Whether you’re still just fantasizing about your first post-vaccine getaway or already making your packing list, a new piece of luggage is a great way to start off your next trip on the right foot.
Great luggage can make the transit part of your travel plans go more smoothly, while also coloring your entire vacation experience. Did you have the space to pack everything you needed—or did you have to pick some favorite children? Are your clothes now wrinkled and sad after a few hours in the cargo? Are your walking shoes touching your undergarments in a way that will haunt you all week? And do you have enough space for all those new trinkets you picked up along the way?
Travel can be stressful enough and your luggage should be doing the heavy lifting it was designed to do. Here are our favorite luggage and carry-on picks to alleviate those woes and send you packing.
Rimowa is best known for its iconic industrious aluminum roller bags, but the brand layers just as much thoughtful design into other categories. The Never Still backpack joined the lineup early this year, alongside a functional, flexible collection of luxury soft luggage. Water-repellent, generously sized, and with winks to Rimowa’s classic design (metal pocket covers mimic the aluminum luggage’s grooved fronts), the Never Still Backpack can go from Capri to the corporate office with ease.
The Aviator Carry-On from eco-minded luggage brand Paravel looks retro but it has modern features. The lightweight rolling bag is made with recycled vegan materials, and the brand vows to offset each product’s production cycle emissions—as well as its first trip away with you.
L.L. Bean’s waxed canvas duffle is designed to combat the elements. And let’s be honest, it looks even better with time. At 22.5 inches, it’s an ideal size for a few days on the go, even if “on the go” means heading off into the wilderness.
Despite its puffed quilted exterior, MZ Wallace’s classic Metro Tote won’t add bulk, but can still hold an outrageous amount of things. The Medium tote is perfect for weekend getaways, but also for gym, work, or an impromptu farmers market visit. The brand’s eco ethos—it vows to be entirely carbon neutral in its owned operations by the end of the year—is an added bonus.
We looked to Dagne Dover, makers of functional, aesthetic bags, for a travel tote that is unique and prepared to tackle pretty much anything. The Landon Carryall is available in five sizes—from a super-cute 9-inch crossbody to a 42L duffel—and a rotating batch of premium seasonal and classic neoprene colors.
Naturally, Cuyana—known for its “fewer, better” mantra—introduced an incredibly attractive and pragmatic getaway bag. The Triple Zipper Weekender is a sophisticated organic canvas-leather duffel that opens to perfectly sized compartments for shoes, tech gear, water bottles, and a few wardrobe changes. Bonus: A thick sleeve across the back slips over your roller luggage handle for hands-free transport.
Calpak’s Hue hardside roller looks simple, but its best detail is hiding right in front of you. The Hue Carry-On includes all the bells and whistles—compression straps! dividers and pockets! a built-in lock!—but our favorite feature is the trapdoor-like tech compartment so you’re never that person holding up TSA because you can’t grab your laptop.
Away’s Carry-On rolling bags put the brand on the map, but the Everywhere Bag is a versatile companion—and just as perfect on its own. The zip-top bag is water-resistant, features an adjustable long shoulder strap, and features clever details, such as a key clip and magnetic laptop closure, so you’ll be high-flying without that “did I forget . . .” feeling.
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