Keep Your Carry-on Compact with These Travel Bags

Stop trying to squeeze your oversized bag into the overhead bin and choose one of these convenient bags instead.

July 11, 2019

Whether you like traveling by plane or not, it can be a hassle. Sometimes you’re stuck in the middle seat with very little leg room. Maybe your carry-on is slightly overpacked and doesn’t fit as nicely under your seat as you’d like, or perhaps your fellow travelers already took up all the space with their oversized bags.

Don’t worry, though: We have some solutions. From bags designed specifically as carry-ons to fashionable utility backpacks, there’s something for every traveler. Here are some of our favorites.

Daylite Plus

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack

A laptop, clothes and toiletries—this bag carries it all. Amazon

Osprey’s lightweight, reasonably sized backpack is perfect for efficient travel. It weighs about 1.6 pounds and features a dual-stretch mesh side pocket on either side, good for carrying liquids (while adhering to TSA restrictions, of course). A multi-function interior sleeve provides room enough for a tablet or a laptop of up to 14 inches. In the front, there is also a small pocket to fit a light raincoat and/or other smaller items.


The Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack is available in nine different colors and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Underseat Luggage

AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage

Literally made to carry onto a plane. Amazon

Not all carry-ons were created equal, nor were all carry-ons created to fit in the overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you. The AmazonBasics Underseat Luggage, however, was made just for that (hence, the name).

Weighing just over six pounds, the bag’s front can fit smaller necessities and entertainment, like a boarding pass, a book or a magazine. As for the main compartment, it’s spacious enough to fit clothes and a pair of shoes.


The Underseat Luggage comes in 10 different colors and is backed by a one-year warranty.

Canvas Bookbag

Aiduy Student Canvas Bookbag

Fashionable and compact for the picky teens in your life. Amazon

Look cute while being efficient with your carry-on with this lightweight bookbag from Aiduy. Weighing in at 1.5 pounds, this travel backpack can hold a 14-inch laptop and was made with comfort in mind. It has padded adjustable straps and a padded back, making long treks stress-free and comfortable.

This Aiduy backpack comes in seven different colors. It can be bought alone or in a three-item set that includes a pen case and a shoulder bag.

Travel Passport Wallet

Zoppen Multi-purpose Travel Passport Wallet

Now you no longer need to do a full-body pat-down to make sure you have everything. Amazon

Tired of having your passport but missing your wallet? Or maybe you want to leave space in your bag or your pockets for other items, like a phone or a pack of gum. Maybe you simply want to have everything in one place. If any of these apply, then the Zoppen multi-purpose passport wallet is exactly what you need.

This one-stop spot for all your personals is made of high-quality, eco-friendly PU leather. It has a passport pocket, boarding-pass compartment, three credit-card slots, ID slot, SIM card pouch, coupon-ticket slot, cellphone pouch, zippered pocket, key holder, pen holder and additional slim pocket.

Toiletry Bag

Lermende TSA Approved Toiletry Bag

For those long flights where brushing your teeth or re-applying makeup might actually be necessary. Amazon

If you’re taking an extended vacation way outside of the neighborhood, consider bringing a Lermende TSA-approved toiletries/make-up pouch for those longer flights. It’s made of a durable, transparent PVC material, making finding items hassle-free. The making of this pouch also makes it waterproof.


Ideal for carrying shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, perfume, cosmetics, toothpaste, a toothbrush and a comb, among other items. Each purchase comes with three pouches, and there are nine colors available.

Expandable Suitcase

Coolife Luggage Expandable Suitcase

For your most precious, fragile valuables, get this armored-box lookalike. Amazon

If you’re hauling a game system, a glass vase or anything fragile, you obviously want maximum protection. Coolife’s expandable luggage is made of an ABS+PC hard plastic shell to handle the roughest of handlings when loading your suitcase aboard. It also has multi-use organization pockets on its interior.

Each size—20- (carry-on), 24- or 28-inch—can come in one of four available colors.

Canvas Shoulder Bag

Kenox Vintage Multifunction Canvas Shoulder Bag

More of a tablet person? Perfect. Amazon

Laptops can be troublesome sometimes, especially when you have limited space on planes. Bringing along a tablet instead is sometimes a better alternative. With that in mind, try out this shoulder bag from Kenox. There are nine total pockets in various locations around the bag. You can also tote a 10-inch tablet in this bag. It comes in either black or a light brown.

Packing Cubes

Bagail Packing Cubes

If you’re not good at packing, here’s a way to make that easier. Amazon

Ever have difficulty packing your clothes? Bagail’s packing cube is a solution for that. These mini suitcases-within-suitcases are made of a high-quality fabric with finished interior seams for increased durability.

Each set comes with six cubes—two large, two medium and two small—that can fit in just about any carry-on bag or suitcase. If you’re trying to lessen the load of a checked bag, take a cube out as a carry-on.

Space Saver Bags

RoomierLife Travel Space Saver Bags

Make the most of your space in your carry-ons. Amazon

Flatten your clothes in these compression bags to utilize all of the limited space in your carry-on or checked-in bags. RoomierLife’s packing organizers provide up to three times more space, using four large and four medium compression bags. Simply put your items inside, and zip and roll, as air exits from valves at the bottom of the bags.

You can purchase these transparent bags in the standard set of eight or in sets of 16 and 24, respectively doubling and tripling the amount of the large and medium bags.


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