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Best Travel Totes for Every Type of Adventurer

best travel totes
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Updated October 3, 2023

Going on a trip? If you prefer to carry a lot of items while on the go versus the limited amount you can stuff into a purse or fanny pack, travel totes are the ultimate solution.. They're spacious, versatile, and can fit all your essentials, including your laptop, charger, makeup, and even your beach towel. Plus, they come in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes, so you can find one that matches your taste to a T.

How to choose the best travel tote

When it comes to choosing the best travel tote, there are several factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a tote that will meet your needs:

What size is ideal for your travel needs?

Consider the length of your trip and the amount of items you need to bring with you. If you're going on a weekend getaway or short trip, a smaller tote might be sufficient. However, if you're traveling for longer periods, you'll need a tote that is spacious enough to accommodate all your belongings. Keep in mind that airlines have size restrictions for carry-on bags, so make sure to check the measurements before purchasing.

What material will hold up best during travel—and at your destination?

Travel totes come in a range of materials, including canvas, leather, nylon, and more. Depending on your destination and travel activities, you'll need to choose a material that's appropriate for the conditions you'll be facing. For example, if you're traveling to a beach location, you'll need a tote made of a waterproof or water-resistant material. If you're going on a hiking trip, you might want to choose a tote made of a durable material that can withstand rugged conditions.

Is it something that’ll be easy to carry?

A good travel tote should be comfortable to carry, especially if you'll be carrying it for extended periods of time. Look for totes with padded straps, adjustable straps, or other features that will make it easier to carry. If you're traveling to a city destination and will be using public transportation, you'll want a tote that's easy to carry on your shoulder or across your body.

Will it actually keep you organized?

Keeping your belongings organized while traveling can be a challenge. Look for a tote that has compartments or pockets to help you keep your items separated and easy to find. Some totes also come with removable pouches or inserts that make it easy to pack and unpack. If you’re moving around a lot, especially through busy cities, consider a tote that snaps or zippers closed for security, or at least one with a zippered compartment for valuables.

Our top travel tote picks

We've rounded up the best travel totes in different categories, including budget-friendly options, designer totes, and bags made of leather, canvas, and more. We also have recommendations for travel totes specifically designed for moms, work trips, and beach vacations.

Here are our top travel tote picks to help you find the perfect bag that fits your needs and makes your travels easier. With these totes, you won't have to worry about leaving anything behind or sacrificing style for practicality.

Best Budget Travel Tote: Baggu Duck Bag

Baggu Duck Bag

This budget option is a score considering the generous size and adorable look. The Baggu Duck bag is a tall travel tote that holds a lot but stays close to your body, so it’s great for navigating crowds. It’s big enough to hold gym clothes and a 15-inch Macbook and has an interior zippered pocket for securely stashing things like your phone and keys.

This one comes in so many stylish color and pattern options, including chartreuse gingham if you want to make a statement and dark khaki if you like to keep things neutral. It’s made of sustainable materials too—recycled cotton, to be more precise—and can be popped in the washer for easy cleaning.

  • Dimensions: 11 inches (width) x 4 ? inches (depth) x 15 ? inches (height)
  • Material: Recycled Cotton Canvas
  • Weight: not listed
  • Colors: Multiple colors and patterns
  • Closure type: Snap
  • Price: $38

Why we like it:

  • Color and pattern options offer a fun look.
  • Generous capacity.
  • Easy-to-clean material.
  • Fantastic price point.
Best Budget
Duck Bag


Best designer travel tote: Longchamp Le Pliage Original

Longchamp Le Pliage Original

If you're looking for a designer travel tote, the Longchamp Le Pliage Original tote bag is the perfect choice. It's a classic and timeless tote that has been a staple in the fashion world for years. Not only is it stylish, but it's also functional and durable - perfect for all your travel needs.

One of the best things about this tote is its versatility. It's made of lightweight nylon that is water-resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for any type of travel, whether it's a weekend getaway or a long-term adventure. The leather straps and accents add a touch of elegance and sophistication, elevating any outfit. It has a roomy main compartment that can hold all your essentials, including a laptop, clothing, and toiletries. It also has a smaller pocket on the inside to help you stay organized and keep your valuables safe.

And it’s foldable! Pack it in your luggage until you need it or as an extra bag just in case. This classic tote is our winner for best designer travel tote.

  • Dimensions: 12 ? inches (width) x 7 ? inches (depth) x 11 ? inches (height)
  • Material: Recycled polyamide canvas with inside coating
  • Weight: 290 g
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $155

Why we like it:

  • Classic and timeless design.
  • Durability.
  • Spacious capacity.
Best designer
LE PLIAGE ORIGINAL L TOTE BAG

LE PLIAGE ORIGINAL L TOTE BAG



Best leather travel tote: Alem Utility Bag by ABLE

Alem Utility Bag by ABLE

If you're looking for a leather travel tote that is both stylish and practical, we highly recommend the Alem Utility Bag by ABLE, crafted from high-quality, durable leather. It has a spacious main compartment that can hold all your travel essentials, including a laptop, books, and clothes. It also has an interior zip pocket and two exterior pockets for easy access to your phone, passport, and other items.

What sets this tote apart is its versatility. The Alem Utility Bag comes with adjustable straps that allow you to convert it into a backpack, making it perfect for those who want a bag that can transition from day to night. The leather straps and metal hardware give this tote a modern and chic aesthetic that will elevate any outfit. It is also one of the best work bags for women we’ve seen.

We also love that ABLE is committed to ethical and sustainable practices. The brand employs women who have overcome difficult circumstances, providing them with a fair wage and a safe working environment. So not only will you be getting a beautiful and practical tote, but you'll also be supporting a brand that makes a positive impact.

  • Dimensions: 13 ? inches (width) x 6 inches (depth) x 13 ? inches (height)
  • Material: 100% genuine distressed leather
  • Weight: n/a
  • Colors: Whiskey
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $268

Why we like it:

  • High-quality leather.
  • Spaciousness.
  • Versatility as both a tote and a backpack.
  • ABLE's commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.
Best leather
Alem Utility Bag

Alem Utility Bag



Best canvas travel tote: Beis Weekender Tote

Beis Weekender Tote

Looking for a canvas travel tote that is both functional and stylish? Look no further than the Béis Weekender Water Repellent Tote Bag. One of the best things about this tote is its durability. It's made of high-quality canvas that is water-repellent, ensuring your belongings stay dry even in inclement weather. The leather accents and gold hardware give this tote a sophisticated and chic look that is perfect for any fashion-forward traveler.

The Béis Weekender Tote is also incredibly spacious. It has a roomy main compartment that can hold all your essentials, including clothes, shoes, and toiletries. The tote also features a front zip pocket and side pockets for easy access to your phone, passport, and other items.

What makes this tote even more impressive is its functionality. The tote comes with a detachable crossbody strap and a luggage sleeve, making it easy to carry and attach to your luggage. The tote also has a bottom shoe compartment, so you can keep your shoes separate from your clothes and other items.

  • Dimensions:19 inches (width) x 9.8 inches (depth) x 15.7 inches (height)
  • Material: Canvas
  • Weight: 3.86 pounds
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $108

Why we like it:

  • Durable canvas material.
  • Spacious compartments.
  • Functional design that includes a detachable crossbody strap, luggage sleeve, and bottom shoe compartment.
The Weekender

The Weekender



Best travel tote for moms: L.L. Bean Hunters Tote Bag

L.L. Bean Hunters Tote Bag

Moms on the go need a tote that can keep up with their busy lifestyle, and the L.L. Bean Hunter's Tote Bag is up to the challenge. This tote is durable, versatile, and has plenty of room for all your family's essentials.

One of the best features of this tote is its durability. It's made of heavy-duty cotton canvas that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use, ensuring it will last for years to come. The reinforced handles and bottom also make it easy to carry heavy loads.

The Hunter's Tote Bag is also incredibly spacious, and comes in three sizes. It has a roomy main compartment that can hold all your family's essentials, including snacks, drinks, toys, and more. It’s completely lined inside so you won’t need to worry about spills or messes. And you can even get it personalized with your family’s name or initials so you’ll always know it’s yours.

  • Dimensions:
    • Medium: 13 inches (width) x 6 inches (depth) x 12 inches (height)
    • Large: 17 inches (width) x 7.5 inches (depth) x 15 inches (height)
    • Extra-Large: 19 inches (width) x 10 (depth) x 17 inches (height)
  • Material: Polyester shell
  • Weight: n/a
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: No closure
  • Price: $39.95 to $49.95

Why we like it:

  • Durable cotton canvas material.
  • Three size choices.
  • Versatile, compartmentalized design.
Best for moms
Hunter's Tote Bag, Open-Top Maple Brown Extra-Large, Nylon/Plastic L.L.Bean

Hunter's Tote Bag, Open-Top Maple Brown Extra-Large, Nylon/Plastic L.L.Bean



Best organized travel tote: CALPAK Luka Duffel

CALPAK Luka Duffel

For travelers who like to stay organized, the CALPAK Luka Duffel is the ultimate travel tote. This duffel is designed with organization in mind. It has multiple pockets and compartments to keep your belongings neat and tidy.

It has a roomy main compartment with a double-zipper closure, and a separate bottom compartment for shoes or dirty clothes. It has nine pockets total! Imagine easy access to your phone, passport, and all your other items.

The Luka Duffel is also incredibly stylish. It's made of durable and lightweight nylon that is both water-resistant and easy to clean. The leather accents and gold hardware give this tote a modern and sophisticated look that will elevate any outfit.

Its functionality is an added bonus—complete with a detachable shoulder strap and a luggage sleeve, making it easy to carry and attach to your luggage. It also has a back sleeve that allows you to slide it over the handle of your suitcase for easy transport.

  • Dimensions: 12 inches (height) x 16 inches (length) x 7 inches (width)
  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 1.95 pounds
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $128

Why we like it:

  • Impressive organization features.
  • Stylish design.
  • Functional elements like a detachable shoulder strap and luggage sleeve.
Best organized
CALPAK Luka Duffel in Copper

CALPAK Luka Duffel in Copper



Best carry-on travel tote: MZ WALLACE Metro Deluxe Tote

MZ WALLACE Metro Deluxe Tote

When it comes to finding the best carry-on travel tote, the MZ WALLACE Metro Deluxe Tote is the way to go. This tote is spacious, versatile, and fits perfectly under your seat, making it the perfect carry-on for any flight.

It has a roomy main compartment that can hold all your travel essentials, including a laptop, books, and clothes. It also has an interior zip pocket and six exterior pockets for easy access to your phone, passport, and other items.

It comes with a detachable crossbody strap and can be folded up and packed in its own pouch when not in use, making it easy to carry and store. The lightweight and water-resistant nylon material also makes it ideal for any type of travel.

The Metro Deluxe Tote is also incredibly stylish. The quilted design and leather trim give this tote a chic and modern look that will elevate any outfit. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns to suit any traveler's style.

  • Dimensions: 11 inches (width) x 6 ? inches (depth) x 13 inches (height)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $275

Why we like it:

  • Spacious compartments.
  • Versatile design that includes a detachable crossbody strap and foldable pouch.
  • Stylish quilted design that makes it a chic choice for any traveler.
Best carry-on
MZ Wallace Medium Metro Deluxe Tote in Moondust Metallic Lacquer at Nordstrom

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Deluxe Tote in Moondust Metallic Lacquer at Nordstrom



Best luxury travel tote: Chloé Woody Large Linen Tote

Chloé Woody Large Linen Tote

In the world of luxury travel totes, the Chloé Woody Large Linen Tote stands in a league of its own. With its seamless blend of functionality, durability, and style, this tote bag makes a bold statement that is as much about its wearer as it is about its design.

It's made from high-quality linen, known for its durability and natural resistance to damage. The material also lends a unique aesthetic, making it a standout choice for those who appreciate individuality in their luxury accessories.

This tote is like your best travel buddy—it has room for all your goodies, from your trusty laptop to your favorite makeup essentials. It also has a zipped pocket inside to keep your precious items tucked away safely. Plus, the sturdy leather straps are adjustable and comfortable to carry around, so your shoulders won't hate you during your travels. And it’s made of linen, which means it's lighter than your average tote. So, go ahead and pack it full, it's built for those epic travel days!

A standout aspect of the Chloé Woody Large Linen Tote is its focus on sustainability. The linen used in its creation is an eco-friendly material. Linen requires less water and fewer pesticides to grow than other common fabrics, making this bag a great choice for eco-conscious luxury buyers.

True luxury lies in the details, and this is where Chloé truly excels. From the polished hardware to the branded dust bag that comes with each purchase, every aspect of the Chloé Woody Tote experience speaks to luxury and elegance.

  • Dimensions: 17.7 inches (width) x 5.2 inches (depth) x 13 inches (height)
  • Material: Linen, Leather trim
  • Weight: N/A
  • Colors: Black/Blue, White/Brown, White/Blue
  • Closure type: Open
  • Price: $1,450

Why we like it:

  • Luxurious materials
  • Spacious compartments
  • Timeless design that exudes sophistication.
Best luxury
Chloé Large Woody Linen Tote in White - Brown 1 at Nordstrom

Chloé Large Woody Linen Tote in White - Brown 1 at Nordstrom

Best travel tote for work trips: Lo Sons Seville Aire Tote

Lo Sons Seville Aire Tote

When it comes to finding the perfect travel tote for work trips, the Lo & Sons Seville Aire Tote is the ultimate choice. This tote is both stylish and practical, with features that are specifically designed for business travelers.

It has a roomy main compartment that can hold all your work essentials, including a laptop, files, and documents. It also has an interior zip pocket and several exterior pockets for easy access to your phone, passport, and other items. It comes in two sizes, 13 inches and 15 inches, so you can find your perfect laptop fit.

It comes with a detachable crossbody strap and a luggage sleeve, making it easy to carry and attach to your luggage. The lightweight and water-resistant nylon material also makes it ideal for any type of travel. And its sleek and modern design can go from airplane to conference room in no time.

  • Dimensions:

    • 13-inch tote: 12 ? inches (height) x 18 ? inches (width)
    • 15-inch tote: 18 ? inches (height) x 20 inches (width)
  • Material: Nylon

  • Weight: 2.6-2.8 pounds

  • Colors: Black or Navy

  • Closure type: Zipper

  • Price: $478 to $498

Why we like it:

  • Organizational features that are specifically designed for business travelers.
  • Functional elements like a detachable crossbody strap and luggage sleeve.
  • Stylish design that exudes professionalism.
Best for work trips
The Seville Aire Tote - Nylon - Black / Gold / Grey

The Seville Aire Tote - Nylon - Black / Gold / Grey



Best travel tote for the beach: L.L. Beach Boat and Tote

 L.L. Beach Boat and Tote

Beach lovers all over the world would agree that the iconic L.L. Beach Boat and Tote is the ultimate beach tote.

It's made of heavy-duty cotton canvas that can withstand the wear and tear of the beach environment, ensuring it will last for years to come. The reinforced handles and bottom also make it easy to carry heavy loads, like beach towels, chairs, and coolers.

It comes in a variety of sizes and colors, making it easy to find the perfect tote for your needs. You can also add a personalized monogram to make it even more special. Plus, the tote can be easily hosed off and cleaned after a long day at the beach.

  • Dimensions:

    • Small: 9? inches (width) x 5 inches (depth) x 10? inches (height)
    • Medium: 13 inches (width) x 6 inches (depth) x 12 inches (height)
    • Large: 17 inches (width) x 7? (depth) x 15 inches (height)
    • Extra Large: 19 inches (width) x 10 inches (depth) x 17 inches (height)
  • Material: Cotton Canvas

  • Weight: N/A

  • Colors: Multiple colors available

  • Closure type: Zipper

  • Price: $29.95 - $44.95

Why we like it:

  • Durable cotton canvas material.
  • Spacious compartments.
  • Variety of sizes.
  • Practical features like reinforced handles.
  • Easy-to-clean design that makes it the perfect choice for carrying beach essentials.
Best for the beach
Boat and Tote, Open-Top Natural Reg, Canvas/Nylon L.L.Bean

Boat and Tote, Open-Top Natural Reg, Canvas/Nylon L.L.Bean



Best large travel tote: AWAYs The Large Everywhere Bag

AWAYs The Large Everywhere Bag

When it comes to finding the best large travel tote, AWAY's The Large Everywhere Bag is the way to go. This tote is spacious, versatile, and perfect for carrying all your travel essentials. It’s basically a suitcase in travel tote form, and one of the best weekender bags we’ve seen.

It's large enough to hold all your travel essentials, including clothing, shoes, and toiletries. Plus, it has a trolley sleeve that perfectly secures to any AWAY suitcase, making it easy to attach and transport.

The Large Everywhere Bag is also incredibly functional. It comes with a detachable padded shoulder strap with concealable D rings, as well as top handles that are sized for carrying it on your shoulder comfortably. The full wraparound zip opening provides easy access to its spacious main compartment, making it a great choice for weekend or business travel.

It has a sleek and modern design that is perfect for any traveler. It's made of durable and water-resistant nylon that is both stylish and practical.

  • Dimensions: 20.9 inches (length) x 9.4 inches (width) x 11.8 inches (height)
  • Material: Nylon and Leather
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $245

Why we like it:

  • Spaciousness.
  • Functional elements like a detachable padded shoulder strap and trolley sleeve that perfectly secures to any AWAY suitcase.
  • Stylish design that’s versatile enough to go with any outfit.


Best laptop travel tote: CUYANAs System Tote

CUYANAs System Tote

For those who travel with a laptop, the CUYANA System Tote is the ultimate choice. While most assume they need to use a laptop backpack, this tote brings a new style to the tech world. It was designed with a 3-in-1 approach in mind, featuring the System Laptop Sleeve and System Flap Bag that can be easily snapped in and taken out, allowing all pieces to work together or stand alone.

The System Tote is also incredibly practical. It has a roomy main compartment that can hold a laptop up to 15 inches, as well as an interior zip pocket and two exterior pockets for easy access to your phone, keys, and other items. The tote is made of high-quality leather that is both durable and stylish. It comes in a variety of colors to suit any style, and the snap-in pieces make it easy to customize the tote to fit your needs.

  • Dimensions:

    • 13-inch (fits a 13-inch laptop): 17.25 inches (width) x 5 inches (depth) x 10 inches (height)
    • 16-inch (fits a 15 to 16-inch laptop): x 19 inches (width) x (D) 5.5 inches (depth) x 11 inches (height)
  • Material: Leather

  • Weight: 1.9 - 2.3 pounds

  • Colors: Multiple colors available

  • Closure type: Snap

  • Price: $278 - 298

Why we like it:

  • Versatility
  • Practical features like a roomy main compartment and interior/exterior pockets.
  • Stylish, professional design.
Best for laptop
System Tote

System Tote



Best storage travel tote: Samsonite Foldaway Tote

Samsonite Foldaway Tote

If you're looking for a travel tote with ample storage, Samsonite's Foldaway Tote is the best choice. This tote is constructed of sturdy 600 denier nylon poly with PU backing, making it both durable and practical.

It has a large main zippered opening that can easily store all your extra souvenirs acquired during travel. The exterior features two slip pockets and one zip pocket for easy access to your phone, keys, and other items.

It’s also incredibly practical, as it easily folds into an integrated compact pouch with a loop for convenient carrying, making it the ideal solution for daily shopping, excursions, and beach trips. The integrated pouch can also be used as an interior pocket while the bag is in use, adding even more storage options.

The oversized shoulder and carry straps are comfortable and easy to carry, even when the tote is fully loaded. And at only $30, it's the perfect tote for any traveler who wants a practical and stylish bag that can hold all their travel essentials.

  • Dimensions: 12 ? inches (width) × 5.9 inches (depth) x 15.3 inches (length)
  • Material: Nylon Poly
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs
  • Colors: Multiple colors available
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Price: $30

Why we like it:

  • Ample storage capacity
  • Practical features like an integrated compact pouch and oversized shoulder and carry straps
  • Durable construction.
Best storage
FOLDAWAY TOTE


What are travel totes?

Travel totes are versatile and spacious bags that are designed to make traveling easier and more comfortable. They are roomy, durable, and versatile, making them an ideal choice for carrying a variety of items, including clothing, toiletries, electronics, and more.

Unlike traditional suitcases or backpacks, travel totes typically have soft sides, making them more flexible and easier to pack in tight spaces like overhead compartments or under seats on planes. They also come in a variety of materials, such as canvas, leather, and nylon, and many styles and colors, so you can find one that fits your personal taste and travel needs.

How we selected the best travel totes

As avid travelers ourselves, we've used travel totes for just about every trip. We understand the importance of finding the perfect tote that meets your needs, so we've done our research to select the best travel totes on the market.

To select our top picks, we first looked at customer reviews and ratings to get an idea of which totes were popular and well-regarded. We also tested them ourselves to evaluate their durability, comfort, and functionality.

We considered factors such as price, material, size, and style to ensure that our top picks would meet the needs of a wide range of travelers. We're confident that our selection will help you find the perfect travel tote that fits your needs and makes your travels more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a tote bag good for traveling?

Yes, a tote bag is an excellent choice for traveling because it is spacious, versatile, and can accommodate a variety of items. Totes are also easy to pack in tight spaces like overhead compartments or under seats on planes, making them a convenient option for travel.

Is it better to carry a backpack or a tote bag?

This depends on your personal preference and travel needs. Backpacks are great for carrying heavier items and are more comfortable to carry for extended periods. Totes are generally more stylish and versatile, and can easily transition from day-to-night. Consider what you'll be carrying and how much walking you'll be doing to determine which option is best for you.

What size tote can you carry-on a plane?

This varies depending on the airline you're traveling with, but most airlines allow carry-on bags that are no larger than 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches tall. Some airlines also have weight restrictions, so make sure to check with your airline before traveling.

What is the difference between a tote and a bag?

A tote is a type of bag that has two straps and an open top. Totes are typically spacious and versatile, making them a popular choice for carrying a variety of items. A bag is a general term that refers to any type of container used for carrying items. While a tote is a type of bag, not all bags are totes.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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