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10 of the best travel bags for gadget-hungry travellers

Electronic gadgets and their chargers can take up a lot of space. Here are 10 bags that keep things organised.

Gadget-hungry travellers are finding their carry-on bags increasingly filled with gadgets, cables and their ubiquitous chargers. After you’ve booked your flights and hotels with Skyscanner, it’s time to consider the best way to keep your gadgets secure and protected in-flight. Here are ten of the best travel bags for travellers who like to stay connected while on the move.

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1. Hedgren Twister

Designed with male travellers in mind, the Hedgren Twister shoulder bag offers next generation style with old-school appeal. It’s a ‘man bag’ that’s equally at home on the road, at work or at home for keeping things tidy. Earthy shades provide a vintage classic look far removed from corporate looking hold-alls.

The main compartment is roomy enough for a 37cm laptop as well as A4-sized documents. Internally a couple of open pockets and a zip pocket keep small gadgets and their chargers in check. Two external pockets are handy for a small camera and travel documents, while a detachable shoulder strap means it can be used as a shoulder bag or carry bag.

This highly durable bag will survive the elements on travel adventures while remaining lightweight enough for a carry-on that doesn’t look or feel bulky.

RRP $189

Photo courtesy of Hedgren

Photo courtesy of Hedgren

2. Hedgren Warner Backpack

Another sturdy, practical and good looking bag from Hedgren is the Warner Backpack which comes in two sizes. The small size will comfortably take a 32cm laptop (35cm for larger pack) in the internal open pocket as well as a tablet device. An internal mesh zippered pocket offers good storage and easy access for chargers and other small gadgets.

Externally a large zippered organiser has a smaller zippered pocket for keeping phone and travel documents handy but secure. Side zippered pockets expand to hold water bottles and shoulder straps are adjustable.

Warner Backpacks have a definite edgy look to them and come in a range of funky colours. They will appeal to the traveller who respects Hedgren’s pedigree while distancing themselves from ubiquitous boring black backpacks.


Photo courtesy of Hedgren
Photo courtesy of Hedgren

3. Paklite Duffle Bag

A tough versatile weekender that is small enough to pass airline cabin restrictions, yet voluminous to cope with abundant gear, gadgets and clothing. As well as conventional black, this rolling duffle comes in cool colours of burnt orange (which Paklite names rather unflatteringly as Rust) and Spring Green. It’s a no-nonsense duffle built from lightweight fabric that doesn’t sacrifice durability. Durable bearing wheels, aluminium handle and a PVC scuff guard add to the appeal for active travellers.

Internally the bag is spacious with a full length mesh zippered pocket to stash chargers and cables in one easily accessible pouch. An external zippered pocket keeps travel documents handy. The Paklite Duffle suits travellers who carry (wheel!) a lot of gear, like photographers whose gear travels in their own padded pouches, secured with adjustable compression straps. It’s also suited to those super organised travellers who cram hand luggage with everything required to get through a day or two at the other end in the event of ‘misplaced’ checked in luggage. Speaking of which – loop the carry-on duffle over the handle of a Medium or Large version in the same colour for a complete travel kit that looks equally at home in the foyer of the Ritz or stuffed with gear for a week of skiing.

RRP $159

Photo courtesy of Paklite
Photo courtesy of Paklite

4. Victorinox Strasbourg Backpack

The slim-line Strasbourg backpack from the Architecture 3.0 collection from Victorinox was designed to keep up with the rapid pace of today’s business person on the go. It combines superior organisation and protection, packaged in the classic Swiss style that Victorinox is known for.

Large enough to hold a 40cm laptop, the interior also includes a 25cm padded pocket for a tablet device. A fan-file divider and multiple storage compartments in the dual front organisational panels keep paperwork and documents tidy.

The exterior features a security zippered pocket perfect for storing a camera but still keeping it accessible for quick snaps. Side pockets will take a water bottle or collapsed umbrella. A padded back panel and adjustable shoulder straps ease the strain on shoulders and back when it’s fully loaded.

RRP $389

Photo courtesy of Victorinox

Photo courtesy of Victorinox

5. Victorinox Rath Backpack

A multi-purpose backpack from Architecture Urban collection, the oddly-named Rath backpack is large enough to hold a 42cm laptop as well as tablet device. Multi-purpose internal storage pockets are good for stashing charger cables while a secure zippered pocket is perfect for keeping camera and phone out of the reach of potential pickpockets.

Externally, there are four multi-purpose storage pockets as well as side pockets for a water bottle and umbrella. Cleverly, there’s a concealed (sssh, we didn’t say anything!) rear hidden security pocket for stashing credit cards or spare cash.

Through smart design, the Urban Rath is designed to take the modern male or female traveller seamlessly from a work trip to a leisurely weekend getaway without compromising on style or function.

RRP $195

Photo courtesy of Victorinox

Photo courtesy of Victorinox

6. Hedgren Crossover EXALT

Roomy messenger-style bags have wide-top openings allowing easy access to the abundance of gear these bags can hold. The Crossover EXALT is no exception; with so many pockets, you’ll likely forget where you stashed that all-important USB drive or iPod mini.

Interior internal and external zippered pockets, open pockets, mesh zippered pocket, a flap pocket as well as a hidden zip pocket ensure everything has a place. It will comfortably hold a 31cm laptop or tablet in a padded compartment as well as an A4 folder. The main compartment is doubly secure with a zipper beneath the external flap.

Slightly boxy, the Crossover EXALT is equally at ease with male or female travellers. It’s not a bad solution for DSLR photographers who like to travel with a couple of small lenses in their hand luggage. The fabric is water repellent so it’s not a total disaster if the weather turns inclement while out and about.

RRP $139

Photo courtesy of Hedgren

Photo courtesy of Hedgren

7. Crumpler Dry Red No 6 Laptop Travel Backpack

Large enough to cope with the sort of chunky laptop favoured by travel warriors whose computer of choice comes with a large screen, the Dry Red No 6 Laptop Travel Backpack is a fine example from a company who knows how to keep travellers happy. Self-confessed bag nerds, Crumpler design luggage that is particularly useful for gadget-hungry adventure travellers who require luggage they can trust.

An expandable/collapsible main compartment seems to expand exponentially the more gear that gets shoved in it. Yet it can be reduced using external compression straps for days when cumbersome, clunky gear is left in the hotel room. A mini office organiser in the front keeps essentials accessible and secure while a side entry padded laptop sleeve makes the task of removing laptop at airport security less tedious.

RRP $345

Photo courtesy of Crumpler

Photo courtesy of Crumpler

8. Crumpler Karachi Outpost

Far from the prettiest bag in this bunch, Crumpler’s Karachi Outpost packs more than a few surprises behind its almost military-looking façade. In fact, its look is so deceiving that the Crumpler logo seems out of place. Gasp, horror, it looks quite daggy!

Look inside, however, and it’s got Crumpler’s clever design stamp written all over it. A photographer’s dream bag, the plain façade cleverly conceals expensive gadget storage for those seeking to blend in with regular travellers or commuters.

The main lockable compartment is concealed beneath an extendable drawstring hood. Inside, eight adjustable dividers and elastic straps above a floating floor provide security and padding for lenses, filters and camera bodies. A padded sleeve keeps a tablet safe from bumps while an external strap will hold a tripod. Other zippered pockets will stash chargers and cables.

Perhaps the Outpost Karachi’s smartest feature is a rearward opening that provides easy access for the owner while being a significant deterrent for pick pockets.

RRP $225

Photo courtesy of Crumpler

Photo courtesy of Crumpler

9. TYLT Energi + Backpack

Not only does this backpack have the space to securely stash your gadgets and associated cables, it has the capacity to charge them too! A 10,400mAh battery pack has the capacity to charge tablets, mobile phones and other devices rapidly four times over before it needs a reboot itself.

13 pockets in total mean there is plenty of compartments to stash gadgets, cables, cameras and everything else. It comes with a dedicated headphone carrying compartment on the backpack strap along with a zippered pocket on the front to store essential travel documents. An external hard shell pocket in the top provides protection for delicate items like mobile phone and glasses. Styled like a backpack it has a concealed trolley pocket so it can be easily slipped over the handle of checked in luggage.

RRP $235

Photo courtesy of TYLT

Photo courtesy of TYLT

10. Samsonite Avant Slim Laptop Backpack

The Avant range is designed to cross the divide between business and leisure travel, having a foot in each camp. Lightweight yet ultra-hard-wearing, the Slim Laptop Backpack is boxy-looking but it’s also nicely streamlined. With multiple no-fuss zippered compartments both internally and externally, a padded compartment will protect a 37cm laptop or tablet. Given Samsonite’s renowned reputation for robustness over a 100 odd years, you could safely shove this pack under the seat in front of you and not worry about your delicate gadgets. At the lower end of the price scale, it’s well priced protection!

RRP $119

Photo courtesy of Samsonite

Photo courtesy of Samsonite

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