Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
My wife and I had been housebound for more than two years. As you could imagine, we were anxious to go anywhere. Our first getaway was a road trip to visit family. So, the travel bag and suitcases we had been using for the past decade were not an issue. The trip was a real breath of fresh air. We found all family members healthy and apparently as happy to see us as we were to see them.
The next trip would be by plane. If I am being perfectly honest, my wife and I prefer traveling lightly as often as possible. For us, that means making use of carry-on bags as opposed to checked luggage. Normally that would not raise any concerns, but I discovered my Men’s Travel Bag, or Carry-On Bag, no longer met the size specifications allowed for carry-on luggage. The specifications allowed by the American Airlines was 22”L x 14” W x 9” H. My bag was now too large.
What is a Travel Bag?
A light bag or case, smaller than the traditional suitcase, used for carrying small amounts of clothing, toiletries, and similar articles, when traveling.
Benefits of a Travel Bag vs Traditional Luggage
Travel bags (synonymous with carry-on luggage in this article), are best suited for people who like to travel light or just planning a short visit. Key benefits include:
- No baggage to check-in.
- You will not have to pay baggage fees (unless the airline also charges for carry-on).
- Upon arrival, no waiting around at the baggage carousel.
Traditional luggage is the better choice for those individuals who need more packing space. Additional benefits for traditional luggage include:
- Extra packing space allowing you to pack a better wardrobe.
- No need to worry if the airline decides your carry-on is too large, or if the overhead compartments will have enough room.
- Plenty of room for those large souvenirs and gifts.
Variations in Travel Bags
There are several options available when choosing the bag best suited to meet your needs. The review that follows will be helpful in your decision making process, but here are a few options to consider:
- Duffel Bags Without Wheels.
- Rolling Duffel Bags.
- Upright Rolling Duffel Bags.
- Carry-On Luggage–Hard Cover or Soft Cover.
- Messenger Briefcase.
Men’s Travel Bag Review-Best by Type
Mens Travel Duffel Bags without Wheels
The Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag for Travel is my top pick in this category.
The bag meets the specifications required by most airlines to qualify as a carry-on. However, please review the guidelines supplied by your airline of choice before traveling.
If durability ranks high on your list of requirements, then this super lightweight, reinforced, tear resistant fabric bag will fit the bill.
Concerned about space? The main compartment, two side pockets, six zipped pockets, and 2 wall pockets, can easily hold up to seven outfits, a bag of toiletries, a book, your tablet, an umbrella, and a water bottle. If needed, the bag can be expanded another 4 inches allowing a few more additional items.
How do you like to carry your bag? As a shoulder bag? Cross body? As a hand held? The Gonex Travel Bag, comes with a sturdy hand grip, and a shoulder strap allowing you to choose what works best for you.
How about color choices? The manufacturer has provided about a half dozen colors from which to choose.
Price? This bag is priced well under $100.00.
- Made to fit in airplane overhead bins
- Sturdy Material
- No separate Shoe compartment
- Shoulder strap does not have a lot of cushion
Mens Travel Rolling Duffel Bags
The Olympia 8 pocket Rolling Duffel Bag is my choice for Rolling Duffel Bags.
My focus in this article is on carry-on bags. That being said, I was able to uncover several strong candidates in this category. But, the bag that would ultimately earn my recommendation would have to be well made, relatively roomy, priced well, and fit into the overhead carry-on compartments of most airlines.
This bag’s tough, water repellent construction, works well for any weekend getaway, including a short visit to your favorite National Park.
The eight convenient pockets allow for maximum packing versatility. The main compartment was designed to allow plenty of room for several changes of clothing for a variety of diverse outings such as sightseeing, fancy dining, casual dining, outdoor events, etc.
There are seven color options from which to choose including; Black, Dark Lavender, Green, and Navy, just to name a few.
The price tag on this bag makes it very affordable for most travelers.
- Designed to fit most airline overhead bins
- It has wheels
- Choice of colors
- Actual size 22” x 12” x 12”
- Only 2 wheels- – May tilt over
Mens Travel Upright Rolling Duffel Bags
Travelers Club Adventure Upright Rolling Duffel Bag is my choice for this category.
So, what is the difference between a rolling duffel bag and an upright rolling duffel bag?
Basically, a rolling duffel bag is just a duffel bag with wheels that allows you to transport your luggage with ease. An upright rolling duffel bag is (you guessed it) a duffel bag with wheels that stands upright rather than lying flat.
If your luggage of choice is the duffel bag, and a set of wheels attached to the duffel bag would make life a little easier, than the choice between a standard rolling duffel bag and an upright rolling duffel bag will come down to your personal choice.
The Travelers Club Advantage Upright Rolling Duffel Bag is a multi-use bag designed for travel, camping, the gym, and other outdoor activities.
This bag is lightweight, and durable with a fully lined interior that includes a spacious main lined interior compartment.
The exterior provides front accessory pockets, and heavy duty blade wheels for all-terrain mobility.
Also, there are seven color options from which to choose including; Black, a Navy and Black combination, a Red and Black combination, a Navy and Gray combination, and a Yellow and Black combination.
This bag is priced at under $100.00.
- Designed to fit most airline overhead bins
- Plenty of space
- Sturdy handle
- Wheels work well
- Actual size 22” x 12” x 13.5”
- The side pocket is a bit small
My pick in this category is the Amazon Basics Slim Carry On Laptop Travel Overnight Backpack.
The Backpack category has a plethora of options that fit the generally accepted specifications of all airlines for carry-on luggage. So, why did I choose the Amazon Basic Slim? Versatility!
Very few people today travel without their most trusted electronic devise. My electronic devise of choice is the laptop. The Amazon Basics Slim has a dedicated laptop sleeve and top-load fleece-lined tablet pocket for transporting electronics.
The Amazon Slim Backpack is constructed with a comfortable fully vented, and well-padded back panel.
Storage is no problem because this backpack comes with:
- A front storage pocket to keep smaller items neatly organized and easy to access.
- Zipped side-mounted water-bottle pocket.
Transport is quite convenient with the vertical and horizontal luggage-handle pass-through panels. Also, this model comes with low profile top and side grab handles.
This bag is priced at under $100.00
- Made to fit airplane overhead bins
- Front storage pockets for smaller items
- Sleek and attractive looking
- Comfortable on the back
- Variety of colors from which to choose
- Suited for overnight or weekend trips
- Clips that attach the straps to the bottom of the bag are very thin
My journey to find a Carry-On on piece of luggage that was TSA compliant all began when I realized my existing carry on piece was just too large. I hate checking bags, so, I needed a carry-on piece that would fit the overhead bin and not raise an eyebrow at check-in. An added concern was selecting between a hard cover and soft cover carry-on bag. Since there was only a slight difference in prices, it came down to personal preference. The Samsonite Pro Travel Softside Expandable with spinner wheels was my choice. Upon purchase, I made two trips. The first was a flight to Miami, and the second was a road trip to the DC area. Both trips were for extended weekends that required different outfits. I needed casual outfits for sightseeing, and business casual for evening dining.
The interior compartment came equipped with a patented-pending wireless charging pocket for easy power ups, USB port, tri-fold suiter for my business casual attire, wetpak pocket for toiletries or gym clothes, RFID pocket to protect sensitive data, and plenty of built-in organization for clothing, etc.
The exterior is made from premium 100% Ballistic Nylon with reinforcements throughout. This bag includes exterior pockets for organization, contour grip handles for comfort and ease of use, and Samsonite’s signature split sphere wheels for smooth gliding and maneuverability. Leather touchpoints were added for distinctive styling.
As an added benefit for security, the integrated TSA-approved lock was built into the design.
The Samsonite Pro Travel Softside is priced higher than any of my other selections, but versatility was what I was looking for and this bag fit the bill.
- Meets carry-on requirements for most major airlines
- Manufactured from durable products
- Plenty of room to satisfy one week of travel
- Interior packing space too small
- Only comes in black
In this article, my area of concentration falls under messenger bags as opposed to an actual briefcase. Briefcases are still hanging around, but the messenger bag is the next step for the always ready, everyday businessman. The Locking Leather Messenger Bag is my choice in this category.
This bag is designed for convenience and extra room. The bag has three pockets. Two small pockets on the front and back side, and one large main pocket. The small pockets can hold an iPod and other essentials. The main pocket has a mobile phone pouch/wallet holder, and a zipper lock. It also has a padded laptop holder.
The adjustable/removable straps are made of leather and canvas with shoulder padding for comfort.
The material used is 100% genuine cowhide leather.
This messenger bag serves as a multi-purpose bag. It is a bag for travel, work, shopping, camping, fun nights out and other daily needs.
Priced at under $100.00, The Locking Leather Messenger Bag is a good buy for the money.
- Meets carry-on requirements
- 100% leather
- Smart looking
- Clasp attaching the shoulder strap to the bag is weak
- No top handle
Men’s Travel Bag Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why choose a duffle bag for travel?
A: It is everything you need and more. It has a large storage compartment that can be packed to meet your needs and can be packed away and stored easily.
Q: Can duffle bags with wheels fit into overhead compartments?
A: Yes! You can typically maneuver a packed duffle into nearly-full overhead compartments and make it work even if you’re among the last to board.
Q: Are backpacks a good option for travel?
A: Yes! A travel backpack keeps everything you need within reach and gives you hands-free mobility to hold other items. The right traveling backpack will carry every single one of your possessions.
Q: Why buy hard sided luggage?
A: Can provide greater protection for fragile items.
Q: Why not to buy hard sided luggage?
A: Glossy finish may scratch, and more difficult to store.
Q: Why buy soft-sided luggage?
A: Many are expandable, generally lighter, and often cheaper.
Q: What are the benefits of a messenger bag?
A: Easy access to content, better organization of content and stylish.
The need for Men’s Travel Bags is evident at every level of our social economic strata. It doesn’t matter if you your mode of travel is by airplane, train, car, or walking, you will need a bag to transport your items. The reason I began my research was to satisfy my need to find carry-on luggage that would fit TSA overhead carry-on specifications. The journey proved to be quite interesting and informative.
My advice to the seasoned traveler is simple. Take a look at the variations of bags listed above. Decide on your preference, and zero in on which bag best suits your travel needs.
If you are a newbie to the travel scene, a quick review of the different variations available (see above) should prove helpful. Look at your travel desires and affordability, then choose the Travel Bag that best satisfies most of your requirements at a price that will not break the bank.
As always, make sure that you purchase Travel Insurance, to protect your travel investment, should the unexpected happen.
I look forward to reading your comments and don’t forget to share this article with friends and family.