The 11 Best Travel Purses of 2023

Lo & Sons’ Bond fanny pack is our top pick.

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The 11 Best Travel Purses of 2023 tout

Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

When you’re traveling, the right purse can make all the difference. It should be practical, durable, and secure, while still being stylish and comfortable enough to carry around all day. You’ll also want to consider theft protection, the level of which may depend on where you’re headed. 

With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve done the work for you and culled the very best travel handbags in each category. From spacious totes that can comfortably help you lug a large waterbottle and a jacket, to sleek yet sturdy clutches for just the essentials, we’ve got you covered with purses to make your adventure more seamless. 

Our favorite is Lo & Sons’ Bond fanny pack because it’s a secure and fashionable hands-free option. We love that you can wear it two ways, and both are comfortable enough to withstand full days of exploring. Most importantly, it zips shut to help keep pickpockets at bay. If this style is not for you, read on for our top selection of travel purses in all sizes and for any situation.

Best Overall

Lo and Sons Bond

lo and sons the bond

Lo and Sons

Why We Love It: Small but mighty, this bag helps you stay organized without adding excess bulk. 

What to Consider: If you have a lot to carry, you may want a larger option.

We’ve long admired Lo & Sons’ elegant and lightweight fanny pack because it checks all the travel-friendly boxes. In terms of practicality, its interior is much more spacious than you might expect for a belt bag, and you can easily stash a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and more on top of all the essentials. There are two ways to wear it — around your waist or across the chest like a sling bag — and both hands-free options provide a comfortable fit for hours-long wear. Since it’s worn so close to the body, it provides added security against theft along with three zip pockets, one of which is perfectly sized to hold your passport. Three additional mesh slip pockets in the interior keep small items organized. 

All that functionality often adds up to a bag that works better than it looks. Not with this pick. The Bond comes in three fabrics, which cater to different needs, but all manage to look sophisticated and smart. The sheepskin leather is the most snappy and lightweight (but also the least durable), while recycled poly and Tyvek are water-resistant and eco-friendly. The adjustable strap expands from 29.5 inches to 40.25 inches. 

Price at time of publish: $328

Dimensions: 9.25 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches | Material: Leather, recycled poly, or Tyvek | Weight: 1.2 pounds (leather) or 0.5 pounds (poly or Tyvek)

Best Packable

Away The Packable Carryall

The Packable Carryall


Why We Love It: This ultra lightweight totes packs down into a small zip case. 

What to Consider: The interior is essentially one large open compartment, so organization will be tough. 

Maybe you’ve got your travel purse all set, but you want a second, larger option on hand for shopping trips or day-long excursions. That’s where Away’s genius packable tote comes in. The recycled nylon bag has a jumbo 43-liter capacity when open, but it folds down into a 6.3 x 4.3 x 2.4-inch removable zip pouch and weighs only 8 ounces, so you can toss it inside the majority of the other purses on our list when you’re not using it. The water-resistant bag also functions as a carry-on thanks in part to the trolley sleeve. Inside, you’ll find an attached zip pouch with a loop you can hook the removable pouch to, but other than that, it’s just a single large compartment. It comes in five bright and neutral hues. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Dimensions: 15 x 19.7 x 9 inches open, 6.3 x 4.3 x 2.4 inches in pouch | Material: Recycled nylon | Weight: 8.8 ounces with pouch, 8 ounces without pouch

Best Clutch

Quince Italian Leather Convertible Foldover Clutch

Why We Love It: This convertible clutch easily transitions from day to night.

What to Consider: It’s best suited for outings when you don’t have much to carry. 

We love a bag that does double duty because that means you have one less item to pack. Quince’s Italian leather pouch has a detachable strap that easily takes it from a crossbody spacious enough to function as your everyday purse to a sleek evening-ready clutch with an exposed brushed gold zipper. The bag has two zip compartments, the larger of which has two slip pockets and a card slot. Our favorite part is an exterior slip pocket that’s perfect for stashing your phone (although if you’re worried about theft, it may be safer in the zippered compartment). The bag comes in three hues that easily work within any wardrobe: black, burgundy, and tan. The best part? As with all of Quince’s offerings, the item is a fraction of the price for the materials compared to traditional retail.

Price at time of publish: $198

Dimensions: 7.5 x 10 x 2 inches | Material: Leather | Weight: Not listed

Best Small Tote

Vera Bradley Small Vera Tote Bag

Small Vera Tote Bag

Vera Bradley

Why We Love It: This versatile carryall is both polished and secure.

What to Consider: The straps aren’t padded, so they may dig in if your load is heavy. 

If you want a bag that’s easy to dress up or down and still offers a spacious interior, a small tote with long straps may be the ideal pick. We like this microfiber Vera Bradley shoulder bag because it’s a lightweight and sturdy option to lug around all day. (Bonus: It’s machine washable, so don’t be afraid to get it a little dirty.) 

The exterior features a slip pocket with a separate zip pocket, and the interior (which zips shut for theft protection) has six additional slip pockets for organization. Plus, with a subtly quilted exterior and monochromatic appearance in either black or navy, it still manages to look sophisticated at the same time. 

Price at time of publish: $105

Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.25 x 4.5 inches | Material: Microfiber | Weight: Not listed

Best Large Tote

Arden Cove Victoria Tote

Arden Cove victoria tote

Arden Cove

Why We Love It: It’s spacious and packed with organizational features. 

What to Consider: The thin straps may dig in.   

One of the most common downfalls of a large tote tends to be lack of organization, but Arden Cove’s version has dedicated pockets for everything. An exterior zip compartment keeps your phone, passport, credit cards, pens, and more baubles organized with a combination of slip and mesh pockets. The main compartment has slots for a 13-inch laptop and a tablet, in addition to an interior zip pocket, two slip pockets, and a D-ring to attach a key leash. There’s even an elastic loop to hold your water bottle upright. 

As with all of Arden Cove’s offerings, security was top of mind when designing this tote, which is fully lined with a slash-resistant material. The exterior is made from water-resistant nylon and the zippers are waterproof as well. It also has a trolley sleeve, so it can easily serve as your carry-on bag. Furthermore, you can add straps (sold separately through Arden Cove) to turn it into a backpack or a messenger bag. 

Price at time of publish: $399

Dimensions: 11 x 6 x 13.5 inches | Material: Nylon | Weight: 1.6 pounds

Best Backpack

Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack

Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack

Courtesy of Lululemon

Why We Love It: The smartly designed bag can easily accommodate all your belongings for a full day of exploring.

What to Consider: It’s a cumbersome carry for dinners or other shorter events. 

Full-day adventuring calls for extra gear, and an extra large bag to stow it all. A backpack is the most comfortable way to lug the most belongings possible, and Lululemon’s 20L City Adventurer does it all in style. This water-repellent nylon rucksack — equipped with a trolley-compatible strap, exterior padded zip pocket (which can fit a 16-inch laptop), and an expandable lower pocket designed for shoes or wet gear — can easily do double duty as both your carry-on and your day trip carryall. We especially love the exterior separate zip compartment that’s made for easy access to your water bottle, and can prevent spills by keeping your liquids separate. The bag comes in three neutral hues (silver, camel, and black) and has silver hardware.

Price at time of publish: $128

Dimensions: 11.4 x 7.1 x 16.1 inches | Material: Nylon exterior with polyester lining | Weight: Not listed

Best Anti-Theft

Arden Cove Crissy Full Crossbody With Faux Leather Strap


Arden Cove

Why We Love It: This bag was made with so many levels of security in mind.

What to Consider: The waterproof zippers require extra tugging to open and close.  

Depending on your destination and specific plans, you may want to up your anti-theft protection as much as possible. Arden Cove designed a functional crossbody that’s as tough as it is sleek to make it real tough for a pickpocket to get at your belongings. Let’s break down the extensive safety features, shall we? The crossbody’s waterproof nylon exterior is reinforced by a slash-proof interior lining. An interior D-ring keeps your keys attached, while RFID-blocking material on the front pocket discourages electronic pickpocketing. Locking zippers (which are waterproof!) fasten the main and front wallet compartments, the latter of which contains eight card slots and a bill slot, so extra protection is paramount. And even the strap is cut-proof. Beyond all that, the bag still manages to exude elegance with eight colors available (with either gold or gunmetal hardware) and bottom studs. 

Price at time of publish: $186

Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.5 x 6.5 inches  | Material: Nylon | Weight: Not listed

Best Crossbody

Lo and Sons Pearl

Lo and Sons Pearl

Lo and Sons

Why We Love It: The most beautiful bag on our list doesn’t sacrifice any function.

What to Consider: If you anticipate needing to carry a jacket, water bottle, or umbrella, you may want to consider a larger option. 

If you want all the function of a travel-friendly purse but none of the rugged appearance, Lo & Sons’ Pearl crossbody is an excellent choice. The bag — which comes in 10 textured leather, six smooth-grain leather, and three vegan cactus “leather” variations — has three equally large compartments, two of which zip while the middle snaps shut in three places. The innermost compartment also has another flat zip pocket and three open slots perfect for tissues or lip gloss. (We recommend keeping valuables like your phone or wallet in a zip pocket for added security.) All three leather versions are highly durable with different levels of scratch and water resistance. The best part: It’s two bags in one. The crossbody strap unhooks and can be replaced by the (included) wrist loop to turn the bag into a clutch for evening or formal events. 

Price at time of publish: $298

Dimensions: 9.5 x 3 x 7.75 inches | Material: Textured leather, smooth-grain leather, or cactus “leather” | Weight: 0.9 pounds

Best Convertible

Baggallini 3 in 1 Convertible Backpack With RFID Phone Wristlet

baggallini Convertible Backpack with RFID phone wristlet


Why We Love It: This adaptable bag adjusts to the needs of the moment.

What to Consider: It’s not as attractive as many of the other options on the list. 

There are so many ways to wear Baggallini’s convertible carryall. Depending on how you fasten the 56-inch strap, the bag converts from a backpack to a crossbody — or you can remove the strap entirely to make it a tote. Other features include a top zip closure, exterior zip and slip pockets (two each), and two exterior water bottle holders. There’s also a sleeve for a luggage handle. 

Inside, you’ll find a zip pocket, two slip pockets, and a clipped-in RFID-blocking, three-card-slot phone wristlet which can be detached and carried separately as a clutch. It comes in a whopping 19 colors and patterns, including everything from a rose metallic quilted variation to a tan snakeskin printed iteration. 

Price at time of publish: $127

Dimensions: 15.5 x 12.5 x 4 inches | Material: Not listed/varies | Weight: 1.47 pounds

Best Fanny Pack

Canvelle Fanny Pack

Canvelle Fanny Pack


Why We Love It: The ultra-large belt bag has lots of space and zip pockets. 

What to Consider: It’s a casual look that’s tough to dress up. 

If comfort is top priority and you want to go totally hands-free, a fanny pack or belt bag is your best bet. Canvelle’s poly canvas version, which is made from recycled bottles, provides both style and function. Available in nine colors and patterns, the multi-function bag comes in two sizes: original and oversized. For travel, we recommend the oversized version, which can easily hold a water bottle, a small umbrella, your wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, and more (and that’s a lot for a fanny pack). There’s also an extra wide adjustable strap for comfort (we recommend wearing it across your chest), a key clip, two interior pockets (one open mesh and one zip), a zip front pocket with two open mesh compartments, a rear water-resistant phone pocket, and the entire interior is lined with a water-resistant, easy-clean fabric. Brushed gold hardware adds an extra sleek touch. 

Price at time of publish: $135

Dimensions: 7 x 18.5 x 6 inches (oversized), 5.5 x 13.5 x 4 inches (original) | Material: Poly canvas | Weight: 12 ounces (oversized), 8 ounces (original)

Best Shoulder Bag

Stella and Dot Covet Bucket Bag

Covet Bucket Bag

Stella & Dot

Why We Love It: The mid-size bag is roomy and secure. 

What to Consider: It’s less convenient than a hands-free option. 

If a tote is larger and clunkier than your activities call for, but a crossbody or clutch don’t quite offer enough storage real estate, a roomy shoulder bag is an impeccable solution. This one, from Stella & Dot, is hard to miss thanks to its buttery soft leather and sleek gold accent hardware. The spacious interior can easily accommodate larger necessities, such as a water bottle or foldable umbrella, and yet it doesn’t have the look of a larger bag. An interior zip pocket plus two large interior slip pockets keep all your belongings organized, while an exterior envelope pocket allows easy access to your most-used items. The whole thing zips shut, and the strap is adjustable and removable.

Price at time of publish: $299

Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.75 x 6 inches | Material: Leather | Weight: Not listed

Tips for Buying Travel Purses

Consider your storage and organization needs 

When choosing a travel purse, think about what type of items you’ll need to carry, especially in terms of their size and weight. For larger items such as jackets and umbrellas, seek out a tote or backpack with a spacious main compartment. If you want to pack water, look for a bag with a dedicated bottle pocket to help prevent leaks and spills. 

Smaller items such as tissues, snacks, and makeup are best stowed in smaller zip compartments. Depending on how many items like this you have, you’ll want to make sure you have enough dedicated pockets to keep everything organized. After all, less time rummaging equals more time enjoying your adventure. A key leash is another great way to keep an important item easily found. 

Prioritize comfort

Exploring new places means lots of time on your feet, so don’t let your travel purse weigh you down. Things to look for to increase comfort include padded straps, adjustable straps, and hands-free options such as crossbodies and belt bags. The more weight you’re lugging, the more you’ll want to think about padding. 

Think about anti-theft protection

Crowded cities, especially those which attract lots of tourists, can sometimes come with an added risk of theft. Therefore, you’ll want a bag that deters pickpockets and makes it as difficult as possible for a passerby to access your belongings. The easiest way to make it tough for pickpockets: zippers. That’s why every single bag on our list’s most spacious compartments zip shut. 

Other great ways to up security include locking zippers, key leashes, slash-proof fabrics and straps, RFID pockets for phones and credit cards, and interior zip pockets. It’s always a good idea to keep your most valuable items such as your wallet and passport in a zip compartment within another zip compartment.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I bring a travel purse along with a carry-on and personal item?

    While most airlines will allow you to bring a carry-on and a personal item, most often, your purse will count as your personal item unless you can manage to put it inside another larger personal item (for example, putting a smaller crossbody purse inside a tote). If you choose to go this route, be sure to check that the bigger bag falls within your airline's specified maximum dimensions for a personal item. 

  • How do I clean a travel purse?

    Depending on the fabric of your bag, you may be able to throw it in the washing machine, or simply use a lint roller to keep it looking fresh. It’s important to always read any care labels and, if there’s no information, it’s best to stick to spot cleaning (but always test on an inconspicuous area first). It’s also a good idea to carry items such as napkins and stain-remover pens to deal with unexpected stains and spills while you’re on the go.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, Talia Ergas used her experience as a fashion editor and frequent traveler to find the best picks in every style.

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