For more years than I’d like to admit, my go-to travel bag for a weekend trip was a battered Nike duffel. After stuffing it to the brim in my usual method of overpacking, I would sling it over one shoulder, painfully hobble around as it banged against the back of my legs, then quickly dump it at the first available opportunity. Eventually, this duffel did me a favor and ripped open at the seams, which was the final push I needed to stop traveling like a high schooler heading to soccer practice and actually invest in a real travel bag. Now, I use my trusty weekender bag for everything from quick overnight stays to long weekend getaways, and I truly don’t know why it took me so long to ditch that impractical duffel.

If you, too, are looking to upgrade your travel bag situation, a weekender might be just the thing. Keep reading for everything you need to know, including how to choose the best weekender bag for you and our editors’ tried-and-true picks.

What Is a Weekender Bag?

Weekenders are exactly what they sound like: travel bags designed to fit enough items for a short weekend trip. In my experience, they’re ideal for a 2-3 day getaway, but you can stretch it to about five days tops if you really pack strategically. Most are shaped like an oversized tote bag or a small duffel and are designed to be carried by hand or over the shoulder. But unlike a basic tote, weekenders typically have extra features designed specifically for travel, such as a separate shoe compartment at the bottom of the bag or a trolley sleeve that can slide over a suitcase handle.

Now, before you ask… no, a weekender will generally not count as a personal item on a flight. Because most have such a large capacity, weekenders typically won’t fit underneath the seat in front of you, which means it’ll have to serve as your carry-on item. And when it comes to lugging a bag through security and beyond, a wheeled suitcase is way more convenient to maneuver. But if you’re going with checked luggage, a weekender can easily sit on top of a larger suitcase, and it’ll be much easier to carry if most of your stuff is packed in your luggage.

That said, weekenders are the ideal bag for road trips. They fit easily in any size vehicle (unlike a bulky suitcase) and are super convenient for short trips where you’re only staying a few nights. I used mine on several road trips last year alone, and every time, I felt super organized from the car to the hotel to back home.

How to Choose the Best Weekender Bag for You

Before you click “add to cart,” here’s everything you need to consider when shopping for a weekender bag.

Size and Style

Weekender bags come in many different shapes and sizes, so start by finding the design that best suits your travel style. The classic tote shape is ideal if you like to use packing cubes or if you generally travel light. That’s because you’ll likely have to stack items as you pack to use up all the space, which can make it difficult to access items on the bottom. If you like to unzip your bag and immediately see everything you packed, a duffel-style weekender might be a better choice. And while a bigger bag means more room for packing, it can also be quite heavy to carry, so keep that in mind.


Travel bags often take a serious beating, so you’ll want to choose a weekender that can stand up to everything you throw at it. The material is key here. Most weekenders are made from nylon or polyester, canvas, or faux leather. No matter the style you prefer, look for a material that’s resistant to water, stains, and scratches to ensure it holds up well over time.

Organizational Features

The organizational features are probably the biggest thing that sets different weekender bags apart. Depending on how you travel, you might want to look for a weekender that includes zippered interior pockets, adjustable straps, a luggage handle pass-through, a padded laptop pocket, a water bottle holder, a key leash, a separate shoe compartment, or some combination of the above.

Best Weekender Bags for 2024

Keep scrolling for the weekender bags our editors own and love, plus why we recommend them.

The Weekender

At least half a dozen members of The Everygirl team own this bag, and we’d basically consider it the gold standard of weekenders. Made of canvas with vegan leather accents, it features tons of great features like a trolley pass-through, a large interior pocket for your laptop, and a zip-around bottom compartment where you can stash shoes, toiletries, or hair tools. Plus, the opening at the top is reinforced with a wire frame so you can keep it wide open while you pack or unpack. It comes in 8 color options, and the monochrome design makes it look extra chic.

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Metro Weekender

I personally own a Monos weekender and have taken it on multiple trips over the past year. This brand initially caught my eye because of the vegan leather options, but I ended up going with the Juniper Green colorway because that deep emerald color was just too gorgeous to pass up. This bag is packed with organizational features, including a zippered storage compartment on the bottom, a laptop sleeve that’s accessible from the outside, an interior side pocket that’s perfect for a water bottle or umbrella, as well as five additional pockets inside and out. It also comes with a separate drawstring bag for shoes or laundry. Whether you go with a colorful nylon or vegan leather finish, both materials are water- and scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting dinged up on your first trip. While the price point is higher than other brands, the extra organizatoin and durability make it worth it IMO.

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ReNew Transit Weekender

Our associate editor Hailey and director of marketing Meagan both love this weekender from Everlane and have been using it for years as either a carry-on or overnight bag. It features a padded laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, an exterior zip pocket, and a luggage handle pass-through that converts to a pocket. It’s also made from 100% recycled polyester and the most affordable option on this list, so it’s truly a purchase you can feel good about.

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Luka Duffel

CALPAK has been an editor-favorite brand for years, and this weekender is one of their all-time bestsellers for a reason. It features a whopping 9 pockets, including zippered compartments inside and out, an exterior pocket for a water bottle, a hidden pocket within the luggage trolley sleeve, and a separate shoe compartment accessible from the outside. Made of polyester with a puffer-like design, it’s also super lightweight (at just over 2 pounds) and resistant to water and scratches.

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Garment Duffel

Traveling for a wedding or work trip? Our chief of sales and marketing Ally swears by this garment bag-duffel combo whenever she’s traveling with nice clothes that need to stay wrinkle-free. It’s shaped like a typical duffel but unzips flat like a garment bag, so you can easily pack a fancy dress or business attire, keep it wrinkle-free in transit, and hang it up when you get there. Inside the main compartment, you’ll have plenty of space left to pack several changes of clothes and a pair of shoes, which you can keep separate using the two interior shoe pockets. What’s more, it folds completely flat when not in use, so it’s super convenient to store.

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