10 Best Luggage for Pilots to Use (2023)

While at the airport waiting for your flight or just come to drop off a loved one, if you are a detailed observer, you might have noticed that pilots and flight attendants tend to carry luggage that’s distinct from yours. Typically, these bags are much larger than the average suitcase and have a serious, businesslike appearance. These carry-ons are usually over-engineered to withstand constant daily travel and often lack the attractive features like colourful plastic shells and USB charging that leisure travelers want.

If you have ever thought of purchasing the same kind of luggage that pilots and flight attendants use, then this review is all you need to get started. Understandably, buying a flight bag for pilots can be a tedious task to do on your own, especially of you do not know what you are looking for.  We have detailed the best luggage for pilots and everything you need to know about flight bags.

Best OverallFlight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
The best backpack for a pilotTravelpro Crew Executive Choice 3 Backpack
Best Value luggage for a pilotRothco Vintage Canvas Flight Bag
Honorable MentionFlight Outfitters Lift XL Pro Flight Bag
The best duffle bag for a pilotBriggs & Riley Baseline Deluxe
The best pilot rolling briefcase for a PilotRIMOWA Lufthansa Bolero Multiwheel
The best overnight carry-on bag for a PilotLuggage Works Pilot Stealth
Best for Storage CompartmentBrightLine Bags Unisex- Adult Flex B7 Flight Echo Bag
 Best briefcaseAlpine Swiss Rolling 17″ Laptop Briefcase
Best soft shell for pilotsTimbuk2 Co-Pilot Luggage Roller Suitcase

What Luggage Do Pilots Use?

The special luggage that pilots use regularly is referred to as a “pilot’s bag” or ‘”flight bag”. Essentially, it’s a small wheeled suitcase, a backpack, or a handheld bag that fits next to the pilot’s chair in the cockpit. They are built to contain everything a pilot or flight attendant will need for a day shift or a weekend trip, including the pilot’s iPad, flashlights, headsets, flight documents, and other items.

Flight bags are essential components of in-air utility, comfort and style as a pilot. Pilot bags come in various sizes and most commonly range between 10 x 8 x 6 inches and 18 x 14 x 12 inches. One key thing to note is that these carry-on bags must open up from the top so that everything is easily accessible.

Best Flight Bag For Pilots

Flying crew members and pilots log much more flight hours than business travellers. So this means that the “flying bag” is the best option if you’re looking for a sturdy piece of luggage.

Different compartments, prices, and pilot specialisations contribute to the wide variety of sizes available for flight bags.

If you are looking for a quality flight bag that can hold all the essential gear of the pilot, it has to be a durable and reliable flight bag from a reputable brand. It is best to select a flight bag with plenty of pockets and compartments to keep your necessities safe, easily accessible and organised. With this detailed, durable airline pilot bags list, you can compare which one suits your style the best.

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice 3 Backpack

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice 3 Backpack

The large TravelPro backpack with built-in charging ports and ample packing space offers endless uses as your well-organized satellite office. It is an ideal all-in-one for short trips, a stackable companion to your other luggage and your new favourite personal backpack suitcase for travel. With this handy travel bag, you can stay connected to everything you need using the external USB A and C ports with fast charge capabilities to power up electronics on the go. This carry-on backpack has a dedicated pocket with a connected USB cord that stores your power bank securely (battery not included).

The carry-on luggage backpack has padded laptop and tablet sleeves. The spacious interior is also outfitted with compartments and integrated with a key leash for easy storage and organization. This airplane backpack is crafted with high-quality, stain-resistant nylon fabric and leather accents. The padded airflow back panel and adjustable, padded shoulder straps provide superior comfort and has a dedicated strap pocket for earbud storage.

The travel backpack is equipped with TheftBlock™ pocket that protects credit cards and passports from loss and identity theft. In addition, there is a QuickSlip™ front pocket with magnetic closure for quick-access cell phone storage, a tricot-lined, exterior top-zip sunglass pocket and exterior, lie-flat side pockets that expand to hold water bottles or an umbrella.

Samsonite Classic Business 3 Gusset Business Case, Black

Samsonite Classic Business 3 Gusset Business Case, Black

Numerous airline personnel, including pilots and flight attendants, are known to fly nothing more than a briefcase. Samsonite offers the Classic Business 3 Gusset for individuals needing a small yet roomy suitcase. It has several pockets for storing your belongings and wrapped bale handles, and a removable padded shoulder strap for versatility and easy carrying.

It is manufactured from tough ballistic nylon and has a cushioned section for a laptop computer. One of its most useful functions is a pocket that can be slung over a rolling suitcase’s handle. This allows you to carry two bags with only one hand effortlessly.

The Samsonite Classic Multi Gusset Toploader Briefcase is loaded with compartments to hold all of your essentials, ideal for daily commutes or frequent trip out of town. In addition to a padded laptop compartment, this brief Includes a spacious compartment to hold files and folders, open top Pockets to hold laptop peripherals, zippered mesh Pockets to hold cords and cables, and an organizer with pen sleeves, card slots, and Pockets to hold all types of small accessories.

Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag

Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag

Flight Outfitters started designing and building gear for pilots and adventurers from scratch.  After more than a year of development, the company came up with an exciting line of stylish, yet durable – and flight-functional Flight Outfitters Bags. The flight bags are built with features pilots and flight attendants want. With the rugged design, the Flight Outfitters bags are perfect for the cockpit.

These flight bags are durable and designed for real pilots. The flight bag comes with a metal hardware and a padded shoulder strap. There are separate pockets for tablets or laptops: front organiser, radio, and chart. A very functional exterior pocket makes it easy to grab your backup radio in an emergency.

The handles are sturdy, and the four internal mesh organisers for cables and charging cords are among the features that make this backpack adorable. The steel-reinforced carrying handles will haul even the heaviest load, and the reinforced sides offer additional protection. The signature orange interior makes it easy to find the flashlight or pen in the dark.

Rothco Vintage Canvas Flight Bag

Rothco Vintage Canvas Flight Bag

The canvas backpack features of this flight bag (a washed 14 oz canvas material) gives it a vintage look and feel. The vintage flight backpack features a large zippered main compartment, inner zippered pocket, a small hook and loop side pocket and a front pocket with contrasting lettering reminiscent of a flight bag and metal clasp closure with a gold pull tag. Comfortably carry your canvas rucksack with the adjustable padded shoulder straps or the top carry handle. The flight bag boasts reliability and long-lasting durability.

Flight Outfitters Lift XL Pro Flight Bag

Flight Outfitters Lift XL Pro Flight Bag

This portable flight bag has a spacious front compartment with generous padding that protects two headsets. The removable divider allows you to reconfigure the front compartment quickly. The travel bag has four elastic battery holders meaning you’ll always have extra headset batteries. In addition to the large center pocket, the flight bag has quick-access exterior pockets for storing your tablet, flashlights and pens.

The Separate center section accommodates laptop computers, and even larger 15” models; back pocket includes six small and three medium mesh pockets to keep cords organized. The steel reinforced carry handle can withstand heavy loads, while the padded shoulder strap makes the Lift XL easy to carry but is easily removed.

On the other hand, the rear slash pocket stores paperwork or can be unzipped to slide over rolling luggage handles.  The Lift XL Pro is ideal for professional pilots who prefer an understated, all-black look. As a larger version of the top-rated Lift Pro Bag, the Lift XL Pro adds more room for storage and more organization options, all while retaining the signature design features that are useful in the cockpit.

Briggs & Riley Baseline Deluxe

Briggs & Riley Baseline Deluxe

The Briggs & Riley carry-on wheeled garment bag conveniently carries your hanging garments in a protected structured case while avoiding checked luggage fees.  The durable ballistic nylon outer fabric withstands the most challenging travel conditions. It is durable and made with ballistic nylon outer fabric that resists wear, moisture, dirt and abrasion. The outsider handle provides greater interior capacity and a flat interior surface for packing so clothing arrives wrinkle-free.

One of the attractive features of this can bag is that it is engineered for reality. With innovative handles, pockets, wheels and expansion systems for high functionality and more storage space, the flight bag makes travel easier.

There is a dual-purpose slip-through pocket at the back and a large U-shaped opening for easy access. There are small interior pockets for carrying pens, and keys and there are two exterior pocket (slip pocket).

Briggs & Riley Baseline Deluxe

The Bolero range from RIMOWA promises comfortable travel for everyone, including pilots and flight attendants. The innovative material is a combination of light and durable polycarbonate, and elegant polyester jacquard. The business trolley has interior detachable compartments and a separate laptop bag that travelers can replace with a packing strap.

The multi-wheel system comprises four smooth-running double rollers that guarantee comfortable handling. The front pocket with the organiser is made of hard-wearing keprotec and reinforced with Kevlar brand fibres. It is one briefcase that combines functionality and comfort.

Luggage Works Pilot Stealth

Luggage Works Pilot Stealth

A wheeled carry-on suitcase is also a popular choice for  pilots and flight attendants. These bags will come in handy if you’re going on a weekend trip for the holidays. The luggage works stealth 22 is one of the best carry-on bags, particularly popular among pilots in the US. If you’re in the market for an ultra-durable travel bag for pilots, go no further than this. There are several pockets and compartments for travelers to store belongings and a hook for attaching an extra bag. It is made of sturdy metal and has a retractable handle made of stainless steel.  While this wheeled carry-on has great features, the only real drawback is that it is a little heavier than the standard pilot’s bag.

BrightLine Bags Unisex- Adult Flex B7 Flight Echo Bag

BrightLine Bags Unisex- Adult Flex B7 Flight Echo Bag

Every pilot, whether a student, an instructor, or a pilot in general aviation, knows that there are a plethora of items that need to be transported to the plane before takeoff. Ross Bishop, went through all of this while training to become a Certified Flight Instructor for Rotorcraft, and he utilised his engineering background to develop his own flight bag, in part out of irritation and in part for fun. His pilot friends and teachers were impressed by the finished 3D CAD model he presented them. Nearly everyone who saw his new creation inquired about purchasing one. And so BrightLine Bags was born.

You won’t find a bag that lets you easily organise and quickly reach your belongings like this one. You won’t find a bag that assists you in your work like the BrightLine Bag. Unlike any other flight bags, this one is customizable to fit your specific needs. Being a customizable bag, the flight Echo bag does not come with compartments as it is built from different small and large compartments. The finest aspect is that you can connect and detach the sections at will.

Two complete headsets, a water bottle, two iPads, and several smaller things can all fit in the BrightLine backpacks. Although most flight bags don’t have a dedicated spot for a water bottle, the flex B7 flight pilot bag does, so you can keep your drink close to hand without risking damage to your laptop, tablet, or other sensitive gear.

 Alpine Swiss Rolling 17″ Laptop Briefcase

Alpine Swiss Rolling 17" Laptop Briefcase

The Alpine Swiss Rolling Laptop bag is a fantastic solution for a professional pilot due to its formal and professional style. It looks less like a bag or suitcase and more like a briefcase because of its horizontal orientation. The pilot briefcase is an excellent alternative for a weekend business trip since it is functional, durable, and stylish. The ballistic nylon construction of the flight bag makes it very scratch- and wear-resistant. Nylon flying bags are also lighter than their leather counterparts.

The laptop briefcase has a telescopic rolling handle that pilots can adjust to one of three different heights for convenient transport. You may even carry the suitcase by its top handle. The in-line skates’ polished wheels ensure easy mobility.

Storage room is not an issue with the airport pilot flight case’s three zipped pockets. You may store bulky files, heavy clothing, and other items in the back pocket. Included on the interior are padded compartments for a laptop and iPad. There are also additional tiny pockets for storing things like keys, business cards, pen drives, or pens.

Timbuk2 Co-Pilot Luggage Roller Suitcase

Timbuk2 Co-Pilot Luggage Roller Suitcase

The Copilot is solid, lightweight and easy to pack. Its sleek new styling works downtown or out of town, and broad-base skateboard wheels yield a smooth roll. The handles are bike inspired and on every side of the bag, including the bottom, so it makes it super easy to move around.

The front pocket has a zipper that allows easy access to the main compartments while the bag is in the overhead bin. The main compartment is divided into two halves and has a mesh flap on each side to separate items easily. Its clamshell structure makes it easy to pack and repack, and its expandable top stash pocket is designed for easy access in the overhead compartment.

Type Of Bag To Choose As a Pilot

The pilot bag depends mainly on your preferences, what you need to pack (some pilots still carry a considerable amount of manuals and charts) and the type of flying you do. After a long day trip, the pilot will be spending the night at their home base, then a business briefcase which can easily contain a passport, iPad, license, keys and wallet, and an iPhone is ideal. This bag will suit short-haul or low-cost airline pilots, sport aviation pilots, flight instructors, tour pilots, etc.

A pilot with short layovers may need a briefcase and a small roller case. A  small roller case

can also work. This bag will suit almost everyone: Cargo, short-haul, low-cost, regional and charter pilots, amongst others. On the other hand, a pilot with more extended layovers can use a big suitcase. It is ideal for any pilot spending several nights away from home: long-haul, charter and corporate pilots.

Baggage Size Restrictions for Flight Crews

Pilots, flight attendants and crew members have their luggage size restrictions. Similar to passenger restrictions, the size limits depend on the airline. However, many airlines do not strictly enforce the policy. Usually, pilots and flight crew stick to smaller bags. The average size of a flight bag is about 15 x 12 x 5 inches, but you may need a slightly larger bag if you bring spare clothing and overnight items.


There are numerous things to consider when choosing the right flight bag. The intended use, budget, length of trips you plan to take, amount of gear you plan to carry and preferred carrying method should all be considered. Overall, pilots tend to use soft side carry-on luggage, with a small duffle bag too to have important documents,

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