Photos: Suit up for business travel with these carry-on bags
Image 1 of 14
Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Nomatic Roller Luggage is made with a 100% Makrolon polycarbonate shell and features a magnetic strap system to allow compression on all or part of the suitcase, along with compression cubes to keep belongings organized and to maximize packing space. It also has a removable tech case.
The Nomatic Carry On Pro has a 29-liter capacity and features a tech compartment designed for instant access at TSA checkpoints, and includes a tech case with a removable shoulder strap to store a laptop, tablet, chargers, power banks and compact headphones.
Nomatic has almost fairytale beginnings; in 2014 two cousins, Jon Richards and Jacob Durham, designed a wallet and launched it on Kickstarter. They expected to get about 50 orders, but more than 6,000 people backed their campaign, investing $171,000. Since then, Richards and Durham have raised more than $9.7 million through eight crowdfunding campaigns.
Available, nomatic.com, $550.
P.MAI Valletta backpack
“After speaking with customers,” P.MAI owner and designer Phuong Mai said, of the four years they’ve been making business bags with style, “We added a luggage strap to the back of the bag to make it more convenient for travelers. We also increased the height of the bag to accommodate 15″ laptops.”
It was important, she said, to accommodate business travelers, “We learned that form and function are important. It was important for our bags to have the right amount of organization and pockets, but still look sleek and professional.”
P.MAI accommodated business women with the PMAI Valletta backpack, “It’s a classy upgrade to boring laptop bags and the healthy alternative to shoulder bags. We’re on a mission to help women ditch their heavy shoulder bags for something more ergonomic yet stylish.”
Available at P.MAI online, $450; vegan version, $289
T. Anthony's 22" Polycarbonate Collection
If you’re fancy, you might fancy T. Anthony’s Polycarbonate Collection.
The 22″ carry-on bag is lightweight, and has organizational pockets, a quilted compression pad, and a TSA approved and certified combination lock. Hinomoto wheels, said a T. Anthony rep, ensure a smooth ride in 360′ degrees. The company’s goal was “to make a luggage set that was more secure for the overseas traveler,” the rep said.
Launched in 1946, Theodore Anthony’s luggage was carried by British and Hollywood royalty, and, the company said, American presidents. T. Anthony suitcases are made with hardwood frames and solid brass hardware, as well as soft-shelled canvas and leather options.
Available at T. Anthony and at the NYC Flagship store at 445 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, $595.00
Bric's at Paul Stuart The X Travel Montagne Backpack
The Montagne backpack from Bric’s X-TRAVEL collection is designed to be a carry-on bag and a work backpack.made from durable, easy-to-clean nylon. Inside, there is a dividing padded pocket with zipper, and it closes with drawstring and zip pull. It measures 16.54″ x 12″ x 6.7″ and comes with a two-year warranty for manufacturer defects
A company rep said that during the bag’s development they made sure that there are enough pockets that are well-designed with two large zipped pockets and two side pockets, enclosed with four snap closures for added compression. Shoulder straps are adjustable and the back of the backpack is padded and it has a handle slide feature.
Available at Paul Stuart, $145
Shaya The Petite Carrier
It should be evident to anyone who travels that more and more people are traveling with their small dogs and other animals, and enough women bring them on business trips that Shaya created The Petite Carrier, a luxury travel bag to accommodate your business gear and your dog.
Shaya CEO and founder Davina Farahi said, “Especially for busy men and women traveling for work, Shaya makes it possible to travel with your tech and your pup, keeping everything you need, including your furry friend, within reach.”
“Customer testing was extremely important during the development phase of our carrier,” Farahi said. “We asked pet owners of different animals (including cats and rabbits) to test out our bag and give us their feedback. We left it open ended so that they could give us any kind of response without focusing on what we wanted to hear. It ended up that our first prototype and our final design are very different as a result.”
It’s hard to believe that within the last century, people traveled with an entourage, and a lot, a lot of luggage, including trunks big enough to contain a body. However, Farahi said, “Travelers are looking to minimize the amount of luggage they need to carry with them, while making sure everything they take with them is secure. This is something we learned during the development phase of our debut carrier. It used to be you would need a carrier and a bag to carry your personal items. Our Shaya Carrier is made to fit your phone, wallet, and tablet while you travel.”
Shaya applied customer feedback. Farahi said changes were all made during the prototyping phase. The biggest change we made after feedback was to increase the size of our internal pocket and add a zipper so that human items could be stored inside without fear of your pet getting a hold of it.
Available Shaya Pets, tall pet carrier, $795; petite pet carrier, $725
ECEEN ECE-602 backpack
ECEEN backpacks integrate solar panels into a multipurpose backpack, and ECEEN a pioneer of solar backpacks.
“The first solar backpacks were very expensive, bulky and simply unusable, unless you were a serial techie looking to impress your friends,” said Torben Lonne, who runs the Divein.com scuba travel website. “We learned that it’s possible to use solar energy to power our electronic devices without having to spend a lot of money.”
Available, Amazon, $90
Werks Traveler 6.0 Frequent Flyer Carry-On Hardside
The Werks Traveler 6.0 Frequent Flyer Carry-On has a “Pack More System” to ensure maximum capacity, a Swiss Army rep said, and explained the dual-caster Hinomoto wheels with Lisof silent tires “make for extra-smooth and quiet 360u00b0 maneuverability, while the Recessed Travel Sentry Approved combination lock, the Access Lock Combination Recovery Program, and an integrated USB port ensure security and charged batteries.”
The bag comes with an integrated multi-tool inspired by the Swiss Army Knife, with a USB port, SIM card replacement tool, ID-Tag and ballpoint pen; a 100% polycarbonate for a strong and lightweight shell.
Available, Swiss Army, $379
Pelican Air Travel Case
Pelican Products recently introduced the new Pelican Air Travel Cases and the line includes the overhead bin compliant Pelican Air Travel 1535 Carry On Case (1535TRVL) for carry-on bags.
Pelican is well-known for equipment cases it made for the military, law enforcement, photographers and the entertainment industry. The newer consumer cases are 40% lighter.
The cases features integrated TSA accepted key locks. The interior features a lid organizer with apparel pockets and a set of two individual packing cubes for maximizing space. This allows for the versatility of transporting both clothes and tech (lenses, cables, cameras, sensitive instruments, etc.).
The Pelican Air Travel Case line is available in ox blood, indigo, charcoal and black, and are made with HPX2 resin which the company said is up to 40% lighter than comparable bags. Initially the bags were subjected to tests: impact, drop, submersion, high-and-low temperature, and harsh handling. Other features include a heavy-duty pull-handle and rolling stainless-steel bearing wheels, an automatic purge valve for easier opening in high altitudes, as well as a watertight O-ring gasket.
Available BH Photo Video, $300
Maxpedition Ironcloud Adventure Travel Bag
“Maxpedition aimed to create secure and versatile travel bag, carry-on friendly for flights, that would be a successful combination of a backpack, duffel and computer bag,” a Maxpedition rep said. It was critical the bag be durable but without added weight, and is built with two types of nylon fabrics, including 500D Hex Ripstop. It also has a Teflon fabric protector.
Maxpedition wanted to “create low-profile and snag-free design” in a bag with three options, carried by one of the multiple side handles, by the shoulder strap, or by the reinforced yoke backpack straps, all which can be put up or hidden away depending on the situation.
The main compartment is lockable, and comes with lightweight Anti-Break Duraflex Xlite Buckles. An internal compression bib inside secures contents. There is a padded compartment for a 15″ laptop or tablet on the outside of the pack. It measures 14″x10″x22.”
Available at Military 1st, $385
Mark & Graham Commuter 2-in-1 Garment Bag
The Mark & Graham Commuter 2-in-1 Garment Bag was designed, the company said, to “make work travel exponentially easier with this single bag that includes a garment bag, for easily wrinkled, hanging items, as well as a roomy overnighter for everything else. It was also important they had a garment bag which was easily transported.
While conducting research, Mark & Graham determined that business travelers “want streamlined solutions that make travel easier and seamlessly carry their favorite tech gadgets.”
Available at Mark & Graham, $269
Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Soft Sided Carry-on
The Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Soft Sided Carry-on bag is notable because there are multiple pockets for organizing, including one for a laptop, one for shoes, and one for an umbrella, with the appearance of a classic duffle.
According to a rep, business travelers want “bags with compartments for all of their essentials.” Also popular with business travelers a trolley sleeve to slip onto the handle of a larger luggage.
Available at Mark & Graham, $149
PLIQO Carry-On Bag from PLIQO London Ltd
The PLIQO carry-on features two full-width external pockets, grab-handle, and shoulder strap, in addition to three internal pockets and was designed with a business travelers’ suit in mind, because it packs down a suit to the size of a laptop bag. It’s also the smallest of carry-ons featured, it has a footprint of just 16″ x 12″ and weighs around 2.5 lbs.
A US-patented folding garment-hanger allows it to pack down to about half the size of most shoulder-slung garment bags, said Patrich Tatham, director, PLIQO London Ltd.
“Many frequent fliers already have favorite cabin luggage,” Tatham said, “and the PLIQO bag was designed to fit in all kinds of other cabin cases and bags. We don’t expect our customers to change out their favorite bags just to be able to use our PLIQO Bag. This is a great advantage, as we don’t feel we are competing with the giants of the industry.”
“We not only worked with two expert design consultancies to get the hangers and soft-bag just right, we also spent a year testing prototypes with real-life business travelers to iron out any problems with our initial designs,” he added. “The aim was for a garment bag with enough versatility to accommodate tech items such as laptops and tablets, chargers and cables (or shirts, underwear, ties etc).
Tatham admits they need to broaden the product range, “we are working on a rugged variant for active commuters (e.g. cyclists and runners) and a bag specifically for women travelers. We are also looking at a slightly larger ‘overnight’ version that will use the same space-saving technology, while accommodating a wash-kit and shoes alongside the familiar tech-related items.”
A little help from friends: “We decided to use crowdfunding to launch the bags, it was a perfect way for us to ‘prove the concept’ to the UK and international market. More than a third of our initial backers were in the US.”
Available PLIQO, the Grommet, Amazon UK, $215 USD.
AER Dufflepack 2
The AER Dufflepack 2 bag was developed for men or women who are constantly on the go, but have an active life-style, an AER rep said, “What makes this bag innovative is you can put gym gear in together with your laptop, iPad and any other office gear.”
It is available in black, gray, navy, and black camo, and features separate compartments for gym essentials and work tools. It weighs 2.4 lbs and measures 21.5 x 12 x 8.
Available, Aer, Nordstrom, Amazon, Rakuten, $170 (black camo, $185)
Lo & Sons O.G. 2
The O.G. 2 follows the company’s original, the O.G., which was inspired by founder Helen Lo, who started the company with her two sons, Jan and Derek. The recently retired Helen was frequently traveling with her radio-astronomer husband. She was looking for a bag that fit all her electronics, was lightweight, and did not look overly masculine or like luggage. The Lo family designed a bag that checked all the boxes and alleviated pain points while traveling. The O.G. 2 has pockets and compartments for organized stowing and accessibility, a padded external laptop compartment, a suitcase handle-sleeve (also called a trolley sleeve), a removable memory-foam shoulder pad and side shoe compartment
The O.G.2 was designed to be a travel and work companion, lightweight, organized and intuitive. Lo & Sons went through multiple rounds of prototyping, with a lot of user testing after each round.
The Lo & Sons team found that many find the airport experience stressful, particularly going through security. They found users were most concerned with keeping their travel documents organized (boarding pass, passport), their technology protected and their bag secure on the roller luggage for less fumbling in airport lines.
Since the company was founded, the O.G. bag has gone through seven rounds of prototyping, applying user feedback. The O.G. 2’s laptop sleeve is now separate from the main compartment. The design was re-engineered to add structure and stability without added weight, the goal was to prevent leaning. The new design also has a removable memory-foam pad on the messenger strap for extra comfort and a mesh water bottle pocket that is separate from the laptop compartment.
Available, Lo & Sons, $333 to $338.