The Best Backpack Duffel Bags that Fit Under an Airplane Seat

In my constant quest for the most efficient way to travel light, the backpack duffel bag is always a strong contender for the best bag. I use this to compliment my wheeled-carry on so size is important here – the bag must fit or scrunch under the seat in front of me. This is also important because I’m taking my first Allegiant flight and I challenged myself to pack for a 7 night trip in one personal item.

Here is a round-up of my top backpack duffel bags to take on your next trip:

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 40L

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 40L, $129

This appropriately named bag fits a lot in a tiny package. It is compact, lightweight at just over 2 pounds, and designed to last. Mine has gone from hotel vacations to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and still looks brand new. You’ll find an interior zipper pocket on the lid and an external pocket. I recommend using packing cubes to stay organized.

Backpack straps make it easy to carry though I wouldn’t recommend any long treks with the thinly padded foam. Remember to add a carabiner clip to keep your water bottle close by.

Calpak Terra 26L Backpack Duffel

Calpak Terra 26L Backpack Duffel, $145

This bag is at the top of my wishlist but with a Black Hole Duffel that won’t quit, I’ll keep dreaming about this one! It opens up and folds flat making this a great choice for multi-stop trips or those who don’t like to unpack.

Aer Travel Pack 3 Small

Aer Travel Pack 3 Small, $229

On the spendy side, Aer makes a solid backpack that looks great whether you’re traveling or in the office. The Travel Pack 3 comes in a larger size but this Small size bag will fit under the airplane seat in front of you.

Packing is a breeze with a lay-flat main compartment. Compression straps help keep your items under control and there are plenty of pockets to keep your tech organized.

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