With summer oh so beautifully on the horizon, it’s time to get serious about your warm weather travel plans. Maybe you’re heading up the coast to visit pals at their beach house or jet-setting halfway around the world for a deep-water dive in the tropics — regardless, you’ll no doubt want to prepare for the trip with help of the perfect travel bag.
So what makes the perfect travel bag, um … perfect? In our opinion, this pack needs to be functional-yet-stylish, roomy-yet-sleek. It needs to be a chameleon that looks good without sticking out like a sore thumb. Above all, it absolutely must fit snugly in the overhead compartment of an airplane (trust us, you don’t want to be that guy).
Still stuck? Never fear! Check out some of our favorite go-to travel bags for men below.
Mack Weldon Convertible Backpack – $148
If you’re the kind of guy who can’t choose between a briefcase, a messenger bag, or a cool AF backpack, Mack Weldon’s got you. In fact, the brand’s Convertible Backpack was basically tailor-made for you, as it can shift between all three models with stylish ease. Built with a water-resistant fabric, this bag features an impressive nine pockets that can hold everything your heart desires and then some. Plus, the minimalist design makes this bag appropriate for nearly every occasion.
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack – $140
Carry confidential items in your bag on the reg? Or maybe you’re just super protective of the new laptop you bought with your tax refund? Either way, maybe it’s time for you to invest in an anti-theft pack, and this one from Pacsafe should more than do the trick. With space for all your everyday essentials, this bag is outfitted with security hooks, a slash-guard strap, special blocking pockets, and an internal locking system.
Away Everywhere Bag – $195
For those on the lookout for the ideal carry-on, look no further than the Everywhere Bag from Away. Its modern silhouette is complemented by water-resistant nylon, six interior pockets, a removable shoulder strap, and an interior compartment able to hold a 13-inch personal laptop. It also sports a back strap allowing you to slide the handle of your wheeled carry-on through and head off hands free. Available in a wide array of muted colors, this bag is sure to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your luggage, making for the ideal fashion-forward travel accessory.
Mission Workshop Axis Modular Pack – $120
In the market for something a bit smaller? Consider Mission Workshop’s contemporary take on the classic fanny pack. Constructed with rugged, weatherproof materials and a floating internal liner, this little guy is as great for a concert as it is for some serious travel. An interior zipped pocket also allows you to separate your most important items from the main compartment.
Aer Travel Pack – $220
Designed for the traveler on the go, this awesome pack from Aer is as attractive as it is practical. Featuring a durable polyester exterior, an assortment of straps for security and comfort, a wide interior compartment that can fit up to a 15-inch laptop, and a number of different sized pockets, this bag is perfectly optimized for your next adventure.
SWIMS 24 Hour Holdall – $220
Made with water-resistant, deluxe nylon with leather hands and zip-down side tabs, the 24 Hour Holdall will do just that for you–hold everything you need for 24 complete hours of travel. Whether for a quick business trip a few states over to an overnight staycation with your significant other, this SWIMS bag can carry it all while looking minimalist and well-designed. You won’t stand out in a crowd with this bag and that’s the beauty of it.
These not big enough for your travels? Check out our guide to the best duffels if you need a little more space for your souvenirs.
Article originally published May 4, 2015. Last updated May 22, 2018.