Can you carry on a garment bag? If you’re looking for the best carry on garment bag for suits, dresses and other formal wear, forget about those tall and wide bags that used to be allowed as carry on luggage many years ago. In those times, planes had a small storage area that you could use to hang up your garment bag during the flight.
These days, airlines are a lot stricter, and carry on garment bags have to fall within the same size restrictions that all other bags do, i.e. 45 linear inches all around. The normal dimensions for most carry ons allowed on U.S. domestic airlines are 22” by 14” by 9”. This rules out traditional travel garment bags in favour of newer designs that are especially meant for carry on. Some airlines allow a few more inches on a garment bag if it is soft-sided, but you have to check with your airline to be sure.
In order to narrow down our list for best travel garment bag for carry on, we eliminated the ones that don’t do a good job of keeping wrinkles to a minimum. We also selected bags that a majority of existing owners have said were not a problem to carry on on most planes. There are a few in our list that comes slightly over the maximum allowable limit and are sometimes gate checked by stricter airline personnel. In those cases, we let you know in our carry on garment bag reviews. Last but not least, our picks not only hold your formal clothes but also all necessary accessories. A good garment bag should at least hold a pair of shoes, belts, toiletries and undergarments in separate pockets without adding bulk to the bag.
We also give you tips on how to keep your clothes as crease-free as possible, whether you’re using standard luggage or the best suit travel bags.
If you’re not convinced that a carry on will be good enough for your formal wear and you’re OK with checking a larger garment bag, then take a look at our picks for top checked garment bags.
Best Carry On Garment Bag
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Carry On Garment Bag
- 2 Can a Garment Bag be a Carry On and What are the Rules?
- 3 Types of Carry On Luggage for Suits and Dresses
- 4 Horizontal Carry On Rolling Garment Bag
- 5 Vertical Garment Bag for Carry on
- 6 Tri Fold Garment Bag Carry On
- 7 Bi-fold Garment Bag for Travel
- 8 Best Carry On Garment Duffel Bag
- 9 How to Pack a Carry on Garment Bag
Can a Garment Bag be a Carry On and What are the Rules?
Most airlines do not specify anything regarding garment bags. A few like JetBlue and Southwest do say that their planes do not have a closet space to hang one up so if you bring a suit or dress in any piece of luggage, it must conform to their carry on size restrictions and fit in the overhead bin.
Is a garment bag a carry on or personal item? You should assume that the airlines that do not specify dimensions will treat your garment bag as regular carry on baggage. The following carry on garment bag rules and restrictions are among the few dimensions explicitly stated on airline websites:
American Airlines states explicitly that soft-sided garment bags up to 51 inches all around are fine.
Lufthansa’s carry on garment bag limits are 57 x 54 x 15 cm or 22.4 x 21.2 x 5.9 inches.
Qantas counts a garment bag as either a carry on bag or as a non-rigid garment bag with a total of 185 cms, depending on which class you travel in.
Types of Carry On Luggage for Suits and Dresses
There are four styles that you can choose and we’ll give you some of the best options from each of those styles here – a carry on garment bag with wheels, a tri fold suiter luggage that you hang over your shoulder or hold in your hand, a large but flat bi fold garment bag that you also carry yourself, and finally, a convertible garment duffel bag. The first three types are best if you’re looking for professional looking luggage, while duffel garment bags are the best at avoiding creases but may not be appropriate for business travel.
There are upright suiters and hybrids available that take the middle ground between upright carry on bags and garment bags, but except for one or two, they’re designed more for those who just need to pack one formal garment along with their other clothes and travel essentials. We’ll review one upright garment bag that is designed for several suits, but the rest of the best are horizontal styles that are better for your formal garments but still come under the carry on dimensions. If you intend to check your garment bag everytime or only travel by car or train, then invest in a bigger wheeled garment bag that can be checked.
Rolling Garment Bag Carry On
Not everyone wants to travel with a separate garment bag in addition to a carry on bag, and these days most airlines only allow one a garment bag as your one carry on and not as a personal item. In that case, it makes sense to have one solid bag that can hold a few suits or dresses with as little wrinkling as possible, as well as all other items needed for a 3-4 day trip. This kind of bag would have to be roomy enough, so its final weight would make it a good candidate to have roller wheels and a telescopic handle for easier transportation.
Most wheeled garment bags are wider than they are tall to accommodate the shoulder width of a suit placed across the width of the bag. However, these are too wide to roll down the aisle of a plane and will need picking up. These are bi-fold bags with the top half of the bag folding over the lower half, so your garment will be folded at least once inside. Big and tall suits and most dresses will be folded inside once more at the bottom with the aid of an extension panel.
There are very few proper vertical rolling garment bags, but we have selected one that is designed well. This kind can be rolled down airplane aisles, just like a regular upright carry on. In this case, the suit would have to lie sideways on a panel that folds twice or thrice for packing. Then there is carry on luggage with a garment bag inside. Most of these types include very flimsy garment covers that won’t keep out the wrinkles but we have one very good option that you should definitely consider.
Some of the best roller garment bags are quite heavy, so you should make sure that the airline you’re flying with doesn’t specify a weight limit for a carry on. Some international airlines do. They also can’t be hung up as a whole bag from a wardrobe rod, so you’d have to remove each suiter hanger from the bag and hang the garments up separately.
Over the Shoulder Tri-fold Carry On Garment Bag
While bags with wheels are easy to transport, they can be bulky and heavy. If you can forgo the wheels and carry the bag in your hand or on your shoulder, a tri-fold bag is your best bet for carry on. These are more likely to fall under carry on restrictions too.
This kind of bag folds three times to become a more compact option so you will get an additional crease in your clothes from the extra fold. You may find that you can carry fewer suits and other items in this type of bag as well, but the good models are still well designed and durable.
Over the Shoulder Softsided Bi-fold Garment Bag
These garment bags look like flat square cases and are usually not of standard dimensions but their overall dimensions when added up fall within the standard that’s allowed by many airlines for this type of bag. These soft-sided garment bags up to 51 inches are folded down just once and have minimal structure, just enough to keep your clothes protected, and therefore are quite thin. However, because there is just one fold, the height of the bag will be around the same as that of the length, and therefore look quite large. Still, this kind of bag is usually quite easy to carry on your shoulder and its soft shell design makes it lighter than the other types of travel garment bags.
Most airlines allow this bag as carry on because it will fit into most overhead bins.
Convertible Garment Duffel Bag
One of the biggest problems that travelers have while taking their work wear, suits and dresses in their carry on bags is taking them out and finding them crumpled and creased. Even the best regular garment bags will create a crease or two because they have to be folded up to carry. The solution to this is to use a carry on garment duffel bag, where the method of packing involves rolling the garment into a tube to eliminate creases.
There are two ways that a duffel can roll up your suits without needing to create folds. The most common way is where the whole duffle lies flat in the fully opened state like a garment bag. You pack the suits, dresses or pants into the flat garment sleeve and then it folds upwards and inwards and zips up by its seams into a cylindrical form to become a duffel bag in its closed state. The sides of the duffel may have shoe pockets and the front exterior of the garment section will have several pockets to hold accessories. Once in the closed state with just the top zip open, the interior space formed by the walls of the garment sleeve is where you store the rest of your clothes. This is called a convertible garment bag because in its open state you can hang the whole bag up by its own integrated hook.
The other way is where there are two pieces to the luggage. There is one zipped cylinder that holds accessories and the garment section rolls around the cylinder to become a duffel bag.
Most garment bags are styled conservatively, as luggage for suits is meant to be unisex and able to pack suits for both men and women. However, many models do come in black and at least one other professional-looking color. Here are options for a horizontal wheeled garment bag carry on, one option for a vertical wheeled bag, some options for a tri-fold garment bag without wheels, or a bifold suiter, some recommendations for a roll up garment bag, and one for a carry on garment bag for wedding dresses or gowns.
Horizontal Carry On Rolling Garment Bag
Travelpro Crew Versapack-Carry-on Rolling Garment Bag
Travelpro’s Crew collection has proven to be such a hit with flight crews and frequent travelers that they decided to create a complete collection just for civilian travelers that include many of the popular features of the classic Crew collection but adds flexibility to your packing style. Not every trip is the same so why should I have to make do with a piece of luggage everytime? With the Crew Versapack collection any piece of luggage that you buy can be adapted to any upcoming trip by customizing the packing space using removable Versapack packing organizers that are sold separately. Each piece of luggage is meant to be just as high quality and durable as the classic Crew pieces so we rate this as the best carry on garment bag with wheels that you can buy.
Its overall dimensions including the wheels and handles are H: 15.75 inches, W: 22 inches, D: 9 inches, and it weighs 9.4 lbs. You can easily pack two suits/jackets, three shirts/tops/dresses and two pairs of trousers along with other casual clothes and accessories.
While not the lightest of all garment bags of this type, the Travelpro Crew Versapack-Carry-on Rolling Garment Bag makes up for that in its extremely durable construction and extra thoughtful features. It’s a bag for the most organized traveler and is available in black or navy blue.
The PowerScope aluminum extension handle has multiple stops for people of different heights and there’s minimal wobble while pulling on the two rear high performance smooth rolling ball bearing wheels. The shell is made of high density ballistic nylon with a coating of DuraGuard to resist stains and abrasions. Protective corner armor, skid guard on the bottom and heavy-duty wheel housings round out the features that protect the bag from damage caused by rough handling. All external zippers feature SUPRA zipper heads that are made to last even through daily use and abuse. The bag comes with the Travelpro Built For a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
The front external pocket is large and u-shaped with dual zipper opening. The main compartment bi folds down. To keep your suits, shirts or dresses in place there is a hold-down strap each on the top and the bottom of this compartment and a foam padded roll bar right where the bifold is helps prevent wrinkling of the garment when it’s folded in half while the bag is closed. For longer garments there is an extension panel with its own hold-down strap that accommodates them. A metal hanger clamp at the top helps secure the garments.
There are two triangular zippered mesh corner pockets on the top to hold accessories like a belt or ties. There’s also one zippered pocket along the inner long edge. The inside of the lid panel feature two large zippered mesh pockets to hold your undergarments, casual outfits and even a pair of dress shoes.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag
While we love the Versapack model above, we understand that its weight can be a bit too much for some travelers. Without sacrificing too much on the quality, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag slots neatly into the bracket for best lightweight rolling garment bag.
Its overall dimensions are 16″ x 22″ x 8.5″ and it weighs 8.3 lbs. It is available only in black.
This bag is also slightly less expensive than the Versapack above. The shell is made of Duraguard protected polyester and it features a PowerScope Lite extension handle that locks in at two different heights. There is a moisture preventative coating on the interior lining as well. Otherwise, all the other features are the same as above and you can easily get in enough outfits for a 2-3 day trip.
Vertical Garment Bag for Carry on
Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On Upright Garment Bag
This one may just be the best carry on suit bag. The Briggs and Riley Baseline Carry On Upright Garment Bag can pack up to 2 suits or even 3 if it’s a woman’s, but is in the vertical style, so wheeling it down narrow plane aisles or taking it into a tight bathroom stall at the airport is easy. It provides great organization for all your suits, clothes and accessories.
If you’re looking for the best carry on luggage with suit compartment that is easy to pack while almost completely keeping your clothes wrinkle-free, then this Briggs and Riley carry on wheeled garment bag is the best available today. Its structured and durable ballistic nylon case protects your clothes while being tossed around.
This garment bag is 22″ tall, 14″ wide and 9″ deep, weighs 9 lbs and comes in olive green and black. It will fit into most overhead bins but not in those of small commuter aircrafts. Its frame is lightweight honeycomb structured to maintain flexibility and retain its shape after impact.
The aluminium telescopic Outsider handle bars are fixed on the outside so as to maximize packing space on the inside and eliminate creases that are caused by bars fixed on the inside. If you want to use this handle to support another bag on top, the Smartlink strap system facilitates this. It is sewn onto the inside of the front pocket so that it never gets lost. The two wheels are very sturdy and roll incredibly smoothly.
The front compartment is for your suits and features a tri-fold panel with restraining side panels to keep your suit in place. The last folding extender panel is zip away and meant for longer men’s suits or women’s dresses. It is ideal for a 2-3 night trip and will hold most women’s jackets without having to fold the bottom panel at all, so if you’re not carrying any longer hanging garment, then you can remove this panel. There are foam centered garment panels that keep your garments smoothed out and crease free. There is a wally clamp to hold your own wire hangers and two removable triangular zipped mesh pockets that fit into the two corners of the compartment. These are good for underwear, socks and a belt.
The main compartment is similar to a regular suitcase’s main compartment and is good for your other clothes, accessories and toiletries. It can be opened while in the upright position, as there are side gusset straps to keep the front section from opening all the way. Another restraining feature in this compartment is the pair of adjustable restraining panels with two small mesh pockets built in. These keep all your clothes from falling out if you open this compartment while the case is upright. Half of the lid of this compartment features a zipped mesh pocket for soiled garments and the other half features two elastic top slip pockets for a pair of shoes.
When you get to your hotel room, there is a way to hang your formal garment up right from the bag. The side gusset straps of the main compartment can either be released to completely open the bag up or still secured to create a “packing shelf” that hold your other clothes and accessories. There’s an external hook on the side of the bag where the wally clamp is and from here you can attach a hook and strap and hang it up from a door top or closet rod. The entire front compartment with the garment bag hangs fully open with your suits still hanging by their hangers from the clamp.
There are three front zipped pockets as well. One is a large U-shaped one and the other two are small single zipped ones lying one behind the other.
This carry on upright bag comes with the famous lifetime warranty that includes airline damage, so though it may be an expensive option, this along with its toughness and durability and extra features might be wort it.
Travelpro Crew 11 19 Inch Softside Expandable Luggage Carry On Garment Bag with Spinner Wheels
If the Travelpro brand appeals to you but you don’t want a horizontal type of bag, there’s a vertical option that you could consider. The Travelpro Crew 11 19″ carry luggage with built in garment bag and spinner wheels is actually more like a traditional carry on spinner but it comes with a removable suit holder that attaches to the inside. The 21 inch carry on has more packing capacity, but with the spinner wheels, the height is 23″ overall, which carries the risk of having to check it on many airlines.
The 19 inch spinner measures 21.5 inches x 15.5 inches x 7.75 inches and weighs 8.8 lbs. It is expandable using a single zipper, however, the bag may not fit into all overhead bins in its expanded state.
The Powerscope extension handle, ballistic nylon shell with stain guard, skid guards and SUPRA zipper heads are all the same as on the Crew Versapack bag above. This bag features 8 self-aligning magnetic 360 degree dual spinner wheels that keeps the bag rolling smoothly in a straight line without unintentionally drifting to the side if you’re not firmly guiding it along.
This bag comes with an external USB port at the back and a dedicated power bank zippered pocket on the side. If you’re carrying a phone, tablet or laptop with you, you can use a USB cable to charge the device through this port that’s internally integrated with your own power bank stored in the secure pocket.
There is one large u-shaped external pocket and one straight-zipped external pocket. The main compartment has a large zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the lid, another long zippered mesh pocket along one edge, one long zippered opaque pocket for dirty or damp clothes, and a pair of adjustable hold down straps. It comes with a separate suiter that is meant to be folded once and packed in the main compartment. When in the hotel room it can be hung up by its own loop.
Tri Fold Garment Bag Carry On
If you don’t want to wheel your bag everywhere, you can choose a tri-fold type of bag instead of the standard two-fold that you get with wheeled garment bags. This compact design makes it easy to carry on board with you.
Mercury Luggage Executive Series Tri-Fold Garment Bag
If you’re looking for a simple less structured bag that is lighter than most structured ones, then this Mercury Luggage Executive Series Tri-Fold Garment Bag is the one for you.
The dimensions of this bag are 21″ x 15″ x 3″ (folded) and weighs a very light 3.2 lbs. It is guaranteed to be allowed as carry on as long as you don’t stuff it to the gills. To that end, you can easily pack clothes for 5 nights along with a pair of shoes or 3 nights if you’re also packing a suit.
The main compartment has a strong Velcro fastener to use with your own hangers for multiple garments and at the bottom are two zipped pockets that can hold one shoe each. An exterior front zippered gusseted pocket can hold a toiletry bag or dirty laundry. Another horizontal zipped pocket is on top of that can hold small accessories or chargers and cords. One zipped pocket on the side is good for an umbrella or water bottle.
A removable and adjustable shoulder strap and a top carry handle make transporting easy. There’s a top and bottom zippered piggy-back strap at the back that you can unzip just enough to slide over an extension handle to keep the bag stable on top of a wheeled suitcase.
AmazonBasics 22.5-inch and 23.5-inch Garment Bags
AmazonBasics is known for making a variety of decent affordable products and here are two options from the line to consider. They are both non-wheeled carry on folding garment bags that are folded thrice in the closed state and can be carried over the shoulder or by hand using the detachable shoulder strap or the carrying handle. You can choose either travel garment bag for dresses of any length and they’ll remain wrinkle-free. These are available in black or navy.
The AmazonBasics 22.5-inch option is a more structured garment bag on the outside and therefore better for frequent business trips. It measures 22.5 x 16.5 x 4.3 inches when folded and weighs 4.84 lbs. It has plenty of pockets to pack more than just your suit or dress. It is constructed with rugged polyester outside and a thinner interior lining.
In the open state, the suit compartment is accessed via a full length zippered door on the front. There are 3 hanger loops at the top and this bag will easily fit two suits, shirts or dresses or three if they are of thinner material. If there are shirts or jacket on top, then you can pack trousers at the bottom. There are two roll-bar straps that help keep the suit and trousers in place without creating wrinkles. Once you zip close the suiter door, the outside of this door features two zippered pockets on the lower third, which is ideal for a pair of shoes. The back of this section features a large zippered pocket for more accessories or your other clothes. The bag can be hung up in this open state by the external metal hanging loop.
The bag can be closed in three folds and secured by the snap buckle straps on the sides and top. The front of the bag features a large u-shaped zippered compartment, while the back features another large u-shaped compartment as well as a straight zippered compartment.
The AmazonBasics 23.5-inch is a less structured bag but still pretty durable and made of strong polyester with interior lining. It measures 23.5 x 16.5 x 2.5 inches folded and weighs 3.55 lbs.
This model also differs from the other in the way the storage compartments and pockets are designed. Once the bag is fully unfolded, the main suiter compartment here opens via a center zip door opening on the front. Removing and packing your suits or dresses is a bit trickier because the opening isn’t as wide. However, because this soft-sided garment bag carry on is not as rigid, it is still easily done even for wide shouldered jackets. This bag also has two roll-bar straps to keep everything in place and wrinkle-free. Once zipped close, the door holds three pairs of zippered pockets, each pair placed on one third of the length of the bag. The zippers are vertical and accessed near the outer edges.
This bag closes the same way as the other model – by side and top snap buckles, after tri-folding the bag closed. There is just a single slouchy front pocket with velcro closures and a single zippered back pocket.
There is no separate hook to hang the bag up but you can use the single carry handle at the top for that purpose.
Travelpro Platinum Elite Tri-Fold Carry-On Garment Bag
If you have to take a short business trip on a regional airline then the Travelpro Platinum Elite Tri-Fold is a small garment bag carry on that can hold up to two suits or one suit and one dress shirt. It measures 12.5 x 20 x 4 overall and weighs 3.7 lbs. The colors available are black, brown and grey.
In the fully open state, the garment compartment opens by fully unzipping its door panel. There’s a top fabric hook that will hold a couple of your own wire hangers and there are two triangular corner mesh pockets to hold undergarments. Two foam roller bars placed at the bag’s folds keeps wrinkles in your clothes at a minimum, and a restraining buckle snap near the bottom keeps the whole garment in place. There’s a zippered mesh accessories bag on the inside of the door panel for accessories. The outside of the door panel has a clear plastic zippered toiletries pouch that is detachable.
There are two metal hanger hooks provided at the top of the bag – one on the suit part and one on the door part, so that you can hang the entire bag up in its open state while at the hotel and there’s no need to unpack at all.
To close, you zip up the garment section and fold the bag into three, securing the first fold by the adjustable snap buckles. The final closing fold is secured by the two outer buckles on either side of the leather top handles and you then zip up the sides to completely close.
The front exterior of the bag has two zippered compartments – one large double zippered u-shaped pocket, and one single zippered in front of that. There’s a hidden quick-slip pocket with magnetic closure just below the handles and another one on the rear of the bag as well.
You can securely stack this bag over a rollaboard or spinner suitcase’s extension handle if you don’t want to carry it by the dual handles or by the detachable padded adjustable shoulder strap.
This bag will just about let you squeeze in a pair of women’s formal heels but there is no space for a pair of men’s shoes.
WallyBags 66″ Tri-Fold Destination Bag – Best Carry On Garment Bag for Wedding Dresses
If you’re having or attending a destination wedding and don’t want to risk losing or damaging your wedding dress or evening gown by checking its bag, the only option is carrying it with you on board the plane. While it may seem impossible to get a wedding dress to fit into a bag that conforms to carry on size restrictions, there is one carry on wedding dress garment bag for travel that manages to be the perfect solution.
This polyester water repellent WallyBags 66 Inch Tri-Fold wedding dress garment bag carry on is durable and lightweight and can hold up to 6 gowns or a wedding gown and tuxedo. Even voluminous gowns can be packed into this because of its broad bottom and this design along with its large capacity keeps these garments wrinkle-free.
Side release buckles secure this bag after it is tri-folded down. An adjustable padded shoulder strap and handles allow for easy carrying.
There are enough pockets to store shoes and accessories, and you can use your own hangers to hang your garments from the provided Wally hook for packing. There’s a front zippered pocket to store last minute items while traveling.
A zipper down the full length of the bag lets you access the contents easily. Your garments are well protected in the fully lined bag, and the padded roll bars help you pack the items without adding creases.
This formal dress garment bag weighs just 4 lbs and measures 22″ H x 24″ W x 9″ D when closed and 66″ H x 24″ W x 3″ D when open.
Bi-fold Garment Bag for Travel
There is one bag that does not strictly conform to carry on restrictions but is allowed as one on most US domestic flights. The reason is that it is a bifold bag that is much thinner than the depth you find on a traditional carry on even though its height is more. It is essentially unstructured with just padding for protection of your garments. Think of it as somewhere between a fabric laundry garment bag and a travel bag.
ZEGUR Suit Carry On Garment Bag
The ZEGUR Suit Carry On Garment Bag measures 23”x 22”x 4” when folded and 43”x 22”x 4” when open and can hold up to three dresses or suits plus a pair of shoes, toiletries and accessories. Travelers love this inexpensive option because it fits into any overhead bin and is light enough that it doesn’t cause shoulder strain when carrying it. It also comes with plenty of pockets for proper organization of your things.
Your garment hangers are held up by 3 loop holders in a velcro and buckle clasp on the top and a detachable hanger hook is provided to hook through this buckle and hang the bag up on a door or rod. The suits are kept in place by three tie down straps across, the middle one being padded to reduce wrinkling when the bag is folded in half. Side flaps go over the garments and zip together to close the bag. The outside of the flaps hold 4 pockets – 2 opaque zippered, 1 mesh zippered and one opaque velcroed. These hold your other travel items. The bottom half of the bag then folds over the top half of the bag and is secured via double zippers. The front exterior features a zippered and gusseted u-shaped organizer compartment for all your electronics and travel documents. It is also large enough to hold a tablet or small laptop.
There are three ways to carry this bag about. There are two short grab handles with a velcro wrap grip, an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap with an adjustable shoulder pad, and a piggyback strap at the back to slide the bag over another bag’s handle.
WallyBags 45″ or 52″ Extra Capacity Garment Bag with Pockets
The WallyBags Extra Capacity Garment Bag with Pockets comes in two sizes – 45″ and 52″ and is the kind you can carry independently or pack inside of a suitcase. It can hold up to 8 garments because of its lightweight and simple construction of a water-resistant polyester shell.
The 45″ bag measures 45 x 22 x 4 inches when open and 22 x 22 x 8 inches when folded, while the 52″ bag measures 52 x 22 x 4 inches when open and 26 x 22 x 8 inches when folded. This bag comes in black or blue.
The design is simple. It folds into two when closed and comes with just dual handles held together with a velcro strap to carry it. The velcro strap can also be used to attach it to a telescopic handle of a suitcase.
When opened, you unzip the side-access door panel halfway and the inside features one large packing space with nothing but a WallyLock hanger clamp on top. This clamp can hold upto 8 of your own hangers and they can’t move once held in place, although it does take a little bit of time to get all of them in and secure. The hangers will protrude out once the door panel is zipped closed. You can hang the entire bag up on a door hook by the top grab handle.
When the bag is closed and folded, the two large and roomy front and rear exterior zippered pockets can hold all your other clothes and accessories and even a pair of shoes.
You can’t unzip the door panel all the way down, so you have to carefully pack your garments in. There is no shoulder strap with this bag.
Best Carry On Garment Duffel Bag
There are quite a number of these duffel garment bags online but we have selected just a few that are the best and reviewed them below.
Modoker Carry on Garment Duffel Bag for Men and Women
The Modoker Carry on Garment Duffel Bag is the best convertible garment bag for travel for most people on a budget. It’s rare that you can get a garment bag with shoe pocket and this one is designed really well. You can get it in blue, black or grey, is made of high quality polyester & Jacquard, and is water-resistant and tear and scratch resistant.
When it’s open and flat its dimensions are 37.5”L x 20.8”W. When closed, its duffel dimensions are 22.8”L x 11”W x 11.8”H. It weighs just 2.5 lbs.
The garment sleeve unzips through the center from top to bottom to allow you to pack your suits or dresses with their hangers. You then zip it closed and fold the top flap over to secure it using the two velcro tabs. There is a long shallow zippered pocket along this flap that’s good for ties or a belt. Under the flap are two zippered pockets – one large and one small mesh, and one slip pocket. These are for carrying various accessories.
Once the garment sleeve and inner pockets are packed you can zip up the sides, back and front to join at the seams. Now it is a garment bag that converts to duffel with just the top part of the garment sleeve open to act as the lid. There are zipper buckles on both ends to keep the heads from separating. The space created inside is now left for all your other clothes and toiletry bag. There’s even room for a laptop.
The exterior sides of the duffel feature two zippered pockets. On one side is a small organizer for your keys, travel documents, pens, etc., and on the other side is a shoe pouch that will fit a pair of shoes. The shoes will take up some space in the main compartment of the duffel but will be kept separate from everything else in there.
The blue version also features two exterior zippered pockets on the front, while the black and grey version feature a single exterior slip pocket.
There are three ways to carry this 2-in-1 garment duffel bag – over your shoulder using the detachable and adjustable padded shoulder strap, in your hand using the dual grab handles that feature faux leather grips held together by a snap button closure, and a piggyback sleeve to slide the duffel bag onto the extension handle of wheeled luggage.
Travelpro Crew 11-Smart Carry-On Suiter Duffel Bag with USB Port
The Travelpro Crew 11-Smart Carry-On Suiter Duffel Bag is a true garment duffel bag with integrated suiter and a great option for business travelers, as it is slimmer than most duffel bags. It measures 13″x 22″x 9″ and weighs 4 lbs.
This convertible garment bag with shoulder strap is a cross between a tri-fold bag and a duffel. The suiter features a loop at the top of the first fold where you hook your suit hanger. On either side are triangular zippered mesh pockets for underwear, tie and belt. Two foam roller bars at the folds help to keep creases at bay. You fold the suiter twice and the bottom third of it becomes the rear of the duffel. This suiter compartment is then zippered securely. The front half of the duffel is a separate compartment with full zippered lid to pack the rest of your clothes. There’s a zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the lid to hold accessories. You can even pack a light jacket or sweater in between the two halves.
When you don’t need to pack formal clothes, you can detach the top flap of the suiter as well as the foam roller bars to use the bag as a normal duffel.
The duffel closes via dual zippers from the bottom that meet at the top. There’s an external zippered pocket on the front with a padded tablet sleeve inside, one large vertical zippered pocket on one side for a water bottle or compact umbrella, a smaller vertical zippered pocket on the other side, and a u-shaped zippered vertical pocket next to that. This is where you can store your portable battery pack if you need it to urgently charge your electronic devices. This pocket is internally connected to an external USB port that sits right above it, so you can easily plug your USB cable in without opening any pocket.
Carry this garment duffel bag in one of three ways – slide it over an extension handle of a wheeled bag using the piggyback sleeve at the back, grab it by the top carry handles, or sling it over your shoulder using the padded detachable shoulder strap.
Venezia Garment Duffle Travel Bag Suitcase
For a classic leather duffel style, the Venezia Garment Duffle Travel Bag Suitcase is a top rated pick. This Italian made, American bag is constructed in full grain calf skin leather and vegetable tanned to either red, brown or black and then protected with a semi gloss finish to guard against stains.
This bag’s dimensions as a duffel are 21″ L x 13″ H x 11″ D and the suit compartment when open and laid flat is 20″w x 42″l.
This hybrid garment duffel bag is best for those who don’t need a ton of pockets and compartments for their things but appreciate quality and a doze of luxury. When you lay the bag out flat in the fully open state you’ll see three zippered pockets, two small and one large, built into the cotton canvas lining of the bag that you can use for packing accessories. A zipper that runs through the center from bottom to top opens the garment sleeve to allow you to easily pack your suits with hangers. Once arranged neatly, you zip it up again and pull the top and bottom flap down. Now you can lay all the rest of your clothes, a pair of shoes and toiletry bag stacked in the center.
To close, bring the top and bottom edges of the garment sleeve up and together and zip them up. Then bring the side flaps up and zip each of those to the cylinder using the dual zippers of each flap. The zipper heads on each end are then secured by snapping together.
You’re now set to carry this leather garment duffle either by its dual top grab handles or by its detachable and length adjustable shoulder strap.
Henty Wingman Two-Piece Travel and Suit Bag
All the above options are of bags made of one piece that convert from a flat garment bag to a closed duffel bag. The Henty Wingman is a two piece bag where the garment bag is separate from the duffel and the former wraps around the latter. The construction of both is of nylon.
The design of this garment duffel bag combo is geared towards local travel and specifically for business people who want to cycle to work and then change at the office to their suits. If you want to travel farther afield, this 2 in 1 hanging suit travel bag can hold enough stuff for two days, provided you’re a minimalist packer. It measures 9 x 22 x 11 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds.
The garment bag opens via a full length u-shaped zipper, so placing your suit or other formals inside without crumpling is easy. You can fasten your hanger hook to the top via a velcro tab and then zip up the bag. Next, take the separate small duffel bag and pack your shoes and accessories into it. It zips closed along the top. You then lay the duffel on top of the garment bag and fasten them together using the attached snap buckles to keep the duffel in place. Then picking up the top of the garment bag, roll it over the duffel to cover it completely. Now use the bottom buckles to fasten the ends of the bag to itself to form a tight cylinder around the duffel. Once it is fully closed, there’s a zipped pocket on the front that is padded and big enough for an iPad or a Macbook. There’s also space for pens, keys, etc.
The whole piece of luggage can be slung over your shoulder like a duffel using the padded and adjustable shoulder strap but it sits diagonally across your back. To keep the Wingman from moving around you use the front chest strap to attach via a buckle to another point on the bag. This makes it very good for cyclists. The problem with it is that it is designed to be carried this way only over one shoulder, so walking with it over long distances will be tough, especially because it can be quite heavy if you pack it to the gills. There is also no top grab handle as another option.
How to Pack a Carry on Garment Bag
If this is your first carry on garment bag that you’re purchasing you may make a few rookie mistakes while packing and think that it’s impossible to keep your suits and formal dresses wrinkle and crease-free. After all, you do have to fold your clothes at least a little bit for them to fit into a bag as small as a carry on, and the weight of the rest of your packed things on top of the formals can cause very obvious wrinkles if you’re not careful. Therefore, here are a few tips that you can use to get the best out of your carry on luggage for suits.
- You first need to learn how to fold a suit for luggage. Once you hang the suit, shirt or dress as you normally would from the hanger, place it face up in the open garment bag with the hanger on top and hooked through the luggage clamp or hook if there is one. If there are padded roller bars going across the bag, fasten them after smoothing out the garment properly underneath. These roller bars prevent are positioned right where the garment bag folds, so this is also where the garment folds. The bars prevent the garment’s folds becoming creased so that when you hang it up in your hotel room, the weight of the garment straightens the mild fold out.
If there are no padded roller bars, you can fashion your own by rolling up another article of clothing that you need to take with you into a thin but long roll and placing it where the garment would fold. If the garment is too long for the length of the bag, then carefully fold the bottom of the garment up and over a rolled up article of clothing as well.
Never fold the sleeves of the garment near the cuff and instead do it where your elbow would be. Fold them inwards so that they bend just the way you would bend your elbows.
- If there’s no clamp or tight fitting hook to hold your hangers in place, get some clips to do the job. Also make sure that your garment won’t slip off the hanger during transit. Your clothes will get wrinkled if they move around or fall to the bottom of the bag.
- Use tissue paper, plain paper or even saved plastic covers from your laundry to place over your garment. This helps reduce wrinkles.
- When you get to your hotel room immediately hang the garment up either by itself on the hanger or the whole bag with the garment still inside but hanging free. The weight will help straighten out creases so you may not need to iron it at all. You could even hang it in the bathroom where the steam and damp air smooths out wrinkles very well.