tough as packing, especially when you have a bag that doesn’t open in a convenient way. The Anti-Theft Revolution Carry-On Spinner from Travelon has a zipper that travels 180-degrees around the bag, giving you more space to easily dive into everything you need to dig back out. Also notable: This suitcase holds laptops measuring up to 15.6 inches—many other bags of this genre hold much smaller devices given their petite footprint. But the main draw of this design is its anti-theft security, which it achieves through a number of smaller design details. The media pocket is designed to be opened without revealing the larger interior pocket. The zippers are puncture-resistant, thanks to a double-racquet coil chain. The zippers also have locking pulls that can be attached to a D-ring. To top it all off, the pockets are RFID blocking to avoid electronic pickpocketing.

Best Duffel: Calpak Stevyn Duffel

Calpak Stevyn Duffel

Courtesy of Calpak

What We Like
  • Stylish

  • Roomy shoe storage compartment

What We Don't Like
  • No wheels

  • Plastic clips for strap aren’t the strongest

Calpak is known for its stylish and minimalist travel gear, and this duffel is no exception. It may not come on wheels, but if you’re looking for a carry-on to accompany a suitcase you’re storing in the overhead compartment, this is a great, roomy option. It also has one thing many other duffels do not: A separate compartment at the base of the bag that can be used to store shoes. A mesh sleeve at the back of the bag makes it easy to drop on top of a wheeled suitcase; it also has a removable cross-body strap for easy carrying.

Best for Kids: Olympia Deluxe Fashion Rolling Overnighter

Olympia Deluxe Fashion Rolling Overnighter

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lots of pockets

  • Fun design

  • Packing capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels are not the most durable

There’s nothing cuter than a child pulling a pint-sized suitcase behind them through the airport. That can be achieved with the Deluxe Fashion Rolling Overnighter from Olympia. In addition to cuteness, the bag also packs the power of multiple pockets into one design, so parents can organize to best fit all of their kid’s in-flight needs. The main exterior pocket is great for books and devices, while the velcro side pockets are the perfect home for lots of snacks. On a totally different angle, some reviewers have applauded this as a great option for those traveling with CPAP machines. We love a versatile workhorse.

Best Expandable: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Compact Carry-On Bag

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Compact Carry-On Bag

Courtesy of Travelpro

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Durable wheels

  • Roomy interior

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels don’t swivel

  • Tricky handle

If you’re looking for a versatile suitcase that can be used for both overnighters and longer weekend trips, the Maxlite 5 Rolling Underseat Compact Carry-On from Travelpro is a great option to consider. While the wheels don’t swivel, this suitcase does expand to fit a surprising amount of clothes and other essentials in its main compartment. There is a sleeve built-in for devices, but be warned that your tech will probably poke out of the top of the compartment. You’ll also find a handy water resistant organizer inside of the bag, which is removable and great for packing toiletries.

Final Verdict

For an underseat suitcase that does it all, go with the Briggs & Riley Baseline-Softside Cabin Spinner Bag (view at Amazon). The expandable design and flat packing surface really make all the difference. If you’re on a budget, the TPRC 15-Inch Smart Carry-On Luggage with USB Charging Port (view at Amazon) is a great option that really only lacks multi-directional wheels.

What to Look for in Underseat Luggage

Size Capacity

The underseat storage area is the toughest place on the airplane to pack for. While you don’t want to sacrifice valuable stretch space, there are some bags that make this easier than others. If making sure you have some room for your feet to move around is top of your list, opt for a duffel that is less structured and can be adjusted mid-flight. More structured suitcases with wheels are tougher to work with but do pack more of your essentials. The underseat dimensions are rigid and can vary airplane to airplane as the seats are often different designs. To make sure your underseat bag will work for your needs, check the airline site for proper dimensions.

Price

Underseat luggage prices can really vary, and it’s more about style than it is function. There are plenty of options under the $150 budget, but more stylish options—like the TUMI Voyageur Oxford Compact Carry-On—will run more expensive and can often creep toward $600. If style or brand is less of a concern, expect to pay between $150 and $250 for a quality underseat bag.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Erika Owen is an avid traveler and a self-proclaimed professional when it comes to never checking a bag. All of these options have been researched and reviewed for design, durability, and style.

Was this page helpful?
Continue to 5 of 8 below.