The best travel bags by far are rated between five and seven stars. Each one has its own group of pros and cons based on whether you’re a lightweight, backpacker, or outdoor petite person. A good travel bag will last you for several years, if you take proper care of it. And no matter the type of bag, it’s usually made out of high-quality, durable materials that are designed specifically to take the abuse a busy lifestyle can dish out. The key to long-lasting bags is regular cleaning, and this is why all travel bags need to be zipped up with an airline approved zipper pull.
The best travel bags by far are made by North Face, Coleman, Slumberjack, Kelty, and Mountain Hardware. They each have their own unique class of quality, but all of them offer a sleek, modern design that’s perfect for any occasion. I like the idea of the wheelie bin, which allows you to easily store things in the front while still keeping your hands free for other activities. This bag was a personal favorite of mine while hiking, so I’m certainly not unbiased in my assessments. Here’s my review of the Slumberjack wheelie bag and its merits:
This travel bag from Kelty is just big enough to pack an appropriate amount of clothing and shoes. You can also purchase additional storage racks for hanging clothes. It’s lightweight design makes it easy to move it around. It has an adjustable, non-removable shoulder strap that is strong enough to hold a bottle, but not so strong that it will damage your hiking boot or other pack accessories. The best travel bags by far are those that are made of quality, waterproof materials that resist water leaking into them, so this is a definite bonus.
The Columbia River Gorge Micro Ring Lighter is the perfect travel bag for anyone going on a hike through rugged terrain and heavy vegetation. It’s lightweight, fully functional, water resistant, and folds up flat for easy storage. I particularly like the fact that it has two compartments and an exterior pocket that are perfect for holding smaller items. I also liked the fact that it has integrated hydration systems in both the top and underside of the bag. Although it didn’t quite make the cut as the Best Bag, I’ll give it props because it certainly felt well-made.
One bag that I didn’t consider when compiling a list of the best bags is the Nomadic Outbreaker. It wasn’t my first choice, but it ended up being by far my favorite bag. I really liked the way it looked, despite not being very fond of the way it felt. The exterior pockets were roomy and I was able to stow my laptop in them for quick access. There was also an interior zippered pocket for smaller items that I found useful. I liked the way the handle looked and felt, so much so that I would definitely recommend this bag to someone who is looking for a stylish, durable, efficient, but still casual hiking companion.
Outlier’s Big Trapper Hiking Bag is another great option for anyone looking for a solid, comfortable hiking companion. Although I don’t have any big fans of daypacks, I thought this one looked a lot better than many others on the market (and has since been replaced by a newer model). It’s made out of a tough nylon and has two large interior side pockets with mesh pockets as well as an external, larger pocket. The interior mesh pockets are great for storing keys, cell phones, extra blankets or anything you’d like to put in there. The larger pocket has a slot for an MP3 player, and the large exterior pocket has enough room for a bottle of your favorite drink or something else you’d like to put in there.
Hiking bags can be bulky and heavy, especially if you’re going on a long trip. That’s why I love having a couple of daypacks in my bag: one for day and one for overnight trips. I carry my daypack on my back, and the overnight bag on my hips. They’re the best at holding clothes, but they also provide good shoulder support. When I’m hiking long distances, I prefer to carry my daytime hiking bag because it helps distribute my weight more evenly. And the mesh pockets of the daypacks allow me to easily carry all of my small necessities without weighing them down.
My overall opinion of the Hiking and Camping bag models from REI, Hiking and Camping, along with the REI wanted prvke 31 (which happens to be my favorite travel bag) is that they’re all great products that should last for many years. I’ve had mine for three years now, and there’s not a single tear or hole in it! In addition, they all have plenty of storage space inside, whether you want to keep a lot of big items like a tent or sleeping bag inside, or you just want to have some room for a few important accessories.