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Review: Best Totes

If you are a frequent flyer, then you probably know that having a great carry-on tote is critical to having access to the items you need most when flying.  Odds are, when you hear the word tote, you get an image of a women’s handbag or large purse.  However, there is a growing trend of unisex tote bags that fall within the luggage family.  These bags are designed with travel in mind.  So they are often larger, more durable, and more expensive than the tote bags that you usually see in department stores.  When you are looking for a great carry on tote, size is important, as well as overall design, durability, and multiple compartments.  You should know that a great carry on tote will not be cheap; but, it will make your travel life much easier. Check out our list of the best totes in 2021.

Here are the best totes of 2021

Baggallini Avenue Top Handle Tote

It was tough choice, but the convenience due to the design made this our number 1 pick. The Baggallini tote is a great choice for those who need to transport a lot of items, but do not have the strength to carry a heavy bag.  Designed by flight attendants, the Baggallini tote has a number of features that make it a convenient for travelers. For example, this rolling tote comes equipped with a sleeve on the back, which allows you to attach this tote over the handle of another suitcase.  It fits comfortably under the seat or in the overhead compartment.  With two large inner compartments and a center section designed for a laptop, notebook, or set of files, you should be to store everything you need access to during your flight.  Plus, this tote is roomy enough to fit clothing for a day trip plus a laptop. One of the best features of this tote is its trendy retro style.  It has a look that is unique in the area of travel totes, and comes in a variety of colors.  Although the size is a key feature for carrying the extras, it can make it difficult to roll in tight spaces, such as turnstiles.  Another drawback to this bag is that it has a design that lends itself more to a woman.  The price may also cause you to do a slight double take.  However if you are trendy traveler, you will love this stylish carry on tote.  Plus, Baggallini is a popular brand with quality products.  So, you will definitely get your money’s worth.

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack Tote

The High Sierra tote is perfect for the productive plane traveler.  This tote is designed specifically to transport laptops and notebook computers.  Created with high density foam, this carry on will maintain its shape.  Giving your valuables added protection from damage caused by objects on top of or against your carry on tote.  The shoulder strap is designed for comfort and the handle makes it easy to grip regardless of the size of your hands. Now, the manufacturer’s recommendations will specify that you can comfortably fit a 17” laptop or notebook.  However, you can actually fit most 19” laptops in this carry on, easily.  Plus there are additional compartments for your cell phone, PDA, I-Pod, and similar items.  And the side pockets are big enough for you to carry a small umbrella and most regular sized drinks.  The only drawback to this carry on is right in its name.  This tote is designed to transport laptops and notebooks.  So, you will probably need to buy a different type of carry on tote for overnight trips.  Still, for under $100, this is one of the best business travel totes on the market, especially for young professionals.

TUMI - Alpha 3 Slim Solutions Tote

Just because you are a frequent flyer doesn’t mean you are always running to your next board meeting. For, those who simply enjoy traveling, the Alpha Bravo Tote will be a great option for you.  Since this carry on has a fabric construction, this is one of the lighter carry on totes available. This tote is designed like a backpack; it’s easy to transport and the weight is distributed evenly.  So, this is a great tote for standing and/or walking for long periods of time.  The Alpha Bravo has two waterproof side pockets that are perfect for small electronics such as cell phones.  And, even though, this tote isn’t design specifically to transport laptops like others on our list, there is a large pocket that you should be able to fit the average laptop.  Thanks to the design, this tote is a favorite among college students and young travelers, especially those who travel internationally.  However, the price tag on the Alpha Bravo will be a hard to swallow for most students.  Still, this tote has a durable practical design that will serve you well through college and for years to come.

SKYWAY Epic Softside 2-Wheel Carry-On Tote

The Skyway tote is great multipurpose carry on.  This tote has a functional appearance and compartment design that will allow you to use it for both business and pleasure. Ergonomic handle and shoulder strap lets you to carry this tote however you like.  It’s water resistant and has full lining protection.  So you can feel comfortable carrying small electronic equipment, such as laptops and cell phones.  Thanks to the Skyway tote’s hybrid construction, this carry on is not only tear resistant and durable, it’s also lightweight.  Although, there are totes designed specifically for day trips or business trips.  I love the fact that the design of this tote will allow it to act as either or both, depending on the size of your laptop.  Plus, this tote is reasonably priced making it perfect for those on tight budgets and small business owners.

Lucas Cabin Luggage Collection Tote

Similar to the Alpha Bravo, the Lucas Soft carry on tote, is a utilitarian styled travel tote.  I love the fact that this tote is mainly designed to transport clothes.  Unlike many of the other totes on our list, the Lucas bag is great for day trips, allowing you to pack some clothes and essentials and go.  Created with Nylon, this carry on is lightweight. So, you can pack as much as you need without this tote weighing you down. Understand that the Lucas tote is not designed to transport a laptop or notebook. So, even though you may be able to fit a laptop inside this bag, unless you pack carefully it’s not recommended. The only major drawback to this tote is that there is no shoulder strap.  So you can only carry this tote by its handle. Yet, this is a practically priced tote with a comfortable handle for easy transport.

Crop In Style XXL Rolling Tote

Although, the majority of rolling totes are designed with frequent flyers in mind.  There are those who need a good rolling tote for other reasons, one of which being to transport craft and hobby items.  If you are looking for the best rolling tote for this purpose than look no further.  The many loops, designed for scissors and pens have earned the Crop In Style the title of best tote for scrap-bookers.  However, the clear interior pockets and adjustable/removable interior dividers make it a great tote for a variety of other hobbyist, such as tatters, knitters, and photographers.  It’s also a good option for elementary school teachers.  Created with Cordura Nylon, this tote meshes organization with rugged durability.  The inline skate wheels with fixed ball bearing give you a smooth rolling experience over common surfaces.  You should know that XXL is in the name of this tote for a reason.  So, this tote will probably not fit under an airline seat. And depending on your size and strength, you should probably not try to carry this tote for long periods of time.  Still for serious hobbyist, the numerous loops and compartments will allow you to keep all of your items neat and organized.  Now, this tote will not be purchased at a discount.  But let’s be honest, organization is the gift that keeps on giving.

Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Lightweight Tote

Travelpro is a trusted brand when it comes to luggage and travel bags, with several popular luggage lines to its credit.  However, the Crew 7 is one of the most popular totes among business travelers.  This tote is ideal for transporting all of your business needs.  Created with micro ballistic Teflon coated fabric, this durable tote comes with a limited lifetime warranty.  The Crew 7 has a roomy interior that is fully lined, allowing you the ability to comfortably fit the average sized laptop and enough clothing for a day trip.  Plus, inline skate wheels give this rolling tote a smooth transport, while remaining durable enough to handle common travel surfaces.  The sturdy handle has a push button locking mechanism to keep it in place while you are on the go.  It has a professional design that will appeal to all types of business travelers.  Although it usually comes with a hefty price tag, this rolling tote will go above and beyond your expectations.

DELSEY Paris Rolling Under Seat Tote

Unlike the other rolling totes on our list, the Delsey rolling tote has a sportier look that’s probably best suited for young professionals or personal travel.  Equipped with a comfortable shoulder strap, carrying handle and rolling wheels you can easily transport this tote however you wish.  When you add those features with the overall style of Delsey, you get a rolling tote that can also double as a gym bag.  Created with Delsey’s patented duralast polyester and EVA foam, this tote can withstand frequent use for years.  Plus, the inline skates ensure a smooth rolling experience.  Plus, this tote also features a roomy interior that is fully lined, protecting electronics during transport. The Delsey tote will not be the cheapest option on the market.  But, the ability to use this tote in a variety of ways will ensure that you get your money’s worth.

Rick Steves Avanti Rolling Tote

The Avanti rolling tote by Rick Steves is popular by a number of travelers due to its size.  This rolling tote is large enough to fit a laptop and clothes for a day trip.  And, in some cases enough for two days, depending on how light you pack.  Yet, it’s designed to be very lightweight and will fit underneath most commercial airline seats. Created with nylon and 900d polyester, this Avanti tote is durable and should withstand frequent use.  The only major drawback to this tote is the zipper design, unlike most of today’s travel totes the Avanti features a more traditional zipper design. We should also note that the size of this tote may prevent it from fitting under the seat of most small commuter planes.  Still, for overnight trips this is a great durable tote at a reasonable price.  And, if you were already a fan on the Risk Steves luggage collection, you will not be disappointed by this tote.

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