Take a look next time you’re in the airport at all the bags you see slung over the shoulders or wheeled behind your fellow travelers. Everyone, for the most part, is at the very least doing the work of getting their books, headphones, and other travel essentials from point A to B. Only a choice few, however, will actually have luggage that does something more than just carry their belongings.
You’ll find grown men in business attire with ripped nylon bags they got for free at a conference half a decade ago, or a carry-on that looks as if it has been to hell and back a few times over. If this is how you prefer to save your hard-earned pay? Fair enough. We’re not here to judge. But more often this aesthetic isn’t so much a conscious decision as it is an unthinking choice. We’re here to tell you that guys do, in fact, have a lot of options when it comes to luggage and carry-on bags for business travel. To help guide you through this world, we’ve put together a list of items ranging from backpacks to garment bags. Take a look and see for yourself what the world of bags for business travel has to offer.
Not Just For School Anymore
Tried and true, backpacks have been a part of all our lives in some capacity since elementary school. They’ve stowed our books, homework, and even things like smuggled bottles of whiskey or snacks for fueling you on your day hikes. Yet, because of their association with early education and youthful indiscretion, they can often be overlooked as legitimate bags for carrying into the office. We think our list below will blow that notion out of the water.
Heimplanet Motion ellipse 25L Backpack
The outdoor goods that Heimplanet designs are so nice that they look just as at home in the city as they do hiking out a tough trail. This particular pack features 25-liters of storage, a water-resistant exterior, and a 15-inch laptop sleeve for carrying your tech. A great multi-purpose bag that cleans up as well as you do.
Arc’teryx Covert Case C/O
For those who’d rather hitchike than have to check a bag, this pack from Arc’Teryx is well worth consideration. Purpose built for travel, the bag has a minimalist exterior made from a 500D nylon and a large 40-liter compartment with compression straps for taking up to a weekend’s worth of clothing. Backpack straps can also easily be removed and stowed away for easy carry.
Aer Travel Pack
This brand is one of our all-time favorites. Just look at their Travel Pack and you’ll see why. Made from an incredibly tough 1680D ballistic nylon the bag can easily take on years of no-nonsense traveling without showing much wear and tear. It has a top flap that opens wide to reveal plenty of storage space, while also having a series of smaller internal compartments for keeping your edc essentials easily accessible.
The black multicam exterior of this pack is made from a 500D fabric and wrapped around a HDPE and aluminum backing that’s designed to make the pack easier to carry on those long walks from terminal to terminal. The bag boasts compression straps along the sides, a series of internal compartments including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, and mil-spec webbing. Topping it all off is DSPTCH’s lifetime guarantee.
Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag
Built to make traveling easy and straightforward, this pack from Minaal has a crazy amount of functionality. Featuring a combination of unstructured space for packing in random items and internal compartments for keeping everything organized, it is just about as versatile as you could hope for, and then some.
Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On Duffel Bag
Functioning as a backpack and a small duffel bag, the AEL008 is ideal for both carry on and daily wear. Internal compartments keep things like your passport and laptop secure while a tough 900D Kodra exterior serves as a first line of defense against the elements. An ideal pick for business travel.
Triple Aught Design Axiom X25 Pack
This pack from the San Francisco-based apparel and carry brand rides the line between formal and tactical near-perfectly. Made from a ripstop and weather resistant nylon, it is more than capable of standing up to both downpours and rough-and-tumble overhead bins. Have more to carry on the way back from a trip? This bag is expandable, allowing you to stuff more gear in or compress your pack as you see fit.
This modular pack comes in a number of different configurations ranging from a simple pack with a raincover to a whole business bundle featuring a laundry bag, suit cover, and washbag. If you end up with the latter, you’ll be prepared to take on everything from your morning commute to work to cross-country flights.
Carry It All
More than just the kind of bag you packed before going to spend a few weeks at summer camp, this type of luggage offers up plenty of room for packing clothing, work equipment, and more – all while being just the right size to stuff into the overhead bin. But we get it. You don’t want to sport the exact same look you had back when you hadn’t yet grown a hair on your chin. So, to help out, we assembled a list of duffel bags that are not only helpful, but they’re handsome enough to be shouldered into the office or to meet a client in a cafe.
Piorama Adjustable Bag A10
Not all trips are created equal. Piorama gets that. So to help travelers deal with all the varying types of trips, this bag brand developed a duffel that goes from 31, to 46, and finally 62-liters in size.
JBird Comrade Duffel Bag
This duffel bag is not messing around. The exterior is made from a waxed-canvas while the interior lining is composed of a 1000D Cordura fabric. But toughness isn’t this bag for business travel’s only feature. It also boasts the ability to be used as a duffel, or opened up on the ends for storing taller items like documents. A solid, American made pack if we’ve ever seen one.
Pelican Weatherproof Duffel
Pelican is relatively new to the world of backpacks and bags – but don’t let that fool you. Their years of making durable phone cases as well as coolers for your summer beer has taught them a thing or two about making supremely capable equipment. This duffel in particular is made from a water resistant 1000D nylon fabric, features PU-coated YKK zippers, and has the ability to be worn like backpack in a pinch.
Travelteq Weekender Inside Out Bag
On the hunt or something more classic and high-end? This may be for you. Made in Italy from a vegetable tanned florentine vacchetta leather and high quality waterproof limonta nylon, this
duffel is the kind of bag you could bring into the boardroom without thinking twice. The bag is available in all-black, navy with dark brown leather, or a navy with light brown leather.
Filson Medium Duffel Bag
This is the kind of duffel bag you could be just as happy to bring with you on a business trip as you would handing down to your kids. Made right here in the U.S., the old-school bag features bridle leather accents and straps, a custom oversized zipper, and a tough 22-ounce twill canvas construction built to stand up to the test of time.
Killspencer Utility Weekender
Few do high-end leather goods like Killspencer. The L.A.-based brand’s bag is made from a full grain leather, and has an open-top construction that makes it easy to grab whatever you need from the bottom of your duffel. As if that wasn’t enough, the duffel has 1,500-lb test bullhide military spec nylon webbing shoulder strap, as well as 2 side slip pockets and a zippered pocket for smaller items.
Avoid Wrinkling On the Go
There is nothing more annoying than getting your best suits dry cleaned before a trip only to pull them out of your smart suitcase all wrinkled and in need of an iron. That’s why we thought it was important to pull together a short list of what we think are some of the most attractive and utilitarian garment bags out there today.
Lexdray London Garment Bag
Garment bags don’t have to be unwieldy, tough to manage pieces of luggage. Just take a look at this pick and you’ll see what we mean. Along with being large enough to carry your clothing without wrinkling it up, this pick from Lexdray has a padded compartment large enough to take any sized laptop, as well as a pouch for dress shoes, and a fleece-lined valuables pouch.
Tumi Tri-Fold Carry-On Garment Bag
This large carry-on garment bag from Tumi is designed to carry up to two suits on a flight, and then be hung up in your hotel room or Airbnb for you to grab up in the morning. For those looking for that personal touch, the brand offers users the ability to put your initials on a monogram patch or on your luggage for no charge. Additionally, the mainly black bag comes with up to 9 different accent colors.
Hook & Albert Leather Garment Weekender Bag
While a lot of garment bags have a kind of flat look to them, this bag from Hook & Albert conceals itself nicely while still fitting up to two suits and a pair of shoes up to size 13. The exterior of the bag is made from a top-grain pebbled leather, boasts two exterior zippered pockets, and one large one for a tablet or magazine.
Sir Jack’s Moore & Giles Gravely Garment Bag
For those who want to retain that old-school garment bag look, this pick from Sir Jack’s is for you. Rather than being made to look like a normal shoulder bag, it boasts a big, square look ot it measuring in at f40 by 23 inches. The big benefit to this? The bag can carry a substantial amount of clothing including shoes and ties.
Heimplanet Dopp Kit
The ultimate travel bag may very well be the dopp kit. Our hands-down favorite? This pick from Hemiplanet. Pretty much all dopp kits are the same, but this one stands out thanks to its high-end material, impeccable design, and built-for-life quality. Designed to fold out in your hotel or Airbnb bathroom, it is essentially a medicine cabinet on-the-go.
15 Best Travel Backpacks
Want to diver deeper into the world of bags purpose-built for travel? Take a scroll through our list of the best travel backpacks on the market and see for yourself what’s out there.