The ability to sample relevant intracellular compartments is necessary for effective antigen presentation. To detect peptide antigens, MHC class I and II molecules differentially sample cytosolic and endosomal compartments. CD1 constitutes another lineage of lipid antigen-presenting molecules. We show that CD1b traffics deeply into late endosomal compartments, while CD1a is excluded from these compartments and instead traffics independently in the recycling pathway of the early endocytic system. Further, CD1b but not CD1a antigen presentation is dependent upon vesicular acidification. Since lipids and various bacteria are known to traffic differentially, either penetrating deeply into the endocytic system or following the route of recycling endosomes, these findings elucidate efficient monitoring of distinct components of the endocytic compartment by CD1 lipid antigen-presenting molecules.