If you don’t enjoy checking in baggage, or you’re dubious about how the airline might handle your belongings, a wheeled underseat suitcase will help you maximize the packing potential of your carry-on allowance. These types of bags are also packed with nifty features, and since they’ll be stowed right in front of you, you’ll have convenient access to items that will make a long journey far more comfortable.
There are many wheeled underseat suitcases on the market, and some are more durable than others. Aside from this, it’s also important to consider other aspects of any luggage you’re interested in, such as its maneuverability, design, and dimensions. We’ve taken a look at these properties and more to rate some of the best options in this baggage category.
Top-Rated Wheeled Underseat Suitcases
- Best overall wheeled underseat suitcase: London Fog Newcastle 15-inch Underseater
- Best design: Lily Bloom Designer 15-inch Under Seat Bag
- Most affordable: TPRC 15-inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On
- Most durable: Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
- Most spacious: Delsey Paris Sky Max 2.0 15-inch Under-Seater
- Best interior design: Olympia U.S.A. Lansing Under The Seat Carry-on
- Best for business use: Verage 14-inch Compact Underseat Luggage
- Most luxurious: Steve Madden Under Seat Bag
- Most lightweight: Rockland Melrose Upright 16-inch Underseater
- Best warranty: Briggs & Riley Rhapsody 16-inch Underseat Carry On
London Fog Newcastle
Lily Bloom Designer
Samsonite Underseat Spinner
Delsey Paris Sky Max 2.0
Olympia U.S.A. Lansing
Steve Madden Underseater
Rockland Melrose Upright
Briggs & Riley Rhapsody
Tips on Buying a Wheeled Underseat Suitcase
Things to Look out for Before Buying a Wheeled Underseat Suitcase
- Utility: Aside from the additional packing space they provide, underseat suitcases have the added benefit of being easy to reach during your journey. Because of this, it would be wise to choose a suitcase that offers optimal compartmentalization of your belongings so you don’t cause too much of a disturbance to the people around you. An underseat suitcase with pockets on the sides and front will allow you to store snacks, cables, make-up, water bottles, or anything else you may want to access at a moment’s notice. Some of these bags are even kitted with USB ports so you can charge more than just one device during your flight.
- Wheel Type: With softside underseat suitcases, you can choose between spinner wheels and inline skate wheels. Although spinners have become more commonplace in recent times, they tend to break more easily – however, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern since you won’t be checking this bag in. Spinner wheels offer excellent mobility as they move in every direction with ease. On the other hand, inline wheels are sturdier and more capable of rolling over rough and uneven surfaces. In most instances, underseat suitcases can be placed on top of your larger luggage, so you’ll only need to worry about rolling your bag on its own after these have been checked in.
- Materials: The vast majority of underseat suitcases are made from fabric, which is great as softside luggage is more lightweight and malleable than bags with hard outer shells. You’ll find that most options in this category are made from polyester since it’s fairly durable and low-cost to manufacture – making these pieces the most affordable on the market. Some high-end suitcases are manufactured from nylon or ballistic nylon, and although they come with a higher price tag, they are long-lasting and resistant to abrasion, which means your luggage will look good for years to come.
- Weight: Airlines rarely pose weight restrictions specifically on underseat bags, however, there is usually a limit on the total weight of your carry-on luggage, and these restrictions are often most stringent on European airlines. If you’re someone who prefers not to worry about the number on the scale while you’re packing, opting for a more lightweight suitcase is the way to go. This will also prove helpful when you need to carry the bag up the stairs or move it in spaces it cannot be wheeled. Bags made from polyester and nylon are usually the best choices in this regard, and they are usually more affordable too.
- Warranty: If you’re usually quite careful while maneuvering your suitcase, warranties may not be your top priority, especially since underseat luggage isn’t handled by the airline staff. Most suitcases that aren’t outrageously priced only come with a limited warranty; these cover you for manufacturing defects for a certain period after you’ve purchased the bag, however, they aren’t very easy to claim from as you’ll need to pay the courier fees to have your bag assessed. If you travel relatively often, a high-end suitcase with an unlimited lifetime warranty may be a worthwhile investment.
- Moveability: Your underseat suitcase will be by your side for the entire duration of your trip, so it’s important to ensure that it isn’t going to cause unnecessary strain on your wrists when you need to lift it every now and then. Look for suitcases that are fitted with ergonomically designed handles, and make certain that the components these are made from aren’t too flimsy. It would also be wise to avoid suitcases that are prone to tipping over when left standing on their own, as this can quickly become a point of frustration as you go through the boarding process at the airport.
Understanding What Size Wheeled Underseat Suitcase You Should Get
When looking for an underseat suitcase (other called personal item) that will best meet your travel needs, it’s important to evaluate your regular travel patterns. Size restrictions differ from airline to airline, and generally, airlines in the US tend to be a bit more lenient than those in Europe or Asia. This is largely due to the difference in the size of the planes.
If your travel is usually limited to the borders of the United States, you don’t need to stress too much about the dimensions of the suitcase you choose. However, if you enjoy international travel, it would be more advisable to opt for the smallest underseat bag you can find. In the worst-case scenario, you can store your bag in the overhead compartment of the plane if it doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you, but you may encounter some difficulty if the flight is full and there is very little space available.
We’ve found that the most common size restriction for underseat luggage is 16 x 12 x 6 inches (40 x 30 x 15 cm), so try to get a bag that’s under this limit.
Best Wheeled Underseat Suitcases in 2022 Compared
1. Best Overall Wheeled Underseat Suitcase: London Fog Newcastle 15-inch Underseater
|- 15 x 8 x 13 in (38.1 x 20.3 x 33 cm)|
|- 6 lbs (2.7 kg)|
|- Woven herringbone|
|- Editors rating: 4.8|
The London Fog Newcastle is, quite frankly, a masterpiece. The bag is versatile, simple, yet classy, and built for long-term use. It measures 15 x 8 x 13 inches (38.1 x 20.3 x 33 cm) and weighs 6 lbs (2.7 kg) when empty, which means that it can fit under the seats of most planes. Whether you select the black white, rose charcoal, or slate bronze design, the woven herringbone fabric offers a timeless elegance that will give any trip a more luxurious feel.
It’s clear that London Fog has carefully curated every element of the Newcastle Underseater, as each component is thoughtfully designed to provide durability. The suitcase is fitted with two inline skate wheels that are made from polyurethane – a substance that ensures a smooth rolling experience. The stability bar at the bottom of the bag is solid and well-placed, and there have been no complaints from customers of the bag tipping over when it isn’t being held by its handles.
You also won’t need to worry about the long retractable handle breaking or becoming damaged since it has been designed with channels for added support. Most notably, the carry handles on this bag are far more sturdy than those being offered by the brand’s competitors, and since they can be fastened together with a comfortable velcro strap, you’ll easily be able to lift the suitcase when you need to.
Most customers who’ve purchased this suitcase have marveled over its interior design and packing capacity. Organizing your items is a breeze, as there are three pockets on the exterior, and the inside offers two waterproof compartments, a mesh bag, as well as a large section for clothing and shoes. There is even a segment designed to store a tablet, however, some people have managed to fit 13-inch laptops in the space too. It should be noted though, that if you’re flying with an airline that has stringent size restrictions, it would be advisable not to overpack the pockets, as you may find yourself in a sticky situation.
Although the suitcase has received mainly overwhelmingly positive reviews, the zippers are one element of this bag that has been said to be problematic for some. If the zippers on your bag appear to be defective as a result of poor workmanship, it would be wise to contact customer support at London Fog and make use of the 10-year limited warranty the manufacturers have extended. Ensure that you are gentle when handling the zippers, though, as you are not likely to have luck with your claim if the damage is deemed to be accidental or as a result of wear and tear.
Perhaps the best thing about this suitcase is that it can be used for far more than just airplane travel. Because of its chic appearance, the bag fits in well in most personal and professional settings. This means you can use it to ease your daily commute to and from the office or pack essentials for an overnight stay. Overall, the Newcastle Underseater is a great choice if you are looking to invest in a sophisticated bag that offers both flexibility and utility.
2. Most Vibrantly Designed Underseat Suitcase: Lily Bloom Designer 15-inch Under Seat Bag
|- 15 x 9 x 14 in (38.1 x 22.9 x 35.6 cm)|
|- 4 lbs (1.8 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.3|
If you’re a lover of all things colorful, the Lily Bloom Under Seat Bag is a great fit for your travel needs. This model is available in 13 prints, stripes, and patterns to tickle any fancy. In fact, some options even incorporate adorable motifs of elephants, birds, and cats, adding an extra element of fun to your trip. The bright and vibrant designs also make this bag an excellent choice for kids.
The suitcase is incredibly lightweight at only 4lbs (1.8 kg), yet spacious, measuring 15 x 9 x 14 inches (38.1 x 22.9 x 35.6 cm). And, with the number of pockets and compartments that have been included, you’ll be able to keep your things well-organized. The interior offers three plastic pouches that are ideal for toiletries or small items that you’d prefer to keep visible, as well as the main cavity for your larger items. You can use the three zippered segments on the exterior for quick access items during the plane ride, and utilize the small pocket on the front of the bag to keep your passport and plane ticket safe as you board.
When it comes to the durability of this bag, you shouldn’t experience any issues with the tough exterior fabric. Problems may arise, however, with components like the inner lining, carry handles, or zippers, as a handful of customers have complained about the quality of these. The manufacturer extends a limited 5-year warranty that covers repairs or replacement in the event of faults in workmanship, so it may be worthwhile enquiring with customer service if you find yourself in a similar situation.
Maneuvering this bag should be a pleasant experience, as it’s kitted with two skate wheels, which are known to be easy to roll behind you on any surface type. Furthermore, the telescoping retractable handle is ergonomically designed, which will relieve pressure on your wrists as you wheel your suitcase along. There have been mentions of the suitcase tipping over if the weight isn’t properly balanced, so be sure not to overpack the front pockets of your suitcase. This will also prove helpful in ensuring that getting the bag under the seat on your plane isn’t too much of a squeeze.
Overall, if you enjoy standing out from the crowd and you’re looking for a suitcase that’s both aesthetically pleasing and optimal for packing, the Lily Bloom Designer Under Seat Bag is perfect for you.
3. Most Affordable Underseat Suitcase: TPRC 15-inch Smart Under Seat Carry-On
|- 14 x 8.5 x 15 in (35.6 x 21.6 x 38.1 cm)|
|- 6 lbs (2.7 kg)|
|- 1680 Dernier Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.5|
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the TPRC 15-inch from Travelers Club’s Rafael Collection is undoubtedly the bag for you. This suitcase exceeds expectations as it doesn’t compromise quality in order to cut costs. Instead, the manufacturers have made use of some of the finest materials and components out there – giving you enormous value for money.
What’s most impressive about the TPRC Under Seat Carry-On is that it is manufactured from 1680 Dernier polyester. A high Dernier count is an indication of thick fabric threads which provide your luggage with longevity, protection from abrasion, and a decent level of water resistance. Suitcases of this quality are usually more expensive, so it’s surprising that this bag comes with such a low price tag.
The bag measures 14 x 8.5 x 15 inches (35.6 x 21.6 x 38.1 cm), and most customers have remarked on how much they were able to pack in. It was able to sustain one customer for an entire week on an international trip, and another was able to fit in nine outfits and two pairs of shoes. That doesn’t mean you’ll be in a fix once you get on the plane, though, as the suitcase was able to fit under the seat of an Allegiant Airlines aircraft – an airline that’s well-known to have stringent size restrictions in place.
The TPRC is a great companion if you enjoy utility too, as it’s kitted with a USB-charging port, making it easy to stay connected if you can’t access an outlet at the airport or if your battery is low while in transit. Though, bear in mind that you will need to supply your own power bank. The bag also has a number of nifty compartments, including a side pocket that is open at the top to give you quick access to important items like your plane ticket or passport.
The inline skate wheels that have been fitted should be able to withstand most surfaces, however, some travelers have complained that they become noisy and worn if the bag is used regularly. If you’re someone who travels only a handful of times a year, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, but for those who fly frequently or work in air travel, the bag may not be the ideal choice.
Overall, if you’re uncertain about whether an underseat suitcase meets your travel needs and you’re looking to take one for a spin without spending too much, this model is the perfect fit.
4. Most Durable Underseat Suitcase: Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
|- 16.5 x 13.75 x 9 in (41.9 x 34.9 x 22.9 cm)|
|- 7 lbs (3.2 kg)|
|- 1680 Dernier Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
Samsonite is the brand that most people turn to when they are looking for high-quality suitcases that will last a long time. Its Underseat Carry-On is no different, and while it isn’t the cheapest suitcase out there, it’s still decently priced considering its value. The bag is available in three rich shades that will outlast any current luggage trends, so you won’t need to worry about your luggage becoming old-fashioned after a few years.
One of the main reasons this suitcase ranks so high on this list is the caliber of its wheels. Although spinner wheels are generally known to be less durable than inline wheels, Samsonite has used the finest materials and engineering that lengthen the lifespan of these. If you do receive a bag with a defective wheel upon purchase, you’ll have the option of claiming from the manufacturer’s limited three-year warranty. Spinner wheels offer the most smooth and pleasant rolling experience, as they move in every direction, allowing you to keep your bag alongside you as you walk.
The brand has placed a strong emphasis on functionality with this suitcase, one example of which is the USB-charging port available to help you keep your devices on. The partitions have also been thoughtfully designed, with the front pocket on the exterior including zippered mesh and large slip pockets, four credit card slots, and two pen holders. The interior is equally helpful for compartmentalization, as you’ll be able to make use of three mesh pouches, the large cavity, as well as pockets for a laptop and a tablet.
The suitcase measures 16.5 x 13.75 x 9 inches (41.9 x 34.9 x 22.9 cm), and offers packing space of 15 x 13 x 8 inches (38.1 x 33 x 20.3 cm). Because it’s a four-wheeled suitcase, it isn’t the most lightweight out there, weighing 7 lbs (3.2 kg). The good news, however, is that it’s been reported to fit under the seats of the planes used by most major airlines, especially those in the United States.
If you need to carry the bag at any point during your trip, you’ll enjoy the feel of the two high-quality handles that can be fastened together when needed. You can also use the sleeve on the back of your suitcase to attach it to a larger checked piece if you have one or make use of the ergonomically-designed telescoping handle while rolling the bag.
Overall, if you’re looking for something sturdy with a luxurious feel that won’t break the bank, this underseat carry-on is the ideal choice for you.
5. Most Spacious Underseat Suitcase: Delsey Paris Sky Max 2.0 15-inch Under-Seater
|- 21.5 x 14.75 x 11.25 in (54.6 x 37.5 x 28.6 cm)|
|- 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)|
|- Micro Ballistic Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.0|
This underseater from the Delsey Paris Sky Max collection is designed quite differently from the other suitcases on this list, and as such, it offers an incredible amount of packing space. Some customers claimed that they were able to fit up to a week’s worth of clothes in it, which is truly an amazing feat for a bag that fits under the airplane seats of most major airlines. You’ll benefit from case dimensions of 20.75 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches (52.7 x 34.3 x 24.1 cm) and overall dimensions (including wheels and handles) of 21.5 x 14.75 x 11.25 inches (54.6 x 37.5 x 28.6 cm).
You’ll enjoy amazing compartmentalization with this bag, with a total of nine partitions to help you organize your items. These include waterproof pockets, a water bottle holder, and a front segment that has an organizer and a built-in sleeve for your tablet. The bag is also extraordinarily lightweight at only 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg) when empty, so you can take advantage of the extra pounds at your disposal if need be.
The suitcase is fitted with inline skate wheels, a retractable handle that sits in a pouch that zips closed, and a sleeve that can be used to attach the bag to a checked piece if you are traveling with one. There have been a handful of complaints about the quality of components like the zippers and handles, but since you won’t be handing this bag over to airline staff for check-in, it will be up to you to treat these with a good level of care. If you don’t overpack the bag, you’ll avoid placing undue pressure on the zippers and inner lining and preserve them for far longer. This will also help you prevent the bag from tipping over because of a weight imbalance.
Overall, if you’re someone who enjoys packing in a few extra outfits just in case, this bag will offer you the space to do so without compromising your ability to fit it under the seat on your flight.
6. Best Interior Design: Olympia U.S.A. Lansing Under The Seat Carry-on
|- 8 x 14 x 15 in (20.3 x 35.6 x 38.1 cm)|
|- 3.65 lbs (1.7 kg)|
|- 420 Dernier rip-stop nylon|
|- Editors rating: 3.8|
The Olympia U.S.A. Lansing is an excellent choice if you don’t want to spend too much on a personal item. The bag offers a good amount of space and utility, but it would be wise to check the restrictions of the airline you’re flying on before you take it with you. Measuring 8 x 14 x 15 inches (20.3 x 35.6 x 38.1 cm), the suitcase has been noted to be problematic if you’re flying on a budget airline like Spirit. However, you may be in luck if you’re in a center seat, as these are known to offer a bit more space under the seat in front of you.
Aside from this issue, the Lansing offers great packing capacity. In fact, you should be able to fit up to a week’s worth of clothing in it. You’ll have plenty of space for your laptop, chargers, toiletries, and even hair straighteners if you make use of all the pockets and compartments as efficiently as possible. And, because it’s made from nylon, the most lightweight of all softside materials, the bag weighs only 3.65 lbs (1.7 kg) when empty, so weight restrictions will be the least of your worries.
Because this bag is fitted with inline wheels and a stability bar rather than spinner wheels, it’s important to ensure that you evenly balance out the weight in your bag when packing. Otherwise, maneuvering this suitcase will be effortless, as the handles and straps are sturdy and comfortable. The high Dernier count also indicates that the fabric is of good quality, which means that the suitcase has the potential to last you a long time with the right care.
Overall, if you need a suitcase that will offer excellent organization of your items at a really low price, the Olympia U.S.A. Lansing is your best bet.
7. Best Underseat Suitcase for Business Use: Verage 14-inch Compact Underseat Luggage
|- 17 x 13 x 7.5 in (43.2 x 33 x 19.1 cm)|
|- 4.5 lbs (2 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
If you’re looking for a suitcase that boasts understated elegance, or if you’re simply someone who prefers luggage with muted tones, the Verage 14-inch Compact Underseat Luggage may catch your eye. This bag scores high in almost every category, however, it ranks quite low on this list because of its size. The suitcase measures 17 x 13 x 7.5 inches (43.2 x 33 x 19.1 cm) and weighs 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Fortunately, you’ll be able to view a list of all the airlines whose requirements fit before making your purchase, which will help ensure that you aren’t left disappointed.
This model from Verage is incredibly well-designed, incorporating four double-spinner wheels that offer a silent and smooth rolling experience. Packing is also a dream, as the bag offers a separate zippable compartment with sections for your various electronics. When you open the main bin of the bag, you’ll find ample room for your belongings, convenient pouches for items you want to keep apart, and even a compression strap to hold your clothing in place. The included USB-charging port is bound to add value to your trip too.
What’s most impressive is the quality and durability of this bag. The suitcase is made from a water and scratch-resistant form of polyester that goes a long way in preserving its aesthetic value. Verage has extended a 3-year limited warranty as well as a lifetime repair service, however, you’re not likely to need it as most customers have reported that this bag has stood the test of time – even with daily use.
Overall, if you’re looking for a bag that has all the bells and whistles and you’re not too fussed about its size, this is the ideal choice for your travel needs.
8. Most Luxurious Underseat Suitcase: Steve Madden Under Seat Bag
|- 15 x 9 x 14 in (38.1 x 22.9 x 35.6 cm)|
|- 5 lbs (2.3 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.0|
If you’re fashion-forward, you won’t go wrong with Steve Madden, and the brand’s underseat bag is no different. All seven models in this range offer a luxurious design that will no doubt leave you the object of everyone’s envy as you wheel it through the airport. The bag is garnished with ornate embellishments and trims in colors that complement each other very well. To add to the opulence, all the metal elements of the bag are a classic gold that oozes elegance.
Measuring 15 x 9 x 14 inches (38.1 x 22.9 x 35.6 cm), the bag is pretty spacious, however, this may mean that it doesn’t meet the size limits of every airline – so be sure to double-check your flight’s restrictions. You’ll undoubtedly be able to get in a few days’ worth of clothes, and you can rest assured that spillage from your toiletries won’t damage any of your clothes, as the bag is fitted with a number of waterproof pockets for added convenience.
Although this bag features inline wheels, they are built-in with a supported base, so you’re not likely to encounter a tipping problem. In fact, the maneuverability of this bag is a pleasure as the handles have been ergonomically designed for comfort. Because of its lightweight design, lifting the suitcase when necessary also won’t give you much trouble.
Overall, if you’re looking for a suitcase that offers a great number of features and will have you standing out from the crowd, this underseat suitcase from Steve Madden is the way to go.
9. Most Lightweight Underseat Suitcase: Rockland Melrose Upright 16-inch Underseater
|- 14 x 8 x 16 in (35.6 x 20.3 x 40.6 cm)|
|- 3.99 lbs (1.8 kg)|
|- Quilted polyester|
|- Editors rating: 3.5|
If you’re looking for a bag that’s unbelievably lightweight with a few nifty features, this may be the right choice for you. The Melrose underseater from Rockland weighs only 3.99 lbs (1.8 kg), which isn’t surprising as the bag is relatively compact at 14 x 8 x 16 inches (35.6 x 20.3 x 40.6 cm). Nevertheless, the soft outer fabric makes it easy to squeeze in as many items as you’d like while remaining malleable enough to fit under the airplane’s seats.
Rockland is known for incorporating bright color palettes and whacky motifs into its suitcases’ designs, and although this model doesn’t have as many options as some of the brand’s other suitcases on offer, you’ll still be able to choose from a decent number of cutesy patterns and vibrant colors.
Unfortunately, because of its low price point, the quality of the materials used by this brand is not much to write home about, which is why the Melrose underseater ranks quite low on this list. While you may not encounter too many issues with the tough fabric on the exterior, the zippers, inner linings, and other components may break if handled too roughly, so it would be wise to take a bit more care if you’d like to extend the lifespan of your suitcase.
Overall, if you need a cheap underseater that isn’t likely to give you any trouble meeting the airline personal item size restrictions, it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the Rockland Melbourne range.
10. Best Warranty: Briggs & Riley Rhapsody 16-inch Underseat Carry On
|- 8 x 14 x 15.5 in (20.3 x 35.6 x 39.4 cm)|
|- 5.94 lbs (2.7 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.6|
Briggs & Riley luggage may come with a hefty price tag, but with an unlimited lifetime warranty, the Rhapsody underseater is a worthy investment. It essentially covers any functional defect for a lifetime, free of charge. And, the brand offers excellent value for money, as using this suitcase is comparable to driving a luxury vehicle. Every element of this bag is thoughtfully-designed and made only from materials of the highest quality, offering comfort, style, and durability all in one.
Going the extra mile, the Rhapsody underseater offers a nifty compartment on the front of the exterior that provides segmented spaces for cards, passports, cellphones, or any other item you see fit. The lining is fitted with RFID shield technology that blocks the signal of the microchips on your cards, effectively preventing any unwanted fraudulent use. This means that you can carry all the essential items from your wallet without taking up any more space than necessary.
Moving this suitcase is a pleasure, as the double spinner wheels offer effortless 360-degree rotation and don’t require much elbow grease to be engaged. The handles on the bag are also made from genuine leather, giving you peace of mind that they won’t begin to tarnish after just a few uses. Furthermore, the aircraft-grade aluminum telescoping handle is fitted on the exterior of the bag, offering crease-free packing for your clothes.
Overall, if you can afford to buy this suitcase and it meets your size requirements, you won’t regret your purchase.