Now that travel season is back and busier than ever, you are likely—and excitedly— packing for that long-awaited weekend escape. Packing well, even for a mini vacation, is an art form. One of the most essential parts: Having the right bag. We consulted experts who typically spend their life on planes, trains and automobiles to get their top picks for the best weekender bags that marry style with functionality and practicality.

From chic totes to cool duffles to roll-ons that fit neatly in the overhead, their tried-and-true favorites tick all the boxes for being lightweight yet spacious, on-trend but timeless and, most importantly, durable and well-designed. Consider these your go-to options and let the adventures (and wanderlust) begin.

Shop The Best Weekender Travel Bags

Best Weekender Bag Overall

Paravel: Stylish And Made To Last


Why it’s great: Paravel’s duffle gets top marks for its casual cool look, durability and ample packing room. It’s elegant yet laidback, says New-York-based fashion stylist Sarah Meikle. “This fits in everything I need for a weekend and works as a carry-on for long-haul flights.” The 20-inch by 11-inch bag is crafted from eco-friendly canvas and has vegan leather handle straps, interior and exterior pockets and adjustable shoulder strap. “To take things up a notch, you can also get it monogrammed,” says Meikle.

Best Affordable Weekender Bag

L.L Bean: A Classic That Holds A Lot

Why it’s great: This oversized canvas tote is well priced for short getaways. It’s crafted in Maine from heavyweight canvas, with reinforced handles and double-stitched seams, so you can pack it all in with confidence. “I like that it’s easy to put over your arm, holds a ton, is inexpensive and honestly gets better with age,” says MeikleOther options: Paravel’s Weekender is a runner-up, made in smaller size, with thoughtful features, such an extra wide top zipper you can access easily, trolley handle straps and roomy interior zip pockets.

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Best Weekender Bag For Short Trips

Away: Water-Resistant And Hardworking

Why it’s great: As its name suggests, Away’s water-resistant nylon Everywhere Bag can go with you anywhere. It’s a smaller, more compact version of the brand’s bestselling overnight bag that’s a favorite of stylist and co-founder of La Linge Meredith Melling. “It’s perfect for a quick getaway, is simple and chic and will house all your clothes, cosmetics, tech and essentials,” she says. It’s made with clever design details, such as an easy-access clamshell opening, padded laptop sleeve and adjustable strap so you can sling it over your shoulder. Other options: Fashion stylist Sarah Clary highly recommends Rains Weekend Bag, a waterproof duffel bag finished with a roomy main compartment and detachable shoulder strap. “It’s a simple, chic interpretation of the classic gym bag,” she says. “You can throw it in the trunk or on the train and it comes in cute colorways and multiple sizes.” 

Best Weekender Bag For Long Trips

Solgaard: A Traveling Closet

Why it’s great: If you identify as a classic overpacker (you’re not alone), this Solgaard bag—a top pick from stylist Clary—will literally fit your entire wardrobe. The large capacity trunk has a genius built-in shelving system with five removable dividers, compression straps for maximum storage and a zippered mesh pocket for shoes, cosmetics and tech accessories. “This bag help you map out your clothing like a closet so you can stay organized and pack for that long journey with space left over to buy more on your trip,” says Clary. Other options: Fashion consultant and former vice president of buying at Net-A-Porter Sarah Rutson spends more than 10 months of the year on the road and swears by Briggs & Riley Extra Large Expandable Spinner. It has zippered compartments rather than a shelving system and “an interior garment holder that keeps suits, jackets, tailored and special pieces flat and pressed,” she says. It also utilizes compression to free up 17% more packing space.

Best Leather Weekender Bag

Métier: Chic And Gets Better With Age

Why we love it: A leather duffle is an investment but it’ll last a lifetime. A top choice of Rutson’s for weekend and business travel, Métier’s is made in Italy with premium leather. “I love the subtlety but functionality of this bag, which has a vibe that says style but not femininity, and it has separate compartments to keep my things super organized,” says Rutson. It has a convenient internal laptop sleeve, exterior zipped pocket and back pocket that converts into a trolley loop to attach to your suitcase. Other options: For a less expensive alternative, fashion stylist Marlien Rentmeester loves the the Clare V. Overnighter Tote in aqua green leather. “It’s roomy and incredibly practical,” she says. “You can carry it by hand or over your shoulder and it patinas beautifully.” Inside you’ll find stylish chambray lining and a zip drop pocket.

Best Designer Duffle

Prada: Iconic For A Reason

Why it’s great: Rutson has carried her Prada Nylon Duffle for more than 25 years.  “It’s so strong and is my absolute superstar all-rounder, “ she says of this understated travel stalwart, which expands to increase its volume while still remaining sleek enough to be easily carried. Prada updated the bag with innovative recycled fibers and regenerated nylon yarn, making this a sustainable pick for the modern traveler.

Best Rolling Weekender Bag

Tumi: Compact And Versatile

Why it’s great: Not all rolling bags are created equal. Seasoned traveler and artist Meagan Morrison, who illustrates her adventures around the globe, relies on Tumi International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-on, which she says is big on space but compact. “I avoid checking luggage at all costs and I’ve been using my Tumi for seven years,” she says. Its exterior is made from the same material used for professional race cars and protective sports gear and the zipper expansion provides two inches of extra space. Other options: Rentmeester has “long been a fan of Away luggage for the price, color options, practicality and durability” but also likes Roam’s Large Carry-On hardcase carry-on rollers that come in customizable shades of red, soft pink, slate blue and more. “Perhaps it’s the thrill of travel being back,” she says. “But I’m making a more exuberant style statement with my luggage now.”

Best Status Weekender Bag

Gucci: A Keep-Forever Hero

Why it’s great: When it comes to fashion admiration, many worship at the altar of Gucci. Beyond its stylish Italian design—outfitted in canvas and the brand’s signature green and red trim, and antique gold-hued hardware—this is a hardworking duffle that’s worth the price and has served Rentmeester well. “I’ve had this forever-fashionable duffel for ages, and it has yet to show any signs of the millions of miles I’ve logged,” she says. Other options: Streamline’s Starlet Carryon trunk has old-world glamour and is highly recommended by Clary. The interior features a hanging system with zip wall pockets for maximum packing ability and is lined with charming prints like polkadots and palm trees. “The trunks come in different colors and sizes, too, and they can be checked or used for carry-on,” says Clary.

How To Choose The Best Weekender Bag

Just like the perfect weekend trip isn’t the same for every traveler, weekender bags run the gamut in terms of options. Here’s what to keep in mind when picking the right style for your needs and one that will last through multiple trips.

  • Small Sizes (Light Packer Or Short Trips): Go for a lightweight canvas or nylon tote with at least 17-liter capacity to hold a few days’ worth of clothes and your laptop. This option can double as your day bag, and ideally it has top handles and an adjustable strap so you can carry it, or wear it over your shoulder or as a cross body. Compartments are key according to fashion consultant and personal shopper Sarah Meike. “Make sure it has at least one separate zippered compartment to house your go-to essentials—phone, headphones, keys, sunscreen—to avoid rummaging.”
  • Medium Sizes (Moderate Packer): If you need a little more packing space, a medium or large duffle (with 55 liter-capacity) is a best as these have more volume and slots to keep your things organized. “And even better if the bag can convert to a backpack, “ says fashion stylist Marlien Rentmeester. For roll-on fans, look to large carry-on suitcases that fit in the overhead, are expandable (from 40 to 60 liters in capacity size) and have separate pockets and compartments to keep tailored and special pieces flat and pressed.
  • Large Sizes (Serious Packer): If you’re traveling for many hours or for a weekend that might also turn into an extended stay, you’ll need a lightweight, yet durable wheeled bag that is also expandable, and has in-built storage and hanging systems or compartments to separate your shoes, tech, cosmetics and other essentials. These large capacity stalwarts can hold 70 to 90 liters but ideally you want it to weigh no more than 11 pounds since no one want to lug around the equivalent of a 747 jet on vacation.
  • Materials And Hardware: Casual canvas weekenders look great but can show marks in white and neutral shades, so go for darker colors if you’re a rugged traveler or make sure your bag is machine washable. Nylon is a great choice for most bags that’s durable, easy to roll up and waterproof. Leather is enduring and tends to get better with age, making this material worth the investment. For more structured bags and suitcases, it’s especially important to invest in good construction and hardware. Think: easy to extend telescopic handles, adjustable straps, pinch and close openings and double stitched seams. For the outer shell, look for polycarbonate (recycled ideally), heavy duty fiberboard and silicone-coated canvas to be the most indestructible.

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