Best Garment Bags 2019
When it comes to essential luggage for the frequent traveler, a quality garment bag is a must-have. Specifically, garment bags are unique pieces of luggage designed to hold anywhere from one to several full outfits, keeping them as wrinkle-free as possible and protecting them from the elements. Many garment bags are also designed with TSA and airline requirements for carry-ons in mind, making them a great carry-on luggage option for a quick weekend jaunt.
Not sure whether a garment bag is a smart purchase for your travel needs? Take into consideration some of the advantages and potential drawbacks of purchasing a garment bag from many different luggage brands. From there, if you decide to buy one, consider checking out our top-five list and following our guide to choosing the best garment bag for your unique travel needs and budget.
Top 5 Best Garment Bags
Our top five picks for garment bags are listed below, and are a great place to begin your search!
1. CHESTER Minima Carry-On
This CHESTER carry-on bag can double as an excellent garment bag and is made of aerospace-grade polycarbonate hard-shell material for maximum durability. It also includes a hidden premium laundry bag and a TSA-approved lock.
2. Samsonite Armage Wheeled Garment Bag
This garment bag makes it easy to transfer clothes directly from your closet to your bag without even removing hangers. It is also made out of water-resistant nylon fabric that’s easy to clean—and is equipped with smooth-rolling wheels for easy maneuverability.
3. Zegur Suit Carry-on Garment Bag
This simple yet functional garment bag comes with tie-downs to keep clothing from shifting and a strap for securing onto your rolling luggage handle. As an added convenience, this bag has four pouches that can accommodate anything from shoes and ties to accessories and toiletries.
4. Robert Myers Garment Carrier
This garment bag is as beautiful as it is practical, featuring Colombian leather construction and antique brass hardware for a classy look. In addition to offering ample space for storing garments, it also has a large zipper compartment on the front for extra storage of other essentials.
5. Hook & Albert Leather Garment Weekender Bag
This stunning garment bag comes in an array of gorgeous color options and offers a surprising amount of space. In addition to dedicated shoe pockets, there are three other storage pockets for accessories. It’s also made of top-grain pebbled leather and its front zipper pocket is lined with suede.
Advantages of Using Garment Bags
There are many inherent advantages of using a garment bag over a traditional piece of luggage when traveling.
Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free
First and foremost, garment bags are designed specifically with your clothes in mind. They have a unique design that helps keep your clothes laying flat to protect against wrinkles. Many garment bags even allow you to easily transfer your clothing directly from your closet and into the bag without removing the hanger, which makes packing for your next trip even easier.
Unlike with a traditional suitcase, garment bags allow you to store your clothing items flat, rather than rolled-up. This means that when you arrive at your destination, you don’t have to worry about wrinkles and creases. As a result, you may be able to save yourself the time and hassle of ironing your clothes or finding a local dry cleaner when you arrive to look your best.
Better Organize Your Clothes
Have you ever been frustrated trying to go through your suitcase and find the coordinating pieces you packed for a specific outfit? If so, then a garment bag may be a smart purchase. With a garment bag, you can pack each individual outfit in its own compartment so that everything stays together (blouses, pants, socks, etc.). This will make life much easier when you arrive at your destination and don’t need to rummage through your suitcase to pair all your outfits and accessories back together.
Safely Transport Precious Articles of Clothing
When you’re traveling for a special event, such as a wedding or conference, there’s a good chance you’ll also be traveling with precious articles of clothing. This could include anything from a wedding gown or bridesmaid dress to an expensive tuxedo. The last thing you need is to worry about your important clothing getting damaged or lost during your travels.
The good news is that garment bags are specifically designed with important articles of clothing in mind; their sole purpose is to protect these items and ensure safe transport. Many garment bags are even designed to be used as carry-ons, so you don’t need to worry about the stress of checking your important article of clothing (such as your wedding gown) with the airline.
In fact, many airlines even have dedicated storage spaces for garment bags on their planes. Simply ask a flight attendant as you board your flight if they have a closet where you can store your important garment; they’ll likely be able to accommodate you.
Protect Against Stains and Spills
Garment bags are also designed to protect your clothing and accessories from damage caused by spills. Most garment bags, for example, have zippered pockets with protective liners. Some are even designed with protective liners for each individual garment, and most are made of some kind of water-resistant material for added protection.
If you’ve ever packed clothing in a traditional suitcase, only to arrive at your destination and find that your shampoo bottle exploded all over your clothes during transport, then you’ll know exactly why having this special protection against stains and spills is so helpful.
Save Delicate Fabrics From Exposure to Elements
If you decide to check your garment bag for any reason, you can enjoy added peace of mind in knowing that your delicate clothing and fabrics are protected from exposure to the elements, such as humidity and moisture. While the cabin of an airplane is generally pretty temperature- and moisture-regulated, the same cannot be said of cargo holds where checked luggage is stored. In a traditional suitcase, your delicate fabrics could end up damaged due to exposure to excessive heat, humidity, cold, or moisture. Fortunately, this is not a concern with the right garment bag.
Enjoy Additional Storage and Other Features
In addition to offering excellent storage for your clothing, a great garment bag offers additional convenient features. Many, for example, come equipped with smooth-rolling wheels and telescoping handles to make maneuvering your garments through the airport a breeze. Many garment bags are also designed with additional storage needs in mind and feature separate pockets for packing shoes, ties, and other accessories. In the case of a quick weekend trip, the right garment bag may actually be all you need to bring in terms of luggage!
Potential Drawbacks of Using Garment Bags
As with any type of luggage, there are some potential drawbacks to using garment bags that you’ll want to keep in mind.
May Exceed Carry-On Limits
While most garment bags are designed with airline carry-on limits in mind, this is not a guarantee. As different airlines have different requirements regarding carry-on luggage weights and measurements, it is possible that the garment bag you select may be too large or too heavy to bring along with you. Instead, you may need to check your garment bag. And of course, if you’re bringing additional luggage to check, this can add up in checked baggage fees and may not be as convenient.
Could Be Crammed In An Overhead Compartment
If you are able to bring your garment bag as a carry-on, you may be counting on the good graces of others to protect your clothing from wrinkles or creases. Because many garment bags are soft-sided, placing your garment bag in an overhead compartment during travel could subject your bag to bring crushed by other people’s hard-sided suitcases. Unfortunately, this can cause your clothing to arrived wrinkled at your destination.
The best way to avoid this potential issue is to ask a flight attendant if you can store your garment bag in a closet or other designated storage compartment, as many airlines offer these. Another option would be to invest in a hard-sided garment bag so your clothing can have added protection when placed in an overhead bin.
May Not Get A Lot of Use
Depending on how often you travel or how frequently you travel with important clothing (such as dresses, suits, or tuxedos), a garment bag may not get quite as much use as other types of luggage. If this is the case, then you’ll need to think carefully about whether it will be worth it for you to spend your hard-earned money on a garment bag or if you’d be better off sticking with a traditional suitcase or other type of conventional luggage.
What Ro Look For In A Garment Bag
If you’ve decided to treat yourself to a garment bag, you may be wondering where to begin with your shopping. There are many styles and brands of garment bags available—and the process of choosing one can be overwhelming. As you shop, try to look for a few specific features that will help you get the most out or your luggage.
Proper Size For Your Garments
If you have special articles of clothing that you know you’ll be traveling with frequently, make sure the garment bag you purchase meets the specifications of those garments. For example, if you’re purchasing a garment bag specifically for traveling with your wedding gown, you’ll want to make sure that the bag you select has plenty of room to accommodate your dress along with any other accessories you may want to pack with it. This is especially important if you’re packing bulkier garments that may take up a lot of room.
Wheels for Easy Maneuverability
Being able to get around the airport easily with your garment bag is a must, so look for designs that feature telescoping handles and easy-rolling wheels for maximum maneuverability. If you’ll be carrying your garment bag rather than rolling it at any point during your travels, you’ll also want to look for a bag with comfortable, padded straps.
A garment bag is really only as good as its material. Ideally, you’ll want to find a bag that’s made of water-resistant material or that at least has a water-resistant liner so that your clothing is properly protected. When looking at the material, you may also want to consider how easy it will be to keep clean. This will be especially important if you plan on checking your garment bag at any point, as rough handling can lead to scuffs and stains that may be difficult to remove from certain fabrics.
Some garment bags are made of hard-sided materials for easier cleaning and added protection, though these also tend to take up more space. Ultimately, you’ll want to consider what’s more important to you as you shop.
Total Hanger Capacity
For garment bags that allow for direct hanging of clothing, be sure to find out what the hanger capacity is so you can find one that suits your needs. Many garment bags with this feature can hold around four hangers at a time, but this can vary from one brand and design to the next.
Compliance With Travel Regulations
If you have an airline that you fly with regularly, you may want to check the regulations for carry-ons with that airline before you purchase your garment bag. This way, you can make sure that the one you end up purchasing has the right specifications to use as a carry-on. Otherwise, you may need to check your garment bag when you fly, which could incur additional fees.
Additional Storage Compartments
Garment bags are primarily for storing your clothing, but many bags also comes with additional storage compartments so you can pack your shoes, ties, and other accessories in one convenient place. If you’re looking for a bag that you can get the most use out of, then make sure it has plenty of convenient storage compartments. You might even be able to use your garment bag as your only piece of luggage for a weekend trip!
Overall, a garment bag can be a great purchase for the frequent traveler—especially for those who frequently travel with clothing items such as suits and gowns that may otherwise become wrinkled in a traditional suitcase. There are many considerations to keep in mind as you shop for a garment bag, ranging from size and material to maneuverability and additional features. With just a little research and patience, you can ultimately find the garment bag that’s right for you.