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8 Pieces of Personal Item Luggage That Make Great Day Bags


On my constant quest for the “perfect” personal item—I’ve realized that it’s surprisingly hard to find something compact that fits all your carry-on essentials, so I researched and tested a variety of personal item luggage that can also function as your day bag when you hit the ground. Here are my top picks.

North Face Electra Totes

two black bags north face totes
The North Face; Nordstrom

The North Face Electra is a series of carry-all bags that are sleek and can be styled easily with casual outfits and athleisure wear. For minimalist travelers (or anyone on a short trip), the medium size cross-body should do the trick. And if you need more room, the large tote bag size is also a solid option that’s still small enough to be a personal item. Another reason to love these bags is that they feature accessible outer pockets—ideal for your passport or boarding pass—and the roomy interior for electronics and toiletries.

Travelon Anti-Theft Parkview Hobo Crossbody


anti theft purse

Travelon’s line of anti-theft bags is a smart purchase for travelers, especially those traveling to destinations prone to pickpocketing. The Parkview Hobo Crossbody has an RFID-blocking pocket, zippered pockets, and slash-resistant panels. My favorite part? The interior LED-light key chain, so you can easily find those items that tend to go missing at the bottom of your bag.

MZ Wallace Travel Jimmy Tote

quilted tote bag personal item

Travel-friendly brand MZ Wallace consistently makes stylish and practical personal luggage and the Travel Jimmy Tote is no exception. The mid-size tote bag comes with a cross-body strap and comfy tote handles, so you can carry it whichever way suits you best. The quilted plush material is crushable for packing purposes and weather-resistant, so you can count on it holding up wherever you go.

Dagne and Dover Landon Carryall

personal item black bag exterior and interior view
Dagne & Dover

Dagne and Dover’s Landon Carryall is my personal item of choice. I love the soft neoprene material—you can literally stuff this personal item to the brim and it will always close—and the stylish shape. Travelers can choose from a variety of colors and sizes, but the medium-size is the best-fitting for travel, especially if you’re traveling with electronics.

Away Daypack

backpack on top of luggage

With Away’s Daypack, the name says it all. With a laptop sleeve and a strap to slide the bag onto your rolling luggage, this backpack is a traveler’s best friend. Plus, the roomy interior and comfortable straps make it an ideal day bag for exploring new destinations.

Rebecca Minkoff East West Nylon Tote

two-tone tote bag for travel
Rebecca Minkoff

Jet setters will love this two-toned tote bag with a big splash of metallic fabric. Equal parts trendy and useful, Rebecca Minkoff’s East West Nylon Tote has a zip-closure and easy-access side pocket. Plus, the spacious interior can fit everything you need, even if you overpack.

Samsonite Encompass Convertible Backpack

multi-purpose bag

Samsonite’s new Encompass Backpack isn’t just your typical personal item, it’s a business traveler’s dream backpack. You can fit all your working-on-the-road essentials, a spare change of clothes, and more. The bag can be carried as a backpack, cross-body, shoulder bag, or as a handheld.

HEX Terra Sneaker Backpack

backpack with pair of shoes and computer slot

HEX’s Terra Sneaker Backpack can hold a pair of shoes and laptops up to 17-inches. With two “device-ready” pockets, this unisex backpack is a useful personal item without the bulkiness, which makes it great to carry around as a day pack, too.

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Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

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