Whether you’re going away for a weekend mini-break or embarking on a round-the-world tour, our pick of the best travel bags will help you choose the right luggage to stow your belongings in.
Less formal or conventional than suitcases (but if you want one of those, see T3's guide to the best suitcases) travel bags are generally lighter, less structured are more flexible, some can even be folded flat so you can stow them easily in a cupboard or under the bed when you reach your destination.
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- Or maybe a backpack or laptop bag
How to buy the best travel bag for you
Travel bags come in a variety of styles, including weekend bags, duffels, holdalls and totes. They are usually made from leather, canvas, tough ballistic nylon, or even waxed cotton and are equipped with zip fastenings (as opposed to suitcase-like hinged locks).
The large travel bags also come with wheels to make them easier to move around.
Look for bags with rubberised or waterproof zips and plenty of pockets for storing smaller items. It also helps if they have reinforced corners to help them cope with the inevitable rough and tumble of life on the road.
Keep an eye out for travel bags with lifetime or long warranties or guarantees too – that way if your bag does fail to measure up to the tough times ahead, you may be able to get it repaired or replaced for free.
Most importantly, purchase a bag that you find attractive – these are just as much statement pieces as they are practical items of luggage.
Let’s get started…
The best travel bags to buy today
The Burberry Holdall is a compact, lightweight travel bag that’s ideal for weekends away – or even trips to the gym. It comes with a main zippered compartment; plus an internal zippered side pockets for storing your valuables. The PVC is reinforced with leather panels, and you can alternate between the structured top handles and adjustable shoulder strap when navigating airport security. Yes, it's on the more expensive side, but it's a worthy investment which will serve you well.
Eastpak has teamed up with Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons to create this stylish and practical duffle bag. It's made from black canvas and trimmed with hardwearing vinyl, this 50-litre duffle will fit right in in a First Class lounge, as well as the locker room at the gym.
The Raf Simons + Eastpak bag comes with main zipped compartment, plus there are no fewer than four external side pockets for storing for items you need to get fast access to – like your phone, passport and travel documents.
Inside, the bag is lined with Blade Runner inspired lining, and includes an internal zippered section for more valuable items. With its stylish design, use of quality materials and utilitarian nature, the Raf Simons + Eastpak Canvas Holdall is worth every penny.
Montblanc is a German luxury goods company that specialises in quality leather items for jetsetters – and this sleek duffel bag does nothing to diminish its world-class reputation.
Available in Black, and only Black, the Montblanc Sartorial Jet Shell Duffle is made from a combination of black saffiano-print calf leather and water-and-scratch resistant black nylon fabric with a satin finish. It features two carry handles and a removable shoulder strap.
Inside, there's a spacious main compartment, zipped pocket and two open pockets. It is undoubtedly sleek and stylish, but the bag is also tough and well-made, making it ready for all the travelling adventures you care to throw its way.
Associated in the public imagination with a certain kind of Britishness, the Barbour wax jacket is famously practical and hard-wearing. And this medium-sized cotton holdall has those associations in spades. Not only is it made from the same Olive Green waxed cotton material, but the bag is even lined with Barbour’s Classic Tartan.
Ideal for a weekend away – preferably to a country retreat – the bag comes with leather handles and trim, antique brass fittings and a detachable shoulder strap. Inside you’ll find two inner zip pockets for storing valuables: the perfect place for a hip flask, maybe?
Tom Ford served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before starting his eponymous brand in 2006. This leather holdall is one of our favourites, crafted in Italy from firm full-grain leather that'll disguise wear and tear, and comes with a detachable shoulder strap too.
The understated design will make it blend right in in the business lounge, but it's also casual enough to to take into town or on a weekend trip. The capacious interior features three well-sized pockets to keep you organised.
The holdall is completed with a luggage tag for your credentials, and a lockable zip.
Available in seven distinctive colours – Black, Red/Black, Gold/Black, Black/White, Thyme/Falcon Brown, Tibetan Orange/Exuberance Orange and Cayenne Red/Regal Red – the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is the perfect travel companion. Made from tough ballistic nylon, it comes with both padded side handles and a removable shoulder strap so it’s easy to carry around.
Its 69 litres capacity is split across two compartments: the zippered main compartment comes with zippered mesh sections at one end and in the weather-resistant top flap; while a separate second end-cap compartment can be used for storing wet clothes, water bottles and other gear.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag also comes with side pockets for storing your phone, wallet and other items for fast, easy access. The bag also comes with a waterproof ID pocket on top — ideal for putting your name, address or destination in a prominent place.
Founded all the way back in 1846 in Madrid, Loewe is known as the gold standard in fine leather construction and crisp prêt-a-porter. Current designer Jonathan Anderson has been instrumental in the brands revamped look and draws inspiration from his time in Ibiza as a child; describing the style as, ‘forward and free’. This is expressed in the motif lead pop prints and a kaleidoscopic colour palette of Loewe.
This Loewe holdall is a perfect example of that. It's one of the lightest travel bags on this list, made from durable canvas, so you can toss it in the trunk or overhead bin without a worry. The pastel blue will help you stand out from the crowd, while the complementing navy leather trim adds a bit of class.
Inside you'll find a herringbone lining, and enough space to hold a weekend's worth of clothes. It has handy internal pockets for your travel documents or chargers, and features twin carry handles, and a removable shoulder strap.
Eastpak started life making bags for the US military — so it knows a thing or two about making tough, long lasting bags for travellers. The Eastpak Leatherface Large 2-Wheel Duffel is no exception.
Available in four different colours (Black, Black Denim, Sunday Grey and Dot Grey), the Eastpak Leatherface Large 2-Wheel Duffel comes with a huge 98-litre volume — enough for an extended trip away. It also has three side pockets for stowing smaller items and travel documents, plus an inside zippered pocket for valuable items.
Made from tough, water-resistant polyamide, the Eastpak Leatherface also comes with two recessed wheels and a telescopic handle (which can be hidden out of sight) for those times when you’d rather tow it than carry it. It also comes with padded carry straps and a 30-year guarantee.
Mulberry's Heritage collection was designed as a tribute to the early bags of Mulberry's heritage, which were inspired by English country pursuits. The Weekender is the perfect overnight bag for your next trip, featuring a full zip closure, practical belted front pocket for easy-to-get essentials and two sturdy top handles.
It is completed with one main zipped compartment, exterior slip pocket at the back, external slip pocket at the front secure with a Sam Browne stud, one luggage tag embossed with the Mulberry signature and an adjustable and removable webbed shoulder strap.
This bag from Coach is ready to tackle the gym or a weekend trip away. It's constructed from supple cow leather and trimmed with contrasting tan suede. It's structured but still casual and sporty, making it the ideal all-purpose bag.
It's designed to transport all your necessary essentials, features plenty of slip pockets to keep you organised, and can be carried by shoulder or by hand.
The next time you jet off on a business trip or a 5-star weekend in somewhere exotic, you might want to consider taking this premium weekend bag with you.
Made from vegetable dyed leather and available in two different colours – Black Leather and Cognac – the Sandqvist Jordan comes with two padded carry handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, and has two external pockets for easy access to items like your phone and travel documents.
Although the bag is relatively small at 33 litres, it also comes with two internal canvas pockets to help you get that bit more organised. And if your budget doesn’t run to this premium version, the Sandqvist Jordan is also available in less expensive cotton canvas and waxed cotton canvas editions.
With its 81-litre capacity, the Herschel Outfitter Luggage Wheelie is an ideal travel companion for anyone who needs to pack in as many possessions as they can – and still look reasonably stylish doing so. This duffel certainly abounds with neat touches, including pebbled leather carry handles and zip pulls, two quiet-running urethane wheels and a soft-touch neoprene covering on its telescopic handle.
Available in six different colours / designs: Black, Black Gridlock, Raven Crosshatch, Eclipse Crosshatch, Woodland Camo and Peacoat Parlour, so you’re bound to find one that suits your style.
The only thing we don’t like about this case is the lack of lockable options – you’ll need to buy your own padlock, for sure.