Overnight bags – or valises, to give them their fancier name – can be just about any sort of bag that holds a night or two’s worth of luggage. Trolleys, holdalls and duffle bags all fit the bill, providing a range of options to suit a variety of lifestyles.
When choosing an overnight bag, it’s important to consider the contexts you’ll use it in. Will you be out to impress colleagues or clients on a business trip; do you want something hard-wearing to take with you on short, active breaks, or do you need a versatile bag to suit lots of different situations? We’ve tried to include options for all sorts of users in our reviews.
An important note before we start: If you plan on using your overnight bag as cabin luggage, do remember to check the bag’s dimensions against airline luggage regulations before you buy. As some of you will no doubt have discovered to your cost, these tend to vary between airlines, and we’d hate for you to end up paying to consign your lovely new bag to the hold.
Lefrik Foldable Trolley: £109, Lefrik
Isn’t it a fine thing when the most environmentally friendly option is the best? That’s how we rate this foldable trolley, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, from Spanish label Lefrik. Eco credentials aside, the other key attribute of this bag is its versatility. Depending on how you fold and configure it, it can be used as a small carry bag, a backpack, a large holdall or a trolley, giving you suitable storage options for all sorts of trips.
We found switching between these configurations a cinch. It’s also quite a looker, coming in a range of colourways including olive (shown above), grey, black and dark blue. Whether you’re in the market for style, versatility or eco-friendliness, this bag will serve you fantastically well.
Eastpak M Reader: £49, Eastpak
Sporty and chic, the Eastpak Reader is our favourite overnight bag under £50. The fabric is relatively coarse, making it a great fit for harder wear – on active trips, for example. A 30 year manufacturer’s guarantee suggests that toughness will last the course.
The Reader is an especially good choice of bag if you have lots of things to compartmentalise, with a front pocket, a pouch within the main compartment, and two zippered side compartments. One of the side compartments is water-resistant – the perfect place to stuff beachwear on a short seaside break, or store liquids without the fear of water damage to the rest of your stuff.
Maxwell Scott Flero Medium: £552, Maxwell Scott
Here’s something a little special for the quality seekers among you. Headquartered in York and working with Italian leather workers and leather producers, Maxwell Scott has been carving out a niche as one of the UK’s outstanding luxury bag labels since 2002.
This bag, the Flero, is a stunner, combining a simple, half-oval side profile with eye catching details. We particularly admire the buckled straps which provide extra security to the main zippered compartment, and look beautiful while they’re at it. If you’re really into bags and have been saving up for something exceptional to take on nights and weekends away, the Flero is richly deserving of your consideration.
M&S Collection Casual Leather Holdall: £149, M&S
For those who prefer a more conservative style of bag, this chocolate-brown leather holdall from M&S could be just the ticket. It’s smart, soft, strong and stable, with smooth leather handles and an extremely comfortable fabric strap. Inside pockets provide a handy place to safely store travel essentials like passports and travel cards.
M&S’s holdall also strikes us as particularly hardy and easy to clean (most marks and stains will just wipe off) – something to bear in mind if you need a bag for frequent use. We can envisage plenty of people making this their go-to bag for business travel.
John Lewis & Partners Geneva Large Weekend Holdall: £75, John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis’ own Geneva holdall offers practicality and a plush aesthetic at a decent, mid-range price. Although it’s made from entirely synthetic materials, it looks every inch the part. The faux leather on the handles has a lovely speckled look to it, providing an excellent option for those who like the look of real leather, but decline to use it on ethical grounds.
The Geneva’s poly-mix material is coarse and robust on the outside, shiny on the inside – the ideal combination for keeping your things in good nick. The inside is unstructured, but does have a zip up pocket in case you need to keep a few items separate and handy. Studs on the underside of the bag help it stand without toppling over and getting grubby. This bag comes in three colourways: olive, black, and our favourite, blue (shown above).
Herschel Supply Co. Novel Peacoat Duffle Holdall: £67, boozt.com
Stylish, bright and functional, the Novel Peacoat Duffle Holdall encapsulates all that’s great about Herschel Supply Co.’s spin on hip, vintage fashion. Its thick handles are easy to grasp and hold for long periods, which is particularly handy if you’re carrying a heavy load. The colour scheme is up there with the snazziest we’ve come across: dark blue, with pops of tan and bright red. The Novel Peacoat Duffle Holdall is particularly easy to fold, which is good news if you’re looking for a capacious bag that won’t take up too much space at home.
Ted Baker Potts Micro Perforated Leather Holdall: £220, Ted Baker
Looking for something a little bit special? The Ted Baker Potts is comfortably among the most luxurious overnight bags we’ve tested, made with beautifully soft perforated leather that’s smooth to the touch, yet sufficiently textured to keep it looking smart after plenty of wear. The Potts has a wealth of finer details to distinguish it from the average bag, notably including a padlock-equipped zipper and printed lining. In our eyes, this bag is more of a dressy, “best” option than it is an everyday essential. It’d certainly look the part on a business trip or romantic break.
Matt & Nat Tacoma Chilli: £180, Matt & Nat
We’re big fans of this simple, beautiful, vegan faux leather bag from Canadian brand Matt & Nat. With space inside for a laptop up to 15 inches in width, it’s a handy option for digital workers who like to travel light. Just take care to wear the strap high up your shoulder if you’re carrying expensive hardware. The Tacoma is ideal for organisation, with sturdily build and plenty of pockets to store items safely. It even includes a trio of pen pockets, perfect for those of you who like having a vintage method of information transfer to match your vintage-style luggage.
The verdict: Men’s overnight bags
Lefrik’s ingenious foldable trolley is our runaway pick of the men’s overnight bags reviewed in this article. Versatile, stylish and attuned to environmental concerns, it does everything an overnight should do. Except, of course, if you’re looking for a more classic aesthetic. If that’s the case, check out our selections from Matt & Natt, John Lewis and Maxwell Scott.
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