The Right Bag for Minimalist Travel

[Updated numbers as of 3/28/18]
When I have the luxury or being parked in one spot, easy transport, etc, I tend to bring a bit more for vacation. Otherwise I live in my Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30.

If I’m needing to be super mobile (or need a super cheap fare) I tend toward some of my smaller gear. I can still pack pretty easily for trips in a small bag.
Here’s a breakdown of my bags and what airline they qualify as personal items for the bare fares:

Bag Bag
Size
Frontier
EasyJet
RyanAir
Wow Air
Spirit Airlines
Best Match
Tom Bihn Night Flight Travel Duffle | See it in action! 17” x 10″ x 9″ /
43.2 x 25.5 x 22.8 cm
X
YES
X
YES
X
United Personal Item for Bare Fare
(as of March 30, 2017)
Boarding Blue Free Personal Item | See it in action! 17 x 13 x 8 inches / 43.2cm x 33.02 x 20.32
YES
YES
X
YES
YES
Frontier, EasyJet, JetBlue*, WowAir, Spirit AIr
Members Essential | See it in action! 13.78in x 7.87in x7.87in / 35cm x 20cm x 20cm
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
RyanAir

Personal Item Sizes

  • RyanAir:
    13.78in x 7.87in x7.87in / 35cm x 20cm x 20cm
  • Frontier: 8” Depth 18” Width 14” Height
    1 Personal Item Included
  • EasyJet: 1 Bag ONLY 56x45x25cm (including handles and wheels)
    22.05in x 17.7in x 9.84in / 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
  • wow air: 1 PERSONAL ITEM Included in the WOW airfare is one small personal item up to a maximum of 42x32x25cm / 17x13x10in (10kg/22 lbs) including handles and wheels, such as a small bag/backpack, laptop or a camera bag. The item must fit under the seat in front of you.
    17in x 13in x 10in / 42cm x 32cm x 25cm
  • Spirit Airlines: “For Travel April 4, 2017 & Beyond: Personal item (e.g., purse, small backpack, etc.): Dimensions must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) including handles and wheels. Carry-on bag: Maximum of 22 x 18 x10 inches (56 x 46 x 25 cm) including handles and wheels.

*JetBlue: this isn’t in the chart, but is easy to meet with the Boarding Blue Free Personal Item In order to fit under the seat, all personal items must not exceed 17in L (43.2 centimeters) x 13in W (33 centimeters) x 8in H (20.32 centimeters) on all their aircraft types.