The 14 Best Overnight and Weekender Bags for Women, According to Editors and Experts

In case you needed another reason to be pumped about your trip.

woman carrying a weekender bag
(Image credit: Future)

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 me, you’ll need to find the best overnight or weekender bag for your next getaway. Weekender and overnight bags are basically like the smaller, cuter version of carry-on luggage and are perfect for carrying the essentials.

Traditionally, weekender 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 two founders of the best luggage brands on the market: Karla Gallardo (opens in new tab), Co-Founder and CEO of Cuyana, and Shay Mitchell (opens in new tab), founder of BÉIS. In addition to being incredibly stylish and sleek, the best-selling weekender bags they design are some of the most functional suitcases around. Ahead, the two luggage experts break down what to look for when shopping for weekender bags. Read on for their tips and recommendations, in addition to those of the very well-traveled editorial team here at Marie Claire.

Weekender Bag Deals

Vera Bradley Weekender Travel Bag, $135 (opens in new tab)

Vera Bradley Weekender Travel Bag, $135 $68 at Vera Bradley (opens in new tab)

If a printed bag from Vera Bradley isn't your style but you still love all the features, consider shopping this bright blue bag from the brand instead that's on sale right now for less than $100. Other printed versions are also available (and are on sale!) at Target (opens in new tab).

What to Look For in a Weekender Bag

  1. Functionality 

"Thoughtful function,” says Mitchell, is the most significant aspect to consider when shopping (and designing!) weekender bags. “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."

  • Look

Function is important, but aesthetics are, too. "I recommend looking for a bag that is spacious, durable, and beautiful," Gallardo shares. "It’s important to ensure that the bag you invest in has an aesthetic that you are confident will stand the test of time. I personally prefer a darker color, so it doesn't show any dirt—travel can get messy!"

  • Organization

"You want something that is going to carry your essentials seamlessly from one destination to the next," explains Gallardo. "I suggest a piece that has multiple compartments, allowing you to maximize your organization when packing."

Mitchell agrees with Gallardo, saying organizational ease is top of mind when she's designing weekender styles. “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 an organization that will accommodate all of the things people need while still being something they feel cute carrying."

  • Quality

"You want to ensure your weekender bag is made of quality materials—especially zippers—that are built to last," advises Gallardo. Look for styles made of sturdy materials like nylon, leather, and polyester (ideally recycled), and bonus if the materials are water-resistant or waterproof, as that will help to extend the lifetime of your bag.

The Best Weekender Bags

When selecting the below for our guide to the best weekender bags, Marie Claire editors considered the bags' ease of carrying; look; materials; durability; and customer reviews.

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. "A good weekender travel bag should be bigger than a backpack, but smaller than a carry-on suitcase, and it must be easy to fit in an airplane, train, or however you choose to travel," says Gallardo. "What's key for me is being able to keep my bag organized; The interior should be roomy enough to fit the essentials but also have separate compartments to keep things tidy."

Mitchell echoes the Cuanya expert: “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,” she shares over email.

How to Pack a Weekender Bag

"Organization inserts are a must in my book," shares Gallardo. "They help compartmentalize my items and keep my bag tidy. This way, I know where everything is and it’s easy to quickly grab my passport, laptop, toiletries or anything that I need when I’m in a rush."

Meet The Experts