20 Best Travel Totes: Portable Bags & Carry-Ons

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Travel Tote Bag on a White Background

I consider a good tote bag an absolute essential when it comes to traveling. I suffer from a bit of flying anxiety (yes, even as someone who flies at least once a month), so it’s essential for me to have a bag that can fit all of my travel essentials. Purses are all too small, and it’s not practical to go in and out of a carry-on suitcase while flying or on a train.

That’s where tote bags come in! I love a shoulder bag that can fit my laptop, noise-canceling headphones, Kindle, and travel documents.

While I prefer a tote that can be used as a personal item, there are also tote bags large enough to qualify as your only carry-on, as well as foldable tote bags that you can bring along with you if you plan to do some shopping.

I’ve scoured the internet to find the absolute best travel totes. I’ve considered durability, materials, comfortability, and price point.

Continue reading to hear my top travel tote bag picks. I hope this list helps make your life much easier when deciding on your next travel bag purchase.

TL;DR

Best Tote Overall Michael Kors Jet Set Tote
Best Luxury Tote RIMOWA Never Still Tote
Best Warranty Briggs & Riley Baseline Traveler Tote
Best Tote for Business Tumi Voyageur

Best Travel Totes & Tote Bags to Buy

1. Michael Kors Jet Set Tote

Pink Michael Kors Jet Set Tote
Michael Kors Jet Set Tote / Amazon

This Michael Kors Jet Set Tote is a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe and is considered one of the most popular travel tote bags on the market. The leather tote is not just for show; it blends fashion and practicality by offering all your items an additional layer of protection.

This travel tote for women is ideal for travelers who only need to fit the basics but love to keep organized. It’s not super large but features several interior and exterior pockets.

It can easily fit travel documents, a wallet, a book or Kindle, and an iPad, but it cannot fit a full-size laptop. The bag comes in many beautiful colors in Michael Kors’ signature MK print.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 16″ x 10″ x 4.5″
  • Material: Cotton, Leather, and Polyester
  • Weight: 2.07 pounds

Pros

  • It can be used for many different occasions
  • Several pockets for organization
  • The classic print and many color options
  • Easily fits under an airplane seat

Cons

  • Cannot fit a full-size laptop

See Related: Vacation Dresses

2. Puma Evercat Jane Tote

Black Puma Evercat Jane Tote
Puma Evercat Jane Tote / Amazon

This Puma tote is perfect for those looking for an affordable and practical travel bag. It’s machine washable and easily fits everything you’d need for a full day of travel. While it won’t replace an entire carry-on suitcase, it’s a great option if you need a reliable personal item.

The bag features two sturdy handles as well as an adjustable crossbody strap. The large main compartment also includes an internal zipper pocket to keep your most important items, such as keys and wallets, easily accessible.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 13.5″ x 6″
  • Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 10 ounces

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Durable fabric
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Too small to be used as a standalone carry-on tote

See Related: Monos Luggage Review: Is it Worth it?

3. Coach Town Tote

Coach Leather Town Tote for Travel
Coach Town Tote / Amazon

Nobody does totes like Coach. The Coach Town Tote delivers functionality and has a lovely classic design. It features two comfortable straps and can be easily carried on your shoulder.

The main compartment is spacious and has an interior organizational pocket to keep your keys, phone, or wallet in place. The tote comes in various unique colors and will add color to any outfit.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.25″ x 12.5″ x 4.75″
  • Material: Polished Pebble Leather

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Timeless style
  • Large main compartment

Cons

  • Only one small interior zip pocket

See Related: Travel Humidifiers

4. Knomo Grosvenor Laptop Tote

Model with Knomo Grosvenor Laptop Tote
Knomo Grosvenor Laptop Tote / Amazon

This travel tote is all about function and form. It has a rectangular shape and a size that is ideal for daily commuting and air travel. This London-based brand was founded by frequent travelers who wanted a stylish yet functional tote for business travelers. This is a perfect tote bag if you, like me, carry work whenever you travel.

It also has a trolley slip sleeve that fits on the handle of the wheeled luggage for convenient carrying, in addition to its soft leather handles. The bag has an RFID-blocking liner that protects your passport and credit cards.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 18.9″ x 5.5″ x 13″
  • Material: Nylon, Linen, and Leather
  • Capacity: 19.6 L
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds

Pros

  • Fits a 16″ laptop and a pair of sneakers
  • Sleek design
  • Exterior RFID-protected pocket
  • Easily goes from daily use to travel

Cons

  • High price
  • Only two color options

5. Timbuk2 Vapor Convertible Backpack Tote

Timbuk2 Vapor Convertible Backpack Tote
Timbuk2 Vapor Convertible Backpack Tote / Amazon

Timbuk2’s convertible backpack tote combines form and function with eco-consciousness, making this tote bag an awesome option for those who want to minimize their environmental impacts without sacrificing function and style. This bag is made from recycled materials and comes with a lifetime warranty.

This spacious bag features a large interior compartment that can easily fit a 15-inch laptop in addition to other items like a water bottle, clothing, and toiletries. The small exterior zipper pocket allows quick access to important travel items like your phone, wallet, and passport.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 11.8″ x 4.3″ x 17.3″
  • Material: Recycled Nylon & Eco-friendly Yarn
  • Capacity: 18 L
  • Weight: 1.48 pounds

Pros

  • It can be used as a tote or backpack
  • Secure zipper closure
  • Eco-friendly construction

Cons

  • Tote straps are a bit short
  • Pricey compared to the capacity

6. Briggs & Riley Baseline Traveler Tote Bag

Briggs & Riley Baseline Traveler Tote Bag
Briggs & Riley Baseline Traveler Tote Bag / Briggs & Riley

This Briggs & Riley tote is made of durable, water-resistant nylon and is ideal when traveling with children or stepping out in the rain. The elegant travel tote features several interior organizational pockets to keep all of your essentials in place while still having enough room for a few outfits.

With its multiple pockets and sleek leather trim, this B&R tote is the perfect bag for international travel, as you can bring your everyday essentials with you on the go while also looking stylish. This highly-durable travel tote will last you through many of your greatest adventures.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13″ x 21″ x 7.5″
  • Material: Ballistic Nylon
  • Capacity: 33 L
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds

Pros

  • Comes in four gorgeous neutral colors
  • Spacious interior
  • Hideaway leather ID tag to protect your information while also keeping it handy
  • Durable and built to last
  • Briggs & Riley Lifetime Guarantee

Cons

  • It may not fit under an airplane seat when fully packed
  • The somewhat high price point

7. Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Business Tote

Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Business Tote
Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Business Tote / Amazon

If you are a jet-setter who goes from a meeting to dinner with a client, this tote will make the perfect carry-on bag. The exterior of this tote is made with tear-resistant polyester, so it’s great for frequent travelers who put a lot of miles on their travel gear.

The bag’s interior has a padded laptop sleeve and slots that allow you to stow your tablet or a laptop. It has additional pockets for your phone, cards, wallet, water bottle, and sunglasses.

The tote has handles that can be worn over the shoulder and comes with a removable crossbody strap. A trolley strap will also fit over most suitcase handles for easy carrying.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 17” x 13” x 5”
  • Material: Polyester Twill
  • Weight: 2.15 pounds

Pros

  • Constructed with tear-resistant fabric
  • Plenty of organizational features
  • Fits a large laptop
  • Matching luggage set available

Cons

  • Only fits a small-sized water bottle
  • Very slim

See Related: Portable Hair Dryers for Travel

8. Ecosusi Convertible Tote Bag

Ecosusi Convertible Tote Bag
Ecosusi Convertible Tote Bag / Amazon

When shopping for a convertible travel bag, consider the Ecosusi Convertible Tote Backpack. It’s affordable, functional, and stylish. The bag comes with comfortable straps and has several internal organizational pockets.

The bag is light in weight and is made from water-resistant and highly durable material. This versatile tote can be used as a backpack, shoulder bag, or handbag. It is made from soft vegan leather and will add style and elegance to any airport ‘fit.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 11″ x 4.9″ x 14.7″
  • Material: Vegan Leather & Nylon
  • Weight: 2 pounds

Pros

  • It can be used as a backpack or tote
  • Includes a padded laptop compartment
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Small enough to only fit essentials
  • The narrow straps are a bit uncomfortable

9. Longchamp Le Pliage Tote

Women's LongChamp Le Pliage
Longchamp Le Pliage Tote / Amazon

The classic Longchamp Le Pliage tote is one of the brand’s most iconic bags and is fantastic for long travel days. It’s stylish and practical, and at a mere 12 ounces, it’s one of the lightest large tote bags on the market. In terms of a luxury bag, it’s quite affordable, making it a great long-term investment for traveling.

The bag is waterproof, and it will fold flat without any wrinkles. It has a top zip with a logo and a snap flap closure. It also comes with an interior cell phone pocket with a water-resistant lining, which is uncommon for foldable travel tote bags.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13″ x 13″ x 7.5″
  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 12 ounces

Pros

  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Luxurious finishes
  • Large capacity

Cons

  • No feet or sturdy bottom to stand on its own
  • You can find similar items for a fraction of the price

10. Ban.do Getaway Weekender Bag

Rainbow Stripe Ban.do Getaway Weekender Bag
Ban.do Getaway Weekender Bag / Amazon

This fun and colorful travel tote is ready to hold all your essentials and be your next travel bestie! The Ban.do Getaway Weekender Bag is large enough to hold everything you need for a weekend girls’ trip but also folds up and comes with a detachable mesh pouch inside to store it when not in use.

The comfortable straps make it an ideal tote for those long travel days when you’ll be transiting from place to place. The main zipper pocket can easily fit enough clothes and accessories for a long weekend away, and the luggage sleeve makes it easy to transport through airports and train stations.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 17″ x 14″ x 4.5″
  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 1.21 pounds

Pros

  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Foldable and easy to store
  • Spacious main compartment

Cons

  • No internal or external pockets
  • Currently only available in one print

11. Tumi Business Tote

Tumi Business Tote
Tumi Business Tote / Amazon

When traveling for business, you need a business travel tote you can take straight from the plane to the meeting room. This TUMI tote is sleek, sophisticated, and sensible, making it one of the best women’s travel totes for business travelers. The durable material is easy to clean and will last through countless business trips.

The main compartment of this classic tote features a padded laptop sleeve that can easily accommodate a 16″ laptop. There’s also a front zip pocket and an easy-access phone pocket, as well as a tablet pocket, key leash, and other organizational pockets. One of the best features is Tumi Tracer – a complimentary bag recovery program that seeks to reunite customers with their lost luggage.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 11.25″ x 16.5″ x 6″
  • Material: Nylon & Genuine Leather
  • Weight: 1.89 pounds

Pros

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Trolley sleeve
  • Tumi Tracer

Cons

  • High price point

See Related: Car Seat Travel Bags

12. Vera Bradley Microfiber Tote

Vera Bradley Microfiber Tote
Vera Bradley Microfiber Tote / Amazon

When it comes to travel bags, Vera Bradley has been a go-to brand for generations of women. Their signature quilted padded fabric adds an extra layer of protection to all their products. Made from lightweight microfiber, the bag is machine washable and easy to care for.

It has six interior slip pockets that will keep everything well organized, from your lipgloss to your laptop. The exterior has a front slip pocket and a zip pocket. It can easily fit your phone, wallet, books, or other valuables that can be easily accessed but remain out of sight. 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 14.5″ x 6″
  • Material: Microfiber (polyester)

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable
  • One of the most spacious bags for traveling
  • Signature Vera Bradley interior lining

Cons

  • Only two color options
  • No warranty offered

See Related: Best Gifts to Buy for Travel Lovers

13. Bostanten Leather Tote Bag

Bostanten Leather Tote Bag
Bostanten Leather Tote Bag / Amazon

The Bostanten Leather Tote Bag is an elegant and affordable travel tote bag. The extra-long strap provides excellent built-in functionality, so you can wear it on one shoulder or as a crossbody bag.

The internal structure has one main compartment and one removable pouch. It also comes in a few colors to fit different styles and preferences.

There is a zipper pouch with one pocket, two slip pockets, and an inner zipper pouch. The two side slip pockets and two magnetic buckle pockets on the exterior are great when you need to access items like an ID or passport easily. 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 10.4″ x 5.9″ x 12.7″
  • Material: Genuine Leather
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds

Pros

  • Removable and interchangeable shoulder strap
  • Multiple organizational pockets
  • The removable pouch can keep all of your belongings in one place
  • Easy to clean and comes with a dust bag

Cons

  • It cannot fit most laptops
  • Only practical as a personal item if you have additional luggage

14. S-Zone Vintage Leather Tote

S-Zone Cowhide Leather Tote Bag (Brown)
S-Zone Vintage Leather Tote / Amazon

If you want a no-fuss and straightforward tote bag, check out the S-Zone Vintage Leather Tote. This sturdy leather bag has one main compartment and a removable zipper pouch. It is big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop as well as other essentials for travel, like a small toiletries bag.

This soft leather bag comes in seven neutral colors and features long double-layered shoulder straps that are comfortable and durable. The complementary canvas pouch is removable to give you even more room. With its classic silhouette and durability, the S-Zone Leather Tote is an excellent gift for the frequent traveler.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.6″ x 16.9″ x 13″
  • Material: Genuine Leather
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

Pros

  • Easily goes from day use to travel use
  • Highly durable and long-lasting
  • Holds a large laptop

Cons

  • High maintenance
  • Strong leathery smell

15. RIMOWA Large Never Still Canvas Tote

RIMOWA Large Never Still Canvas Tote
RIMOWA Large Never Still Canvas Tote / RIMOWA

Combining elegance and class with purpose and functionality, RIMOWA’s large Never Still canvas tote is one of the best designer travel totes you’ll come across. It’s great for business travelers or those looking to customize their airport outfit aesthetic.

Fear not; the Never Still tote isn’t just about looks. The internal pocket is spacious and can accommodate all of your travel essentials. The exterior features a sleek trolley strap, two sets of handles, and a removable leather address tag. This isn’t going to fit all of your outfits for a weekend getaway, but it’s a great compliment to a carry-on suitcase.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.6″ x 16.3″ x 6.7″
  • Material: Canvas & Full Grain Leather
  • Capacity: 19 L
  • Weight: 2.65 pounds

Pros

  • Luxury finishes
  • Sleek design
  • Includes a two-year warranty

Cons

  • High luxury = high pricepoint
  • Limited space

16. BAGSMART Large Tote Bag

BAGSMART Large Tote Bag
BAGSMART Large Tote Bag / Amazon

BAGSMART is one of my favorite travel bag brands on Amazon. They carry some of the best carry-on bags for international travel that can fit even the strictest airline requirements.

When it comes to tote bags, BAGSMART doesn’t disappoint. Their large tote bag is cute and spacious and can easily go from an everyday bag to a travel companion.

This large tote features an oversized main compartment with several interior pockets to fit all the essentials, including clothes, accessories, a water bottle, and an umbrella. There’s also a padded laptop sleeve (that fits up to a 15.6″ laptop) to protect any electronics. The top extension strap is perfect for holding anything from a yoga mat to an extra jacket.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 19.3″ x 6.3″ x 13.8″
  • Material: Water-resistant soft polyester
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds

Pros

  • Oversized main compartment
  • Very affordable
  • Weather-resistant

Cons

  • The soft material does not allow the bag to stand on its own
  • It may be too large for some

17. Away The Packable Carryall

Away The Packable Carryall Tote bag
Away The Packable Carryall / Away

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight tote for everyday carry or an extra packable tote bag if you expect to do a lot of shopping on your next trip, The Packable Carryall from Away has you covered. This lightweight nylon tote is affordable and extra durable, making it the perfect companion for a weekend getaway.

As one of the lightest oversized totes, this lightweight bag offers a ton of space without compromising on durability. This is a fantastic bag option for clothes and accessories, but it may not be the best tote for electronics or other fragile items.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 19.7″ x 9″
  • Material: Recycled Nylon
  • Capacity: 43 L
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

Pros

  • Ultra-durable and weather resistant
  • Large capacity
  • Away’s 100-day trial virtually eliminates the risk of being stuck with a bag you don’t like

Cons

  • May not qualify as a personal item on all airlines (when at/close to full capacity)
  • Spacious interior but limited pockets
  • No padding for electronics

18. BÉIS The East To West Tote

BÉIS The East To West Tote bag
BÉIS The East To West Tote / BÉIS

We all know and love the BÈIS Weekender Tote and the Mary Poppins-esque Mini Weekender, but the celebrity brand serves even more ways to be chic and practical while traveling. This medium-sized tote features fantastic interior pockets, including a phone and laptop sleeve, a water bottle pocket, and a handy key leash, so you’ll never lose your most important belongings.

On the exterior, you’ll find a small exterior pocket, a removable shoulder strap, and a convenient trolley sleeve to secure the bag onto your rolling suitcase. This is hands down one of the best tote bags for travel on the market today. It’s an awesome option as a personal item that will hold anything you’ll need to access during your travels.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 17.1″ x 14.2″ x 9″
  • Material: Recycled Poly & Recycled Faux Leather
  • Capacity: 31 L
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Pros

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Metal feet on the bottom of the bag to reduce wear and tear
  • Multiple compartments for organization
  • Three handle/wearing options

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Limited color choices

19. Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote

Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote bag
Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote / Lo & Sons

Lo & Sons is a family-run travel bag brand known for providing stylish travel bags that are also sensible. Inspired by her frequent travels, Helen Lo started the brand at age 65 with her two sons, who helped make her dreams come true.

Lo & Sons bags range from large duffle bags to fanny packs and wallets. My favorite Lo & Sons tote bag is the Catalina Deluxe Tote. The travel tote comes in two fabrics: recycled poly and eco-friendly canvas. It also comes in a range of modern colors to suit any preference.

My favorite features are the long straps, removable shoulder straps, trolley sleeves, and separate shoe compartments. The inner lining of the shoe compartment is removable for easy cleaning, which is definitely a bonus!

Our Managing Editor, Kim Magaraci, unboxed the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Tote, have a look at the experience of this classic tote bag:

Specs

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 14″ x 7″
  • Material: Recycled Poly or Canvas
  • Weight: 2.26 pounds (poly) – 2.9 pounds (canvas)

Pros

  • Fits under an airplane seat
  • Stylish color options
  • Easy to clean
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Spacious main compartment

Cons

  • No padded laptop compartment
  • No water bottle pocket

20. Peak Design Everyday Tote

Peak Design Everyday Tote bag
Peak Design Everyday Tote / Peak Design

If you’re looking for the perfect spacious tote to hold and protect all your stuff, check out the Peak Design Everyday Tote. This modern travel tote was designed to protect and organize photo gear, but it also doubles as a functional everyday travel tote bag.

The bag features an extra-wide opening to access all of your gear quickly and with ease. It’s also water resistant to ensure all of your belongings stay safe. Other handy features include customizable dividers, a padded laptop sleeve, several interior and exterior pockets, and external carry straps (great for jackets or tripods).

Specs

  • Dimensions: 16.5″ x 12.6″ x 6.7″
  • Material: 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas
  • Capacity: 15 L to 20 L
  • Weight: 1.81 pounds; 2.25 pounds with dividers

Pros

  • Weather-resistant
  • Removable dividers
  • Large opening with magnetic closure for extra space and security
  • Carry straps to keep your hands free
  • Very practical for organizing camera gear

Cons

  • Shoulder straps could be too short for some
  • Interior pockets are small

See Related: Essential Women’s Travel Accessories

Things to Consider When Buying a Travel Tote Bag

  • Size: Depending on your length of trip and where you’re going, you may want a large tote bag or something that only needs to fit the essentials. If you’re on a budget, stick to something a bit larger to use it for most occasions.
  • Organization: Make sure the bag you choose includes the right interior pockets and other organizational features for you. I personally like having multiple compartments and exterior pockets in my travel tote, but you may want a more roomy interior instead of more pockets.
  • Durability > Good price: Getting a good deal on a travel bag doesn’t always work out to be cheaper. Buying and replacing cheap bags often comes out to be more expensive in the long run. Consider investing in tote bags for travel made of durable materials that will stand the test of time.
  • Weight: The size and material add to the entire weight of the tote bag when filled. Consider a lightweight tote made of durable materials for the best bang for your buck.
  • Care: Wash your tote regularly, either by hand or in a washing machine (if your bag allows it). Store it out of direct sunlight when not in use.

FAQs

What is the ideal size for a travel tote bag?

Most travelers prefer a tote bag under the airplane seat with room for a laptop, Kindle, noise-canceling headphones, and a small purse. The Michael Kors Jet Set is the perfect size.

What is the average price range for a high-quality travel tote bag?

Tote bags can range anywhere from $20 to over $1,000. The average range for a high-quality travel tote bag is between $70 and $200.

What are some of the best places to buy a travel tote bag?

Amazon has many affordable options in terms of travel totes. Our other favorite brands at ViaTravelers include BÉIS, Lo & Sons, Briggs & Riley, and Peak Design.

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Brittney Liu
WRITTEN BY

Brittney Liu

Brittney is a lifelong traveler from Oahu, Hawaii. She has visited more than 35 countries and is continually researching new places to explore - even though she hates flying. Her favorite destinations have one thing in common: they're warm. With expertise in French Polynesia, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean, you can follow along as she checks out the cleanest beaches and clearest water on the planet. Brittney has also spent most of her 20s living in the South of France.

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