The 11 Best Leather Luggage Pieces of 2023

The roomy Fossil Defender duffel bag is our top pick.

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Best Leather Luggage

Farfetch / Nordstrom / Tumi

Leather is notoriously hardy and can last decades if cared for properly. The appearance only improves with time as it develops a soft texture and sheen with frequent use. Since this natural material also comes in many varieties, it’s an obvious staple for travel gear, too. Nowadays, companies treat leather luggage to high-performance finishes, adding even more practical features (such as water resistance) to these bags and suitcases. 

Because time can transform any leather product into a statement piece, we set out to find the top options to invest in right now. After testing and reviewing dozens of leather bags and suitcases, we chose the classic Fossil Defender duffel as the best all-around choice that marries form, function, and affordability.

 Here is the complete list of our favorite leather pieces for travel:

Best Overall

Fossil Defender Duffle Bag

Fossil Defender Duffle Bag


Why We Love It
  • It has plenty of pockets for organization and easy access.

What to Consider
  • It's only available in one size.

Modern travel is demanding. It's hard to handle multiple modes of transportation, long layovers, and weather unpredictability. That's why every traveler needs a reliable luggage piece that's versatile and stylish, whether it's for a long-haul flight, a multi-day road trip, or a quick train ride.

Fossil's timeless defender duffle checks all those boxes. Thanks to its high-quality construction and multifunctional design, this bag will be your go-to luggage piece whether you're traveling for business or pleasure. It has two zippered pockets at the front, perfect for smaller essentials such as a wallet, a phone, and travel documents, plus a larger one in the back that’s big enough to fit a tablet or a smaller laptop.

The spacious interior compartment can easily accommodate several days-worth of clothing, making this bag an excellent weekend option. Sturdy top handles and a removable and adjustable crossbody strap add to this duffle's versatility. Finally, the chic cognac color can be paired with any outfit and the bag will develop a beautiful patina over time, making it even cooler.

 Price at time of publish: $400

The Details: 20 x 13 x 10 inches | 5 pounds

Best Carry-on

Michael Kors Large Saffiano Leather Suitcase

Michael Michael Kors Large Saffiano Leather Suitcase

Michael Kors

Why We Love It
  • This suitcase has two exterior pockets and durable saffiano leather construction.

What to Consider
  • It is only available in navy, and has no lock.

When it comes to the best leather type for a carry-on, nothing beats saffiano leather. This material is stamped with a cross-hatched pattern and finished with a glossy wax treatment, making it scratch- and sun-resistant, and water-repellent. Saffiano leather is also stiffer, so it holds its shape regardless of what you pack inside.

Breeze through airports with a Michael Kors carry-on suitcase made of this tough leather. Two easy-access exterior zip pockets keep your laptop, tablet, and travel documents safe. Several zip pockets and a large main compartment offer plenty of storage space inside. A top handle and a telescopic handle ensure a comfortable and secure grip, while four multidirectional spinner wheels deliver a wide range of movement.

 Price at time of publish: $398

The Details: 12 x 18 x 7.5 inches

Best Weekender

Shinola Canfield Classic Holdall

Canfield Classic


Why We Love It
  • This bag has a reinforced leather bottom.

What to Consider
  • There are no exterior pockets.

This Shinola weekender has you covered no matter where your end-of-week adventures take you. Featuring sleek looks, versatile functionality, and premium quality, this luggage piece can last a lifetime.

This medium-sized weekender cuts an elegant silhouette from supple, natural grain leather with a structured vachetta leather trim, all sourced from Italy. It has two slip pockets for small items and a main compartment for clothing, shoes, and tech accessories, including a laptop up to 15 inches. A duo of zippers makes access to your belongings a breeze. And, speaking of hardware, as if this bag didn't have enough style already, the matte nickel details certainly boost this weekender's style factor. The removable shoulder strap can be adjusted up to 26 inches in length for easy carrying. Lastly, this weekender is available in two classic color options—black or tan.

 Price at time of publish: $1,295

The Details: 14.5 x 19.75 x 8.75 inches

Best Tote

Madewell The Zip-top Transport Carryall

Madewell The Zip-top Transport Carryall


Why We Love It
  • The updated version of this best-selling bag comes with a top zipper.

What to Consider
  • The crossbody strap is slim and not super comfortable if the bag is heavy.

If versatility and style are at the top of your leather tote wish list, then your search is over. A variety of clever design details make this Madewell best-seller the perfect travel-friendly tote.

 First, this bag comes with a zip top to protect your valuables and prevent them from falling out if you place the bag in the overhead compartment on a plane or accidentally drop it. Second, the size is quite simply perfect—it's big enough to fit a day's worth of essentials, including a laptop or a tablet, but it's not bulky or oversized. Third, unlike similar bags, this one has an interior lining and two separate pockets for keys, phones, and cards. Fourth, you have two options for carrying it — via two 4.75-inch handles or the removable shoulder strap. If that's not enough, Madewell also has a beautiful collection of bag straps (sold separately) that will help you customize the look, and you can monogram your tote with up to three letters, too.  

 Price at time of publish: $198

The Details: 0.75 x 11.5 inches x 5.5 inches

Best Backpack

Tumi Voyageur Hana Backpack

Tumi Voyageur Hana Backpack


Why We Love It
  • It has a collapsible interior water bottle pocket.

What to Consider
  • It is on the smaller side.

Tumi's luggage is equal parts beautiful design and practical features, and this sleek backpack is no exception. Cut from premium leather in black or dark mauve, it features padded, adjustable shoulder straps for added comfort running around town or through the airport. It also has a convenient phone pocket with a magnetic snap next to the top handle and a sleeve that allows you to attach it to the telescopic handle of a suitcase.

 While this backpack doesn't have the volume of large, multi-day backpacks, it can still fit an impressive number of items, making it the perfect personal item. The main U-shape compartment is accessed via a duo of zippers. Inside, a collapsible water-resistant bottle pocket is cleverly incorporated into the design. Our favorite part is the padded laptop pocket with a separate zip closure that keeps it away from your other belongings — and that water bottle. This backpack, just like every other Tumi bag, also has a tracer, so you can find it if it gets lost.

 Price at time of publish: $545

The Details: 14.3 x 11 x 5.8 inches | 2.3 pounds

Best Duffel Bag

Leatherology Kessler Large Duffle

Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel


Why We Love It
  • It comes in two sizes and five color options.

What to Consider
  • It doesn't have a lot of interior pockets.

This leather duffle is the epitome of functionality. Not only does it come in two sizes but, thanks to a duo of adjustable side tabs, you can further customize its size to match your travel needs. 

But that's just one feature that makes it the best in its class. A front exterior pocket conveniently fits small items, while the roomy interior features a zippered compartment and two more pockets for a passport, a wallet, and a phone.  

Leatherology is known for giving plenty of choice to its customers in terms of color variations, and that's certainly the case with this beautiful bag. The Kessler duffle is a real statement piece in five gorgeous leather hues, adding extra style points to your travel ensemble.

 Price at time of publish: $430

The Details: 13.5 x 22.25 x 10 inches (medium), 14.2 x 25.6 x 12 inches (large)

Best Garment Bag

Hook + Albert Black Leather Convertible Garment Weekender Bag

Hook & Albert Women's Leather Garment Weekender Bag

Hook & Albert

Why We Love It
  • It has separate compartments for shoes and toiletries.

What to Consider
  • Packing bulkier items in the garment section will reduce the overall space for other gear.

Is it a weekender? Is it a garment bag? Well, this one is both. Hook & Albert's leather garment bag was certainly created with style in mind—the sleek pebbled leather and silver-tone polished hardware are a chic combination. But it's the smart design that steals the show. This weekender expands and lays flat, so you can fit a full-length outfit like a suit or maxi dress, while tucking shoes and other smaller belongings into the other pockets. Then, fold it back up and zip into a classic weekender shape making it the perfect option for a wedding weekend or a business trip that requires you to bring a more formal look. 

The exterior zip pocket of this bag holds your travel documents, while the back trolley strap can be attached to the handle of a carry-on. The top handles of this garment bag are long enough so you can carry it over the shoulder, but there’s a longer padded strap included, too.

 Price at time of publish: $675

The Details: 20 x 13 x 9.5 inches | 3.9 pounds

Best Briefcase

Montblanc Sartorial Ultra Slim Document Case

Montblanc Sartorial Ultra Slim Document Case


Why We Love It
  • It has a compact silhouette.

What to Consider
  • It is pricey if you need to carry much more than a laptop and some papers while traveling.

A good leather briefcase can double as a laptop case, as well as a place to carry important paperwork. Montblanc has perfected the art of the stylish briefcase, and its Sartorial "document case" is proof.

Measuring a little over 1.5 inches in width, it is a slim and travel-friendly option. Made from Saffiano calf-skin leather, it is just as sturdy and functional as it is chic. There are two front pockets for extra storage and a detachable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying. Also, we're fans of the sleek, minimalist design devoid of overstated logos, except for a tiny Montblanc emblem at the top.

 Price at time of publish: $1,285

The Details: 14.57 x 1.57 x 10.63 inches

Best Splurge

Zegna Pelletessuta Four-wheel Cabin Suitcase

Zegna Pelletessuta Four-wheel Cabin Suitcase


Why We Love It
  • The innovative leather construction and sleek design are a perfect match.

What to Consider
  • The suitcase should not be exposed to humidity or direct sunlight due to the leather material.

With this Zegna carry-on, you'll be the chicest airplane passenger. The Italian company has been at the forefront of fabric innovation for more than a hundred years. Its proprietary "pelletessuta" material (from Italian pelle for leather and tessuta for woven) is made from nappa leather yarns woven on a loom to replicate traditional fabric weaving. The result is a soft and supple material that comes in a textured design that further enhances its beauty and unique looks.

The front of the carry-on features the company's name, while the back has a smooth leather surface and a large, zippered pocket. Two top handles and one side handle let you carry and lift the suitcase, and the four-dimensional spinner wheels give you more mobility. As a bonus, the suitcase also comes with a luggage tag.

 Price at time of publish: $3,995

The Details: 19.7 x 14.2 x 9.4 inches

Best Messenger Bag

Kenneth Cole Reaction Colombian Leather Crossbody Messenger Bag

Kenneth Cole Single Gusset Flapover Colombian Leather Messenger Bag


Why We Love It
  • It's spacious and affordable.

What to Consider
  • It is slim, so it won't fit any clothing.

Messenger bags aren't just for commuting, they're also great for flying because they fit under the seat and in the overhead bin. If you are looking for a roomier — and more budget-friendly — version of classic briefcases, this is it. Kenneth Cole's leather crossbody messenger is an excellent example of the versatility of this type of luggage piece. It has a classic flap-over construction with two magnetic snaps, and a fully-lined spacious main compartment that can fit a 15-inch laptop (with plenty of room for other belongings). A zippered back pocket can hold important documents, while your phone can go in one of the two front pockets for easy access.

The adjustable crossbody strap extends up to 60 inches and features a padded panel. We also appreciate the top handle since it gives travelers another way to carry this messenger. Lastly, the bag is cut from smooth full-grain leather, available in black, dark brown, and cognac.

 Price at time of publish: $160

 The Details: 15 x 11 x 3 inches | 2 pounds

Best Vintage Style

SteamLine Luggage The Architect 20-inch Rolling Carry-On

SteamLine Luggage The Architect 20-inch Rolling Carry-On


Why We Love It
  • It has a classic vintage look but adds many modern-day features, like a telescopic handle and TSA-approved locks.

What to Consider
  • It has only two wheels.

This vintage-inspired leather trunk will certainly do the job if you're looking for an eye-catching piece. Reminiscent of the golden age of travel, it comes with convenient carry-on dimensions that will likely work for most domestic and international flights. Classic features include contrasting leather straps, corner protectors, flip-lock closures, and gold-tones hardware. But this cabin suitcase also has a few modern-day features—namely the TSA-approved locks, a three-tier telescopic handle, and two wheels.

Inside, the gorgeous roaring 20s-inspired lining is certainly an added bonus. Zippered wall pockets and an interior handle system maximize the trunk's storage capacity and make it easier to organize your belongings. The trunk is made from leather-covered fiberboard, which means you get the best of two worlds—the sleek looks of leather and the sturdiness of a hard-sided carry-on.  

 Price at time of publish: $850

The Details: 20 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches | 8.8 pounds

Tips for Buying Leather Luggage

 Think of it as an investment

 There's no denying that good quality leather luggage is pricey. That's because it takes time and skill to process, dye, tan, and sew the raw material into the beautiful items you purchase. In fact, many designer pieces are cut and sewn by hand, which adds to the cost. But leather is one of the few materials that looks better as it ages, as it develops a natural patina and darkens when exposed to the elements. Keep in mind, however, that you must properly care for your leather suitcase or bag and avoid prolonged and direct sunlight exposure.

 Choose a brand you identify with

Many fashion and accessory brands carry leather luggage in their product assortment but choose yours wisely. If the quality of the raw materials and end product are essential to you, opt for a brand that has a long history—and specializes—in producing leather products. These companies are usually very transparent about where they source their leathers, how they’re processed, and how customers should care for the finished goods.

 Of course, this doesn't mean you should compromise on style. Just like you probably have a favorite footwear or outerwear brand, you should also research and browse the leather goods of multiple companies to figure out which one reflects your personal style and offers products you could see yourself carrying.  

 Buy the size you need

 Often companies produce leather luggage pieces in multiple sizes. Duffle bags and weekenders, for example, will sometimes come in medium and large sizes to accommodate a variety of travel and storage needs. And the same applies to suitcases.

Leather is a thick material, so luggage pieces made from leather rarely expand or contract to adjust the interior storage space. You have to find one that fits all your belongings for the desired number of days with stuffing beyond capacity.

 Consider its features

 Good looks are one thing, but as every traveler knows, luggage should, first and foremost, be functional. The good news is that leather has many varieties, allowing companies to manipulate them to create pieces with multiple pockets—both interior and exterior—so you can better organize your belongings.

 Leather shouldn't be exposed to heavy rains or snow very often. While unprocessed leather is not water-resistant, brands will often treat the final product to a water-repellent finish that protects your bag and whatever is in it from light rain. Also, leather can scratch easily, so if you're heading to the wilderness or rugged terrain, grab a nylon bag or hardshell suitcase instead.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you clean leather luggage?

    Make sure your leather bags and suitcases stay clean so they last longer. When carrying frequently, clean once a week with a damp cloth and every three to four months with foamy water and dish soap solution to remove dirt and stains. After each cleaning, condition the leather with a high-quality conditioner (we like this one from Amazon) to maintain its sheen and keep it supple and soft.

  • Can I check in leather bags?

    The short answer is—you could, but we don't recommend it if you're flying commercial. Leather can easily get scratched and destroyed if not handled with care. Another con? As with other soft materials, it doesn't provide great anti-shock protection for your belongings, which is another reason to opt out of checking in your leather luggage. Last, but not least, many leather types aren't fully water-resistant, so you might want to keep a constant eye on your suitcase to ensure it doesn't end up sitting on a wet tarmac for too long.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Travel + Leisure contributor Dobrina Zhekova researched the best leather backpacks, rolling suitcases, totes, and more to select the best luxe options for all types of travelers.

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