LoAndSonsBagCarrying a lot of stuff in as tight a space as possible is nothing new when you travel on an airplane. With the cost of airline travel increasing, we all want to maximize our carry-on luggage space and manufacturers are responding with features like loads of pockets to hold everything from cell phones and keys to hands-free and lightweight bags.

We asked some fellow road warriors what bags they can’t live without and, as expected, they were quick to point out their favorites and why. We also test drove some new bags on the marketplace to see how they withstood the security screening process and shared our thoughts.

According to those we asked, messenger bags and backpacks lead the pack for many because of their hands-free ease.

Checkpoint friendly laptop bags, in particular are becoming more attractive as they feature clear or unobstructed images of the laptop when undergoing X-ray screening making it unnecessary to remove the laptop thereby streamlining the security process and better protecting laptops.

One frequent traveler, who also often travels with her young son, can’t live without her SwissArmy backpack. The Swiss Army Legacy 15.6 inch computer backpack is checkpoint friendly and has received great product reviews by many users.

Messenger bags continue to be popular among both men and women for their ability to carry a lot of stuff and you can use it well beyond the airport. Since they were originally designed for bicycle messengers, they really tend to be lightweight and fit nicely around your body. One avid bicyclist and messenger bag fan recommends the CHROME messenger bags.

Manufacturer Ogio was praised for its generous number of pockets for gadgets, being very comfortable and long-lasting. 

The O.G. bag by Lo and Sons is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Generally I’m a backpack kind of gal when traveling through an airport. Backpacks allow to me to carry my laptop safely, get through security checks, and still have my hands free for my coffee and boarding pass. But this bag is perfect for a number of reasons, even if it’s not a backpack:

– It has a ton of pockets so I can stash my keys, wallet, phone, chargers, camera and still find it all easily in their respective compartments.

– Although it’s a bit on the larger side for me as a carry-on (it still qualifies as a carry on), it holds a TON of stuff.

– It’s lightweight because it’s made of water-resistant nylon (and, as you now read, water-resistant).

– A back sleeve allows you to fling this bag over your suitcase handles so you don’t need to carry it over your shoulder.

– BONUS – it has a separate compartment for shoes, like gym shoes! Now I can carry my gym shoes and laptop in one bag and not worry about one touching the other and getting dirty. This is really, by far, one of the best features of this bag and I’m surprised other manufacturers haven’t thought of it yet. Genius.

– If you care how it looks, it’s a stylish satchel type of bag that comes in a few colors like black, green, red and blue. It can easily double as an after-work bag or a gym bag and you won’t look like a gym rat coming to an after-work party.

If you want to see exactly how much this bag holds, check out the Lo and Sons video on this bag.

But if a large bag isn’t your style, another traveler loves his Eagle Creek Roz bag because, despite its small size, fits an amazing amount of stuff (this particular traveler includes his iPad, travel guide, passport, wallet, Eagle Creek Packable Duffel and more). He loves that it is half the size of a shoebox and, therefore, leaves plenty of foot room under the airline seat.

Getting from point A to point B doesn’t have to be difficult and with the right tools, can be an enjoyable experience.

What’s your favorite travel bag and why?

~Megy

Megy Karydes is president of Karydes Consulting, a marketing and PR consulting firm that works with small to large businesess and non-profits on their marketing and media strategy. Find her at Karydes Consulting or connect on Twitter: @megy.