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Fact: There's never a bad time to use up your hard-earned PTO by booking a quick trip. And unless you’re a chronic over-packer like myself, you’ll need to find the best weekender or overnight bag for your next getaway. Weekender and overnight bags are basically like the smaller, cuter version of the best carry-on luggage in your collection, and perfect for carrying the essentials.
Traditionally, weekend bags were sold as a part of an entire luggage set. Now, however, they’re sold on their own, giving you the perfect excuse to have a little more fun. And with quick trips becoming increasingly popular, it’s about time for you to invest in one that can carry you through the seasons.
And if we’re talking about the best weekender bags, there’s no one more equipped to turn to for advice than Shay Mitchell. The actress and mother founded her luggage brand BÉIS in 2018 to create bags that take you from the gym to the plane without compromising on style. But aside from being stylish, her bags are some of the most functional suitcases on the market. Ahead, Mitchell breaks down what to look for when shopping for the best weekender bags. Read on to shop her favorites and those of the very well-traveled team here at Marie Claire
What Is a Weekender Bag?
Not just any slightly larger tote bag can be considered a weekender bag, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for when you’re shopping, especially if you’re shopping online. “I’d define a weekender as a bag that is big enough to fit every single thing that you need, and small enough to sling over your shoulder and be your tagalong for a quick jaunt,” Mitchell says in an email.
What to Look For
“I honestly don’t think I can narrow it down to just ONE single thing on The Weekender, but if I have to I will *cheat* and say ‘thoughtful function,’” Mitchell says about what she looks for when shopping (and designing!) a weekender bag. “I think a lot of times people are so focused on the way a bag looks that they can forget the very important consideration of how the bag is going to serve the person carrying it."
“Most of us have similar things we need to carry with us—phones, wallets, cards, passports, water bottles—so when we design we always think of organization that will accommodate all of the things people need while still being something they feel cute carrying," she adds.
"Listen, I love all my babies equally, but The Weekender is my tried and true," Mitchell says about this best-selling (and under $100!) bag. "This bag looks bad ass, has amazing structure, maximizes space with creative organization and is the most ideal size. We love to offer consumers compartments, pockets and spaces that can be used for a variety of reasons…whatever they feel is best for keeping them organized on-the-go." Plus, The Weekender Bag is super versatile. "I always use the bottom of The Weekender for my shoes, for example, but my mom uses it for her cosmetic and bathroom items, and my friend uses it for all her baby's stuff," she says.
The Best Weekender Bags, According to Marie Claire Editors
"This bag has been everywhere with me. It’s lightweight, has an adjustable shoulder strap as well as a top handle, and has interior pockets so that my stuff stays organized. Great for a quick few-day trip, this bag is just big enough to fit a few changes of clothes and two pairs of shoes at most." —Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Writer
"I tend to overpack when going out of town for the weekend, but this weekend tote is ultra roomy. Deep interior pockets mean I don't have to choose between my hair dryer and a pair of shoes— they're both coming with me. Plus, I feel good about using it—this bag is constructed from 12 upcycled water bottles! " —Sara Holzman, Style Director
"I haven’t met a Calpak product I didn’t love, but their classic duffel is perhaps my favorite of them all. Aside from it being an objectively attractive weekender bag, the Luka’s streamlined design doesn’t come at the expense of practical features. With a bottom compartment for shoes (one of nine (9!) pockets in total), a slit for sliding the bag over the handle of rolling luggage (for quick sprints through the airport or trudging along city streets), and a plush, lightweight, comfortable design, it’s everything you could want in a bag—and then some." —Lucia Tonelli, Social Media Editor
Best Weekender Bag For Under $50
"This weekender bag is the perfect size for a weekend and it's lasted me through many trips home! Plus the straps are cushiony enough not to hurt through long lines." —Brooke Knappenberger, Editorial Fellow
More of the Best Weekender Bags
Best Classic Duffel Weekender Bag
If you're looking for a no-frills weekender bag, this one from Herschel Supply Co. is for you. It comes in four colors, has a double-zip top, and an adjustable shoulder strap in addition to the two top-handle straps.
We have long waxed poetic about Cuyana here at Marie Claire (see: our guide to the best laptop bags), but this larger bag from the brand is one of our favorites too. It has three internal compartments for organization and has a trolley sleeve so it can attach to your roller luggage.
Best Expandable Weekender Bag
This nylon-and-leather bag from Longchamp is great for longer trips because it can be packed (and unpacked) as you need without taking up extra space. Even if it is completely full, the soft leather straps will keep your shoulders feeling fine all day.
Best Weekender Bags for Light Packers
This backpack from Fjällräven will hold your laptop plus all of your essentials. If you're someone that can travel the world with one single pair of jeans and one pair of sneakers, this is the one.
Best Patterned Weekender Bag
This patterned weekender bag is a classic. It's made from water-resistant fabrics and has a trolley sleeve for easy travel if you're taking more than one suitcase. The quilted fabric is also soft on your shoulders.
Best Fun Weekender Bag
Heading on a girls-only trip with your best friends? This bright pink embellished bag from Stoney Clover Lane all but guarantees that you won't loose track of your stuff. It's made from a stiff tech fabric that maintains its shape.
Best Verstaile Weekend Bag
This weekend bag includes a padded laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, zipper pockets on the outside, and a removable shoulder strap, proving that it's the one bag that can take you just about everywhere.
Best Waterproof Weekender Bag
This sleek weekend bag from Rains comes in eight neutral colors and is made from a coated fabric that wicks moisture and rain to guarantee that your belongings stay dry. It has one large compartment in the middle with webbed compression at either end and detachable shoulder straps.
Best Leather Weekend Bag
Made from luxe Glovetanned leather, this brown duffle-style weekend bag from Coach is nearly 20 inches long, so it can fit enough clothes to last you a week plus your computer and all of your other essentials.
Best All-Leather Weekender Bag
This handcrafted leather bag from Stelar has two external pockets for your important items like your wallet and your phone, and can fold into a regular tote bag if you don't need all of the room.
Meet The Expert
Shay Mitchell is an actress, multi-faceted entrepreneur and travel expert. Shay founded the travel and lifestyle essentials brand BÉIS in 2018, which offers stylish, functional, durable, and responsible fashion-forward luggage, baby bags, pet travel and accessories, cosmetics cases and more. Shay has been traveling extensively over the past 20 years. Whether flying cross-country or cross-continent, or navigating the daily hustle of an active lifestyle, Shay knows firsthand the joys and pains of every type of travel. With over 45 million followers across all platforms, Shay is one of the most celebrated voices on social media.
Julia Marzovilla is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire covering all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.
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