The Best Guide to Under Seat Luggage Sizes, Spinners and Models

When you are on a flight, you need more than a few things on hand. This is why many people choose to store their bags underneath their seat instead of the overhead compartment. Of course, this can prove to be difficult to manage if you don’t have the right under seat luggage on hand with you.

There are a few ways to determine which bag would make a good piece of under seat luggage. So, if you are interested in figuring out what type of pack you are actually allowed to take onboard with you, you have come to the right place. Here, you will find all of the tips and tricks that will make it an absolute breeze to find an under seat bag for yourself:

Tips You Need to Follow to Find Proper Under Seat Luggage

You have probably had the experience of stowing your carry on luggage underneath your seat only to be told that it needs to be moved into the overhead compartment. While there are many airlines that do allow you to keep a bag beneath your seat for easy retrieval, there are several restrictions imposed.

Since these are rarely clearly stated, it can be a little frustrating to determine which bag is right and which one is not. This is why we have constructed these guidelines to make it a little easier for you to pick out the right piece of luggage. Here is what you need to know:

Understand Under Seat vs. Carry On Luggage Debate

Now, one of the first questions that may spring to mind is – can’t I just get an ‘official sized’ carry on bag and slip that underneath my seat? Well, while this might seem like the most logical move, you have to consider the purpose of most carry on luggage. These bags are designed to fit in a compartment that actually has a considerable amount of space.

This is why most carry on bags will not fit underneath your seat. Either that or the airline considers bags of this size to be impediments and that they cannot be placed on the ground. This is why you will have to look further than a label that has the words ‘carry on luggage’ to find the right under seat bag.

Know the Dimensions of Under Seat Luggage

Unfortunately, there are no set dimensions for under seat luggage. This is because each airline has seats of various widths and heights. Also, there is a great deal of variation in under seat carry on bag rules as well. All of this means that it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact size for your under seat bag.

Usually, with domestic flights, you will find that many of the seats boast around 9 to 11 inches in height. The widths are greater and are often about 20 inches. The depths of these seats can vary from 15 to 17 inches. As long as your bag is smaller than the dimensions quoted here, it should be able to fit under your seat.

As you can tell from the variation, you will often have to contact the airline directly to figure out whether or not your bag will be allowed under your seat. One way that you can find out is to determine the size of the pet carriers that are allowed on board. Smaller pet carriers are often placed beneath the seat which makes them a good measuring tape for determining what size your bag should be.

The Case for Soft Shelled Luggage

With under seat luggage, you will quickly realize that soft shelled luggage is your best bet. These bags can be easily compressed, even if they are filled with items. Due to this, you will find it a lot easier to fit a bag made from soft material than one made from a hard shell.

So, now that you have settled on a type, what material would be best for this type of luggage? Well, lightness certainly will play a role when determining the fabric. After all, airlines do have restrictions on the weight of your carry on or under seat luggage. This means that the bag, in combination with your belongings, needs to fall within that limit.

Now, the lighter the bag, the more things that you can pack into it. If this is your main goal, then you will find that bags made from lightweight polyester are often a good choice. Of course, to maintain some form of durability, you should look for bags made of a higher denier.

If strength, toughness, and longevity are of greater concern to you, then you may be better served by nylon. If you fear that your bag will have to undergo a lot of wear and tear, you may want to consider under seat luggage made either from ballistic nylon or ripstop nylon. This will prevent the bag from wearing out too soon.

Figure Out If Wheels or No Wheels Suit You Better

The other thing that you going to have to decide between is a wheeled underseat bag and one with no wheels. Now, on one hand, this has to do with preference. There are many people who prefer wheeled bags because they are easy to carry around. You don’t have to actually shoulder the weight of the bag at any point.

Of course, when choosing under seat luggage, you will need to determine if such a feature is for you. While wheeled luggage cuts down on hassle, it has a disadvantage as an under seat bag – it can be quite long and bulky. See, the wheels, handles, and accompanying rolling system all add weight and height to the bag. As a result, you may find it quite difficult to fit such a bag under your seat. Not to mention, if a bag looks quite large, you may be asked to store it into the overhead compartment so that people will not trip over it.

For those who decide to forego the wheels, it is important to look at the straps and handles stitched on the bags. These need to be durable and should also be comfortable to carry or hold for a longer period of time.

Two-Wheeled vs. Spinner Luggage

If you decide to go ahead with wheeled under seat luggage, there is another decision that you will have to make – two wheels or four? Two-wheeled bags are great for durability and if you are planning on rolling the bag over uneven surfaces. However, they can be slightly more difficult and troublesome to maneuver.

The spinner luggage, on the other hand, offers fantastic stability and makes it a lot easier for you to roll your luggage. You will find it a breeze to maneuver this bag through narrow spaces as well. The main downside of this bag is that the wheels can snap off and they aren’t suited to surfaces that aren’t smooth.

Now, whichever that you do choose, keep this in mind – when it comes to suitcase wheels, bigger is always better. The larger wheels are able to move more smoothly across surfaces and will not get stuck in ruts as often.

Look for Compartments

As mentioned, one of the main reasons for having under seat luggage is that you get to keep your items to you as close as possible. Now, when you are on a plane with not much elbow room, to begin with, the last thing that you want to do is to have to rummage through your bag. This is why it is a good idea for you to look for under seat luggage that has plenty of compartments or pockets. This way, you will be able to carefully separate all of your belongings and have easy access to them, when you need it.

Of course, you should avoid pockets or compartments that protrude too much in the front. These can take up unnecessary amounts of space and make the bag seem bigger than it actually is. You will then face a struggle getting the bag under your seat.

Consider Expandable Features

Now, it is quite unlikely that you will only use the luggage that you are purchasing for under seat travel purposes alone. This is why you may also want to think about a bag that has expandable features. This way, when you need it the bag can double in size. You will then be able to fit lots more items in there than before. This can be useful for anyone who wants to go exploring once they have reached their destination and need an appropriately sized bag for this purpose.

What You Should Know About Traveling with Under Seat Luggage

First, remember that you check with the airline that you are traveling on to determine appropriate dimensions and weight. These rules can actually change so it is always good to stay updated. This way, you will be able to prevent your bag from being placed in the overhead compartment.

Typically, you will find it easier to have under seat luggage if you are sitting in the middle seat. Here, you have a lot more room on either side so even if your bag is a bit longer than regulation, you will not face any issues. Also, you are unlikely to trip anyone up, if your bag is under this seat.

Having your bag so close to you may give you a false sense of security. However, you have to keep in mind that you will not be able to see your bag for most of the flight. So, you should either avoid keeping expensive or important items here or get a lock. By doing this, you can rest easy knowing that all of your belongings are safe.

These are all of the tips that will make your search for the best under seat luggage an easy task to manage. As long as you keep these pointers in mind, you will be just fine.

Top 10 Best Under Seat Luggage

1 – Nicole Miller Kristina

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Nicole Miller Kristina:

Reviewers like these things about the Nicole Miller Kristina

  • Most users said that the telescoping handle is easy to pull.
  • Some users said that the pack is lightweight.
  • Most reviewers said that it has well-constructed wheels.
  • Many users praised the fact that the pack has an expandable zipper.
  • Some other reviewers said that they like the mesh pocket inside.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that its skinny enough to fit under the seat.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said they loved the fabric and texture.
  • They mentioned that the pack comes with Gartered pocket for storing shoes.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the wheels broke after first use.
  • Some users complained that it’s too heavy.
  • Another user said that the zipper split after few uses.

2 – Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 20

Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 20-inch Carry-on Spinner, Gray
  • ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT-Dreamfel is 30% lighter than polyester and 20% lighter than nylon. Combined with a lightweight frame and large packing capacity, you can pack more without feeling weighed down. BUILT TO LAST-The overall fabrication and construction of this collection is extremely durable, resisting abrasion and tearing, while also protecting your belongings from the stresses of travel. OVERWEIGHT INDICATOR-Our innovative top handle weight indicator lets you know when you've exceeded 50 pounds.
  • REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT-Approved by the FDA and OEKO-TEX standards, very little waste material is created during production, saving water and energy by solution dyeing the fabric pre-weaving. EXPANDABLE PACKING VOLUME-The case expands with the pull of a zipper for added packing capacity. EFFORTLESS MOBILITY-Custom 360 Degree double wheel system smoothly glides in any direction, enhancing stability and minimizing effort.
  • COMFORTABLE HANDLING-Padded side and top carry grips promote easy lifting and optimal handling. EASY ACCESS TO TRAVEL ESSENTIALS-Multiple exterior zippered pockets make personal items and documents handy.
  • FLEXIBLE SECURITY-Adjustable tie-down panels keep personal belongings in place. SIMPLE SEPARATION-Separate small belongings from other packed items with a removable pouch.
  • 8x14x20

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay 20

  • Most Users said that the pack is lightweight and has tons of space.
  • Many other users said that it is a nice suitcase, holds up well to travel.
  • They said that the wheels work great.
  • Some other users said that there are ample pockets inside that are easy to access.
  • They also said that it has the option to unzip the front and pull up to make more space.
  • Travelers said that it rolls on four wheels so you can just roll it flat and it stays with you.
  • Some other travelers said that they were able to pack their scuba gear and clothes for a week’s scuba trip in it and have space left over.
  • Most reviewers said that it is lightweight and also helps with luggage weight restrictions imposed by the airlines.
  • Most buyers said that the spinner wheels make moving the suitcase very easy.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the zipper to access the main compartment is a little stiff.
  • One user complained that the main zipper gets hung in the corners.

3 – Travelpro Maxlite 4 Carry-on

Travelpro Maxlite 4 International Carry-On Spinner Suitcase, Black
  • 4-wheel spinners rotate 360° providing superior maneuverability
  • Telescoping airline-grade aluminum handle system with stops at 38" and extra-tall 42.5" to ensure a comfortable roll at a customized height
  • Patented contour grip for more comfort
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Polyester fabric with water and stain resistant coating

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Travelpro Maxlite 4 Carry-on:

Reviewers like these things about the Travelpro Maxlite 4 Carry-on

  • According to constant users, the Travelpro Maxlite is fully functional.
  • They indicated that its telescoping handle adds length and strength.
  • Other users found that it has a zippered closure to keep gears and other things secured.
  • Reviewers found that its ball-bearing in-line wheels offer high performance.
  • They further explained that the bag has fully line interior.
  • Testers mentioned the presence of low-profile top and side carry handles along with bottom handle cup.
  • Reviewers said that it has protective crash-guard wheel housing to protect the wheels from being damaged.
  • Other reviewers pointed out that its polyester fabric has water and stain resistant coating.
  • Users stated that its frame system offers lightweight durability.
  • Testers explained that its ergonomic zipper pulls ensure a smooth and consistent opening or closing.
  • Reviewers said that the bag would work best when traveling.
  • They further mentioned that the main compartment is large enough for a week-long vacation, or more.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer indicated that the wheels do not rotate 360 degrees.
  • Another reviewer said that it does not have any organizing pockets.

4 – Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2

Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Softside 21 Inch Spinner, Black, One Size
  • Four multi directional split spherical spinner wheels for easy mobility. Rolls upright so there is no weight on your arm or shoulder
  • Textured TPR coated, gel-infused, push-button locking handle provides a comfortable grip
  • SamGuard protection rugged tri-core nylon fabric features a water resistant coating
  • Stands up to the rigors of frequent business travel
  • Rubberized, textured corner protectors guard against wear and tear at critical contact points

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2:

Reviewers like these things about the Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2

  • A lot of users thought that its compression straps keep clothing neatly packed while traveling.
  • Many of those who have tried the bag said that it is durable.
  • Users lauded the presence of a lightweight hanging organizer that is engineered to minimize wrinkles in their business or casual attire.
  • They also mentioned that it has a Tru-Trac wheel system that features a V-shaped camber instructed design for a straight roll every time.
  • Several reviewers observed that the pull handle has multiple height adjustments that make it easy to custom fit the bag to most body types.
  • Other users noted that it is made of rugged tri-core nylon fabric which features SamGuard water-resistant coating.
  • Reviewers have found that the size of the bag is perfect to carry all the things needed.
  • Testers found that the bag extends down between the wheels, giving them a little extra room for essentials.
  • Many testers said that it has a good arrangement of zippered pockets.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user remarked that it is too big for many airline carry-on size limitations.
  • Another user thought that the expansion feature does not work well.
  • A reviewer noted that the bag is a little stiff.

5 – Samsonite Mightlight 2 21

Samsonite Mightlight 2 Softside Spinner 21
  • Four multi-directional spherical spinner wheels for easy mobility
  • Constructed of ultra lightweight nylon fabric with samguard water-resistant coating for strength and durability
  • Integrated carry-handles provide comfort when lifting a fully packed case
  • Ultra lightweight beveled alloy pull handle
  • Body Dimensions: 21.0" x 15.0" x 8.3", Overall Dimensions: 23.0" x 15.0" x 9.0", Weight: 6.0 lbs.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Samsonite Mightlight 2 21:

Reviewers like these things about the Samsonite Mightlight 2 21

  • Several users noted that the Samsonite Mightlight bag has four multi-directional spherical spinner wheels for easy mobility.
  • A reviewer thought that the bag was constructed of ultra lightweight nylon fabric with samguard water-resistant coating.
  • A lot of users praised the durability of the bag brought about by its fabric and its construction.
  • Testers mentioned that the carry-handles provide comfort when lifting a fully packed case.
  • Users praised the handle of the bag, making it easy to carry it when necessary.
  • Testers pointed out that the materials used are of good quality.
  • Various users also noted that the bag is very simple yet functional.
  • Other users noted that it is comfortable to wear, especially on the back.
  • Several reviewers have pointed out that it has sturdy zippers.
  • They also mentioned that the design is attractive and striking.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer noted that the wheels make loud noises.
  • Another user said that the bag is not light as described.

6 – Delsey Quilted

Delsey Quilted Rolling UnderSeat Tote (Black)
  • Fits in most airline overhead compartments and under the seat.
  • Stylish quilted exterior with colorful internal lining.
  • Roomy main compartment holds clothing & an extra pair of shoes.
  • Plenty of interior pockets for small items including toiletries.
  • Easy access front organizer for tickets, passport, books and more.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Delsey Quilted:

Reviewers like these things about the Delsey Quilted

  • Most users said that this bag is perfect for flight.
  • Many users said that it really fits under the seat.
  • Travelers said that you can easily fit a few days worth in this bag.
  • Reviewers of the pack said that the handle works easy.
  • Many reviewers said that it has a nice shoulder strap that is padded.
  • Most buyers mentioned that there are many wonderful and highly accessible pockets and organizing features.
  • They also liked the fact that the pull out handle extends and retracts well.
  • Some users said that they could keep their laptop, notes and all their materials for meetings organized in it.
  • Most travelers said that the pockets were thoughtfully placed and designed for travelers.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that after couple days traveling there were rips and tears in the bag.
  • One user complained that the handle constantly got stuck and would only stay in highest position.
  • Another user complained that it did not fit under aisle seat in one of my flights.

7 – Delsey Helium Aero

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero, Carry On Luggage, Hard Case Spinner Suitcase, Red
  • 100% polycarbonate with glossy finish which makes the case extremely lightweight
  • Four twin spinner wheels assuring multi-directional rolling and optional stability with zero weight on your hand
  • Recessed "one-button" locking handle system with industrial grade aluminum tubes and molded ergonomic comfort grip handle
  • The size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage vary by airline. Please contact your airline for more information. If your bag is overstuffed, it may not be approved for carry-on use by the airlines.
  • Integrated 3-dial tsa-accepted combination lock

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Delsey Helium Aero:

Reviewers like these things about the Delsey Helium Aero

  • Reviewers found out that the Delsey Helium trolley is made up of a hundred percent polycarbonate.
  • They further mentioned that its material keeps the bag from cracking or breaking.
  • Users thought that it is comfortable to wear.
  • Reviewers felt that its main compartment is roomy enough to store essential equipment.
  • Testers thought that its double spinner wheels assure maneuverability.
  • Other users found that its spinner wheels keep zero weight on the arm.
  • Many reviewers said that its comfortable handle system is able to lock into two positions.
  • According to some reviewers, the suitcase is easy to use.
  • Testers thought that it is lightweight.
  • Other users also noted that the pack is versatile and efficient.
  • Many users pointed out that the suitcase can expand up to two inches for additional packing space.
  • They also said that its colors are attractive and chic-looking.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the material of the pack is a little too flimsy.
  • Another reviewer found that it is a little clumsy to open and close the bag.

8 – Nicole Miller Jardin

Nicole Miller New York Jardin 20" Expandable Spinner
  • Nicole Miller 20" spinner
  • 360º spinner wheels
  • Telescoping pushbutton handles
  • Luxurious tweed prints
  • Fully lined interiors

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Nicole Miller Jardin:

Reviewers like these things about the Nicole Miller Jardin

  • Most reviewers said that it is sturdy, stylish and it did fit under the seat perfectly.
  • Many users said that it fits all their items with a few empty pockets and room to spare.
  • Many other users said that it has several zippered compartments on the exterior where your quart bag of toiletries will fit.
  • Users said that if you are traveling with a large laptop it will fit in the main compartment but also easily removed to go through airport security.
  • They also said that it does fit under the seat of even a smaller plane.
  • Many travelers said that this is so convenient and they can put so many items in it.
  • Some other users said that this bag is perfect and keeps everything organized.
  • Buyers said that it is so easy to roll it or pick it up and carry it.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the faux leather on the straps of the handle looks cheap and probably won’t last.
  • Another user said that the luggage zipper broke when I packed it for my trip.
  • Another user complained that the handle shape is awkward to hold and is flimsy.

9 – American Tourister iLite Max

American Tourister Ilite Max Softside Spinner 21, Black
  • Four, multi-directional air low spinner wheels for easy mobility. Rolls upright so there is no weight on your arm or shoulder
  • 600dx600d poly/nylon fabric
  • Lightweight, beveled push-button locking handle. Nylon is a high strength, durable material with excellent wear properties
  • Top carry handles are integrated right into the case. If the bag is overstuffed, it may not be accepted by the airlines
  • Interior Dimensions: 21.0 inches x 14.5 inches x 8.0 inches

Here’s what the reviewers think about the American Tourister iLite Max:

Reviewers like these things about the American Tourister iLite Max

  • Easy to carry and pull along, durable fabric, well organized and numerous storage pockets are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Others particularly liked the plastic lined storage pouch for cosmetics or a wet bathing suit.
  • Many liked how the numerous storage pockets allow them to keep things organized and easily accessible.
  • Others are so happy to find the interior space surprisingly huge.
  • Some users appreciate how the two zippers at the top makes it easy to reach into without opening up the whole case.
  • Many reviewers like the adjustable handle that extends to an adequate height for walking and pulling.
  • A lot of owners thought its bright color makes it really easy to spot.
  • Many reviewers love the presence of compartment for damp or wet clothes.
  • Some owners find the fabric very durable while keeping the suitcase light and easily maneuverable.
  • Many users agree that the American Tourister iLite
    made their traveling much more comfortable.
  • A lot of reviewers who’ve used the bag for a while noted how the wheels roll smoothly and the zippers appear to be good quality.
  • Many reviewers who chose the bag said that it’s sturdy, strong, functional, easy to carry and holds tons of stuff.
  • A lot of users find it the perfect bag for cruise, domestic and international trips.
  • Others love the presence of elastic straps that secure their items from shifting around.
  • A lot of users agree that this luggage exceeded their expectations and is worth every penny.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users find the handle a little wobbly.
  • Others thought the zippers and wheels are stiff.

10 – Eagle Creek Expanse

Eagle Creek Expanse International Carry-on Luggage, Black
  • Bi-Tech Armor Lite for maximum abrasion resistance in high wear areas and #10 lockable, self-repairing zippers secure main compartments
  • Padded tablet sleeve in front padded compartment for easy access, along with Expansion zipper for more capacity
  • Heavy-duty wheel housing with treaded wheels for multi-terrain maneuverability
  • External lash points for gear attachment or securing bag to roof top.Weight: 5 lbs 11 oz | 2.59 kg ; Dimensions:8x13.75x21.5 ; Material: 420D Two-Tone Poly, 300D Diamond Ripstop Poly, 500D Oxford Poly
  • Capacity:33.5 L

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Eagle Creek Expanse:

Reviewers like these things about the Eagle Creek Expanse

  • Most users said that it is strong and durable.
  • Users also said that it is lightweight and softer.
  • One great feature mentioned by many users is its good locking zipper mechanism.
  • Several users said that extra fabric handles on the bag are very helpful.
  • Most reviewers agreed that it fits plenty of clothes along with shoes.
  • Some other reviewers said that it has a nice sleeve for laptop and tablet.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that they love its exterior pocket with lots of interior space.
  • Many users praised the fact that the pack has no signs of breakage or wear after several uses.
  • They’ve also mentioned that the pack comes with extra front pockets.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the structure of outside pocket makes it look stuffed.
  • One or two of the users complained that the price is a bit high.
  • One user complained that the wheels are too small.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

Last update on 2018-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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