Foldable travel bags are a must for any frequent traveler who packs light. They can fit into the pocket of your jacket, but have a capacity of at least 25 liters when unfolded. This means you’re able to go a little crazy on your trip and buy everything you want, without worrying about how you will fit it into your suitcase.
In this detailed review, you will see ten awesome foldable travel bags. Some are tote bags, others are duffel bags and I’ve also found two awesome foldable backpacks. And there are two really unique bags that might just be my favorite of them all!
At A Glance: Best Foldable Travel Bags
Read on to see if they’re your favorites as well – if not, there are plenty of other foldable travel bags for you!
Best Underseat Foldable Travel Bag
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Best Foldable Backpack
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Best Compact Foldable Duffel
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Bug Travel Duffel Bag
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Best Foldable Toiletry Bag
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The Samsonite foldable tote is a great option for travel because it is an underseat tote bag. It’s pretty small, so it is a great bag to have in addition to a carry on suitcase. On top of that, this bag is made from some really sturdy polyester, and it is going to last you a lot longer than a no-name bag with loose stitching.
The interior of the bag is lined with nylon, which is even more durable than the thick polyester of its exterior. In general, the materials that this bag is made from really are top of the line, and that is why it’s the best underseat tote you can get.
Another thing you’ll like about this tote are the external pockets – there’s a zippered one, and two open pockets, so there’s plenty of room for items you want to have easily accessible. And that’s in addition to the main compartment, which features a zippered closure.
There is one other zippered pocket inside the bag, and that’s it. But, the four pockets of the Samsonite are still a lot more than you will get on most other foldable totes. And the best thing is that this tote costs only about $25, which is very affordable for such a great and established brand.
One downside of the bag is that you don’t get a lot of carrying options. There are only the two grab handles, so you can either sling them over your shoulder or carry them in your hand – like with any regular tote bag. I would have loved to see a longer shoulder strap on the bag, which would allow you to carry it like a crossbody bag.
There are many foldable backpacks out there, but none are quite as good as the Osprey Foldable Stuff Pack. The brand is one of the best backpack brands on the market, and all of their products are high quality and very durable. So, if you really want the best foldable backpack, this is the one to get.
The pack is made from ripstop nylon, which is a very durable material with decent water resistance. It is incredibly lightweight at only 3 ounces, and it’s a carry-on sized backpack, so it’s great for travel. Plus, with a capacity of 18 liters, you will have more than enough room for all your must-have necessities.
The thing I love the most about this pack is that, even though it’s a simple foldable bag, it still has ventilated shoulder straps for your carrying comfort. This is more than you will see on most other backpacks, so it’s already easy to see why Osprey just wipes out the competition.
With dual zippers, you have access to the main compartment from different sides of the backpack. This means that your stuff will always be easily accessible, no matter where you put it in the backpack.
Additionally, this pack has a total of three external pockets (two open, one zippered), so there is enough room for all those items you want to have extra handy at all times. The only downside of this backpack is that it doesn’t really have internal pockets, so organization inside the main compartment will be a bit of a challenge. But that problem is easily solvable with packing cubes, removable organization panels, and your own laptop sleeve.
Samsonite’s Foldaway Duffel is from the same collection as their foldable tote I’ve already talked about. I don’t want to be too repetitive, but if you really want the best foldable travel bag that you can get your hands on, Samsonite is one of the safest options.
The duffel is constructed from 600D PU – a very thick polyester fabric, that is super durable and sturdy. There is also nylon lining on the inside, so the bag has double water-resistant protection. In addition to that, unlike some of the cheaper duffels, you will see below, this bag has both a pair of grab handles and a long shoulder strap.
There is one zippered pocket on the outside of the bag, and it’s not the same pocket the duffel folds into. That pocket is actually on the inside of the bag, so you also get that for some light internal organization. And the bag has two extra open pockets that are great for items you want to have easy access to. In addition to that, the main compartment of this bag is extra roomy and is perfect for fitting in all those souvenirs you bought on your trip.
This is actually a carry-on bag, but not an underseat one. You would have to commit to this as your main carry-on item, so remember that if you plan to pack a carry-on suitcase.
The main downside of this foldable travel bag is the price point. It’s not ridiculously expensive, but it is pricier than most other foldable duffels you will see in the rest of the review. However, this bag does have several features you won’t find on those cheaper bags, and it is made from really durable materials, so it’s definitely worth it.
The Bug travel duffel bag is certainly a unique option. It’s not like any other bag you will see in this review, which is why it deserves to be so high up. It is made from a rather thick, waterproof material, so it’s not going to be as thin and lightweight as most of the other bags you will see in this review.
But those bags won’t be nearly as functional or as good as this one. With durable grab handles, a sturdy shoulder strap, and a trolley sleeve in the back, the Bug duffel is just like any other premium duffel bag you can get – with the advantage of being foldable, that is.
This bag doesn’t actually fold into its own pocket, which is why it’s interesting. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle – the sidewalls of the bag can all be detached, and then folded one over the other. And those walls are full of different zippered and slip pockets so that you can easily stay organized while you’re traveling.
In fact, the duffel has a total of 7 pockets, in addition to a very roomy main compartment. Depending on the size of the bag that you pick up, it’s either going to have a 30 liter or a 50-liter capacity. The difference in the price between the two is less than $10, so I doubt that’s going to be the deciding factor in which one you get.
But the sizing probably will – be sure to check out the exact dimensions of both bags, in order to be absolutely certain you are getting a travel bag that you will wind up using very often.
Here’s another really unique foldable travel bag to consider. The Kaome bag is a hanging toiletry bag, with an abundance of different compartments and pockets that are really great for travel. It’s an awesome bag to have at the hotel room or an AirBnB, where you never have enough room for your toiletries. Ladies with an established skincare routine definitely know what I’m talking about.
The really cool thing about this bag is that some compartments are removable, so you can actually adjust the size and capacity of this foldable bag to suit your needs perfectly. And you remove some of the compartments, the bag is immediately lighter and more packable.
Plus, the two separate compartments have different uses – the detachable one can actually work as a packing cube or a makeup case. The part of the bag that has four sections is great for all your other toiletries, and it even has elastic bands, so that you can attach your phone and watch the news, while you’re trying to make yourself look decent in the mornings.
This is definitely not as lightweight as the foldable totes and duffels that are made from a single sheet of poly, but it’s about a hundred times more functional than them. Plus, you can actually fold this bag two different ways – one turns it into a slim briefcase and the other makes it the size of a purse, so it will still easily fit into your other travel bag.
The Kaome foldable bag is perfect for people who are looking for something that will help them with organization, and not simply a ‘just in case’ bag.
The Travelon folding travel bag is another great option if you’re looking for a tote. It is made from polyester ripstop, which has decent water resistance. But the bag does not have any additional coating, so don’t expect it to be entirely waterproof.
This tote has a spacious main compartment with a zipper closure, and it can fit quite a lot of stuff inside. The high capacity is an upside for sure, but the big size of the bag is definitely a downside. The Travelon folding bag is too big to be an underseat bag, so you would have to choose this as your main piece of carry-on luggage. And I don’t think it’s a great option for that.
The main reason for that is the devastating lack of pockets. There’s a single zippered pocket on the outside of the bag, and that’s it. That is the same pocket that the bag folds into when not in use.
But there is something you will like about this bag – the really long grab handles. They are very comfortable for carrying the bag on one shoulder, mostly because you get that extra space so you can put it over bulkier winter clothing.
And you’ll also like that this comes with a trolley sleeve, so you are able to mount it on top of a large suitcase. That’s great for traveling with multiple pieces of luggage since it frees up one of your arms entirely.
In addition to that, this is a good option if you want an affordable folding bag. You can get it for as little as some $15, which is pretty great.
If you want a premium foldable travel backpack, then Tumi is one of the best options out there. All of their bags are made from high quality materials, including the Voyager backpack. So, there’s no doubt that you will own this backpack for a long time, and it’s a great choice if you know that you will frequently use it.
But is it actually worth the money? Honestly, no. It’s way too expensive for what it is, but the same can be said about most of Tumi luggage. And you can sense where I’m getting at – it’s all about the branding, and what it means for you to carry a Tumi item. So, if you want to show off and let everyone know that price is never an object, then by all means pick up this awesome pack.
It also doesn’t hurt that this foldable bag is so stylish that it doesn’t even look like it folds down into a tiny pouch. It is a really cute backpack that you could actually carry everywhere, especially when traveling with luggage restrictions.
This travel backpack features a single zippered pocket on the outside and double zipper access to the main compartment. It’s a pretty small backpack, and it will actually fit under most airplane seats, so it’s a great bag to have in addition to a carry-on suitcase. Another great thing about it is that it features a luggage strap in the back, which makes it super easy to move around with multiple pieces of luggage.
This foldable duffel is a great option for you that need a quick and cheap solution. It costs about $10, which is a bargain for a bag with 25 liters of capacity. The duffel is a pretty good carry-on – it will fit in overhead compartments of all airplanes, but it won’t always qualify as an underseat bag.
This travel bag is made from water-resistant material, and it is a great bag to just throw in your suitcase, just in case. But it’s not remarkably durable – the material is pretty thin, and zippers are a no-name brand, so don’t expect this bag to last you years. But honestly, that’s fair for the price – you will get your money’s worth even if you use this bag just 5-6 times.
The Wandf foldable duffel is available in a wide variety of different colors, so there are plenty of options for everyone. It has two sturdy grab handles, but lacks the really long shoulder strap you get on most other duffels.
The bag has an external zippered pocket, which is great for stuff you want to have easily accessible. That’s actually the pocket the bag folds into, and it is the only pocket on the bag. The cool thing about it is that it actually doubles as a luggage strap since the top and bottom of the pocket aren’t sewn onto the bag.
The Wandf foldable duffel might not be the best or most functional option out there, but it’s a great affordable option. If you know that you won’t use a foldable bag too often, but want to have something just in case, this duffel is as good an option as any.
The Travel Lite Foldable backpack is an awesome option for people who want something affordable but very functional. Backpacks are usually the most versatile option, because they’re great for almost everything, from the plane to the hiking trail.
This foldable backpack has ventilated shoulder straps, so it is pretty comfortable to wear. There’s one zippered pocket on the outside, as well as two stretchy side pockets that can fit a water bottle each.
One thing I really like about this foldable travel bag is that it is actually really good quality for the price. The seams are really well sewn, and they will not come apart easily. And the fabric the bag is made from is water-resistant and will keep all your belongings dry in light rain. The zippers are the only thing I’m not a huge fan of since they are kind of flimsy.
The really cool thing about this foldable travel bag is that you can wear it like both a backpack and a tote. Just fold the top part of the bag inside the bottom, and you get a cute little tote that you can just sling over one shoulder. And you can even turn it into a small purse – you will just need a cute, thin shoulder strap.
If you want to fully fold this down, just stuff everything in that front zippered pocket. That’s a lot of versatility and function for some $10, so it’s a pretty great bag even if it’s not the best quality out there.
Pro-tip – the pink version of this travel bag is slightly see-through, so avoid that one if you want to keep the contents of your bag a mystery. The other three colors are entirely opaque.
If you want a foldable travel bag that doesn’t actually look like one, the Narwey Duffel Bag is a really good option. Its exterior is made from durable nylon, which is colored and looks really good. The bag is water-resistant, and it will keep the items inside dry in some light rain. On top of that, the zippers on the bag are actually really sturdy and smooth – a really good feature for a $15 bag!
This duffel is kind of big, but it is carry-on sized. It won’t be accepted as an underseat bag on most airlines though – Spirit and Frontier are the only two that will qualify the bag as a personal item.
There is one zippered pocket on the duffel, which is actually the same pocket the bag folds into. It is pretty big, so great for items you want to have easily accessible. And it doubles as a luggage sleeve since it is not fully sewn onto the bag.
One thing I really like about this foldable travel bag is that a longer shoulder strap is included in the purchase. You can carry this in your hands, or you could sling it over your shoulders. The important thing is that you do have the option, which isn’t the case with some other, cheaper bags.
The total capacity of this bag is 30 liters, which is pretty good for a carry-on bag. Especially since the capacity of an average carry-on suitcase isn’t really much more than that.
All foldable bags have one thing in common – they pack down into one of their pockets, so that they can fit into the pocket of your jacket when you’re not using them. But once you unpack that pile of material, what are you hoping to have – a backpack, a duffel bag, or a simple tote?
Foldable bags come in many different shapes, so it’s important to know what exactly you want from one. I’ve included backpacks, totes and duffel bags, as these three are the most common types of foldable travel bags that exist.
Duffel bags are the best option if you’re prioritizing high capacity. You will often find foldable duffels that have a capacity of more than 50 liters, which is perfect for people who have to carry a lot of gear while they’re traveling.
On the other hand, backpacks are the best option if you want a bag that’s really easy to carry. Once you put it on your shoulders, you can pretty much just forget about it. They’re perfect for people who want to have full use of their hands while they’re out and about in their travels, and they give you the option of carrying some really heavy items, without actually feeling their full weight.
Totes are somewhere in between backpacks and duffels. They usually have pretty high capacities due to the shape, but with the same organizational capability, you get in a backpack. One, maybe two pockets, and that’s it. They’re the best option for ladies who are used to carrying a tote bag and want to get something that will actually look okay with their outfits, and not like a scrunched-up piece of nylon.
And I included a couple of very unique foldable bags, which aren’t really the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a packable bag. If you’re willing to experiment and want something extra durable and sturdy, I highly recommend you pick up one of those.
Most of the bags featured here are made from either polyester or nylon because those two materials are perfect for these bags. They are lightweight, packable, pretty durable and very easy to maintain.
Nylon is generally a bit more durable than polyester, but that’s not always the case – it heavily depends on the thickness of the material, as well as whether or not a bag has any additional water repellent coating.
The best bags are made from really thick nylon/polyester (400D and up), and will at least be water-resistant.
Additionally, I did include a couple of bags that are made from other materials – these are sturdier, but not as lightweight or packable as the poly/nylon ones.
So, think about what you’re prioritizing – packability or durability? If you’re okay with a bag that’s a bit heavier but still foldable, then consider going for one of the unique choices I’ve featured.
It’s fair to say that almost all of the bag’s featured here are affordable. Sure, some are cheaper than others, but the vast majority of the foldable travel bags are under $30. Meaning that you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you want to get a foldable Samsonite bag.
I did include some pricier options, but those are for a very specific type of travelers. And I’ve also included some really cheap options, for people who don’t really care about the features of a particular foldable bag – they just want something they can throw in the suitcase, and which won’t take up a lot of space in the luggage.
So, there are options on both sides of the spectrum. But the vast majority of the bags are in the middle of it, with a price point that is considered affordable by most people.
Not quite sure which of these foldable travel bags is the right for you? Go with one of our favorite bags then – there’s one in each category!
The best foldable duffel bag would have to be the Bug Travel Duffel. The unique design is just amazing, and it without a doubt outperforms all of the other duffels in this review. And not just because of the incredibly sturdy and durable materials, but because of the abundance of pockets you get on the bag. That, compared to the one zippered pocket of most other duffels, is reason enough to pick up the Bug.
If you would prefer a foldable backpack, then go with Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack. The brand is knowing for manufacturing outstanding backpacks, and this is without a doubt the best foldable backpack you can get your hands on. The ripstop nylon is really durable, while the ventilated harness will keep you cool on hot, sweaty days. And the pack has several external pockets, which will help you organize some of your smaller belongings.
In case you’re looking for a simple foldable travel tote, your best option is the Samsonite Tote. It’s made from really thick polyester and it is lined on the inside, so it is much more durable than the cheaper alternatives. Plus, the tote has several external pockets, so you will be able to have some items easily accessible at all times. And it is an underseat bag, so you can bring it on a plane in addition to your carry-on suitcase.
Those are the top three foldable travel bags we recommend. Head over to Amazon to see the prices and color options of all the bags featured in this review.
If you’re thinking that a foldable bag might not be the way to go, check out our related posts for more ideas on great travel bags!