Flying with back problems is stressful and difficult. I am a 5′ 2″ female with a bad back, and I have had major problems with my carry-on luggage, that is until I found the Ricardo Santa Cruz Lite luggage at my local Kohl’s store.

These days you can find luggage at just about any store, but I have specific needs. I wanted a bag that was small enough to fit under my seat and this one does. Delta states that bags can be no larger than 45 linear inches, and this Santa Cruz Lite suitcase is only 17″! Even their 21″ suitcase meets the carry-on restrictions. I needed a bag that was firm enough for me to rest my feet on (due to circulation issues), and this one does even though it is a soft sided suitcase.

I looked at the solid hard sided luggage as an option, but those suitcases do not have the convenient zippered compartments on the outside, so they wouldn’t work for me. I need the outside pockets for storing my tickets, books, snacks, and other items that I want to access easily during a flight.

The Santa Cruz Lite bags claim that they are “Up to 30% lighter,” and come with a limited lifetime warranty. The bag expands to give me 25% more storage, and this is the perfect bag for a business trip or a short vacation. Since airlines are charging high fees for overweight bags, using these bags is one way to avoid incurring those added expenses.

My local Kohl’s store only sold this luggage in purple and dark green, so I chose the green. Most of the luggage in an airport baggage claim is black so the green helps me to spot my bag faster if I chose to check it rather than carry it on the airplane.

While the wheels do not rotate 180 degrees, they are solid and are ball-bearing in-line skate wheels! This bag is made of a thick and rugged denier polyester fabric that should last for years. The two outer pockets assist in organizing my belongings, and even the pull up handle is hidden under a zippered pocket. The top has a nicely padded handle as well.

Because of my height and a bad back, I simply cannot lift a large suitcase into the overhead bin on an airplane. I love this Santa Cruz Lite 17″ suitcase!! I can fill it to the brim and won’t have to worry about the added weight since it will fit under the seat in front of me.

If I am stuck in my seat for any length of time my legs start to hurt. I cannot tolerate the force of my legs hitting the seat cushion! Because this bag fits under the seat, I can easily pull it out just enough to rest my feet upon it. This takes the pressure off of the nerves in my legs and allows me to fly much more comfortably.

I have looked everywhere for a small carry on suitcase that meets my needs, but the Santa Cruz Lite 17″ suitcase was the only one that worked for me. I love it.