A long time ago, I wrote a love letter to my one-and-only, my life partner a.k.a. my TravelPro carry-on suitcase that LITERALLY goes everywhere with me.
Doggone, I love that suitcase. And it still goes everywhere with me. BUT, when I moved to Louisville I realized that there were a few types of trips that could use an EVEN smaller rolling suitcase. It sometimes felt like overkill to pack my regular carry-on for a short trip…I couldn’t begin to figure out what to bring to fill it.
And then I started going up to Chicago for quick overnight business trips, and unfortunately often flying on super tiny United Express planes…you know what I’m talking about, the 1-seat/2-seat configurations that don’t even have overhead bins on one side and where you can’t even stand up straight in the aisle. UGH. Super claustrophobic.
They always make you gate-check any rolling bag, which is pretty annoying, so I decided to find a small rolling suitcase that I could fit under my seat.
Enter my new friend, the TravelPro Maxlite 5 Rolling Tote…
As an FYI, I may make a small affiliate commission from any Amazon sales that come through clicks from my links (which I greatly appreciate, and at no extra cost to you). I do not have any relationship with the brand itself. All opinions are, as always, completely my own!
If you want to read more about the research and comparisons that led me to TravelPro specifically, this post goes more in-depth (that’s how I chose my larger rolling carry-on). In this case I’d had a great experience with TravelPro (and trust me, I put that case through its paces about every other week), so I mostly compared options within that brand.
This picture does a better job of showing its size relative to a normal purse tote (that I often use as my personal item).
You might also like: The Best Travel Cross-Body Purse: eBags Piazza Day Bag
I did a ton of comparisons of different shapes and sizes, internal capacities, etc. for small rolling suitcases, and I’ve been incredibly happy with my final choice. What’s amazing is that I can still fit SO much into it! I can use it for an overnight business trip, or if I force myself to be choosy, even a 2-3 day trip (assuming I don’t need workout clothes or anything).
It can fit under most airplane seats, though not every single one. For instance, on that tiny United Express plane I mentioned, I’ve learned that I can fit it in under my feet if I have the window seat on the 2-seat side, but not on the 1-seat side. It will fit in most smaller overhead bins as well, as long as it’s not stuffed full. Ahhh, trial and error 🙂
So I’ll still be using my true love regular-size carry-on for most trips, but I’m so excited to have this smaller rolling version in my travel arsenal when the need arises!
Now that you have your suitcase sorted, here are some trip planning tips!