What’s your suitcase style? Do you pack enough for a week? Or are you the “pack light and go” type—confident that whatever fits in your bag is sufficient to keep you looking good? Happily, there’s a bag for your travel style, whether you’re in the market for the best weekender for men or the best weekender for women. These weekenders include:
Our Best Weekenders for a Quick Getaway:
What is a weekender bag?
According to the website Real Men Real Style, this type of luggage holds essentials one needs for an extended weekend trip, so “forget the wheels – if you’re packing that heavy you’re not really looking for a weekender!” Ditto those indestructible trunks made for long sojourns.
Weekenders frequently resemble the quintessential duffle bag: soft sided, featuring multiple zippers and pockets and because they are so malleable, they easily fit into overhead compartments in airplanes. Most come with shoulder straps and handles, but not every weekend bag has both.
Are you all about style?
You don’t have to compromise style for convenience thanks to the huge weekender market. Fabrics and textiles run the gamut from leather to nylon and canvas; often a mix of several to add fashion flair. You’ll notice an increasing number of color choices when you shop because the luggage industry understands that an equal number of men and women take long weekends.
If you find luggage with pockets irresistible, weekenders usually feature them--especially pockets positioned within the bag for security and on the outside so there’s no rummaging around for essentials like wallets, passports, keys and medicines you need quick access.
Bloomberg.com dubs the leather duffle weekender, “Secretly the Best Bag for Every Day," so plenty of professional men and women count on them to do double duty 24/7.
How to choose your weekend bag
By style. Material can mean the difference between a utilitarian weekend duffle and a high-end design that bears the logo of a fashion house or international brand. Shoppers often pick a bag based on look and style.
By availability. You’ll troll the Internet endlessly for a weekend bag because popularity has increased the availability of them on today’s market. If you insist on touching and examining every feature, shop luggage stores, department stores, big box stores and boutiques. Otherwise, the Internet is your Mecca.
By price. If the Tom Ford-designed genuine alligator bag retailing for $41,310 is on your dream list, there’s no need to shop. But if you'd rather spend that amount on a car, keep this in mind: you get what you pay for. That stated, if you’re in no rush to take that weekend trip, it’s worth comparison shopping.
By designer. If you have a favorite designer and consider yourself a brand loyalist because that label never lets you down, you can winnow down your list of weekender candidates fast using your favorite search engine to lead you to retail stores and websites stocking specific brands.
By interest. Because manufacturers recognize shopping propensities of men and women, many are churning out designs that appeal to specific audiences. If your frequent weekend pleasures include a favorite sport, you may locate one fabricated with compartments that hold tennis rackets, baseball bats and other items.
What are the advantages of a weekend bag?
For starters, these types of bags have begun to replace backpacks because they do the same job but they’re much more professional and less stressful on the back. Like backpacks they offer these advantages:
- You won’t look like a Sherpa because the size of your weekender precludes you from packing too much.
- These bags are versatile; as much at home in a casual business environment as they are on a short cruise.
- Switch back and forth between the shoulder strap and handle to better distribute weight.
- Some weekenders are washable, which makes them perfect for active kids and adults.
- Weekend bags may come with more pockets than other luggage types due to their smaller sizes.
- Thanks to the popularity of weekenders, you can express your style and personality. Your zebra-striped or hot pink weekender is sure to stand out from the crowd when you reach the luggage carousel!
What are the disadvantages of weekend bags?
The Style Mann website discusses weekend-appropriate bags in glowing terms, but they’re not perfect. Consider these factors when you shop:
- Don’t throw good money away by investing in this product if you always require a large stash of clothing and toiletries when you leave home.
- The size and construction of weekend bags may not meet the challenges of business travel where suits, dress shoes or multiple clothing changes are mandatory.
- If you like to shop until you drop while traveling, bringing home bulky items can defeat the purpose of the weekender.
- Travelers carrying weekenders are more apt to put them down in airports and terminals, making them targets for thieves who don't target large, bulky suitcases.
- Pick an inexpensive weekend bag and you could replace it sooner than you prefer if it's frequently being used.
It’s the ultimate weekender for guys eager to impress. Marketed as a genuine leather carryall, this bag's tanning process includes putting the leather through a vegetable priming process aimed at adding a natural texturing appearance and making the bag more flexible. Even stitching and embellishments are luxurious.
Trimmed with brass buckles, outside zippers with security locks, magnetic buttons and an adjustable shoulder strap and carry handle, this Leathario best weekender for men bag is nearly 20-inches long and hides 3 roomy interior pockets designed to stow essentials like your keys and wallet. Upwardly-mobile men are especially attracted to this weekender.
- Handsome and rugged, the manufacturer claims that this leather bag can ultimately be recycled.
- Holds enough clothing to get you through up to 4 days of activities over a long weekend.
- Design touches make this weekend bag look expensive and sophisticated.
- Sturdy enough to last for many years, fans of this bag applaud the solid construction and high style.
- The older it gets, the more weathered and traveled this weekender looks.
- You may find the odor attached to the tanning process to be extremely offensive.
- Even with price reductions, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars on this bag.
- Broken zippers are reported by shoppers returning their bags to Leathario.
- Despite claims to the contrary, this bag is made of embossed polyurethane.
- Do not expect this bag to meet the same standards as genuine leather.
The Herschel brand is regularly featured in fashion magazines, thus this affordable carryall marketed to women is the epitome of style right down to the signature striped fabric liner that keeps contents doubly safe even when the bag is jostled by luggage handlers and bell hops.
Fabricated of sturdy polypropylene, this weekender sports a two-way zipper trimmed with pebbled leather pulls and snap-down tabs, so if you are worried about security, don't be; it’s harder to get into this bag. At over 20-inches long, Herschel Supply handles are padded for carrying comfort and you won’t see the floral pattern splashed across the black background coming and going. Popular? This best weekender for women sells out fast because it’s feminine and designed to hold up for the long haul. If you see it and want it, you’d better grab it.
- Versatile enough to serve as your personal carry or gym bag when it’s not toting weekend togs.
- Stylish and durable, it holds enough outfits to dress a traveler for up to 4 days.
- The Herschel brand is respected, popular and the designs are fashion forward.
- A padded carry handle is a great perk for women who suffer from arthritis.
- Makes an awesome gift for busy women who crave a bag that’s this pretty and roomy.
- There are no interior pockets so you will have to rely on a purse to carry essentials.
- The outside pockets are roomy but there are no zippers or closures added to keep contents safe.
- With no interior constraints, contents may be shuffled around and wrinkle if the bag isn’t packed to the brim.
- Don’t expect the fabric to feel soft and smooth; this textile feels like canvas.
- There's no shoulder strap; if this is an issue for you, take a pass on this weekender.
If you’re looking for a rugged, attractive weekend bag that gets high marks and rave reviews from men and women, a Patagonia weekender could be in your future. Moderately priced, this lightweight carryall could get you through a 6-day weekend because it’s lack of interior structure and lightweight fabric means you can stuff more into this weekender.
Patagonia calls this bag “a workhorse” because it stands up to extreme weather, careless baggage handlers and abuse. Featuring a waterproof rip stop, water-repellent finish, zippered pockets, padded shoulder straps and hefty webbed handles, the daisy chain stitching holds fast even when this bag is put to extreme tests.
- The Patagonia brand is committed to conserving resources and respecting the environment.
- Water-resistant properties and manageable weight are the most-often cited reasons for Patagonia purchases.
- Extremely flexible, this bag gets owners through the longest weekend because it accommodates so many items.
- Sturdy side zipper is roomy enough to hold essentials; the straps are comfortable and double stitched.
- Use this as a sports bag when you’re not carrying clothing for a long weekend.
- If you prioritize fashion-forward styling, this bag may not suit your sensibilites.
- The zipper feet don’t overlap and can’t be locked together to protect your valuables.
- With little internal structure, your weekend clothing will shift around dramatically.
- You could find it hard to wrap and attach the handle if it’s cold.
- Not made to tote heavy items, the shoulder strap can dig into shoulder muscles, leaving you sore.
Comparably sized at over 20-inches, this Toupons weekender is crafted of industrial-strength canvas (think boat sails) and comes in neutral grey. Pop it into an overhead bin when you fly or toss it under your seat if you commute. Either way, it easily accommodates clothes, shoes and electronics if you insist upon working during your extended weekend getaway.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and removable and pockets are plentiful: 2 on the side; 2 on the front; 1 at the back and there's an interior pocket. Four of these pockets have zippers. Designers meant this bag for both sexes so it's not just a weekender for men. If the style doesn’t impress, the price probably will.
- You can hand wash and line-dry this weekender if it attracts soil.
- Plenty of women love this no-frills weekend bag enough to buy it.
- High-quality engineering and style needn’t be pricey; this bag proves it.
- Ideal for folks who engage in weekend travel but don’t have big budgets.
- Makes a great choice for travelers of either sex so it's not just a great weekender for men on your gift list.
- Returns are often triggered by bags with malfunctioning zippers.
- Seams could fray if this bag is subjected to rough handling.
- Not for travelers seeking trendy, fashion-forward weekenders.
- Due to dye inconsistencies, grey shades may differ from one weekender to another.
- While the price is right, you may not be willing to take chance on the construction.
At 21-inches, this imported Oflamn weekender features a zippered inner pocket plus two large exterior pockets to hold travel essentials like passports and ID. Styled to fit size parameters set by airlines, this bag fits into overhead bins and slides under tour bus seats.The exterior shoe compartment sets this bag apart from competitors and the weekender comes with a free matching toiletries bag.
You'll find the styling to be an attractive combination of artificial leather and 16-ounce canvas. Unlike competitors, Oflamn doesn’t hide the fact that this isn't genuine leather. This weekender comes in several lively colors and the price won’t max out your travel budget.
- The attached faux leather handle and carry strap make transporting this bag a breeze.
- Cleans up easily if the weekender becomes soiled.
- Roomy and fashionable, you get more value courtesy of the free toiletries bag.
- The exterior shoe compartment is a big hit with travelers.
- Durable and roomy, fit everything you need for a busy long weekend inside.
- Most customer returns are for malfunctioning zippers.
- If you seek authentic leather trim, this isn’t the weekender for you.
- There have been reports of loose threads and stitching issues on the bag and handle.
- Because this bag is hefty, heavyweight contents could make the load hard to carry.
- Hardware used to attach the shoulder strap may not hold up as well as the bag itself.
The weekender has become a major niche for the luggage industry. When travelers search for the right size bag, they run into a plethora of materials, pricing and styles, so selecting the top dog after sampling popular designs on the market wasn’t easy, yet our top pick is the Oflamn weekender. While not perfect, this stylish bag meets myriad criteria: it’s not overpriced, comes with a free toiletries bag, offers both a handle and shoulder strap and includes the hard-to-resist external shoe storage feature.
Oflamn is not reticent about calling artificial leather embellishments to the attention of shoppers, unlike the Leathario folks whose weekender costs twice as much. As for the lightweight Patagonia, not every weekend traveler wants to look as though they are heading for a mountaintop, despite this company’s reputation for quality products. The Toupons tote wins hands-down in the pricing category but fails to meet construction standards, and while the Herschel gets high marks for style, practical travelers don’t appreciate the fact that there are no interior pockets to safeguard belongings. For these reasons and more, our top pick is the Oflamn weekender for both men and women.