Holiday traveling is upon us. This year, you might be tempted to stuff over a week’s worth of belongings into a backpack, but please don’t. It’s time to discover the wonders of a weekender bag.
While a bag that holds just two or three days’ worth of your life might seem unnecessarily specific, it’s crucial to any weekend excursion, especially if you’re a chronic overpacker who refuses to check luggage unless it’s free. (Guilty!)
What’s the criteria for a good weekender bag?
The best weekender bags are stylish and durable — this isn’t the kind of purchase you want to replace every few years. You want a bag that doesn’t look like it was fished out of a clearance bin mere hours before your trip or appear as if it could be holding the contents of a gym locker.
To help you prepare for your upcoming holiday travels, we’ve rounded up the sturdiest, roomiest, and non-ugly weekender bags that’ll make you the best-dressed person going through airport security.
The Sporty One
It’s a gym bag, it’s a weekend bag, and, according to reviewers, it’s the perfect everyday bag, too. The sporty padded puffer bag comes in two colors with compartments for all the essentials, including your phone and laptop.
The Leather One
The Minimalist One
The design is simple, but the bag is anything but. With three separate compartments and lots of space, this weekender keeps things neat and organized for you meticulous packers.
The Pink One
With 11,026 ratings, the people of Amazon must love this bag because it works for both the gym and a weekend retreat in Arizona with the girls. It is thick and durable. One reviewer even wrote, “I have used it as a hospital bag when I gave birth as well as using it as a weekend bag or for hand luggage when I go abroad.”
The TikTok Favorite
People love this bag. Reviewers claim it is the “go-to weekend travel bag” and a “TSA-approved personal item.” What’s best about this bag is it can be carried as a backpack, a cross-body bag, a shoulder bag, or even a handbag.
The One That’ll Fit Anything
The Under $30 One
It’s no surprise this bag has five stars on Amazon. It costs $30, and reviewers love it for its durability and compression abilities. You can squish it into a small square, pack it in a different carryall, and then break it out to bring home all the goodies you bought on vacation.
The One With Options
Not only can you get this chic bag in a multitude of colors, it’s also available in sizes XS to XL. Sizes from medium up in this water-resistant, neoprene bag can fit your standard laptop and shoes. If you need more space, the XL is the perfect carry-on, and all bags are made from Repreve® recycled lining, featuring a shoe bag and dust bag to make packing even easier.
The Under $50 One
A simple option that’s cheaper than anything you’ll buy at the airport. It’s sturdy and roomy with lots of pockets and five-star reviews on Amazon.
Another Pink One
If you really like to match, this bag is part of an entire set of pretty pink luggage. If not, you can still grab this handy weekender with lots of pockets and pouches at a deep discount.
The Gen-Z-Approved One
Your carry-on in a pinch, this cloud bag comes in a few color options and folds into a tiny square you can fit into any bag. Holding all of your stuff is just a bonus.
The Staycation One
The camo-print quilting on this nylon duffel from MZ Wallace makes it look more expensive than it is. It comes with removable pouches and a removable cross-body strap. Customers praise it for its lightweight material and spacious pockets.
The Luxe One
You travel in style and so should your belongings. Consider a very luxe carryall that won’t be mistaken for your gym bag. It is Italian leather, after all.
The Colorful One
Take the mystery out of spotting your luggage with this very bright duffle. Along with pairing perfectly with your suitcase, the lightweight carryall has nine pockets to fit your shoes, water bottle, and much more.
If You Pack Last Minute
If your packing routine consists of throwing everything into your bag at the last possible moment, this bag is for you. It was crafted by furniture designer Jason Gregory from cotton duck canvas and leather. Thanks to the fold-over top and tons of pockets, you get a little extra space to throw in whatever you can.
The One for Your Laptop
Everlane is known for its sleek basics, and boy did the company get this one right. The Transit Weekender has it all: a padded laptop sleeve, not one but two water-bottle holders, an exterior zip pocket, and a pocket to sit on the luggage handle.
The Puffy One
This trendy weekender from Target gives all the looks without breaking the bank. It features an adjustable shoulder strap and a padded exterior that would make any marshmallow jealous — this soft bag will fit everything you need.
The Floral One
The One That’ll Fit All Your Souvenirs
If you’re the type of person who comes back from a trip with tons of knickknacks, this Longchamp expandable bag is the one for you. The zip inset expands and contracts as you need, and it features a water-resistant lining.
The City One
You get two bags in one with this duffel from Monos. It has a detachable outer component for all your personal goods, while the main compartment features plenty of pockets for your other belongings.
The Classic One
The airport’s your runway — look like you’re weekending in the Hamptons even when you’re just going on a work trip.
The Preppy One
This article was originally published on March 11, 2020. It has been updated throughout.