Best Carry On Bags For Women: Plus Sleek Tote Options With A Luggage Sleeve

best womens carry on tote bags

Whether you’re new to traveling or are a seasoned pro, having a carry-on that fits your personal style is important. If your style is boho or outdoorsy you may be perfectly content using a backpack or a hobo bag, but if your style leans more sophisticated and elegant those options simply will not do. So what are the best carry on bags for women?

Best Carry On Bag For A Woman

Making the best choice for your travel needs can be overwhelming. Will your laptop fit in the bag? Do you need to pack for an entire weekend in one bag? Would it be incredibly convenient for you if the bag was easily attached to a luggage or trolley handle? The options are seemingly endless. The thing to keep in mind is that it is best to choose a bag that will not only meet your travel or packing needs but also ensure that you feel confident walking through the airport, train station, or hotel lobby with it.

best ladies travel bags

How To Choose an Elegant Carry On or Travel Bag

Structured or Sturdy Sides

The number one way to guarantee that your travel bag will look sloppy is to get one with no structure whatsoever. It will look like a crumpled, wrinkled mess, and by extension so will you. Choose a bag with defined edges, siding, and bottom. This design will keep whatever you have in your bag contained without protruding and distorting the shape of the bag. Bonus points if the bottom of the bag has feet. These keep the bottom of your bag from touching the surface that you set it down on.

Think Sleek, Not Bulky

Avoid bulky silhouettes. Lugging around a bulky bag that looks huge in comparison to your body will make you look like Santa’s helper. Choosing a sleek-looking bag is harder to do when you need a bigger bag for your trip, but it’s not impossible to find. There are a few options for this, but it’s important to make sure it is a solid-colored bag. Anything with a pattern will likely make the bag look bigger and bulkier.

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No Bold Patterns or Too Many Colors

You absolutely can have an elegant and sleek travel bag that is also colorful. It just can’t be in any wild prints or patterns like leopard, paisley, or tie-dye. The trick here is to choose a pattern that is not too busy like tiny polka dots or pinstripes. Choosing a colorful luggage strap is a great way to add color to your carry-on without it being too busy or distracting.

Easy To Keep Clean or Willing To Replace Once Too Dirty

An elegant lady’s bag is never dirty. A white, beige, cream, or ivory bag can look amazingly chic until it gets a scuff mark or stain. If choosing a light-colored bag make sure you’re willing to put in the effort to keep it clean or replace it once the exterior is damaged.

womens overnight bags

What is a Travel Tote?

A travel tote is a versatile and practical bag designed specifically for travel purposes. It offers ample storage space, and organizational features, and often includes specialized compartments for essentials like passports, tickets, or electronic devices. One distinguishing feature of a travel tote is the inclusion of a trolley sleeve.

A travel tote with a trolley sleeve combines the functionality of a spacious carry-all bag with the convenience of attaching it to a wheeled suitcase. This feature allows travelers to consolidate their belongings, making it easier to navigate airports, train stations, or other travel destinations. The trolley sleeve is strategically positioned on the back panel of the tote bag, allowing it to slide over the telescopic handle of a carry-on or checked luggage.

Travel totes come in various sizes, materials, and designs to cater to different travel needs and personal preferences. They often feature durable construction, water-resistant materials, and comfortable handles or straps for easy carrying. Some travel totes also offer additional features such as removable shoulder straps, luggage tags, or RFID-blocking pockets for enhanced security.

Best Carry On Travel Bag For Women

Most of these bags will be small enough to count as a personal item on a plane. For the uninitiated, almost all flights allow you to have one personal item with you in the cabin. If you booked an economy ticket it may be the only thing you can bring. If you booked an upgraded ticket, like business or first class, you will most likely be allowed to bring a personal item in addition to a carry-on bag.

Best Every Day Travel Carry-On Tote Bag

Calpak Haven Laptop Tote

This well-designed tote bag is large enough to fit a 17″ laptop and anything else you may need for your day. It has a removable interior organizer to keep everything organized and in its place, so you can remove it and have the wonderful spaciousness of a regular tote. The sleek design of this bag makes it incredibly versatile. Use it for your flights and your daily commute. It even has a luggage sleeve to make zipping through the airport a breeze.


Best Overnight Weekender Bags For Women

best overnight bag for women

Quince Italian Leather Triple Compartment Weekender

This duffel bag comes in three colors and I’m currently obsessed with it in Taupe. I think it would be great to have for weekend trips when my rolling carry-on doesn’t have enough room to carry what I need. I could easily slip the luggage sleeve over the handle of my suitcase. The design is so sleek so it won’t look slouchy like most duffel bags do.


dagne dover landon carryall

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag

This roomy duffel is made to keep all of your things organized. It has a dust bag for your shoes, a leash for your keys, and a pouch for any other small things you can’t travel without. This bag fits most 16″ laptops and has a luggage sleeve.


Away The Everywhere Bag

This durable travel bag has plenty of compartments to keep you organized, including a 15″ laptop pocket and a zippered waterproof umbrella pocket. It fits anything you may need during your flight plus an extra pair of clothes. It’s designed with a trolley sleeve and will easily fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.


Dagne Dover Allyn Tote Large

This bag fits a 16″ laptop, water bottle, pair of shoes, change of clothes, and anything else you might need for your day. The genius of this bag is how it cinches together to compress the silhouette and make it seem sleeker. Though not the most practical option because it lacks a trolley sleeve, it will get the job done in style.


Cuyana Leather Triple Zipper Overnight

Beautiful and thoughtfully crafted, this bag is an excellent getaway companion. It has three large zipper compartments to easily keep your belongings organized and accessible. It is made from Italian leather and has a trolley sleeve for ease of use. Plus, you can have it monogrammed when you purchase it!


Women’s Rolling Carry-On Bags

monos 23 inch rolling carry on

Monos 23-Inch Carry-On Pro Plus Spinner Luggage

If you’re looking for a little more space in your carry-on, this sleek luggage with an unbreakable shell is exactly what you need. A built-in compression pad with an antimicrobial laundry bag, two shoe bags, and a faux leather luggage tag to keep your items neatly organized.


calpak trnk carry on

Calpak Trnk Carry-On Luggage

This beautiful rolling carry-on bag is a modern spin on the vintage trunk style. It is outfitted with a TSA-approved lock and is expandable up to 2 inches for those trips for which you downright refuse to check a bag.


best womens rolling carry on

Aluminium Frame Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage

This lightweight suitcase is exactly what you need for your next vacation. The best features are the cup holder and phone stand built into the handle. It also has a USB port and a C port for charging your devices.


Luxury Carry On Tote For Women

rimowa never still carry on tote

Rimowa: Never Still Tote Large

This bag is just downright beautiful. Its design is reminiscent of hard-sided luggage and is minimal enough to still be stylish. It works excellently as a carry-on bag because of the webbed luggage strap that allows you to attach it to any rolling luggage. It comes with a leather, detachable address tag, and a leather zippered pouch.


What Are Trolley Sleeves For?

Trolley sleeves are a convenient feature found in many tote bags that serve a specific purpose for travelers. These sleeves are designed to slide over the telescopic handles of carry-on luggage, allowing the tote bag to securely attach to the suitcase. By using a trolley sleeve, travelers can consolidate their bags, making it easier to navigate through airports, train stations, or any other travel setting.

The trolley sleeve is typically located on the back panel of the tote bag, close to the bottom. It is an open-ended sleeve made of sturdy material that can accommodate various sizes of luggage handles. Once the tote bag is properly attached to the carry-on, it sits securely on top, creating a unified and balanced travel system.

How Do You Attach a Tote Bag to a Carry-on?

Attaching a tote bag to a carry-on using the trolley sleeve is a simple and efficient process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare your tote bag: Ensure the trolley sleeve is easily accessible on the back panel of your tote bag. Make sure the sleeve is clear of any obstructions.
  2. Extend the telescopic handle: Extend the handle of your carry-on luggage fully.
  3. Slide the trolley sleeve: Take your tote bag and align the trolley sleeve with the telescopic handle of the carry-on. Slide the sleeve over the handle, starting from the top, until it reaches the desired position.
  4. Secure the tote bag: Once the tote bag is properly attached to the carry-on, adjust the position as needed to achieve a balanced and secure fit. Ensure the weight distribution is even to maintain stability.

By following these steps, you can easily attach your tote bag to your carry-on using the trolley sleeve, providing a convenient and hands-free travel experience.

Final Thoughts On The Best Carry On Bags For Women

Overall, a travel tote with a trolley sleeve is a practical and stylish choice for travelers who value convenience, organization, and versatility. It combines the functionality of a tote bag with the added benefit of easy attachment to wheeled luggage, making it an essential travel companion.

It is up to you to choose the best travel bag to suit your needs. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to shell out rent or mortgage money to get an elegant carry-on tote that’s worth the money. As long as you are choosing something well-made and not too flashy you’ll be fine.

Best Carry On Bag for Women | The Lady Loves Living