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Picture this: you’re on a long-haul flight, cramped in your seat with hardly any legroom or space to move around. Still, you desperately need your book or your phone charger. However, they’re buried deep in your carry-on luggage or Travel Backpack. Who needs the hassle of digging in there to get them out?
But what if you had a smaller bag ‒ one designed to keep your essentials within easy reach? Of course, most such bags fit neatly under your seat, making your journey more comfortable and convenient.
Personal bags provide these and many other benefits, making them essential travel accessories. So, read on to find out why you need a bag for personal items on your next trip and which ones to purchase!
What Are the Best Personal Item Bags?
Traveling is an exciting adventure, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. But the perfect personal item bag is one essential accessory that can alleviate some of the stress. With the right bag, you can have everything you need within reach, whether you’re on a plane, train, or bus.
Imagine having your passport, wallet, phone, snacks, and a good book all in one convenient place.
So don’t let disorganization and discomfort spoil your travel experience! Invest in a quality personal bag today and make your next trip unforgettable.
Read on to learn more about our top picks in personal item bags!
Product Reviews – Best Personal Item Bag
1. Lo & Sons O.G. 2 Shoulder Bag
Touted as “lightweight yet super functional,” this shoulder bag is perfect for any traveler. It has various pockets, as well as room for your laptop and shoes!
The Lo & Sons O.G. 2 is an extremely lightweight and versatile travel option. Firstly, it provides many advantages over other personal bags. Also, it’s light and compact enough to carry on the overhead compartment of most planes and can just as easily be used as an office, gym, or weekend personal carry-on bag.
The Lo & Sons O.G. 2 offers travelers ample storage space. Additionally, it has a removable shoulder strap and easy-access pockets. Lastly, it’s made of water-resistant fabric, making it perfect for all kinds of situations.
- The bag features a padded laptop pocket that can hold up to 13″ devices
- Has a separate padded compartment that can be used for gym shoes or a pair of flight slippers
- Carry the bag using the standard handles or the pass-through sleeve for wheeled luggage
- Also comes with a padded and detachable shoulder strap for crossbody carrying
- Available in two sizes and various colors for the nylon exterior, interior lining, and hardware
The Lo & Sons O.G. 2 lists for $378, but it’s also available at 30% off from its website for $264.60.
The Lo & Sons O.G. 2 offers innovative features that make it my perfect travel accessory. I love its versatility and light weight, and I’ve often found it suitable for a wide range of travel purposes. I’ve even taken it to the office and gym! Plus, it offers ample storage for all my essentials.
2. Cuyana System Tote
The System Tote is a multipurpose bag, perfect not just for travel but for everyday use. Additionally, you can even turn it into an evening clutch!
The Cuyana System Tote is clearly designed with versatility in mind. With its Flap Bag and Wide Adjustable Strap, you can take it from day to night. So turn it into a chic crossbody accessory for quick lunches, then carry it as an elegant clutch for evening events.
Thus, whether you’re on the go or at home, this is the perfect companion for your weekdays.
- Comes with a unique snap system that allows for fully customizable add-on accessories
- Available in custom colors and sizes. Optional extras include a laptop sleeve and pouches
- Made from soft and supple Italian double-faced leather. So, it ages beautifully over time
- Uses LWG-certified leather, which means it’s tanned in an environmentally responsible way
- Has a laptop sleeve that keeps your work computer safe and secure. So it can be snapped in or carried alone in between meetings
- The flap bag can be attached to the system tote to store your necessities or used as a separate bag for off-duty outings
- Zipper pouch insert improves organization with quick and easy snap-on-and-off construction
The Cuyana System Tote is listed at $278.
I’ve found the Cuyana System Tote to be a highly customizable travel accessory. My favorite features are the removable options such as the laptop sleeve, interior zipper pouch, and flap pouch.
Also, I’ve used this bag many times as a clutch purse, and the interchangeable straps allow me to keep all of my travel essentials organized during flight. When needed, it even easily transitions from flight to landing!
3. Dagne Dover Daily Tote
The bag itself is made of vegan leather, and the lining out of recycled plastic bottles. Thus, it’s an ideal guilt-free option for a personal bag!
A tote needs to be organized for it to be practical, and the Dagne Dover Daily Tote does just that. So, this stylish travel accessory features slip and zippered pockets, pen loops, and a bottle holder made of neoprene. Its zip-closed design ensures that nothing will fall out of your bag when you stash it under the seat in front of you.
- Made with vegan leather and 55% recycled Repreve® lining (which is made from six recycled plastic bottles)
- Offers ample space and multiple pockets. So, this includes a padded laptop sleeve, a neoprene water (or wine) bottle holder, and stylish hardware
- Holds a wide range of essential items, including a change of clothes and shoes
- Comes with a luggage sleeve for easy travel, giving your shoulders a breather
- The dust bag is also eco-friendly, made from four recycled plastic bottles
The Dagne Dover Daily Tote is available for $275.
You can’t go wrong with the Dagne Dover Daily Tote! Firstly, I’ve found it to be the perfect bag for leather lovers (like me) who want to reduce the environmental impact of purchasing leather accessories.
I like how it can accommodate up to 13″ laptops and still allow me to carry a change of clothes and shoes. Lastly, with a lining made of six recycled plastic bottles, you will find it an excellent vegan-friendly option.
4. MZ Wallace Black Medium Metro Tote Deluxe
This roomy tote bag is made of lightweight quilted nylon. Additionally, it has double handles and a crossbody strap so you can carry it however you prefer.
The Medium Metro Tote Deluxe features new, innovative features added to the best-selling Metro Tote silhouette, so it’s designed to do even more. Also, it features a luggage sleeve, two exterior slip pockets, and two zippered collar pockets.
The Metro Tote Deluxe also has an adjustable crossbody strap that you can wear wherever you go. As a result, this bag is a suitable option for work, the gym, the airport, or wherever else you need to go.
- Zip top closure for secure storage
- Reinforced, padded nylon handles for comfortable carrying
- Detachable, adjustable nylon crossbody strap for hands-free convenience
- Five exterior pockets for easy access to essentials
- Additionally, six interior pockets for organization
- Natural leather protective feet to keep the bag off the ground
- Luggage sleeve to attach to wheeled luggage for easy travel
- Fits a 13″ laptop in a padded separate laptop compartment
- Phone pocket to keep your phone easily accessible
- Key ring strap to keep your keys within reach
The Metro Tote Deluxe Medium retails for $275.
This Metro Tote Deluxe Medium is a useful travel option for me due to its light weight, multiple comfortable straps, and various pockets. It’s an excellent choice if you value comfort the most when flying, as I do.
Apart from being comfortable, this travel bag also fits everything I could possibly need while on a plane. Plus, the small compartment inside allows me to easily access my wallet and passport!
5. Away The Everywhere Bag
This bag is sturdy, spacious, and ideal for daily use! Not only does it meet airline requirements for personal item bags, but it features a trendy design.
Away’s Everywhere Bag is a standard-size version of the company’s top-selling model. In addition, this particular travel bag has a full wraparound zip opening for easy access to the main compartment.
Also included is a detachable padded shoulder strap with concealed D-rings and top handles that make the bag easier to carry. Lastly, the padded 15″ laptop pocket and a detachable key clip make it perfect as a gym or work bag.
- Water-resistant nylon material with leather accents
- Its main compartment has an extended zipper opening for easy access and visibility
- Interior organization system includes zipper and slip pockets, a new water bottle pocket, and a detachable key clip
- Exterior padded laptop pocket can fit computers up to 15″ and has a magnetic locking zipper for security
- Can be secured to any Away Carry-On rolling luggage for a smooth ride
- Removable shoulder strap with concealable D rings
- Meets airline requirements for a personal item
The Everywhere Bag lists for $195.
Personally, Away definitely hit on a winning formula with the second version of the Everywhere Bag! With its waterproof nylon, this travel bag is durable and lightweight enough to serve as carry-on baggage that I could stash in a plane’s overhead compartment.
I love that it has plenty of pockets to keep things organized and even has a water bottle pocket. It’s also equipped with a separate padded sleeve that can fit up to a 15″ laptop, making it a great choice for digital nomads like me!
6. Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote
This personal bag may seem minimalist but can carry a large volume of items. The Le Pliage Tote bag features a snap button and zip closure.
With its sleek nylon and embossed leather trim, Longchamp’s Large Le Pliage Tote is the perfect choice for everyday use. A versatile and elegant option, it has an attractive nylon finish with embossed leather trim, so it could just as easily work as a stylish day bag.
The Longchamp Le Pliage Tote also has an inside pocket for tidy organization. Plus, the water-resistant finish makes it suitable even during rainy days.
- Features a top zip closure with a snap tab for added security
- Comes with top carry handles for easy transport
- Designed to fold for convenient storage and unsnaps to expand for use
- Includes an interior smartphone pocket to keep your device within reach
- The lining is water-resistant, protecting your belongings from moisture damage
- Can be flattened and snapped for compact storage
- Made from durable textile material with leather trim
Longchamp’s Le Pliage Tote lists for $155.
It’s hard for me to think of a bag more iconic than Longchamp’s Le Pliage Tote. So as a recommended staple in everyone’s wardrobe, I’ve found it durable enough to withstand years of heavy use.
Also, I’ve used this bag frequently on travels and day-to-day activities, but it still looks just as good as the day I bought it! This tote bag is also extremely light, no matter how much I carry, which is always a plus.
7. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
This Messenger Bag is the result of 30 years of Timbuk2’s expertise. Also, the bag is made of 100% recycled polyester.
If you aren’t a big fan of backpacks, the Timbuk2 Classic should be right up your alley! So like all messenger bags, this small bag is a hands-free model that’s designed to fit snugly against your back. Offering a superb blend of classic design and modern features, it’s a good choice for an everyday bag that also works as a travel bag or even your only bag.
- Features an internal organizer for storing laptops, pens, phones, and other small items
- Has an internal slash pocket for securely holding files
- Includes a Napoleon side-entry pocket for quick access without undoing the flap
- Also has an internal water bottle holder
- Extras include a low-profile top grab handle, partially concealed flap buckles with bottom compression straps, as well as a smart hook, loop placement, and a Vista loop for attaching bike lights
- Made with easy wipe TPU liner and rugged 150D Poly Tweed material
- Lastly, comes with a coordinating Strap Pad and a fully adjustable shoulder strap with a permanent, comfortable air-mesh strap pad
The Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is sold for $89.
The Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is a favorite of mine due to its custom-style options. Additionally, I love that it can be customized with different pocket configurations!
I’ve also found this bag very low-maintenance, with a waterproof exterior and an interior that you can easily wipe clean when it gets smudged. Even the small version is big enough to fit my 15″ laptop, yet much more manageable than a larger carry-on that can be bulky when full.
8. Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag
The Dagne Dover Landon Carryall is 100% vegan, great for traveling or having a good night out. This crossbody bag has plenty of pockets to store items, including your phone and keys.
Planning a long weekend getaway? Then you’ll need a huge weekend bag like the Landon Carryall! It offers enough space for all your things, making it ideally suited for scheduled vacations or extended stays.
So, the Landon Carryall Bag is lightweight and sleek on the outside and tidy on the inside. Features such as a shoe dust bag, a key leash, and a pouch ensure you don’t leave any essentials behind. It even has a bottle holder in case you get thirsty!
- Ideal bag size for carry-on luggage with ample space for packing more items
- Designed to fit most 16″ laptops securely
- Neoprene luggage-handle sleeve for easy handling and transporting
- Repreve® recycled lining for sustainable and eco-friendly design
- Includes shoe bags to keep your shoes separate and clean during travel.
- Comes with a dust bag to store and protect your luggage.
The Landon Carryall Bag has a list price of $245.
You definitely won’t regret adding the Landon Carryall Bag to your travel collection! Unlike many other standard laptop bags or camera bags I’ve tried, its interior is so spacious that it can comfortably hold a weekend’s worth of clothes plus my laptop and still have room to spare!
But what stands out the most for me are the numerous compartments that can accommodate all of my in-flight requirements. So from my headphones, and compression socks to travel toiletries and more, this packable bag can hold it all and keep my things well organized.
9. Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Crossbody Bag
The Anti-Theft Heritage Bag is a comfortable crossbody bag that keeps your things organized and safe from theft. It even has a key clip with an LED light!
The Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Bag combines American inspiration with a modern flair, resulting in the perfect bag for travel and everyday use. So it has a roomy compartment with a zippered RFID-blocking pocket for added security, a lockable front zipped pocket, and a standard back zip pocket.
Then, this compact bag features a slash-resistant design, locking compartments, locking straps, and other anti-theft features to help keep your valuables safe. The strap is also adjustable for personalized comfort.
- Features a 5-Point Anti-Theft Security System
- Has lock-down shoulder straps to secure the bag to a stationary object
- Has locking compartments and zippered pulls
- Comes with a slash-resistant body and straps
- Has built-in RFID-blocking pockets
- Features a main compartment organizer with front- as well as rear-zippered mesh pockets
- Has a tethered interior key clip with an LED light
- Made of water and dirt-resistant fabric
The Heritage Anti-Theft Crossbody bag lists for $58, but is also available at Amazon for $40.49.
The Heritage Anti-Theft Crossbody bag can carry and manage more of my items than most other personal item bags I’ve tried. In addition, it has a number of storage pockets and an internal zippered RFID pocket that keeps my valuables safe.
I’ve also found that the 5-Point Anti-Theft Security System makes this lightweight bag an excellent alternative to a larger wheeled suitcase. It’s especially suited for travelers like me who want to minimize the risk of theft during travels.
10. L.L. Bean Boat and Tote, Zip-Top
This personal Boat and Tote bag is L.L. Bean’s pride and joy. Additionally, it’s made of heavyweight canvas material so you can use it to carry your most important things when traveling!
The Boat & Tote was first introduced to the public in 1944 when it was marketed as an ice carrier. Made of rugged and heavy-duty builders’ canvas, it’s still well suited for modern use, especially if you need to do a lot of heavy lifting.
A lot more stylish than the ice carriers of old, the Boat & Tote is useful for trips to the grocery store, the beach, the library, or even as a carry-on bag. Lastly, it’s tested to hold up to 500 pounds and has a secure zip top.
- Crafted with heavy-duty 24 oz. cotton canvas material for durability
- Features a double-layer base and reinforced flat canvas bottom to provide extra strength and support
- Also, overlapped seams are double-stitched with nylon to prevent rotting or breaking
- Handles can hold up to 500 pounds for added convenience
- Handcrafted in Maine since 1944, ensuring quality and authenticity
- Available in natural color with contrast-tone handles in your choice of lengths
- Finally, has an option to add a monogram for personalization or to give as a gift
The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote sells for $44.95.
The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bags are an ideal choice for travelers like me who need a flexible bag that can hold almost anything without weighing a ton. Also, I love how it can fit into a plane’s overhead bin and even hang from a seat in front of you without looking out of place.
I’ve used the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote as my main bag when traveling and often place smaller bags inside it for better organization. However you use it, this is one bag you will want to have with you everywhere you go.
11. Kipling Presto Up Waist Pack
Made of nylon, this belt bag can be carried over the shoulder or across the body. Since it’s a Kipling product, it even comes with a monkey keychain!
The Presto Up Waist Pack by Kipling fits right in with the current fanny pack resurgence. Offering better functionality than standard fanny packs, this can be used as a waist bag, crossbody accessory, toiletry bag, camera bag, or shoulder bag.
Instead of a single large compartment, the Kipling Presto Up Waist Pack features two exterior zip pockets, which not many crossbody bags provide. Lastly, it’s constructed of ultralight nylon fabric, providing a durable texture for casual use.
- Made of rugged, heavy-duty nylon
- Large enough to accommodate most essential items
- However, it’s lightweight at only 0.53lbs
- Shoulder bag with a zippered tiny pouch
- Features a zippered pocket and a main zip compartment
- Includes a waist strap with clip closure that you can attach to a seat in front of you
- Also comes with a monkey keychain
The Presto Up Waist Pack normally lists for $64, but you can get it at Amazon for $50.17.
Firstly, I’ve always been a fan of the original Presto bag, and I adore the sleek Presto Up’s new look! After all, the simple adjustable strap makes it a cinch for me to carry around the waist like a fanny pack, over the shoulder, or even crossbody. Thus, I highly recommend this pack for anyone looking for a single bag you can stash underneath a seat in front of you.
12. Monos Metro Duffel
The Monos Metro Duffel bag is a multipurpose personal bag that can keep all your items organized. In addition, it’s made of water-resistant nylon and vegan leather.
The Monos Metro Duffel is a popular choice for weekend travelers, and for good reason! Although it’s a strikingly stylish duffel bag, the Metro Duffel can carry a surprising amount of personal items.
It’s also an ideal solution for air travel with a trolley sleeve and a roomy inside compartment that’s specifically designed to keep your items neat and organized. Even better, it includes a useful Dopp kit that can be detached and used for storing your skincare products and tech devices in a single location.
- Features the QuickSnap™ Modular Kit System for easy interchangeability with other Metro bags
- The zippered main compartment includes two interior side pockets with magnetic snap closures to secure your water bottle and umbrella
- A separate interior compartment can be used as a laptop or tablet pocket, while an outside front pocket allows quick access to necessary items
- Has a built-in trolley sleeve that can be converted into an additional pocket when needed
The Metro Backpack and Duffel bag kit sells for $210.
The Metro Backpack and Duffel bag includes a Classic Kit — talk about a great deal! But to improve your everyday-carry setup, it even includes a Metro Folio Kit. So this allows me to easily switch out items as needed.
When I’m traveling by plane or train and want to keep my legroom, I can store the travel bag and bring only the Metro Kit thanks to the built-in trolley sleeve. And when I’m going out but want to travel light, I can simply remove the Metro Kit and go. Regardless of how I move, my essentials are just a quick snap away.
13. Samsonite Pro Double Compartment Briefcase
Boasting a sleek design, this bag has various features for the working professional like wireless charging and USB ports. Also, good news for people who work on the go — it can fit laptops up to 15.6″.
Crafted for high performance, the Samsonite Pro is specifically created for those who prioritize business travel. This contemporary version is especially suited to the needs of sophisticated working professionals.
Boasting contemporary styling, the Samsonite Pro offers durable construction, well-planned organization, and state-of-the-art technological advancements such as wireless charging, RFID protection, and USB ports for quick charging on the go.
- Equipped with tech upgrades such as wireless charging, RFID protection, and USB ports for on-the-go charging
- Features a laptop and tablet sleeve, as well as a premium business organization
- Smart Sleeve fits over most upright luggage handles for easy mobility
- Also has a pass-through sleeve for placing it on top of luggage
- Padded laptop compartment can accommodate up to a 15.6″ laptop, making it perfect for working on the go
- Leather touch points on the handles and front accent panel add a professional touch. In addition, the adjustable shoulder strap features a logo-embossed leather patch
- Has a file divider in the main compartment and complete business organization in the exterior pockets
Samsonite Pro is available for $146.99.
I love how the Samsonite Pro double-compartment briefcase boasts a chic, contemporary design without compromising on functionality. Additionally, it’s packed with cutting-edge technological advancements like wireless charging, RFID protection, and USB ports, which I find very handy. It also features a designated laptop compartment and tablet sleeve, making it the best personal bag I’ve tried for business travels.
Why is a Personal Item Bag Necessary?
A personal item bag is an essential travel accessory that can make your journey more comfortable and convenient. Of course, there are many reasons why you might need a personal item bag. So they:
- Offer more convenient access to your things;
- Save you considerable time;
- Ensure comfort during a trip;
- Allow you to maximize space; and
- Are versatile enough to be used for different purposes
Convenient access: The best bags let keep your essential items within easy reach. With these bags, business travelers can easily retrieve their passport, wallet, phone, as well as other travel documents without having to dig into a rolling suitcase.
Saves time: Having your essentials organized in a handy bag allows you to quickly access them when necessary. Thus, a decent personal item bag can save you considerable time and prevent delays.
Keeps you comfortable: A well-designed bag can be worn comfortably on your shoulder or across your body. As a result, this leaves your hands free for other tasks.
Maximizes space: Airlines have strict carry-on size limits, but most allow you to bring a personal item in addition to your carry-on. A roomy bag can help you maximize your carry-on allowance so you can bring more of your essentials with you.
Versatility: A good personal item bag can be a daypack, work bag, or even a small diaper bag. So, it’s a versatile accessory that you can use for many different purposes.
All in all, a smaller bag can make your travel experience more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable. It can help you stay organized and prepared while on the go, making your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
What Makes for a Good Carry-On Bag?
A bag for personal items should be versatile, convenient to use, and allow you to keep your things organized. It should also be large enough to fit all your essentials but not so large that it’s cumbersome to carry like a rolling suitcase.
Thus, the best personal item bags are durable and well-built to withstand the wear and tear of frequent travel. And, of course, it should be comfortable enough to carry for extended periods.
A bag isn’t just a convenient travel option. After all, it can greatly affect your comfort and satisfaction on a trip and possibly even change how you travel.
An under-seat bag for personal items could also save you the cost of checking in wheeled luggage. Plus, it allows you easy access to essential items during your trip.
What’s a good size for a personal bag?
A personal item bag can be any size you want. But, it’s a good idea to check your airline’s guidelines for personal item dimensions if you intend to use it for traveling. Of course, around 18 x 14 x 8 inches or smaller should suit most airlines.
What can I bring in my personal item bag?
Personal item bags usually contain passports, wallets, phones, travel documents, and all other necessities. Some people also use them to carry books, tablets, or small electronic devices.
Can I bring a personal item bag in addition to a purse or laptop bag?
It depends on the airline. Some airlines allow travelers to carry on one personal item bag and one additional item such as a purse or laptop bag. On the other hand, certain airlines strictly allow only one personal item that can fit under the seat.
Can personal item bags be used to carry liquids onto a plane?
Bringing liquids in a personal item bag is permissible as long as you follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This rule states that liquids must be in containers no more than 3.4 ounces in capacity. Thus, travelers should place the containers in a clear plastic quart-sized bag.
Can I bring a personal item bag on international flights?
Most airlines allow you to bring personal item bags or shoulder bags on international flights in addition to your carry-on luggage or rolling bag. Even so, it’s advisable to check with your airline for their specific policies.
Can I bring a personal item bag on a bus or train?
It is usually permissible to bring personal item bags or shoulder bags on a bus or train as long as they can fit under the seat. But as with taking a rolling bag, it’s always a good idea to check with the specific carrier for their policies and restrictions regarding how much the bag weighs.