The year is winding down, but the winter travel season is just getting started. As the chaos of the holidays begins, preparing for your next trip shouldn’t be an added stress. With the right bag for all your travel needs, packing will be easy.
Trying to find the bag that will meet your packing needs is no easy task. A suitcase fits everything you need and more for a week-long trip, but sometimes one suitcase is too much. Just heading to Nashville for the weekend and all you need to pack are your boots and cowboy hat? Well, then there’s no need to go through the hassle of checking a bag — a weekender will only do for a short trip. Maybe you only need to pack for an extended trip home, then a carry-on should fit all your essentials.
From carry-ons to suitcases, there are an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to packing. Bags can be expensive, so you want to make sure you’re investing in one that will last you for years. When shopping for your bag, keep in mind where you’ll be staying, how often you might move, and how much you usually pack. On a backpacking trip around Europe last June, I brought a wheeled handbag; Looking back on that trip, because of all the moving around, it would have been much easier to carry a backpack or a bag. But if I’m going on a trip to a resort where all I’ll be doing is walking from the bar to the pool, a wheeled carry-on is the perfect bag.
With all these questions in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best backpacks, weekenders, carry-ons and suitcases for your upcoming travels. We’ve personally tested all of these bags and reviewed them based on their features, durability, aesthetics, and overall value. We hope these products will solve your packing dilemmas.
The backpack is an essential bag for every trip. On most flights you are allowed a backpack as a personal item, so you want to make sure you have a backpack that you can get the most out of.
The Momentum Backpack from Troubadour has all the essentials and more. This comfortable backpack is lightweight and waterproof, so there’s no need to stress about the weather when you’re wearing it. The backpack includes several storage pockets, the largest of which can fit a 16-inch laptop. This beautiful backpack is great for travel, school and everything in between.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a backpack, this large travel backpack from Amazon is for you. This backpack has it all: multiple pockets, a USB charging port, a shoe compartment and anti-theft locks. It’s a great personal item, daypack or hiking backpack.
A weekend bag is a bag specially designed to hold up to two days worth of clothes. I’ve only recently started using weekend bags and will never go back to bringing a carry-on for just a few days. Weekend bags are the best option for anyone who can’t fit all their clothes into a backpack but can’t be bothered to bring carry-on luggage.
Béis Weekender is everything a weekend should be; compact, spacious and durable. There’s more than enough room to fit a few outfits along with a toiletry bag, and the added shoe compartment makes packing that much easier. Not to mention, the pretty pink color that the weekender comes in helps it stand out in the crowd.
Carl Friedrik’s leather weekend bag is stunning to say the least. The smooth and elegant Italian leather was the first thing that caught my eye. This weekender can hold up to three days worth of clothes and has three zipped pockets.
Carry-ons are most likely to be used for trips of around four to five days. But with the right carry-on, you can fit enough clothes for a few weeks.
I’m obsessed with CalPak’s newest line of carry-ons. The Trnk carry-on adds a modern touch to classic trunk luggage. This hard carry-on with wheels has expandable storage, luggage locks and interior dividers. Not only is the quality of the carry-on top notch, but the vintage look helps set it apart from all other carry-ons on the market.
The Monos Carry-On Pro Plus is well worth its $305 price tag. The water-resistant carry-on features three interior pockets for electronics, three zippered pockets for smaller items, a built-in compression pad, vegan leather details, and a TSA-approved luggage lock. I’m currently packing for an upcoming trip to Colorado and can fit two winter jackets as well as four days worth of clothes in this 46 liter bag.
If you’re looking for a cheaper version of the carry-on, you can check out Monos’ other carry-ons, which start around $240. But for $50 more, you get a significantly better bag.
Checking a bag is my last resort. Paying almost $50 per checked bag breaks my soul and my bank account. So if you’re going to check a bag, it’s important to get the most out of the bag you’re going to check. Below are some bags that are worth the fee.
Royce and Rocket
You’ve never seen a suitcase like this before. The Royce and Rocket Castle Classic is everything a suitcase should be and more. Although expensive, this durable case includes a TSA-approved lock, a compression system for more storage, built-in shelves, and multiple pockets. You can also customize it by choosing between one of three exterior colors and one of three interior colors. Castle Classic is guaranteed to last you for years and help ease the struggles that come with packing.
If a duffle bag is more your speed, let me introduce the Away FAR 55L Duffle. This duffle is perfect for a week-long adventure trip. The weatherproof duffle has expandable storage as well as straps that allow you to convert it into a backpack. Bringing a hand luggage? The duffle includes a trolley sleeve that allows it to slide easily over the handle of any suitcase.
The FAR Duffle is sold in a variety of colors and you can also get it in a smaller 40L size.