8 Versatile Backpacks That Are Free to Carry On

If you're confused on what you may bring on-board for free these days, you're not alone. More and more airlines are slimming their economy fare down to include nothing but transportation for you and an ambigious "personal item". Exact dimensions for a personal item will vary slightly by airline, but in general, it needs to be an item that will fit underneath the seat in front of you.

Small Backpacks That Fit Personal Item Dimensions

If you're able to pack super light, you can still get by on short trips with just a small backpack. Some minimalists may even be able to travel this way on extended trips. Here are some top picks for backpacks that will always be free to carry on-board.

Boarding Blue Personal Item Laptop Backpack

This bag is spacious and durable without the high price tag. It has many compartments to organize your belongings and weiging in at just 1 lb., it won't break your back either.

Amazon User Review: "I packed so much in it. It also does fit under all seats in a plane (I traveled United, American Airlines and Spirit)."

Price: Starting at $29.85 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 5

AOBMY Travel Duffel Bag

For those that like to work and play, this proffesional looking duffel can be used as a shoulder bag or a backpack. It can also slide on to your roll-a-board if you need to bring more with you, but you'll find enough space in this bag to pack for a weekend getaway.

Amazon User Review: "It's easy to take on and off, the bag is big enough."

Price: Starting at $17.27 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 5

Swiss Gear TSA Friendly ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

If the TSA checkpoint stresses you out, this quality pack from Swiss Gear may ease your pain. It unfolds flat allowing you to place your bag on the x-ray machine without removing your laptop. With multiple pockets, your belongings will be well organized for your entire trip.

Amazon User Review: "It has many cool hidden pockets, even one on the strap for sunglasses."

Price: Starting at $42.85 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Osprey Axis 18 Laptop Backpack

From one of the top rated brands, this Osprey pack is great for the trail and also includes a padded laptop sleeve for multiple uses. The bungee compression system allows you to easily store your jacket on the outside and the removable waist belt will keep the bag positioned correctly on your back.

Amazon User Review: "In short, a really good urban EDC (every day carry) pack. Can't go wrong with its light weight and typical Osprey build quality, and their bomb proof warranty."

Price: Starting at $55.98 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 5

JanSport Hatchet Backpack

A classic name in backpacks, JanSport has come out with a stylish pack that can be used for more than lugging school books to and from class. This spacious pack has many compartments inside and comes in many different color choices for you to match your favorite look.

Amazon User Review: "I use it for everything. Flight carry on, daily work use, day pack for hiking. It's comfy, sturdy, and seems high quality."

Price: Starting at $52.32 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

A sleek and well thought out pack from eBags. This bag comes with a lifetime warranty and separates your laptop into a fully padded, lockable compartment. It has a low profile design and all the compartments you could think of to keep your life organized. The pack can also easily convert to a briefcase allowing you to have a professional look by day with the option to comfortably carry on your back while sightseeing.

Amazon User Review: "It is good looking yet subtle, and you can tell that someone (or a group of people) really put effort in to thinking about how people would use the bag."

Price: Starting at $99.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Travelon Anit-Theft Heritage Backpack

A nice looking canvas bag that has a padded laptop sleeve and an RFID blocking compartment. The locking zippers are a nice feature to give you some peace of mind if you carry any valuables on your back. With a slash resistent body and shoulder strap, this pack has all the security you could ever find in a backpack.

Amazon User Review: "The locking clips give a sense of security. I use this for school and work every day, and I love the amount of space it has."

Price: Starting at $57.03 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4

P.KU.VDSL Vintage Canvas Leather Backpack

Another canvas backpack with an old-school vibe. This bag is suitable for multiple activites from hiking to strolling the city streets. It features high quality metal hardware and 100% cotton canvas along with genuine leather. Suitable for both men and women, this pack comes in a variety of colors to go with your choice of fashion.

Amazon User Review: "I was able to pack an entire summer 4 night trip to Disney in this bag with 2 Tank/1 shorts and sundress for each day."

Price: Starting at $32.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Header image above by weedezign via Shutterstock.

Product images via amazon.com

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