One of the worst feelings when traveling is realizing there’s no overhead bin space. This is something that’s happening more for a few reasons. With the exception of Southwest Airlines and those of you with airline status, most American commercial airlines charge a minimum of $35 for the first checked bag. 

The way around the charge is a carry-on but even that’s not a guarantee as budget airlines, such as Spirit and Frontier, charge for a carry-on bag.

According to Bounce, U.S. airlines made more than $5 billion in baggage fees in 2021. That’s almost more than double the numbers in 2020 when U.S. airlines raked in $2.8 billion in 2020.  These numbers are down from the $5.8 billion they made in 2019.

It’s not just about the money, though, it’s the mistrust of airlines. Another reason people are choosing to carry their bags on the plane is that they’re afraid airlines may lose their bags.

Their fears are understandable. A report from the Department of Transportation shows U.S. airlines lost, damaged, or delayed more than 220,000 checked bags as of April 2022. That’s a more than 135% increase from 2021.

These few factors alone have created the perfect recipe for less overhead bin space since people want to keep their bags closer to them and avoid spending extra money.

With more people carrying their luggage on the plane, that means it’s becoming a gamble to secure overhead bin space. If you don’t have status with an airline or priority boarding to guarantee overhead bin space, having underseat luggage is how you’ll win.

Here are some of the best underseat luggage picks for your next trip.

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage
Photo Credit: Calpak
Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage

It doesn’t matter if you’re an overpacker or underpacker. The Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On is perfect for the times when you want to keep things light.

This uniquely small carry-on roller was designed to fit beneath most airline seats. It has a clean design, a TSA-accepted lock, and zippered interior divider with multiple pockets.

The Daily Carry-On with Pocket by Away

The Daily Carry-On with Pocket by Away
Photo Credit: Away
The Daily Carry-On with Pocket by Away

The Daily Carry-On suitcase includes everything you’d want in a rolling laptop bag plus the ability to put clothes and shoes inside. The exterior pocket is designed to stash the items most important to you when you travel, with a secure spot for boarding passes and a 13″ laptop sleeve. It also includes unique interior storage details like a removable three-compartment accordion.

It’s designed with a polycarbonate hard shell and 360° spinner wheels to ensure a smooth ride. Keep in mind that if you get this bag, you may need to place this bag in the overhead bin on your flight when its pocket is extended.

RELATED: Travelers Spent $8.6 Billion On Baggage & Cancellation Fees in 2019

Travelpro Crew™ VersaPack™ Rolling Underseat Carry-On

The Crew VersaPack from Travelpro is designed specifically to fit under the seats of most major domestic airlines. It’s a small piece of luggage that keeps you organized in a big way on the fly.

Pack it alone for an overnight trip or as a companion to other luggage and enjoy ample interior space, a removable hanging personal organizer with water-resistant compartments and organizational pockets. It’s designed with padded laptop/tablet sleeves for devices up to 14” and exterior side pockets that can fit essentials such as an umbrella or water bottle. There’s also a quick-access front pocket with a key leash and built-in organizers.

Bange Waterproof Smart Backpack With Charging Port

Backpacks can be just as powerful as a suitcase and they’re small enough to fit underneath the seat. Bange’s backpack is designed with waterproof material that’s great for water resistance and is also scratch-resistant.

There are six pockets, the main pocket can hold three outfits, a laptop compartment that can hold a 15.6″ laptop, and there’s also a power bank built in.

American Tourister Expandable Softside Luggage

This expandable soft side tote from American Tourister is the perfect carry-on solution, offering security and easy portability.

It’s an underseat luggage favorite because people use it to bypass Spirit Airline’s carry-on baggage fee. This fits directly under the seat while allowing you to pack a few nice items for a weekend getaway.

UNIQUEBELLA Carry-On Garment Duffel Bag

UNIQUEBELLA Carry-On Garment Duffel Bag
Photo Credit: Amazon
UNIQUEBELLA Carry-On Garment Duffel Bag

Here’s something you don’t see every day. A garment bag that turns into underseat luggage with a compartment for shoes.  You can open this garment bag and lay it out to keep your clothes clean and wrinkle-free.

After you assemble it, this garment duffel bag works perfectly as a 45L duffel bag, allowing you to maximize space.

The separate shoe pouch is what makes this bag even more convenient.

Vancropak Flight-Approved Travel Backpack

This travel backpack has an expandable design, giving you more storage to fit enough items for a weekend getaway.

The backpack’s main compartment has a separate mesh pocket and roomy space to store travel gear. Internal compression elastic straps keep sensitive items secure during travel. It also has an anti-theft back pocket to keep valuables out of sight.

RELATED: 9 Odd and Underrated Items Travelers Should Have

Our editors love finding you the best products and offers! If you purchase something by clicking on one of the affiliate links on our website, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.