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Forget delays. Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of traveling. Often, the problem isn't what to pack but what to pack it in. That's why having the right bag can bring major peace of mind. It can easily be the difference between a good trip and a great one.
Best carry-on luggage
This comprehensive carry-on has four wheels for easy rolling, two zippers that meet in a Transportation Security Administration-approved combination lock and a built-in USB port and battery. The best part? It weighs only 8.4 pounds! There is a smaller carry-on bag sold by the brand, but we prefer the "Bigger Carry-On" as it allows you to fit more items.
No room in the overhead bin? That's OK. This dome-shaped bag fits under the seat in front of you. If you're worried about it being too small, rest assured because it comes with a matching tote for those impulse buys. We love the quilted microfiber material, and we're not alone. This bag has earned a rating of 4.4 stars from over 1,500 reviews.
If you travel with this cool cylinder-style bag, your suits and dresses will thank you. That's because rolling instead of folding leads to fewer, if any, wrinkles. Because of its sleek shape, SkyRoll's roll-up garment bag is also easy to fit into crowded overhead bins.
Here's one of the smartest smart suitcases on the market. Not only does it track your luggage and charge your devices (it has two USB ports whereas most smart suitcases only have one), it also has a built-in scale. That's right, the handle doubles as a scale, so you can avoid hefty overweight baggage fees. We also like how the wheels are described as "silent."
Best duffle bags
Fjallraven's 35-liter backpack-duffel hybrid is perfect for a weekend getaway or a short trip where function is as important as form. Instead of one inner chamber, the bag has two, making it easy to keep dirty items separate. We also like knowing that this bag is good enough for royalty (Fjallraven is the purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden).
Cotopaxi is another go-to luggage brand for the active traveler. Its organized Allpa travel pack is meant to last a lifetime (the warranty is 61 years) and comes with loads of bells and whistles. There's a hip belt so your back doesn't bear all the weight, padded sleeves for your tablet and laptop, and a rain cover in case your adventures encounter precipitation. The external zippers even feature webbing to deter pickpockets.
Filson has been making quality gear since 1897, albeit adapting its designs as the times change. For example, this rugged duffel-backpack hybrid comes with a padded sleeve for electronics. It's great for a safari (if you're that lucky) or simply a weekend camping trip in a national park. We think you'll also love that it's made in America.
Best luggage set
The downside of traveling with Calpak's faux marble finish luggage? If you're on the same flight as Vanessa Hudgens, you could get your bags mixed up. Reportedly, Chrissy Teigen, Emma Roberts and Taylor Lautner are also celeb fans of this affordable, luxe luggage line. This particular set features a carry-on size and a larger model for everything you can't bring on the plane.
For more travel favorites, check out:
- 4 affordable travel deals for Valentine's Day
- These genius packing cubes make packing for a trip a breeze
- 40 great places to take your kids before they're grown
This article was originally published on March 5, 2018.