Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big travel bag test 2022. Here we present all the travel bags we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best travel bag for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a travel bag.




The most important facts

  • In contrast to the suitcase, the travel bag is characterised by its handiness and flexibility. The material is usually stretchable and the travel bag can be filled easily and uncomplicatedly. A practical piece of luggage for every holiday destination.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between travel bags with wheels, foldable travel bags, backpack travel bags, weekender bags and duffle bags. Each category has its own advantages and disadvantages.
  • The right travel bag can become a lifelong travel companion. The ideal travel bag can be found for every type of traveller.

The best Travel Bag: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a travel bag

What is a travel bag?

A travel bag is characterised by the fact that it is practical and handy. It is a loyal travel companion and there is a suitable model for every holiday. It has the following criteria:

  • A large opening for the main compartment, which is usually closed with a zip. In addition, many travel bags have several interior and exterior compartments.
  • A padded bottom that protects the contents.
  • Different carrying straps or other back carrying systems. This allows the travel bag to be comfortably hung over the shoulders.

What are the advantages of a travel bag over a suitcase?

The suitcase is the most used piece of luggage. But those who travel with a travel bag are more flexible and enjoy more mobility.

Unlike most suitcases, a travel bag is much lighter when empty. Those who travel on bumpy or snow-covered roads are glad that they only have to carry the lighter and more manageable travel bag.

The material also offers the possibility to pack the bag differently full according to one's wishes and thus vary its size. When travelling, you can stow it away more quickly and move around more freely.

Advantages
  • Lighter empty weight
  • Easier to stow
  • All-rounder
Disadvantages
  • Clothes wrinkle more easily
  • Contents are less protected
  • Less storage space

By varying the size, the travel bag can also be used for a different purpose in every situation. It is an absolute all-rounder.

If the travel bag is not needed, it can be quickly stored in a cupboard to save space.

For which trips is the travel bag particularly suitable?

In principle, the travel bag is particularly suitable for shorter trips. Especially in areas where there are no roads or where they are covered in snow, the travel bag is the ideal piece of luggage.

The travel bag is particularly well suited for adventurous holidays. On sports holidays, it is easier to fight your way through the snow with this particularly light luggage. But even on safaris, suitcases are usually not accepted. The travel bag offers plenty of storage space and handiness to tackle the trip.

The travel bag is also practical when travelling by train. If you change trains frequently, it can be stowed away more quickly and takes up less space.

Depending on the length of the trip, different sizes of luggage are required. For a trip longer than two weeks, you should definitely buy a roller travel bag, otherwise it will be too heavy to carry.

Decision section: What types of travel bags are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between five different types of travel bags:

  • Travel bag with wheels
  • Foldable travel bag
  • Backpack travel bag
  • Weekender
  • Duffle Bag

Each of these categories is suitable for different journeys and brings with it different advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on the type of traveller you are, a different category of travel bag is recommended. In the end, you have to weigh up which model is most useful for you.

To help you find the right travel bag for you, we present all the types mentioned above with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a travel bag with wheels and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A trolley travel bag combines the advantages of a handy bag with those of a suitcase. In an emergency, it can be carried well and is thus easy to transport in all situations.

Advantages
  • Easier to transport thanks to wheels
  • Firm and robust
  • Have lots of storage space
Disadvantages
  • Bulkier
  • Heavier
  • Need more space

As a rule, travel bags with wheels are made of robust and waterproof nylon. They have a padded bottom so that they remain stable even when being pulled.

Basically, wheeled travel bags offer more protection for the contents and more storage space. They are particularly well suited for longer trips.

On short trips, however, the heavy bag adds unnecessary weight and space. It is bulkier and handier models should be preferred.

What are the features of a foldable travel bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The special advantage of a foldable travel bag is that it has practically no weight of its own. It is handy and light.

Advantages
  • Particularly light
  • Require little storage space
  • Stretchable material
Disadvantages
  • Less stable and hard-wearing
  • The contents are less protected
  • Clothes crumple more easily

Foldable travel bags are usually made of polyester. They are not dimensionally stable and collapse easily.

The material is so thin that the bag can easily be stowed very small in the luggage. On the journey home, the second travel bag can then be used for all the souvenirs.

For this purpose, the simple bags have no special inner compartments and are also less padded. They are therefore not recommended for longer trips.

Reisetasche neben Sessel

The foldable travel bag is characterised by its thin and light material. (Image source: unsplash.com / Erol Ahmed)

What are features of a backpack travel bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If necessary, this travel bag can be shouldered like a backpack. This distributes the weight of the bag better. They usually have two adjustable shoulder straps.

Advantages
  • Good portability
  • Distribute the weight
  • Two in one
Disadvantages
  • Limited storage space
  • Material crumples more easily
  • Clear organisation of the contents is more difficult

A rucksack travel bag is particularly suitable for longer journeys on foot. When buying one, make sure that it also has a hip and shoulder strap. This way, the travel bag can be carried for longer periods of time without pain.

It should be noted, however, that the backpack travel bag is not intended for trekking tours. It is designed for holidaymakers who want to move around as freely as possible.

What is a weekender and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Weekender bags are a cross between a handbag and a travel bag. They are often available in retro style and are characterised by their elegance.

Advantages
  • They have style
  • Small and handy
  • Can be used as an all-rounder
Disadvantages
  • Limited storage space
  • Only for short trips
  • Need more care

As the name suggests, these bags are perfect for weekend trips. However, for longer and more punishing trips, this travel bag is not the right choice.

The typical weekender is the Italian model made of leather. This is characterised by good quality and durability. It can become a faithful travel companion.

However, the weekender cannot only be used as a travel bag. With a little less content, the elegant bag can also be used for everyday life without any problems.

However, the Weekender is not ideal for adventurous trips with a lot of dirt and water. The leather models are very sensitive and need to be well cared for.

Did you know that weekender bags are very trendy at the moment?

Travellers are becoming more and more style-conscious and the look of the accessory is playing an increasingly important role. That's why they're turning to stylish classics more often.

What is a duffle bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Duffle bags are usually made of tarpaulin. A particularly robust and waterproof material. They remain intact in any situation and defy dirt and sand.

Advantages
  • Particularly robust
  • Waterproof
Disadvantages
  • Less comfortable to carry
  • Less elegant

For a while, the duffle bag was also particularly popular among surfers because its material keeps sand and water out. This keeps bath towels and clothes dry and clean.

With the duffle bag, however, the focus is clearly on durability. This means that wearing comfort is particularly important. The duffle bag is usually not well suited for longer walks, as it is dimensionally stable and unwieldy.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate travel bags

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to decide whether a travel bag suits you or not.

These are the following criteria:

  • Size and volume
  • Empty weight and stowability
  • Material
  • Design and colour
  • Carrying comfort
  • Interior design and exterior pockets
  • Padded bottom
  • Anti-theft protection

In the following paragraphs you can read about these buying criteria.

Size and volume

Depending on the duration and type of trip, a small or large travel bag is required. Here is a brief overview of which volume is recommended for which duration.

Length Volume in litres
One weekend 30-40
One week 50-80
Two weeks 90-120

It should not be forgotten that a larger volume also makes it more unwieldy to carry. A large travel bag should therefore always be equipped with wheels.

Hand luggage tip: Even if your favourite travel bag exceeds the airline's specified dimensions, it is still usually accepted as hand luggage due to less content and flexibility of shape.

Empty weight and stowability

Depending on the trip, the weight of the bag is an important criterion. On air travel, you don't want to give away a single kilogramme. But even if long periods of carrying are expected, one is glad to have a lighter piece of luggage.

Lighter travel bags are usually easier to stow away. Whether for a trip or at home in the wardrobe, more space for the important things is always nice.

Material

The material is particularly crucial for a bag. Here is an overview of the most commonly used materials:

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Synthetic fibres (e.g. polyester) A particularly lightweight material that is very tear-resistant and guarantees a stretchy travel bag. A bag made of synthetic fibres is usually easy to stow The material is not stable and does not protect the contents very much.
Leather A leather travel bag is particularly elegant and stable. The material is dirt-repellent and waterproof Leather requires good, regular care to keep it beautiful and robust.
Nylon Unlike leather, nylon is a lightweight material. It is particularly hard-wearing and does not scratch. It is also dirt-repellent and waterproof nylon can fade quickly due to its sensitivity to UV light.

Pay particular attention to well-made seams on the handles, as in some cases they have to bear the entire weight of the bag on their own.

Waterproof travel bags

Basically, the material of most travel bags is coated. So even if you get caught in a short rain shower, the water should roll off the travel bag.

However, if you are planning a holiday by the water, a travel bag made of tarpaulin is recommended. This material is considered particularly water-resistant.

Did you know that you can simply coat your travel bag with wax to make it water-repellent?

To make your travel bag water-repellent, you can simply coat it with a thin layer of wax. So-called impregnating wax is available in the shops. However, please note which surface material the wax is suitable for so as not to damage your bag.

Design and colour

Travel bags come in all colours and designs. From simple to eye-catching, practically every model is available. This criterion is basically a matter of taste and entirely up to you.

Many prefer plain and timeless travel bags. However, don't forget that colourful and special designs are especially easy to find on the baggage carousel at the airport.

Portability

When looking at the shoulder strap or carrying strap, make sure it is long enough to put it over your shoulder. It is also an advantage if it is adjustable or detachable.

Especially for long journeys, it is more comfortable if the carrying strap is also padded. This prevents it from cutting into your shoulder and makes it more comfortable to carry.

Interior design and exterior pockets

When it comes to the interior design, it is helpful if the travel bag has many small compartments. This makes it easier to keep the contents nicely sorted and as crease-free as possible during the trip.

Especially for business trips, it is an advantage if the bag has a specially designed laptop compartment. In a well-padded compartment, the laptop is safer during transport.

Another important criterion is a special shoe compartment in the travel bag. This makes it easy to keep dirty shoes away from the clean contents of the bag.

Small compartments for your wallet, mobile phone or ID card are practical on the outside. However, you should always make sure that these compartments can be easily closed with a zip.

Padded bottom

A foam-padded bottom promises special protection for the contents of the bag. A padded bottom is especially recommended for travel bags with wheels.

Plastic or metal feet are also recommended to protect the material of the bag. This protects the material when the travel bag is put down.

Theft protection

A few travel bag models offer the highest level of theft protection. They have a puncture-proof zip and an integrated stainless steel wire net. However, these models are rare and correspondingly more expensive.

Another practical type is a simple lock that can be attached to the zip.

Image source: 123rf.com / 47919339

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