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Best weekend bags for stylish mini breaks

Booked a mini break? Ensure you've got the right kind of luggage to carry your stuff around in style with our pick of the best weekend bags for escapes near and far. 

By Alice Cruickshank | Last updated Aug 5, 2021

Leather weekend bag

Most of us are swapping a fortnight’s holiday for long weekends and staycations this year, so owning the perfect weekend bag has never been more important.

It can be a tricky one to master though. You’re looking for luggage that is smaller and more practical than a classic suitcase, yet big enough to fit several outfits (and one too many pairs of shoes) in, that’s also easy to carry around. 

When you think ‘overnight bag’, you might picture a monogrammed designer holdall *swoon* and while you could splash the cash, there are plenty of affordable weekend bags that are as stylish as they are practical. 

Whether you’re treating yourself to a city break or heading off with the family on a rural Airbnb escape, we’ve rounded up our favourites below, including tried-and-tested recommendations from the Mumsnet forums. 

Here are the best weekend bags to buy in 2021. 

1. Best overall weekend bag: Away The Weekender Bag

Away The Weekender Bag

Price: £195 | Buy now from Away

The name says it all: The Weekender Bag from luggage brand Away is as good as it gets when it comes to the perfect travel companion. Its benefits are endless. From the built-in laptop sleeve to the separate shoe compartment to the interior pockets that are the perfect size for holding your favourite novels. The Weekender Bag is a brilliant all-rounder for someone looking for a holdall that’ll work hard for years to come. This stylish bag also comes in a choice of nylon or canvas exterior, making it a solid choice whatever your preference. There’s even the option to monogram your weekend bag if you’re feeling fancy. At £195, this might be one of the most expensive options on our list, but we feel this is an investment worth making. 

Key specs

  • Size: 55cm x 22cm x 32cm
  • Material: Canvas or nylon 

2. Best budget weekend bag: WANDF Foldable Duffle Bag

Wandf foldable weekend bag

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

"I bought one of these last year and used it for 5 days in Prague. It was brilliant, I fit loads in and it was very lightweight yet strong" - MadisonAvenue

This simple duffle bag is anything but basic. Despite its featherlight construction, this sturdy weekend bag from WANDF can hold a substantial 60 litres and comes with a crossbody strap for added comfort. The separate shoe compartment makes this bag great for trips exploring the outdoors as there’s no worries about muddy trainers dirtying your clothes. At less than £20, the WANDF duffle is also a bargain option to keep on hand for spontaneous trips and weekend adventures. 

Key specs

  • Size: 58cm x 26cm x 33cm
  • Material: Nylon

3. Best canvas weekend bag: Plambag Expandable Canvas Holdall Bag 

Plambag khaki weekend bag

Price: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

The ultimate weekend bag should be practical and versatile, and this expandable number from Plambag couldn’t fit the brief better. At less than £40 this is a brilliant budget option, but the low cost doesn’t mean a sacrifice in useful features. The classic duffle shape and neutral colour mean this is a bag your family will use for years to come, and the multiple zip compartments mean no more digging through your belongings to find small items. Plus, we love that the Plambag Holdall is expandable: it will take you from a one night’s romantic getaway to a long weekend city break with ease. 

Key specs

  • Size: 53cm x 25cm x 30 cm (expands to 62cm X 25cm X 30 cm)
  • Material: Microfibre canvas 

4. Best large weekend bag for families: Eastpak Leather M Travel Bag 60L

Eastpak Reader weekend bag

Price: £85 | Buy now from Amazon

"I've had a couple of bags from Eastpak, and the quality is great" - Vibbe

If you’re looking for the perfect hybrid between a weekend bag and a full-on suitcase then we’ve found it in this extra large duffle from Eastpak. While its plain black exterior is a little severe, this weekend bag’s simple design is forgiven due to its huge 51.5L capacity. There’s no concern about filling this weekend bag too full to carry either, as it features a handy shoulder strap with comfy padding. A great bag for families. 

Key specs

  • Size: 68.5cm x 34.5cm x 32 cm
  • Material: 100% nylon

5. Best personalised weekend bag: Katie Loxton Kensington Weekend Holdall Duffle Bag

Katie Loxton Kensington weekend bag

Price: £90 | Buy now from Katie Loxton

For an affordable alternative to a designer weekend bag, we love this chic personalised holdall from Katie Loxton. What the Kensington lacks in storage compartments, it compensates for in its sleek design. The PU outer makes it vegan friendly, too. This stylish holdall comes in a selection of stylish shades, perfectly complemented with contrasting gold hardware for a high-end look. The personalised luggage tag offers a special finishing touch. All your friends will want one!

Key specs

  • Size: 30cm x 25cm x 53cm
  • Material: PU vegan leather

6. Best leather weekend bag: Forbes and Lewis Winchester Holdall - Large

Forbes and Lewis weekend bag

Price: £225 | Buy now from Forbes and Lewis

"Got a bag from this range and it's nice quality. I like that it's not a really well known brand either" - puglife15

It’s hard to beat a quality leather weekend bag and this large holdall from Forbes and Lewis oozes luxury. While some high-end travel luggage offers style over substance, we’re impressed with this one’s practical features such as the padded laptop pocket and separate shoe compartment. With an impressive 60L capacity, it’s one of the biggest weekend bags on our list – perfect for when you can’t quite decide what you want to bring with you.

Key specs

  • Size: 35cm x 60cm x 25cm
  • Material: Leather

7. Best canvas weekend bag: Troop London Classic Large Holdall

Troop London weekend bag

Price: £67 | Buy now from Amazon

A canvas weekend bag is a classic buy and we’re big fans of the stylish simplicity of this large holdall from Troop London. The size of this bag is best suited for a night away than a long weekend, but its compact size and sturdy handles makes it a comfortable choice for travel. There are several internal pockets providing quick access to your essentials like phones and passports. We like that this weekend bag has a chic, sturdy exterior compared to a canvas slouchy duffle.

Key specs

  • Size: 35cm x 54cm x 24cm
  • Material: Canvas and leather

8. Best foldable weekend bag: Cath Kidston Spot Foldaway Weekend Bag

Cath Kidston foldable weekend bag

Price: £48 | Buy now from Amazon 

"I use a Cath Kidston hold-all style bag. I’ve had it about 8 years I think and it still looks brand new. I love this bag, it’s so practical and somehow always look ‘right’" - Ninkanink

Cath Kidston’s foldaway totes have been a staple weekend bag for years, and it’s easy to see why. This iconic bag might not have the capacity for a full long weekend, but its compact size works well for an overnight stay and as hand luggage. Cath Kidston weekend bags are known for their fun, patterned exteriors and the PVC coating means your belongings will be protected from any rain showers. The long shoulder strap makes this a comfy option for taking around with you on your travels and the detachable long strap adds versatility. This weekend bag also folds into a matching zipped storage bag. 

Key specs

  • Size: 56cm x 34cm x 18cm
  • Material: 100% PVC Reverse Coated Cotton

9. Most stylish weekend bag: Longchamp Le Pliage Travel Large Bag

Longchamp Le Pliage navy weekend bag

Price: £95 | Buy now from Selfridges

"I have a Longchamp. It's a great lob-it-all-in bag that holds loads. Also folds up to nothing when not in use" - Justaweeone

"Definitely Longchamp. Lots of colours , lightweight, looks good, good quality" SpeckledyHen

Longchamp’s cult Le Pliage is the epitome of a stylish weekend bag. You might be familiar with the classic tote, but we recommend sizing up to the Travel Bag style for the most versatility. While this option might be lacking in multiple compartments and could do with a removable crossbody strap, it is super lightweight and boasts a truly iconic design. Le Pliage is available in a range of colours, all of which come complete with the signature Longchamp leather grab handles and branded hardware. We think the classic navy and brown combination is as stylish as it gets. 

Key specs

  • Size: 35cm x 45cm x 23 cm
  • Material: Polyamide canvas and leather

10. Best designer weekend bag: GG Supreme Monogrammed Holdall

Gucci GG Supreme weekend bag

Price: £1,300 | Buy now from Harvey Nichols

Yes it’s veeery expensive, but we can’t deny the Gucci Supreme holdall is naice. We’re lusting over the buttery soft leather and classic style. The Gucci monogram exterior is iconic in any form, and we particularly like the subtle feel of this black version. The removable red crossbody strap adds a funky modern twist. A designer weekend bag is a piece you’ll have for life, and a holdall like this is definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a family heirloom. 

Key specs

  • Size: 28cm x 24cm x 10cm
  • Material: Canvas and leather

How to choose the best weekend bag

The first thing to consider is: how many day’s worth of stuff am I looking to pack? While some of the more stylish bags might be eye-catching, they tend to offer much less space, and are usually suitable for one or two nights maximum. Other practical elements to consider include the number and location of pockets and other compartments (rummaging through a large bag for tickets and passports is a faff!). It’s also worth considering if the bag is waterproof, and how comfortable it is to carry, especially if you’ll be carting it round with you for most of the trip.

What is a good size for a weekend bag?

A weekend bag should be big enough to pack the essentials like at least one extra outfit and a toiletry bag, but small enough that it can be carried comfortably. Anything too large will feel impractical and you might wish you’d just gone for a classic wheeled suitcase. Be sure to check your weekend bag is the approved hand luggage size for your most-used airline for maximum usability. 

What is the best weekend bag to buy? 

We considered design, capacity and added features, and decided the best weekend bag to invest in has to be The Weekender Bag from Away. Few other holdalls can match it for style and practicality in equal measure.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which weekend bags discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of weekend bags they recommended, noting how effective they found them, and whether they were particularly good for any certain needs.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which weekend bags had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the weekend bags we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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