The Bag to Put It In: Part 2

Last issue we highlighted cute kids carry-ons. This time we're offering cool luggage choices for parents.


Now that your kids are outfitted with a bag that has them traveling in style (read The Bag to Put It In: Cute Luggage for Kids), don’t let them show you up at the airport. There are plenty of fun bag designs on the market for travelers who want to break away from basic black, while still having something that can pass as professional. With lost baggage claims on the rise, opting for a sturdy carry-on can be a smart move.

You’ll want something with enough volume to fit all the essentials, but lightweight enough to squeeze through tightening luggage restrictions. Thankfully, such practical thinking won’t require a compromise on looks. Whether your priority is to have something cute, classy, sporty, or just brilliantly efficient, there’s a bag built to suit. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Orla Kiely Cars Bag

Traffic is a traveler’s bane, but traffic-stopping luggage? That’s more like it. Embrace the chaos of modern transportation with this cool patterned bag from London-based designer Orla Kiely; it’s the perfect sidecar. Features include two interior pockets and a small, zippered front pocket with enough room for a magazine and boarding pass. The telescoping handle can be deftly stowed in a zippered compartment, leaving a clean, retro silhouette.

Flight 001,, $345

Fleur-de-Lys Wheeled Carry-On

If the French monarchy flew Jet Blue, their luggage might look something like this classy, wheeled number from TravelSmith. The contrasting black-and-white pattern ensures its porter will stand out on both business trips and pleasure cruises, while an expandable zipper and convenient front pocket provide space to supply a weekend excursion to Paris or a week in Peoria. A matching tote bag and cosmetics case are also available.

TravelSmith,, $109.

Accomplice II Snow Luggage

Need a bag that slides from the ski slopes to surfside (or just want to look like you do)? This wheelie from surf clothing outfitter Quicksilver is a cool contender. The front section can be removed and worn as a backpack, and the luggage features neoprene handles, compression straps, and an anti-slip base.

Island Surf,, $120.

The Aeronaut, by Tom Bihn

This tote may look small, but its smart design and sturdy construction have garnered it a cult following among the travel-light set. Expect to find a pocket for everything you want to stash and a handle or strap everyplace you reach to lift it. The lack of wheels keeps weight at a minimum (a mere 2.71 lbs), while the Ballistic nylon exterior and Uretek splash-proof zippers ensures contents stay safe and dry in all travel conditions. Each one is made right in Seattle.

Tom Bihn,, $175.

Themes: Family Travel, Shopping

Activities: Shopping

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