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Proper Assembly
Proper Assembly

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Summer Getaway Bags, From Beach Totes to Carry-On Luggage

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Summer travel season has arrived. Try to make plans with a group of three and find a Saturday you're all in town—impossible, fat chance, not happening (the move is after-work-Wednesday drinks, amateur).

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When it's your turn to hit the road—be that an hour drive to the beach or a cross-seas trek—be prepared with the right bag for the job. We've plucked 16 of the best for every pack job, including backpacks, totes, weekenders, duffles, and carry-on luggage. Despite their varying sizes and end uses, what they all have in common is good design  from the inside—like easy-access exterior pockets and intuitively adjustable straps—out, no matter the price point. Bon voyage and happy summer, at last.

Better Backpacks



  1. ONA Bolton Street backpack

    Made of water-resistant waxed canvas, this backpack was designed to fit a 13-inch laptop as well as a camera and up to six lenses (the brand specializes in camera bags, but the well-organized packs fit non-camera gear just as well). This style has smartly-designed side access pockets, too, so grabbing your boarding pass/wallet/room key is a breeze.


  2. Esperos Classic Backpack

    Available in nine color choices, this streamlined rucksack is made of the same grade of durable canvas as vintage military gear (which is water-repellant to boot). Plus, the brand donates 10% of proceeds to help fund education for children in need.


  3. Oliberté flora

    This pretty leather bag has adjustable straps to fit just right, and a front-and-center pocket for those need-right-now essentials. Everything from this transparent brand is made in their fair trade certified-Ethiopian factory.


  4. Minaal carry-on bag

    This is technically carried like a backpack, but thanks to full-length zips expands to be a true piece of carry-on luggage, smartly designed from every angle.


Superior Totes


Proper Assembly

  1. Proper Assembly COLLAPSIBLE TOTE

    The genius here is right in the name: This water-repellent linen-nylon sack tucks itself right inside that handsome leather front pocket.


  2. Everlane twill zip tote

    This laptop-sized tote does a very simple thing to set it apart: it zips, God dammit. That makes it perfect to bring on a plane and store under the seat in front of you, because your stuff won't go sliding out when the aircraft accelerates.


  3. Madewell zipper transport tote

    Madewell took their best-selling Transport tote and—gasp—added a zipper to the top (see above for how we feel about a zip-top tote). Options to carry by hand, shoulder, or cross-body make this tote even more of a winner.


  4. Daame Dana tote

    Daame kills it with their sleek, laptop-sized totes. This one is specifically engineered for 13" computers, with a padded sleeve to store your precious technology safely.


Sleek Duffles & Weekenders



  1. Baggu carryall

    Made of waterproof, ripstop nylon, this Baggu wonder manages to be at the ends of many spectums: It's durable but lightweight, roomy but folds down to a tiny square, and can be held by a top handle or slung over the shoulder. It comes in a number of playful prints, and—best of all—rings in at $64.


  2. Sandqvist Floyd Barrel Bag

    This canvas duffle is the perfect medium size for when you need something just a step up from a backpack.


  3. The Transience CONVERTIBLE duffle

    In waxed canvas with matte zippers, this made-in-NYC duffle features adjustable and removable lambskin shoulder straps that allow it to elegantly morph into a tote.


  4. BDG pop pocket weekender

    A utilitarian style that checks all the boxes (handle options, zipper closure, easy-access front pocket) for just shy of 60 bucks.


Cool Carry-Ons

Herschel Supply

  1. Herschel Supply Co. Trade Carry-On

    This hard-shell carry-on gets extra points for having top and side carrying handles, plus organized interior pockets.


  2. Kate Spade New York 20" carry-on

    A straight-up style in a print that will stand out from the dozens of identical black bags in the overhead compartment.


  3. Lipault Paris 22" carry-on

    The four-wheel bag lifestyle is a smooth one, and this guy cutens up whole operation by being baby blue from handle to wheel.


  4. Day By Birger Et Mikkelsen Gweneth Travel Bag

    This lightweight nylon duffle bag converts into a legit suitcase with a pop-out handle and inconspicuous wheels. Large exterior pockets make it a great carry-on for plane, train, or bus trips because you can easily access essentials like your laptop charger or—more importantly—snacks (those are your human charger, after all).



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