Different Types of Travel Bags with Pros, Cons & Uses

The holiday season always commences the mood for getaways. Scheduling a vacation requires a lot of packaging to make the expedition more home-like and congenial. Different types of travel bags can help you pack your belongings by your preference and budget.

Travel bags are the most crucial aspect of travelling as they help carry belongings easily and keep them safe. Finding a well-built travel bag that is spacious enough to fit in all the travel essentials is truly a bonus. Various travel bags are available in the market- trolley bags, backpacks, daypacks, duffel bags, messenger bags, etc.

When buying, it is essential to take note of the material, durability, and purpose-filling value of the bag. This article will help you decide the right kind of travel buddy to purchase based on your budget, travel type, location, destination, etc.

Different Types of Travel Bags

1. Travel Backpack

A travel backpack is a type of bag designed to pack up all travel essentials. These backpacks are available in various sizes on the market, depending on the trip duration. Also, they are relatively cheaper than other types of travel bags.

The best travel backpacks in India come with segregated pockets and compartments, which assist with packing the luggage in an organized manner. As a result, the systematic arrangement of the bags also makes the items easier to find.

While travelling, opening and taking out necessary items from a travel backpack is more convenient than other travel bags. The spaciousness and affordability of the bags make them perfect for travel.

Best Use: Ideal for all kinds of travelling, including short weekend travel to hiking depending upon the capacity.


  • Available at affordable prices.
  • Systematically enables the simple packing of luggage.
  • Convenient for adventure-based trips for 2-15 days.
  • Travel backpacks are portable and lightweight.
  • Various designs and colour choices are available.


  • Travel backpacks with an external or internal frame are weighty compared to frameless ones.
  • Not suitable for carrying to school, college, or office.

2. Duffel/ weekender bag

Duffel weekender bag

These are cylindrical-shaped bags with thick drawstrings for support to the shoulders while travelling.

Duffle bags are compact to store your travel essentials for the weekend. For this reason, they are also known as weekender bags.

The Duffel or weekender bags make a good travel buddy as they are highly adaptable and durable. Moreover, these bags are very spacious and an excellent choice for storing bulkier items.

Best Use: Ideal for weekend travels or journeys by train, bus, or car.


  • Effortless to pack and easy to carry.
  • Duffel bags are voluminous with an extensive storage capacity.
  • Robust quality that can withstand wear and tear during travelling on car, train, and bus.
  • Easily endures the weight of heavy luggage.


  • Carrying weight on a single side can cause shoulder, back, and neck aches.
  • Lacks additional compartments for organized storage.

3. Rucksack/ Backpack for Trekking, Hiking, Camping

Rucksack/ Backpack for Trekking, Hiking, Camping

The rucksack or trekking/hiking/camping backpacks are lucrative voyage mates as they come with hip and chest belts that help secure them around the traveller’s body. The belt prevents the trekking bag from sliding off now and then and keeping it in a firm position. This is a massive bonus for travellers.

These travel bags are larger-sized backpacks that are fit for trekking, hiking, camping, etc. Such bags are for the stout-hearted globetrotters who lace their vacations with adventure.

To support the body on uneven trails, the best rucksack bags often come with an internal or external frame. While these frames add extra weight to the bag, you can also choose a frameless travel backpack for extra comfort.

Best Use: Ideal for climbing, hiking, trekking, camping, and adventure sports.


  • These backpacks offer enormous storage for stacking up all trekking essentials required for the trip.
  • Rucksacks are waterproof and portable.
  • These bags have belts to get perfectly latched onto the body.
  • You would not need to carry any other bag when carrying a trekking rucksack.


  • Overfilling the bags can cause aches and discomfort to the user.
  • They are costly compared to ordinary travel bags.

Also Read: Backpack vs Rucksack

4. Trolley bag

Trolley bag

These are bags that come with wheels attached to their base. Trolley bags help with serving the effortless push-and-pull purpose to the users. They are of great use when the luggage is heavier.

The best quality trolley bags are very sturdy and can endure the weight of many items without the risk of breaking them. Trolley bags can mostly be seen at airports and railway stations.

Trolley bags are usually made of polypropylene, ABS, polycarbonate or polyester. The presence of wheels makes them easier to glide along without using physical exertion to carry them.

Best Use: Railway and air travel without adventurous activities like trekking, or hiking.


  • Trolley bags are excellent for travelling by air or train because of their compact design and easy storage facility.
  • These travel bags can have enormous capacities to carry heavyweight luggage.
  • Trolley bags are easy to carry and lock in a secure position.
  • Most trolley bags have a giant compartment along with small pockets to accommodate all travel essentials.


  • On rougher surfaces, the wheels can pose trouble by not gliding over smoothly.
  • Trolley bags are a costly investment.

5. Laptop travel bags

Laptop travel bags

These travel bags are explicitly crafted for carrying the laptop on a trip. They are available in different shapes depending on the laptop size.

One important feature of a travel laptop bag is that it comes with extra padding and cushioning to keep the laptop safe during the journey.

People find these bags suitable for travel as they are made essentially for storing laptops and their accessories, so the risk of the device getting mangled is minimal.

Best Use: Ideal for office or business travel.


  • These bags are very budget-friendly.
  • The additional paddings protect the laptop from getting scratched or damaged by other luggage.
  • You can also put your mobile phone charger, power bank, or Bluetooth speaker inside a laptop backpack.
  • They are extremely compact and convenient to use.


  • They have limited storage space and can barely accommodate any bulky items.
  • Can become cumbersome to manage in the presence of additional luggage.

6. Anti-theft travel backpack

Anti-theft travel backpack

Anti-theft backpacks are great travel partners as these bags ensure to satisfy the number one concern of travellers- safety.

These travel bags are specially designed to provide numerous security measures like complicated zippers, password systems, anti-wear-and-tear materials, and several hidden chambers.

Besides the anti-theft feature, these bags also provide the usual high storage facility like travel backpacks.

Best Use: Ideal for long-distance and solo travelling.


  • It ensures maximum defence against the chances of theft.
  • Anti-theft travel backpack consists of additional clandestine compartments for the storage of valuable items.
  • This type of travel bag is portable & easy to carry.


  • These bags are expensive.
  • It does not come with a huge capacity like rucksacks or trekking backpacks.

7. Camera bag

Camera bag

These are the type of travel bags that are crafted just for keeping and carrying the camera and its accessories protected. Such delicate devices are challenging to carry with other luggage; having separate bags makes it beneficial to keep them safe.

Camera bags are primarily waterproof and flexible, keeping your camera protected from the weather, and making them suitable for travel. These bags are of great use for bloggers, photographers, or simply any traveller who wants to capture special moments without ruining their camera by keeping it with the other bulky luggage.

Best use: Ideal for beginner and professional travel photographers.


  • It helps keep the camera segregated from other luggage.
  • The camera bags are lightweight and easily portable.
  • Most camera backpacks come with a laptop compartment.
  • These bags are waterproof and keep the camera protected from rain and sudden liquid splashes.


  • Limited storage space to accommodate extra items.
  • It cannot be used for other purposes.

8. Daypack


These are the essential backpacks that accommodate all essential travel items for a day.

Daypacks are excellent travel buddies for people who commute every day, especially students and office workers.

As they are lightweight and easy to carry, a backpack is also ideal for a day trip to a nearby location.

The best thing about casual backpacks is that they come in a wide range of designs, shapes and colours.

Best Use: Ideal for short-distance travel for a day.


  • These bags are durable and can be used almost every day.
  • Daypacks have a decent number of compartments to add to the storage.
  • Such bags are kind of featherlight and agile.
  • These bags are also very affordable.


  • Daypack bags are not very spacious, so, they are not ideal for long travel.

9. Messenger bag

Messenger bag

These types of travel bags are square-shaped or rectangular bags with crossbody straps, and they are the bigger versions of the typical sling bags with additional storage space.

Messenger bags are a great choice as they make space for handy travel essentials without posing any risk on the road.

These bags are also good for office-goers who commute shorter distances between home and work. The traveller does not have to hold these bags, making them beneficial for people travelling by bus, train, or even cycling.

Best Use: Excellent for cycling, biking, train, or bus journey.


  • Messenger bags offer a decent amount of space to keep items.
  • The strap makes it easy to latch the bag onto the body without putting much exertion into carrying it.
  • It keeps the hands unattended as they are mostly attached to the shoulders.


  • The storage space of messenger bags is limited.
  • These bags are prone to the potential risk of theft.

10. Wheeled/ rolling backpack

Wheeled rolling backpack and bag

These travel backpacks with wheels attached wheels serve the purpose of a backpack with an additional trolley system.

Wheeled backpacks are also called rolling backpacks as you can carry or roll them when needed.

They can be carried and glided through smooth surfaces, making them a good choice for travelling.

Best Use: Ideal for travelling on flights or railways.


  • Wheeled backpacks are easy to carry with less effort.
  • These bags are highly spacious and can endure the weight of bulky goods.
  • Offers a good deal of security as they have a decent lock system.


  • They are expensive and not budget-friendly for many.
  • Systematic storage becomes difficult due to the lack of separate storage compartments.

11. Travel tote

Travel tote

These are oblong-shaped bags of moderate size suitable for female users. Travel totes have either a drawstring or crossbody strap and sometimes both make travel feasible.

These bags are made of varying materials to fit people’s necessities. There are sustainable cloth-based tote bags for people who prefer environmentally friendly items. For people who like sturdy bags, leather tote bags are the way to go.

Their portability and ease of convenience make them a good choice for short-distance travel. They are considered the best alternative to plastic bags by the present generation.

Best Use: Ideal for carrying lightweight documents, books, a small number of fruits and grocery items.


  • Attractive designs and colours are preferred by women.
  • Travel tote bags are budget-friendly and cost-effective.
  • They are handy during shopping at the local market.


  • The storage space these bags offer is not substantial enough to stock many things.

12. Waist bag

 Waist bag

These types of travel bags have a pouch-like appearance, and fastening by a belt-like strap helps secure them.

The waist bag, just like the name suggests, is fastened around the waist which is incredibly trendy among the new generation.

These bags are great for keeping delicate essentials like mobile phones, earphones, cosmetics, and first aid kits within reach while travelling. Their mobility and voguish look make them a striking travel companion.

Best Use: Ideal for carrying essential travel gear and accessories during travelling and hiking.


  • The waist bags are incredibly handy during travelling and hiking.
  • Waist bags are very economical.
  • As they are worn on the waist, these bags are less susceptible to robbery.
  • These bags are highly convenient and portable.


  • They are tiny and cannot accommodate more than a handful of small items.

There are different types of travel bags based on purpose, design, style, size, and price for short-distance travelling, spending vacations, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, camping, etc.

If you are planning for a one-day trip, choose a daypack. For short weekend travelling, travel backpacks up to 40 litres of capacity, duffel bags, or anti-theft backpacks are an ideal choices.

On the other hand, trolley bags are great for vacations, and leisure travelling, and rucksacks are suitable for trekking, hiking, and camping. Similarly, gadget fanatics, photographers, and vloggers use camera and laptop bags during travelling, and fashionable people prefer trendy waist bags.

So, depending on the purpose and use, you can choose a suitable type of travel bag from the reliable backpack brands. If you have more queries about the types of travel bags, let us know in the comments.

Photo of author


Author, NatureDiary
Soumya is an avid traveller, founder, photographer and chief editor of NatureDiary. A nature lover by heart, he writes and edits articles on various travel destinations, attractions, and gear on NatureDiary from his vast experience of travelling, trekking, and camping across India.

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