Planning a trip is always fun. Whether we’re a vacation do-er (hi, itinerary built down to the minute) or be-er (hello, lounging by the pool with a strawberry daiquiri), a holiday always means we can hang up our responsibilities for a while and have a little moment to ourselves.
However, before we zip off like Audrey Hepburn on the back of Joe Bradley’s Vespa in Roman Holiday, we must not forget an important step that Princess Ann clearly forgot: pack our bags! (Although, running through the streets of Rome with no plan doesn’t sound too terrible, either.)
When it comes to packing, many of us will just dust off whatever’s hiding in the depths of our closet. Others will take the opportunity to make a statement—and with the rise of many cool, direct-to-consumer companies in the last several years, this is easier than ever.
Looking for a suitcase or travel bag is serious business. We want something that lasts not only physically but also stands the test of style. Then there’s the question of travel bags for smaller excursions. What’s the best weekend travel bag? Which makeup bag will keep our little bottles organized instead of all jumbled up like Mama’s sewing basket? Is there a golf travel bag that will get the clubs there in one piece?
We found the best, sturdy, practical (and stylish!) options for everything from the best travel backpack (made with recycled water bottles) to the best budget-friendly travel bag (spoiler: It’s still excellent), and one that we’re sure even Princess Ann wouldn’t have forgotten if her luggage had been as lightweight and sophisticated as this. Here are the 15 best travel bags you can find on the internet. Now get packing!
Best Overall Travel Bag: Arlo Skye Zipper Carry-On With Front Pocket
Arlo Skye wins in the best overall category for its front pocket. While many other suitcases offered the same features—quiet wheels, a TSA-approved lock, polycarbonate exterior, power bank—they didn’t have that handy front pocket. It can hold a laptop plus your other travel knick-knacks like a passport. For the cold-blooded, it will even hold your sweater. No more unzipping your entire suitcase at security to pull out your computer, and you can travel at ease knowing whatever you’ve got in the pocket will be protected in the event your luggage is gate-checked. The zippers are also tamper-proof, so no worries about someone going through your things.
Best Budget-Friendly Travel Bag: Samsonite Omni 2
The infrequent traveler will appreciate this Samsonite suitcase, which is Amazon’s choice for carry-on luggage. Don’t let the price fool you, though. Just because it clocks in at just over $100 doesn’t mean it’s no good. It has a polycarbonate exterior like many other options on this list, along with the TSA-approved lock, 360˚ wheels, and a 10-year limited warranty. The only drawback (which the price reflects) is the lack of a power bank for your phone. Nothing’s worse than being in an unfamiliar city with a dead phone. However, the suitcase does have a USB port and an easily accessible battery pocket if you want to pick up a power bank for about $20, so the total price is still considerably reasonable.
Best Weekend Travel Bag: Vera Bradley Weekender Travel Bag
Of course, we must give a nod to the queen of quilted floral patterns, and this Vera Bradley duffle fits the bill for a quick weekend getaway. The main compartment is roomy and rather large with interior mesh pockets to separate your shoes and other small items. There are also two front zipper pockets and three back slip pockets for those odds and ends that you need in reach, plus the trolley slip if you’re toting a suitcase along. The bag comes in several colors, from classic floral to sleek black, and we love the size—it hits the sweet spot between an oversized, unmanageable duffle and the impractical bag into which you can barely fit one change of clothes.
Best Carry-On Travel Bag: Away Carry-On
We love the ejectable USB power bank, which makes security less of a hassle, and the fact that you can tote it around in your bag while out exploring your destination. The polycarbonate shell makes it a tough cookie, and the interior compression system helps the chronic over-packers fit all their necessities into a carry-on. There’s also a hidden laundry bag, TSA-approved lock, smooth wheels, and a 100-day warranty. If you try it and don’t like it, you can return it. A limited lifetime warranty covers damages to the suitcase shell, wheels, handle, and zippers should something arise on one of your many travels.
Best Travel Backpack: Everlane ReNew 15-Inch Transit Backpack
What sealed the deal on this Everlane backpack was the easy-access laptop side pocket, eliminating the need to take off your backpack to reach your computer. Plus, the backpack, while plenty roomy, stays a manageable size and is made of 100 percent recycled polyester from plastic bottles and eco-friendly dyes. It’s also water resistant, has all the pockets you need for travel organization, and has a luggage slip in case you don’t want to wear it on your back.
Best Travel Garment Bag: Away Garment Bag
This garment bag will accommodate two suits or three full-length garments, and the exterior zip pocket puts your other travel essentials in easy reach without having to unzip the whole thing. The interior has spaces for shoes and accessories, and there is a luggage clip that will attach it neatly to your suitcase. You can also sling it over your shoulder with the padded shoulder strap, and once at your destination there’s a zip-out hook so you can hang it up.
Best Travel Laptop Bag: Lo & Sons Seville Tote
We love this versatile tote that belongs as much in the office as it does on a plane. Made of Saffiano leather, the cross-hatch design is scratch and water resistant, durable, and sleek. If you toted it to work, none would be the wiser that it’s also a travel bag. The interior features a supreme organizational system of pockets and compartments for everything from your laptop to books and an extra sweater. Bonus: The key leash will prevent you from losing your keys in the depths. Finally, the bag has interchangeable shells that you can pop on for a completely new look and the travel shell is included. It’s water resistant with a suitcase handle sleeve and is just the right carry-on size.
Best Travel Duffle Bag: Cuyana Triple Zipper Weekender
This minimal, elegant duffle adds loads of sophistication to your travel ensemble and features three separate zipper compartments for an organized trip. The main compartment has three slip pockets—great for shoes—and the bag itself is just the right size to sit atop your suitcase, held secure by the trolley sleeve. The wide water bottle side pocket is easy to access, and the duffle also comes with a detachable leather crossbody strap. You can choose from three different colors—neutrals that will complement the rest of your travel accessories.
Best Makeup Travel Bag: Away Cosmetics Bag
What sealed the deal was the detachable brush roll, which securely snaps to the lid, keeping your brushes separate from the chaos that can often ensue in a cosmetics bag. With neoprene and clear zip pockets in the main compartment, you’ll be able to keep all your products organized in this spacious, deep bag. The water-resistant nylon and wipeable interior make cleanup of inevitable spills less of a chore, and the grab handle means you can tote it easily on the go.
Best Travel Toiletry Bag: Kate Spade Chelsea Whimsy Floral Travel Cosmetic
We can’t resist anything floral, playful, and fun, which brings us to this cute toiletry bag. Its zippered pouch hides three slip pockets—two small and one large—in addition to two elastic pockets for the odds and ends. You’ll be the envy of everyone in the airport bathroom when you open this to grab your toothbrush.
Best Golf Travel Bag: Himal Soft-Sided Golf Travel Bag
On that long-anticipated golf trip? It’d be a pity if your clubs arrived in shambles. Enter Amazon’s choice for golf travel bags and the number one bestseller in the Golf Travel Covers category. Pop your caddy into this heavy-duty polyester case and throw in your shoes and keys—there’s room for all that, too. A padded interior keeps things snug and in place, preventing shifting, scuffs, and abrasions. Reviewers praise this golf travel bag for its durability, quality construction, and size, calling it a good value for the money.
Best Sustainable Travel Bag: Paravel Aviator
The only reason it didn’t win best carry-on in our book is the lack of a power bank. This company is on a mission to be carbon neutral in both their shipping and production processes. The suitcase is made of a recycled polycarbonate shell and the lining from 15 recycled plastic bottles. Even the zippers and handle are recycled; the latter made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
Best Kid’s Travel Bag: GURHODVO Kids’ Luggage
This is a great child’s travel bag that is made to last. It’s not so unwieldy that a three- or four- year-old couldn’t steer it (though parents might want to take over for speed), but it’s also not so small that it can’t grow with them until age six, seven, and maybe through elementary school. This also means you won’t have to replace a flimsy, broken, cartoon cloth suitcase every so often.
Best Waterproof Travel Bag: Kånken Water Resistant Backpack
The classic Kånken is a solid buy. Its iconic design includes a two-way zipper that’ll open a space big enough to hold a 13-inch laptop. Look cute while comfortable—the popular backpack comes in a multitude of colors.
Best Lightweight Travel Backpack: OZMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack
This is perfect for those who constantly overpack. This highly durable product can hold twenty liters of stuff and fold into a small sandwich-sized pocket when not in use. Invest in this compact bag on your back or in your luggage for $16. Your travel gear just got an organizational upgrade with this bag in hand.