Embarking on a journey and need to pick the right travel bag? Maybe you don’t know which one to pick. Smart packing in the right travel bag can make your trips easier and more comfortable. When selecting a travel bag, consider some of these factors.


The size of the travel bag you use is determined, to some extent, by the length of your trip. If you’re just going on a weekend trip, a small or medium-sized bag will do. Even if you go on a week-long excursion, you can still fit all of your gear into a relatively small hiking pack. If you want to carry a bag onto an airplane, be sure to choose a bag that meets the current carry-on criteria and check with your airline for any additional restrictions.


Your options for a travel bag include backpacks, duffle bags, and wheeled luggage. The style of your bag depends on both the length of your trip and how you will be carrying the bag. Let's break each of these types of bags down.

  • Backpacks - Mobile, maneuverable, and easy to carry, backpacks are the go-to travel bag for many people. They are the best options for short trips, hiking, and even long-term outdoor activities. Packing space is the main drawback of a backpack.
  • Duffle Bag - Depending on the size, a duffle bag gives you an in-between from a backpack and wheeled luggage. Collapsible and easy to store, duffle bags can be a useful travel bag.
  • Wheeled Luggage - If you are looking at longer stays, a wheeled luggage is for you. It is easy to maneuver on paved or smooth surfaces, but an encumbrance on everything else. This type of luggage provides you with the most space and is ideal for longer trips.


Even if you check your travel bag at the airport, you will still have to manage it once you reach your destination. If your bag is too heavy or uncomfortable to carry, you might want to consider reorganizing your bag to get the weight at a manageable level. Also, keep in mind that many airlines charge fees for oversize or extra-heavy luggage.


If you are a seasoned traveler, you know that travel bags can take a beating. You want a bag that can last you a long time and won’t get damaged during transfers to and from the plane. You don’t want the contents inside your bag to be smashed or damaged, so considering how durable the material on the outside of the bag is, as well as wheels, zippers, and straps are important.


Many travel bags offer a warranty of some kind. Brands such as The North Face even offer a lifetime warranty on many of their travel bags. This is great for frequent flyers whose bags may be subject to quicker wear and tear. Another security feature to consider is a travel bag with a lock or code. If you decide to use any sort of lock on your travel bag, please make sure it is TSA compliant.

No matter what type of travel bag you choose, it's always smart to make sure it will fit a travel first aid kit. Whether you are going for a multi-day hike or a multi-day European vacation, you never know when you will need a band-aid. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports for expert advice about choosing the right travel bag for your outdoor adventures.