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The Best Weekender Bags for Women: 11 Options Perfect for Short Trips

best weekender bags for women
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Updated February 4, 2024

Pack your bags, it’s time to plan your next weekend getaway. Instead of dragging out your bulky suitcase or digging through endless totes and duffels that don’t quite cut it, though, consider upgrading to a stylish weekender bag that’s built for the job. Perfectly sized to be a carry-on, weekenders typically hold everything you need for up to three nights. Many offer versatile packing and organizing solutions and make traveling easier.

According to Amy E Goodman, style expert and author of Wear This, Toss That!, choosing the right weekender comes down to your packing style.

“Think of how you like to pack and store your clothes,” Goodman says. She recommends asking yourself the following:

  • Do you like a place for a couple of hangers with a folded garment section?
  • Are you a Kon-Mari-method roller, where you like to roll and stack your clothing in a larger, open, compartment?
  • Do you prefer clothing cubes? If so you need a bag that can accommodate the space they require.
  • Do you need a lot of pockets with designated spots for tech cords, makeup bags, jewelry bags?
  • Do you want a built-in shoe pocket?

“All of these questions come into play when you are assessing if a weekend bag will ultimately serve you well,” she says.

To help guide your search, we’ve rounded up weekender bags that cover a lot of ground when it comes to packing styles.

Our top weekender bags for women picks

Best lightweight weekender bag: Caraa Nimbus Large

Caraa Nimbus Large

If you feel like a bag can never have too many pockets, you’ll love the Carra Nimbus weekender. Not only does this bag grab the spot for best lightweight bag—it’s puffy and light as air, much like the cloud it’s named after—but it also has 14 pockets to help keep your belongings safe and secure. That includes a padded laptop sleeve, a water bottle pocket, and separate pouches for shoes and wet/dirty clothes.

Weighing less than two pounds, this bag is easy to carry, and the extra padding on the handles makes it even more ergonomic. Other handy features include a water-resistant interior and exterior lining plus the mesh vents inside the bag to ward off mustiness.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13 inches (width) x 8.5 inches (depth) x 18.5 inches (height)
  • Material: Nylon and vegan leather
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds

What we like:

  • Plenty of pockets.
  • Surprisingly spacious.
  • Vegan materials.

What we don’t:

  • Comes in only two colors.
Best lightweight
Caraa Nimbus Large

Caraa Nimbus Large



Best stylish weekender bag: Mali and Lili Jamie Woven Weekend Duffle

Mali and Lili Jamie Woven Weekend Duffle

No matter your destination, carrying this chic bag will make you feel like you’ve booked the luxury suite. The bag has an intricate woven design on the outside and a structured barrel silhouette. It even has metal feet to keep the bag exactly where you place it.

Inside is a fun surprise: a leopard print lining. While the bag doesn’t have any extra features like pockets for technology or water bottle holders, it’s beautiful and easy to carry with top carry handles and an adjustable crossbody strap. Consider grabbing this one if you use packing cubes or other separate organizers.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 11 inches (width) x 9 inches (depth) x 17 inches (height)
  • Material: Vegan leather
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

What we like:

  • Leopard print lining.
  • Woven design.
  • Convertible.

What we don’t:

  • Lack of pockets inside the bag.
Best stylish
Mali + Lili Jamie Woven Vegan Leather Weekend Duffle Bag in Tan/Black at Nordstrom

Mali + Lili Jamie Woven Vegan Leather Weekend Duffle Bag in Tan/Black at Nordstrom



Best luxury weekender bag: ROYCE New York Leather Weekender Bag

ROYCE New York Leather Weekender Bag

This Royce bag is definitely an investment, but it’s one that you’ll have for many years to come. This stunning, structured duffel is made of high-quality leather (hence the hefty price tag) with a silk lining. It’s available in three colors, each with three different embossing styles for monogramming: Just one more luxurious, personalized detail.

This one doesn’t have many compartments to speak of, but with its fine materials and superb workmanship, this one’s a statement bag you’ll want to carry on each and every trip.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 21 inches (width) x 8 inches (depth) x 17 inches (height)
  • Material: Leather
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds

What we like:

  • Personalization options.
  • Structured design.
  • Exceptional craftsmanship.

What we don’t:

  • Steep price tag.
Best luxury
Women's Leather Weekender Bag - Black

Women's Leather Weekender Bag - Black



Best sustainable weekender bag: Paravel Main Line Duffel Bag

Paravel Main Line Duffel Bag

This weekender bag is constructed from a water-resistant material that uses 14 upcycled plastic water bottles. The bag is lightweight, spacious, and even has an eco-friendly silicone coating for an extra layer of durability.

The Paravel duffel also has personalization options: It can be monogrammed, embroidered, or hand-painted or foiled with emojis and letters. It has handles and a removable shoulder strap, so you can hold the bag in two different ways, and a two-way locking zipper for safety. Two zippered pockets inside offer a handy spot to keep extras in place.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 11 inches (width) x 10 inches (depth) x 20 inches (height)
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 3 pounds

What we like:

  • The materials used are eco-friendly
  • The personalization

What we don’t:

  • Price may be high for your budget.
Best sustainable
Paravel Main Line Duffel Bag

Paravel Main Line Duffel Bag



Most versatile weekender bag: The Weekender by Beis

The Weekender by Beis

This weekend bag is filled with features that make traveling a breeze: A wide opening that allows you to access every inch of space, a separate pocket for your tablet or laptop, and a zipper-pocket on the back that becomes a trolley sleeve so it fits over your luggage handle.

The bottom compartment of this Beis bag is designed to keep your shoes or toiletries separate from the items in the main compartment of the bag. If you are an overpacker and always need more room in your carry-on, this bag is for you.

Specifications:

  • Price on publish: $108
  • Dimensions: 9.8 inches (width) x 9 inches (depth) x 15.7 inches (height)
  • Material: Canvas
  • Weight: 3.86 pounds

What we like:

  • So many pockets.
  • The zipper-pocket on the back that becomes a trolley sleeve.
  • A separate compartment for shoes.

What we don’t:

  • A bit on the heavy side.
The Weekender by Beis

The Weekender by Beis



Best canvas weekender bag: Madden Girl Glory Weekender Bag

Madden Girl Glory Weekender Bag

Our pick for the best canvas weekender is super lightweight—it’s just one pound. The inside of this Madden Girl bag is large and spacious and has three pockets inside and three pockets on the outside of the bag that either zip up or snap closed.

Because it’s made of canvas, the bag is durable and easy to clean. The removable strap is fully adjustable making it easy to tote on all of your adventures.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 inches (width) x 10 inches (depth) x 21 inches (height)
  • Material: Canvas
  • Weight: 1 pound

What we like:

  • Spacious.
  • Durable.
  • Lots of pockets.

What we don’t:

  • When empty, the bag doesn’t stand up on its own.
Best canvas
Madden Girl Glory Weekender Bag

Madden Girl Glory Weekender Bag



Best leather weekender bag: Madewell The Essential Overnight Bag

Madewell The Essential Overnight Bag

This bag has the luxurious feeling of soft leather but all of the must-have features of a great weekender bag: separate pockets for your water bottles and tech gadgets and even a spot for your wallet. The Essential Overnight Bag from Madwell looks great and fits everything you need for a business trip or a weekend away with friends.

While the bag does come with a sturdy canvas strap, you may want to upgrade to a leather strap that matches the bag.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13 inches (width) x 7 inches (depth) x 22 inches (height)
  • Material: Leather
  • Weight: Not listed

What we like:

  • Soft leather.
  • Plenty of pockets and compartments.

What we don’t:

  • The shoulder strap is not made of leather.
Best leather
Madewell The Essential Overnight Bag in Leather (True Black) Handbags

Madewell The Essential Overnight Bag in Leather (True Black) Handbags



Most durable weekender bag: Lo Sons Catalina Deluxe

Lo Sons Catalina Deluxe

The highly rated Catalina Deluxe is the frontrunner for the most durable weekender bag, but it’s not made from the typical material you’d expect. Instead Lo & Sons uses eco-friendly sustainable materials like fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and sustainable canvases that are better for the planet and apparently make fantastic weekender bags. Features like a bottom zipper pocket with a removable padded insert and a trolly sleeve, makes this back a must-have for travelers.

Specifications:

Price on publish: $129

Dimensions: 16 inches (width) x 8.5 inches (depth) x 24 inches (height)

Material: Recycled poly and canvas

Weight: 2.6 pounds

What we like:

  • Made from eco-friendly materials.
  • Can be rolled up for storage.

What we don’t:

  • Can’t put the bag in the washing machine.
The Catalina Deluxe - Eco Friendly Canvas - Natural

The Catalina Deluxe - Eco Friendly Canvas - Natural



Best Rolling Weekender Bag: Briggs Riley ZDX 21-inch Carry-On Two-Wheel Duffle

Briggs Riley ZDX 21-inch Carry-On Two-Wheel Duffle

If you need a weekender bag but you don’t feel like lugging it around when you’re traveling, try this rolling bag from Briggs & Riley. Not only is it a quality bag made of rugged nylon, but it has plenty of high-end features like a pocket designed just for your tech and protected with RFID technology. Inside there is plenty of room to pack all of your belongings. It’s a weekender-suitcase hybrid, so it has cool features like tie-down straps and lots of zippered compartments. It even has industry-best YKK zippers.

When you’re ready to roll, grab the telescopic handle and use the wheels to guide the bag to your next destination. Buy it directly from Briggs & Riley and you can have it monogrammed, too.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14 inches (width) x 9 inches (depth) x 21 inches (height)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: Not listed

What we like:

  • The extra pocket that’s designed for laptops and electronics.
  • The wheels make traveling easy.

What we don’t:

  • Bulkier than a traditional weekender.
Best Rolling
Briggs & Riley ZDX 21-Inch Carry-On Upright Duffle Bag in Hunter Green at Nordstrom

Briggs & Riley ZDX 21-Inch Carry-On Upright Duffle Bag in Hunter Green at Nordstrom



Best Washable Weekender bag: Vera Bradley Womens Recycled Cotton Weekender Travel Bag

Vera Bradley Womens Recycled Cotton Weekender Travel Bag

Functional weekender meet fun patterns in the Vera Bradley Women’s Recycled Cotton Weekender Travel Bag. It’s our pick for the best washable bag thanks to 80 percent cotton construction and 20 percent recycled materials.

Choose from florals, paisley, prints, and solids—there seems to be a Vera Bradly bag for everyone. Inside the bag are five mesh pockets, and outside is three more plus a trolley sleeve to attach the bag to your suitcase. If the bag gets dirty, just toss it in the washing machine—it’s designed to hold its vibrant colors through washings.

Specifications:

  • Price on publish: $135
  • Dimensions: 18.5 inches (width) x 12.5 inches (depth) x 19 inches (height)
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 2 pounds

What we like:

  • Looks great after washing.
  • So many color options.
  • Made using recycled materials.

What we don’t:

  • Some people might not be fans of the patterns.
Best Washable
Vera Bradley Women's Weekender Travel Bag

Vera Bradley Women's Weekender Travel Bag



Best Budget Weekender Bag: All in Motion 20-inch Duffel Bag

If you don’t want to break the bank on a weekender bag, but you still want to love the look and features of the bag, this top-rated All in Motion weekender from Target is a great choice. It’s made from water-resistant polyester and comes with a large water bottle pocket. It also has lots of little compartments inside and out for stashing things like your phone and wallet.

The bag comes in a soft mauve color, and its polyester shell is easy to spot clean.

Specifications:

  • Price: $31.99
  • Dimensions: 11 inches (width) x 9 inches (depth) x 20 inches (height)
  • Weight: 1.63 pounds
  • Material: Polyester

What we like:

  • A large water bottle pocket.
  • Interior and exterior compartments.
  • Easy to clean.
  • A great price.

What we don’t:

  • Only one color option.

What is a weekender bag?

A weekender bag is a piece of luggage that’s designed to be the perfect size for a weekend trip. Larger than a backpack but smaller than a suitcase, weekender bags offer flexibility and style when you travel. These types of bags are usually soft-sided, have multiple pouches and compartments, and come with shoulder straps. Weekender bags offer stylish alternatives to duffels and carry-ons.

What to consider when buying weekender bag for women

Material

First consider the material used in the bag. Often weekender bags are made from leather, nylon, or other easy-to-clean materials. “A weekender is supposed to be, in theory, a pack quickly, throw-on-your-shoulder and leave-your-worries-to-the-breeze kinda getaway bag,” she says, noting that each material does have its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, leather is stylish but could scratch. Canvas is casual but easy to clean. Nylon is also easy to clean but could tear if overstuffed.

Weight and Size

Goodman says weight is also a consideration, “Think of how much you’re going to put in it and what it will weigh. I packed a designer leather weekender for a work off-site trip to a tropical island, not realizing the shoulder strap was painful thin. I had a burn on my neck, and it sadly wasn’t from the sun.”

A weekender bag should be able double as a carry-on bag. If you choose one that is too large, it might not make it onto the plane. However, if you choose one that is too small, it won’t help you be an efficient packer and hold all of your items.

Style

We asked Goodman what travelers should keep in mind when shopping for a weekender that suits their style. “Weekenders are trending because they’re easy to tote three outfits, sleepwear, and overnight toiletries in a snap. You'll find more variety and styles to choose from than ever,” she says. “One wonders if you should go with a classic solid color or go for engaging prints, stripes, color-blocked or neon? I say go for what speaks to your personality the most, and have it be an extension of your personal style. My absolute favorite weekender is like a child of the 60s collided with a green tropical plants–it’s super retro, bold and totally me”

How we selected the best weekender bags for women

When selecting the bags, we researched some of the most popular weekender bags on the market based on reviews, durability, materials, and price. We also consulted with lifestyle expert Goodman who offered tips on choosing the best weekender bag.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What size is a weekender bag?

Sizes may vary, but a weekender bag tends to be around 17.5 inches long and 8.75 inches wide.

Is a weekender bag a good carry-on?

Yes, a weekender bag is a good carry-on if it meets your airline's specific luggage requirements and you are able to fit your must-have items in the bag. Most airlines require carry-ons to not exceed 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches in size.

What makes a good weekend bag?

A weekend bag should have enough room to keep all of your belongings in one place - clothes, toiletries, and technology. You’ll also want a weekend bag that can double as carry-on and comes with plenty of pockets or compartments to keep your items organized and secure. Also, you’ll want to choose a weekend bag that is durable and can withstand traveling.

What is the difference between duffel and weekender?

A duffel bag is often made from heavy material like canvas and is larger than a weekender. Duffels are used for longer trips or if you have more items to pack.. A weekender bag tends to be smaller, lightweight, and more stylish than a duffel. Weekenders can replace carry-on bags and are intended for shorter trips. However, you may see duffel and weekender used interchangeably.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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