Our top picks: The best luggage and packs for avid travelers

From carry-ons to fanny packs. These are our top luggage and travel gear picks.
soolgard luggage case


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If you’re always on the go, like our DFC team, maybe it’s time to refresh your luggage and packing gear. Here are our top picks for everything from the best carry-on for a long trip to the best bag for a spontaneous weekend escape.

Now’s your chance to upgrade your travel gear while saving a buck on these Black Friday deals from Solgaard, Nomatic, Monos, Calpak, and more! 

SUITCASES & CARRY-ONS

Monos luggage

Best overall carry-on: Monos carry-on

If you’re wondering what our CEO, Jesse, uses as a carry-on, it’s the Monos carry-on. Unfortunately, he says it’s so great that his wife always ends up stealing it away from him on trips. Looks like it’s time to get a matching set. Enjoy 40% off sitewide this Black Friday!

Best carry-on to splurge on: Solgaard Carry-on Closet

I like to think this is every traveler’s dream carry-on. It’s a closet and rolling suitcase in one that keeps all your clothes organized with its built-in shelf. 

Best carry-on to express yourself: Customized ROAM Carry-On

If you’re looking for a luggage like you’ve never seen before, consider customizing your own with the ROAM Carry-On. You can customize everything down to the wheel color and even add a monogram patch to really make it your own.

Biggest savings: Samsonite 28-inch suitcase

Get all the quality for nearly half the price. Save 41% on this Samsonite large checked bag. 

Most convenient carry-on: Wrangler smart luggage set 

For a carry-on that makes your life a little easier, try the Wrangler smart luggage set that comes with a cup holder and USB port for charging your electronic devices.

Best matching set: Coolife 2-piece or 3-piece luggage set

If you’re in need of a large suitcase and carry-on, spring for the matching 2-piece or 3-piece set by Coolife. Their luggage comes with a slot for your laptop, wheels that spin 360 degrees, and TSA locks. 

Best bag for those who are always on 1%: Away Carry-On with USB Charger

This one is for all of you who are constantly on the verge of 1% battery life and constantly (and irritatingly) ask your friends to borrow their chargers. Get a carry-on and charger in one with this carry-on by Away.

BACKPACKS & DUFFELS

duffel garment bag

Best Travel Backpack: 45L Peak Design Backpack

Our editor, Zach, tested countless packs in preparation for his Peru trip. He ended up returning a shameful amount of items and discovering his favorite backpack ever: Peak Design’s 45L Travel Backpack. This backpack was clearly designed by travelers and even has the ability to ‘shrink’ down to a 35L pack.

Best weekend bag: 40L Go-Bag by Baboon to the Moon

For a quick weekend getaway, the 40L Go-Bag by Baboon to the Moon fits a surprising amount of stuff in a compact backpack. These bags are super durable and I appreciate that they zip all the way open. An added bonus is the handle on every side of the bag. 

Best anti-theft backpack: Charmore travel backpack

A lot of anti-theft travel gear can look clunky and cheaply made. You’d never believe this stylish bag by Charmore is an anti-theft backpack that helps you travel without the fear of being pickpocketed. 

Best expandable backpack: HOMIEE backpack

Not only does this bag by HOMIEE have the ability to expand, but it also has separate compartments for wet and dry items just in case any of your liquids break or spill while traveling.

Most versatile bag: Eagle Creek 3-in-1 Duffel 

Versatility is one of the key product features for avid travelers and this bag has it in spades. A duffel, a backpack, or a wheeled carry-on: Whatever you need, this bag by Eagle Creek is all three, so you can carry your stuff over cobblestones, roll it across the airport, and slide it into storage with ease.

Best multi-functional bag: Halfday Convertible Garment Bag

This hybrid bag by Halfday goes from a garment bag to a carry-on in a few simple folds, and yes, it even fits suits, shoes, and a whole weekend’s worth of stuff. 

Best personal item: Calpak duffel bag

I recently purchased this 9-pocket Calpak duffel bag that is the perfect personal item for travel–it even has an insert for your shoes. Shop Calpak’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to get 20% off sitewide!

Best rolling duffel bag: OIWAS Rolling bag

Duffel bags are great unless you overpack or have a bad back. This rolling bag by OIWAS has the convenience of a traditional suitcase with its wheels but the size advantage of a weekend duffel, making it the perfect rolling bag to pack for a quick trip.

FANNY PACKS & MORE

monos weekend bag

Best fanny pack: Bellroy Lite Sling

I’ve personally tried out a lot of fanny packs, but this one by Huckberry might be my new favorite. It’s lightweight and thin but fits an almost suspicious amount of things (even my water bottle).

Best foldable bag: Collapsible sling by Nomatic

As far as daypacks go, my new go-to is the collapsible sling pack by Nomatic. I bring it along with me on trips in case I go on hikes or little excursions because it fits just a bit more than a fanny pack and takes up virtually no space in my luggage. Shop Nomatic’s Black Friday deals to get up to 50% sitewide!

Best bag with a shoe compartment: Monos Metro Weekender

The Monos Metro Weekender bag is a sleek tote with a hidden convenience: a shoe compartment. You can pack an extra set of shoes right alongside your laptop. Shop the Black Friday deals to get up to 40% off sitewide!

Best personal item for budget flights: Away Everywhere Bag

Are you in need of a personal item that fits those tiny budget airline measurements? One of our DFC  Directors, Hannah, says Away’s Everywhere Bag is the best bag she’s ever used and fits so much stuff in a tiny space. Invest in this bag now to avoid those astronomical baggage fees later.

Best bag with packing cubes: Asenlin weekender

Sometimes it’s hard to stay organized, even when packing light. The Asenlin weekender comes with packing cubes to keep all your items in order.

Best camera bag: McKinnon Camera Pack by Nomatic

If you’re friend who is always snapping pics while on vacation, the McKinnon Camera Pack is worth the investment. It’s now $80 off this Black Friday. Shop Nomatic’s Black Friday deals to get up to 50% sitewide!

Best bag for pets: Beis Everyday Pet Tote

The Beis Everyday Pet Tote helps you and your furry friend travel in style and comfort. This tote even comes with a detachable shearling liner that can be easily washed and then popped back in to keep your trusty companion warm.

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