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 bag and then it rolls inwards and zips up 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 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 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.
There is one disadvantage of this type of garment bag and that is you’ll have to completely unpack it to get at your suit. If this is not something you care to do, take a look at our recommendations for normal carry on garment bags. If you want wheels, you won’t be able to carry on your bag just because wheeled garment bags don’t fit the size restrictions. If you’re ok with checking in your bag or you’re just driving, take a look at our best rolling garment bag reviews.
There are quite number of these duffel garment bags online but we have selected just a few that are the best and reviewed them below.
- 1 Convertible Garment Bag
- 2 Garment Duffel Bag with Integrated Suiter
- 3 Garment bag around a small duffel
Convertible Garment Bag
Code Alpha Hybrid Garment Duffel Bag
The Code Alpha Hybrid is the highest rated garment duffel bag because its design is simple and its construction is solid. Maybe it’s because the company specializes in military gear. While we don’t know any business traveller who would pick any of the camouflage patterns, the plain black, navy and khaki brown colors are suitable for all. The material used is water resistant polyester.
The Code Alpha measures 5 x 15 x 24 inches and weighs just 4.4 lbs. While the length goes slightly over the standard 22 inch allowed for carry on with many US airlines, it is softsided and customers say they have always been allowed on board.
The garment bag can easily hold 4 shirts and 2 pants or 2 suits and shirts. The padding in the panels prevent creases from forming in the clothes. Once converted into a duffel, the inner space can hold lots of other items too. There is a standard metal hook and D ring at the top of the bag to hand over a rod and hold your own wire hangers. Velcro flaps fold over the top and bottom of the bag and a zip runs through the length of the bag in the center to close it once your formals are packed. The side flaps and the top and bottom of the garment bag fold up and are held together via dual zippers to form a duffel bag. A top zipper zips the top closed. There are clips that hold the zippers together but they are plastic and don’t provide a tight closure, so you may want to use your own small carabiners or luggage zip ties.
There are two zippered pockets, one mesh and one opaque, in the middle and on either side of the bag. There are two flap front pockets on the outside and two slip pockets on both the side panels.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and detachable and comes with an adjustable pad for a relatively comfortable carry, although we don’t suggest trying a lug this on your shoulder for long distances if you pack it to the rafters. Dual grab handles on top are secured together with a Velcro fastener for another mode of transport.
Golden Pacific Travel Garment Bag Convertible To Duffle Bag
If you’re nervous about the length of the Code Alpha bag above or prefer a more sophisticated looking bag, conside the Golden Pacific Convertible garment to duffel. It is only available in black polyester with black leatherette trim but it does have a more polished business look to it.
This roll up garment bag for carry on measures 21″L x 9.5″W x 13″H in the duffel form and 37″ L X 21″ W when lying flat open as a garment bag. It weighs a very light 2.4 lbs.
The design is similar – pack your suits or other formals into the garment bag that opens in the center by a zipper and then fold down the top and bottom flaps to keep them in place. The zippers that bring up the side panels are a bit awkward to use if you pack the bag full and there are no clips to ensure that they stay together when closed, so you do have to be sure you’ll take this only as carry on and don’t check it in if you’re flying. This bag can accommodate 2 suits, 1 pair of pants and 3 shirts along with other items.
There are two zipped pockets on each exterior side and a large zipped pocket on the front exterior, but there are no pockets on the inside of the bag except for two slip pockets on the inside of each side panel. You also won’t find a hanging hook on this bag but there is a D-ring to use with your own wire hangers. The spartan design helps to keep the overall weight of the bag down, so it’s easy for just about anyone to carry. This is also helped by a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap with padding and dual leatherette top handles.
The best thing about this bag is that it’s the cheapest of the lot but you do have fewer features and one legitimate negative mentioned above to take into consideration.
Garment Duffel Bag with Integrated Suiter
Briggs & Riley Baseline Suiter Duffle
If the lack of organizational features put you off the Golden Pacific bag and you can raise your budget for a high quality integrated suiter duffle, consider the Briggs & Riley Baseline Suiter Duffle. It measures 22 x 9 x 12.5 inches, weighs 3.2 Lbs and is made of water, dirt, abrasion and wear resistant ballistic nylon fabric. The double carry handles and trim are made of real leather.
This bag performs the function of a duffle as well as a hanging garment bag. Upto two suits can be packed inside the shell of the bag and zipped up to a duffel shape with the cavity inside to be packed with the rest of your belongings. When it is fully open and flat you unzip the shell and slide in your suits or long garments along with your wire hanger and secure it with the inbuilt suiter clamp and webbing strap. The strap can be adjusted, cinched and locked in place to pull your garment higher up if it is long. You then zip up the shell flap and then bring up the sides and walls of the shell to be zipped together to form a duffel.
You can pack the rest of your clothes in the main cavity of the duffel and your accessories in the zipped and slip pockets on the inside. There’s also a separate integrated shoe pocket that you can access from the outer lower side of the duffel so that they remain separate from your clean clothes. If not in use, it can be rolled up and secured to the side and out of the way. Once the bag is fully packed you close and zip up the top flap of the shell and secure the side flaps with the snap button straps so that the bag does not come apart by the zippers. The zippers also feature lockable heads that you can secure with your own luggage lock. There is a full length zipped pocket on the front exterior for quick access to your phone and travel documents.
In your hotel room you unpack the contents of the main cavity, unzip the duffel till it’s flat and hang up the bag with your formal garment still inside in the closet by the S-hook on the top.
The bag can be carried by the double carry handles or by the adjustable and detachable shoulder strap that has a sliding shoulder pad for comfort. There is also a slide through zipped sleeve at the back to allow you to piggy back this bag over the telescopic handle of a wheeled bag. One side features a handy leather strap to help you haul the bag into and out of an overhead bin.
This B&R Duffel and Garment bag is expensive but the brand is known for making quality long lasting luggage that is also highly functional so professionals should be very satisfied with this purchase.
Hook and Albert Garment Weekender Bag
If money is no object then get the Hook and Albert Garment Weekender Bag. It is designed for men, but its available colors and design are just as good for women. You can fit two suits up to a size 46R inside along with dress shirts, trousers and other smaller items of clothing. It measures 22 x 13 x 10 inches and weighs 3.7 lbs and is made of water resistant Melange cotton twill on the outside and nylon on the inside. The trim, sliding shoulder strap pad and dual handles are in genuine leather, while the hardware is stainless steel. For an even more luxurious option, choose the pebbled grain all-leather exterior option which weighs 5 lbs when empty.
There is one large zippered pocket on the exterior back that is big enough for a tablet or e-reader. There are two pockets on the front sitting side by side that close with hidden zippers. The inside of the garment bag features a shoe pocket on each of the side panels (up to a size 14), two small zippered pockets for accessories and one full width narrow zippered pocket for ties. A snap button tab on the top closes down to secure hanger loops. All the pockets are perfectly placed so that they can be accessed freely even when the bag is in its duffel state. The top zippers are YKK and designed to stay securely closed after this bag’s initial complaints about them becoming unzipped.
If you’re packing more than one suit you have to be careful while inserting the garments in to ensure they remain as wrinkle-free as possible. This bag also gets quite heavy if packed too full. It’s a durable bag that’s designed well to allow you to only travel with this one bag as a carry on when you need to pack a suit or two.
Garment bag around a small duffel
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 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 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.