Best Travel Tote Bags – Buying Guide and Reviews


Best Travel Tote Bags – Buying Guide and Reviews (Updated January 2018)

Are you looking to buy a new Travel Tote Bag in 2018? If the answer is yes you have come to the right place. At Top 10 Travel we have reviewed the Best Travel Tote Bags you can buy online 2018. 

Tote Bags are an extremely popular accessory for women and are perfect for taking on your next business trip or vacation. Travel Tote Bags are now available in a wide range of sizes, patterns, materials and styles so you can ensure you are always looking stylish. A lot of female travelers we have talked to prefer using simple Tote bags instead of loading up backpacks, purses or traditional suitcases which can sometimes be difficult to access.

Luckily in 2018 these tote bags also look extremely stylish and have come a long way from the traditional jute or canvas bags which were perfect for the beach or shopping but not so good for traveling.

So what are the Best Tote Bags for traveling? To answer this question we need to look at the various sizes and styles of Tote bags available online. We will answer some of the most important questions you should consider when looking for a new tote or deciding to ditch your usual purse, handbag or backpack.

Tote Bags can now come in a wide range of prices from entry level traditional tote bags through to luxury designer models and everywhere in between. The final decision on what you buy will depend on your budget, style and how you plan on using the Tote. Remember as with most items expensive doesn’t always mean better, we have used some really cheap tote bags that have been perfect for our requirements.

That is why we have created a list of Best Travel Tote Bags to buy in 2018. Our team have spent hours of research looking at Tote Bags in various styles and from a wide range of brands. I have shortlisted the 10 Best Travel Tote Bags that you should consider right now. For more information on the different styles and types of totes available view our Travel Tote Bag Buyers Guide below.

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Comparison of the Best Travel Tote Bags

Best Travel Tote Bags

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Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip Tote – Best Travel Tote Bag 2018

Michael Kors is a name everyone recognizes in the world of bags, and the Jet Set Top-Zip Tote is one of the brand’s signature products. Besides the designer name, though, what does this bag bring to the table?

There are a few key features that set this bag apart. One is its multitude of pockets, including both interior and exterior pockets of various sizes that protect your belongings and expand the bag’s carrying capacity. At 15”W x 10”H x 4.5” depth, this bag isn’t the biggest on the market, but it offers more storage space than its size suggests.

In addition to its storage offerings, this bag offers peace of mind with its quality zippered top to keep belongings inside. Its 100% Saffiano leather design is both durable and fashionable—a combination everyone wants in a travel bag.

A few owners of this bag have worried about strap durability. With their 8.5” drop, they provide a lot of room and strength, but this bag isn’t made for carrying bricks, and needs proper care. If you decide to purchase the Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip, be sure to proactively take care of it.


  • Interior and Exterior pockets
  • Quality Zipper Closure
  • 100% Leather


  • Strap durability

Brand: Michael Kors
Material: 100% Saffiano Leather
Closure: Zipper
Availability: Amazon


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Baggallini Quilted Avenue Tote with RFID – Best RFID Tote Bag

This Quilted Avenue Tote offering from Baggallini is surprisingly roomy for its small size. It’s able to hold a 15” laptop comfortably in its main pocket without bulging or lessening the storage capacity of the additional pockets. This is a great travel bag due to its capacity, and its stylish design makes carrying it confidently a breeze.

While its quilted design won’t necessarily please leather lovers, its additional flex allows more room and makes it more comfortable to carry for some users. The large, easy to grip handles are also a selling feature for many travelers.

The removable RFID wristlet allows for protection from identity theft and bag loss, but is removable for anyone with privacy concerns related to RFID. This is one of the main features of the bag, but is included without greatly affecting the item’s cost, which sits comfortably at a mid-range price point.

Its combination of handles and a long strap, along with its zippered top enclosure, allow users to conveniently secure their belongings.

While it is a stylishly made bag, it won’t satisfy those who prefer to carry bags by major designers. However, the blend of form and function in this bag’s design is quite impressive. You can check the latest price of the Baggallini Quilted Avenue Tote and other great Travel Tote Bags online at Amazon.


  • RFID Wristlet
  • Zippered Closure
  • Holds 15 inch laptop


  • Handles are a bit clunky

Brand: Baggallini
Material: Nylon
Closure: Zipper
Availability: Amazon


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Scarleton Stylish Reversible Travel Tote Bags – Best Synthetic Tote

While there are plenty of great travel totes out there at absurdly high prices, finding a good budget option can be a real chore. Scarleton seeks to remedy that with this multi functional and fully reversible tote bag, which seeks to blend fashion and functionality at a lower price point than designer bags.

Its synthetic leather will satisfy those who don’t want to carry leather for ethical reasons but still like the material’s durability or look. Its magnetic closure is also highly convenient, though some consumers will worry it isn’t as secure as a zippered main pocket. That being said, the included coin bag does come with a zippered enclosure, and is a nice size for carrying in the tote or on its own.

The main feature of this bag is that its reversible design essentially makes it two bags in one. While this somewhat limits the options for sealed interior pockets, the manufacturer seeks to remedy that problem with the inclusion of the convenient coin bag.

This bag’s 9.5” drop shoulder strap makes it quite comfortable to carry, and the sleek design makes it ideal for carrying to work or university as well as on flights. While many testers and reviewers worried about the durability at first, they soon found themselves raving about the quality of the stitching, making this bag a great value. 


  • Affordable
  • Reversible design
  • Comfortable
  • Durable Stitching


  • Some complaints about weight of bag.

Brand: Scarleton
Material: Synthetic Vegan Leather
Closure: Magnetic Closure
Availability: Amazon


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Tumi Voyageur Just in Case Travel Tote Bags – Best Nylon Tote

Like most Tumi products, this bag boasts a seemingly simple design that conceals several key extra features. While its styling is very minimalist, that’s not a bad thing for all travelers—it’s easy to match with any outfit and any other bags.

In addition, the Tumi Voyageur Just in Case Travel Tote is designed to function with other luggage when necessary. It slides with ease over extendable suitcase handles, and also features clips that will connect it to other Tumi products.

Like all Tumi travel bags, it features the trace plate, which allows you to register your bag so that you can be contacted if a lost bag is found. This is a key bonus feature for frequent travelers, who are always in danger of losing bags at airports.

That being said, the Voyageur performs well in all the basic departments as well as with all the bells and whistles. Its straps are renowned for their comfort and durability, and its ballistic nylon construction is extremely strong but also easy to fold up—and it’s even washable.

The zipper closure is another key feature that adds security and peace of mind to this offering from Tumi.

Its dimensions may be a pro or con, depending on how you look at them. The Voyageur is very large for a travel tote. However, it is very lightweight, and its greater size than most totes means it is also roomier. 


  • Trace Plate for registration
  • Durable Straps
  • Zipper Closure


  • Very Large Bag

Brand: Tumi
Material: Nylon
Closure: Zipper Closure
Availability: Amazon


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Calvin Klein Lenox Hill Travel Tote Bags

Calvin Klein’s bold Lenox Hill Travel Tote is made with both style and function in mind. While many other travel totes prioritize one over the other, the Lenox Hill is designed to be beautiful, but also highly durable and secure.

Its extra exterior pockets are zippered, as well as its main pocket, adding extra security. In addition, it features a plush polyester-lined interior with a laptop sleeve and other specialized compartments for organizing and protecting all of a traveler’s most important items.

As an added bonus, the external fabric is also water-resistant. This is a key durability feature that many other travel bags lack.

While it doesn’t have the pristine leather look of some other designer travel totes, it does offer plenty of stylish accents, from the Calvin Klein nameplate to the color contrast between the soft interior and the strong, black exterior. Its chunky zippers are both a bold fashion statement and easy to grip and move.

In addition, this bag is quite reasonably priced. In fact, one of the only problems that many travelers have with this product is how often it sells out at all the major online retailers. 


  • Water Resistant
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Secure


  • Availability of Bag.

Brand: Calvin Klein
Material: TPU Coated Polyester
Closure: Zippered Closure
Availability: Amazon


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Vera Bradley Iconic Vera Travel Tote Bags

Like most Vera Bradley designs, the Iconic Vera Tote is a cotton product with a variety of eye-catching prints for all seasons and personalities. The cotton exterior is often thought to be much more comfortable than traditional tote materials like leather and canvas, but the quilted stitching helps it maintain durability at the same time.

While Vera Bradley’s claim to fame is their patterns and colors, there’s plenty to love in the physical design of this tote, too. With six interior pockets and a zippered top closure, it’s perfect for organizing and protecting a wide variety of travel goods.

It’s also oversized for plenty of storage room, but is also designed to fit standard carry-on bag restrictions at the airport. Vera Bradley’s goal with the Iconic Vera Tote is to create a travel tote that can carry anything anywhere.

One of the other big advantages of the Iconic Vera, also stemming from its cotton construction, is that the tote is completely machine washable. This means that a travel mishap—they happen to everyone, after all—won’t ruin this tote or result in hours of hand-cleaning.

Finally, the long and wide handles make this tote easy to carry and quite durable. The stitching is a big feature of Vera Bradley products, and that holds true with this tote. 


  • Quality stitching
  • Large storage room
  • Cotton design
  • Charging Station


  • Possibly Over-sized for some people.

Brand: Vera Bradley
Material: Cotton
Closure: Zippered
Availability: Amazon


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Longchamp le Pilage Large Shoulder Tote Bags

This eye-catching, roomy bag from Longchamp blends the best of modern innovation with classic style through a design that combines nylon with leather stitching. While this bag doesn’t boast as many pockets as a lot of travel totes out there, Longchamp sees this as an advantage—the space inside this bag is yours to do with as you will.

The durable, but perfectly stretchable and foldable material makes it easy to stow the tote when it’s not in use, and also allow a bit of over stuffing. This is a truly durable bag. Though it isn’t one of the cheapest on the market, it’s a great value considering its durability and the authenticity and legacy of the Longchamp name.

The Longchamp le Pilage Large Shoulder Tote also boasts comfortable straps with a 9” drop so that the bag is easy to carry over the shoulder, but also in the hand. In addition, it provides a stylish fold-over flap with a snap closure—combined with the security of a zippered top underneath. This is another example of the way this Longchamp design incorporates the modern and the vintage into a single product.

Its classic but functional aesthetic will match with virtually anything in black or brown, and it’s also available in plenty of bright and bold colors for travelers who want to make more of a statement at the airport or on the train.


  • Durable and stretchable material
  • 9 inch comfortable straps
  • Stylish design


  • Overpriced

Brand: Longchamp
Material: Nylon
Closure: Zippered Closure
Availability: Amazon


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Jack&Chris New Vintage Leather Tote Bag

This offering from Jack&Chris has a few key features that set it apart: its genuine leather design and its additional interior bag.

The genuine cowhide leather that makes up the main bag is truly beautiful, with a distressed vintage look for personality and fashion, as well as a guarantee that the product will continue to look better and better with age. The all-leather construction also, of course, makes the bag much more durable.

Inside this leather tote is another bag, a canvas one with a fetching plaid design that’s bold enough to catch attention, but neutrally colored so that it will match a variety of outfits and luggage kits. This bag can either be fully integrated into the leather tote to organize your possessions, or can be carried as its own bag. The versatility of this product is one of its key features.

In addition, its large size is helpful. Though the price is a bit higher than some other totes that don’t come from the major designers with big name recognition, there is a lot of value here. While many totes seem designed to fail, this is a long-term investment, and the interior bag adds even more value.

The straps drop a comfortable 8.6” exactly, and the zippered interior bag is small enough to carry in the hand, but larger than many wristlets and cosmetic bags available in similar pairings with other totes. 


  • Genuine Leather design
  • Comfortable Strap
  • Zippered interior bag


  • Some issues with stitching

Brand: Jack&Chris
Material: Leather
Closure: Zippered
Availability: Amazon


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Marsi Bond Designer Women’s Leather Travel Tote Bags

This Marsi Bond vegan saffiano-style leather tote combines the bold and the practical by pairing a tough but pretty and minimalist exterior with a bold, bright, soft interior. The combination is not only pleasing to the eye, but perfect for travel, as it allows you to organize and protect everything from phones to laptops.

While the high-contrast, eye-catching designs are obviously a key element of this designer bag, there are several other important things to note, such as the comfortable handles and fetchingly accented shoulder strap. The product’s durability is also of note.

The zippered top enclosure and interior pockets will keep traveler’s goods protected, while the bag itself is still very lightweight thanks to its lightly padded interior. This combination of form and function is quite impressive to many travelers across the world.

That being said, some do worry about the capacity of this tote. While it is smaller than many travel totes, it does expand quite a bit, and the multiple interior pockets allow for space-saving organization. The smaller size also means that this tote can confidently be carried as a work or evening bag. 


  • Beautiful Designs
  • Vegan Leather
  • Durable


  • Smaller Capacity

Brand: Marsi Bond
Material: 100% Vegan Leather
Closure: Zippered
Availability: Amazon


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Dalix 22” Heavy Duty Zippered Cotton Canvas Tote Bag – Best Canvas Tote

Dalix’s extra-large cotton canvas tote is designed for value and heavy-duty durability, but the product is also available in a wide array of colorful accents and has some great bonus features as well.

While definitely a budget product, the Dalix 22” Zippered bag has not skimped on quality. It truly is a durable product perfect for travel, and while its minimalist, mostly white design may not please everyone who chases the latest designer products, its colorful seams and straps offer plenty of personality.

One of the key features of this tote, though, is its handy exterior pocket. Perfect for carrying a phone or notebook that you may need to access while traveling, this pocket is tight enough to keep things in place but loose enough to easily access.

The 9.5” drop of the straps sits in a nice middle ground that allows the bag to be comfortably carried over the shoulder or in the hand, and its extra-large size makes it perfect for a variety of tasks. Not only is this tote perfect as a carry-on bag, it’s also great for commuting and trips to the beach.

One of the most impressive features, though, is its canvas design. While many travelers complain that canvas bags are too stiff, this offering from Dalix brings the suppleness of leather in a more affordable (and easier to clean) way—with plenty of durability as well.


  • Affordible
  • Wide Range of Colors
  • Exterior Pocket


  • Thin Design susceptible to Tears

Brand: Dalix
Material: Canvas
Closure: Zippered
Availability: Amazon


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Travel Tote Bags Buyers Guide

How to choose the best laptop bag

Travel Tote Bags are sold in many different styles, shapes, sizes, materials and price ranges. In this buying guide we will look at the design and functionality of the tote bag to ensure you buy the best tote bag to suit your style and budget. If you would prefer for us to help you decide then view our comparison table Before making any tote bag purchase in 2018 ask yourself the following questions.

Where will you use your tote bag?

Firstly you need determine how you intend to use the bag. The fact you are reading this article assumes that you are a traveler or planning to travel. Are you a business traveler, backpacker, family traveler or student? Each of these travelling types have different requirements when it comes to how they would like their bag to function. You need to consider how comfortable the tote will be when travelling. Do you carry hundreds of different items with you? If so then compartments, pockets or a larger size tote bag would be more appropriate.

Will you be exposed to the elements?

While traveling do you regularly get caught in heavy rain, snow or even intense heat? Ensure your tote bag is suitable for the conditions you will be traveling to, most people will only use their tote on the plane or in the airport however it might be a good idea to consider a waterproof or nylon water-resistant tote bag. Hot sun can also quickly damage some materials and make them brittle, if heat is an issue then look for a UV coated material.

Will the bag see lots of wear and tear?

How you plan on treating the tote bag is also an important factor to consider. If you are planning on backpacking around the Himalayas then a tote is probably not the right option. In this instance you should be looking at high quality daypacks or backpack. Also if you know the tote will be subjected to a bit of wear and tear then you might consider a cheaper tote bag and not a designer one.

Is potential theft an issue?

Are you traveling to a region where crime rate is higher and there is more of a chance to be pickpocketed? If this is the case then you need to ensure your tote is well secured, possibly with a zipper or buttons. Remember though that pickpocketing is a crime of opportunity and can occur even in the safest cities in the world.

Will you be using public transport?

As mentioned above public transport involves a lot of people moving very quickly and is a haven for theft, particularly for tourists who are targeted by thieves in a wide range of countries. If you plan on using public transport then a zipper or buttoned tote bag is probably the best option. If you are travelling around town look for an anti-theft sling bag like the Pacsafe Citysafe CS200 Anti-Theft Handbag or similar.

Will you need to carry the bag for long periods?

Tote Bags are generally used for practical reason and not comfort, if you plan on carrying your bag for a long period of time then consider a padded handle or look for a more comfortable type of travel bag.

What material should you get?

The days of Tote Bags only coming in boring canvas have well and truly passed. In 2018 you can buy high quality leather, canvas, nylon, twill and suede bags that are very practical and most of all look fantastic. Your choice of material may also be decided by your budget, sometimes a cheap canvas tote is perfectly good while others prefer a designer leather tote. This is a personal choice however we will discuss the benefits of each type further.

  • Leather Tote Bags

Leather Bags are awesome, extremely practical and look amazing. Whether you choose a real or faux-leather tote bag they are durable, weatherproof and a great option for traveling. Leather tote Bags can seem to be stiff when you first purchase them however as the material wears in the bag becomes even better.

  • Canvas Tote Bags

Canvas Tote Bags are extremely fashionable at the moment, they are perfect for every use you can imagine and unlike Leather they are also machine washable. Canvas Tote Bags no longer need to be boring either with some amazing fashionable designs available.

  •  Twill Tote Bags

Twill Tote Bags made from weaved fabric are very affordable and usually extremely durable. We love some of the designs available in 2018 including some reversible models.

  •  Suede Tote Bags

Suede Tote Bags are a great travel accessory, not as durable as some of the other materials though they are available in a wide range of colors and designs. We love some of the pink suede bags available in 2018.

What color tote bag should you get?

The color of the best Travel Tote Bag is completely subjective and up to the individual’s tastes and preferences. Black Tote Bags have always been popular while now bags are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Designer Tote Bags look fantastic but will definitely add extra cost to the overall price of the bags.

What are the different features of tote bags?

All Tote Bags used for travel are pretty similar in basic design and include a large and often unfastened bag that has 2 looped handles attached to the side of the bag. This design has been used for years and is common with beach bags and shopping bags.

Travel Tote Bags have evolved a little bit over the years and now offer different sized handles, inside or outside pockets, and different closure options.

Size of Tote Bag

The size of the tote bag again depends on how you will be using it. A small tote could be ideal for a solo traveller while a traveling mom would probably be looking for something a bit bigger. Remember all the items you could potentially be carrying when travelling, personal documents like tickets and passports, keys, phones and tablets. If you are a parent then there is also all the kids toys, baby wipes and whatever else somehow ends up in the bottom of the tote.

Type of Handle

Handles are one of the most import design components of a tote bag, options include traditional or standard handles, short handles, longer handles, wide handles or even detachable handles. Look for handles made from quality materials and that are comfortable to carry.


Traditionally tote bags didn’t have any pockets, however the addition of pockets has helped make the tote bag a lot more travel friendly. Pockets can be inside or outside of the bag, again think of security of your personal items as well as functionality of the bag. If it is easy for you to retrieve items then it is easier for a thief to do the same. In this instance an inside pocket might be more secure and a better overall option. Our suggestion is to look for a tote bag that has at least 1 internal and 1 external pocket.

Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip Tote ZipperType of Closures

As with pockets, traditionally tote bags we unfastened making them cheap and in a lot of cases disposable. We believe that to make a Tote Bag ideal for Travel you need to ensure that you have at least one closure type.

  • Zipper Closure
    A tote Bag with a zipper is the best option for keeping the contents of the bag secure, helping prevent theft and also from items tipping out of the bag when you shove it under the airplane seat in front of you. Look for a zipper when you believe you need a little more protection such as airports, train stations, crowded streets.
  • Button Closure
    A button closure offers you more security than an open tote bag however not quite as much as a full zippered one. This allows your items to be reasonably safe in your possession without constantly
  • Buckle Closure
    in our opinion buckle closures are not really practical for travel tote bags and are mainly used for aesthetic reasons with some very cute tote bags available. They look quite cool but don’t allow quick access which is the whole reason for using a tote bag in the first place.

Collapsible Tote

When you think of a collapsible bag you automatically think of the ones handed out by department stores. These are designed to fold into themselves making them very easy to carry. Some great collapsible travel bags are available which can be used in the airport and then folded down for storage purposes and placed inside a suitcase or other bag. Choosing a collapsible bag depends on how you are traveling however there are some great options available.

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In this buying guide we have covered the best way to choose a Tote bag is perfect for you and your style of travel. Remember to consider how and where you will use the bag, the size and how frequently you travel. We hope you enjoyed this article and it helps you find your perfect tote bag. Once you are ready to buy your travel tote bag please use our Comparison Table or visit Amazon for a massive range of bags.

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Husband and Dad of 2 Richard is the founder of Top 10 Travel and loves everything travel related. Born in the UK and now living in Australia he has trekked Annapurna and parts of Western China and also spent time in Europe. As a family they have traveled to the USA several times, Canada, Europe and China. Next Stop is Iceland in September 2018.

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