Tote bags are the perfect travel accessory for business(wo)men. Let’s face it, they are a lot more professional than backpacks, even if they might be slightly less functional. So, if you’re looking to show everyone that you’re a sleek and stylish professional, then an awesome travel tote is what you need.
In this review I’ll check out the best travel tote bags. Both for men and women. And I’ll only focus on top of the range bags; after all, you want a travel tote that will last you for years. Not one that will fall apart after just a few trips.
You can check out our favorite products featured in the review below.
At A Glance: Our Top Tote Bags for Travel
Not impressed by these? No problem. Here’s all the bags that we’ll check out in the review. Keep scrolling for more details on each…
MEN'S OVERALL BEST CHOICE
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MEN'S BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
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WOMEN'S OVERALL BEST CHOICE
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WOMEN'S BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
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Of course we’re kicking things off with Tumi – after all, they are one of the top luggage manufacturers out there. And their travel totes are very well made, as you would expect for the price. The Alpha 3 bag in particular is made of durable Ultra-durable FXT Ballistic nylon and comes with a top-quality dual coil zipper. So, you know this bag will certainly last you a long time.
The 15″ laptop sleeve is a feature that makes this bag a suitable choice for everyone. And the expandable capacity means that you can pack as much stuff as you can carry! Plus you get the comfortable shoulder strap that allows you to carry this like a messenger bag, in case you decide to fill it up completely. But if it gets too heavy for you, you can always use the luggage strap to mount it on top of your suitcase.
In terms of organization, the bag does not disappoint. There is an accordion style divider for all your files and papers, and a ton of both internal and external pockets. Overall, it’s probably the most sophisticated travel tote money can buy.
The Kroser bag is sleek, functional, great for organization and comes with a really attractive price tag. Which is why it is one of my favorite travel totes in this review. It is made of water repellent ballistic nylon that is both durable and dirt-resistant.
The bag has two spacious main compartments, one of which holds a padded laptop sleeve. There’s also a front pocket with an organizer panel for all the smaller things you might be carrying on your travels. In addition to that, the Kroser tote has expandable capacity, which always comes in handy when you least expect it.
Of course there is a luggage strap on the back, but it’s pretty thin compared to the straps on other bags we saw. What that means is that your bag might wiggle around a little when you mount it on top of your suitcase. But it should not be a big problem.
This tote also comes with a large padded shoulder strap, which should keep you comfortable while you’re carrying it. Overall, I think this bag will give you the best value for money. Check out its price to see for yourself!
If you’re looking for the ultimate compact and portable bag, then I think this is the best one for you. And can I just say that it’s so affordable it’s a shame not to get it!
What makes this travel tote bag stand out is the fact that it folds into itself. So, when you’re not using it you can store it pretty much anywhere. You can even just stick in the pocket of your jacket and have it handy in case you ever need it. Pretty cool right? However, that also means that this is a soft bag and that it won’t stand on its own. Unless it’s completely full.
The Arxus bag is made of tear resistant oxford fabric, which is actually not as durable as it sounds. In this case, you kind of get what you pay for. Check out the price to see what I mean.
But the bag does come with a luggage strap, which allows you to rest it on top of your suitcase. And the pouch that the tote stores in doubles as a pocket when you’re actually using the bag. Overall, it might be the highest quality bag, but it’s certainly a great choice if you’re looking for something ultra-affordable and ultra fun!
I’m sure some of you are already familiar with Travelpro – one of the leading luggage manufacturers. But if you’re not, all you need to know about them is that they are the it brand for most airline crews. So, if a bag is good enough for someone who spends pretty much every other day in a plane, then its got to be good enough for you!
The Maxlite 5 Tote bag does not disappoint at all – it is made of ballistic nylon with DuraGuard coating, which improves its stain and water resistance. It also comes with a luggage strap and a shoulder strap, for your carrying convenience.
But you might find the lack of a laptop sleeve a slight inconvenience. Actually, there aren’t a lot of pockets inside the bag, since it is designed to mostly hold your clothing. But, the bag is padded throughout and large enough to fit your laptop. So, if you already own a laptop sleeve, you could just slip it inside the bag and not worry about a thing. The padding will provide some shock absorption in case you drop your bag, and all the clothes inside it should keep the laptop in place.
It is not the best travel tote for organization, that’s for sure. But if you can live with the large external pocket and a small internal one, then definitely consider getting it.
The Voyageur tote bag is one of my favorite travel totes in this review. It is sleek, stylish and surprisingly functional. The bag is made of nylon, which is one of the top materials for travel bags in general, not just totes. Nylon is sturdy and durable, easy to clean off and waterproof on top of all that.
This travel tote also comes with some really useful features, like the luggage strap on the very back. This allows you to rest the bag on top of your suitcase and attach it to the wheel handle, so you don’t have to worry about the bag falling off. Which is pretty useful, considering that your laptop is probably going to be inside it.
And while we’re on the topic of laptops, you should know that the Tumi tote has a padded laptop sleeve with snap closure inside. It can fit your average 13″ laptop, which is great but not ideal. If your laptop is larger than that, you’ll want to skip this bag.
Other cool features include an added shoulder straps, a large external pocket in addition to several internal ones, Tumi name tag, a Tumi Tracer inside the bag and a dedicated tablet sleeve. Overall, if I were a lady looking for a high-end tote bag, this would be my first choice.
The Miss Fong tote is very similar to the Tumi bag, feature-wise. But it’s much more affordable, and it’s great for women who can’t afford to spend a couple hundred bucks on a travel bag.
This travel tote is also made of nylon and it is waterproof and really durable. Plus nylon doesn’t get dirty easily, and cleaning the bag will be a piece of cake. The inside of the bag is lined with striped fabric, but if I’m being completely honest I’m not a big fan of the lining. Just because it’s white, which means that it will get dirty really easily.
Other than that, I think you’ll love that this bag has a ton of pockets. Apart from the dedicated laptop sleeve, you get 3 mesh pocket, 1 large and 2 small slip pockets and an RFID blocking zippered pocket. And there’s also one large external pocket, on the front of the bag. Overall, the Miss Fong tote is great if organizing your stuff is your main concern.
You also get a luggage strap that allows you to secure the bag on top of your suitcase, just like in the photo.
The Delsey tote is the only women’s travel tote that has side pockets! I think that’s interesting, and it’s one reason why I really like the bag. These pockets are great for any stuff you want at your fingertips all the time – phone, passport, wallet and boarding tickets come to mind first.
The bag is made of ballistic nylon, which is a high-quality material. It is also waterproof and very durable, so you can expect this bag to live through all kinds of torture. If you’re looking for a bag that will last you for years and years to come, I think this is your best choice.
In terms of organization, the Delsey tote comes with a padded laptop sleeve and a few internal slip pockets. There is also a large external pocket and the side pockets I mentioned. Oh and another thing; the bag has a luggage strap. However, the bottom of the strap can be zippered, so that you can also use it as a pocket when the bag isn’t attached to your suitcase. And when you need the luggage strap function, just unzip the bottom and voila! Pretty cool, right?
The thing I don’t like about this bag is that it doesn’t come with a shoulder strap. So, you will have to carry it in your arms or use the short straps to carry it on your shoulder, and that can get tiring really easily. But overall it’s a great choice for the modern woman.
The Pursetti tote is another great choice for the ladies. For one thing it comes with a matching wristlet, which you can use either as a clutch or as a matching wallet. And it definitely increases the value you get for your money!
In terms of features that will make your travels easier, the bag is equipped with a luggage strap and a removable shoulder strap. That latter one is almost a must, since carry ons can get pretty heavy, and no one want to carry them in their arms for hours.
There is also a padded laptop sleeve inside, which will fit your average 15.6″ laptop. Additionally, the bag has several internal pockets, which are great for organization of any smaller items. And the two external slip pockets are awesome for any things you want to have handy while in transit, like your phone, passport, plane tickets etc.
The exterior of the bag is made of quilted microfiber. Although this material looks great, it gets dirty easily and it’s not that easy to clean off. But the bag is black, so even if you get it dirty it won’t be too visible.
The first thing I will tell you is that I really like the color options this Tote bag comes in. Most of them a a variation of gray, which is great for keeping clean and going with absolutely any outfit. But, for those that want something brighter, there are also a couple of more outlandish colors too.
My favorite thing about this bag is the position of the dedicated 15.6 inch laptop compartment. It acts like a divider, and it separates the inside of the bag into two different compartments. Which is absolutely awesome for organization.
In addition to that, there are also so many pockets and holders, you are spoiled for choice. There are zipper pockets, 2 bottle/umbrella holders, 4 mesh pockets, 3 pen holders, 8 side holders and more If you’re a freak for organization, then I think this is the perfect tote for you.
However, there are a few obvious downsides to it, like with any travel tote bag of course. The tote doesn’t have a luggage strap or a shoulder strap, and carrying it around the airport will get awkward and tiring. But if you can get over that, you will really enjoy the numerous benefits of this travel tote.
Oh, and it comes with a matching purse too, so it’s a great deal all around!
Obviously the ones that are going to fit all your needs, and I’m mostly thinking about your laptop and if it’s going to fit in the bag. But I did think some bags were overall just better than the others, so let’s talk about them.
For men, I think the overall best choice is the Kroser tote bag. It is just the best value for money – you get everything you need, it will fit even your giant 17″ laptop, and it’s so affordable that you have to reload the page to make sure that the displayed price is the correct one. The tote has a shoulder strap and a luggage strap, which makes it so easy to travel with. And it’s made of nylon, so you don’t have to worry about it tearing or getting dirty.
The second best choice would be the Tumi Alpha 3 tote. It is the top luxurious choice, and it’s basically a bag you invest in once in your lifetime. However, that luxurious material is very high maintenance, so you will have to take care of your bag properly. And you will probably cry if it gets damaged. But you will absolutely love its expandable capacity, the large laptop sleeve and the abundance of pockets it comes with. And a shoulder strap and a luggage strap are included for your carrying convenience!
Out of all the women’s bags, I think the Tumi Voyageur is by far the best one. It might not be as affordable as the others, but it’s not too expensive; especially when you consider the quality you are getting. The bag is made of nylon, it has a ton of pockets inside and a laptop sleeve that can fit 13″ laptops. Plus it comes with a luggage strap, a shoulder strap and the Tumi Tracer technology which will reunite you with your bag if you ever lose it!
And for the ladies, I would definitely recommend the Delsey Montmartre+ Journee bag if you’re not a fan of the Tumi. I think it is the overall best value for money – it is not too expensive, but it is still a high-quality bag. It’s made of nylon, which is pretty much the best material for bags you are going to use for travel frequently. And it has all the necessary features – a ton of pockets, including slip slide pockets, a laptop sleeve and a luggage strap. Sadly, it lacks a shoulder strap to be the all around best option.
You can check out the prices of these bags (and all the others from this review) on Amazon. Head over there right now to get a great deal on any one of these tote bags for travel!
Obviously you want a bag that can fit your laptop.
Some of the bags in this review will have laptop sleeve, and others won’t. But if you already own a laptop sleeve, then the lack of one in a bag shouldn’t be a big deal – provided that the bag itself will provide some shock absorption in case you drop it.
On the other hand, if you are looking specifically for a bag with a laptop sleeve, make sure that it’s going to fit your laptop. You can find info on the size of sleeve in the product information boxes below each section.
Pay attention to the material that the bag is made of. Nylon is generally the best choice, because it’s the most durable. And it’s also water resistant and stain resistant, which means that you won’t have to clean your bag every other day.
Leather, canvas and microfiber on the other hand all look really good, but can get dirty really easily. Obviously, this is not ideal for a bag you are going to be using frequently for travel. You need be especially careful with bags made of genuine leather, since they are often high maintenance.
Also keep in mind that the price best reflect the quality of the bag. I did my best to include bags that are high quality, but I did have to throw in a few cheaper ones for people who are looking for more affordable options.
Tote bags are known for their two carry handles, especially the ones for women. However, carry handles are very inconvenient for, well, carrying. Why? Because when you travel, your bag will tend to be heavy. Which is why you want your bag to also have a shoulder strap. It gives you options.
Most of the bags in this review come with a shoulder strap, but not all of them. If this is something you don’t care about, then don’t sweat it. But if you do want a shoulder strap, check out the pros and cons box to find out if the bag you have your eye on has one.