The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

Whether weekend road-tripping or jet-setting around the world, you’re going to need a pack to toss over your shoulder. Here are the best travel backpacks for every adventure.

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There are a lot of great travel backpacks out there, but not all of them are created equal. A travel pack needs to be comfortable to carry, easy to organize, and durable enough to withstand being toted from place to place.

From hitting the road for the weekend to spending months traveling abroad, we’ve put nearly 30 different travel backpacks through the wringer. We tallied our airline miles, punched our tickets, and put our tray tables in the upright and locked position for close to half a decade now, taking domestic and international flights to as far as Iceland and as close as 30-minute island hops. And while there isn’t a single pack that suits every traveler, we’ve highlighted a variety of designs and price points to help you find the perfect travel backpack.

Choosing a travel backpack can be a dizzying experience, and we’ve shaken down the best to sort through the static. Each pack has seen its time on the baggage carousel, hostel luggage cart, and we’ve even had a few go missing for the full experience. We fully pack and live out of these bags to test them, and in the end, we’re confident that the 15 packs collected here are the best travel backpacks available today. Check in and check them out.

For all your travel pack questions, consult our buyer’s guide , where we’ve laid bare all the essentials. Compare each of the packs using our handy comparison chart , and if you’ve still got questions, check out our FAQ section.

Editor’s Note: We updated our travel backpack guide on March 20, 2024 to add the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L — a supremely nice commuter-style travel pack, as well as the Thule Aion 40L and Osprey Archeon 30L .

  • Best Overall Travel Backpack: Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L
  • Best Budget Travel Backpack: Dakine Campus 33L Backpack
  • Best Carrying Travel Backpack: Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs
  • Best Organization in a Travel Backpack: Matador SEG45 Travel Pack
  • Best Shoulder Bag: Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L
  • Best Commuter-Style Travel Backpack: Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L
  • Best Personal Item Travel Pack: TimBuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

  • Capacity 45 L (collapses to 35 L)
  • Weight 4 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 13" x 9.5" standard, 22" x 13" x 11" expanded
  • Compartment access Back panel clamshell design with #10 zipper
  • Material Weatherproof, 100% recycled 400-denier nylon canvas shell; 900-denier waterproof bottom

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  • Compresses down to maximum airline carry-on size, and then expands once you’ve hit your destination
  • Burly construction
  • No details are overlooked in the design
  • Side-carry handles are offset in an awkward position

Perfect is a dirty word in product design, but we’re about stumped when it comes to drumming up a quibble about the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45 L ($300). This redeye-ready clamshell design is made to the highest of standards.

It’s made of quality materials, utilizing aluminum hardware and a burly 400-denier nylon canvas — and it easily ticks all our boxes for the best overall travel backpack. The interior of the bag is split into two compartments: a larger main area for storing the majority of your kit and a secondary sleeve at the front of the bag with five zippered pockets. The main pocket also sports a foam-padded laptop sleeve and three more pockets.

One of the more impressive aspects we discovered along the bag’s inaugural leg from Seattle to Anchorage was how easily the straps of the Travel Backpack stow away into the bag. Two foam panels on the back of the bag flip away to secure them and then close with a magnetic closure — very slick. This was our favorite strap-stowage system, with the zippered panels of the Matador GlobeRider45 coming in a close second. We find the Peak Design bag compresses smaller.

Then there are the little details. An ID-size sleeve on the back panel provides all the information should your bag get separated from you. Zipper pulls thread through one another to keep what’s yours safe. And a collapsible system adjusts the bag from a full 45 to 35 liters.

In our review, there’s little about the Peak Design pack that misses the mark. The company leans heavily toward the camera-toting travelers among us, but the 45 L Travel Backpack makes no compromises and works just as well for any user group. The high price is undeniable, but for the scope of the travel pack, it’s a buy-once-cry-once purchase we would make again.

Also available in a 30L size , the range of Travel Backpacks from Peak Design is so well-thought-out that you can practically see the cogs turning in their creators’ heads. We think they make the best travel backpacks on the market.

Dakine Campus 33L Backpack

  • Capacity 33 L
  • Weight 1 lb., 10.6 oz.
  • Dimensions 20.5" x 13" x 8"
  • Compartment access Zippered top access
  • Material Depending on print type, can be 600-denier recycled polyester, 420-denier recycled nylon, 630-denier recycled nylon, or 1,200-denier recycled polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Cheap price
  • Available in many different fabric prints
  • Unique insulated cooler pocket
  • Not many travel-specific features
  • Straps don’t pack away

Even at the regular price, the Dakine Campus 33L Backpack ($75) is a great deal. And considering you can grab one on sale for $45, it’s a must-have budget travel backpack.

It has everything you need to keep your travels organized, without getting too big or complicated. This design has a padded laptop sleeve and a fleece-lined top pocket to keep your sunglasses safe. There’s an organizer pocket that’s perfect for pens, a phone, and easy-access essentials. We love pockets, and this backpack has plenty.

And if that weren’t enough, it also has an insulated cooler pocket to keep your snacks fresh on the go, plus double side pockets keep drinks handy. We found the straps comfortable during long travel days. Be sure to use the sternum strap when carrying a heavy load for the best fit.

While this bag does excellent at travel, it isn’t quite what the bag was designed for, thus it’s missing a few travel niceties like a compression system or the ability to pack away the straps. We didn’t find that we missed them desperately, but they would have been nice for a few instances. For similar-sized backpacks with more of a travel bend to them, look to the sleek Timbuk2 Never Check, or the uber-customizable Tom Bihn Synapse 25. But prepare to shell out some more for them.

If you’re looking for a sub-$100 backpack (under $60 during sales!) that does the basics, then the Dakine Campus Backpack is for you. It comes in a variety of colors and is also available in a 25L capacity .

Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs

  • Capacity 40 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 7.6 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 14" x 9"
  • Compartment access Zippered back panel clamshell design
  • Material Bluesign-approved 450-denier recycled polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Supreme suspension system offers the best carry of any pack we tried
  • External compression straps limit the volume well
  • Comfortably padded grab handles
  • Not much internal organization

No stranger to producing supremely comfortable suspension systems, Osprey injected a good bit of its tech into the Farpoint and Fairview packs ($185), which both sport LightWire frames, load lifters, and breathable framesheet and suspension straps. Our Farpoint pack was easily the best load carrier of any we tested and a close contender for the best travel backpack overall.

Far beyond what any of the other travel packs offer, the pack even allows you to adjust the torso length — unheard of in the typical travel pack. Newly updated, these packs have been tweaked to ride the line between traditional backpacks and functional luggage, a claim we can substantiate.

The 40-liter capacity is just about the sweet spot for domestic carry-on luggage limits, and these packs make good use of the space. We could easily pack away a long weekend’s worth of travel essentials into the bag with a little space to spare.

Whereas many other travel packs stash straps away into the body of the pack, the Farpoint and Fairview move in the opposite direction with a deployable strap cover that neatly seals in the suspension for safekeeping when checked. This produces a clean profile that’s ready to be slung around, but it’s not quite as easy and quick as the magnetic panels of the Peak Design Travel Backpacks, as you need to unclip straps to tuck them away.

The interior of the pack is rather spartan, incorporating only one zippered pocket, a laptop sleeve, and two internal compression straps. We would have rather seen a bit more organizational features involved like those that the Matador GlobeRider and Topo Designs Global Travel bags incorporate, but for those who stuff more than pack, the Farpoint and  Fairview may very well punch the ticket.

With one foot on the platform and one on the trail, these packs from Osprey will get you where you’re going and carry a trip’s worth of kit with ease.

Matador SEG45 Travel Pack

  • Capacity 45 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 13.4" x 10.2"
  • Compartment access Full clamshell interior, additional front zippered access
  • Material 420-denier nylon exterior, 100-denier Robic Dynatec interior

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Excellent storage organization options
  • High-quality, strong, and lightweight construction
  • No frame to speak of
  • Shoulder straps don’t pack away

Aiming to do more with less, the Matador SEG45 Segmented Backpack ($200) proposes a future free of packing cubes and splits up the bag for you, making the organization of your travel pack a breeze.

The full 45 liters of volume is shared among the five segments (6, 9, 15, 9, and 6 L) and trades volume between the full clamshell compartment and the segments. Each of these segments is accessible via its own water-resistant zippers and can be collapsed as your needs change.

We found organizing by clothing type made the most sense in our own packing, but you could even pack based on the day of the week or the use. The clamshell-accessed main compartment was ideal for holding larger items like spare shoes or quarantining spent outfits.

Known for its overbuilt but lightweight bags, Matador didn’t spare the SEG45, utilizing 420D UHMWPE-reinforced nylon in the pack body, as well as 100D Robic Dynatec weave on the interior. It should be noted that this travel backpack doesn’t have any kind of frame and will rely on being packed well to carry correctly. Because of this, this pack won’t carry as well as bags like the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, so consider packing mostly clothing in the SEG45.

Our testers felt this bag excelled as a travel bag you might deploy once you’ve hit your destination, as it packs away into larger bags so well. Unfortunately, however, the shoulder straps don’t pack away into the bag itself, so you’ll have to wrangle them into place to keep things tidy.

No matter what you’re up to, everything has got a spot to live in the SEG45 . Need a bit less space? Matador offers the SEG28 ($250) for that.

Read Review: Dresser in a Backpack: Matador SEG42 Review

Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L

  • Weight 3 lbs., 10.3 oz.
  • Dimensions 22.8" x 8.6" x 14.5"
  • Compartment access Back panel zippered clamshell design
  • Material 900-denier recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU laminate

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Multiple ways to carry the pack
  • Many different storage and internal organization options
  • Burly external fabric
  • Doesn’t carry the best as a backpack

Looking to squeeze out every last liter of allowed space? Patagonia named this pack in honor of the cause: the Patagonia Black Hole Maximum Legal Carry-On 45 L ($239). This bag can be carried in a number of different ways, but we found it shined during travel as a shoulder bag.

Borrowing fabric from Patagonia’s line of burly Black Hole Duffels , the MLC 45 is made for the long haul. The 900-denier polyester ripstop is coated in a TPU laminate and feels ready to take on the surliest baggage carrier. We certainly felt no remorse in tossing the bag around.

At 45 L, the MLC is certainly right at the cusp of the maximum allowed size, but thankfully that space is well divided up inside the pack. Inside the main clamshell-accessed compartment is a blizzard of zippers and mesh pockets and dividers. Anything we tossed inside was well-stabilized.

Because there isn’t much of a frame to speak of, the Black Hole MLC doesn’t carry the best when slung over both shoulders and can sag when not entirely full. But over a shoulder with the included shoulder strap, this pack feels great and can be easily accessed on the go. This is one of the only packs in our testing to feature a shoulder strap (the other being the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag).

On top of all this, we greatly appreciate that the Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45 L is made with 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. Perfect for grabbing and going, this pack is ready to move.

Read Review: Patagonia Black Hole MLC Bag Review: An Organized, Carry-On-Size Wonder

Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L

  • Capacity 24 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 1.6 oz.
  • Dimensions 18" x 7: x 11.5"
  • Compartment access Zippered clamshell
  • Material 840D ballistic nylon 6, 420D HT nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Functions as both a laptop backpack and suitcase
  • Well-structured and protected
  • Full panel loading access
  • Limited colorways

With an understated look that betrays the truly impressive fit and functionality inside, the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L ($279) doesn’t need to brag — it knows it’ll tote your kit through the worst of your travel or everyday commutes without missing a beat. This bag is our newly anointed best commuter-style travel backpack.

From a fabrics and materials standpoint, it’s clear that someone at Evergoods truly nerded out when they brewed up this bindle. The 840D ballistic nylon 6 that makes up the exterior of the pack is burly (errantly spilled coffee wipes right off), and compliments the thick #10 zippers and spacer-mesh back panel. Even the Evergoods logo is low-key: a simple 2×2” patch on the front of the bag with a slash. That’s it — and we dig it.

Bar none, the Civic Panel Loader has the best laptop sleeve we’ve ever encountered in a backpack, and that’s saying something. The side-accessed zippered aperture can hold a 17” Macbook Pro, and nestles into a fully padded space at the rear of the pack. This sleeve is suspended from the bottom of the bag, as we’ve seen in many forward-thinking bags, but goes a step further and protects the laptop from the side with an aluminum stay — the primary functionality of which is to support the side handle on the bag. Genius.

The high-polish finish on the CPL24 feels reminiscent of the attention to detail we loved about the Tom Bihn Synapse 25, but we ended up enjoying this pack even more for a simple reason: side carry. The broad handle on the side of the pack is reinforced by that aluminum stay, and it creates a perfectly supported carry for jostling through crowded terminals.

On the interior of the pack, two large pockets are subdivided with a few smaller sleeves and pockets, which are oriented to be accessed with the bag on its side. We carried this pack for a month straight of remote work, lugging it to coffee shops and co-working spaces, and it supplanted all other packs we’ve used previously. “It’s hard not to love a pack that makes your life easier,” says Senior Editor Nick Belcaster. “This pack does that. Laptop, headphones, notebooks — a whole lot goes into the pack without a care.”

Up there with Nomatic, GORUCK, and Tom Bihn, Evergoods is certainly among the pack-makers that put intelligent design and smart material choice above all else. The Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L is the final word when it comes to a travel pack you can carry every day. We certainly do.

Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

  • Capacity 27.5 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 9 oz.
  • Dimensions 18.9" x 11.4" x 5.9"
  • Material 420x2000D Cordura nylon, 135D polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Dang good looking
  • High-quality trim and details, including anodized G hooks and supple webbing
  • Supper cushioned back panel
  • Exterior expandable water bottle pocket is a bit slim
  • Pack straps don't stow away.

Pulling off a good expandable backpack can be a tough task, with fabric accordion folds often taking up valuable real estate on the interior when collapsed in lesser bags. Not so with the TimBuk2 Never Check ($209), which takes a simple backpack shape and elevates it with premium materials and design to create one of our favorite travel backpacks for tucking under an airliner seat.

Unlike a lot of the pure-function rectangular bags in our lineup, the Never Check is a real looker — easily one of the best styled in our testing so far, and we’d have no qualms about bringing it along as a business bag. Small details like rubber-covered zipper pulls, anodized G hooks, and supple webbing keep it looking sharp. The 27.5-liter size is just about dead-on for most airline ‘personal item’ size requirements, and this bag easily slides under a seat.

The main compartment is accessed through a clamshell zipper on the front of the bag, which is gusseted to hang open while you’re loading it up. During the few national and international flights our Senior Editor Nick Belcaster deployed the bag on, this was easily enough space for everything you might want during a plane ride. And for everything else, a front pocket is lined with multiple drop and zip pockets for organizing small gadgets like chargers or keys.

The back panel of the Never Check is a plush ½ inch of comfortable foam, and combined with the equally padded shoulder straps made for a very nice carrying bag. The straps unfortunately do not stow away, but on a lower volume pack such as this, it’s a much less useable feature in our opinions.  And finally, one of our favorite features: the wide laptop sleeve. This 15” opening is generous enough to accommodate the larger laptops of today, and is suspended from the bottom of the backpack to ensure bumps don’t turn into bruises.

Just like the name suggests, the Never Check Expandable Backpack provides a svelte solution to bringing a bag with you during airline travel — or even just to the office. Its clean profile and attention to detail impressed us, and it would make an excellent work-to-weekend bag.

Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack

  • Dimensions 22" x 12.8" x 11"
  • Compartment access Zippered clamshell design
  • Material 420D UHMWPE-reinforced ripstop nylon, 100D Robic nylon mini-ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Incredible density of pockets and sleeves
  • Tough UHMWPE outer fabric can be tossed around
  • Shoulder straps tuck away in a novel and smart manner
  • Laptop sleeve opening is a bit tight
  • Price is up there

With a pocket or sleeve for pretty much everything, the new Matador GlobeRider 45 ($350) gives the Peak Design Travel Pack a run for its money when it comes to the best overall travel pack. 

Our Managing Editor raved about the GlobeRider after serious testing where she pretty much lived out of it for 3 months: “If you travel often and look for crucial components like internal and external pockets, laptop storage, and backpack and hip straps, consider the Matador GlobeRider 45. It’s a unique design in that the [pack] seems to have it all — every feature I’ve needed so far, both living out of it and in my travels — in a pretty packable size.”

What impressed us most was the way the GlobeRider was able to balance both an eye-watering amount of organization and versatility, and burly durability that ensures that this pack won’t shy away from tough travel conditions. In total (and we double-counted) there are 19 individual pockets on the pack, in all types of stretch mesh, zippered, and collapsible configurations. When good organization is key, the GlobeRider reigns. 

On the back panel of the GlobeRider, one of the more novel stowage systems we’ve seen packs away the shoulder straps and hip belt for when you want to slim down the pack. Two zippered panels — similar to the structure of the Peak Design packs, save for the closure — envelop the straps when not in use, and provide a lump-free panel for toting around. 

When it comes to downsides, the GlobeRider doesn’t miss much. The laptop sleeve aperture is a bit small at 9.5”, which in today’s age of mondo-screened computers may be limiting to some with larger devices. There also is no ability to convert the pack to a shoulder bag like the Patagonia MLC does, which can be handy when moving quickly through the airport.

Dang-near the top of the list, the Matador GlobeRider 45 would be an excellent choice for anyone who practices one-bag travel, or desires to have a place for everything in their journeys. The price does sting a bit, but based on the long-term testing we’ve completed so far, we’ve seen no indications that this pack will fade away anytime soon.

Read Review: I Lived Out of This Backpack for 3-Plus Months: Matador Globerider45 Review

Thule Aion 40L

  • Weight 3 lbs., 3 oz.
  • Dimensions 13" x 9.1" x 20.5"
  • Material Waxed P600 polyester canvas

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Maxes out on carry-on-compliant space
  • Internal roll-top TPU bag separates the clean from the to-do laundry
  • Waxed canvas exterior has a classy look
  • Centered side handle carries well
  • Well-cushioned back panel
  • No shoulder strap stowage option
  • No hipbelt on a 40L is pushing it

Better known for their roof boxes and racks, it’s fair to say that Thule knows travel, and the addition of smart, organized, and comfortable travel packs like the Thule Aion 40L ($200) makes all the sense in the world to us. This pack is a finely-honed bag for international and local travel alike, and is decked out in some high-class materials.

Like the Patagonia Black Hole MLC pack, the Aion 40L aims to go for the maximum allowed capacity, and at our measurements (21.5” x 15” x 8”) the pack slides in just half an inch less than the normal 45 linear inches typically allowed. That’s efficient. The space is split up into two main compartments and a laptop sleeve, with the larger opening with a full clamshell zip.

This inner compartment hosts a few zippered pockets and internal compression straps, but the star of the show here is the integrated TPU rolltop bag. This sack can be used to cordon off your liquids (and easily presented for inspection), as well as separate your pile of ‘to-do’ laundry. This reminds us of the ActiveShield compartment in the Gregory Border Traveler pack, but we enjoy the removable aspect here even more. 

Round the back of the pack, the spacer-mesh swaddled laptop sleeve rivals the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader , and has an additional sleeve for items like tablets, notebooks, or chargers. The back panel itself is impressively cushioned (one of the more luxe in our testing) and that extends to the shoulder straps. 

Unfortunately, there’s no shoulder strap-stowage system here, so you’ll have to wrangle those yourself, and while we typically enjoy the lack of a hip belt in smaller travel packs, the absence in a 40-liter pack is a little puzzling. Fully loaded, the Aion could certainly benefit from one, and while a separate sling bag can be added to function as one, you’ll need to fork over $50 for it.

Ranking high up there with your Peak Designs and your Ospreys, the Thule Aion 40L nails the style and material departments, and with a full 40 liters of space on board, has all the room to pack for your week-long trips — no roof box required.

Osprey Archeon 30L

  • Capacity 30 L
  • Weight 3 lbs.
  • Dimensions 20.5" x 13" x 11.4"
  • Compartment access Zippered top-access
  • Material 840D ballistic polyester with carbonate coating

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Extra-tough exterior fabric with carbonate coating
  • High-polish details such as seatbelt webbing straps
  • Mini-wing hipbelt tucks away easily when not needed
  • Smart internal storage pockets that lay flat when not needed
  • Laptop sleeve opening is a bit too snug
  • Compression straps lay over the main zipper

First off, one word: Rugged. The Osprey Archeon 30L ($250) is a high-end build that spares little in the material department, and looks dang good while it’s at it. The 30-liter size makes this bag weekend travel-ready, and we greatly appreciated the fit and finish.

The overall design of the Archeon reminds us a good bit of the Peak Design Travel Bag (certainly the all-waterproof exterior zippers and curved side-entry pockets), but it’s the exterior fabric that really impressed. The 840D ballistic polyester is coated with a carbonate polyurethane coating, a bolstered recipe that increases durability by a magnitude over traditional PU coatings. In testing, we wore out before putting a dent in it.

The pack itself breaks down into two main compartments, with the main pocket opening behind a curved clamshell zip (we did have a little trouble with the zipper passing behind the exterior straps. Removing them fixed that). Inside, three expandable tech pockets tuck away all of your small kit, and do a good job of keeping things tidy on the interior.

On the exterior, Osprey doesn’t disappoint when it comes to suspension straps, which are comfortable, adjustable, and stashable. The mini wing-style hip belt earns special praise on packed flights, where we find traditional hip belts to be a hassle to store, and combined with the slick shoulder-strap stash pocket, the Archeon converts to minimal mode in under a minute.

Something the Archeon certainly could use, however, is a slightly larger aperture into the laptop/tech compartment. As-is, the zipper doesn’t quite extend down far enough to truly open up the pocket, and as such it can feel a bit like rummaging around in the dark looking for cords and chargers in the bottom of the pack. Extending these zippers down to the middle of the pack would seem to fix the issue, and we hope a later iteration might address this.

Nonetheless, we were still impressed by the Osprey Archeon 30L . There’s also a 40-liter version if you’re looking for a max-capacity carry-on, and even a smaller 24-liter for kicking around coffee shops day-to-day.

Read Review: Hack Carry-On Rules: Osprey Archeon Kit Gives Power Back to Passengers

Arc’teryx Granville 25 Backpack

  • Capacity 25 L
  • Weight 1 lb., 14.5 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 12" x 9"
  • Compartment access Drawstring top-entry
  • Material N400r-AC² nylon ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Tough and waterproof exterior fabric
  • White interior for easy viewing
  • Floating laptop sleeve
  • Not very much interior organization
  • Simple webbing waistbelt

Made for moving through the city over the concourse, the commute-ready Arc’teryx Granville 25 ($220) takes travel backpacks to the streets in a sleek and tough design that we couldn’t keep from grabbing every day.

Crafted from the same N400r-AC² nylon ripstop as Arc’teryx’s high-end climbing packs, the mountain DNA is strong in the Granville, with fully taped seams that make the pack highly weather-resistant. In our impromptu “rain” test, a garden hose fired directly at the pack wasn’t able to get a drop past the tough exterior.

On the front of the pack, a single water-resistant zippered pocket was practically made for your keys, and could accommodate a few other essentials for when you’re on the go. Tossing back the shaped lid, a single drawstring entry leads to the interior space, which is mainly one large pocket, with a few zippered and drop pockets to separate smaller items. If you’re looking for the same style pack, but with a bit more organization built-in, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 divides up its space well.

The padded interior laptop sleeve will accommodate up to a 16” laptop, and is suspended within the main compartment in a way that leaves us feeling confident in slinging our computer across a shoulder. Compared to other more airline-focused travel packs, the Granville 25 has its feet more firmly planted on the ground, and excels at bus, bike, or foot travel.

Whether your commute is just across town or across the country, the Arc’teryx Granville 25 makes for a good-looking carry-all that’s bound to be around for a while.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L

  • Weight 3 lbs., 10.4 oz.
  • Dimensions 22.5" x 14" x 7.5"
  • Material 1000D recycled nylon, 400D recycled nylon, 210D recycled nylon, 1680D recycled ballistic nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Overbuilt design with tough materials and chunky zippers
  • Plenty of organizational pockets
  • Bright interior
  • Not the cleanest strap stowage

Chunky zippers, an overhead-savvy profile, and multiple ways to sling it over your shoulder: The Topo Designs Global Travel Pack ($229) has honed in on much of what we love in a travel backpack.

During a recent trip from Seattle to Southern California we were heavily saddled with the maximum the airline would allow. But this pack made use of every inch of space and reached the allowance of what we could check as our carry-on. The 40 liters of internal capacity is broken down into a series of dividers and pockets, which made condoning off things like electronics from the rest of our kit easy. And the interior of this pack is a cheery canary yellow, which helps with ease and visibility.

On the exterior of this pack, three separate carry styles are available to get you through the concourse in whatever way you choose. We found the full-featured backpack straps to be our go-to, which even sport load-lifters for a comfy carry. This suspension system does tuck away for when you might want to check the bag, though we found the hipbelt to be a bit tricky to fully retract.

Rounding out this travel-ready backpack is a tough build that makes use of 1000D recycled nylon and heavy-duty zippers, and we had no qualms with tossing this bag around during our trip. Perfect for anyone who subscribes to the one-bag travel ethos, the Global Travel Pack from Topo Designs makes the grade for those who want the most out of their carry-on.

And if you’re only going to be away for a short trip, the Global Travel pack is also available in a 30L capacity .

Cotopaxi Allpa 28L Travel Pack

  • Capacity 28 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 4 oz.
  • Dimensions 19" x 12" x 9"
  • Material TPU-coated 1,000-denier polyester, 840-denier nylon paneling

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Burly exterior material holds up for the long run
  • Plenty of zippered mesh storage pockets
  • On the heavier side
  • TPU-coated nylon can feel grabby

The Allpa 28L Travel Pack ($170) will change the way you travel. It’s sleek, durable, and able to fit an incredible amount of stuff in a small space. The zippered mesh pockets keep clothes organized. And the compression straps maximize what you can pack.

The tough polyester and nylon construction can take a beating without any signs of wear. And we appreciate that the externally accessed, padded laptop sleeve makes pulling out your electronics at security checkpoints a breeze. There’s also a small outer compartment to keep essentials at hand.

You can completely tuck away the backpack straps and carry the pack like a briefcase, or wear it comfortably as a backpack. We’ve stuffed this pack to the gills countless times and have never had a problem with the zippers. Light rain showers or spills roll right off the TPU-coated exterior, but for legit rainstorms, just pull out the included rain cover.

The Allpa also comes in 35L, 42L, 50L, and 70L capacities. As our editor noted in the 42L review , “Building on its fun and functional ethos, Cotopaxi beefs up its bestselling product. The Allpa Travel Pack earns big points for clever design, clean aesthetic, and a surprising number of handy — and hidden — features.”

Yes, the Cotopaxi Allpa packs are an investment, but anyone who travels regularly will find it a worthy one. These powerhouse travel backpacks are sturdy, versatile, and built to last.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25

  • Weight 1 lb., 13 oz.
  • Dimensions 13.4" x 20" x 9.1"
  • Material 400-denier Halcyon, 420-denier nylon ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Many different fabrics and color schemes are available
  • Built to last design and materials
  • Removable webbing hip belt
  • Suspension doesn’t pack away
  • Side wing pockets are a little awkward to access

Refined and clean-looking, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 ($243) is a high-end travel backpack we just can’t stop staring at. It just looks that good. Made of burly textiles and zippers, this pack was built to stand the test of tough travel and come out shining on the other side.

The Synapse 25 is the larger version of Tom Bihn’s Synapse 19 , a popular backpack made for daily carry. The bump in volume is appreciated in this travel-oriented version and is doled out in one large compartment as well as a set of pockets on the front of the pack.

We found all the pockets easily accessible, save for the side wing pockets. While these were excellent for the organization of smaller bits and bobs, the openings were a bit awkward to jump into.

Topped off by a cushioned suspension (the foam is a half-inch of supple EV50), this travel backpack didn’t weigh us down on long days of travel when fully packed. And when we wanted to go light, even the webbing hip belt was removable. In terms of the ability to bop around town as a daily driver, this pack is up there with the TimBuk2 Never Check and Arc’teryx Granville packs (we liked the back panel on this pack the most).

Along with being carry-on compliant, the Synapse is also one of the few bags on our list that are compact enough to fit under most airline seats without hogging too much precious legroom.

Osprey Nebula 32 Daypack

  • Capacity 32 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 1.7 oz.
  • Dimensions 19.2" x 12.2" x 11.4"
  • Material 420-denier recycled nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • TSA-compliant laptop sleeve
  • Many options for organization
  • Water bottle pockets fit 32 oz. bottles
  • Need to release two buckles in order to unzip the main pocket all the way

When it comes to backpacks, Osprey has put in the time — and it shows. The Nebula 32 ($140) feels like it’s all the brand’s most popular packs morphed into one. Most of all, we love how it seamlessly goes from city streets to trails.

This backpack can do it all, whether you’re hauling your laptop and books around town; water, food, and layers on an easy hike; or all of the above and then some for a weekend away.

The internal storage pockets are great for organizing all of your things for easy access. And while the Nebula 32 is top-loading, the main pocket opens up wide enough so you won’t have to unload everything to get to the one thing you want at the bottom. The sternum strap and hip belt are comfortable as well, especially when carrying a heavy load.

On smaller volume packs like this, sometimes design concessions need to be made to accommodate all the functionality, and on the Nebula it’s in the side compression straps. Like on the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, the compression system of the pack overlays across the main compartment zipper, meaning you’ll need to undo some straps before rifling around in the storage area. Not a deal breaker, but a little annoying when the TSA line starts to back up behind you.

Overall, the Nebula 32 won’t disappoint if you make it your go-to smaller-volume travel backpack.

Travel Backpack Comparison Chart

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How We Tested Travel Backpacks

The staff of GearJunkie is a hot-footed bunch, restlessly plodding across the country or around the globe in search of adventure and whatever else comes our way. And we have a lot of stuff, which necessitates having a travel bag or four in the stable.

Surely any old bindle will do in carrying your kit around, but having a travel backpack that is dialed into the needs of travel can turn a stressful situation into a manageable one. We’ve been testing travel backpacks since 2019 and have put the market slice through the wringer on thousands of miles of travel to weed out the best of the best.

Senior Editor Nick Belcaster has a zeal for international travel, and he leads up our current travel pack testing, logging almost 10,000 flying miles in the last year alone. From Iceland to Utah, Belcaster has carried these packs and lived out of them for weeks, relying on them to support back-to-back travel excursions. In testing, we looked for a number of features in our travel backpacks, including overall capacity, carry style, durability, and aesthetics. It’s important to think about how you’ll use your travel pack, and as such, every pack on our list is carry-on compliant for the worst-case scenario.

We know no trip will be like the next, so we took a broad swath of the travel backpacks on the market in order to create a list that will suit many different travelers. Packs in hand, over our shoulders, or on our backs, we hit the four corners and tested the best travel backpacks of 2024.

Curious about what we pack in our travel backpacks? We’ve penned up a list for both domestic and international trips .

Peak Design Travel Pack 45L at SEATAC

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Travel Backpack

Travel backpack user profiles.

The International Jet-Setter: The term ‘One Bag Travel’ is no stranger to you, and you’ve just about got your life distilled down into 45 liters of space. If international travel is your bag, then a backpack that’s up to the task will be essential to see you through to further time zones. Efficiency will be the name of the game here, and going with a pack that is dang-near the carry-on maximums for international flights will mean you can make it through without checking a bag. Look for near to 45-liter packs with plenty of organization baked in, as well as a comfortable (and stashable) carry system.

For international travel, the bag we reach for most often had to be the Peak Design Travel Backpack , with a razor-thin second place going to the Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack . For an emphasis on organization, the Matador SEG45 splits up the volume well, and if you’ll be schlepping bags around a long way, the Osprey Farpoint & Fairview Packs have all the Osprey suspension we love.

Osprey Farpoint Travel Pack in Iceland

The Weekend-Warrior: Maybe it’s a work trip, and maybe it’s just for fun, but it’s only going to take 2-3 days total, and you’ll need a bag that can pack it in. For weekend excursions, we find packs in the 25-35 liter range work well for the minimalists among us, and the 30-40 liter range for those who like a bit more options.

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is easily one of the most stylish packs in our review, only slightly edged out by the Timbuk2 Never Check , and both make the grade for a single overnighter in a foreign locale. For a bit more space, you can’t go wrong with the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L , a fun pack that is a lot tougher than the multi-colored exterior would let on.

Peak Design Travel Backpack on the Back of a Traveller in Seattle International Airport Looking out on the Tarmac.

The Commuter: No flight involved! Duty calls, and sometimes you’ll need to lug around a bit more kit than the old briefcase can allow for. Commuting with a travel backpack is a great way to stay comfortable on longer rides, as shoulder and handbags are cumbersome over the long run. Focus on a bag with a more traditional backpack shape that puts an emphasis on ease-of-access, and is in the 20-30 liter range.

For bumping around town, we’ve come to love the Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24 , which not only lugs our remote office around with ease, but also looks pretty slick doing it. The drawstring opening here is a huge boon for quickly stashing a jacket, and the tough exterior fears no weather forecast. For a budget just-get-it-done choice, the Dakine Campus 33L will make it happen for less.

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The right size pack for you depends on a few things. First, where are you going? And, how long do you plan to stay? Winter travel often comes with more gear, so you’ll need to pack extra layers. Longer trips often require larger bags.

That said, your personal packing style will be the most important factor. We know minimalists who happily travel for months with only a single backpack in tow and others who want the largest travel backpack possible in addition to a totally stuffed duffel bag . One method isn’t better than the other, but knowing your style is helpful when choosing a bag.

In general, we’ve found that something in the 28-45 liter range is ideal for comfort and packability. Many packs will also offer a compression system to allow you to limit the overall volume of the backpack. We’ve seen many different ways to accomplish this, but the most effective by far were the button snaps and expanding zipper of the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . Packs toward the 40-45 liter range will be your carry-on bags of choice, and the 45-liter Peak Design, Patagonia MLC , and Matador GlobeRider are perfect for maxing out your allowed space. The 40-liter Osprey Farpoint/Fairview packs give up a little internal room for the luxe suspension system they’re carried with.

Packs in the smaller end of the range, from around 25-30 liters, make better personal items, and the TimBuk2 Never Check , Tom Bihn Synapse , and Patagonia Black Hole backpacks all fit snuggly underneath an airliner seat. These small bags move through a city gracefully and look more like everyday carry backpacks than traditional luggage.

Peak Design Travel Backpack Clamshell Access

What good would a bag be if you couldn’t get into it? From a simple drawstring to a thicket of Velcro and zippers, there are plenty of ways to keep your bag closed while you’re on the go, but not every one will be amenable to travel.

Zippered Clamshells: Most travel backpacks will use a clamshell-style design that opens up the backpack like a suitcase, allowing you to pack intentionally as opposed to stuffing things in. Oftentimes, an internal strap system will help keep your items contained while you’re on the move.

Packs with this clamshell design may also opt to add internal dividers to the main storage area, and make these dividers removable — should you need the entire storage area uninhibited. For packs without internal dividers or straps, consider adding a few packing cubes to keep your items organized.

In addition to the rear entry, some backpacks will offer additional entry points through the top or front of the pack. This can be helpful when you need to quickly retrieve something like a passport from your bag, without the need to totally spill the contents. The majority of packs in our review close in this clamshell manner, and a few of our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack , Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs , and Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack .

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Zippered Top-Access: Much like many traditional backpacks, zippered top-access packs load and unload from the topside, and generally only offer one point of entry/egress into the pack. For this reason, packs of this flavor are generally left packed during travel, as digging around for something at the bottom can be a hassle.

Bags of this stripe, including the uber-nice Tom Bihn Synapse 25 and expandable Timbuk2 Never Check , most often make better personal items over carry-ons, as their smaller volumes make for easier searching within.

Drawstring Top-Entry: While not quite as common as a zippered clamshell or top-access pack, drawstring top-entry packs can make for very quick and easy access to your kit if you’re on the move. These packs will integrate an extended fabric collar to the top of the storage area, which can be compressed when needed, or overstuffed with bulky items like jackets.

Commuters will find drawstring entry bags the most appealing, and the Arc’teryx Granville 25 has become one of our dedicated laptop toters for everything from remote work stints at the coffee shop to jumping on a ferry for work.

Carrying Options

Patagonia MCL 45L Travel Backpack Carry Options

There are plenty of ways to lug your kit to your boarding gate, but not all of them will be comfortable for everything. Over-shoulder backpack straps can support a good bit of weight but typically will need some type of frame to truly be supportive. The Osprey Farpoint/Fairview packs were the best-carrying packs in our testing, owed largely to the wire frame and Airscape mesh back panels, but we also enjoyed the carry of the aluminum frame stays on the Matador GlobeRider.

A shoulder strap travel backpack, like the Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L , can be slung across your body and provide a great amount of accessibility on the go. Don’t expect to carry too much weight this way, however.

And then there’s the classic suitcase style, easily towed anywhere. It’s good to note many travel backpacks will have stowable straps to better streamline the pack for a trip through an X-ray machine or stowed under a seat. The strap storage design of the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L impressed us most of all, utilizing magnetic closure flaps to pack away the shoulder and hip straps neatly.

Pockets & Organization

Matador SEG30 Travel Backpack Storage Options

There’s an organizational saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” And we couldn’t agree more. Keeping track of everything while you travel is key for organization. And while more pockets always seem better, there is a threshold where having too many simply becomes more places to misplace things. Instead, we recommend packs with three to six pockets.

The Cotopaxi Allpa and Topo Designs Global Travel Bags both have ingenious inner organization systems complete with large zipping “pockets.” It has just enough space to find room for everything but not so many compartments that you’ll be hunting all day for your misplaced passport. For even more organization, the Matador SEG45 splits into five different segments that are accessible from the exterior of the pack.

Bringing along a laptop is a necessary evil for some travelers, and having an incorporated laptop sleeve in your travel backpack can keep it safe during travel. Most laptop sleeves will be padded with some type of foam and nestle in close to the back for maximum protection. In order to be TSA-compliant, a laptop sleeve will need to fold entirely flat away from the pack to be scanned.

Because flying with liquids over 3.4 ounces is prohibited in the U.S., carrying all of these items in a separate toiletry bag can make your foray into the screening line a breeze. Many of the packs on our list incorporate many external pockets where such a bag could be stashed and produced when needed.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25 Travel Backpack

Travel luggage takes a beating, so durability is a top concern. Luckily, gear manufacturers realize this and are making increasingly burly yet portable packs. The fan-favorite Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L pack is made with a 900-denier ripstop nylon outer with a TPU laminate for extra durability. It’s nearly indestructible, water-resistant, and versatile.

If you’re traveling somewhere with inclement weather or if your pack needs to double as a climbing bag or hiking pack, durability is extra important. And it’s worth paying more for a backpack that is water-resistant.

Space Efficiency & Carry-On Compliance

Peak Design Travel Pack at SEATAC

Astute observers will note many of the packs in our review sport a rectangular shape, which is certainly due to designers aspiring to create a more space-efficient pack. This isn’t to say that more shapely packs won’t make it happen, but when you’re struggling to make every liter of space count, maximizing dimensions matters.

Carry-on luggage is any bag that you plan on bringing into an airplane and storing in the overhead bins. Because space is limited, airlines dictate the maximum size that any carry-on can be. In the U.S., the most common size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches, or 45 linear inches (length + width + height). However, this is just a rough guideline; some airlines differ from these dimensions, and you should refer to their information directly.

In general, these dimensions provide a travel backpack with around 40-45 liters of internal volume, so buying a pack that’s as close to that as possible will provide the most space allowed. Many of the packs on our list have the ability to compress to a smaller size, such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L .

Be mindful as well, that any protrusions from your travel pack such as shoulder straps or handles will also need to fall within the maximum allowed size. Many travel backpacks today incorporate some type of strap-stowing ability, such as the magnetic panels of the Peak Design packs, the zippered cover of the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, and the hybrid zipper/panel of the Matador GlobeRider 45. All of these provide a more streamlined profile that should both hit the mark, and fit better into overhead bins.

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Travel backpacks run the gamut of prices — from affordable to downright pricey. There are a number of factors that play into what you get for the money.

Budget-Minded Travel Packs

Travel backpacks, as a category, are generally a bit pricer than your average luggage, as they incorporate tough materials that can put up with extensive wear over the lifespan. Travel is tough on bags, so it’s unsurprising that even budget travel backpacks will cost you around $100-150. These packs often will incorporate more traditional architectures such as a zippered top access, as opposed to the more complicated (and spendy) full-zip clamshell designs. For example, the Dakine Campus ($75) is pretty much your average school bag.

Volumes, too, will be a bit limited in this price range — added material adds cost. The 32-liter Osprey Nebula ($140) is about the best price-to-volume ratio you can get.

Mid-Range Travel Packs

Mid-range packs make up the bread and butter of travel packs, and can be had for around $150 to $200. These designs are often more of the full carry-on variety, and aim to capitalize on permitted volume as much as possible. The 45-liter Matador SEG45 ($200), Patagonia Black Hole MLC ($239), 40-liter Osprey Farpoint/Fairview ($185), and Topo Designs Global Travel Bag ($229) all shoehorn in just about as much space as a friendly gate agent will let you get away with.

For the price, you also get a good variety of functionality that makes travel easier, such as stowable pack straps, interior segmented pockets and sleeves (done excellently on the $170 Cotopaxi Allpa ), and an external compression system that limits the space your bag takes up. Some packs, like the TimBuk2 Never Check ($209), don’t exactly hit these parameters, but instead make up for it in high-quality design and materials.

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Premium Travel Packs

Above $250, you’re likely paying for premium materials or a to-the-hilt design that leaves absolutely nothing on the cutting room floor. The Peak Design Travel Backpack ($300) is a great example, and utilizes super high-quality nylon canvas, custom aluminum hardware, and supple seatbelt material webbing in its build, as well as fitting in just about every conceivable feature you could want in a travel pack. The same can be said of the Matador GlobeRider 45 ($350), which uses high-tech UHMPWE-reinforced materials and sports a total of 19 pockets.

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 ($243) is a bit of an outlier, as it commands a high dollar amount not for the extreme amount of space it offers or amount of features, but for being a hyper-customizable, hand-made bag that uses the nicest textiles available, as well as the best zippers, webbing, and foam in its design. If you’re a fan of the finest materials, this is your daily driver pack.

What Is One Bag Travel?

The ‘One Bag Travel’ ethos and travel backpacks go hand-in-hand. Simply put, to travel in one-bag style is to be minimalist in your luggage choices, and only take what you can carry onto the plane/train/pack animal. Not only does this do away with the fuss of deciding what exactly to bring along with you, but it also allows for breezing through airports — skipping the need to check baggage, wait at baggage claim, or fear for lost luggage.

In order to most effectively travel with one bag, be sure to read up on exactly the baggage size allowances provided by your transportation. This can affect both overall size and weight, and having an expandable pack is a large benefit here. In this way, you can carry just enough to skirt through under the limit, and then expand the bag when you’ve hit your destination for more breathing room. If you aim for a 35-40 liter backpack, you’ll be right on the money for one-bag travel.

Finally, remember that this bag is going to be the only item of luggage you’ve got, so ensure it’ll be comfortable enough for the long haul. Look for padded back panels and hip belts that’ll transfer the load correctly, and if they stash away — all the better.

Our team unanimously agrees that the best travel backpack is the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . It’s extremely durable, and it offers plenty of organizational pockets to stash your kit away in. The clamshell opening makes packing a breeze, and we really appreciated the unique shoulder strap storage options available to turn the pack into a stripped-down bag that would slide into any overhead compartment.

Peak Design Travel Pack in Denver

The best size bag for traveling depends largely on your travel itinerary and mode of transport. The Cotopaxi Allpa packs range from 28 to 42 liters.

The 28-liter option makes for a compact and comfortable backpack that easily fits in overhead airplane compartments. The 42-liter option is a bit more like carrying a duffel bag on your back, but it still manages to fit in overhead compartments. It’s a great option for maximizing carry-on capacity in backpack form.

While both have their place in travel, a backpack can offer some advantages over a suitcase. Since they’re much more portable, backpacks can be brought to many more places where a suitcase won’t work. Suitcases can be your large load carriers, but a good travel backpack gives you the freedom to strike out on daily adventures.

Travel backpacks absolutely can be carry-on luggage, given they meet the size requirements. In the U.S., the most common maximum size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches, or 45 linear inches (length + width + height). But this is only a common size, and different airlines will have different specifics. Consult with your airline specifically to determine what they allow.

While different body types will find different travel packs comfortable, we can all agree that a good support system and ample foam make for a comfortable carry. In our own testing, we found the Osprey Farpoint 40 and Fairview 40 Travel Packs were by far the most comfortable due to their plush suspension systems.

Because many different airlines operate a slate of different planes, there isn’t a standard under-seat luggage size, although there is an average: 16 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches. Some airlines allow personal items larger than this, but you should consult with their customer service for specifics. Our favorite personal item-sized travel pack was the Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack , which at 24 liters compressed easily slides under a seat.

The Best Laptop Backpacks of 2024

The Best Laptop Backpacks of 2024

Whether you’re headed to the office, class, or even the trailhead, here’s our top picks for the best laptop backpacks of 2024.

The Best Daypacks of 2024

The Best Daypacks of 2024

We tested the best daypacks of 2024 with options for every budget. Top picks include Osprey, Cotopaxi, and more.

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Hailing from the hemlocks and hanging mosses of Washington State, Senior Editor Nick Belcaster is an adventure journalist following threads of stories across the West. Cruelly stolen from the alpine swales of rural Wisconsin at a young age, Nick made do ascending the snows and granite of the North Cascades while completing a journalism degree. A long stint on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 codified a life bent on sleeping on minor slopes and picking devil’s club out of his shoes.

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Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.

a man carrying a black bag

The 25 Best Travel Bags for Every Kind of Trip

It's all about the right luggage.

Whether it’s a two-day business trip to Boston or a boys’ weekend in Miami, there are a lot of different ways your bag can support you. Along with handy features, looks play a part, too; you should be proud of the bag you are toting along. Get yourself that snazzy weekender with hidden pockets and a built-in cooling compartment. Treat yourself to that sleek Rimowa roller you’ve been eyeing since last year. Splurge on that monogrammed duffel to replace the one your investment bank gave you when you signed on. Don’t go on another trip without your new bag, and take some action now.

Novel Duffel

Best Travel Duffle Bag

Herschel supply co. novel duffel.

Le Pliage Energy

Most Versatile Travel Bag

Longchamp le pliage energy.

Cabin S Carry-On Suitcase

Best Hard Shell Carry-On Travel Bag

Rimowa cabin s carry-on suitcase.

The Everywhere Zip Backpack

Best Travel Backpack

Away the everywhere zip backpack.

Vagabond Duffel

Best Lightweight Travel Bag

Métier vagabond duffel.

Pro Travel Softside Expandable Carry-On Luggage

Best Soft-Shell Carry-On Travel Bag

Samsonite pro travel softside expandable carry-on luggage.

Garment Bag Tri-Fold Carry-On

Best Travel Garment Bag

Tumi garment bag tri-fold carry-on.

The Garment Duffel

Best Garment Duffel

Halfday the garment duffel.

Landon Carryall Bag

Best Neoprene Travel Bag

Dagne dover landon carryall bag.

Cosimo Garment Duffel

Best Luxury Duffel

Lucchese cosimo garment duffel.

Our favorite luggage brands make it easy to elevate your travel style . If you need help narrowing down your choices, we have our 25 favorites that our editors have tested and reviewed. Out with the old, in with a new travel bag.

When it comes to quick trips that last a day or two, a duffel is what you need. And Herschel’s Novel bag is, in so many words, the best bang for your buck. Not only is it incredibly durable and spacious enough for several fits (there’s also a separate compartment for your shoes), but it’s also less than $100. That’s what we call a win-win.

Drawing its inspiration from origami, Longchamp’s convertible travel bag is one of the most versatile out there. Wear it as a backpack or carry it around as a weekender, this bag is going to get you from point A to point B with ease. It’s sporty and practical and effortlessly in fashion.

From Karl Lagerfeld to David Fincher to Martha Stewart, all the high rollers can be seen toting this suitcase. It’s got distinctive grooves and an ergonomic design, and it just screams class. Plus, the TSA-approved locks are keeping your belongings extra secure.

It’s also Esquire approved and worthy of an investment.

For train travel, bus voyages ( ooof, we feel your pain ), or even a trip involving a connecting flight, there’s nothing like a good backpack to keep you hands-free and moving at a quick pace. Made of water-resistant nylon, Away’s backpack is a durable choice with padded shoulder straps and a laptop pocket.

Surprisingly lightweight, Métier’s duffel is a luxe option for frequent travelers. It’s thoughtfully designed with specific places for toiletries, sunglasses, a laptop, and the rest of your valuables. A secret card slot in the exterior pocket makes for easier travel at the airport.

In the luggage realm, there are very few that hold a candle to Samsonite. For more than a century (yes, that long), the brand has been churning out travel accessories, always offering quality styles for the day. It doesn’t get bogged down by its history. This soft-shell spinner, for example, features wireless charging pockets and a compartment for toiletries, and it’s made of 100 percent ballistic nylon. It’s also less than $250, which makes is a virtual steal.

Business executives know the importance of a garment bag. When you just hopped off the plane and are running late to that meeting, never stress trying to find a steamer again. TUMI is saving you from wrinkle embarrassment, keeping you put together everywhere and anytime.

We love our garment bags in duffel form. They are practical for traveling with suits or other formal clothes, but you can also use them for quick casual trips. Need more convincing? Check out our endorsement of this one.

In a flexible neoprene, Dagne Dover's carryall is one of the lightest duffels out there. It's got a laptop sleeve, and it also comes with a shoe bag and a dust bag. It also makes for a great gym bag, if you want something that's multipurpose.

We love this duffel so much, it was even one of the travel products our editors can't live without . Converting from a garment sleeve to a duffel bag, its versatility meets a luxurious style for a bag you will have for decades.

July Carry All Weekender Plus

Carry All Weekender Plus

Much like it's name denotes, this truly is a carry-all at its 50L capacity. A large padded pocket fits your laptop, and hidden pockets with magnetic closures keep your smaller belongings tucked away safely. If you are going somewhere for the long-haul, it also easily attaches onto your luggage.

Paravel Aviator Grand Suitcase

Aviator Grand Suitcase

Paravel is new-ish to the luggage game, but in just a short time it is succeeding in the competitive market by focusing entirely on sustainability. The brand's collection is not only beautifully designed, but they are also made of recycled plastic water bottles. It also plants trees through Eden Reforestation Projects to offset the carbon emissions it produces via shipping.

Meisterstück Meisterstück Document Case

Meisterstück Document Case

From the finest writing instruments to regal timepieces, Montblanc offers the kind of items beloved by jet-setters, C-suite executives, and anyone else of that sort. Naturally, this means that its briefcase is one of the best around, and will surely induce envy from the rest of the folks in first class.

Zero Halliburton Large Travel Case

Large Travel Case

When it comes to luxury, you can't ignore Zero Halliburton. This label is, after all, the maker of the iconic damage-resistant aluminum briefcases, so rest assured that its large spinner will stay looking good while its be tossed and turned from the check-in booth to baggage claim.

Victorinox Spectra 3.0 Frequent Flyer Carry-On

Spectra 3.0 Frequent Flyer Carry-On

This Swiss brand makes luggage that lasts. Constructed in a high performance recycled polycarbonate, this suitcase is durable and eco-conscious. It expands by 20 percent and has multiple compartments for smart storage. We also love this piece from Victorinox because you can personalize it for no added cost.

Coofay Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

Now you can pack for a weekend trip in a backpack. There's a laptop compartment, separate shoe storage, and a USB charging port. Travel compactly and with rest assured that everything you need it right on your back.

Lululemon Command the Day Duffel Bag

Command the Day Duffel Bag

Aptly named, this bag is going to be your 24/7 savior. A water-repellent fabric protects against spills and weather. You can stay organized with the allocated pockets for shoes, laptop, and gear.

Yeti Crossroads Duffel Bag

Crossroads Duffel Bag

You know Yeti for its coolers and bottles, but you're about to love it for its luggage. A water and abrasion-resistant exterior coupled with reinforced stitching makes this one of the most durable duffels on the market.

Mark & Graham 2-in-1 Garment Bag

2-in-1 Garment Bag

This bag is literally a transformer. Going from garment bag to duffel, it helps to protect your clothing with its folding design. The smart silhouette even leaves room for two pairs of shoes to store at the side.

Mack Weldon Atlas Duffle

Atlas Duffle

This reinforced canvas duffle will pass any test you put it through—from the gym to the plane. It has multiple pockets, one that's designated for shoes and the other for drinks and snacks ( remember to throw those out before you get to TSA ), and a slip-resistant bottom.

preview for HDM All sections playlist - Esquire

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The Best Carry-On Luggage, Tested & Reviewed By Our Editors

By Madison Flager

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Carry-ons are arguably the piece of luggage travelers pull out most often, whether it's the only bag coming on a weekend trip or used in tandem with a checked suitcase. It also spends the most time with us in transit, which means the functionality is even more important: Are your belongings easy to get to if you need to retrieve something while waiting at your gate? Is there a space to stash whatever item you remember on your way out the door? These are a few of the things Traveler editors considered when sifting through the seemingly endless options on the market. We set out to find the best of the best—bags that are lightweight but still sturdy, have enough space to house clothes, shoes, toiletries, and accessories, and will hold up for many trips to come. After months of testing, these are the pieces we've deemed the best carry-on luggage of 2023.

What we considered:

When testing out carry-on luggage, we asked editors and contributors to consider several factors: How light a bag was on its own, how much it could fit, whether the design and organizational factors were helpful (and aesthetically pleasing), how well it held up in transit, how easy or difficult it is to roll and pick up, whether it's worth the price point, and if there are any unique features that set it apart from other carry-on suitcases or bags they've used.

This article is part of Condé Nast Traveler' s first-ever Luggage Week , for which dozens of suitcases, backpacks, and weekender bags were road-tested by our editors.

What size can a carry-on bag be?

It depends on which airline you're flying with, but typically, dimensions are limited to 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches high for domestic airlines (Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and United Airlines adhere to these figures; American Airlines allows for an extra inch of height, while and Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines's max is 24" x 16" x 10" and Spirit Airlines's allotment is 22" x 18" x 10"). Some airlines provide a single number; dimensions must add up to that number or below to be considered compliant.

International airlines tend to have slightly different size requirements; 21.5" x 15.5" x 9" is typical, but here are some exact specifications by airline:

  • Air Canada: 21.5" x 15.5" x 9"
  • Air France: 21.6" x 13.7" x 9.8"
  • British Airways: 22" x 18" x 10"
  • Emirates: 21.6" x 15" x 8.6"
  • Lufthansa: 21.6" x 15.7" x 9"
  • Qatar Airways: 20" x 15" x 10"
  • Singapore Airlines: 45 total inches

What can’t I take in my carry-on?

Liquids over 3.4 ounces (100mL) are not allowed in your carry-on. Additionally, firearms and other potentially hazardous items are prohibited. Check TSA's website for specific items you may have questions about.

Are carry-on bags free?

Again, it depends on which you're flying with and what kind of ticket you purchase. These airlines offer one free carry-on (and one personal item), regardless of what level ticket you bought:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines

While these airlines offer one free carry-on (and one personal item) to all travelers except those who purchased a base fare:

  • United Airlines

Top recommendations:

  • Best overall carry-on: Paravel The Aviator Carry-On
  • Best lightweight carry-on: July Carry-On Light
  • Best budget carry-on: Béis The Carry-On Roller
  • Best expandable carry-on: Away Carry-On Flex
  • Best softside carry-on: Travelpro Platinum Elite softside spinner

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Weight: 8.2 lbs. Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9"

Pros: Glides smoothly even when fully packed, unique look and feel Cons: No external phone charger included, could use an interior pocket along the length of the bag

Luggage brand Paravel has built a dedicated following thanks to its retro Wes Anderson–style designs and use of sustainable materials. The Aviator Carry-On is no different: Available in shades like scout tan, safari green, and scuba navy, it has a recycled polycarbonate shell, recycled zippers, and an interior lining made from 15 upcycled plastic water bottles. It's a favorite of senior editor Megan Spurrell : “This is one of two carry-on roller bags I have used regularly for nearly three years—we’ve traveled everywhere from Lisbon to Mexico City to Los Angeles together.” Spurrell has used it for weeklong trips, and notes that it's still in good shape after years of use: “It has definitely gotten scratched up from being thrown into the hull of planes (I have checked it before, even though it’s carry-on), but it has held up well otherwise—there are no cracks in the shell, zipper issues despite how much I have stuffed it, nor sticky wheels.” The one minor flaw: The top handle placement is a bit counterintuitive, placed on the side of the suitcase further from your body.

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Weight: 8.36 lbs. Dimensions: 23" x 16" x 10"

Pros: Comfortable handle, fairly easy to clean Cons: Although the beige color is incredibly pretty, it gets dirty very quickly; I would recommend a darker color

With a pretty, ribbed design and thoughtful features like a cushioned silicone grip on the handle, you wouldn't guess this is one of the most affordable suitcases on our list. It's been tested by commerce producer Paris Wilson , who used it to pack for her and her boyfriend on a weeklong trip to the Florida Keys; with the help of the expandable zipper, it fit at least 14 outfits as well as four pairs of shoes and two purses. The wheels have stood up to bumpy roads—“We live in downtown Manhattan where cobblestone streets are a staple and we still managed to make it to the subway without any hangups”—and the included pouches come in handy for dirty clothes or even souvenirs. “I’m tempted to buy the remaining luggage to create a set; I would recommend this to anyone who's interested in building their luggage collection but might not know where to start.”

A suitcase.

Weight: 7.9 lbs. Dimensions: 23" x 15" x 9.5"

Pros: Durable wheels, easy to lift, compression straps Cons: Because of its size, it may be checked on smaller planes or flagged to be checked on planes at full capacity

Away recently upgraded a few of its core suitcases, including The Bigger Carry-On. Updates include an additional zipper compartment, a color-matched interior made of recycled polyester, and an underside grab handle for easy overhead bin lifting. Tested by editorial assistant Jessica Chapel , who has taken it on a flight to New Mexico, a bus ride to New Jersey, and in cars on weekend trips from New York, it's one of the lighter bags on the list at under eight pounds. Compared to her previous suitcase, “It does wonders. Prior to this luggage I often traveled with a checked bag. I can fit almost as much in this suitcase, and it's way more practical—and feels more swift, given the 360-degree wheels.”

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Weight: 3.9 lbs. Dimensions: 21" x 14" × 7.5"

Pros: I enjoy the ease with which you can move this piece of luggage around; it feels very zippy Cons: The telescopic handle sometimes sticks

July calls this the lightest double-wheel suitcase in the world, and it is the lightest we've tested here at Traveler at just under four pounds when empty. Research director Alexandra Sanidad has brought it on planes to Phoenix, Arizona, and Portland, Oregon, and on an Amtrak to Woodstock, New York; she says “it's very cute and fits nicely in tight spaces,” and is a “good price for a sturdy, colorful, functional suitcase.” As for what it fits, light packers can fit a week’s worth of clothing in here; if you’re bringing multiple day and night outfits, plan for a weekend’s worth.

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Weight: 11.1 lbs. Dimensions: 22" x 16" x 9"

Pros: Extremely functional and stylish, glides smoothly even when full Cons : It’s a little large for a carry-on; I've had to check it twice so far

Tumi bags are an investment—at over $1,000, this is one of the priciest bags on our list of the best carry-on luggage—but for frequent business travelers or those looking for a lifelong investment piece, it might be the bag for you. It's gone with former Traveler editor Alex Erdekian on trips to Mexico, Italy and France, a bachelorette party at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, and Boston. She calls it “the most beautiful suitcase I’ve owned,” and appreciates the “zipper expansion that drastically increases the depth of the suitcase,” as well as the “sneaky zipper around the front that allows you to pull out clothes quickly.” It is one of the heavier bags on the list, though, and Erdekian says she's had difficulty lifting it overhead when full. Also of note: It comes with a five-year warranty, and can be customized with a monogram or set of “pop of color” accessories.

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Weight: 6.53 lbs. Dimensions: 21.5" x 15" x 9.5"

Pros: Budget-friendly, very lightweight Cons: Since its design is pretty plain, it's not the most aesthetically pleasing suitcase on our list

This hardside carry-on with spinner wheels and a built-in TSA lock has racked up rave reviews on Amazon, like this one: “It fit an odd amount of stuff in it. It's like a clown car. It has compartments and zippers that keep things separate and organized. It holds up well and is really good looking. It's absolutely worth every penny. I'm purchasing more for the rest of the family.” Traveler editor Meaghan Kenny agrees, calling it an overpacker's dream bag. The hardside spinner comes in black, navy, bright blue, and orange.

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Weight: 8.1 lbs. Dimensions: 23" x 15" x 10.3"

Pros: The front zipper is such a plus, with lots of sections for organizing Cons: The color range isn’t huge—I wish they alternated in more shades

This Arlo Skye zipper-front suitcase has gone on many trips with Spurrell —she alternates between this and a Paravel carry-on, and this one has been to Peru, upstate New York, and Montauk: “I take it as a carry-on for most flights—from weekend trips to weeklong getaways—because it’s surprisingly roomy, with an organized front pocket that I can easily stow essentials like my laptop, book, and magazines in.” Sleek yet durable, it comes with a removable charger (boasting both USB C and USB A ports), two shoe bags, a laundry bag, and a cotton storage cover. The aesthetics are a plus, too: “I love the design of this bag—it feels like a reliable, sleek rolling bag, with design you’ll never get tired of.”

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Weight: 7.8 lbs. Dimensions: 23.5" x 14.5" x 9"

Pros: Expandable design, multiple exterior pockets Cons: Some travelers may prefer a clamshell opening; may be too large for some international flights

Every inch counts—especially if you're traveling with just a carry-on—and softside luggage offers a little more give than hard-shell bags. This expandable pick has a telescopic handle, spinner wheels for easy gliding, and an external USB port for charging your devices. It's earned an “Amazon's Choice” distinction thanks to its consistently high reviews and competitive pricing (its larger size, which has many similar internal features, is a favorite of former Traveler editor Louis Cheslaw). The suitcase is available in several shades (including black, Bordeaux, and true navy) and three carry-on sizes (19-, 20-, and 21-inches).

A suitecase.

Weight: 8.15 lbs. Dimensions: 21.7" x 13.7" x 9"

Pros: Expandable, easy to roll Cons: Scuffs easily, no exterior pockets

Go one step further, space-wise, with this expandable suitcase, which gives you an additional 2.25" of packing space when needed. Traveler 's global associate director of audience development Lara Kramer has used this bag for trips as long as a week (including a trip to London ), and noted how smoothly it rolled across almost any surface, thanks to its 360-degree spinner wheels. “The joy of this luggage is its simplicity,” she says. “It's a pretty straightforward design, but what it does, it does very well: glide smoothly and easily with its 360-degree spinner wheels and provide the luxury of expanding to add more room if needed. Between my husband and I, one of us is always snagging it as our main carry-on.” Kramer recommends choosing a unique color for your bag, or adding your favorite sticker to the outer hard shell to help it stand out, and notes the inevitable scuffs can look pretty jarring against the black colorway.

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Weight: 12.5 lbs. Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9"

Pros: Very easy to store, even in small places; soft handle grip Cons: Expandable mechanism can be tricky to lock into place

The designers at Béis knew what they were doing when they built this soft-sided expandable carry-on , a favorite of senior commerce editor Madison Flager . It's a big space saver for people with minimal closet or storage space, and yet still fits plenty when expanded—enough for a long weekend to five-day trips. An exterior front pocket holds a laptop sleeve, pocket to place a portable charger (and a small hole to slip the charging cord through), plus a key clip. Smooth-rolling wheels and a soft hand cushion on the underside of the handle are great touches, too.

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Weight: 7.16 lbs. Dimensions: 21.5" x 14" x 9"

Pros: Responsive handle, very lightweight Cons: No exterior pockets for added storage

Lightweight with a rugged exterior, frequent traveler Patrick Thompson noted that this bag “seems like it would hold up to the hustle and bustle of an airport, getting jammed into an overhead compartment, and any excessive packing into the trunk of a car.” He's been using it regularly for over a year, bringing it on trips as long as two weeks (Argentina and Italy), as well as long weekend trips to Utah, Georgia, and Florida, and while it has gotten scuffed, it's still in good shape, and is a bag he'd recommend to other travelers. “I love the color and that it's very lightweight. I find it to be easily rollable when traveling.” While there is “a stealth pocket on the top corner that holds smaller items, which can be very useful and convenient while trudging through the airport,” he hasn't often utilized the front exterior zipper, which is meant for easy access to the main compartment, and would prefer another exterior pocket in place of it.

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Weight: 10 lbs. Dimensions: 20" x 14" x 7.9"

Pros: Built-in garment folder, interior compression system, exterior pockets Cons: Doesn't roll as easily when full

Senior features editor Rebecca Misner calls this suitcase “a professional travelers’ dream carry-on: very sturdy, and full of bells and whistles that actually make packing easier.” Briggs & Riley's signature expansion system allows travelers to press a button and pull up on a lever in the main compartment to expand the suitcase sides vertically. “Once you’re packed and zipped, you just push down on the exterior sides to compress.” Other notable features include mesh interior pockets, a built-in garment folder with a foam roll bar that keeps clothes from wrinkling, and unassuming SpeedThu pocket pockets on the exterior made to fit a passport and boarding pass—with a bright orange lining that signals when the pocket is open (meaning your important docs are at risk).

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Weight: 9.9 lbs. Dimensions: 14" x 22" x 9.5" Pros: Keeps dress clothes wrinkle-free, exterior pocket to hold documents or other small items Cons: May not be large enough to be your only suitcase on a trip

Heading to a wedding or business trip ? Kramer vouches for this compact Travelpro garment bag. “The lay-flat garment bag design is the real gem of this carry-on. It holds way more than you think—and arriving with all of your dresses and shirts wrinkle-free is a huge game changer.” The durable nylon fabric, made with a Duraguard coating, is a bonus, too.

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Weight: 7.9 lbs. Dimensions: 22.8" x 9.4" x 15"

Pros: Smooth-rolling wheels, built-in phone charger, antimicrobial lining Cons: Scratched easily on first use

Tested by destinations editor Shannon McMahon , who prefers to travel with expandable hard-side spinners, this one stands out for “its super roomy packing capacity and its smooth-rolling wheels.” It's become her go-to carry-on after first using it for a four-day getaway last year with room to spare ( even after buying souvenirs ). Smart features of the utilitarian bag include a built-in phone charger, zippered laundry compartment, oversized mesh organizational pockets, and antimicrobial lining. The exterior scratched surprisingly easily on that first trip, but beyond that it hasn't seen much damage: “It's not a fight against scratches on the outside like I thought it would be, it seems like it was just a first-use thing.” The bag's biggest pros: Its packing power and its ultra-lightweight—“it's light as a feather when empty,” McMahon says.

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Weight: 6.06 lbs. Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9" Pros: Wheels smoothly, easy to carry around Cons: Laptop sleeve doesn't fit much else, so if not using it, feels like an unnecessary use of space

Frequent traveler Katie Thompson has been using this suitcase for over a year, bringing it to Italy, Argentina, Florida, upstate New York, and Savannah, and calls it “an organizer's dream.” The Samsonite carry-on is loaded with zip pockets and mesh nets to give every item its own place. Thompson says it “can comfortably fit a week's worth of clothing if you are a light packer, but is probably best for a weekend trip,” and notes it rolls easily and in all directions. Another perk: The hardshell exterior has built in patterns that help to hide any scratches, though it has gotten some scuffs with time. Overall, it is “sleek, unique, and compact,” though overall storage is on the smaller side: “The additional pockets on the top side make the inside smaller,” Thompson says. “It fits less than my previous carry-on, but I still managed 10 days in Italy with it.”

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Weight: 8.25 lbs. Dimensions: 21" x 13.5" x 9.5" Pros: Front pocket for last-minute items, plenty of interior compartments Cons: Limited color options, no expansion

Hard-shell bags with a front pocket are few and far between, but this Calpak bag makes a strong case for it. Executive editor Erin Florio says she “actually [looks] forward to packing this thing;” while she was worried about its size at first glance, after traveling with it, she says smart packers could pack for up to 10 days with it. “The inner compartments make it really easy to organize all your items, from shoes to laundry to toiletries, which helps you fit in more,” she says. As for that exterior pocket, it can fit a laptop, hardcover book, and magazines.

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Weight: 6.3 lbs. Dimensions: 23" H x 14.5" W x 9.5" D Pros: Lightweight and fits a lot of clothing including shoes Cons: Hard to lift when heavy. Also hard to clean/get scuffs out

Recommended by associate social media manager Kayla Brock , this expandable carry-on has a mesh zip compartment and zip-lock compartments inside, which make organizing clothes, accessories, and toiletries easy. She has brought it to North Dakota, Europe, New York, Zanzibar, Seattle, Jamaica, Chicago, Colorado, and the Cayman Islands, packing for as long as three weeks with it (though in winter time, it's better suited for weekend trips). “Although it originally looks like my clothes wouldn’t fit (I’m guilty of overpacking), the suitcase closed with ease,” Brock says. In the year-plus that she's been using it, it has gotten some scuffs and discoloration on certain parts of the body, and the zippers have bent a little; however, Brock still strongly recommends it: “Out of all the suitcases I have this is my absolute favorite and without a doubt the one that I take with me on a trip.”

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

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The best holdalls and weekend bags for a stylish getaway

By Heidi Quill , Owen Gough and Esat Dedezade

Image may contain Handbag Accessories Accessory Bag and Briefcase

Looking for the best holdalls and overnight bags for that long-awaited weekend trip? We’ve got you covered. Wherever your destination, be it a stag weekend, base camp, romantic getaway, wedding or other, a good travel holdall by your side is key to ensuring the smoothest of trips.

There's a lot to be said for packing light, but minuscule bags such as laptop-sized carriers are cutting it fine with the ever-growing list of overnight essentials like toiletries. And with airline fees for check-in luggage and limits to carry-on cases at an all-time premium, bringing a stylish suitcase with you can prove pretty pricey. The reality is that by the time you’ve packed a change of shoes, washbag , some reading material and that most essential change of underwear and socks , you’re likely well into holdall or weekend bag territory.

Enter the new breed of mini-break holdalls, designed expressly for 24-48 hours elsewhere. The finest luggage brands are available to accompany you on your travels, so you’ll find quality options from the likes of Carl Friedrik , Reiss , Mulberry , Cos and more, and don’t be afraid to go heavy on the monograms: it’s only for one night, after all.

Oh, and don't forget to check out our other dedicated guides to the best suitcases , best carry-on suitcases, best luggage brands , best cheap suitcases , best backpacks , and best laptop bags . Phew.

What are GQ's best holdalls for men?

You'll find all the holdalls worth your consideration in the gallery below, but first, here's what our editors are carrying:

  • Best leather holdall: Carl Friedrik Palissy, £695 at
  • Best durable holdall: Stubble & Co The Weekender, £165 at
  • Best neoprene shoulder holdall: Reiss Neoprene Holdall, £158 at
  • Best tote holdall: Arket 48-Hour Tote, £97 £53, at

How we pick the best holdalls and weekend bags

To ensure we don’t recommend you any luggage that we wouldn’t be proud to own ourselves, we’ve picked the best luggage brands, rated for their quality, value and overall sartorial chops. We’ve collected a range of duffel bags, backpacks, weekend bags, crossbody bags and canvas/leather holdalls, with an eye to equip you with the highest-quality travel bags around.

What type of holdall should you buy

As mentioned up top, we’ve gathered some of the best brands around, which means there are many different types of holdall to peruse. Before you grab your credit card and start spending, you need to get your head around the various designs. While you could, of course, simply use a cotton canvas gym bag to lug around the airport, there are much more fashionable or versatile alternatives if you’re willing to spend a little more and not stink of BO on your travels.

Weekend bags typically will only have handholds and won’t have a shoulder strap or laptop sleeve, so keep that in mind if you want to save your biceps the stress over a flight or long train journey. The best weekend bags will offer a few different ways to carry it, like detachable shoulder straps, wheels or a telescopic handle, with extra functionality such as external pockets thrown in for good measure.

You’ll either find full-grain leather or canvas holdall bags on this list, which have their obvious headaches when it comes to durability and maintaining its shape. If that’s going to bother you, we’d look at more rugged options from DB or Osprey , which will often be a nylon weave to contend with the great outdoors.

How much should you spend on a good holdall?

A quality bag that will last you a lifetime is priceless, but that’s not very helpful when you’re looking to actually buy one for your upcoming trip. To give you a general figure to aim for, the most basic entries should cost around the £30-£50 mark. These will likely not last for more than a few years of travel and might show signs of stress after a few trips. Mid-tier options will step up to over £100 and can cost more than £300 for more sartorial options, while designer options will go beyond £1,000.

Check out GQ's guide to the best men's holdalls…

Carl Friedrik

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Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend

Fancy newfangled materials are great, but if you're a fan of the simple classics, then look no further than the Palissy Weekend bag and its delightfully decadent vegetable-tanned Vachetta leather body. Crafted in Florence in a small leather goods factory, the attention to detail is plain to see, with nickel-silver-finished hardware and zippers posing a striking contrast to the organic body. The perfect accessory popping on the back seat of your classic soft top as you hurtle along the Amalfi coast. Saluti.

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Belroy Venture Duffel 55L

Beloroy's minimalist, barrel-like duffel is as rugged as it is stylish, with clean lines and reinforced rolled-edge grab handles making it a dependable companion on demanding journeys. It comes with a detachable padded shoulder strap to give your arms a break post-gym session, while an internal pocket (complete with handy key clip) and a detachable water-resistant stuff sack make for some very useful extras.


Image may contain: Bag, Accessories, Handbag, and Briefcase

Church's 'Radnor' holdall bag


Church's is the opulent brand with an intrinsic focus on craftsmanship. Ideal for accompanying you on exclusive and executive trips alike, the ‘Radnor’ weekend bag is comprised of a hard-wearing fabric outer body contrasted with high-quality, cross-hatched, St. James leather. If that isn't luxury, we don't know what is.

Aspinal of London

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Aspinal of London Men's Weekend Bag

Touted as a contemporary and masculine option, Aspinal of London's weekend bag will look just as comfortable perched on a boardroom table as it will on the floor of a squash court. Handcrafted from durable, lightweight tight weave nylon canvas (and softened with full-grain leather trim detailing), its timeless design will dutifully serve you on your travels for years to come. External and internal pockets, coupled with a removable shoulder strap provide bonus versatility points.

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Carl Friedrik Compact Weekender

While its chocolate and charcoal variants are undeniably handsome, we're besotted with the olive-coloured version of Carl Friedrik's Compact Weekender, which is perfectly complimented by its dark brown Vachetta leather handles and nickel-silver-finished hardware. The main body of the bag itself is made from premium nubuck leather, with a hydrophobic finish for shaking off everything from rain to accidental spills. Inner and outer pockets provide ample space for accessories, while a 40mm shoulder strap lets you mix things up as you see fit.

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Monos Metro Weekender

Monos' Metro Weekender is the perfect companion for those looking for something to see them through weekend getaways or short work trips. Designed with the capacity of carry-on luggage, it's perfect for people who'd rather ditch the cumbersome wheels without sacrificing on space. Our favourite feature is its separate zipped storage compartment, which provides the perfect place to slot in a pair of shoes or laundry. An outer sleeve fits laptops up to 16 inches in size, while a built-in trolley sleeve lets it pull double duty as an extra bag if you do decide to go full-luggage mode for longer trips.

Stubble & Co

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Stubble & Co The Weekender

The Weekender hits the sweet spot for premium design, classy looks, and a more palatable price tag. Designed to meet airline carry-on requirements, its large capacity options, coupled with a rugged Tekwax canvas build, make for a formidable bit of kit during your travels. There's a laptop slot for notebooks up to 16 inches, while a trolley sleeve lets you slot it through luggage handles on longer trips.

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You thought neoprene was just for wetsuits? You were wrong. Thanks to Reiss, this sleek, sophisticated and somewhat innovative holdall proves the utility of the fabric alongside a stylish appearance. Lightweight but also thick and protective for the precious cargo within, it features grab handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for ultimate versatility. With an extra layer of protection dedicated to the base and corners of its silhouette, it’s nothing short of a modern classic.

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Art lovers, good news: Paul Smith has crafted a holdall which channels a serious sense of creativity. Detailed with a colourful and spattered paint motif across the centre of its body, this black weekend bag expresses the British designer’s eternally playful vision. So, too, does it express his ethical mindset, as the accessory is made entirely of recycled nylon. Stylish and sustainable at once, it’s a must for those who want to have a bit of fun while on the go.

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A perfect example of quiet luxury done right, The Row’s latest offering in the accessory department is a must for those who like to travel with elegance. Crafted in Italy from a khaki-hued brushed suede, this well-structured holdall is lined in leather and accented with flattering gold hardware across the top two-way zip fastening. Guaranteed to age with grace, you can rest assured that your travel style will garner extra points both now and in the future from its patina.

Marks & Spencer

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Affordable quality? Marks and Spencer is serving it well with this latest weekend bag. Sitting in the high street store’s Autograph range (acclaimed for its premium investment pieces), it has been made from responsibly sourced leather and is shaped with an excellent curved handle on top – but there’s also a detachable shoulder strap if you prefer. Offered in two timeless shades – brown and black – we suggest the former to add a touch more richness to your travel attire.

Saint Laurent

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Searching for a classic holdall which communicates the strongest style sensibilities? Saint Laurent is the brand to source it from. Embroidered with the French house’s distinguished logo across the centre of its body, this jacquard-crafted design is shaped to a generous size and equipped with multiple pockets at both the interior and exterior – wonderfully working together to store your most treasured belongings.

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Hats off to Barbour for offering a quality holdall bag which accommodates those on a budget. Taking on a soft silhouette which fills out in shape once you add your belongings, it’s fitted with a zip-top fastening, twin handles, an adjustable shoulder strap and a sharp logo patch at the centre of the front. Simple and effective at once, be sure to match it with one of the brand’s wax jackets for maximum effect.

Bennett Winch

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A leather holdall: the undeniable champion of suave weekend getaway bags. It’s a thing we know well and love. What happens when you improve such a staple of the male wardrobe? You come out with this one from Bennett Winch. The stowaway compartment for your shoes is a detail so utterly simple and well thought through it borders on genius. It’s constructed of classic grain leather and tough metal hardware, making it a top-quality weekend bag.

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True to its name, Arket's 48-hour tote is a practical choice for storing two days' worth of stuff. It's got inner compartments for your laptop and other gadgets, plus plenty of room for an outfit change or two. Because Arket understands the pain of packing soiled socks on the go, it also comes with a convenient dust cover that doubles as a laundry bag.

Briggs & Riley

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Making your adventures as effortless as possible, Briggs & Riley supports your curiosity with its own innovative approach to design. In a versatile navy blue, this weekender holdall bag is sleek, spacious and hassle-free… and we can only hope your explorations are the same. Happy travels.

Gifts for Dads: Bennett Winch Cargo

Unlike Bennett Winch's thought-out weekender and Bond-favoured suit carrier holdalls, which pay close attention to carefully organised packing, the label's more recent cargo bags offer a no-nonsense approach with Tardis-like main compartments, available in small (50L), medium (85L) and large (125L) sizes. Perfect for last-minute trips or for especially stylish surplus storage at home, it's available in all black or the brand's ever-popular olive colourway – a long-time favourite of ours.

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As the brand's name might suggest, Rains is an authority on all things weatherproof, and our unpredictable summers can make the Rains product selection something of a saviour to us oft-damp Brits. So, after investing in a reliable raincoat , your next port of call ought to be this 13200 Weekend holdall bag, designed to maintain your adventurous spirit regardless of what the weather looks like.

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The ‘sea bag’ gets its name from its fluid styling and minimalist details. Its boxy nature means it collapses easily for storage, but contains a large space volume inside to swallow up all your luggage when you need it. The clincher, however, is the quality of black supple leather and the vintage palladium silver hardware.

Brunello Cucinelli

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This holdall presents a formidable and honest evocation of a traditional holdall; the way nature intended. It’s voluminous enough for even the most eventful of long weekends away, plus it can easily be moulded to size if you don’t fill it up. The gorgeous cognac leather is luxurious and hard-wearing. It's a big yes as far as we're concerned.

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Proving that good things come in small packages, Troubador's Embark duffle features easy-access pockets, a bottle holder and a separate shoe compartment in a sleek and compact design. Because the last thing you need on a short stay is a cumbersome load, it's constructed from a lightweight fabric that'll allow you through any baggage check in a breeze. It stows neatly under seats or in the overhead locker too.

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Taking a traditional approach to modern luxury, Carl Friedrik's Palissy Weekend holdall boasts a rich chocolate brown hue that is primed for year-round wear and versatility. Carried via its strong top handles or detachable shoulder strap, this is as close to a storage cheat sheet as one is possible to get.

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The natural home of 1970s-esque monogram, Florentine brand Gucci’s ultra-chi chi Ophidia holdall is just the thing for a zhuzhy weekend away somewhere glam like Heckfield place. The brown hues of the bag also work particularly well with neutral shades of grey and midnight blue, so dress accordingly.


Matches Fashion

A holdall doesn’t get much more Amalfi coast than this. Pair with a relaxed linen shirt , pricey sunnies , and a vintage Ferrari for the true look. What this bag denotes is quality. The supple brushed Italian suede will form a unique patina as it is used through the ages and it is destined to last a long time. This suave holdall will have you sipping an Aperol before you can say “trust fund”.

The North Face

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Sometimes, you can over-complicate things. Stick to the basics. Stick to what works. This voluminous black and white The North Face duffle bag works. Lugging this about, you might look always on the verge of running off to the mountains and pitching a tent, but it is a highly practical bag with a tough weatherproofed exterior, shoulder straps and easy zip access. These are not things to be sniffed at.

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In Prada’s iconic black nylon construction, this holdall is instantly recognisable as a derivative of the famous Italian fashion house. Punctuated with the signature enamelled triangle logo plaque, this holdall guarantees turned heads in the terminal. Finished with rounded top handles and a secure zipped fastening, it’s ready to just grab, go and, let’s face it, receive a whole load of compliments.

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This is the holdall for our puffer-obsessed age. Though it does look very cool, it’s not purely an aesthetic affectation. The water-repellent, nylon puffer fabric is going to help protect your valuables from damage as you fling this bag all over the globe. But then again, just look at it. With the sleek Moncler branding and all-black composition; it’s a thing of stealth-like beauty.

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Primed for getaways full of adventure, Yeti's Panga is an airtight, waterproof duffle for the great outdoors. Engineered to keep the elements out, it's fully submersible when sealed – so whether you're off camping, on a seaside getaway or taking to the ski slopes, it's a secure choice you can count on to keep your contents dry. Storage-wise, it holds an impressive 50l, plus convenient side straps for slotting in additional gear.

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40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

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