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Credit: Getty Images

The 9 Best Weekender Bags, According to Editors Who Love to Travel

Whether you’re planning a weekend upstate or a 10-day trip abroad, these sleek bags from Calapk, Away, and Caraa have you covered.
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There's nothing quite as satisfying as an extended trip to a faraway destination — but you don't always have the money or PTO saved up when wanderlust hits. Luckily, a 10-day trip isn't the only way to seek out new experiences. A weekend away is the perfect opportunity to see a new location, visit friends, and get that Insta-worthy 'gram without spending a fortune. Also nice? You can skip the carry-on suitcase that never seems to roll right in favor of the best weekender bags.

The Best Weekender Bags for Women, According to Shopping Experts

Perfectly sized to carry all the essentials for a few days — hence, the name — these compact bags are ideal investments for anyone who wants to make the most of their time away from home and the office. Typically shaped like a duffel, these soft-sided sacs often have zipper closures and are small enough to fit into the overhead compartments of planes. (And yes, they're still big enough for packing cubes.)

In fact, most weekender bags are tiny enough to count as a personal item for savvy travelers trying to maximize their airline's carry-on luggage allowance. Pro tip: Storing electronics, liquids, and chargers in the weekender also helps you get through security in record time without having to unpack your carry-on in front of strangers.

Plus, the chic bags tend to be versatile enough to be used outside of vacation. Designs with a shoe compartment make the perfect stand-in gym bag, while those with tons of pockets are a great substitute work bag. Finding the right setup just requires taking into account your travel habits and how often you want to put your weekender to use.

Not sure where to get started? Scroll down to discover editors' favorite weekender bags — and all the reasons why they simply can't get enough of their go-to travel bag.

Credit: Paravel

Most Durable: Paravel Fold-Up Bag

Buy It, $65

What Fits: Three to five days of clothes, shoes, and small makeup bag

Put to the Test: Owned for four years

You'll Love: Folds flat for storage

Keep This In Mind: Less interior organization

"I've had this bag for four years and take it out for the occasional weekend trip or long-haul vacation. Its most unique feature is that it folds down flat and zips up when it's not in use, so you can easily stash it in a tiny closet or bring it along in a suitcase to use as needed on a bigger trip. I also like that it's made of recycled, waterproof nylon. It feels durable and is easy to clean." — Christie Calucchia, lifestyle ecommerce lead

Credit: Dagne Dover

Most Versatile: Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag Medium

Buy It, $155

What Fits: Two days of clothing, two pairs of shoes, and toiletries

Put to the Test: Used three times a month for one and a half years

You'll Love: Easy to repurpose beyond travel

Keep This In Mind: Size up if you want to use for bulky boots or sweaters

"I've owned tons of weekend bags, but this one comfortably holds all of my things for the weekend, including all of the three cosmetic bags of beauty products I love to travel with (I'm getting better!!).The bag also works great as a 'mom bag.' It holds my daughter's cheer supplies (hair tools, makeup, and cheer shoes), plus snacks and disinfecting wipes. I've also used the bag to attend and teach barre classes: It holds gym clothes perfectly and still has extra room." — Taylor Lane, ecommerce beauty writer

Credit: Lo & Sons

Best Tote: Lo & Sons The Catalina Deluxe Tote

Buy It, $103 (was $205)

What Fits: Four days of clothing with an extra pant and shirt, two makeup bags, and pajamas

Put to the Test: Owned for four years, used monthly pre-pandemic

You'll Love: Lightweight construction, plenty of pockets

Keep This In Mind: Only neutrals for someone that likes vibrant colors

"I've had this bag for about four years now, and it's gone everywhere with me, from New Jersey for long weekends visiting my fiance's parents to Prague and Paris as the perfect carry-on. I love that it has a pocket on the bottom that perfectly fits two pairs of shoes. It also has a large outer pocket for things that need to be easily accessible, such as my phone, wallet, passport, or keys. There's another pocket on the opposite side that has zippers on the top and bottom, so it can quickly become a sleeve for your suitcase handle. I love that it's big and fits plenty, but it's not an unwieldy size." — Ariel Scotti, partnerships writer

Credit: Caraa

Best Leather: Caraa Studio Leather Tote Large

Buy It, $350

What Fits: Three to four days of clothing with rolling method

Put to the Test: Three weeks

You'll Love: Stylish and spacious

Keep This In Mind: Expensive, soft leather prone to scratching

"This bag is newer to my collection, but it's already the one I reach for most often because it's so chic. It looks so elegant, is incredibly spacious, and has so many secret compartments to keep everything organized. I also love that it can be worn as a backpack or a tote, i.e. it's also a great work or gym bag." — Eva Thomas, celebrity ecommerce writer

Credit: Calpak

Best with Shoe Compartment: Calpak Luka Duffel

Buy It, $110

What Fits: Four days of clothing, one pair of shoes, and limited toiletries

Put to the Test: Owned five months, used for dozens of road trips and four flights

You'll Love: All the compartments

Keep This In Mind: Using the shoe compartment impacts packing space

"Growing up as a military kid, I traveled a lot. This meant countless totes, roller bags, and backpacks were put to the test throughout my life — but it was love at first sight when I got this duffel. It's made with a funky plush material that looks trendy but also gives your goods extra protection while traveling. I love that the strap is wide enough not to dig into my shoulders when slung around my body, so I don't dread carrying it around when trekking to the train or subway. It also has a trolly sleeve that slides right over a suitcase handle, so it makes the perfect 'personal item' for long-haul flights. Most importantly, it has SO many compartments. It almost feels like a challenge to fill them all with different things, whether it's your laptop, shoes, accessories, water bottle, or even umbrella. It keeps me organized!" — Braelyn Wood, health and wellness ecommerce lead

Credit: Away

Best Canvas: Away The Weekender Bag

Buy It, $215

What Fits: Up to five days of clothing, depending on shoes and toiletries

Put to the Test: Owned three months

You'll Love: The spacious design and trolley sleeve

Keep This In Mind: Canvas is hard to clean

"I love how many compartments it has, which makes finding things so much easier. (I won't have to mess up my organization just to find my phone charger or lip balm.) I also find the trolley sleeve super useful because it lets me secure the bag on my carry-on suitcase without it potentially falling and damaging my fragile items, like laptops and cameras. Plus, it would absolutely work great as a gym bag because of the shoe compartment. I would even bring it to the office as an extra carry-all bag." — Nina Huang, lifestyle ecommerce writer

Credit: Calpak

Most Spacious: Calpak Stevyn Duffel

Buy It, $82

What Fits: Three days of clothing, two pairs of shoes, toiletries, a book, and makeup bag

Put to the Test: Owned seven months, used on two flights and multiple weekend trips

You'll Love: All the space and compartments

Keep This In Mind: Heavy when overpacked

"My friends gifted me this bag seven months ago, and so far it's been my carry-on bag for two flights and my go-to for multiple weekend trips by car. As a chronic overpacker, I love how spacious the duffel bag is. It's extremely roomy and the bottom compartment is great for packing shoes or heavier items [that] I don't need to access as frequently. I could totally see this being an ideal gym bag in the future. I could stow my sneakers in the bottom and fit a towel and a change of clothes inside, but I haven't used it for that yet." — Jayla Andrulonis, ecommerce writer

Credit: Glob

Most Compact: Glob Primary Morph Ripstop Tote

Buy It, $36

What Fits: One week of clothing, shoes, toiletries, and a laptop

Put to the Test: Owned for two months

You'll Love: Easy to store, machine washable

Keep This In Mind: Lack of structure, no zippers

"It might not strictly be a weekender bag, but I actually love using it for beach getaways and one-day trips. Like any good reusable tote, it's compact and can fold in on itself for easy storage. The bag has tons of pockets throughout, so it's perfect for holding water bottles, shoes, books, sandwiches, and more. It's definitely less structured than a traditional weekender bag, so things like bottles and laptops can easily topple over. [But] it's washable, so I don't worry about getting it messy, and it comes with two strap options, so I could carry it by hand or throw it over my shoulder. I could totally imagine this as a gym bag because you won't feel bad about throwing your dirty workout shoes in there." — Nina Huang, lifestyle ecommerce writer

weekender bags
Credit: Largo Drive

Most Deluxe: Largo Drive Cleobella Weekend Bag

Buy It, $398

What Fits: Three days of clothing

Put to the Test: Owned one month

You'll Love: Stylish design

Keep This In Mind: More expensive

"The colors and print make it unique, and I always appreciate a long strap! I always pack extras in here for the kids that I can easily grab — including bottles, wipes and diapers." — Sade Strehlke, Shape digital director