We’ve reviewed hundreds of the best travel bags throughout the years – from the best hiking backpacks to the best laptop bags, we know bags. 

This article is for you if you don’t know where to start when it comes to travel bags. Are you a dedicated backpacker, a fan of the duffel bag, or maybe a devotee of the wheelie suitcase? Perhaps you’re not sure which type of travel bag you should buy or if you should make a switch.

Whether you’re a newbie or looking to upgrade and replace your existing travel bag, choosing from the best travel bags can be something of a minefield.

How on earth do you choose? The best way is to simply read on!

Keep scrolling and you’ll discover a wealth of detailed information on all the latest travel bags – backpacks, duffel bags, carry-ons, backpacks with wheels, and anti-theft bags; the list goes on!

Quick Answer: The Best Travel Bags of 2021

Product
Description
OVERALL BEST TRAVEL BACKPACK
nomatic 40l travel pack
OVERALL BEST TRAVEL BACKPACK

NOMATIC 40L TRAVEL BAG

  • Price > $$
  • > Lifetime Warranty
  • > Full of unique storage features
BEST TRAVEL BACKPACK RUNNER UP
aer travel pack 2 backpack
BEST TRAVEL BACKPACK RUNNER UP

AER Travel Pack 2

  • Price: > $$
  • > Carry on friendly
  • > Sleek, minimalist design
BEST TRAVEL DAYPACK
Nomatic Travel Pack
BEST TRAVEL DAYPACK

Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack

  • Price: > $$
  • > Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • > Made with water proof sailcloth
BEST TRAVEL LUGGAGE WITH WHEELS
Osprey meridian backpack with wheels
BEST TRAVEL LUGGAGE WITH WHEELS

Osprey Meridian Wheeled Convertible Luggage

  • Price: > $$$
  • > Carry on size
  • > Detachable day pack
BEST CARRY ON TRAVEL BAG
Tortuga Setout Backpack
BEST CARRY ON TRAVEL BAG

Tortuga Setout Backpack

  • Price: > $$
  • > Book-style opening
  • > Dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves
BEST ANTI-THEFT TRAVEL BACKPACK
Pacsafe Vibe 25
BEST ANTI-THEFT TRAVEL BACKPACK

Pacsafe Vibe 25

  • Price: > $
  • > RFID-blocking pouch
  • > Interlocking zips
BEST FOLDABLE TRAVEL BAG
BEST FOLDABLE TRAVEL BAG

WANRD Veer 18L

  • Price: > $
  • > Lightweight
  • > Multiple pockets
BEST TRAVEL DUFFEL BAG
Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel
BEST TRAVEL DUFFEL BAG

Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel

  • Price: > $$
  • > Excellent all-round duffel bag
  • > Protected pocket for tech
BEST LAPTOP TRAVEL BAG
aer city messenger bag
BEST LAPTOP TRAVEL BAG

AER City Messenger Bag

  • Price: > $$
  • > Durable
  • > Lightweight

How to Choose the Best Travel Bag

When deciding between all of these great travel bags, how do you choose the best bag for travel? Here are some pointers…

Best Travel Bag

Size

One of the easiest ways to narrow down the choices is to consider the size of bag you require. If you’re searching for a bag that will see you through the daily commute you’re almost certainly going to need a smaller travel bag than if you’re heading off vacation away from home.

Generally, good travel bags of somewhere between 30 and 45-liters, unless you plan to use air travel check-in. If you have a lot of electronics, camera gear, camping equipment, or clothes (we’ve all been there!), then a larger bag makes much more sense.

Nomatic 40 litre travel bag

Style

If you have a travel bag you’re looking to replace or upgrade, ask yourself what sort of style it is – and whether of course, you like that style!

If you’re comfortable with a backpack-style travel bag, then focus your search on the same; whereas, if you prefer the ease of a duffel bag or wheelie suitcase, that’s the way you should be leaning.

best travel duffel bags

Weight

Will you be carrying your travel bag for long distances? Because if so, every gram (or ounce) of excess weight matters. While wheelie suitcases are a great idea for city movement, wheels always add weight to a bag and are a pain if you are heading off-road (or even onto the cobbles of a city like Paris).

Also, remember that weight is often a trade-off for durability, especially when it comes to travel and hiking backpacks. The more durable a bag, the more it tends to weigh. Understand how you plan to use your bag before buying the lightest or most heavy-duty pack!

nomatic laptop compartment

Are you traveling with Tech?

Are you traveling with tech? These days you probably are, whether you’re traveling for pleasure or for work.

In which case, do you want a rigid travel bag that provides protection, or perhaps a padded laptop sleeve or compartment? We have an entire section dedicated to good travel bags for laptops.

If this is the case, make sure the sleeve is large enough for your particular laptop or tablet too!

wndrd prvke 31 review in titcomb basin roaming ralph

Are you Hiking?

While some of the best travel bags are geared for travel, they’re often not designed for hiking. Some backpacks are designed for both travel AND hiking, but that usually means it’s not the best at either, just manageable.

If you want a backpack that you can take on the trails, then pay attention to how the backpack holds its weight, the suspension system (if it even has one), the shoulder straps, and waist strap comfort.

Best Travel Backpacks

For those who need a larger, more convential backpack that can handle all sorts of trips. These come in all shapes and sizes though our top choices are around 40 liters.

For more information on these sorts of bags, visit our IN-DEPTH guide on how to choose a travel backpack.

#1 Nomatic 40-Liter Travel Bag

Nomatic 30L Travel Bag

Nomatic bags have 20 innovative features to make your travels all the easier, such as a dedicated shoe pocket that keeps dirty soles away from the rest of your luggage, and a fleece-lined RFID-blocking pocket that will keep your electronic data and passports safe from illegitimate scanning by scammers. Pretty much it is the only travel bag under 40 liters you will ever need; which is why we chose it as your top pick.

This bag also incorporates a dedicated laptop sleeve, and is carry on approved for a plethora of international airlines!

We have so much to say about this bag that we wrote an entire Nomatic Travel Bag review.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Perfect carry-on size
  • Tons of features for the modern traveler
  • RFID-blocking pockets
  • Laptop sleeve

Cons

  • Price
  • Weight is a tad heavy for some (1.8 kg)
  • Soft frame
  • Hip belt must be bought separately

#2 Aer Travel Pack 2

aer travel pack 2 backpack

The AER Travel Bag 2 is one of the best travel bags, ever. We have no doubts about that. Pound for pound, we consider the AER Travel Pack to be as good as the Nomatic Travel Bag. They’ve designed and engineered a built-in solution to all of the previous problems we’ve had with travel bags.

This bag is great for digital nomads, backpackers, and business travelers alike. It is designed with your laptop and organization in mind. It’s 33 liters of backpacker perfection.

Use this bag as a daypack, a carry on, or both. You’ll appreciate the many pockets and storage features. Wear it around town to camp on your laptop at your favorite coffee shop or bring it on a plane without needing to check your bag.

For more details about the Aer Travel Pack 2, read our Aer Travel Pack 2 review.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • 33 liters
  • Carry on friendly
  • Shoe pocket
  • Many organization features

Cons

  • Small water bottle pocket
  • Not entirely waterproof
  • No raincover

#3 Tortuga Outbreaker

Tortuga Outbreaker

With their Outbreaker model, US-brand Tortuga promises to deliver a travel bag that has the portability and ergonomic qualities of a hiking backpack with the organizational stance and ease of packing that comes with a suitcase.

That said, we do not recommend this backpack for hiking… refer to our reviews on hiking backpacks instead.

Coming in 35 and 45-liter versions, which you might consider female and male versions, both sizes of the Outbreaker carry 17” laptops, and also tablets of up to 9.7”.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Suitable for laptops up to 17”
  • Comprises additional tablet sleeve
  • Waterproof
  • Carry on compliant

Cons

  • Plain look
  • Made in China
  • Rectangular shape
  • Not for adventures

#4 Mahi Leather Overnight Bag

Mahi Leather Overnighter
Kodiak Weekender 30L is our top pick for the best men’s leather duffel bag for carry-on travel

Leather travel packs are stylish and hard wearing. Whilst note created for outdoors and not ideal for “backpackers”, they do suit urban, business an weekend travellers. Mahi leather is the company to beat in the leather bag market and this weekend sized 30L duffel is a cracking carry on companion.

This leather bag is the flagship duffel for a proven company, and its clean appearance and durable straps have earned it the highest place on our list. The bag can be carried with handles or a shoulder strap, and brass hardware ensures you can walk with confidence no matter how you hold it. 

You won’t lose anything inside the bag, thanks to the zip and phone pocket. You can pack everything you need this weekend in this lightweight and stylish leather bag that checks off all the boxes. 

#5: Monarc Brand Setra

Monarc Backpack
Monarc Backpack

Travel can really take it toll on the planet – I mean jet fumes are not exactly good for anybody right? The good news is that Ecological and Sustainable travel initiatives are now really gaining serious momentum and ecological travel products are popping up everywhere.

So, the Monarc 2-in-1 Duffle-Backpack is the world’s first backpack made from 100% recycled bottles and the producers have been awarded a highly coveted “plastic negative” rating.

As well as being eco friendly, the Monarc Settra is also a seriously cracking great pack. Its 2-1 concept design means it can be worn as a backpack or carried as a duffel using the comfortable handle. If you do wear it on your bag, there are adjustable straps to help carry the weight.

Then there are the organizational possibilities. Its’ 40L of storage can go pretty far and the pack offers a shoe compartment and a 17” laptop sleeve. Coming in at $149.00, it’s an absolute bargain although if you have the budget we also recommend picking up the full set including camera cube, compression cubes and laundry bags.

Anything else? Oh yeah, it’s also water-resistant, TSA Carry-on compliant and comes with a lifetime guarantee!

Best Travel Daypacks

Small travel bags that are meant for shorter journies. These typically hold less than 30 liters and are designed to be easy and lightweight.

If you’re interest in buying a smaller bag and want to learn more, we’ve written a comprehensive daypack post as well!

#1 Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack

Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack

Daypacks have become a vital way of carrying all you need when you’re out and about for the day, but can faulter for two reasons.

Firstly, they don’t always provide enough space for a laptop. Secondly, what do you do with it when its no longer needed? The Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack answers both of these problems!

It will take a laptop of up to 15” and a tablet of 9.7” in dedicated sleeves, and folds flat so it can be easily be packed into your main luggage. We think this is such an awesome feature!

Weighing a very light 500 grams, it won’t add much extra weight to your luggage, but is still made with water proof sailcloth to keep your tech and other kit safe even on drizzly days!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Folds flat for packing
  • Weighs just 500 grams
  • Made with water proof sailcloth

Cons

  • Won’t fit larger laptops
  • Volume limited to 21 litres
  • Just one colour
  • White interior may stain quickly

#2 Osprey Daylite Plus

Osprey Daylite Plus

For a daypack orientated towards hiking and outdoor adventures, this is one of the best bags for travel on the market. Made from a durable ripstop and water resistant nylon, it’s very capable of taking on the great outdoors.

Its frame helps to spread the weight evenly, taking the stress further off your shoulders, which will already feel the benefit of the padded and ventilated shoulder straps. 20-liter packs with frames and waist straps are virtually unheard of, meaning this pack is perfect for day hikes.

Lightweight at just over half a kilo, the Osprey Daylite Plus boasts dedicated spaces for laptop and tablets, in addition to ‘standard’ hiking bag features such as emergency whistle and chest strap!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Made with durable ripstop nylon
  • Water resistant
  • 20 liters
  • Lightweight travel bag

Cons

  • Buckle closure top flap
  • Lacks external webbing or anchor points
  • Front pocket is unlockable
  • May be too small for some users

#3 WANDRD PRVKE 31

wandrd prvke 31 backpack

The WANDRD PRVKE 31 is one of the best camera backpacks on the market for non-professional photographers. The bag is extremely versatile and extremely durable. Its versatility and durability mean the WANDRD PRVKE 31 can be used for more than just a camera bag.

It’s good for hiking, a daypack, or even a small travel bag – the magic is in the WANDRD’s ability to be more than just a camera backpack.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Very durable and robust
  • Great design
  • Tons of pockets
  • Comes with handy accessories

Cons

  • Limited space for cameras/equipment
  • Magnetic handles are just OK

Best Travel Luggage with Wheels

Sometimes, having a set of wheels on your bag can be really useful. Not having to carry around a big ol’ bag can really save your back, especially when you’re in the airport or on some really nice pavement.

We’ve only covered a few bags in this section – read more about wheeled backpacks if you’re interested!

#1 Osprey Meridian Wheeled Convertible Luggage

Osprey meridian backpack with wheels

One of the main reasons you should invest in a backpack with wheels is for convenience. Well, this backpack takes convenience to an entirely new level with its detachable 16-liter day pack!

With this luggage, you will have a day pack, backpack, and rolling luggage all in one! The detachable “day pack” is a great design and can be used as a day bag for all of your excursions. It’s also great for holding your essentials on a flight.

A few more great features include padded top and side handles, a removable shoulder harness, and of course the day pack!

This item meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines (size does not exceed 45 linear inches).

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Carry on size
  • Versatile
  • Detachable day pack

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Heavy! Over 8 Lbs.

#2 Eagle Creek National Geographic Series

durable backpack with wheels by national geographic

This 40 Liter rolling luggage tha doubles as a backpack is perfect for international travel. A marriage between two companies that know rugged travel – Eagle Creek and National Geographic – was built to be weatherproof and dirt resistant for all of your adventures.

Plus, it’s probably the coolest looking backpack with wheels – something I haven’t said since the fourth grade! A few of its awesome features include the top quick stash pocket, multiple grab handles, and treaded off-road wheels so you can roll this bag on challenging terrain!

The main drawback is its weight. There is always a trade-off for durability and weight… and in this case, it’s a few pounds! This backpack may be overkill if you aren’t going on an adventure…

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Perfect carry on size
  • Weatherproof and extremely durable
  • Treaded off-road wheels

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy! 7 Lbs.

#3 Aerolite Superlight Hard Shell Carry on

Aerolite Superlight Hard Shell Carry on travel
Aerolite Superlight Hard Shell Carry on is our top pick for the best carry on travel bags

A traditional wheelie suitcase, the four-wheeled Aerolite Superlight Hard Shell Carry on offers its users supreme protection of its contents thanks to its rigid form of ABS plastic.

Accepted by all the major airlines in Europe and North America as carry on compliant, it weighs 2.5 kg and has a mid-range capacity of 33 litres.

Its wheels rotate a full 360°, giving you effortless movement across airport departure halls. Inside, the case includes packing straps to hold all your baggage in place, two elastic shoe pockets, a slim mesh pocket for documentation, and a zipped divider to keep items separate from one another.

Finally, there’s a five-year guarantee to protect against manufacturing defects!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Rigid-form carry on
  • Carry on compliant
  • Easy wheel movement
  • Five year guarantee

Cons

  • Weight of 2.5 kg
  • Wheels protrude and cannot be retracted
  • Cannot be used as a backpack
  • No padded laptop sleeve

Best Carry On Travel Bags

For those who fly very often and NEED to make sure that their backpack will can be taken on the plane. Generally speaking, 20-30 liter bags can almost always be used as carry ons. 40 liter bags are a little bit more risky but, because we like to toe the line, we’ve included some 40-liters that we believe can be used as such.

If you’d like, you can also read more about carry ons here!

#1 Tortuga Setout Backpack

Tortuga Setout Backpack

The pared-back design of the Tortuga Setout Backpack puts its functionality front and centre.

The most obvious advantages are its packability – with a book-style opening like a suitcase – and its dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves that protect your tech gear. It also has a volume of 45 liters (with a 35 litre version also available if that’s a little too much), and an overall weight of less than 2 kg.

The backpack shoulder straps can be hidden away, and there’s even a detachable hip belt to help with carrying!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Book-style opening
  • Dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Lockable zips
  • Detachable hip belt

Cons

  • Fairly plain design
  • Option between 35 and 45 litres
  • Weight of less than 2 kg
  • Locks must be bought separately

#2 Osprey Farpoint (40 liter)

Best carry on travel bags Osprey Farpoint 40
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is easily one of the best carry on backpacks on the planet

If you are trying to decide between the Tortuga and the Osprey, then it simply comes down to one thing – your personal travel style

Do you need a carry on travel bag for camping and light hiking, or for urban travel? If you picked the former, then the Osprey Farpoint is for you!

Here’s the thing, the Farpoint is somewhat of a hybrid travel and hiking backpack. I’d never pick it primarily for hiking when Osprey carries so many specific hiking backpacks, but if you want a bag that can do a little bit of everything and accompany you on flights, then look no farther.

This bag caters Digital Nomads and backpackers. Read our full Osprey Farpoint 40 review here.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Duffel bag or backpack
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Not as much tech-organization as Nomatic
  • Looks a bit like a turtle shell

#3 Osprey Stratos (33 or 36 liter)

Osprey Stratos best travel bags
Osprey makes world class hiking bags, making this an easy pick for the best hiking carry on backpack

Unlike the Farpoint reviewed above, the Osprey Stratos is a hiking bag first, and a travel bag second. If you love to hike, then you’ll love this bag for many reasons.

This bag is a go-to for short hikes and overnight camping excursions. It comes with an integrated rain cover, is quite lightweight, and has an impressive amount of organization capacity for it’s minimal design.

At 33 or 36 liters (depending on the size you buy), this bag is ALWAYS carry on compliant – just tighten up the compression straps. If you aren’t sold on the Stratos, the Osprey Cirrus 36 is another great option.

Read our full Osprey Stratos 36 review here.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Always carry-on compliant
  • Awesome ultralight hiking backpacks
  • New updated design
  • Ventilated mesh back panel

Cons

  • Likely too small for most travelers
  • Not made for regular travel
  • Mixed reviews on the pocket sizes

#4 Inateck Travel Carry on Luggage

Inateck Travel Carry on travel bag
Inateck Travel Carry on Luggage is our top pick for the best travel luggage

The first thing that must be noted about the Inateck Travel Carry on Luggage is the fact that despite its impressive size and dimensions it still counts as carry on compatible for most of the world’s major airlines.

The ideal weekender trip pack, it’s capacity is divided into two main compartments, a sleeve for a laptop up to 17” and another for a 13” tablet, and several other pockets inside and out to help keep your baggage organized.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Generally carry on compliant
  • Two main compartments
  • Sleeves for laptop and tablet
  • Hidden pocket

Cons

  • Quite large for carrying as a backpack
  • Square shape
  • Included rain cover must be used for water proofing
  • Locking requires additional padlock

Best Anti-theft Travel Backpacks

Most travel bags have some sort of security against theft. For extra protection though, you’ll need a special backpack with more features than usual.

#1 Pacsafe Vibe 25

Pacsafe Vibe 25 best travel bags with anti-theft
Pacsafe Vibe 25 is our top pick for the best anti-theft travel backpacks

The Australian brand, Pacsafe, is dedicated to creating fully-functional travel bags that also protect you from theft. The Vibe 25 has a reasonable daypack size of 25 litres, while weighing less than a kilogram.

There’s an RFID-protective pocket to keep your credit cards, identity card and passport safe from data theft, and a PopNLock security clip that secures the Vibe 25 to any immovable object.

An interlinking zip closure system also makes it impossible for anyone to open any of the bag’s zips without you noticing! The Vibe 25 is also protected from the slash and grab tactics of some thieves due to its hidden wire mesh, and shoulder straps that incorporate steel wires.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Weighs less than a kilo
  • RFID-blocking pouch
  • Interlocking zips
  • Embedded steel mesh

Cons

  • Fairly plain exterior
  • Too small a volume for some
  • Some users report zips jamming
  • Not for adventure travel

#2 XD Design Bobby

XD Design Bobby

With a stylish modern design and 12.5 litre capacity, the XD Design Bobby has both hidden zips to make it harder for pickpockets to make a quick grab for your kit, and additional hidden pockets.

The water repellent and slash proof outer material will see splashes of water just run off, while the interior has space for laptops up to 15.6” in size and tablets of up to 10”.

Further, the XD Design Bobby also includes an integrated USB charging port into its design, enabling you to charge your smartphone and still use it by connecting it to a powerbank stored safely inside the bag.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Ideal for commuting or day travelling
  • Hidden zips for main compartment
  • Slash proof material
  • Integrated USB charging port

Cons

  • 12.5 litre capacity not for longer travels
  • Water repellent rather than water proof
  • Fits laptops up to 15.6”
  • Powerbank not included

#3 Kopack Lightweight Anti-theft backpack

Kopack Lightweight Anti-theft backpack

In the Kopack Lightweight Anti-theft backpack, we have another travel bag with anti-theft features that is able to carry laptops up to 15” in size.

Like the XD Design Bobby, this model from Kopack has a hidden zip design that makes it difficult for pickpockets to target, while this bag is nice and comfortable thanks to the padding added to the shoulder straps and other areas of the bag that touch the body.

A sleeve on the outside means you can slip the bag over the extendable handles of a wheelie suitcase, while the outer materials are deliberately made from tough nylon that is resistant to tears and anti-slash too!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Hidden zipper design
  • Tear resistant nylon construction

Cons

  • No RFID-protection pocket
  • Not fully water proof
  • Single colour option
  • Fits laptops up to 15” only

Best Foldable Travel Bags

These are the ultimate packable backpacks – ones that can fold and collapse into a sleeve that is usually the size of a purse or tablet! These make for excellent additions to backpacking gear lists and are usually very affordable as well.

#1 Wandrd Veer 18L

POKARLA Foldable Rucksack is our top pick for the best foldable travel bags

Wandrd make some of the best gear on the market today and have now added their packable backpack to the range. It has a sturdy main structure which is resistant to general wear and tear as well as protective against rain and other weather conditions.

Weighing just a few hundred grams, there are two zip-shut front pockets for smaller items of kit, pockets on either side for water bottles or an umbrella, and a mesh pocket with zip closure on the inside. An access point has been incorporated for use with water hydration systems.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Nice colour options
  • Sturdy structure
  • Lightweight travel bag
  • Multiple pockets

Cons

  • No padding for laptop or tech
  • Mesh pockets could be stronger
  • Not fully water proof

#2 Outlander Packable

best foldable daypack and travel bag

The Outlander is foldable daypack with multiple compartments! This bag has an internal security zippered pocket to protect valuable items. The fabric is water and abrasion resistant and it is reinforced to be ultra-durable. It’s also extremely affordable!

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Multiple compartments
  • Water resistant
  • Durable for a packable
  • Cheap!

Cons

  • Not for proper hikes/athletics
  • Simple style

#3 Skypak Folding Travel Bag

Skypak Folding Travel Bag

The Skypak Folding Travel Bag is a foldable duffel bag with a 90 litre capacity! Coming with a detachable shoulder strap, the Skypak still only weighs 600 grams when empty.

Folding into a flat pack roughly the size and shape of a tablet computer, it can easily be slipped into a larger piece of luggage or even a daypack or handbag.

Each of the metal zips have bright orange tags for grip, which contrasts nicely against the otherwise plain black nylon material. The manufacturers report it to be strong enough to be placed in the hold of an aircraft without issue, but we’ve yet to test this out for sure.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • Just 600 g in weight
  • Folds down to size of tablet computer
  • Tough enough to act as hold luggage

Cons

  • Soft shell design without rigidity
  • No padding or dedicated tech sleeve
  • No backpack handles
  • Not a wheelie suitcase

Best Travel Duffel Bags

Duffels are tried and tested bags that are still useful these days. Grabable, packable, tossable, and stowable, for some travelers, duffel bags are the way to go.

#1 Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel

Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel
Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel is our top pick for the best travel duffel bags

Duffel bags don’t have to be foldable to be a great way of transporting kit from place to place, with the Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel an excellent example of this.

Not only does it have all the features of a standard duffel bag – a large main compartment accessed via a large top opening – it also has a set of padded shoulder straps that can be pulled out when you want to use this duffel as a backpack.

There’s also a padded internal compartment for keeping your laptop protected; the tough double zips are lockable, and the materials are long-lasting and durable.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Excellent all-round duffel bag
  • Packable padded shoulder straps
  • Lockable zips
  • Protected pocket for tech

Cons

  • Has rain flaps but not fully water resistant
  • Mid-sized bag of 40 litres
  • Rigid construction
  • Locks must be bought separately

#2 Tortuga Setout Duffel Bag

Tortuga Setout Duffel Bag

This duffle is one of the best travel bags for air travel. It really shines when it comes to internal organization, even though it’s a duffel bag! It includes a compartment for your laptop and chargers, and a separate compartment for your shoes! Its handle slips over a luggage handle.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • 35 L perfect carry on size
  • Wonderful design
  • Laptop compartment
  • Tons of organization

Cons

  • Not fully waterproof
  • Straps are not as comfortable as their backpack!
  • Only fits 13″ laptop
  • No water bottle pocket

#3 Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler best duffel bags

The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler comes not only with backpack shoulder straps, but also with grab handles, making this duffel-style travel bag simple to lift, move, and transport. Fantastic, no?

But there’s more! The 45 litre capacity version of the Cargo Hauler comes with an empty packed weight of just 2 lbs, making it a very lightweight travel bag, while 600 Dernier synthetic materials that are also water resistant make it durable and tough. Though there is no dedicated padded compartment for delicate items, the Cargo Hauler does boast a padded bottom section, so you should have little worry when placing your duffel on uneven ground.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Incorporates backpack straps and grab handles
  • Lightweight
  • 600 Dernier material
  • Padded base

Cons

  • Water resistant rather than water proof
  • 600 Dernier thinner than some duffel materials
  • No rigid structure
  • Not for business travel

#4 Patagonia Black Hole

Patagonia Black Hole best duffel bags

Patagonia is the doyen of the outdoor market, and The Black Hole series of duffel bags are made with even thicker, durable synthetic materials than the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler. Each version of these duffels are constructed with a 900 Dernier ripstop nylon material which has been treated in to be highly water-resistant as well as tear-resistant – liquids really do just roll off this bag.

Despite the thicker materials used in these quality constructions, the Black Hole series still offers an impressive balance between usage and weight, with the 60 litre version hitting the scale at less than 3 lbs. It has backpack straps too! Perfect if you want to travel with a checked bag that you won’t be able to carry into the cabin

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • 900 Dernier ripstop construction
  • Water resistant
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Come with backpack straps

Cons

  • Soft shell design
  • Not fully waterproof
  • No detachable cross body shoulder strap
  • Not a guaranteed carry on

Best Laptop Travel Bags

These days, lots of people travel with laptops. If you do as well, make sure that you have the right bag to protect. A laptop can be a big investment, and it’d be a shame if it was broken because it was carried in the wrong kind.

#1 AER City Messenger Bag

aer city messenger bag
The AER Laptop Bag is our top pick for the best laptop travel bags

Many of our other reviewed travel bags have dedicated laptop compartments of one form or another, but that doesn’t mean a specialised laptop travel bag isn’t useful for expensive tech.

Taking the standard form of a modern briefcase laptop bag, the AER City Messenger Bag is made up of durable and waterproof materials and zips. It has a reversible padded shoulder strap for easy transportation and side pouches that can be used for packing water bottles or other accessories. If you are a bike commuter, you will appreciate the relatively small size of the city messenger – not too bulky – but big enough to carry what you need for the day.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Durable
  • Reversible shoulder strap
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Capacity of just 10 liters
  • Solely a laptop bag
  • Cannot be used as main bag

#2 Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

Tortuga Set out

The Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack is the smaller version of their first Setout – and it’s just as awesome! This bag is a 25-liter masterpiece for anyone looking for a smaller laptop bag that feels and looks great.

The Setout Laptop Backpack has plenty of organizational-features including mesh pockets and a secure area for your laptop.

The Setout Laptop is marketed as a laptop bag for those who do a lot of air travel. If this sounds like you, then this may be your backpack from heaven.

Read our complete Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack Review here.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Durable
  • Minimalist design
  • Dedicated Laptop and Tablet Area
  • 25 liters

Cons

  • Pricey for 25 liter bag
  • Might be too small for some

#3 Incase EO Travel Backpack

incase eo best travel bags

The EO travel backpack is known for making stylish business backpacks. This bag is made for people on-the-go and business trips. The EO accommodates a 17-inch laptop and has tons of options for internal organization.

The bag itself is made out of 300D polyester, and the black option has a triple coated weather-resistant front panel. The shoulder straps are made with breathable mesh, and the back panels are padded too.

The main compartment has plenty of storage space, and it expands 35% to fit all of the clothes you may need.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Fits up to a 17-inch laptop
  • Padded back panels
  • Main compartment expands by 35%
  • Zippable laptop compartment makes security checks a breeze

Cons

  • Might be too small for some
  • For minimal travelers only
  • No strap to attach to suitcase handle

#4 Kroser Laptop Backpack

Kroser Laptop Backpack

Not only does the Kroser Laptop Backpack offer some protection from the rain with its water resistant qualities, but it also boasts some environmental credentials with its use of environmentally-friendly poly fabric!

It weighs in at just over 1 kg, and consists of several large compartments, with dedicated padded sleeves for laptops up to 17” in size and standard-sized tablet computers.

It also includes an integrated USB charging port, so that you can continue to use a smart phone while it is being charged with a powerbank hidden inside the bag.

What We Like and Don’t Like

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves
  • USB charging port

Cons

  • Not fully water proof
  • Not for longer journeys
  • Does not boast TSA approval
  • Powerbank not included

The Nomatic Travel Pack is another super offering from this brand! We think it’s one of the best day bags due to its size and versatility.

This 20-litre daypack can be expanded to 30 litres, making it extremely adaptable for your trip!

FAQ about the Best Travel Bags

Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

The Best of the Best Travel Bags Revealed!

Whatever your preferred choice of travel bag, our epic list of the best travel bags has undoubtedly brought the latest and most impressive bags to your attention.

We’ve covered all manner of travel bags in this review, from traditional backpacks to laptop bags and the staple wheelie suitcase. Having scoured the world for the very best, our selection includes some of the globe’s biggest travel brands, but also lesser-known labels we think you should pay attention to!


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