The Best Travel Bags for Staying Organized
One of the biggest challenges I face when I’m traveling is keeping all my things in order. It starts out fine: shoes at the bottom of the suitcase, then neatly folded clothes, accessories, and toiletries on top.
Unfortunately, after only a couple of days, this carefully executed system turns into a complete mess that makes it almost impossible to find anything without pulling every single thing out of the suitcase. Sound familiar?
Many luggage pieces are basically one big compartment with a couple of mesh pockets. That makes staying organized an insurmountable and time-consuming task.
That’s why we took the matter into our hands to find the most practical, multi-pocketed backpacks, duffel bags, and wallets to store all the clothes, shoes, and documents you’ll need — whether you’re heading on an international trip, road trip, or just to the beach for the weekend.
And business travelers, we haven’t forgotten about you. We found several elegant options that look professional and have designated (and easily accessible) compartments for files, electronics, and business cards.
Below, check out our picks for functional bags that take your travel organization to a whole new level.
Nomatic Travel Bag
Dubbed “the most functional travel bag ever,” the carry-on Nomatic has a water bottle pocket, an underwear compartment, a laundry bag, an RFID security pocket, a shoe compartment, and a laptop sleeve, just to name a few of its features.
To buy: nomatic.com, $220
Travelers Club Luggage Dual-spinner Rolling Laptop Briefcase
This carry-on suitcase transforms into a multi-functional piece of luggage thanks to a detachable file storage system that features a laptop, phone, and passport compartments. It also has dedicated sleeves for pens and business cards.
To buy: ebags.com, $70 (originally $200)
Delsey Helium 45-inch Deluxe Garment Bag
Headed for a weekend full of wedding festivities? This garment bag is all you need to take with you — it will not only keep your outfit wrinkle-free, but you can also pack other belongings in the four additional pockets.
To buy: bedbathbeyond.com, $90
Piel Leather 20 in. Duffel Bag with Pockets
We love the design of this vintage-inspired leather bag that’s also quite functional — there are two side pockets, three smaller exterior pockets, and one small zip pocket on top, in additional to the roomy main compartment.
To buy: ebags.com, $170 (originally $408)
Tumi Alpha Bravo Luke Roll-Top Backpack
This roll-top backpack will impress any business traveler — it features a front U-zip compartment, two open-side pockets with waterproof lining, multiple media pockets that fit a laptop and an iPad, and two business card pockets.
To buy: ebags.com, $395
Bellroy Travel Wallet
Keep your travel documents close and organized with this chic leather wallet. It’s got sections for your passport, boarding passes, and bills, four card slots, and a micro travel pen with refills.
To buy: bellroy.com, $120
Picnic At Ascot Insulated Multi-pocket Travel Bag
This pretty tote that features an insulated main compartment and six side pockets for wine and other beverages will save the day if you are a fan of al fresco dining.
To buy: bedbathbeyond.com, $42
The North Face Recon Laptop Backpack
The North Face has created a backpack with so many pockets — including separate ones for a laptop and an iPad — that will keep all of your belongings in order while you’re on the road.
To buy: ebags.com, $99
Travelambo RFID Blocking Wallet
This elegant wallet holds a lot more than just your passport — with multiples card slots, a zippered pocket for money and coins, an ID slot, a ticket slot, and a key holder, this wallet is sure to fit all of your travel documents.
To buy: amazon.com, $14
This Is Ground Voyager 2 Bag
The main compartment of this thoughtfully designed, 100% leather weekender can store up to five days worth of clothes and gear (it’s expandable!), whereas the front pocket is equipped with pockets and sleeves allowing easy access to all of your knick-knacks.
To buy: shopspring.com, $1,099
Incase EO Travel Roller
This sleek, weather-resistant carry-on may look minimal on the outside but there’s a lot going on inside — it has a padded laptop compartment, a slip pocket for a tablet, and a bunch of organizer pockets for accessories. Oh, and did we mention that the main compartment expands by 35 percent?
To buy: ebags.com, $300
Timbuk2 Trek Book
Keep all of your electronics, cables, and accessories organized with this multi-functional zippered case.
To buy: zappos.com, $41 (originally $59)
High Sierra Loop Backpack
Dear backpack enthusiasts, you’ll thank us for introducing this one into your life — it features a dedicated media sleeve with a headphone port, a laptop compartment, multiple interior pockets, a padded back panel for maximum comfort, bottom straps for extra gear, and so much more.
To buy: ebags.com, $38
Rise Gear Duffel Bag with Collapsible Shelves
This weekender is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” products. It hangs on a rack or in a closet to expand to four vertical compartments, basically functioning as portable shelves. The side pockets have plenty of room for your smaller items and there’s even a compartment for dirty laundry under the bottom “shelf.”
To buy: ahalife.com, $139
Aspinal of London Zipped Travel Wallet With Passport Cover
This ultra chic wallet is handmade from Italian leather and features five credit card slots, two slip-in compartments for your passport and boarding passes, two more pockets for currency and other documents, and a pen holder loop.
To buy: aspinaloflondon.com, $345
Ricardo Beverly Hills Ocean Drive 19-inch Mobile Office
You know you’re in for an organizational treat when your luggage is actually called a “mobile office.” This expandable carry-on spinner has two separate sections: a main one for clothing and personal items, and a front compartment that unzips to reveal everything needed to work on the go: padded slip pockets for a laptop and full-size tablet, three zip pockets, four card slots, and three elastic pen holders.
Uncommon Goods Travel Cord Roll
Keep your multiple chargers and ear buds from tangling in your carry-on with this stylish travel roll.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $20
Genius Pack High Altitude Flight Bag
Designed to hang off the trays on the seat in front of you, this in-flight essentials bag has a space for everything you’ll need en route. It also has a back strap for easy attachment to your carry-on’s handle.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $64
Navy Mini Kit Cross-body
This chic pebbled-leather bag keeps you from having to rummage around looking for a pen or your transit card or your headphones with clever external pockets.
To buy: ofakind.com, $219 (originally $315)
Rimowa Salsa Deluxe Cabin Multiwheel Hybrid 53cm
This carry-on suitcase is Rimowa’s answer for those who’ve converted to hardside luggage from softside and miss the functionality of having those easy external pockets. It opens book-style and each side has mesh divider walls with zippered pockets so that everything packs into a designated spot.
To buy: zappos.com, $725