The Best Crossbody Bags for Travelers

The Kate Spade Harlow Crossbody Bag tops our list for its stylish appearance and organized interior.

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Cross Body Bag
Photo: Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Every savvy traveler should have at least these three go-to bags: a carry-on, a backpack, and something lightweight for day-to-day use. For the latter, we swear by crossbody bags. Not only are these cute carryalls large enough to store all your daily essentials, they allow you to go hands-free so you can get more done — like capturing the perfect travel Instagrams.

Our all-time favorite is the Kate Spade Harlow Crossbody Bag. It's sturdy, packed with pockets, and available in three gorgeous colors. But for more options to find the perfect crossbody bag for you, read through our list below — it's got something for every shopper.

T+L's Top Picks

Best Overall: Kate Spade Harlow Crossbody Bag

Kate Spade Harlow Crossbody Bag
Courtesy of Kate Spade

Why We Love It: It's lightweight, sturdy, and stylish — the perfect everyday bag trifecta.

What to Consider: Certain colors tend to differ from how they appear online.

This relaxed crossbody satchel by Kate Spade is perfect for day, night, vacation, and everyday occasions. It's large enough to store all your essentials during a walking tour, but it'll never look or feel oversized or cumbersome on your hip. Constructed with luxurious pebbled leather, the timeless bag is built to last and easy to clean. It also boasts an incredibly functional build: A smooth top-zip closure secures all your items, while a hidden front slip pocket and interior slip pocket offer easy access to smaller items. Just to up the luxe factor even more, the Harlow features a small, metal pinmount logo on the front, a spade-emblazoned jacquard lining, and a 22-inch strap. Pick up this sturdy-yet-stylish option in four gorgeous hues.

Price at time of publish: $89

Dimensions: 7.2 x 9.92 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 1.06 pounds | Material: Leather | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Splurge: Tory Burch Perry Bombe Leather Crossbody Bag

crossbody bags
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Why We Love It: Its size and detachable strap make it easy to pack.

What to Consider: It doesn't fit much.

This sleek Tory Burch crossbody is a classic piece that will look good with practically everything in your closet, and it features an adjustable shoulder strap to help you find a comfortable fit. It also has an exterior slip pocket and two zippered compartments to keep all your belongings organized. It's not much bigger than a wallet, so it makes the perfect bag for nights out, concerts, brunch dates, and anything else you only need the essentials for.

Price at time of publish: $298

Dimensions: 6 x 4.25 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 10 ounces | Material: Leather | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Water-resistant: Baggallini Water-resistant Crossbody Purse

Baggallini Water-resistant Crossbody Purse
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It comes in 19 different colors.

What to Consider: The RFID pouch does not have individual slots for your cards.

You'll never have to worry about spills or getting caught in the rain with this convenient Baggallini crossbody. Along with being super lightweight and water-resistant, the bag also boasts plenty of inner and outer pockets to help keep you organized and an RFID-protected pouch to keep your credit cards and ID safe. The bag even comes with an adjustable strap so you can wear it snugly against your body in crowded places. Snag it in 19 colors and prints including apple red and gray camo.

Price at time of publish: $51

Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 9 ounces | Material: Nylon | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Related: The Best Messenger Bags for Travel

Best for Minimalists: Madewell The Simple Leather Crossbody Bag

The Simple Leather Crossbody Bag MADEWELL
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Why We Love It: The strap is detachable, meaning you can carry this bag as a crossbody or a clutch.

What to Consider: The leather is not especially soft..

Minimalists will love this simple-yet-classic Madewell bag. It's crafted from a vachetta leather and features an adjustable shoulder strap that can be removed altogether if desired. Its deceptively spacious interior is big enough to hold essentials like your phone, keys, and wallet, but it also has room for larger items like a small notebook, pens, and makeup as well. The bag's exterior burnishes over time, meaning it'll only look better the longer you have it.

Price at time of publish: $98

Dimensions: 9.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 10 ounces | Material: Leather | Pockets: Interior

Best Anti-theft: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-theft Square Crossbody Bag

Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-theft Square Crossbody Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: Despite its compact size, it features a padded sleeve for your electronic tablet.

What to Consider: Because of its secure nature, opening the bag isn't the easiest or quickest feat.

If you're worried about pickpockets, consider this cool crossbody bag from Pacsafe. Made from a slash-proof material, the travel-ready bag will stay tightly secured around your body no matter what's on the agenda. It also features an RFID-blocking pocket and a clasp-locking zippered closure to help keep your belongings safe. Not to mention, that clasp doubles as stylish, decorative hardware on the front of the bag. Other useful features include a detachable strap, a tablet sleeve, and an interior zip pocket.

Price at time of publish: $80-$117

Dimensions: 6.1 x 8.3 x 2.6 inches | Weight: 9 ounces | Material: Nylon, polyester | Pockets: Interior

Best for Organization: Dagne Dover Epic Crossbody

Dagne Dover Epic Crossbody
Courtesy of Dagne Dover

Why We Love It: It has a pocket for everything.

What to Consider: Its main interior compartment is pretty tiny.

If you're known to lose your items in the abyss of your purse, opt for this bag from Dagne Dover. The sleek crossbody features three card slots, a zippered pocket, two lip gloss holders, and a key clip to help keep your belongings organized. What's more, the shoulder strap is removable, so you can even convert it into a clutch. The bag is available in two artistic styles, each finished with a flap closure.

Price at time of publish: $99-$139

Dimensions: 7.75 x 2.75 x 6 inches | Weight: 14 ounces | Material: Leather, polyester, canvas | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Budget: Deluxity Lightweight Crossbody Bag With Tassel

Deluxity Lightweight Crossbody Bag With Tassel
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's less than an inch thick, which makes it perfect for packing.

What to Consider: It's not designed to hold anything much thicker than a phone.

This cute bag from Deluxity comes in 37 colors including, two-toned options, and retails at a wildly low price, proving you don't have to spend a ton of money on a high-quality travel bag. It boasts one zippered exterior pocket with tassels, a zippered main compartment, and a zippered interior side pocket large enough to fit plenty of cards and cash. Its slender construction makes it a great lightweight, non-bulky choice, and though it's made of soft faux leather, it doesn't easily lose its shape.

Price at time of publish: $12-15

Dimensions: 10 x 9 x .5 inches | Weight: 9 ounces | Material: Faux leather | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Related: The Best Tote Bags for All Your Travel Needs

Best Personalized: Tumi Voyageur Tula Crossbody Bag

Tumi Voyageur Tula Crossbody Bag
Courtesy of Tumi

Why We Love It: It features Tumi Tracer, a complimentary tracker program that helps customers find the bag if it's lost or stolen.

What to Consider: The two main compartments' tops don't open very wide.

If you love to give your travel gear a personal touch, consider this crossbody bag from Tumi. It boasts a thick, adjustable shoulder strap, two main zip-top compartments, and plenty of pockets, both interior and exterior. It's made of a sturdy, premium nylon but weighs less than a pound, which makes it a stellar option for sightseeing, commuting, packing, and even hiking. The best part is you can personalize the attached keyring with classic lettering for free, or premium lettering for $15 per letter.

Price at time of publish: $275

Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.5 x 1.8 inches | Weight: 13 ounces | Material: Nylon | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Modern: Cuyana Double Loop Bag

crossbody bags
Courtesy of Cuyana

Why We Love It: The main compartment is super spacious, especially for a crossbody.

What to Consider: It's the most expensive option on our list.

We love the sculptural silhouette of this chic crossbody bag from Cuyana. The Italian leather Double Loop Bag features a large interior, two side pockets, and a back slip pocket. Its magnetic flap closure keeps your stuff safe, while the adjustable strap allows you to customize the fit. You're sure to score tons of compliments with this crossbody in tow, especially in colors like dark olive or ecru.

Price at time of publish: $328

Dimensions: 8 x 9.5 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 24 ounces | Material: Leather, suede | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Most Durable: Travelon Anti-theft Sling Tote

Travelon Anti-theft Sling Tote
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's sleeker and more stylish than the average anti-theft bag.

What to Consider: It stains somewhat easily.

Frequent flyers should consider investing in a high-quality anti-theft crossbody like this one from Travelon. Besides boasting a slash-proof shoulder strap, the fashionable bag also features locking compartments (which are subtle, but efficient) and RFID-blocking slots for your credit cards and passport. The main compartment and pockets are all deliberately hard to get into, so if you're being pickpocketed, you'll feel it. The best part? Order this vacation-saving bag in seven styles, including five colors and two fun prints.

Price at time of publish: $32-$50

Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 11 ounces | Material: Polyester | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Chain Strap: Madewell The Chain Crossbody Bag

Madewell The Chain Crossbody Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It looks and feels expensive, but it's under $100.

What to Consider: It's one of the smallest options on our list.

Chain strap detailing adds a super-chic element to any bag, but this one from Madewell is elevated even further by a sleek, classic silhouette. The leather bag is compact, but it's large enough to hold all your essentials (phone, keys, credit cards) plus a few extra items. It has a main compartment with a divider to keep things organized, and a cute button keyhole flap closure at the front. Whether you buy it in black or English saddle, it's sure to add an elegant touch to all your ensembles.

Price at time of publish: $88

Dimensions: 6.25 x 4.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 10 ounces | Material: Leather | Pockets: None

Related: Five Travel Bags for Every Type of Trip, According to a T+L Editor

Best Sporty: Lesportsac Classic Deluxe Everyday Bag

Lesportsac Classic Deluxe Everyday Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's foldable, making it great for packing.

What to Consider: It's a bit large for a crossbody.

This Lesportsac crossbody is foldable, making it an excellent option to pack for trips. But thanks to its nylon construction, it's also stain- and water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor activities ranging from hikes to sporting events. It boasts three exterior zip pockets of different sizes, a main compartment with an interior zip pocket, and a removable pouch for small additional items. A thick, adjustable shoulder strap offers hours of comfort, while a polka dot pattern keeps things fun.

Price at time of publish: $84-$94

Dimensions: 14 x 9.8 x 5 inches | Weight: 14 ounces | Material: Nylon | Pockets: Interior and exterior

Best Clear: Mali + Lili Clear Stadium Crossbody Bag

Mali + Lili Clear Stadium Crossbody Bag
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Why We Love It: It can be worn as a transparent or non-transparent bag.

What to Consider: There are no pockets.

Headed to a sporting event or music festival? Consider a see-through crossbody bag like this Mali + Lili option that makes getting through security a breeze. Its chain strap, front flap lock, and faux leather lining give it an upscale appearance, while a clear, pocketless body allows for easy entry into venues of all types. For days when you don't want the contents of your purse on display, place the non-transparent zippered cosmetic pouch inside.

Price at time of publish: $78

Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 3 inches | Weight: 14 ounces | Material: PVC, synthetic materials | Pockets: None

Best Lightweight: MICHAEL Michael Kors Crossbody Leather Bag

crossbody bags
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's slender, but it's large enough to fit a small tablet and other essentials.

What to Consider: It's prone to scratches.

This classic Michael Michael Kors crossbody is pretty much a must-have for every wardrobe because it's just so versatile. Weighing in at less than half a pound, it's light enough to carry anywhere — and with a luxe leather exterior, the bag is also super easy to clean. It even boasts interior slit pockets, a zip top closure, and an adjustable strap with chain detailing. The simple silhouette will never go out of style, and it's available in three different colors.

Price at time of publish: $112-$201

Dimensions: 9 x 4 x 2 inches | Weight: 7 ounces | Material: Leather | Pockets: Interior

Tips for Buying Crossbody Bags

Make Sure It Fits Your Essentials

While it's tempting to snag the sleekest, most stylish crossbody you see, try to be realistic as you shop. If you typically carry a larger tote bag stuffed to the brim with books, electronics, clothing, and more, downsizing to a crossbody bag might not be in the cards. On the other hand, if you plan to use your crossbody for specific events like vacations, it's still a good idea to consider what you'll be carrying with you. Just the essentials, like a wallet, phone, and keys? Pick a small, flat crossbody that allows quick access to those things. Packing a tablet, wallet, passport, camera, and snacks? Choose something with a roomier interior and some pockets to keep everything organized.

Choose a Comfortable Strap

As classy as chain straps and ultra-thin leather straps can be, it's best to choose a crossbody with something a little easier on the neck and shoulders. Keep in mind that the wider a strap is, the less pressure it'll put on your shoulder. Straps that are soft to the touch or made with built-in padding are also great options for comfort, as are adjustable straps.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I wear a crossbody bag?

Most crossbodies can be worn on one side of the body, hanging straight down from your shoulder or, as the name suggests, diagonally across the whole body. The bag should rest at or just above your hip for easy access and comfort. Wear it to the side or slightly to the front to be more vigilant for pickpocketing in crowded places.

When is a crossbody useful?

For the most part, this is up to you. However, certain places like stadiums and concert venues require smaller bags — and even if they don't, you won't want a giant tote taking up space in that type of cramped environment. Crossbodies also come in handy for travel because their size makes them easy to pack, while their weight allows you to carry them all day comfortably.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are shopping and travel gear experts, so they know bags — particularly crossbodies — very well. Along with their own personal experience, the authors of this article, Rebecca Carhart and Hillary Maglin, researched numerous crossbody bags to curate the perfect list for sightseeing, running errands, and more.

Up Next: The Best Flats That Are Just as Comfy as Sneakers

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