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Help locating Small item Carry on for British Airways 16" x 12" x 6"

I'm not having luck locating very many bags which fit these measurements exactly. BA Website says the small item must be no bigger than 40 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm (width, height, depth), weighing up to 23 kg each. Has to fit under the seat. I'm not partial to backpacks, but at this point, I will take whatever form the bag takes just as long as the measurements are the same. I'd prefer a zippered tote. Going to Scotland in October. Thanking you in advance for any suggestions.

Posted by
2960 posts

A year or so ago, I went on this exact search. It was difficult finding the exact measurements, but I was successful. I ended up with this bag. I'm not a backpack girl, but totes/crossbodies were just getting too heavy for me. I like this bag as it is the perfect measurement for BA, is pretty secure, and does not look like I'm going camping. I've used it more than I thought I would. I like to be exact with my measurements so an airline will pick on someone else if they need to do so. This bag fit my DSLR, change of clothes, my small cross body purse, my electronics, meds and small 311 bag. I also have had no problem fitting it underseat on different planes and domestic airlines. BA will review your carryon if the flight is full, and will tag your bag if it can go on as your personal if you don't qualify for their tag you are in trouble or your other bag is in trouble. Anyway, I love BA and always fly them to Europe.

Posted by
11051 posts

If you've got a TJ Maxx near you, head there with a tape measure. Mine usually has a selection of Baggallini and LeSportSac tote bags.

I've also actually seen some 16" roller bags (said so on the tag, didn't measure, just snooping) but if this is not your primary bag I'd advise against trying to handle 2 roller bags. I just traveled with a friend who had a roller bag for her carry on and it did not sit well on her 22" checked roller bag and didn't roll well with her other bag. A huge nuisance!

I've used a LeSportsac Medium Tote on several non-BA trips and it probably would be fine as long as you didn't stuff it. To me the advantage of the LeSportsac is that it's lightweight. I also use their Everyday purse as my travel purse.

Posted by
14 posts

Wray- Thank you very much for the suggestion. I like that backpack/bag and the measurements are perfect. I also appreciate your understanding my concern. I felt sure that Someone had found a bag with perfect measurements for BA. Pam- I am definitely going to TJ Max with my tape measure! The Baggallini bags look like what I had in mind! Thanks again!

Here are a few choices:
1). Packing cube with a strap handle
2) eagle creek has a packable zip tote with optional "backpack" straps
3) LLBean has a small canvas zippered tote.
I have started using a packing cube as my flight "bag."

Posted by
1708 posts

Baggallini has a number of bags and totes that have a luggage sleeve on the back. Very useful.

Posted by
72 posts

I have the Gator Bag from Red Oxx and those dimensions are 12x6x9. It is not a backpack, but they have several of those that might work, i.e., the K-12 Kat Pack or the Roadster Carry-on Mini Ruck, and the Extra Small Aviator Kit Bag, which is not a backpack either. You can find these at These bags have a lifetime warranty to fix or replace. We have several of their smaller bags and one of the duffles. This brand is my go-to brand and when I get ready to get new carry-on bags it will most likely be the SkyTrain and the Extra Small Aviator by Red Oxx. Good luck!

Posted by
1016 posts

Measured along the seams, a Blue Q zipper shoulder tote bag is 15" x 11" x 6", but it does bulge out a bit more. They are $10 - $15 on Amazon and come in many patterns:

They exactly fit under a plane seat, stay upright, are extremely lightweight since they are just Tyvek or something, the shoulder straps are comfortable, they fold up easily when empty, and they are sturdy enough for several trips. They can easily pass for a "purse" as far as the airlines are concerned --- I've taken one on a small Alitalia flight from Rome to Brindisi in addition to my carry-on suitcase. I generally only use mine when traveling on planes and trains and buses, not as a day-to-day purse. I find many other uses for mine during the trip, though, such as going to a farmers market. They are just open on the inside, no dividers or pockets, but there is a small pocket on the outside when I keep something like hand-wipes or kleenex.

So Blue Q may not be what you are looking for, but I thought I'd suggest it since the measurements are so close and you said "zippered tote."

Posted by
11051 posts

Oh gosh, that Blue Q bird tote is CUTE! I do NOT, NOT, NOT need another bag of any kind.

Posted by
5697 posts

Oh, Pam, when have we ever been stopped by "not needing" travel stuff ... especially if it's cute?