The 10 Best Convertible Bags of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Transform your bag for comfortable travel days with a handy convertible style.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Nick Kova</p>

Travel + Leisure / Nick Kova

There’s nothing worse than dealing with achy back or shoulders when you have a long travel day ahead of you. Convertible bags, or bags that offer multiple holding styles, help keep you comfortable on busy trips when you may have packed more than you can carry. Transform your favorite backpack into a trendy tote or change your favorite duffel into a rolling bag with these stylish, easy-to-use convertible bags that are perfect for any adventure.

We put hundreds of bags to the test in our New York City lab, and also out and about during our own journeys. Each convertible bag on this list was evaluated with emphasis on portability, design, durability, and ease of use with Patagonia’s Black Hole 40L bag earning our top spot. For tote bags, shoulder bags, rolling bags, and more, check out our complete list of convertible bags perfect for travel.

Best Overall: Patagonia Black Hole 40L Duffel Bag

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Buy at

Why We Love It

  • It’s the perfect size for a weekend getaway or storing gear long term.

What to Consider

  • It can be difficult compressing it down for storage.

The Patagonia Black Hole duffel is one of the most spacious and durable bags we’ve tested. Not only does the main compartment hold far more than it seems, it also has plenty of pockets to keep your gear or weekend essentials organized. We love that the handle straps have a clasp to clip together for comfortable holding and that the backpack shoulder straps are removable and adjustable to suit your needs. After more than a month of regularly traveling with this sturdy bag, it didn’t suffer any scratches or scuffs thanks to the glossy ripstop polyester. You can also choose from four different sizes (up to 100 liters) to find the perfect one for your travels.

Price at time of publish: $159 for 40 liters

The Details: 2.05 pounds | 21 x 13.7 x 10.6 inches | 40 liters | Waterproof

Best Carry-on: Nomatic Travel Bag 40L

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Buy at

Why We Love It

  • The bag’s rectangular shape makes it easy to pack clothing and other items.

What to Consider

  • The straps are a bit stiff and uncomfortable for long term use.

For a sleek and stylish bag that also has enough capacity to pack enough items for a weeklong vacation, consider Nomatic’s 40-liter Travel Bag. You can carry it as a traditional backpack, or fold the padded back straps down and hold it as a duffle instead. Plus, it comes with a detachable hip belt to distribute weight and enhance your comfort. The stiff shape to the bag makes packing a breeze and we love the additional shoe pockets, laptop sleeve, and spots for smaller items and even work supplies. The bag also comes with an additional laundry bag so you can level-up your travel organization, too.

Price at time of publish: $290

The Details: 3.42 pounds | 9 x 21 x 14 inches | 40 liters | Water-resistant

Best Checked: Thule Chasm Sport Duffel Bag

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Why We Love It

  • The backpack straps are durable and well-padded.

What to Consider

  • It doesn’t have any outside pockets.

The Thule Chasm Sport Duffel may just have the most comfortable straps of all the convertible bags we tested. They’re padded, adjustable, and easy to carry even when the 90-liter bag is packed to capacity. We love that the bag is solidly made of strong, weather-resistant TPE laminate and nylon. It is easy to clean, too, and, after testing for six months, only shows minor scratching on the outside. The duffel also comes with a packing cube that can be used for clothing, toiletries, or even a pair of shoes. Whether you’re heading off on a camping trip or planning a backpack adventure, this bag will be your new go-to for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $190

The Details: 4.98 pounds | 29 x 17 x 13 inches | 90 liters | Waterproof

Related: The 10 Best Backpack Brands for Travelers, Tested and Reviewed

Best Weekender: Béis The Convertible Weekender

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Why We Love It

  • The bottom shoe compartment can be fully removed to make the bag smaller.

What to Consider

  • For its size, this is a fairly heavy bag.

This Béis weekender really takes “convertible” to a whole new level. Not only can you carry it as a crossbody or tote bag, but the bottom compartment is completely removable and zips shut to be packed inside larger bags. This means it’s two bags in one, and you can separate out dirty shoes, wet bathing suits, or leaky toiletries. Even without the bottom compartment, it is a great size and we were able to fit everything we would need for a long weekend getaway. There’s also a large, removable laptop sleeve with extra pockets for charging cables which is great if you’re storing the weekender in an overhead bin, but you still want your laptop mid-journey.

Price at time of publish: $128

The Details: 3.8 pounds | 19 x 10 x 16 inches | 49 liters

Best for Work: Aer Travel Pack 3

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Why We Love It

  • It has many compartments, handles, and organizational features that make for smooth traveling.

What to Consider

  • It’s about the size of a standard backpack, so may be too small for long trips.

For business trips or weekend journeys, this convertible bag may be just what you need. Unlike traditional backpacks, the main compartment fully opens up so you can pack this one like a suitcase for easy organization. The bag is compact with compartments for everything you need including a padded laptop sleeve, a smart tracker pocket, and plenty of small external pockets. The back panel is firm, yet cushioned for support and comfort when carrying as a backpack and the side handle is durable, so you can confidently carry it as a duffel, or sling it over checked luggage instead. After our tests, the bag didn’t show any scuffs or other marks and the fabric was easy to clean to make it look good as new.

Price at time of publish: $249

The Details: 4.12 pounds | 21.5 x 13 x 9 inches | 35 liters

Related: The 10 Best Convertible Backpack Totes of 2023

Best With Wheels: Eagle Creek 130L Cargo Hauler

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Why We Love It

  • The large capacity makes it perfect for long trips or transporting gear, and for families or groups wanting to pack together.

What to Consider

  • Because of its size, it can be hard to maneuver when fully packed.

This Eagle Creek duffel may be one of the largest bags we’ve tested at 130 liters with plenty of pockets for small storage as well as loops for attaching extra gear. While heavy-duty straps mean you can carry this bag on your back or as a duffel, sturdy wheels certainly come in handy when it is loaded up. We did find that the sides of a fully packed bag may protrude to the point where the bottom fabric can drag on the ground if you’re not careful but the fabric is still highly durable even over long periods of time. The protective materials make this bag a great option for camping or hauling gear as well.

Price at time of publish: $249

The Details: 5.13 pounds | 34 x 13.75 x 15 inches | 130 liters | Water-repellent

Best for Gear: Peak Design Travel Duffel - 35L

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Why We Love It

  • It can be used for anything from gym visits to camping trips.

What to Consider

  • The removable backpack straps aren’t very padded.

For a do-it-all convertible bag to complete your athleisure look, consider the Peak Design Travel Duffel which can be packed and comfortably carried as a sling, tote, or backpack. We found this bag to be quite comfortable for walking long distances no matter how you tote it, and the durable and sturdy shape protects your items in transit. After one month of regularly traveling with this duffel, we love its weatherproof fabric to keep all items dry no matter what we throw at it.

Price at time of publish: $140

The Details: 2 pounds | 22 x 13 x 10 inches | 35 liters | Waterproof liner

Best Style: Caraa Studio Large Leather Tote

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Why We Love It

  • We love the roomy interior and organization.

What to Consider

  • It doesn’t have a luggage sleeve.

The Caraa Studio Tote is a stylish and versatile bag you’ll want to take with you everywhere. It comes with detachable backpack straps, which we love since most convertible bags leave extra straps dangling when not in use. The main compartment is roomy and easily fits a full sweatsuit or winter coat — perfect for a personal item or weekend bag. We also love all of the built-in organizational elements including two deep internal pockets, a zippered padded laptop compartment, an internal cinch pocket for a water bottle or phone, and a key leash with a detachable pouch. There is also one external zippered pocket on the back, which is great for a phone, work ID, passport, or anything else you may want to quickly grab.

Price at time of publish: $348

The Details: 2.38 pounds | 13 x 18 x 7.5 inches | Water-resistant lining

Best Tote: Kreya Aurora

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Why We Love It

  • The straps easily convert from tote to backpack without having to remove anything or deal with extra clips.

What to Consider

  • It is a bit stiff, so it’s not as easy to stuff this bag with extra items.

For a petite personal item or work bag, this stylish leather convertible bag is the perfect option. It’s big enough to easily fit what you may want for a full day at the office or an afternoon adventuring in a new city. Unlike other totes, it fully zips at the top to keep your items secure, plus adds snaps for extra space if needed. To convert the bag from a tote to a backpack, simply pull the straps downward until you have enough space to comfortably fit your arms through. Throughout our tests, this bag shined when it comes to portability because it’s also a slim size that is comfortable to carry all day. It’s also made of firm leather that has a hint of a sheen, so there are no visible watermarks, stains, or scratches after months of using this bag on a daily basis.

Price at time of publish: $495

The Details: 14 x 13 x 3 inches

Best for Garments: Mark & Graham Commuter 2-in-1 Garment Bag

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Why We Love It

  • The garment bag sleeve will help keep your clothing wrinkle-free.

What to Consider

  • It doesn’t allow for easy access to some items.

Convertible garment bags may just be our new favorite way to carry clothing for business trips, destination weddings, and any other trip in with nicer items. Simply roll out the bag to store your suits, slacks, or formal dresses and then pack toiletries and other essentials on top as you zip the bag into an easy-to-carry duffel. This Mark and Graham bag even has side pockets to store shoes separately and smaller pockets around the interior to keep you even more organized. We also love that this bag is lightweight, so you can really pack it to capacity without having to worry about feeling weighed down.

Price at time of publish: $269

The Details: 22 x 10 x 10 inches

Other Convertible Bags We Liked

We’ve tested hundreds of bags both in our lab and during real world travels and, while the following bags certainly featured components we liked, they didn’t impress us quite as much as other options.

Modoker Convertible Garment Bag: This bag was easy to use and has a great price point, however it has a limited capacity and minimal storage compartments, so it wouldn’t be as practical for long trips.

Rains Duffel Bag: We think this bag is a solid option for weekend and overnight trips, but the polyester material wasn’t as durable as similar bags we tested and the crossbody strap wasn’t comfortable for carrying.

Our Testing Process

Our team tried dozens of different bags both in our New York City lab and during real world travels to determine the best convertible bags for every user. We began by weighing and measuring the bag and evaluating its features. Testers were asked to pack each bag to its full capacity, utilizing all compartments and organizational features as they normally would. During this process, we made note of structural features of the bag, ease of use, and functionality.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao</p>

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

After packing the bags, testers were asked to try all the possible transportation methods including tote handles, shoulder straps, backpack straps, and even wheels. We then noted whether each was comfortable or not and provided details as to why. Bags tested in our lab were then placed on the top shelf of a ladder and pushed off 3-5 times, with attempts to land on a different part of the bag each time. We then surveyed the products for scratches, marks, or scuffs on the outside and opened the bag to look for damage to items inside. We also carried the bag around again to check for any changes or problems.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Conor Ralph</p>

Travel + Leisure / Conor Ralph

At the end of the longer testing period, we evaluated the bag’s exterior, looking for new scratches, marks, or scuffs. We also analyzed the bag’s overall quality and construction noting whether the bag appeared to be unharmed and durable enough to use over the years, or if bags were easily scuffed and needed to be cleaned frequently. Many of the bags were also tested over a one-month, three-month, and/or six-month period.

Tips for Buying a Convertible Bag

Prioritize desired carrying styles

When investing in a bag, focus on your preferred methods for carrying it throughout any journey and once at your destination. If you know your adventures often call for long-distance commutes or even running through airports, you may want to opt for a convertible bag with the option to wear as a backpack. Similarly, if you know you’re a heavy packer or unable to carry large bags for long periods of time, you should consider a convertible bag with wheels.

Consider trip length and type

Whether you’re a weekend adventurer or enjoy long vacations, you should be sure your travel bag suits your trip. Convertible bags come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to look for a bag that can fit everything you need and is easy to carry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do convertible bags work?

Many convertible bags have extra straps attached to the bag so you can easily switch from one carrying method to the other. Other bags have straps that you add on using clips or carabiners, so unused straps don’t drag or get caught on things while in transit. To find a convertible bag that suits your needs, be sure to read all of the product descriptions and carefully look at photos to evaluate the strap locations, padding, and maneuverability.

Can I bring a convertible bag as my personal item or carry-on?

Many convertible bags are small enough to count as personal items or carry-on bags. To guarantee your bag will fit, check your specific airline’s size requirements and either measure your bag or check its specifications on retailer websites.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Taylor Fox is a commerce writer at Travel + Leisure where she researches, reviews, and writes about a wide range of products. To select the best convertible bags, she called on her own experience as a traveler, plus worked with editors and T+L testers on a series of lab and real-world insights.

Related: The 10 Best Travel Pouches So Everything Has Its Proper Place

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