Best Bags in 2020 (September Reviews)

No matter where you’re going, from home to work, on an international trip, or even just out shopping for the day, the best bags make everything a whole lot better. They will hold everything a person needs for the day or a trip, and they’re often easy to carry or wear. During our 12-hour search, we looked for the best bags of all types. Overall, we looked for durable, reliable, and practical bags that can hold as much as you need for an activity, while still looking great on your person.

The Puma Evercat Dispatch Duffel is one of the best bags women can buy today. Following that is the Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym bag for men. Both of these bags, no matter the activity or what you have in store for the day, are suitable options for men or women. They’re easy to clean, durable and hold enough to not make the bag encumbering. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks and the other best bags on our list.

Top 10 Best Bags

 #1  Puma Women’s Evercat Dispatch Duffel Bag

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ideal for women sports or gym gear, this polyester bag is machine-washable, so it’s super easy to clean. It has both a handle and a shoulder strap, with a single, large zipper-protected enclosure.


Pros

  • Best women’s and machine-washable
  • Carry it or wear it on your shoulder
  • Durable polyester exterior and lining

Cons

  • No interior pockets or dividers


This bag makes for an excellent gym or sports bag because it’s machine-washable. Storing sweaty clothes, equipment, or towels inside is not a big deal when it’s so easy to clean. It has a single large pocket with no side pockets or interior dividers. The exterior of the bag and the interior lining are made entirely out of polyester. It’s quite sturdy and can take a beating. Moreover, that means it’s a long-lasting bag that should provide years of use.

On the top is a dual-sided handle — which velcro together — so you can carry it, but there’s also a large shoulder strap if you’d rather wear the bag. It comes in several styles, all tailored for women, but realistically, some of them are unisex-friendly.

 #2  Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Offering a sizable main compartment, this versatile bag is an ace gym or sports bag for men’s gear, but it can hold anything. It comes in a wide variety of styles and has tough abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels.


Pros

  • Tough bottom and side panels
  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • Unisex design with multiple styles

Cons

  • No interior pockets, though plenty of room


Sporting a single large, zippered pocket and just one other zippered front pocket, this bag can fit just about anything. The 88L polyester material is quite springy, so it can be filled to the max and slightly beyond without tearing at the seams. The finish is slightly water-resistant, although you wouldn’t want to dunk it. It also has durable panels for the bottom and side, adding a second layer of protection.

It is machine-washable, even with the panels, so it makes for an excellent gym or sports equipment bag. A detachable shoulder strap and 2 connecting drop handles allow different carrying options. Moreover, it comes in a decent selection of styles, from definitively masculine to feminine colors and beyond.

 #3  Vera Bradley Women’s Signature Cotton Large Travel Duffle Bag

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: One of the best women’s professional bags, this pack features dozens of styles to choose from. It’s an all-cotton bag with a single, large main pocket, 1 exterior zip pocket, and 3 slip pockets. It can either be carried or worn on the shoulder.


Pros

  • Quick-access exterior pockets
  • Detachable shoulder strap with 2 carry handles
  • Made out of cotton, and machine-washable

Cons

  • No bottom support or liner


One of the first things that will stand out about this bag is the sheer number of styles available to choose from — there are over 20 of them. Each variant has a vibrant and stylish floral design, with varying colors, flower types, and backgrounds. As for the bag, it has a single, large main pocket that’s protected by a zipper. Inside the main compartment are 3 elastic mesh pockets to store and better organize items. On the outside is a medium-size zipper pocket and 3 slip pockets, all of which offer quick access during travel.

It’s composed entirely of cotton, so it’s also machine-washable. It has 2 drop handles if you want to carry it by hand, but there’s a detachable shoulder strap too. The strap unclips when you don’t need or want it. It’s an excellent carry-on bag with plenty of room and smaller, accessible storage.

 #4  Adidas Originals Festival Crossbody Bag

Award: BEST DAY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This pack is the perfect companion for attending events like concerts, local happenings, or even visiting amusement parks. It’s compact but holds enough personal items for a day out. It has zippered main and front pockets, and a slip pocket on the rear.


Pros

  • Durable polyester ripstop material
  • Adjustable crossbody shoulder strap
  • Tough nylon zippers

Cons

  • Not machine-washable, clean with a damp cloth


Designed to carry a few small items such as a phone, passport, wallet, and some makeup, this tote bag is super convenient for live events and a day out. You’ll have no problem moving through security checkpoints quickly, as the front and main zipper pockets open easily. An adjustable crossbody shoulder strap has a matching design — adorned with the brand logo.

The nylon zippers are just as tough as the polyester ripstop material used for the pack, both of which offer high durability. While the bag is not machine-washable, it can be cleaned rather easily with a damp cloth. It shouldn’t stain and the spot clean should be able to get off any nasties.

 #5  Herschel Novel Duffel Bag

Award: BEST OVERNIGHT

WHY WE LIKE IT: For those interested in fashion and style, this bag is the best option. It looks fantastic, and works best as an overnight or quick-trip bag. It’s made of polyester, has drop handles and a shoulder strap, and a functional side-access shoe compartment for carrying footwear.


Pros

  • Carry-on compatible
  • Exclusive footwear pocket with side-access
  • Available in over 50 styles

Cons

  • Shoulder strap clips are plastic


There are over 50 different style variations for this big, and all of them are as attractive and appealing as the standard black and tan combo. It comes in a couple of different sizes too, including one that’s 33L and another that’s 42.5L. Both are suitable as carry-on bags and will fit in the overhead storage of an airline. The bag is made entirely of polyester so it’s durable and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

The top of the bag has large drop handles, as well as an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap. The strap clips are only plastic which is not ideal, however. On the side of the bag is a unique compartment for footwear. It’s sealed by a zipper and opens to reveal the stored shoes or gear. In total, it makes for an excellent travel bag but would work for carrying everyday items too.

 #6  QS Leather Toiletry Bag for Men or Women

Award: BEST FOR BATHROOM

WHY WE LIKE IT: Not meant to be a full-size bag, this smaller pouch holds various items like makeup, toiletries, or smaller supplies. It’s one of the best add-ons as it holds quite a bit, yet will still fit in most duffel bags, backpacks, and luggage.


Pros

  • Useful interior mesh pockets with organizers
  • Includes bonus waterproof shoe-bag and to-go bottles
  • Collapsible when not in use

Cons

  • Bland, uninspired style


You can’t just throw toiletries and smaller items into a bag or luggage and hope they stay safe and secure. Cologne, perfume, soaps, and other liquid or gel-based items could spill all over the inside. This PU leather bag is meant to hold those items, and it offers an excellent array of pockets and organization options to boot. A single main compartment holds quite a bit, while a separate zippered compartment houses mesh pockets. A magnetic latch snaps over the top of the zippers and will secure the contents, ensuring they don’t spill out during travel.

When it’s not in use, the bag will collapse for easy storage. The PU leather is a nylon material that offers a minimal level of water-resistance, so it’s safe to place on the bathroom counter or tub, wherever you’re going. Even better, it comes bundled with a waterproof shoe bag, as well as empty travel shampoo and lotion bottles.

 #7  DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth Backpack

Award: BEST FOR BASEBALL PLAYERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: While it would work excellently as a standard pack, this bag has a variety of features built-in for ballplayers, like neoprene bat sleeves, and a vented shoe compartment.


Pros

  • Very durable waterproof exterior
  • Fleece-lined cell pocket and vented shoe compartment
  • Integrated fence hook

Cons

  • Seams are not as durable as they should be


Built from the ground up specifically for baseball players, this backpack has a bevy of sports-friendly features. For starters, it includes 2 molded barrel lock neoprene sleeves for baseball bats, and there’s one on each side. The large main compartment can hold helmets, gloves, balls, and more. A vented shoe compartment can be used to store an extra pair of sneakers or cleats. A fleece-lined cell phone compartment sits on the front. Moreover, there’s a fence hook right at the top, so the bag can be suspended from a fence or shelf.

The entire bag is lined with a waterproof base material that should keep everything inside nice and dry. The padded shoulder straps and back paneling make it extra comfortable to wear, even when there’s bulky gear inside. It’s a perfect bag for baseball players young and old. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of styles, with unisex designs available too.

 #8  Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag

Award: BEST UNISEX

WHY WE LIKE IT: Those looking for an absolute beast of a pack that can handle inclement weather during a trip will find this one worthy. It’s also unisex in style and incredibly large and durable, made of super-tough 600D polyester fabric that’s tear-resistant and waterproof.


Pros

  • Compact, yet still holds a lot
  • Ventilated side shoe pocket
  • Side handles so 2 people can carry at once

Cons

  • Cannot operate as a carry-on for air travel


This bag has one of the most durable, weatherproof designs bar none. The 600D polyester fabric is extra-sturdy and waterproof, so it’s suitable even for use as a military bag. The seams or potential stress points are reinforced, with a heavy-duty metal SBS zipper. Moreover, there are 2 side straps — in addition to a shoulder strap and drop handles — so 2 people can use them to tandem carry the bag when it’s too heavy.

A shoe compartment built into the bag will hold footwear, with proper ventilation so that sweat, moisture, and other nasties don’t make the bag or its other contents stink. The shoulder strap is detachable, and there are 2 drop handles at the top — which also connect via a velcro cover. It comes in a few different sizes and styles.

 #9  AmazonBasics Rolling Laptop Bag

Award: BEST WITH CASTERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: What makes this pack such an excellent executive or professional option are the built-in rollers and handle like a piece of luggage. It’s easy to carry or tow, holds plenty of gear, and it’s travel-friendly.


Pros

  • Great for executives and sales people
  • Easy-access front pocket with stationery compartments
  • Fits under airline seats

Cons

  • Heavy when fully loaded


Best used for business gear while commuting or traveling, this pack holds a variety of items, including up to a 17” laptop. An easy to access front pocket has several built-in compartments for stationery like pens, notebooks, business cards, and more. The pack sits on top of wheels, with a slide-out and adjustable handle that can be used to pull or push the entire set up. It’s small and thin enough to fit under an airplane seat but has enough room for most of your daily necessities.

The laptop pocket is padded for extra security, while the rest of the main compartment has a soft liner. It also has dual handles to carry the bag and the telescoping handle will fold down into an exclusive zippered pocket. All of this makes for an incredibly versatile bag that can be used in many different ways.

 #10  Newhey 15.6” Genuine Leather Men’s Messenger Bag

Award: BEST FOR COMMUTERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: For going back and forth between work and home, you don’t necessarily need a huge bag but you do need to carry the essentials. This pack offers that, plus it’s comfortable to wear with stunning looks.


Pros

  • Elegant yet functional
  • Tons of pockets with 5 outer and 4 inner
  • Magnetic snaps and zippers keep it sealed

Cons

  • High-maintenance upkeep to clean and preserve


This shoulder bag is excellent for business professionals, students, and folks always on-the-go. There’s enough room to store everything you need for the day inside, with proper organization thanks to 9 pockets total: 5 outer and 4 inners. The bag is made out of genuine leather, with a waxed canvas finish that looks stunning no matter what style you choose. The material is also super durable and waterproof, so it will keep everything inside dry.

A detachable shoulder strap — with metal clasps — allows the pack to be worn, and there’s a top handle to carry it. Magnetic snaps and zippers are used to seal the bag and keep contents snug. Moreover, there is a padded inner laptop sleeve that can hold up to 15.6” laptops. While it’s not a small leather tote, by any means, it is much more convenient than carrying around a duffel bag.

How We Decided

Some of the most important things we looked for when choosing bags are the size, purpose, and feature sets to ensure they matched up with their intended applications. For example, a bag that’s going to be used during live events to carry smaller items and necessities doesn’t need a huge main compartment like a duffel bag. Instead, it should be lightweight, with convenient ways to carry it, like a shoulder strap. It also needs to be suitable for outdoor use, potentially even with a water-resistant build. A travel bag, on the other hand, needs a lot more room to store clothes, supplies, toiletries, shoes, and more. It also needs to be carry-on friendly, or it must fit under the seat of an airplane.

The next thing we looked at was build quality. Are the materials durable, reliable, and will the bag last for extended use? Every pack on the list should offer tons of use, whether that’s dozens of international flights or a few baseball seasons. Admittedly, there are a couple that would classify as a more structured bag, like the Under Armour Duffel which has bottom and side panels.

We also chose bags that offer several carrying options, often including drop handles, a shoulder strap, and sometimes more. The DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth Backpack has a fence hook built-in that can be used to suspend the pack from a fence, shelf, or hanger.

Best Bags Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Build Material
    You should always look for a bag made with durable and semi-resistant material. Depending on what the bag will be used for, this may be a higher-priority feature. For gym and sports bags, the material should be easy to clean, too. Most of the bags here are made out of polyester or nylon, which is durable, easy to clean, and has water-resistant properties, so it should protect belongings stored inside the pack.
  2. Bag Type or Size
    The size of the bag determines several things. First, it determines how much the bag can hold and where. It also determines whether or not the bag can be used as a carry-on during flights. Moreover, the bigger the bad the more difficult it’s going to be to carry around, even on your shoulders and especially when it’s full. Consider how much space you need to store your items and go with a bag that matches. Just be mindful that the bigger the bag, the more of a hassle it will be.
  3. Carrying Options
    How would you like to carry the bag, and would you like the option to switch things up? Most bags come with drop handles and adjustable straps, but some only include one or the other.
  4. Appearance and Style
    If you’re into fashion, you may be concerned with how stylish the bag is. Alternatively, you may want to select a bag that matches your favorite color or has a more preferable design. While it’s not a hugely important feature, it’s something to consider while looking for a new bag.
  5. Extra Pocket Space
    Every bag has a main compartment, but some stop there. Decide early on whether or not you want a bag with smaller pockets and better organization options, or if you just want something more simple. Depending on the design, side pockets and pouches may take away some of the storage space of the main compartment.
  6. Weatherproof
    Are you going to be using the bag outdoors? Will you encounter any inclement weather? If you need to keep your belongings dry then you’ll want to look for a bag that offers water-resistant and weatherproof support. Most nylon and polyester bags do offer minor protection.

 

Bags FAQs

What is the best everyday bag?

The “best” largely depends on how you’ll be using the pack. For example, the best bags for commuting to work are going to be different than those chosen strictly as the best designer bags. We recommend our top pick, the Puma Women’s Duffel. If you’re traveling, you’ll want something a little bigger, in which case, it’s better to go with the Canway Travel Duffel Bag or the Herschel Novel Duffel Bag. For work bags, we’d recommend the Newhey Genuine Leather Messenger Bag, or the AmazonBasics Rolling Laptop Bag.

What is the cheapest luxury bag?

The cheapest luxury bags you’ll find here include the Vera Bradley Duffel designer bag Herschel Duffel Bag, and the Newhey Genuine Leather Messenger Bag. The Puma and Adidas Duffel Bags might also be considered high-end options, by some, due to the brand. However, if you’re looking for Chanel bags or the best designer handbags, then nothing here really matches.

What are the best bag brands?

Some of the better bag brands you’ll find include Adidas, Vera Bradley, Puma, Canway, Tory Burch, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and more. Of course, there are hundreds of different manufacturers to choose from, so it’s a better plan to choose based on function, style, and price than merely the brand.

What’s the best type of carry-on bag?

The best type of carry-on bag is a duffel bag if you’re looking for something that will fit in the overhead bins. If you want something that will fit underneath the seat, then you’ll want to go with a thinner bag, like a messenger bag. Backpacks are also an excellent choice and most will fit under the seat just fine, as long as they’re not overstuffed.

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Everyone needs a little protection and mobility for their electronics, which is why the best computer bags can make trips and commutes so much easier. Gadget Review can help with our travel bag reviews that take a look at the hottest backpacks and laptop bags on the Internet, from messenger bags for men to weekender bags for men. From Nordstrom and Wirecutter to Timbuk2 and Filson and Gearonic, we examine the specs of the best bags so you don't have to worry about your accessories on long trips.

Accessories like your laptop need special care, so the best laptop bags will protect them while you are on the go. The best kids laptop case will take care of the little ones.  If you buy the best laptops, you better protect them. The best backpacks are great for outdoor trips too.

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