There’s no way around it! When flying with your toddler, you need to plan, prepare, and pack on time. With your checklist in hand, you should have a toy, a pacifier, fresh diapers, and any other essentials. But you’d also need a bag to keep everything. So, wouldn’t you want the best bag for air travel with your toddler?
We’ve found the best air travel bags for flying with toddlers and have reviewed them for you. Also, we’ve included tips on how to buy a carryall for air travel with toddlers.
Therefore, this is an excellent place to start if you want to find the best bag for air travel with a toddler.
Our Top 3 Picks
Our best for versatility is this bag from BoardingBlue. The bright purple carryall can fit almost anything you need to bring with you on the journey. But the best thing is that you don’t have to carry it. The under-seat carry-on has wheels.
This Lewis N. Clark bag is our best for design. It’s a durable bag with many pockets that’s comfortable to carry. You should easily fit this bag in the overhead compartments of airlines.
This is not a bag, but a set of bags. It’s our best for storage capacity because the backpack and luggage are spacious. With their comfortable handles, your kid should have no problem carrying any of them.
What should you look out for when buying the best bag for air travel with a toddler?
If you are looking for the best carry-on when traveling with toddlers, then consider the following:
1. The Bag’s Material and Durability
Your air travel bag can either be hard-shelled or made from fabric. While the hard-shelled ones would withstand knocks, fabric bags are not feather-like. They too won’t give easily to knocks, which is perfect for air travel.
Generally, softshell bags are made from polyester or Cordura nylon. On the other hand, hardshell bags are usually made from polypropylene or polycarbonate.
Therefore, when getting the best bag for air travel with a toddler, find out what material it is made from. The tougher the material, the more likely it is to last for many years.
2. The Bag’s Handle(s)
Next are the handles in the bag. Since you’ll be with your toddler, you’d need a bag that’d be easy to carry with your free hand. Therefore, find out the number of handles the bag has from the start.
One strong handle can do the trick. But don’t rule out the option of getting a dual handle or retractable handle bag.
3. The Bag’s Weight
You might want to fit everything you’ve got into your bag. But every airline checks the weight of your bags before you fly. So, unless you want to pay extra charges every time, you wouldn’t want one that’s heavy even when nothing is inside.
All you have to do is check the manufacturer’s specifications for this information. But we’ve helped you out. Our review of the best bags for air travel with toddlers has this spec already.
4. The Bag’s Storage Capacity
A bag could have every feature and still be a bad fit if there is no room to keep your things. But in this case, bigger doesn’t always mean better. That’s because big bags are usually heavy to carry in the airport and fit in compartments.
So, you should look for a bag that has the best of both features. That is, a roomy and lightweight bag.
5. The Bag’s Locks and Zips
Your bag has got to have zips or locks. But not just any kind, TSA-approved zips, and locks. That’s because they could inspect your luggage at any time. So, we know that bag has a fancy zip or lock, but is it TSA-approved?
If you don’t comply with this, TSA could destroy your zip or lock to access it. So, to help you out, we’ve included only bags with TSA-approved zips and locks in this review.
6. The Bag’s Color and Look
We’ve spoken a lot about how your bag should meet the requirements for air travel. But they don’t have to be boring and out of style. You can get a fashionable carry-on when traveling with a toddler. And luckily, we’ve included some eye-catching ones in our review.
You can go for a neutral color like black or a bright color like pink or blue. In either case, you should get one that you and your toddler will like.
7. The Bag’s Wheels
Carrying a bag in the airport while holding your child might be a little too much for one person. So, it might be a great idea to get a bag that has wheels.
Air travel bags either have four or two wheels. While the four-wheeled ones are easy to maneuver, bags with two wheels can haul almost anything.
8. The Bag’s Price and Warranty
That a bag is expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. So, as we’ve done here, don’t place the price at the top of your list of things to look out for in a bag. Instead, focus on the features that make it easy to carry and use in the airport and on the plane. Then, you can check out the price.
It’s also a great idea to check if the bag has a warranty and what it covers.
9. The Bag’s Special Features
Air travel bags have special features that make it easy to use. For example, some have shoulder straps, and others are water-resistant. But there’s no need to search for the bags with the best features. We’ve hand-picked the top ones and included them in this review.
What is the Best Bag for Air Travel with a Toddler?
Here’s our review of the bags:
The first bag we have on this list is the Delsey Underseat Bag. It’s a stylish black bag for almost all your air travel essentials. Made from polyester fabric, this durable carryall has many pockets to organize your things.
Model Number: 4051800
Model Dimensions: 9 x 14.5 x 14 inches
Weight: 5.6 pounds
Wheels: Yes, two skate wheels
Handle: Yes, 2. Dual top, one retractable
Warranty: 10 years
- It will fit almost every overhead compartment.
- It has many interior pockets to hold things.
- It’s a durable bag.
- The bag’s retractable handle can get stuck.
The Delsey Underseater Tote is one diamond-patterned bag we’d recommend you get if you’re traveling with your toddler. It has a lot of space for small items and should last you for many years.
For us, the fact that it has a slip-through band at the back is impressive. With this design, you can place it on the handle of your upright luggage and drag both away. However, you can decide to use the skate wheels to move it around. The retractable handle can get stuck once in a while. But if you consider that this bag has a 10-year warranty, you might not see this as a red flag. Overall, the Delsey Underseater Tote bag is a well-designed and comfortable bag to use.
Another bag that’s great for air travel with kids is this WANDF foldable duffle bag. It comes in ten colors, all of which you might just love. The 50-liter capacity bag can carry almost anything, and it has a shoulder strap that makes it easy to use. It is made from durable nylon fabric and has TSA-approved high-quality SBS zippers.
Model Number: N/A
Model Dimensions: 22 x 9 x 14 inches
Weight: 12 ounces
Color: Wine red
Handle: Yes, 2. Dual top, shoulder strap
Warranty: 1 year
- Its handles make it easy to hold.
- It is sturdily built.
- It’s a large capacity bag.
- The zipper might break easily.
It’s not true if we say we don’t like this WANDF bag. We love it!
It’s a big bag that will carry shoes, clothes and any other things you want to keep in it. It’s also light, so you can easily hold it and move it around. The most impressive thing is that it is foldable. Also, there’s everything to like about the design and beautiful wine-red color.
It is a bummer that this bag doesn’t have wheels. But we figured that this isn’t a negative but something you should note. It also doesn’t have much of a structure. But since it has a slip-through sleeve, we reckon that this shouldn’t be a problem. While over your upright luggage handle, you wouldn’t notice it. The WANDF foldable bag is affordable, and we’d recommend it as perhaps the best bag for air travel with a toddler.
Next, we have the BoardingBlue under-seat bag that’s perfect for air travel. It has one back strap and comes in two radiant colors. There are lots of pockets in this carryall, and you can easily strap it on top of your luggage.
It’s an under-seat bag with comfortable handles to use.
Model Number: W161517
Model Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 7 inches
Material: Heavy-duty canvas
Weight: 3.8 pounds
Wheels: Yes, 2
Handles: Yes, 3. Dual top, retractable and side
- It can be strapped over a carry-on.
- It has a pocket for phones and other gadgets.
- It’s lightweight.
- Its handles have sharp bottom rivets.
We’d recommend this toddler airplane travel gear. The bag is cute and can take almost all your things. It has a sturdy handle, and there’s a pocket specifically for passports and important documents.
The sharp rivets at the bottom is a tiny setback. As long as you are careful, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. It has a side handle, so you can carry it easily with one hand. The Boarding Blue Allegiant Air is made from water-resistant fabric. It has dual anti-lock zips, and there’s also a spot for your water bottle holder. Our best feature is its large storage capacity that can fit a 15-inch gadget easily.
Moving on, we have this feature-packed bag from Lewis N. Clark. It’s a black bag that you might mistake for a college backpack. But we think it’s perhaps the best carry-on to use when traveling with a toddler. Designed to fit in overhead compartments, you can pack clothes, toys, gadgets, and much more in this bag.
Model Number: W161517
Model Dimensions: 11.8 x 18 x 6.5 inches
Material: 840D Ballistic nylon
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Handle: Yes, 1.
- It is easy to carry around.
- It’s durable.
- It is relatively lightweight.
- It has a hidden pocket to prevent theft.
- It is a little too big for an under-seat bag.
We doubt you’ll find any bag that’s more suited to traveling with your toddler than this carry-on. The unit is well-built and easy to use. Unlike other bags on this list, it has a sternum strap. This doubles as a slip-through strap, so you can put it over your rolling luggage and move both easily. The Lewis N. Clark carry-on bag has a large storage capacity that should fit almost all your things. It comes with multiple pockets. So, you can easily arrange your stuff and that of your kid for your trip. Our favorite feature is the air-mesh and breathable straps.
This bag is lightweight, which is a plus. However, we figured that it might not fit into a lot of under-seats. But you can always give it a test on the plane you’ll be flying in. If it doesn’t work, no problem! It will fit in almost every overhead compartment. And since it has a magnetic closure pocket, you would get quick access to your essentials.
Overall, we think you should consider this bag if you are looking for the best bag for air travel with a toddler.
The second WANDF bag on this list is the 40-liter capacity version. As a bag from a recognized brand, this product is made from top-notch nylon, and it’s easier to carry than the 22-inch, 50-liter version. It has a strong dual handle and a small pocket where you can keep your essentials. We think it’s one of the most comfortable under-seat bags to use.
Model Number: N/A
Model Dimensions: 20 x 9 x 14 inches
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Handle: Yes, 2. Dual handle and shoulder strap
Warranty: 1-year warranty
- It has a large storage capacity.
- It’s durable.
- It would fit almost every under-seat compartment in airlines.
- It doesn’t have a structure when nothing is in it.
From the first time we saw this product, we knew it was a top-quality bag, and boy did it live up to its hype. This 40-liter version can fit quite some toddler items at a time, and it comes in different colors. If you forget your suitcase, this carry-on might just be able to house all you need for your trip.
As we mentioned, the storage capacity is the most impressive feature. But some other things make this bag one of the best. It’s wear- and tear-resistant, and it has quality SBS metal zippers that should give you no problem. There’s a 100% money-back guarantee on it, so you’ll hardly lose anything if you get this affordable bag from WANDF.
Here’s a product for women who are air traveling with kids. It’s a flower print bag with adjustable shoulder straps. But you can also use it as a tote bag. It should fit about a day or two worth of clothes for you and your toddler easily. But, best of all is that you can place it on top of your rolling suitcase.
Model Number: 287
Model Dimensions: 16.5 x 14.5 x 8 inches
Material: Polyester fabric
Weight: 2.4 pounds
Color: Mint green
Handle: Yes, 1.
- It is a stylish bag.
- It should fit almost every under-seat and overhead compartment.
- It’s a durable bag with a nice structure.
- It doesn’t have wheels.
If you have a thing for beautiful prints, then this unit might be your best bag for air travel with a toddler. The CAMPTOP carryall is one of the most stylish bags for women traveling with toddlers you’d find. But it’s not all about the design. It will fit a 15.6-inch laptop in a breeze.
We would have loved this bag better if it had wheels. But we still think it’s a quality carryall. The zippers on it will seldomly fail, which is nice. Overall, it’s a decent bag for its price, and we’d recommend it as one of the best bags for air travel with a toddler.
Finally, we have the Obersee bag. It’s a backpack and luggage that’s best suited for children between three and six years. Designed to last for many years, this bag set has enough room for anything your child needs to carry on the flight.
Model Number: O3LBPSET001
Luggage Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 8.5 inches
Backpack Dimensions: 14.5 x 10 x 5.5 inches
Material: Polyester fabric
Weight (for backpack and luggage): 5 pounds
Wheels: Yes. Two on the luggage.
Handle: Yes. One on the luggage, one on the backpack
- It is a versatile set of bags.
- It’s durable and easy to use.
- It is well-designed with rhinestone wings or a space shuttle and the American flag.
- It might leak water.
If you need a set of bags for your kid to travel with, then consider this unit. It has loads of features which make it one of the best you’ll find.
The luggage has a large main compartment for your clothing and inner space for all your toddler’s essentials. There are also two water-bottle holders at the sides. But the best thing is that the luggage has an insulated snack cooler pocket.
The backpack is also a great bag to have. It has padded mesh straps and many pockets. In a nutshell, we think this set is an affordable unit and perhaps the best bag for air travel with a toddler if you’re particular about storage space.
Q1. What to bring when flying with a toddler?
Toddlers can get a little unsettled on planes. And, you wouldn’t want to travel only to find out you haven’t packed the things they’ll need for the trip. So, here are a couple of things to bring along on every air trip with your toddler:
- Crayons, pencils and a color book: You may watch a movie to keep busy. But your child might need something to do as well. Therefore, don’t forget to stash a pack of crayons in your toddler-airplane travel gear.
- Small toys: They work like magic. Undoubtedly, they’re one of the best air travel accessories for toddlers. So, ensure you take your toddler’s favorite toys along with you. Any of the bags we’ve reviewed above should be big enough to contain them.
- Snacks: As long as you can get through the TSA checkpoint (legally, obviously), we think you should bring some snacks for your child on the trip. Don’t worry too much about the nutritional content. Just something to munch on will do. But you wouldn’t want to overfeed your toddler with snacks.
- Extra clothes: Part of your job is to be several steps ahead. And one of the things to bring along is a clean pair of clothes. Anything can happen on the plane. So, it’s best if you are prepared.
- Wipes: Your kid will touch things on the airplane. So, you’ve got to clean your seat and its environment. You don’t have to be a germaphobe and wipe down everything. Just bring enough wet wipes with you.
- Ziploc bags: They aren’t the first thing you’d think of when packing for an air trip. But you’ll find that Ziploc bags can be your trash can on flights.
Q2. What is the best time to fly with a toddler?
You must pick the best time to fly unless you love a cranky toddler. So, we’d recommend that the best time to fly is early during the day. A 9 am flight would work fine.
As you can see, there are many things to think about when planning an air trip with your toddler. But it’s easy to get occupied with the things you need to bring along that you forget you don’t have a bag.
You’ve got many options to pick from, and we’ve made it even simpler. Use the buying tips we’ve included, and you might find the perfect bag for air travel with your toddler in our reviews.
If you found this article helpful then you should check out our post about finding the best rolling backpacks for toddlers.