Finding the best bag for traveling, which suits both your taste and travel lifestyle, is essential for all travelers. Depending on the type of traveling you prefer, your bag can have a big impact on the quality and comfort during your trip. In essence, having the wrong bag can make your trip suck. And if it’s a great bag that fits your needs perfectly, it can actually enhance your experience.
We reached out to some fellow travel nuts to get their opinion about their best bag for traveling, whether it was a primary or secondary travel bag. We also asked them to share what they liked about it and why, as well as any small changes that they would make.
So here’s the scoop from some travel pros!
Gianni & Ivana – Nomad is Beautiful
Honestly, we were looking for the right bag for two months. We knew we wanted to travel light and therefore a carry-on luggage was a must.
We picked North Face because of the good reviews and because of a simple and practical design.
What we like the most is the size. It matches standard requirements of airlines and we love all pockets where we can organize our “office”, “wardrobe” and toiletries.
Gianni travels with the North Face Router Daypack (41L) and Ivana carries the North Face Surge II (32L). In those, we keep our laptops, notebooks, and documents in the back pocket; clothes are at the bottom of the main pocket and camera bags with all cables on the top of it. Cosmetics is in small frontal pockets.
While Gianni is fully satisfied with his backpack, Ivana would make shoulder straps softer and more comfortable so she doesn’t have to put a scarf below them when walking with a bag for a longer time.
*Read Also: Tips on Checking your Travel Backpack at the Airport*
Sharon Gourlay – Where’s Sharon
I bought a Kelty Redwing 40 liter backpack earlier this year when my husband and I decided that we would travel carry on only with our young kids for 4 months in Europe. I bought this bag as it seemed like the perfect size for what we needed – small enough to be able to take on board planes and big enough that it actually holds a surprising amount. I can put everything I need including electronics, our family toiletries and still have room for a big bag of nappies!
It was a great choice and I absolutely love it. It has great support and straps and it is very comfortable for me to carry around. I have never had problems boarding a plane with it. It has been instrumental in enabling us to go back to being carry on only.
If I had to change something, it would be to make the zips lockable. There’s no real way to lock them at the moment.
Ion by Caribee Pacific Twin Wheel Duffle
Paula & Gordon – Contended Traveler
We have had an Ion By Caribee Pacific Twin wheel duffle, for ages and love it. It has a split level design, where the top half can be closed with a Zip mesh divider to separate stuff. It is 68cm and can contain 85L though I still have no idea why they use a fluid measure.
It has Lockable zip compartments on the outside, has inline skate wheels and has a pop-up handle thing. It weighs 3.5kg. We use one bag between us for summer trips, and take the 2 bags for winter travel. Because it is soft sided and has compression straps, you can fit a lot in, though we are packing less and less now. The Caribee is easy to stow in trains. We have never had an issue with the bags, and they get very maltreated by me.
Josh & Liz Wilson – Peanuts or Pretzels
We love our Mountainsmith bags. They are big enough to carry a large load, but small enough to carry on a plane. The design & shape fits well with our backs, and the extremely sturdy suspension and waist strap makes carrying a big load much easier. We also made sure to get the backpacks fitted correctly, and we learned how to adjust them properly before going on our around the world trip.
Also, unlike to most travel backpacks, these packs have both the traditional top loading as well as a front U-shaped zipper — like normal luggage, making it super easy to access items anywhere in the bag.
The only thing that we would change would be adding a rain cover to it. But other than that we love our bags.
*Also Read – How to Choose the Right Backpack for You
Annie & Ben – Sell Up Go Travel
Annie – Osprey Comet 28L Day Pack
The reason I chose this backpack was so I don’t have to carry 2 backpacks around while traveling. I love it how it’s so compact and easy to carry around even when riding around long distances on our scooter with all our belongs. The reason I went with red color if I get lost in a crowd Ben can spot me hahaha
If I could change my backpack … I would choose the front loading backpack, much easier and faster to access things out of the pack.
Ben – Tatonka Flight case 38L
I was sold on the idea of the front loading backpack, which works just like a suitcase! I really love how it’s a 2 in one pack, suitcase which can be carried like a backpack and another part which I like is how this pack has an outside pocket for your travel documents.
I wouldn’t change anything about my backpack because it keeps everything well organized for me 🙂
Pauline Solheim – Pauline Travels
My love on the road. I love this bag because it is small, but with enough space. It makes you limit yourself on what you pack and makes your trip more comfortable with less weight. Backpacking with the Farepoint bag in Asia and South America has been 9 successful months together. The best part on the bag is that you can zip up the bag´s suspension system and store it safe within a panel slot at the airport. I also like the opening system in the front and how good it fits my female back.
Thing that I don’t like about is putting the daypack on the backpack, the zipper is not the best there. Except from that his is an awesome backpack that will continue travelling with me for a long time.
Karla Ramos – Karla Around the World
My ultimate travel bag is a Deuter Act Lite 50+10, a bag more suited for hiking, but I found myself bringing it to most of my trips, especially because I do al lot of solo travels and adventure trips. I love how the hip and shoulder strap supports the weight and makes me feel like I am hardly carrying anything, when in fact I have 11-15 kilos on my back.
The Deuter Act Lite allows mobility, definitely a plus, since I am always on the go. It is easier to carry around than strolling wheels. The backpack has a lot of pockets; the sides are where I put my water and things that are not valuable, but which I may need anytime during the trip (malong, umbrella).The top zip is where I keep my valuables, easy for me to reach and yet deep enough to prevent people from just snatching these. It has enough compartments for me to be able to segregate my things from those of immediate need, and those that I would need much later. Even if the bag is not entirely water-proof it has a sturdy covering that kept most of my things dry, most of the time. As I did, for added protection, you may also separately purchase a rain cover; it comes in different sizes, with which you can cover your whole Deuter backpack and its precious contents.
My Deuter pack allows me to be constantly mobile, and always on the go—- so perfect for the type of traveler that I am. You’ll be surprised how much you can put inside that compact back pack.
Carole Terwillger Meyers – Berkeley and Beyond
I have had my 25” Delsey-brand, Helium Fusion-model blue suitcase for almost 10 years now. I bought it because I like: the design of one big hole to fill inside plus two small pockets for papers and small things on the outside; that it is light-weight; the color; the wheels. What I don’t like is that the various airlines have pulled off almost all the zipper tabs and I can no longer lock it. Also, I think it is too big. I am in the market to replace it with a smaller version and very well might buy the same brand and model if it is still available. Maybe a different color. And maybe with four wheels, though I think a four-wheeler will require some new research.
Manzoni Overnight Bag
Shandos Cleaver – Travelnuity
I bought this bag when I was going on my honeymoon and staying in some rather fancy places, so didn’t want to look out of place when I was checking in and out. I bought it because I love its classical styling, especially in old-school brown leather. Since then I’ve used it for everything from overnight stays at my parents to trips of up to a week. I like to pack light, preferably carry-on only, and this is perfect for that. Plus it sets a stylish tone for the trip even if I’m on a budget! The one thing I’d change is to have a bigger pocket inside for small items of clothing; instead I use a separate PJ bag. Plus, I forgot my shoulder strap on my current trip.
Alice Teacake – Teacake Travels
I love my rucksack. We’ve travelled for five years together through Asia and I wouldn’t change it for anything (well…maybe I want to fit more funky dresses in there like any woman but hey ho, you can’t have everything). Everyone always asks me how I manage to fit everything I own into my 34SL Deuter Futura Pro. I feel it was weaved by magical elves because it has tons of nooks and crannies. I love the freedom it gives me to carry my life on my back, throw it on airplanes, hike across mountains and motorbike cross country. Huzzah!
What is Your Best Bag for Traveling? Tell us what you use below and Help your fellow travelers!
Being Mountainsmith users and fans for years, we were ecstatic to begin working with them. However, while we may receive free products to test and review, all opinions are strictly our own.