How To

How to… Pack a Seat Bag

When I fly, I like to have easy access to things I may need during the flight. And to avoid pulling ton of crap out of my bag when I get to my seat, I prepare a seat bag.

What is a seat bag?

It’s exactly what you need for the duration of your flight. Might be your headphones, chewing gum, notebook, or iPad. It’s totally up to you.

This post is related to my Everyday Carry post from November 2017, except that you will never need to pull out your backpack, luggage, or any other back from the overhead bin… if you’ve packed this right!


Here are four simple steps to get your seat bag all set up:

Step 1: Find a small bag that will fit into your carry-on bag.

  • My Seat Bag is the Flight 001 Seat Pak Pro. Easy to load and remove things at will and will usually fit in a plane’s seat back pocket.
  • My carry-on bag is usually the Boundary Prima System Modular Travel Backpack in brown. I love this bag because it’s versatile, fits my seat bag cleanly, and can expand (and be accessed from the side) in case I need to pack more.
  • My alternative carry-on bag is the Timbuk2 Aviator Travel Backpack, which is bigger than the Boundary but also has an easy open section on top which perfectly fits the Flight 001 Seat Pak Pro (that is what’s featured in the video above)

Step 2: Identify what you’ll need for the duration of your flight. For me, that usually includes:

  • My iPad, with books and movies
    • I always keep at least two movies downloaded through iTunes, but I also like downloading some content from Netflix or MasterClass (I’m currently working on Gordon Ramsay’s cooking class) just in case there’s no entertainment unit (which is often on older American Airlines flights).
  • My iPhone, with movies, games, and music
    • To pass the time, I keep a few other movies, some games, podcasts, and my music on my phone.
    • I also download some content from LinkedIn Learning (requires a LinkedIn premium account – if your company doesn’t provide it, ask your HR or management team if this can be an employee benefit)
  • Noise cancelling headphones
    • The Bose QuietComfort20 is my go-to for flights. Small, easy to carry and charge, and really good at blocking out the sound of loud airplane engines.
  • Travel journal
  • Book
    • Sometimes I feel like bringing a physical book. If you’re a fan, pack one! It will also help when your iPad dies. 🙂
  • Pen/pencil
  • Any required charging cables
  • Battery pack
    • It never hurts to be prepared! I recommend the OmniCharge 20, which I helped fund on Indiegogo. I have been VERY impressed and it will get you through your journey. If the flight has no power outlets or your devices are going to die before you land, it will also be a lifesaver!

Step 3: Identify what you MAY need for the duration of your flight and keep it in your carry-on bag

  • Laptop
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • A light jacket

Step 4: Enjoy your flight!


If you take the time to think these steps through, I promise you that your trip will go by more quickly or smoothly and you’ll enjoy the journey more! Also consider grabbing a sandwich and keeping that outside of your seat bag – hanger is not a pleasant thing to bring onto a plane! Happy travels.

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