Whether you've been hitting the books hard these last few months at school or putting in work at the office, you're probably feeling like your next vacation can't come soon enough. With spring right around the corner, now's the time to treat yourself to a little break (or at least start planning for one). And as relaxing as a quick vacation can be, all the travel involved usually isn't. That is, unless you've got a proper travel bag to make the trips go smoothly.
For a weekend away (or even longer), traditional luggage is usually way too large and sacrifices versatility for capacity. Good luck trying to stuff a giant roller into the overhead compartment. Sometimes, a more nimble sling or duffel bag are better options for quick trips thanks to their light weight and just-right capacity.
And while you might not use it every day, a good travel bag should still live up to the expectations you set for your EDC gear. Build quality should be top notch and it should have a unique feature or two that fits perfectly into how you carry. Sure, you could get dedicated travel luggage, but you might find it more worthwhile to opt for an EDC-friendly pack that you can take on your travels too.
Whether you’re going to be spending your break outdoors or exploring a new city, you'll find some great bag ideas in this guide to get you started.
Osprey Farpoint 40
When it comes to travel backpacks, Osprey is a brand that pops up often. The Farpoint 40 is a solid all-around backpack that will get the job done whether you’re going on a day hike or backpacking across Europe. The padded shoulder straps and hip belt distributes the weight evenly, making it easier for you to enjoy your journey instead of struggle through it. You can pack your clothing into the main compartment, and still have two interior pockets and an exterior one to hold toiletries and important documents.
DSPTCH makes bags with a fairly specific purpose in mind, and the Weekender has it all in the name. This 35L bag is perfect for that weekend getaway since it can hold 1-3 days worth of clothing in an easy to manage form factor that you can sling over your shoulder or carry duffel bag style. It has one main compartment so you can pack however you choose, but it also comes with a packing cube to help you out. You’ll get two quick access pockets for your most used items and you can be certain they’ll stay safe thanks to its water-resistant nylon exterior and duraflex hardware.
Maxpedition Doppelduffel Adventure Bag
Some trips are less of a vacation, and more of an adventure. The Doppelduffel Adventure Bag takes the durability Maxpedition's known for and adds next-level organization to the mix. The main compartment has two dividers for organizing your gear as well as two zippered mesh pouches for other essentials. The exterior also has plenty of MOLLE straps so you can attach as many extra pouches as you can fit. As the name implies, you can carry it duffel bag style but there are also ergonomic backpack straps for when you need your hands free.
The 35L GoBag began as a Kickstarter campaign that aimed to be the perfect carry-on to hold all your clothing and travel essentials in one place. Its main features include a velcro-lined interior so you can attach different modules, or even the included laptop sleeve. It also features a vacuum-sealed compression bag for clothing. You’ll get a large front pocket and a smaller zippered passport pocket in a water-resistant PU coated material. You can also attach the included waist harness so you can distribute the weight a little better.
Incase EO Travel Backpack
Incase is most known for their minimal packs, and the EO Travel Backpack fits right in. This weather resistant travel pack has a main pocket for clothing, a second for your smaller essentials, and a third dedicated laptop compartment. The laptop compartment opens flat for getting through security and it fits up to a 17" laptop. Meanwhile you can expand the main compartment by 35% to clothing for those longer trips. When you’re done with your travels, this would also make a solid EDC pack for commuters.
Slicks Trip Yellow
If you travel often for work, it might be worth it to get a bag that can pull double duty as your travel pack as well. The Slicks Trip Yellow is a modular pack made with the durability an adventurer needs, but with the features a professional wants. You’ll get a removable collar protector for protecting your dress shirts and a sealed laundry bag for storing dirty clothes on the go. It also comes with a double-sided “Trip Cover” so you can store your clothes in toiletries in separate compartments. You’ll find a large zippered pocket on the front of the bag, as well as a dedicated shoe compartment and quick access pocket along the sides.
Patagonia Arbor Duffel Bag
If you’re looking for a large capacity bag for your trip, the Patagonia Arbor Duffel Bag might be for you. It’s a 60L duffel made of a durable water repellent fabric, so getting caught in a rain or snowstorm won’t seep through to your clothes. The large compartment should hold the majority of your clothing and gear, while a zippered side pocket is perfect for storing smaller items you need to get to quickly. If your Spring Break involves a weekend getaway, the Arbor Duffel is a smart choice.
The GoRuck GR1 is arguably one of the best bags ever made, so of course it’s great for travel as well. It comes in 21L or 26L capacities, but both sizes come with three pockets on the inside for storing your essentials and a reinforced laptop compartment. It’s made of a water-resistant 1000 denier Cordura material that makes them durable enough for military use, so you can be sure they’re good enough for carry-on. If you need further customization, MOLLE webbing makes it easy for you to add extra pouches as you see fit. Whether you’re going on a trip or not, the GR1 is a tank of a bag.
Topo Designs Travel Bag
If your trips range from overnight to a month-long backpacking trip, then this 30L Travel Bag by Topo Designs will be up your alley. It features a 3-sided zip front flap so you can get a bird's eye view of all your gear when you lay it down flat, but you'll still have access to essentials via a zippered front pocket. This pack features a 17” laptop sleeve, an internal mesh sleeve, two side pockets that fit water bottles perfectly, and many ways to carry. You can carry it like a messenger bag, a backpack, or you can tuck the straps away and use it as a duffel bag.
Aer Travel Sling
Aer makes plenty of high quality packs, but their Travel Sling could be the minimal carry-on you’ve been looking for. A durable 1680D ballistic nylon exterior and YYK zippers keeps your gear safe and a discrete document pocket gives you quick access to important documents like your passport. There’s also an exterior pocket for your most used items that might not need much protection, like an EDC notebook. Meanwhile, in the main compartment you’ll get a padded laptop sleeve with a built-in strap to keep your 13” laptop from falling out. You’ll also find a slip pocket, mesh zippered pocket, and enough space to pack a water bottle or charger.
What bag do you take with you on short trips? Leave a comment with your go-to weekender bag below.