When you live out of a suitcase, good luggage is essential. From carry-ons to day bags to checked baggage, I’ve spent a lot of years curating the perfect collection. Travel is so much easier when you have the right kind of bag for the trip. And, of course, quality is key. You definitely don’t want your bag falling apart at the airport.
Need an upgrade? Here’s a rundown of the best luggage, bags, and backpacks for travel.
Type of Trip
My luggage changes from trip to trip, depending on the type of gear I’ll need for activities, as well as the length of my stay! Typically, I’ll use the following for each kind of trip:
I take my camera backpack with me on every trip just to keep all of my electronics and camera gear organized. Depending on the weather for my weekend getaway, I’ll typically take a roller carry-on and a small bag, like the Lo & Sons OG bag or a small duffel.
One Week Trip
For a week-long trip, I’ll take my camera backpack and check my Burton double-compartment suitcase. If it’s a cold-weather destination, an additional carry-on bag might be needed to make room for boots and heavy coats.
Two Week Trip
If my trip is about two weeks, I’ll start packing by filling my camera backpack and a larger suitcase to check, and move to my second checked bag if necessary!
Three Weeks or Longer
Typically if I’m traveling for three weeks or longer I’ll pack two checked bags and my camera backpack. And I really try to pack light, but any longer than three weeks and I may have to bring along a carry-on as well!
Top Carry-On Bags for Travel
When it comes to carry-ons, it’s essential to have the right size bag. For travel within the United States, you can usually take a 22-inch tall carry-on bag. When you are outside of the United States, generally you will be restricted to a 21-inch carry-on.
Since your space is restricted, you’ll want to find a bag that’s easy to organize and maximizes every inch.
Timelessly chic and endlessly practical, the OG bag is the perfect companion. This bag has a detachable messenger strap and an ultra-handy back panel sleeve, which secures over luggage handles.
I love the Herschel style, and the duffle bag is the perfect carry-on. It comes in a dozen different color combinations and measures 16 x 17 inches, so it’s a very versatile pick. It also doubles a great beach bag or tote along your trip!
For long trips or flights where I’m not checking luggage, I love this one. The multitasking High Sierra Roller can be wheeled, strapped on as a backpack, or carried as a duffel bag. Also, the zippered divider panel can be rolled up to create one large compartment!
Top Day Bags for Travel
When you’re traveling, you’ll want to upgrade your normal handbag to a day bag that can fit more, and that’s safe from pickpockets. It’s good to have a bag that can carry your camera and all of your daily essentials!
Made with lush Italian leather, ONA The Bowery has room for a camera and one small lens. If you are looking to go small and stylish, this one is a must-have.
This leather bag has great space and a signature round-front flap that allows easy access to your items. This is a great option for travelers with small point-and-shoot cameras.
Probably the swankiest camera bag you’ll ever see, the Lo & Sons Claremont crossbody leather bag will keep your SLR camera, an extra lens or two, wallet and other essentials safe and sound while exploring.
For a bit more space, The Prince Street is perfect. It’ll hold a DSLR camera with the lens attached along with one or two more lenses and an iPad.
Top Gear Backpacks for Travel
When you have a ton of tech to haul, a good backpack is in order. For photo shoot days, I like to carry a bag that’ll hold my camera, lenses, drone, laptop, and more.
With waxed canvas and high-quality leather, the ONA Camps Bay Backpack has a compartment for laptops up to 17 inches, space for up to seven lenses, and room for a camera. It’s a very sturdy and made of durable materials that will last you years on the road!
This bag will fit a DSLR camera with a lens attached, a 15″ laptop, a customizable organization for 2-3 additional lenses, flash, and other camera accessories. It also has a hood that’ll keep your gear safe and dry!
Top Travel Backpacks
If you’re going to travel, you need to experience backpacking at least once; and of course, you’ll need the perfect bag for it.
This backpack has a light frame, perfect for women. It has soft, edgeless padded mesh that offers a breathable surface (and ventilation) and can support large loads. It makes it easy to stay organized for a few weeks.
This is a great lightweight backpack for a shorter trip. It has a mesh back panel that allows ventilation and the mesh on the harness and hip belt reduce chafing on your long travel days!
Top Checked Bags for Travel
When it comes to checked bags, I opt for double-compartment luggage for optimal organization and space. Having different compartments to stash things makes it infinitely easier to know where everything is (and re-pack at the end of a trip).
This big bag comes in cool designs with internal dividers, zippered storage pockets, and space-adding “cram zones.” If you’ve got a lot to carry, the Burton Double is a dream. It has been my go-to checked bag for over two years!
I travel with a rolling rose gold suitcase just like this. It’s a hard shell and rotates 360 degrees so you can stuff your suitcase full and still pull it around like it’s nothing.
Even the best suitcase doesn’t organize itself. To keep things sorted, you’ve got grab a few add-ons like packing cubes, clear pouches and a good passport cover. Oh, and, don’t forget your luggage tag. A lot of luggage looks alike, so grab a tag that screams “that’s MINE!”.