We’ve all been there: at our wit’s end, champing at the bit for a vacation but unable to spare a single personal day. Fortunately, there’s a solution: the weekend getaway. All you need is a round-trip ticket or full tank of gas and a well-packed bag.
There’s no need to lug around a half-full roller bag when something much smaller will do. And a commuter backpack isn’t quite enough for two nights on the road. The happy medium is the trusty weekender bag, a cargo companion that seems built for those sorely needed 36- to 48-hour escapes. Weekender bags are typically hand-carried, small to midsize duffles. A few look and carry more like sturdy, oversized tote bags. Virtually all have rudimentary internal organization.
When it comes to price and overall quality, options vary widely. A serviceable canvas duffle might set you back $30 at Walmart, while virtually indestructible designer totes start at $400 or $500. And you don’t always get what you pay for; some of the best weekender bags are more Amazon than Armani.
The following weekender bags offer the best value for cost-conscious buyers.
The Best Weekender Bags for Your Next Getaway
Most of these weekender bags are marketed as men’s or women’s bags. In some instances, it’s clear which is which, but others could easily be classified as gender-neutral. And isn’t style a personal choice, anyway?
1. Away The Weekender
Away’s The Weekender bag is a surprisingly spacious canvas number with a detachable shoulder strap, a hidden 15-inch laptop compartment, and matching top handles with a secure apex clasp.
At just under 40 liters – roughly the same volume as Away’s popular The Carry-On roller bag – it’s an ideal choice if you’d rather not gate-check a roller bag on packed flights. For extended trips, The Weekender secures to The Carry-On for easy transport. Its empty weight is 4.5 pounds with the shoulder strap and a touch over 4 pounds without.
The Weekender has some other goodies worth noting:
- A secure exterior shoe compartment
- A reinforced leather bottom that stands up to abuse
- Zippered interior and exterior pockets for smaller items
With gender-neutral appeal, moderate pricing, and three standard colors – black, olive, and off-pink “natural” – The Weekender is a high-end travel bag for everyone.
2. Everlane Twill Weekender
The Everlane Twill Weekender is a moderately priced small duffle with gender-neutral styling in eye-catching colors such as golden brown and black leather on black. With a 12-inch shoulder strap, a spacious main compartment protected by a heavy-duty zipper, and a metal-foot base, it’s a breeze to carry around – even when your last-minute itinerary demands an inter-terminal dash.
The twill exterior is 100% water-resistant, so an unexpected shower won’t ruin your weekend. Use the twin interior-exterior storage compartments for weekend essentials such as chargers, tablets, and paperbacks.
3. Tommy Hilfiger Coated Canvas Duffle Bag
The Tommy Hilfiger Coated Canvas Duffle Bag is a reasonably priced, reasonably sized men’s weekender option that’s ideal for a truly squeezed-in getaway. What this polyvinyl chloride bag lacks in volume, it makes up in durability and practicality. Its removable shoulder strap and a heavy-duty zipper can take whatever your budget airline’s overhead bin has to give. Use the front and back pockets for your tickets, wallet, phone, and any other essentials you’d like to keep accessible.
4. Patagonia Black Hole Duffel (40L)
The 40-liter version is the smallest of Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel bags, but it’s big enough to see you through two or three days on the road. The polyester exterior boasts a weather-resistant, TPU-film laminate coated in a water-repellent finish that stands up to everything from West Coast drizzles to Caribbean torrents. Removable padded shoulder straps complement a sturdy carrying handle, and reinforced daisy chains lash the duffle securely to larger companion bags for extended trips.
The gender-neutral Black Hole Duffel weighs just over 2 pounds empty, making it one of the lightest weekenders on this list despite its reinforced leather base. It’s a breeze to pack thanks to an oversized main compartment opening, zippered side pockets, and mesh lid pockets for lighter items.
5. Caraa Remus
The Caraa Remus men’s weekender is pricier than most of the other entrants on this list. But it’s worth the cost, especially for frequent travelers. At 2 pounds, 6 ounces, this Italian leather bag is one of the lighter ones on this list. It also has a slew of bells and whistles not typical to lower-rack weekenders. Highlights include:
- Top and side carrying handles
- A concealed 15-inch laptop holder
- An external power pack with phone charging dock (battery not included)
- A built-in USB charging cable
- Four interior mesh zipper pockets for smaller items
- Eight breathing vents to circulate air and control odor
- A detachable, adjustable body strap
- A self-contained bag for shoes and wet items
6. Samsonite Silhouette 16 Travel Tote
The gender-neutral Samsonite Silhouette 16 Travel Tote is an oversized bag with enough room for two complete changes of clothes. Its Tricore Nylon® exterior with SamGuard® Treatment resists abrasions, punctures, tears, and water damage caused by normal use. The exterior pockets can hold water bottles and other bulky items, the interior compartments separate lightweight stuff, and the SmartSleeve cover secures your Silhouette 16 to a larger bag if needed. Just remember to take it with you; at 1.8 pounds empty, you’ll barely know it’s there.
7. Stubble & Co. The Weekender
Stubble & Co.’s The Weekender pairs above-average capacity (42 liters) with above-average looks and style. Its full grain canvas and waterproofed natural grain leather exterior conceals a 15-inch high-density protective laptop pocket and a smaller sheath that’s perfect for laptops and boarding documents. An all-but-invisible interior pocket keeps valuables out of harm’s way.
Even for a weekender bag, Stubble & Co.’s The Weekender is unusually versatile and portable. Six studded feet promise stability in airport terminals, train platforms, and anywhere else you tire of lugging your luggage. The wrap-around webbing offers uncanny support without adding significantly to the bag’s weight. And the detachable shoulder strap is great for long hauls on foot.
8. Sole Society Cassidy Weekender
Sole Society’s Cassidy Weekender is a vegan leather women’s bag with head-turning style. The detachable 18-inch shoulder strap makes moving through crowded airport terminals a breeze. For even tighter spaces, the six-inch handle drop does the job.
Best of all is the Cassidy Weekender’s price. Unless you get discounted accommodations with travel rewards, your Cassidy will almost certainly cost less than a single night’s lodging on your next getaway.
9. Maverick & Co. Aviator Hassle-Free Weekender
The Maverick & Co. Aviator Hassle-Free Weekender hides an amazingly versatile interior under a sharp-looking, waterproof nylon and vegan leather exterior. The main compartment zips two ways, leaving enough wiggle room for an exterior compartment that’s ideal for accessories.
Inside, dedicated pockets for your laptop (up to 15.6 inches), passport, and phone await. A zipped interior pocket is perfect for hiding valuables, and two neat little slots keep pens safe. And an adjustable shoulder strap makes carrying the Hassle-Free Weekender a breeze in virtually any environment.
10. Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle
The Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle is a heavy-duty, gender-neutral bag whose crisp, understated exterior belies uncommonly thoughtful construction and design. Two reinforced carrying handles lead down to a two-way waterproof zipper; when you tire of hand-carrying, clip on the detachable shoulder strap. Inside, the Novel has a spacious shoe compartment and an internal storage sleeve for small essentials such as electronics and clothes.
If you like customization, you’ll love the Novel’s nearly endless color choices. It comes in 34 standard tones, plus a handful of special and limited edition hues. The woven label is a nice aesthetic touch too.
11. North Face Base Camp Duffel (50L)
The gender-neutral North Face Base Camp Duffel is the go-to weekender bag for two- and three-day jaunts that take you off the beaten path. The 50-liter small size is all you’ll need for a couple of days on the road.
Base Camp’s uncommonly strong exterior material is totally waterproof; North Face goes so far as to guarantee interior dryness. It has padded side handles for close-quarters transport and an adjustable, detachable, padded shoulder strap for long hauls. Four compression straps squeeze every last milliliter out of the interior compartment, with mesh pockets to separate contents. Use the water-resistant mesh top pocket to keep your ID and payment cards close at hand.
The best part: Base Camp costs considerably less than more stylish weekenders that can’t claim total impermeability.
12. Newhey Oversized Travel Duffle Bag
The Newhey Oversized Travel Duffel Bag is a full-size waterproof leather-and-canvas weekender with gender-neutral appeal and unbeatable pricing. For such an affordable bag, the high-density canvas and waterproof leather provide impressive durability. Rounded handles and an adjustable shoulder strap compete for comfort with higher-end bags, though the rough padding is a disadvantage on long airport dashes. A half-dozen pockets between the interior and exterior offer enough room to make that optional third night a reality.
13. Filson Medium Duffle Bag
If you’re looking to make a statement, and price is no object, the men’s Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffle Bag is your weekender. Yes, it’s among the priciest bags on this list, but it’s worth every dollar – and not just for the tasteful twill construction and understated color options. Despite weighing under 4 pounds, it fits about as much as it can without violating airlines’ ever-changing carry-on restrictions.
The Medium Rugged Twill Duffle Bag features a custom-cut zipper closure with secure storm flap, two-snap grips on bridle leather handles that wrap around the bag for added support, and two interior pockets for small-item storage.
14. Rains Weekend Bag
The Rains Weekend Bag is a no-nonsense duffle that’s advertised toward men but could easily be called gender-neutral. It offers a 46-liter volume yet somehow manages to squeak in under most airlines’ carry-on size limits.
With a water-resistant zipper complementing waterproof fabric, the Rains Weekend Bag lives up to its name too. Use the detachable shoulder strap on extended walks and take advantage of the optional mesh divider if you’re mixing business and leisure travel.
That commuter bag I mentioned up top? In a pinch, I have used it as a weekender bag. I’d just prefer not to.
One memory really sticks out. On a three-day trip to Seattle, I headed straight to the observation deck of the city’s tallest building without bothering to drop off my overstuffed pack. It was Thursday at midday, and the elevator was packed. As I swung around to face forward, I nearly knocked the glasses off the poor woman behind me. Her muffled curse still rings in my ears.
I’ve often thought in great detail about how a weekender bag could have prevented that cringe-inducing faux pas. Even if you’ve never accidentally swiped an innocent bystander with an inappropriately full backpack, you deserve a hand-carried bag that behaves itself in crowded spaces.
What’s your go-to weekender bag? What do you like about it?