The best men’s travel bag

From bestreviews.com
By
Brett Dvoretz
BestReviews

If you prefer to check your travel bag when flying, look for one with zippers that allow you to attach a TSA- approved lock.

Take your stuff on the go with these top men’s travel bags 

Whether you believe traveling is more about the journey or the destination, you’ll need a reliable way to take your stuff along. Men’s travel bags are just the way to do that. They come in a wide range of types and designs, from rugged to refined, so every guy can find one that meets their needs and appeals to their sense of style.

When choosing a bag, you may prefer to opt for a fashionable model like the leather Cenzo Duffle Vecchio Weekender, which is handmade in Italy and is ideal for luxury and business travel. Or you may prefer something a bit more tough and utilitarian like a duffle for adventures. Whichever way you go, you’ll want to consider several things, including the capacity, the number and layout of the pockets and how durable the materials are.

Type of travel bag

Travel bags come in several different styles, each of which excels in certain situations. Common types include duffles, weekenders, backpacks and garment bags. There are also some hybrid options that combine the best of two or more different types. For example, there are wheeled duffels, which combine the convenience of wheeled luggage with the easy carrying of a duffle. There are also backpacks that convert into duffles, or vice versa, for versatile carrying options, and weekenders that feature incorporated garment bags.

When choosing the right type of travel bag for your needs, consider your carrying preferences, what type of attire you tend to pack and what style you are trying to achieve.

Capacity

The capacity of a travel bag should play a large role in your purchase decision. Ideally, you want a bag that is large enough to accommodate everything you need for a trip, with a little room left over for souvenirs, but not so large that it is unnecessarily bulky. As the name implies, weekenders are intended to carry a couple of day’s worth of stuff, as are most garment bags. Duffels and backpacks come in a range of sizes, some of which are large enough to carry a week or more’s worth of clothing and personal items.

Weight

The weight of travel bags can vary greatly from one to the next. Some weigh just a couple of pounds, while others can weigh 5 pounds or more. This may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference if you are often carrying the bag for long periods of time. 

Men’s travel bag features

Straps and handles

Men’s travel bags may come with any combination of straps and handles. In general, the more lifting and carrying options the better. Some models may only have carrying handles, others may include a removable shoulder strap and also top or bottom grab handles for quick retrieval of the bag from the trunk of a car or the overhead bin of a plane. Ideally, all of the straps and handles should be comfortably padded.

Pockets

Any good travel bag should have a nice mix of pockets, preferably on both the inside and outside. The more pockets of various sizes, the easier it is to keep your items organized and to keep delicate items like laptops or cameras away from items that could potentially damage them. 

Zippers

The zippers of travel bags should be sturdy enough that they can stand up to constant zipping and unzipping without failing. They should also run smoothly, so you aren’t left fumbling around every time you want to open and close the bag. 

Shoe compartment

Both business and recreational travelers alike can benefit from a travel bag with a dedicated shoe compartment. This allows you to keep your dirty shoes away from your clean clothes.

Integrated garment bag

If you often travel with suits, sports coats and other nice clothes that you want to keep wrinkle-free while in transit, a garment bag is non-negotiable. Rather than buying a dedicated one though, and having to carry two pieces of luggage, you can opt for a duffle or weekender that incorporates a garment roll. 

Luggage trolley sleeve

A luggage trolley sleeve is a small slip that you can slide over the handle of your wheeled luggage. These allow you to secure your bag to your luggage to reduce arm and shoulder strain when walking.

Water resistance

No one expects to get caught in the rain when traveling, but you should always plan for it just in case. This means buying a bag that has at least some level of water resistance to keep its contents protected if this happens.

Men’s travel bag cost 

Depending on your size requirements and the materials you prefer, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 for small nylon or canvas bags up to $500 or more for premium leather options.

Men’s travel bag FAQ

Can I take my travel bag as a carry-on?

A. Most travel bags can be used as carry-ons, but there are some large duffels and backpacks that exceed airline carry-on size limits. You can check the dimensions of any bag you are considering and then compare them to the airline you plan on flying. The average size limit for carry-ons is 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, but this does vary slightly between airlines.

How much clothing can I fit in a men’s travel bag?

A. Men’s travel bags vary greatly in size, so there is no definitive answer to how much clothing you can fit inside of them. Some are intended for weekend trips and can only hold a few outfits. Others can easily accommodate a week’s worth of clothes and toiletries. Your best bet is to check the listed capacity and buyer reviews of any bags you are considering to gauge how much you can fit in it. 

Which men’s travel bag should I get?

Best of the best men’s travel bag

Cenzo Duffle Vecchio Weekender: available at Amazon

Our take: This striking duffle is handmade in Italy from full-grain calfskin leather, making it an ideal choice for the refined gentleman with discerning taste.

What we like: The leather gets a beautiful patina over time, so it looks better and better with age, and the striped canvas lining is both attractive and durable.

What we dislike: The hardware isn’t as tough as the rest of the materials.

Best bang for your buck men’s travel bag

UniqueBella Carry-on Garment Bag: available at Amazon

Our take: A versatile option, this duffle-style garment bag is good for business and recreational trips alike.

What we like: It has a smart layout with several pockets and a dedicated spot for shoes. Plus, it comes in a few stylish colors.

What we dislike: The garment roll isn’t wide enough to accommodate the suits of broad men with wide shoulders. 

Honorable mention men’s travel bag

High Sierra Dells Canyon Convertible Duffel Bag: available at Amazon and Macy's

Our take: Offering several ways to carry it and a rugged build, the Canyon Convertible can see you through all kinds of adventures.

What we like: It’s expandable to add an additional 12 liters of storage space for those times you need to pack a little extra stuff, and the ripstop, abrasion-resistant fabric can take a lot of abuse without failing.

What we dislike: Its style makes it less suitable for work trips.

Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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