If you plan to fly with a personal carry-on bag onto the plane for free (with some airlines), it has to fit within a certain pre-specified measurement. Those dimensions are 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches. So what are your options? Here’s how to pick the best 18x14x8 bag.
The Types of 18 x 14 x 8 Bags
A personal item bag is meant to be easy for you to transport as you go through the grueling process of traveling from home, to the airport, to the plane, to your destination. It is meant to easily accompany you through this journey without encroaching too much on your mobility, your comfort, or you need for certain items.
As such, you’ll want to choose a bag that is of the right design for you to easily bring it along. There aren’t too many different kinds of these types of bags, but it’s important that you choose the one that suits you best. Here are the three kinds of 18x14x8 bags that you can choose from.
A backpack is carried using two straps over your back. This may be the best kind of bag for someone who needs to have both their hands free most of the time while traveling. Maybe they will have a lot of other suitcases with them to check in, or maybe they are constantly busy with kids, pets, or other responsibilities.
Someone who uses a backpack as a personal item bag also shouldn’t need too much storage space, as most backpacks aren’t designed to hold a large number of items while still fitting within dimension restrictions. There are also great for those who travel with laptops, books, or other large, flat items.
2. Duffel and Tote Bags
Yes, duffle bags and tote bags are actually different. But for the purposes of this guide, due to their structure, I consider them pretty similar. They usually use a forearm or shoulder strap (or both) and can be slipped over the handle of a large suitcase.
These kinds of bags tend to be quite soft, meaning that they will not hold their shape rigidly, which can make them quite bulky. They are good options for those who will not be carrying very heavy or large items that could strain their carrying arms. If you are bringing items or products that are easily breakable or may become damaged through folding, this might not be the best idea.
3. Roller Bag
Roller bags or, as the name suggests, the kind of personal item bags that can be pulled along thanks to their wheels. This makes them very easy to tug along, so if you are bringing heavy items, you won’t feel the strain as much.
However, roller bags tend to be smaller inside because they need to have space for their handle and wheels. Take this into consideration when you are choosing the right bag for you.
Features To Look For In 18x14x8 Bags
1. Exact Size
Sure, we know that you’re looking for an 18x14x8 Bag. But virtually very few personal item bags will have these exact dimensions. This is because a bag can easily expand when filled with a lot of items. Since your goal is to bring the bag on for free, you don’t want to take any chances with a bag that is just an inch too wide because it’s too full.
Purchase a bag that is under the dimension limit, but is still the right size for you. If you won’t be bringing a lot of items, smaller bags are typically less bulky and are therefore easier to cart around with you through the airport. I know I have much less trouble fitting a noticeably smaller bag under an airplane seat than one that is just barely within the size limit!
This does tie in with size, but the storage options of a bag are a completely different ball game. A small bag can have a practically ingenious way of organizing its compartments so you can fit in the most items possible, while a large bag may be taken up by a bad layout and a large skeleton structure for its handles or wheels.
You should also take note of pockets. A good personal item bag will not just be one large main compartment where all your items have to just be tossed in together. It should have a number of secure pockets that can hold smaller items for easier access.
Travel can be a rough experience. Your bags may get chucked or tossed around, they may be exposed to the elements, and they have to hold potentially heavy items. As such, even your personal item bags should be relatively durable in order to withstand the wear and tear that comes with traveling.
Your bag of choice should be made of a sturdy and durable material, and it should preferably be resistant to water, tears, scratches, and other potential causes of damage. Most importantly, pay attention to the durability of the bag’s handles, straps, or wheels. These areas tend to fall apart the fastest, and you rely on them the most.
5 of The Best 18x14x8 Bags on The Market
1. Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag
- Can be folded into a small pouch for easier transportation
- Water resistant
- Ripstop fabric is extra durable
- Easy to carry thanks to a special pocket that allows the bag to be slid over the handle of your luggage
- Extremely versatile and can be used for many different purposes outside of travel
- Two carrying handles and a removable shoulder strap provide multiple options for easy carrying
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- May have durability issues, especially when it comes to the zipper
- May not be lightweight enough for some
- Strap is not padded
- The bag is under the dimension limit, so it may be too small for some
The Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag is a product made specifically for use on airplanes as personal item bags. Made from polyester and high-density nylon, this duffle bag measures 17.7 by 12.6 by 6.3 inches.
This bag can be carried in 3 different ways, thanks to an adjustable and removable shoulder strap as well as two additional handle straps that can slip over luggage handles. It is large with a 25-liter capacity but is relatively lightweight, providing maximum storage space for its size.
In addition to all of that, this bag is also very versatile. It is made from water-resistant and ripstop fabric that is extra durable and can be used for a wide variety of different purposes. Its contents are accessible via a metal zipper, and it can easily be folded up into a pouch form that is small and portable. This compact nature is great for those who may need to quickly whip out an extra bag while on the go, and it is definitely a feature I would have loved to have in my own travel bags.
This bag comes in a wide range of different colors, including a few interesting designs, so there is likely to be one that suits your preferences. A 1-year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee makes this purchase even more secure. If you need something versatile and sturdy and won’t be carrying a lot of heavy items inside it, this bag may be a great choice for you.
2. Samsonite Wheeled Underseater
- Plenty of pockets add additional storage to the bag
- Carrying handles make it easy to move around
- Lightweight design helps to keep your total baggage weight
- Wheels allow for high maneuverability
- Surprisingly spacious despite its relatively small size
- You can only purchase the small option if you want to comply with airline rules, which doesn’t have quite as much space as you may need
- The handle can be difficult to operate due to certain locking mechanisms
- Seams may lack durability
- The bag’s layout, including its multiple pockets, is not the most strategically designed
The Samsonite Wheeled Underseater is made from a blend of nylon and polyester with dimensions of 13 inches by 13 inches by 6.5 inches. It weighs only 5.09 pounds, making it very convenient for airline travel. It’s material both a high strength that makes it durable for more rough travel.
This roller bag makes use of a singular, thin retractable telescoping handle that works via a push-button locking mechanism. Its wheels are of an inline skate variety, made from polyurethane and fitted with ball bearings in order to provide a smoother rolling experience. You can also opt to simply carry the bag instead of pulling it behind you thanks to attached carrying handles.
This bag boasts plenty of storage space, including additional pockets that provide more compartments to store your items in. The layout of these pockets can be less-than-ideal, but the additional separated space is always a great component for travelers. I know that I always need more pockets when I’m on the go!
You can get this relatively small but highly functional wheeled bag in 4 different colors. If you don’t plan to bring a whole lot with you on your flight, and you prefer a bag that you can roll around, this may be a good option for you.
3. Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack
- Comes with a USB charging port
- Multiple pockets for added storage options
- High quality fabric is resistant to tears, scratches, and splashes
- Extremely versatile and can be used outside of travel
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Relatively lightweight to keep your baggage weight low
- Straps are short and may be uncomfortable for taller individuals
- Pockets are relatively small
- Padding may not be sufficient for rougher journeys
- Zippers make lack durability
The Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack is a more versatile option for a personal item bag. It is of the backpack variety and measures 11.8 inches by 16.5 inches by 5.1 inches in total, allowing it to fit most laptops and a large number of other items in its 25-liter contents. It is fashioned from 600D nylon fabric that is very high quality and is resistant against tears, splashes, and scratches.
This lightweight backpack features 6 different compartments, allowing you to separate your packed items into the applicable areas. The available pockets are as follows:
- Main compartment that can fit larger items, such as folders, devices, and clothing.
- Second zipped compartment that is slightly smaller than the first and can fit items such as wallets and books.
- Front zipped pocket that can fit small items such as keys, stationery, and cards.
- Laptop compartment that can fit laptops measuring a maximum of 15.6 inches.
- Two side pockets that can fit circular objects such as models, umbrellas, and cups.
The straps of this backpack are adjustable and padded, although they may not stretch out enough for those who are taller or larger. Still, this product offers great comfort so that you can wear it for long periods of time without significant fatigue. It also features a modern design that is available in three different colors, so you can enjoy fashion and function at the same time.
An external USB charging port and an attached charging cable also allow you to keep your devices charged even while you’re on the go. It is a very useful characteristic that many travelers, myself included, would definitely appreciate. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use backpack that you can bring with you for more than just airline travel, and if you tend to pack a lot of devices with you, this bag may be the best choice for you.
4. Aerolite Underseat Luggage Carry On Suitcase
- Multiple pockets provide additional space for more storage
- Relatively lightweight to keep your baggage weight low
- Modern, stylish, and fashionable design
- Has a number a lock for better security and protection
- A double wheel design, as opposed to a quadruple wheel design, means that there is more space within the bag
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Rolling the bag around can be difficult due to the fact that it only uses one single thin handle
- The bag only has two wheels, which makes it more difficult to maneuver
- The carrying handle may have durability issues
- The fabric may start to fray with heavy use
The Aerolite Underseat Luggage Carry On Suitcase is designed specifically for use as a personal item luggage bag on airplanes. It measures 16.5 inches by 13.8 inches by 7.8 inches, following well within most airline restrictions. Apart from being pulled behind you, this bag can also be carried using its carrying handles.
Aerolite as a brand likes to focus on a mix of fashion and function. This undercarriage suitcase is no exception to that trend. It is made with quilted polyester that provides a stylish and luxurious appearance without sacrificing its usability in a variety of situations. It also has a handy three-digit number lock that keeps it secure, and an accompanying slot for your ID card ensures that the suitcase will find its way back to you if it gets lost.
This bag has many different compartments and pockets in its structure. This includes 3 simple zipper pockets on the exterior that are perfect for holding small items like your devices, tickets, wallet, and more. A side pocket on each side of the bag provides space for bottles and snacks. On top of that, two clear plastic toiletry bags come with the suitcase and can be detached and reattached at will.
This bag is made with only two wheels, which can affect its maneuverability, but also means that you’ll get more storage space within your bag to keep any items that you might need. It uses a retractable telescoping handle and is made with good quality to withstand potential damage. It is resistant to water and tears, and it is sewn with strong reinforced stitching that prevents wear and tear from taking its toll. If you’re looking for a sophisticated bag with lots of storage space and don’t usually have problems maneuvering other bags, this may be a great option for you.
5. Narwey Foldable Travel Duffle Bag
- Folds up into a convenient pouch for easy portability
- Extremely versatile and can be used for many different purposes outside of travel
- Very lightweight, allowing for lower overall baggage weight
- Can be easily slipped over a suitcase handle
- Very, very low price
- May have durability problems
- Fabric quality is not as superior as other options
- Does not have any padding, so it can be uncomfortable to carry
- Thin material is not stiff, meaning it does not easily hold its shape
The Narwey Foldable Travel Duffle Bag is a very inexpensive product that is designed with versatility, budget-friendliness, and simplicity in mind. It measures 17 inches by 14 inches by 7 inches, putting it just under most airline requirements for carry-on personal item bags. I said duffle bag it weighs very little, meaning it is extremely lightweight and won’t encroach too much on your baggage weight allowance.
This duffle bag comes with a pouch that can easily hold so can small and important items, such as your passport or tickets. A separate pouch can also function as a strap, allowing it to easily slip over most standard suitcases for easier transportation. And there’s one more pouch included – the bag itself! It can be folded down and placed into the attachable external pouch when not in use for easier carrying.
Though its material is relatively thin, this bag is still relatively good quality for its price. It is made from nylon, which is durable and is resistant to water and tears. An additional shoulder strap, which is not padded, allows you to easily bring this duffle bag along with you wherever you go. You can purchase it in a huge range of different colors.
The beauty of a duffle bag lies and it’s versatility. It doesn’t have to be used specifically for Airlines, it can also be used for fitness, shopping, as an overnight.bag, and more. So if you’re looking for a very inexpensive reliable bag that can be used outside of travel, this could be a good choice for you.
In a nutshell, which of these bags is your best back? Personally, I’d have to go for the Aerolite Underseat Luggage Carry On Suitcase. It’s the perfect mash of stylish and functional, and it has so many pockets and compartments that are incredibly useful and convenient when you are traveling.
It also falls very safely beneath the dimension limit, and its use of wheels and a handle means it will be very easy to pull around an airport.
Do note, though, that the best 18x14x8 bag for you will be entirely dependent on your own needs and personal preferences. Do a little research and shop around before deciding on the bag that will accompany you on your next journey.