7 Best Personal Item Bags And Backpack For Airline Travel 2021

Last Updated on May 20, 2021

personal item bagWe all have experienced ridiculous bag fees on airline travel.

So, for the people who travel in the air, it is essential to cut extra charges by moving with the best personal item bag that is light in weight while having enough room.

In this article, we have rounded up seven of the best under seat backpack that will increase your comfort while providing enough carrying space.

To find out why we have chosen these brands, continue reading until the end of the article.

Here is the list of our favorite personal item bag

Backpack Dimensions Editor's score Price
Samsonite Wheeled 13x13x6.5
ECOSUSI Duffle Bag 11x18x8
Pacsafe Metrosafe Daypack 16x12.5x5
Veegul Stylish Backpack 14.9x10.6x6.7
Mancro 20x12.2x5.7
Hynes Weekender 13x7.9x19.7
AmazonBasics 13x13x9

But, before we start-

What Is Personal Item?

Most airlines define a personal item to be a purse, backpack, laptop bag or other similar bags where you can carry your clothes, mobile, umbrella, or other necessary things.

All renowned airlines allow you to bring one personal item bag and one carry-on bag with you. You can keep your personal item bag under the seat compartment which is located in front of you.

As the room is quite tight in space, most airline requires personal item bags to be under 18x14x8 in size which is enough for organizing all your essential personal items.

Why Do You Need A Personal Item Bag for Traveling?

Well, if you bring only a carry-on bag, you have to keep it in the overhead compartment which will cause more difficulties to get during the flight. But an item bag is easy to access and more convenient than a large carry-on bag; so you should have one.

You have to stand up from your seat to reach the carry-on bag. At the same time, you have the risk of dropping things out on your head while lifting the heavy bag if the aircraft gives a bump. Also, it is not permitted to reach your overhead compartment during the take-off and landing of the flight for safety purposes.

Depending on your boarding time, you may have to store your luggage away from your seat that can cause difficulties to grab at times of your desire. But it is easier to catch things from a personal item bag in front of you without vexing others.

7 Best Personal Item Bag

Here is the central part- our seven picks for personal item bags that you should check.

Samsonite Wheeled Underseater Small

Samsonite is one of the renowned producers of personal item backpacks.

They have designed the wheeled bag that can easily fit in all the budget airlines underseat vaults. You will definitely love its sophisticated design which adds up luxury to your journey.

You are going to enjoy a new bag even after your hundredth trip as it is made with 900D poly/Nylon well known for its durability. This 900D Poly is a combination of Polyester and Nylon fabric that provides admirable wear properties with the highest strength.

Its retractable handle provides flexibility and easy maneuverability along with push button lockdown. Samsonite Wheeled Underseater Small, Black, One Size

You can resize the handle according to your need. The handle features a secure lock down both in prolonged or stored positions which is very convenient and reliable.

The inline slate wheel offers resilience and smooth rolling that enables you to carry the bag with less effort. You will have the interior part designed with removable hanging organizer pouches so you can customize your stuff in groups.

It has separate compartments for damp and solid items which are effective while you are on a weekend trip.


  • Push button for locking the handle
  • Side water bottle pockets
  • Removable organizer pocket


  • You may find it problematic for a large screen laptop

ECOSUSI Unisex Large Travel Weekender Duffle Bag

Ecosusi offers perfect sized personal item bags which fit in under seat compartment smoothly.

You can use this multipurpose bag for traveling, weekend trip, gym, shopping, or other daily uses.

It is made with water-resistant nylon fabric that keeps your items safe in all weather. This fabric is easily cleanable which lets you enjoy a new looking bag even after using it for a lifetime.

The outside pocket features a secure slid over the suitcase handle which lets you carry the bag with less effort. You can carry the bag either in your shoulder or by your hand. Its adjustable shoulder strip minimizes the weight while carrying heavy load. ECOSUSI Unisex Large Travel Weekender Bag Duffle Bag Gym Totes in Trolley Handle, Black

In the main compartment, there is enough room where you can keep all your things like clothes, water bottles, snacks, toiletries and so on. There’s also a small zipper pocket that will hold your small wallet, pens or pad paper.

The padded Velcro pouch in the main section is for your tablet, laptops, and iPad that provides a scratch-free environment.


  • Multi-purpose travel bag
  • Large capacity
  • Water repellent nylon fabric exterior


  • No skate wheels
  • No separate chamber for liquid items

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 15 Liter Anti-Theft Laptop Daypack/Backpack

Pacsafe backpack producers know that safety is always the prime concern while traveling.

Considering different types of risk, they have added advanced security features in their products. The Pacsafe metrosafe LS350 is another from their remarks available in the market.

Now, let’s come to the main part, its build features!

The body is made with 100% Nylon fabric with a polyester lining that has made it long lasting. Plus, this has set a classy look. Its 14-inch shoulder drop is designed for carrying the bag with comfort and without stress. Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 15 Liter Anti Theft Laptop Daypack / Backpack - with Padded 13" Laptop Sleeve, Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Patented Security Technology, Black

The main section has a protective sleeve where you can keep your 13-inch laptop or parallel sized tablets.

This section includes RFID blocking pocket which is one of the most secure places for your laptop. You will be able to prevent hackers from stealing your personal information.

You can load your items in the main section which is quite small in size but fit for a day-long trip or exploring the countryside. There are two exterior pockets for water bottles and one exterior pocket for your mobile phone, headsets, tickets and other personal items.


  • Nylon fabric
  • Polyester lining
  • Added security features for extra safety
  • Perfect design


  • Less room in the main compartment

Veegul Stylish Doctor Style Multipurpose School Travel Backpack for Men/Women

Veegul stylish doctor bag provides a large capacity of 20 liters that is not common in similar bags.

You can choose this bag without any hesitation as a perfect carry-on bag with a dimension of 14.9H x 10.6W x 6.7D inch. This will fit in almost every under-seat compartment of any airplane.

The bag offers a stylish design with a combination of 95% durable cotton, 5% pure leather slim, incredible dying hardware, and plastic zipper. Its 1.5 pounds weight feels very light on the go. Veegul Stylish Doctor Style Multipurpose Travel Backpack Everyday Backpack for Men Women Single Pocket Brown

You can carry the bag using its shoulder strap or by the top handle.

The shoulder strap is specially padded and adjustable while the top handle is very convenient to hold when jumping on or off the train.

Veegul stylish doctor backpack has a main compartment along with two front zipper pockets and two open side pockets. The main section offers enough room that can hold almost all your items.

You can keep your tickets, passport, mobile, headsets and other personal item size goods in the front zipper pockets.


  • Multipurpose bag pack
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Adjustable shoulder strap


  • The metal piece at the top of the bag may cause problems

Laptop Backpack, Travel Computer Bag for Women & Men by Mancro

Mancro bag-pack producers care about design and personalization.

They offer a multipurpose bag that can be used in different fields; like a school bag, travel bag, office bag, and so on.

The bag is fully water resistant as it is made from water repellent polyester fabric. It features two ‘S’ curved padded shoulder straps that offer lightweight carrying experience while you are on a long trip.

Its reinforced bottom and durable metal accessories have made it stylish and durable. Laptop Backpack, Travel Computer Bag for Women & Men, Anti Theft Water Resistant College School Bookbag, Slim Business Backpack w/ USB Charging Port Fits UNDER 17" Laptop & Notebook by Mancro (Grey)

If you prefer organized packing, then you should check out Mancro as it offers multi-partition – three main pouches, nine small inner pouches, three sealed side pouches.

Its built-in charging cable lets you to charge your phone while on the move with the help of your power bank.

The bag pack offers a strong, secure traveling experience. It has theft proof combination lock and durable metal zipper which provide enough safety from the bag snatchers.


  • Multi-compartment bag pack
  • Inbuilt USB charging cable
  • Anti-theft features


  • May lack space for all your items for a long trip

Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack

Hynes Eagle offers high quality carry on backpacks for your needs. Conforming to the norm, this one is a great product as well.

It is the perfect medium ground backpack; not too big, not too small. In addition to this, it can be used as a carry-on, duffle bag, or even as a suitcase, depending on your needs.

This thing also opens up like a suitcase, which especially makes it easier for you to pack. You can also use 3 piece packing cubes in the Hynes 38L, and it will be a perfect fit.

It has a compact design, so fitting it in overhead compartments or under the seat will not be a hassle for you. Hynes 38L has a top handle, side handle and comfortable air mesh straps that remain tucked away at the back of the pack.

When used as a backpack, the straps can be adjusted with ease. It also has a sternum strap for your extra comfort and stability. Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack Black 2017

The bag weighs in around 1.7lbs, making it a lightweight carry on. It is spacious enough and has compression straps to lock down your belongings while making more space.

There is a large outer pocket as well as a smaller one to stow away your essentials, such as your passport and cellphone. The 600D Polyester is simply made of polyester lining and should be hand washed.

Apart from all these great features, it has a few drawbacks as well. This one does not have a firm structure to the back and doesn’t pack in a ton of extra features. Nevertheless, they aren’t deal-breakers for sure.


  • Adjustable shoulder straps for versatile carrying options
  • Has Polyester lining
  • Large and spacious enough
  • Comfortable and fashionable


  • No extra features
  • Does not have a firm back structure

AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage

This one is the ideal carry on made fully with polyester fabric and lined with nylon. It is specially crafted to fit into overhead compartments and under the seat.

The luggage contains numerous exterior pockets so that you can keep your important items handy and make organizing less stressful. In addition to this, the unit features a slit on its back, so you can secure it to the back of your luggage handle.

On the exterior of the under-seat carry on, you will find skate wheels paired up with a telescopic pull handle. The handle locks when it is extended with just a push of a button.

However, there are also sturdy carry handles for you to carry around your luggage. A bit of a downside is that the wheels are not spinners, but it’s not a big deal. AmazonBasics Underseat Carry-On Rolling Travel Luggage Bag, Black

There is an easy access front organizer so that you can tuck away your must-haves- passports, boarding passes, etc. The main compartment is very roomy, and you can undoubtedly fit in a day or two’s worth of clothes.

This thing also features two breathable mesh pockets and two small pockets, in which you can store your precious little things which would get lost in large suitcases.


  • Spacious main compartment
  • Push button for the locking handle
  • Small pockets and front organizer


  • The wheels are not spinners


What to Look for When Picking A Personal Item Bag?

Your personal item bag needs to be small and should be perfect to accomplish a lot of things.

Your carry-on luggage will fit in the overhead store, but personal item needs to be much smaller to fit underneath the seat in front of you.

underseat bag for travel

Well, to make things better, we recommend you to take some time while selecting a suitable bag for your unique needs. Your bag selection should be based on the duration and type of the trip while bearing in mind the deliberate events.

Here are some basic aspects you should consider when choosing the best under seat personal item bag;

  • Size of The Bag

The very first thing to consider is the size of the load that you are gonna carry. Since the requirement varies by airlines, the recommended size is 18 x 14 x 8 which is perfect for most of the carriers.

Considering this, you have to choose the perfect one which will provide enough space to put all the smaller, essential items such as make-up, electronics, and small purses.Personal Item Bags and Backpack

Your personal items will accommodate all the last minute things that you need to pack. So, always remember to check the maximum size allowed by the airline for a comfortable journey.

  • Number of Pockets

Next important thing to consider is the number of pockets and consoles. They enable you to organize your stuff and keep them always ready to serve. More pockets can serve as in-built packing sacks that hold your items in selected areas.

You will easily be able to reach your things even without looking. You don’t have to spend much time sticking your head under the airplane seat searching for an item. The airplane is already pretty overcrowded, and it can be predicted that the person sitting next to you will not appreciate it.

  • Materials and Security Features

Finally, you need to consider the material used to produce and security aspects that have come along with the bag. Water repellent Nylon fabrics are best for rough and durable use. Besides, they are easy to clean too.

Zippers give great protection to your items. So, you should choose one that has strong and well-functioning zippers. An object that has come along with safety locks and advanced security features like; eXomesh slashguard, Carrysafe strap, and lock-a-bout smart zippers should be at your top priority for a safe and comfortable trip.

Personal Items List – What to Pack in Your Personal Item Bag

Packing your personal items carefully is very important for your journey. It is essential to pack all your go-to items, or else you might find yourself in a bit of a tough situation. Along with the regular items that you would bring to an airport, grabbing a few extra items would make your flight way more relaxing.

personal item list

Below we will talk about the items you need to store in your personal item bag before leaving for your vacation.

  • Sleeping Stuff

From sleeping masks to blankets, you should have all your required items for a rejuvenating, energizing nap. Some airlines provide these complimentary things for international flights, but there is no guarantee.

Moreover, having your own stuff rather than the ones from outside should be more comfortable for you.

  • Food

Air-conditioned air can make your throat as dry as a cask of wood. Which is why it would be smart of you if you carry a refillable water bottle with you. You should also carry some dry snacks in case your stomach starts to growl. It’ll rescue you from losing money which you could spend on some other things on your trip.

  • Books and iPad

Imagine having to go on for 12 hours straight doing nothing, just blankly staring at the seat. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? So, before you get going, grab your kindle, iPad, book to keep you entertained for the flight. Do not forget to take your earphones with you so you can enjoy a good movie.

  • Personal Must-haves

Forgetting your glasses at home or leaving behind that lotion you use daily, can be painful. Have all your essentials with you at all times, so that you don’t have to buy them during the trip.

  • Toiletries

It’s a must to stay comfortable and bringing your toiletries with you can help you with that. Have your toothbrush and a stick of deodorant, so you feel fresh when you walk into a new country. Being ready and fresh makes obstacles ahead of you easier to tackle.

  • Medications

You should pack a lightweight bag, in which you should carry your daily medications. You must have your medicine; there might be emergencies such as allergy attacks for which having the right pill is of extreme importance.

  • Extra Clothes

Your bag might not make it with you to your destination, sounds scary, but sometimes, it can happen. So, when you land on your destination, and your suitcase doesn’t make it, you will be grateful to have extra clothes upon landing.

  • Cosmetics

The smallest things could help you enhance your beauty, from lipsticks to hair ties. Carry your cosmetics in your personal-items bag. When you are traveling, you do not want to look a tad bit dull.

You might as well want to pop in a pair of sunglasses or a muffler according to your destination, to get you set for the holiday mood.

  • Identification

Having your passport and boarding pass at all times with you is crucial. Being stranded in a massive foreign airport without your passport would be no less than that of a nightmare. If you want, you could also have your license and National ID card with you, but that is completely optional.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is a backpack considered as a personal item or carry on?

A backpack is considered as a personal item according to the Hawaiian airline website and many other airlines.  However, many airlines might not agree with them. It all depends mainly on the size and dimensions of the bag.

  1. Can I use a backpack as my personal item?

Yes, you can use a backpack as your personal item, but it should be under 18x14x8 inches to meet the required criteria.

  1. What size can your personal item be on a plane?

The size requirements actually vary from airline to airline, but most of the airlines require a 18x14x8 personal item bag that will fit perfectly under the seat.

  1. What can you bring in your personal item?

You can take all your necessary personal items like clothes, electronic devices, and other necessary items which are small in size and will fit perfectly under the seat compartment. But, always check the host airline’s website to avoid taking restricted objects.

  1. What size bag will fit under an airplane seat?

Standard bag size should be 18x14x8 which is required by most of the airline. It will be better if you choose a bag similar or smaller than this size.

  1. Can I put my carry on under my seat?

Well, the under-seat compartment offers a very tight space. You will not be able to put it under your seat. You should already be okay with your carry on for overhead partition.

Final Thought

So, by now you know about the five best under seat backpack that will make any flight a comfortable one. We can confidently say that these bags along with a perfectly packed carry on and personal items will boost up your traveling experience.

Anyway, we hope you have found the article helpful enough to make a wise purchase.

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