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Rolling underseat bag

Looking for some recommendations. I mainly fly domestically (US) and primarily on Southwest (thank you, business traveler wife and my Companion Pass!). Following the "packing light" mantra as much as possible, I rarely check a bag, preferring a 21 inch or smaller wheeled bag and a small to medium sized backpack for underseat storage. It's been a good system over the years.

I recently purchased a Samsonite large wheeled underseater, and am pretty impressed. The bag holds a ton for its size, and by packing strategically, I can fit 3-4 days of clothes in it, along with toiletries, with room for my iPad and (small) bag of chargers, cables, etc.

Before I ordered this bag, I did a little research on underseat allowances for domestic carriers. (I excluded international and US commuter airlines due to the more restrictive guidelines for carryons in general.) Needless to say, there were a LOT of variances in HxWxL depending on the airline, aircraft, and seat location.

When I took the Samsonite on its "maiden voyage", I found that true to what I'd read, the bag fit under a middle seat of a Southwest 737 fairly easily, but not the aisle seat. And as it was a two-hour flight, the degradation of legroom wasn't that big of a deal, comfort-wise.

Here's the question: For those of you who use these bags, are there any you've used across different airlines with general success? I realize that there's no "one size fits all" solution here, but just curious as to whether there are any rolling underseaters that pass muster between, say, American and United, for example.

In any case, this Samsonite is a gem, even if it's too big for some seats. It's small enough to easily fit in the overhead while sporting a lot of packing space.


Posted by
3241 posts

I have an 16" Kenneth Cole (?) and my husband has an Eagle Creek Expanse Tote. So far we've only been flying Jet Blue, but they both fit in either the window or aisle seats easily. These were smaller planes so there wasn't a middle seat. I love, love, love these bags. Once I borrowed the EC bag, when I knew I wanted to pile something on top of it, like a computer bag. Otherwise, I use the 16" alone.

So, so far, no issues fitting under the seat. That being said, if I use it as my wheelie to Europe, I think there are random seats on British Airways that have an entertainment box under aisle seats. I'll need to make sure I'm not sitting behind one of those seats because I don't think it would fit, but don't know for sure. Mine is only 13 inches wide.