Three pilots in a black outline against a white background they are each pulling a roller bag and two if them are talking on the phone they are wearing pilot uniforms and hats.

21 Best Pilot Luggage: Top Bags Pilots And Flight Crew Use

Your Guide To The Best Pilot Luggage With The Best Features For Air Travel Including The Perfect Small Size Carry-On Bag As Well As Pilot Suitcases In Larger Sizes

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My father has been a private pilot for nearly 50 years, I can tell you, from personal experience, that no one holds the secret to the best pilot luggage better than pilots themselves.

I come from a family of pilots.   Two of my grandfathers were pilots, my dad and his brothers were pilots and I have four brothers who are pilots.   So I’ve been exposed to a wide range of pilot luggage and gear over the years.

The typical commercial pilot, as well as private pilots, knows that the best flight bags are made of high-quality material, are lightweight, and are a compact size with enough extra space for a change of clothes, flight documents, or anything else that a good pilot might need to pack for a trip.

Besides some of the best pilot luggage options available on Amazon, I will also share two secret flight industry sites that only pilots and flight crew know about and use for all their luggage and flying supplies.

A pilot and a flight attendant walking through an airport pulling bags

Have You Ever Noticed How Smart Pilots And Flight Staff Look With Their Bags At The Airport?

When walking through an airport, have you noticed crew members and pilots, in their sharp uniforms, pulling their high-quality suitcases with their sleek designs?

It is no accident that flight attendants and airline pilots appear to have the most durable luggage with the best features.

It’s because, after millions of miles flown, they have discovered exactly what the best pilot bags are.

After recently speaking to several airline pilots and private cabin crew, I would like to share with you their opinions on the best pilot flight bags with the best options for both the short weekend trip as well as long trips.

While you can spend a lot for a good flight bag, there is a wide price range in luggage options and it is very possible to find the right bag that is both high quality and a very reasonable price.

Three different bags: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Upright 2 Wheel Carry On in black color and a Sterling Pacific - 35L Cabin Travel Case, also a black Tassia Wheeled Pilot Bag

The Best Carry On Bags And Luggage For Pilots & Flight Crew

This is a collection of the most durable luggage that flight crews and pilots prefer to use as a carry-on bag when packing smaller items in a larger bag is not practical.

Often these smaller flight bags and carry-on bags are paired with a smaller pilot flight bag or larger rolling bag, depending on the duration of the trip.

Briggs & Riley

For a long time, Briggs & Riley has been considered one of the best brands for pilot luggage.   

Whether you’re embarking on your first training flight or maybe you have been a pilot or member of a flight crew for years, the many different bags available from Briggs & Riley, with their attractive features and lifetime guarantee, are some of the best pilot bags, and best luggage products on the market.

Tassia Pilot Luggage

If you’re searching for a pilot’s bag for your constant travels as a member of a flight crew or as a commercial pilot, you’re sure to find an excellent bag at Tassia.

Specially made for the professional pilot, and designed to be stowed under or behind the pilot’s chair as well as in an overhead bin.

The perfect bag with plenty of pockets and a main compartment suitable for everything from a water bottle to personal items and important documents.

TravelPro

With a very reasonable price tag, this TravelPro Maxlite carry-on is a great option for student pilots.

There are plenty of side pockets for all the small items you will be packing.

This TravelPro flight crew carry-on bag has a front pocket that is perfect for laptops and the padded pocket will ensure that your electronics arrive at your destination undamaged.

Briggs & Riley

This is one of my personal favorite pieces of luggage from one of my luggage brands.   

The fact that Briggs & Riley offers a limited lifetime warranty on their bags makes them a very good idea for pilots or flight crew who travel more than anyone.

Briggs & Riley

This is not only an elegant spinner carry-on bag by Briggs & Riley it is also a highly practical luggage solution with enough pockets and storage space for several days worth of clothes.   

The best part is that this compact bag, which is perfect for flight crew and pilots, fits under the seat of commercial airlines.

Swiss Gear

This Swiss Gear soft-side bag is a low-cost option with more than 16k reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

This is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon for luggage.   While it might not be the last bag you ever buy, it’s a great starter bag for new pilots and flight crew.

ASA Airclassics

This is the classic student pilot bag.   Many pilots who start using this bag early in their careers come to love it so much that they end up using it for many years to come.   This is not a bag to pack clothes and other personal items, because of its small size.   

Typically this bag is used for specific items such as flight documents.   

The adjustable shoulder straps and the quality of this bag are some of the reasons my dad still has his first version of this pilot bag.

Sterling Pacific

Sterling Pacific is the bag you buy to make a bold and impressive statement.   Although the price tag is a bit steep, this beautiful piece of luggage is the last bag you will ever need to buy and you are guaranteed to get compliments and admiring stares every time you walk through an airport and onto a plane.

Pilots and flight attendants love this bag because it is highly durable and a truly classic piece of American luggage.

Samsonite

Samsonite is one of the most trusted names in the luggage business.   This is one of the best-selling bags with easy access front laptop compartment.   

If you’re interested in more carry-on luggage options, I wrote an article on “The 50 Best Carry-On Bags With Laptop Compartment” that you may find interesting.

Samsonite

This is another under-seat spinner carry-on bag by Samsonite that is a favorite of flight crew and pilots.   

In my opinion, it is an excellent option for someone who would rather not spend over $500 on a similar style Briggs & Riley bag.   One of my favorite details of this bag is the USB port.   

Level8

This “Grace” model Level8 carry-on bag makes it the perfect pilot bag with a laptop compartment.   Not only is this bag an Amazon’s Choice option it also has 8 roller wheels with a TSA combination lock.

Taygeer Laptop Pilot Bag

As any good pilot knows, you need to check your fuel before you fly.   One unique feature this pilot’s bag has is a number of water-resistant pockets – one of which can be used as a fuel tester pocket.

The side pockets and padded shoulder strap make this economical well-designed bag an excellent choice for pilots.   The affordable price of this city tote, crew-style bag puts it within easy reach of student pilots as well as commercial pilots.

Tumi

Tumi brand luggage pieces are some of the most luxurious on the market.   Even though they are more commonly found in the first-class passenger cabin, I’ve seen a number of flight crew with one of these iconic bags.

Highly rated and highly admired, you can’t go wrong with a Tumi bag.

Modoker

There are lots of garment bags on the market but there are none better than this particular model of Modoker duffle garment bag.

Not only can you carry this compact bag separately with its handy padded shoulder strap but you can also pack it into a larger carry-on or checked bag.

TravelPro

As small under-seat carry-on bags go, this is my favorite.   The spinner wheels make this bag so easy to navigate through an airport as well as down one of Italy’s cobblestone streets, which is where I live part of the year.

This is the type of bag that will last a lifetime and is a favorite of both pilots and flight attendants. 

Delsey

This handsome roller bag looks like a million bucks but is actually quite affordable.   One of the highest-rated bags at this price point, this is a perfect bag for pilots and flight crew.

Somode

A handy built-in USB port, an easy-access laptop compartment, double TSA-approved security combination locks, a solid aluminum frame and exterior, and an overall appearance that will make you proud to pull this bag through any airport security checkpoint, make this one of the best pilot bags available.

TravelPro

72% of customers find this TravelPro Platinum Elite hard-side expandable to be with a 5-star rating.   

This is a very smart choice for a pilot or for anyone who travels regularly and wants a high-quality stylish bag to check or as an oversized carry-on.

Level8

This Level8 TSA-approved hardshell carry-on luggage is perfect for anyone looking for a modern design pilot bag.    

This is rated 5 stars by 75% of customers on Amazon.   In fact, this bag has earned the coveted title of an “Amazon Choice” product.

Samsonite

As legacy brands go, very few American luggage brands are more iconic than Samsonite.   

A 10-year warranty offered on this bag along with the recessed TSA combination lock and high-quality craftsmanship make this an excellent choice for a traveler who is putting in a lot of flight miles.

Where Do Pilots Shop For Luggage?

These Are Two Secret Sites Where Pilots Shop For Their Bags And Flying Supplies

Besides Amazon, there are two specialty sites where pilots and flight crew and I am going to share both of them with you here:

1. Crew Outfitters

Crew Outfitters is the flight industry’s leader for bags, luggage, and all pilot supplies.

Here’s what Crew Outfitters has to say about themselves on their website:

“Crew Outfitters and Stopover Stores have joined forces to bring you the best products and services for all airline personnel. Our team has years of industry experience to target exactly what you need. We proudly serve you from 11 locations conveniently located in airport terminals or on adjacent property.

The Crew Outfitters uniforms are unparalleled in quality, comfort and consistency. Together with our sister companies LuggageWorks and Premier Hat we offer the best products to meet your needs. In fact LuggageWorks products and your Premier Hat is manufactured in the Crew Outfitters distribution center in Aurora, Missouri.

We are dedicated to seeking new and innovative products to help you with the demanding job requirements of the airline industry. We listen to your wants and needs in order to provide you with the best experience. We strive to be YOUR one-stop shop.

Whether you’re a new or returning customer we want to welcome you to the Crew Outfitters experience. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at [email protected]

2. LuggageWorks

LuggageWorks is the The Pilot’s Choice For Luggage.   This American company has been serving the flight industry for over 30 years.   

Here’s what they have to say about their company:

“LuggageWorks was founded in 1989 with the mission to produce the best luggage to service the unique needs of the airline industry. Over the last 3 decades our luggage has evolved with the industry but the mission has remained. We now offer over 50 products for pilots and flight attendants with durability and functionality built into every item.

Our “Stealth” pilot bag is the industry standard and the definition of durability for tens of thousands of airline pilots. The aluminum frame and stainless steel handle have kept several models rolling in frequent use for 10+ years. The Stealth Air series was added recently to bring durability in a lighter package. Our Executive Series brings a plastic frame with enhanced durability and functionality. Our Aurora series brings that durability message to a functional package that is perfect for flight attendants.

Our luggage is built with serviceability in mind. Our Repair Center can handle any problem from a quick wheel change to a complete overhaul of your bag. Our service is enhanced with our sister company Crew Outfitters performing needed repairs at 9 locations located on airport property. We will keep you rolling.

Our customer service team is here to meet all of your needs. We are proud to be the luggage of choice for thousands of airline personnel. Whether you’re a new or returning customer we want to welcome you to the LuggageWorks experience. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at [email protected]

 

https://luggageworks.com/

What Does Every Pilot And Flight Crew Member Need For Travel Besides A Great Bag?

Vigaport J-Hook

Pilots know that the secret to carrying multiple bags through an airport is to use a J – Hook.

My favorite type of J Hook is the Vigorport brand version.   There are several different brands that make a similar product, but in my opinion, the Vigorport J Hook is by far the best option.

Once you get used to traveling with a J Hook you will never be able to travel without one again.

Best Luggage Brands For Pilots And Passengers

As a travel writer who spends a great deal of time in airports, I have discovered some of the best luggage brands on the market.
 
After speaking to the owners of some of the best carry-on bags, I have heard directly from them and learned how they rate their favorite bags and luggage.
 
These are some of the best brands that produce various types of hard-shell suitcases and under-seat bags most of which come with standard compression straps.
 
The links below connect to these brands at their individual brand stores or Amazon stores.

What Are Commercial Airline Regulations For Carry On Travel Bags?

General Rules Rules For Most Airline Bag Size Requirements:

  • Personal item: Maximum 17 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches

 

  • Carry-on baggage: Maximum 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches

What Is A TSA-Approved Lock?

Built-in luggage locks or independent luggage locks help to secure your baggage.

However, if you use the wrong type of lock, you may have serious problems with airport security if you use the wrong luggage locks.

The secret to success is to use TSA-approved luggage locks.

These special locks are uniquely designed locks that can be opened with a special security key by TSA agents if a bag needs to be searched by airport security when the owner of the bag is not present.

Best TSA-approved Combination Locks

Recap

We have covered the 21 best pilot luggage options so you can find the right size bag whether you’re a pilot, flight attendant, or business traveler.   The luggage we discussed here covers all the bases.

Also, I shared with you two secret pilot and flight industry sites where pilots and flight crew have been buying their gear for decades.

As my two grandfathers, dad, uncles, and brothers, who are all pilots, would say:

“All clear”

“Keep the blue skies up”

“Red over white, you’re all right”

“Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”

“Red sky in the morning, pilot’s warning
Red sky in the evening, pilot’s delight”

“Roger that”

Best of luck with your shopping for the best pilot luggage and fly safe.

Disclosure:

Here at All Roads Lead To Italy, we only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own.

This post may contain affiliate links with potential savings at no additional cost to you.  

In some cases, we may earn a small commission.

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Author Info:

Nathan Heinrich

Nathan Heinrich

Nathan is a writer, designer & horticulturist. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of "All Roads Lead to Italy" Magazine & host of the Top-10 Travel Podcast, "I'm Moving To Italy!". Nathan was born and raised in a 6th generation farming family in Northern California, he is currently, a dual Italian citizen, living in the Prosecco Valley of Northern Italy, near Venice.

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