Flying Basic Economy is not anyone’s first choice, but the savings can sometimes be too good to pass up. While most legacy carriers include a full-size carry-on bag when traveling with a Basic Economy ticket, there’s one exception; United, along with several budget airlines, that require your carry-on bag to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
Carry-On Bags That Fit Underneath Your Seat
Have a look at these 10 top-rated under-seat carry-on bags that fit the free “personal item” dimensions of carriers like Allegiant, Frontier, Flair Air, Porter, Spirit, Sun Country, Swoop, and United. Whether you like to roll your bag onboard, schlep it over your shoulder, or carry on your back, there’s a bag for every type of traveler.
Size: 17.5 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches
This bag is packed with organization including a padded laptop or tablet sleeve, removable toiletry compartment, and quick-access external pockets. The interior is large enough to carry what you need for a quick weekend away or an extended trip as a minimalist. Think of it as your office on wheels.
Size: 18 x 11.8 x 6.5 inches
This sleek looking backpack is designed to keep you organized while fitting all of your belongings underneath an airline seat. This backpack is made with 840D ballistic nylon so it’s able to handle any travel conditions. And the RFID blocking pocket will keep your sensitive information safe. Best of all, the bag only weighs one pound so you’ll easily be able to keep the total weight under any limits that may be imposed by the airlines. There’s also a sling style backpack if you prefer.
Size: 16.5" x 13.75" x 9.0"
This compact carry-on from Samsonite not only fits beneath most airline seats but goes beyond to answer all your airport needs, from a built in USB charger for your devices to a convenient sleeve to secure it to your larger luggage. With multidirectional spinner wheels and an ergonomic lockable handle that can be extended and stowed as needed, you’ll whisk through the security checkpoint and easily board the plane without the need to search for overhead bin space.
Size: 11 x 18 x 8 inches
Another Travelpro favorite, the Maxlite 5 Underseat Tote Bag is a great option for travelers who prefer a duffel style carry-on rather than rolling luggage. The fabric is stain resistant and water repellent and the padded shoulder strap is removable, allowing you to customize the bag however you want.
Size: 17 x 14 x 8.25 inches
If you’re looking for a quirky design and smart organization, this fashionable bag from Olympia may be right for you. It has a spacious main compartment and a padded laptop casing. The front zipper pocket and side velcro pockets make it easy to grab any small items you want to access quickly. Choose from several different colors and styles.
Size: 14 x 15 x 8.5 inches
This convenient bag packs a lot of storage power into a small package. With open side pockets for easy access to things like phones and chargers, several exterior zipper pockets, and clear plastic interior pouches, your belongings will stay organized throughout the entire flight. This carry-on also comes with a side USB port to charge your devices on-the-go (power bank and cord not included).
Size: 15 x 12 x 7 inches
This backpack is packed with features like a shoulder strap safety light and an interior LED flashlight so you can easily find what you are looking for. It can also be converted into a tote bag in seconds, giving you the flexibility to have the look you want at any moment. Its roomy compartment has a padded computer sleeve and numerous pouches to keep everything organized. Connect a battery pack to the supplied cable and you’ll have an external USB charging port right on the bag itself.
Size: 20 x 11.5 x 8.25 inches
Shh…don’t tell anyone but the actual dimensions of this bag are slightly larger than what is allowed as a free “personal item” on most airlines. However, if you don’t pack this bag full to the brim, it will squeeze down to fit in any bag sizers and will always fit underneath the seat. If you’re looking for a high quality and good-looking leather bag, this handmade duffel from Rustic Town is the perfect choice.
Size: 15 X 9 X 14 inch
If you like to save money by flying on budget carriers such as Frontier or Spirit, this rolling underseat bag from Boarding Blue is a perfect choice. It easily fits the free “personal item” size dimensions of these airlines and also has a few outside pockets to keep your passport and boarding pass handy.
Size: 16 x 12 x 8 inches
You’ll look your best with this stylish canvas bag. It works great as a carry-on bag for travel and can also double as a beach bag or a gym bag. Some models also come with a separate shoe compartment and the lifetime warranty means that you can trust this is a quality bag.