There was once a time when I only travelled with checked-in luggage, loyal to my full-size beauty products and dedicated to multiple footwear options. The recent rise in baggage fees and delays has forced me to evolve into a carry-on luggage-only traveller, with an eye for clever hacks and a penchant for packing cubes.
On a recent Easyjet flight to Barcelona, my packing skills were further challenged when even the fees for large carry-on baggage were unreasonably extortionate. Since it was only for a long weekend, I planned to brave it with just the under-seat bag that is included in your airfare. Through my research I found that while there are a slew of cheap under-seat luggage options on Amazon that I’m sure will do the job, I wanted to invest in something sturdy that would last longer than a few flights – and could even be used for work or the gym. Enter this overnight bag from Antler (one of our favourite UK luggage brands) – a smart-looking soft duffle bag that, with the dimensions of 41.5x26x18cm will fit within most under-seat allowances as long as you don’t pack it to the brim.
Luckily for me, the bag’s dimensions fit exactly within Easyjet’s allowance so the option to pack every inch was there – although I didn’t end up needing the entire space.
By rolling my clothes, I was able to pack:
- 1 pair of jeans (yes jeans!)
- 1 shirt
- 2 summer dresses
- 1 light knit jumper
- 1 packing cube with underwear and a bikini
- 1 pair of flip-flops (in one of the side pockets)
- 1 small clear wash bag with my travel toiletries
Even with all of those items, there was still a little extra room, along with a zip-up outer pocket to store my travel essentials. With three clever sections – one main compartment, one secured by velcro, and the other another by zip – this is where I stored my passport, wallet, headphones, keys and phone. There are also additional pouches at each end of the bag too – great for holding a small bottle or a pair of sunglasses.
If you’re travelling with a hardshell suitcase as well, one genius feature is the over-handle sleeve. At first, I couldn’t find it, but the side compartment that’s secured with velcro can be undone and unzipped at the bottom, converting it into a sleeve to slide over your luggage.
- Two comfortable strap options – hand-held straps and detachable shoulder straps
- Laptop sleeve
- External pocket with three compartments, one of which can be converted into a sleeve to slip over a suitcase handle
- Two pouches at either end are ideal for drink bottles
- Multiple pockets inside including an area to fit shoes
- Nine colour options
- Side pockets can fit a pair of slim flip-flops, but for any large shoes you’d have to place them at the bottom of the bag
- Won’t fit within Ryanair or Whizz Air luggage allowances if you overpack
- Some colours sell out quickly
The weekender usually retails at £140, but until midnight 11 October 2023, multiple colourways have been reduced by a generous 40%, meaning you can pick up a blue or pink offering for just £84. The black, navy, red and cream options are 20% off, bringing the price to £112. You can shop the Antler Chelsea Weekender in the Amazon Prime Day sale here.