The Best Backpack for Under Airplane Seat | Our Winner + The Complete List


This is your captain speaking…are you looking for the best backpack for under airplane seat? You’re in the right place.  This comprehensive article will show you what works, and what doesn’t.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

Let’s face it, flying can be a pain.  The crowds, the security checkpoints, weather delays – there is a lot that can go wrong.  Add to that the nightmare of checked baggage fees and lost luggage, and well, that’s enough to ruin any trip.  A DOT report estimates that there were 384,019 incidents of lost or mishandled baggage in 2017.  While this works out to 2.59 cases per 1000 passengers, a mistake like that can ruin your plans and your whole trip.

One thing you can do to make it slightly easier, especially for a quick business trip or weekend away, is to carry aboard your baggage.  Generally speaking, each passenger is allowed one carry-on bag per flight – unless you’re flying on one of those super budget airlines (*cough, Spirit) and then you can’t check any.  Each airline sets their own size restrictions, so you’ll want to check with your airline prior to arrival to see what they allow.  Some are really cool about it and will let you stick your bag under the airline seat if it fits.

A good option for quick trips is to use a backpack.  It is easier to navigate through the crowded airport, and you have it on your person at all times which improves security.  Gathered here below are the best backpacks for storing under your airplane seat.

Style

Brand

Size

Price Range

SwissGear

18.5”x13.5”x9"

$50-59.99

Hynes

19.3”x12”x6.3”

NA

Timbuk2

4.5"x3.1"x0.8"

$14.99+

Pacsafe

21.7”x13.8”x8.7”

$190-199.96

eBags

18”x12.75”x8.5”

$50-56

Samsonite

17.5”x13”x7”

$170-179.99

Lewis

19”x13”x7”

NA

Oakley

20”x14”x8”

$130-134.21

Tortuga

22”x14”x9”

$190-199

Kensington

19.5”x13”x8”

$190-199

Matein

9.5”x14”x6.5”

$30-39.99

Standard Luggage Co.

21.5”x13.5”x7.5”

$130-139

01. SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

Swissgear Traveling Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
18.5” x 13.5” x 9” 3.3 lbs 31 liters

Product Description:

This backpack is made from durable 1200D polyester fiber and built to last.  The ScanSmart lay-flat design allows quick laptop-in-bag screening through TSA x-rays.  In addition to the large main compartment, the dedicated laptop compartment holds a computer up to 17”, while the TabletSafe™ tablet pocket keeps smaller electronics secure.  This bag also has multiple interior and side accessory pockets to keep your items organized on the go, and a padded media pocket with headphone port so you can stay connected.  The bag is ergonomically designed with padded shoulder straps and a padded yet ventilated back panel for comfort and support.  Finally, it is available in multiple colors to suit your preference and backed with a 10-year extended warranty.  See if the SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is right for your next adventure!

02. Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack – Perfect for Under Airplane Seat

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
20.1” x 13.4” x 9.8” 2.42 lbs 40 liters

Product Description:

This bag is designed to make your travel easy.  It is made from water resistant polyester and available in a variety of colors.  It has a roomy main compartment that has inner tie-down straps and a zipper mesh pocket for maximum organization; a middle organizer compartment that will hold up to a 15.6” laptop and up to a 10.5” tablet as well as documents or books; and a zippered front compartment with interior pockets for things like boarding passes, passports, etc.  The external compression buckle straps allow you to adjust the height based on your needs.  The bag has mesh padded shoulder straps, and there is an adjustable sternum strap and waist strap for added comfort and support.  You have multiple carry options though, because the bag has top and side handles and suppressible shoulder straps so it doubles as a duffle bag.  Check out the Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack today!

03. Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack – Made to Carry on to Airplane

Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
19.3” x 12” x 6.3” 2.6 lbs 24 liters

Product Description:

As the name implies, this bag is made to carry on a flight.  It has expandable volume made possible by a wraparound gusseted zipper.  In addition to your clothing and accessories, it will hold a 15” laptop, a 9.7” tablet, and the internal slip pocket allows for additional organization.  There are also external pockets for quick access on the go.  It features padded shoulder straps and back panel for comfort, and weather resistant zippers for added durability.  Add in the lifetime warranty, and the Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack may just be the right pack for you!

04. pacsafe® Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack

pacsafe® Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
21.7” x 13.8” x 8.7” 3.8 lbs 45 liters

Product Description:

If security is a concern, you may want to consider the pacsafe® Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack.  This bag features lockable zippers and cut-resistant material to protect your things, as well as a stainless-steel anchor cable to lock around a fixed object.  This bag also protects the environment, as it is made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon fiber.  It has a roomy main compartment with internal compression straps to hold your items in place.  There are multiple internal pockets for organization, and it holds a 15” laptop in a padded sleeve.  The pack also features external attachment points for bulkier items, and external compression straps to make carrying easier.  This versatile bag can also be carried as a briefcase, and the straps tucked away when not in use.

05. eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
18” x 12.75” x 8.5” 3.8 lbs 21.6 liters

Product Description:

This bag is made for staying organized on the go.  It features a front organizational panel with several interior pockets, a front bottom zip external pocket, a front vertical exterior pocket, and a diagonal stash pocket inside the middle compartment.  The padded laptop sleeve holds up to a 17” computer, and there is also a fleece-lined padded tablet sleeve.  The top handle allows you to carry this like a briefcase, while the padded back panel and removable sternum strap make it comfortable to carry as a backpack.  If you are looking for organization, look no further than the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack.

06. Samsonite Pro Standard Backpack

Samsonite Pro Standard Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
17.5” x 13” x 7” 3.09 lbs Not listed

Product Description:

The Samsonite Pro Standard Backpack is a fusion of organization and technology.  This bag has several strategic compartments to keep all of your belongings well in order.  The main compartment has a 1.5” expandable gusset and offers file organization.  The tech features include: a lay-flat padded compartment that holds up to a 15.6” laptop and can be adjusted as needed; a wireless charging pocket to fit your phone and battery; a detachable cord pouch to keep all your wires organized; a padded tablet sleeve; an RFID pocket to safeguard from identity theft; and an integrated USB socket for on-the-go charging.  The S-curve comfort straps and padded back panel make carrying this a breeze, and the SmartSleeve™ allows you to attach it to rolling luggage if needed.  This really is a tech lover’s bag.

07. Lewis N. Clark ONboard Underseat Backpack

Lewis N. Clark ONboard Underseat Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
19” x 13” x 7” 3 lbs Not listed

Product Description:

As the name implies, this bag was built for under seat storage.  There is a front slip pocket with magnetic closure for quick access without taking the bag out.  This bag will hold clothes, a toiletry bag, a laptop, tablet, accessories, and more.  The roomy main compartment has a padded laptop pocket, there are smaller interior pockets for organization, and the RFID-blocking pockets give added security.  The bag is durable with an 840D ballistic nylon bottom, and the one-year warranty provides peace of mind.  The Lewis N. Clark ONboard Underseat Backpack may just be your pick for organization, storage, and style.

08. Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink Backpack

Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
20” x 14” x 8” 4.05 lbs (shipping weight) 34 liters

Product Description:

This bag is built to last, with abrasion-resistant fabric and durable outer materials.  There is a spacious shoe compartment at the bottom, a hard media-player compartment at the top, a padded side access panel to fit most 17” laptops, a front-zip pocket with accessory organizer panel, and a built-in optics holder.  The compression molded back panel and adjustable shoulder straps keep you comfortable while carrying.  If you are looking for a rugged style and diverse function, the Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink Backpack may be the choice for you.

09. Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack

Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
22” x 14” x 9” 3.9 lbs 45 liters

Product Description:

This backpack is said to pack like a suitcase and carry like a backpack.  It will hold enough clothes and toiletries for a week or more of travel; up to a 17” laptop and 9.7” tablet (plus chargers) in the dedicated sleeves; and your accessories and documents in the internal organization pockets.  The hideaway shoulder straps, padded removable hip belt, and load levelers make carrying this pack for long distances a breeze.  Because it uses superior materials – 900D polyester with Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating, lockable YKK zippers, and Duraflex buckles – this a pack that can last.  Setout on your next adventure with the Tortuga Setout Backpack.

10. Kensington SecureTrek 17” Lockable Anti-theft Laptop and Overnight Backpack

Kensington SecureTrek 17” Lockable Anti-theft Laptop

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
19.5” x 13” x 8” 3 lbs Not listed

Product Description:

This bag covers all the basics – ample space for clothing and personal items; padded device compartments for up to a 17” laptop and a 10” tablet; an organizer section to store chargers, earbuds, keys, business cards, pens, etc.; a padded back for lumbar, neck, and shoulder support; and a wheeled luggage pass through – with an added focus on security.  The SecureTrek™ Lock Base works by clicking all four hammerhead zipper pulls into place, then closing the stainless steel door and locking with a Kensington Portable Laptop Lock or TSA-approved lock (locks sold separately).  The anti-puncture zipper protects your device compartment from interference, and the checkpoint-friendly design allows the bag to lie flat.  The Kensington SecureTrek bag is also backed up by a 10-year limited warranty.

11. Matein Large Carry-on Backpack

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
19.5” x 14” x 6.5” (exp. 7.5) 2.6 lbs 29 liters (exp. 39 L)

Product Description:

This bag isn’t flashy, but it will definitely get the job done.  It has a large capacity to hold up to a week’s worth of luggage and an interior accessory pocket to aid in organization.  The hide-away shoulder straps, top and side handles, and optional chest strap make carrying this bag easy and enjoyable.  The durable waterproof polyester and metal zippers ensure longevity which is supported by the lifetime warranty.  If you are looking for a basic high-quality carry-on, give the Matein Large Carry-on Backpack a try!

12. Flight Approved Backpack by Standard Luggage Co.

The technicalities:

Dimensions Weight Volume
21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5” 3.7 lbs 35 liters (exp. 45 L)

Product Description:

This last pack is a 3-in-1 travel backpack, suitcase, and shoulder bag.  The main compartment has a full-perimeter zip that allows you to pack it like a suitcase, holds 5-7 outfits, and expands up to 10 liters for added space when needed.  It is built with 1680D water-resistant nylon and comes with a rain cover for durability, and features YKK lockable zippers and a safety whistle built into the sternum buckle for added security.  The included neoprene laptop sleeve fits up to a 15” laptop and is detachable for convenience.  The backpack is padded and there are 6 points of adjustability on the straps. The bag also comes with a removable hip belt, thus resulting in maximum carrying comfort.  Give the Flight Approved Backpack a chance to earn your seal of approval!

Hopefully this list will help you whittle it down when choosing the best backpack for under airplane seat.  Not all travel backpacks are made alike. It is now safe to move about the cabin.

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