The 11 Best 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 weekender travel 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, Co-Founder and CEO of Cuyana, and Shay Mitchell, 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. Read on for their tips and recommendations, in addition to weekender bags tested by the very well-traveled editorial team here at Marie Claire.

How We Chose the Best Weekender Bags

We know that there are plenty of weekender bags for you to choose from. Every weekender and travel bag on this has been specifically chosen by Marie Claire’s E-Commerce Editor, Julia Marzovila (a.k.a. me!), our Fashion Director Sara Holzman, Style Editor Emma Childs, and the rest of our editorial team. Each has been either tested for its size and durability or has been recommended from an expert we trust. These are the details we looked for when putting this list together:

  • Functional Design Features: "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."
  • A Good 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." 
  • High-Quality Materials: "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.

Deals on Weekender and Overnight Bags

Fjällräven Kånken 15-Inch Laptop Backpack, $102 at Amazon

Fjällräven Kånken 15-Inch Laptop Backpack, $102 at Amazon

This best-in-class backpack, which retailed for $120, is perfect for those of us who pack light. The bags last forever, for one, and are great also if you're going on a more rugged weekend trip, like hiking or camping. They're lightweight and sturdy. 

The Best Weekender Bags