14 Best Travel Purses for Savvy and Stylish Travelers in 2022

Best Travel Purses

Short on time? Our pick for the best travel purse is the Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack Tote.

The best travel purses to keep your belongings safe on your next trip that don’t sacrifice on style. 

A purse is essential whether you’re at home or traveling, but a travel purse has different requirements than an everyday purse. 

When you’re traveling, there are things you’ll need to carry with you which you wouldn’t always need at home. 

These are items like your laptop, camera, or passport (aka valuable things that you’ll want to keep a tight grip on!). And the right travel purse can help you do exactly that. 

The best purses for travel are versatile, with the ability to double as a carry-on when you’re flying. 

A great travel purse also protects your valuables. It carries everything you’ll need while sightseeing and helps keep you comfortable on a long and busy day. 

In this article, we’ll take you through a list of the best travel purses in every category, from stylish crossbody bags to the best anti-theft purse. 

By the end of it, you’ll know what to consider to choose the perfect travel purse for you.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Savvy and Stylish Travel Bag

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations

#1 Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bucket Bag

Best Crossbody Travel Purse

Size: 8” x 9” x 10”

Weight: 15 ounces

Our rating: 4.6/5

Best for: Traveling to big cities

The Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bucket Bag is reasonably priced and features a minimalist design to go with various outfits and styles. 

However, what makes this the best crossbody travel purse is its safety features. 

This Travelon anti-theft purse has a slash-resistant body constructed from an interlocking mesh barrier, so it can’t be cut. 

Additionally, there’s a stainless steel wire in the adjustable shoulder strap and lockable zippers on all the compartments.

RFID stands for “radio frequency identification.” Some thieves can skim your information using these devices without ever reaching into your purse.

The individual card slots and pockets in this purse not only keep you organized but also feature RFID blocking technology. This means hacker-minded thieves can’t steal information from your credit cards. 

This purse can also lock to a stationary object, so no one can snatch it while you’re relaxing at a sidewalk cafe. 

Lastly, the roomy interior fits an iPad or a medium-size DSLR camera, and the bucket design sits right on your hip. 

Overall, the Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bucket Bag is not only the best crossbody travel bag but one of the best travel purses in general.

PROS

  • Anti-theft technology
  • Spacious
  • Lots of organizational pockets
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Might not fit your aesthetic
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#2 Longchamp Pliage Handbag

Best Travel Purse for Europe

Size: 9.3”x 5.8”x 8.8”

Weight: 8.8 ounces

Our rating: 4.2/5

Best for: Stylish travelers, European travel

The Longchamp Pliage Handbag is a classic mini shoulder bag tote with a roomy interior. 

This bag is an internet favorite because its chic design keeps you perfectly blended amongst fashionable Europeans. 

As a bonus, it has a genuine leather handle and a water-resistant nylon body.

The Longchamp Pliage Handbag easily folds up flat, so you can pack it into your luggage, but it also holds a lot, so it’s good for packing as a carry-on. 

Overall, this tote has a high-end look at an affordable price and looks stylish on a day-to-day basis when you’re traveling.

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Folds flat
  • Water-resistant

CONS

  • Not many organizational pockets
  • Short strap
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#3 Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Best Travel Purse Backpack

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Size: 13.8” x 17.7” x 5.1”

Weight: 0.77 lbs

Our rating: 4.5/5

Best for: Hip adventurers who like convenience

Some of the best travel purses are backpacks. 

I first became aware of Fjallraven a few years ago when I was waiting on a subway platform and suddenly noticed that four or five girls in my vicinity were all wearing these little backpacks with a fox on the label. 

I wondered if they were part of some tour group. It turns out, no – it’s just a really popular brand. And I can see why. 

Fjallraven is a Swedish company with a focus on sustainable design and materials. Their backpacks are cute and stylish – the kind of bag you’ll want to carry every day. 

A little larger than the classic Fjallraven backpack, the Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack has a 20L capacity and is the best backpack purse for travel because it fits a laptop with room to spare for other travel essentials.

The straps feature an ergonomic x-shaped design, making them easy on your shoulders. The bag also features a side pocket for a water bottle and a zippered front pocket. 

The “vinylon F” material outer is dirt and water-resistant, making it the best travel purse backpack because it can hold up under heavy use.

Otherwise, if you’re looking for a backpack that can transform into a rolling bag, read our guide to the best wheeled backpacks.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Large 20L capacity
  • Water-resistant material
  • Sustainable company

CONS

  • Large size might feel like you’re carrying luggage
  • Expensive
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#4 Pacsafe Citysafe CX 20L Anti-Theft Tote

Best Anti-Theft Travel Purse

Pacsafe Citysafe CX 20L Anti-Theft Tote

Size: 13” x  21.7” x 8.7”

Weight: 1.68 lbs

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Traveling to big cities, solo travel

Pacsafe is a leading anti-theft brand with a commitment to sustainability. 

Like the Travelon bag, the Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Tote comes equipped with many anti-theft features.

Interlocking zippers and slash-proof fabric keep out the pickpockets. RFID blocking pockets protect your personal information. Lockdown technology means you can secure the bag to tables and chairs. 

This versatile bag also has two straps of varying lengths so that it can be worn as a shoulder bag with a crossbody strap or carried by hand as a tote. 

It can also comfortably sit on top of a rolling suitcase, meaning it can easily transition from the airplane to city streets. 

With a 20 liter capacity, it’s also super roomy, so you can easily fit your shopping purchases in it alongside your travel essentials.  

Lastly, water-resistant nylon and polyester keep your contents dry, and numerous pockets help you stay organized.

In terms of style, this bag has a chic black exterior with gold fixtures and a pink interior equipped with ample pockets.

PROS

  • Anti-theft technology
  • Sustainable materials 
  • Water-resistant
  • Reasonable price

CONS

  • No trolly sleeve
  • A little bulky

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#5 Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Purse

Best Small Travel Purse

Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Purse

Size: 2.6” x 8.3” x 6.1”

Weight: 8.8 ounces

Our rating: 4.5/5

Best for: Evening outings while on vacation

A small crossbody bag is perfect for an evening outing on the road. 

Of course, you could just use a run-of-the-mill crossbody bag, but when you’re in an unfamiliar place, an anti-theft travel purse makes more sense.

The Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Purse features the same anti-theft technology as the other anti-theft bags on this list.

These include a clasp locking system, a security strap, a slash-resistant body, and RFID blocking pockets. 

If you really want to make sure your belongings are secure while traveling, snag both Pacsafe bags on this list for a matching set of travel purses.

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Anti-theft technology
  • Leading brand

CONS

  • More expensive than the standard PacSafe with a smaller capacity
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#6 TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Backpack

Best Lightweight Travel Purse

Voyageur Just In Case Backpack

Size: 4.5” x12.25”x15.5”

Weight: 9.6 ounces

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: People who suffer from sore shoulder muscles

I’m prone to shoulder pain, so for me, a lightweight bag is key. I also love using a backpack as a purse because it distributes the weight evenly and keeps me from feeling off-balance. 

However, I like my purse to actually look like a purse and not a heavy piece of luggage, which is where the TUMI Voyageur Just in Case Backpack comes in. 

The TUMI Voyageur Backpack is a lightweight travel handbag that features a minimalist design and comes in a sleek black color with gold hardware. 

It’s also made from abrasion-proof nylon, so it will continue looking fresh through all of your adventures. 

Additionally, it slips over a luggage handle and comes with a small zipper pouch for valuables. 

At just over half a pound, this bag is extremely lightweight for its size, giving your shoulders a much-needed break on long travel days.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Trolly sleeve
  • Stylish

CONS

  • No extra straps
  • No water bottle pocket 
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#7 Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack Tote

Best Purse for Carry-On Travel

Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack Tote

Size: 14.6” x 4.72” x 16.9”

Weight: 1.7 lb

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Savvy shoppers who want to invest in a quality bag to use for everything

Timbuck2 is a San Francisco-based company known for making the first iconic classic messenger bag. 

For over 30 years, this trusted brand has been making durable and stylish bags, backpacks, and purses, and the Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack Tote is their military chic-style bag.

As the name suggests, this bag converts from a backpack to a tote, so it’s like two bags for the price of one. It can be a carry-on backpack one day and an everyday tote the next. 

There are also external compression straps to keep the contents in the bag compact and the weight centered. 

When transforming it into a tote, the backpack straps tuck inside a zippered pocket to keep them out of the way. 

This versatile tote comes in army green or black with rose gold hardware, and it has a 16 L capacity and stretchy inner pockets made from neoprene. 

Lastly, a padded laptop sleeve can fit a 15” laptop, and the silky outer material is sailcloth, so it’s super durable.

 On top of all that, this bag comes with a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Quality materials with a lifetime warranty
  • Transforms from a backpack to a tote
  • Stylish
  • Padded laptop sleeve

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t fit larger laptops
  • No trolly sleeve
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#8 Michael Kors Raven Shoulder Bag

Best Luxury Travel Purse

Michael Kors Raven Shoulder Bag

Size: 13.5” x 10.5 ”x 5”

Weight: 2.91 pounds

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Glamorous jet setters 

The Michael Kors Raven Shoulder Bag is a luxury bag that makes for an excellent traveling purse if you have the budget. 

From a top brand, you can expect high-quality construction and genuine leather. But aside from being fashionable, this is one of the best travel handbags due to its relatively large size and design. 

The bag is divided into three pockets. Two side compartments snap together to protect an inner, zippered compartment in the middle. 

So you can throw the stuff you want to reach quickly into the side compartments and put valuables like your passport, your wallet, or your camera into the middle compartment where they’ll be the most protected.

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Conveniently protected middle pocket
  • Made from quality materials

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Short strap
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#9 Osprey Daylite Sling

Best Sling Purse for Travel

Osprey Daylite Sling

Size: 15” x 8” x 5”

Weight: 8 ounces

Star rating: 4.6/5

Best for: Hiking and wilderness day trips

The Osprey Daylite Sling is great for hiking, sightseeing, and for those who simply prefer a hands-free purse. 

This compact little shoulder bag can sling over either shoulder and has a cushioned mesh back, making it the best travel purse for moms or other busy people who need to keep their arms free.

The whole bag is constructed from breathable spacer mesh material, which is made from environmentally-friendly recycled polyester. 

Additionally, the interior organizer and the small zippered pocket on the front strap keep your essentials where you can find them easily. 

Looking for more travel backpacks that are good for hiking? Check out our guide to the best hiking backpacks.

PROS

  • Quality materials and construction
  • Sustainable company
  • Lots of color options

CONS

  • Small capacity
  • No water bottle pocket
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
CHECK PRICE ON REI

#10 BOSTANTEN Genuine Leather Tote Bag

Best Stylish Travel Purse

BOSTANTEN Genuine Leather Tote Bag

Size: 16.93” x 5.12” x 11.02”

Weight: 1.91 lbs

Our rating: 4.5/5

Best for: Budget-conscious travelers with an eye for style

The best purses for travel are more than just practical, they also make you feel glamorous. 

This Bostanten Genuine Leather Tote does just that, boasting a luxury look and quality construction at an affordable price.

This stylish travel purse is great for sightseeing because its main compartment is large, so it can fit a lot of items. 

It also has three inner slip pockets and one zippered inner pocket, keeping small items organized.

This Bostanten tote comes in 13 different colors, with basics like black and brown, but also yellow and light blue. 

As a bonus, the flat bottom means it can rest on a roller bag, so it’s an excellent bag for the budget-conscious jet setter who’s always looking to make carrying luggage easier.

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Real leather
  • Reasonable price

CONS

  • No laptop sleeve
  • No anti-theft technology 
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#11 PINCNEL Waterproof Nylon Anti-theft Rucksack

Best Waterproof Travel Purse

PINCNEL Waterproof Nylon Anti-theft Rucksack

Size: (medium) 12.99” x 5.9” x 13.28”; (large) 13.4” x 6.7” x 13.4”

Weight: (medium) 1.3 lbs; (large) 1.54 lbs

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Travelers who like to stay prepared for anything

The Pincnel Rucksack is made from nylon, which is not just water-resistant but fully waterproof, so everything inside will stay dry no matter what the weather decides to do. 

Its back zipper also offers theft protection for peace of mind, making it a very good bag for safe travel. 

This rucksack comes in six colors and two sizes, with the larger size being able to fit a small laptop.

One of the Pincnel Rucksack’s best features is its versatility. With three straps, it can transform into either a backpack or a tote. And both models are spacious, with multiple organizational pockets.

But this extremely affordable bag offers more than just functionality, it’s also stylish and comes with a cute furry pom pom charm.

PROS

  • Anti-theft design
  • Waterproof
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Doesn’t hold a laptop
  • No trolly sleeve
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#12 Lecxci Outdoor Sling Bag

Best Budget Travel Purse

Lecxci Outdoor Sling Bag

Size: (medium) 7.69″ × 3.98″ × 14.49″; (small) 6.5″ × 2.98″ × 13.17″

Weight: 6.38 ounces

Our rating: 4.3/5 

Best for: Young backpackers with a limited budget

The Lecxci Outdoor Sling Bag is a convincing alternative to the Osprey sling at a shockingly low price.

And the upside is that you won’t have to sacrifice too much quality on this one. The sling bag is constructed from a scratch-proof and water-resistant nylon outer and a recycled polyester lining.

If you’re looking for a crossbody travel bag with a water bottle holder, this sling bag might be the one for you. There are two main compartments and a side pocket that can easily hold a water bottle.

The Lecxci Sling Bag comes in two sizes, but you should be warned: the smaller size is only really suitable for children or petite adults. 

The material is also sweat-resistant and features a padded, breathable strap, so this bag would be a superb choice for hiking or sightseeing in hot climates.

PROS

  • Very low price
  • Water bottle holder
  • Sweat-resistant padded strap

CONS

  • Small
  • Bright colors may not fit your aesthetic
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#13 Baggallini Everywhere Crossbody Bag

Best Durable Travel Purse

Baggallini Everywhere Crossbody Bag

Size: 9” x 13.5” x 5”

Weight: 1 lb

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Experienced and frequent world travelers

Crossbody bags are suited for travel because they’re easy to carry. And, since they position against your hip and under your arm, they offer a level of natural theft protection. 

The Baggallini Everywhere Bag is a hobo-style crossbody purse that exemplifies this perfectly.

Its sturdy construction and anti-theft features mean that it’s not only one of the best crossbody bags for travel but also one of the sturdiest. 

Baggallini is a trusted brand that’s known to be durable. This bag is also machine washable and won’t deteriorate in the washing machine, which boosts its longevity by keeping it looking fresh. 

Additionally, the Everywhere Bag slides comfortably onto a luggage handle and features plenty of organizational pockets, all with RFID blocking lining. 

Lastly, it’s made from lightweight nylon with a shoulder strap that can adjust up to 52” and comes with a matching detachable coin purse.

PROS

  • Trusted brand
  • Anti-theft technology
  • Lots of colors

CONS

  • Won’t fit a laptop
  • A little bulky
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

#14 Monstina Laptop Tote Bag

Best Laptop Travel Tote

Monstina Laptop Tote Bag

Size: 16.2” x 6.3” x 13”

Weight: 1.76 lbs

Our rating: 4.7/5

Best for: Remote workers with a nomadic lifestyle, business travelers

This sophisticated Monstina Laptop Tote Bag is made from nylon and leather and doesn’t look like a laptop carrier. 

Its design more closely resembles high-end bags like the Longchamp. But inside, there’s a specially designed laptop sleeve that can accommodate up to a 15” laptop. 

It also has 15 interior pockets to keep every work-related item in its proper place for business travelers. 

Additionally, the nylon construction is waterproof to protect your electronics. It also has an opening for a USB cord to go through so a power bank can be kept inside. 

Overall, this bag’s large capacity means that it can double as a carry-on and an everyday bag, no matter where your travels take you.

PROS

  • Lots of interior pockets
  • Waterproof
  • Sleek
  • Reasonable price

CONS

  • Doesn’t fit a 17” laptop
  • No anti-theft technology
CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Travel Purse

What to Look for in a Travel Purse

What to Look for in a Travel Purse

Not only does a travel purse need to cover all the bases that an everyday purse does, but it also needs to go above and beyond in terms of organization, capacity, comfort, and safety. 

Most importantly, the best purse for travel needs to have versatility. 

You’re not going to be switching out your purse every day of a vacation, so your travel purse will need to function as luggage on a travel day and then transition from day to night during your trip.

While traveling, you’ll probably also carry more things around with you, so the best travel purses will have a large capacity. 

However, you also don’t want a voluminous tote filled with a massive jumble of stuff, so a travel handbag with compartments is essential to keep you organized while you’re on the go.

The next thing to look for is style. If you want to feel like your usual fashionable self, you’ll want a travel purse that makes you feel stylish even when you’re on the road.

Another important feature to consider is the weight of the bag and how it sits on your shoulders. 

Traveling can be exhausting, and the last thing you need is a bag that leaves you with sore shoulders. 

Last but not least, it’s crucial to look at a bag’s safety features that help protect you from theft. 

Being a traveler makes you more vulnerable to pickpockets. You may be tired, distracted, or out of your element when you’re in a new place. 

There’s also a good chance you’ll be carrying valuables with you like your phone, camera, and credit cards.

Luckily, several travel bags listed above utilize anti-theft features, like slash-resistant fabric, lockable zippers, and RFID blocking cardholders to keep you protected.

Types of Travel Purses

Types of Travel Purses

Backpack Travel Purse 

Backpacks offer equal weight distribution. They also free up your hands and give you that “ready for anything” feeling. 

I’m a big fan of backpacks, but they do have their drawbacks. Most notably, they can make you susceptible to thieves because they sit out of your sight.

Tote Bag

The tote bag often has a large capacity and sits close to your body. But totes don’t usually have a lot of pockets, so it can be difficult to keep them organized. 

The short shoulder strap on a typical tote bag means that you’ll usually have to hold it on your shoulder and can’t always be hands-free.

The weight is also only distributed on one side of your body, which can be uncomfortable for some people. 

Shoulder Bag  

Shoulder bags have a longer shoulder strap than the typical tote bag, so they hang on the shoulder and free up your hands a little better. 

The downside is that they might not have long enough straps to be a crossbody bag, so, similar to a tote bag, the weight can be a lot for one side of your body.  

Crossbody Bags

Crossbody bags are hands-free and sit in a secure place on your body so you can keep an eye on your bag. They tend to put less strain on your muscles than a shoulder or tote bag since the weight is more evenly distributed. 

With their versatility, comfort, and built-in safety, crossbody bags are some of my favorite types of travel purses. 

Sling Bags

Sling bags are also hands-free. They hug your body and usually sit under your arm where you can keep them safe. 

They’re often on the smaller side and brace their weight against your body, so they tend to feel less heavy. 

But that also means they’re likely to have a lower capacity, so they might not be as versatile as a carry-on bag.  

FAQs About Travel Purses

FAQs About Travel Purses

What should I pack in my travel purse?

A travel purse should carry all of your necessities. Aside from a wallet, a phone, and a camera, a travel purse should contain everything you’ll need for sightseeing. 

You should also pack anything that will keep you healthy and comfortable during a long and strenuous day out. 

This might include at least a few of the following:

How do you stop a bag from getting snatched?

The first and most important rule for avoiding theft is to be vigilant. Be aware of your bag, and be mindful of the people around you. 

Don’t leave your purse where you can’t see it or put a hand on it, like under your chair or on the chair across from you. 

If you’re wearing a crossbody bag, have it positioned in front of your body so you can see it. If you’re wearing a backpack, turn it to the front when you’re on public transportation.

It’s also important to present yourself as vigilant. Make sure you don’t appear too lost in your thoughts or like you don’t know where you’re going.

Once you’ve covered the basics of bag safety, anti-theft technology can close any gaps. 

Should I even travel with a purse?

I personally always bring a purse on my travels. You’ll want to have essentials with you even when you leave your luggage behind at your hotel or vacation rental. 

And it’s not fun having to lug around a duffel bag or luggage while sightseeing. 

Travel purse vs. backpack – which one is better?

I’m a big proponent of the backpack purse because of my aching shoulders. I find that a backpack puts less stress on my muscles than a shoulder bag, a messenger bag, or a crossbody bag does.

That said, a backpack does carry the risk of being pickpocketed because most have zippered pockets in the front that will be out of your line of sight when you have it on. 

Some packs, like the PINCNEL Anti-Theft Rucksack, have solved that issue by placing the zipper on the part of the bag that lies against your body when you’re wearing it.

Backpacks can also get pretty heavy if you fill them to the brim, as they usually have a rather large capacity. 

If you don’t tend to carry a lot, maybe a smaller shoulder bag is all you need, and perhaps that’s what feels better on your body.

It ultimately comes down to a matter of personal choice. 

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Travel Purse

Our Pick for the Best Travel Purse

Which is the best of all the travel purses? My pick is the Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack Tote.

I’ve chosen this bag for several reasons.

First of all, its ability to transform from a backpack to a tote means that you don’t have to narrow your choice down to a single type of bag. 

This bag can adapt to different needs on different days and serve you well in various settings, from hiking trips to beach getaways, to European vacations.

Timbuk2 is also a high-quality, long-standing brand that you can trust. Although this isn’t the cheapest bag on the list, the lifetime warranty means that your money will go further when you invest in this bag. 

Another significant advantage to this bag is its ability to carry a laptop. Even if you’re not planning to take your laptop sightseeing, you’ll probably want to bring your laptop in your carry-on luggage. 

That means that the Timbuk2 bag can be a carry-on backpack one day and a slim tote purse the next.

Also, this stylish bag won’t look clunky with outfits since it comes in dark, neutral colors and blends with various styles. 

Overall, the Timbuk2 Convertible Backpack has a long list of ideal qualities for a travel bag, making it the best travel purse on this list.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary is a writer, visual artist, and avid traveler. She grew up in San Francisco, CA, and spent her childhood camping up and down Northern California. These days, she visits artist residencies around the world and has lived in Amsterdam, Australia, and now Brooklyn, NY.


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14 Best Travel Purses for Savvy and Stylish Travelers in 2022

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