Best Travel Bags for Adventurers | 2023

Best Travel Bags for Adventurers | 2023
Best Travel Bags for Adventurers | 2023

OUTDOOR GEAR, books, laptops, carry-on items, toiletries, diapers…. The list of things we carry goes on and on. Fortunately, a few of our favorite Seattle retailers offer a place for everything, so we can keep everything in its place. Here are some of the totes, backpacks, roll-up closets, and carry bags that make packing stuff around town, to the beach, or on the plane much easier.

These products were chosen by our editorial staff from the Shops at Seattle Met, the city’s first online marketplace bringing the best local businesses together in one place

Pack your toiletries, razor, shaving cream, shampoo, and other travel necessities in this little pack and toss it in your suitcase. A substantial zipper keeps it all in, and a beefy strap handle makes it easy to carry.

Perfect for travel, day care, swimming, or just being ready on the road, this zippered bag holds towels, diapers, or a dry change of clothes when you need it most. It zips up to keep items from getting wet (and to keep soiled clothes contained), and a loop handle hangs off your wrist or attaches to a backpack.

Like a portable mini closet that rolls up to satchel size, the Roark travel roll gives you easy access to your essentials. Zippered and velcro pouches of various sizes help you stay organized, and mesh compartments keep smaller, go-to items in sight.

Just the right size for daily necessities, the Wayfinder bag holds your phone, passport, camera, and all those other odds and ends. Stout enough to stand upright on its own while you grab what you need, it also has an exterior pouch to make it easy to access a notebook or keys. If Sumac doesn’t suit you, Moop’s Seattle-made bags come in other color options, too.

Carried duffel style or with backpack straps for hands-free hauling, the all-weather Roark keg bag offers a cavernous 80 liters of storage space. An array of side loops let you attach water bottles and smaller bags for quick access. It’s durable enough for heavy gear and outdoor activities, while a water-resistant material keeps your things safe and dry, even if you set this baby down in the snow.

Made with military-grade Cordura fibers, the Koru rucksack is as lightweight and durable as it is accessible. And that’s saying a lot: A lateral zipper offers wide top access. Another side zipper further down means fast access to the stuff at the bottom, without unpacking. An exterior back pouch stores flat items like notebooks, and a cylindrically shaped side pocket holds water bottles, rolled packages, or (you know) a bottle of wine.

If you’re not going to carry enough for a sweat-inducing backpack, but still need more than just your pockets, then yes—the fanny pack is back, and back for you.

Seattleites are Gorpcore to their core. So it makes sense to rely on a hike-ready backpack to keep city gear—books, laptops, gym clothes—safe from whatever Mother Nature has planned for the day. Grab the black version if classic navy isn’t for you.

Portland-based Tanner Goods’ simple tote has a single, roomy compartment that works great for carrying picnic gear, beach towels, portable speakers, spare jackets, or whatever else the day’s agenda calls for. Its ripstop, waxed-canvas design holds up to routine hauling, and rustic black hardware is built to last.

Less-rugged travels call for this Seattle-designed bag from Luly Yang, cast in classy navy water-resistant canvas and accented with matching leather trim and handles. A removable interior bag adds two-in-one functionality.

Patagonia applied its technical gear-packing smarts to citified purposes with the Refugio. A large main compartment sports a padded tablet sleeve, and another internal compartment provides the perfect refuge for a laptop (or holds a hydration reservoir, for staying refreshed on day hikes).

Keep wet gear from mucking up car seats, or protect dry clothes from rain and splashing waves. This backpack is made with a PVC tarpaulin shell that keeps moisture in or out, while a smart exterior bungee stow makes it easy to grab sunscreen and hats.

A magnetic rolltop lid offers super-fast access to the main compartment of Roark’s 27-liter pack, complete with a compression bag built to reduce the volume of that puffy jacket and blanket. Ultralight and durable, its internal compartments and side stretch pockets mean optimal organization and easy access.


Our Picks from Other Retailers


Thule’s Chasm is the adventure traveler’s best friend. A duffel-style opening with a spacious main compartment makes packing of all your travel duds and gear easy. Great for air travel, it even sports a handy max-fill line to keep you within carry-on specs.

Outdoor Research must have had its Seattle hometown in mind when it designed this pack. A tough exterior and a seam-taped interior dry bag to keep your stuff dry and easy to access are key, while a padded sleeve for a hydration bladder or laptop makes it even more functional.

With plenty of room for two pairs of skis and poles, an external zippered pocket perfect for gloves and hats, and smooth rollers that keep much of the weight on the ground and off your shoulder, local favorite K2’s padded ski bag makes bringing your quiver through the airport feel like a green run.