Bags for different events
For yoga, shopping, beach, and laid-back casual events
For casual events like these, you can get a versatile nylon bag that's multi-functional.
It's a good idea to pack one of these bags because they are great for shopping. Some countries like Taiwan and many European countries charge for shopping bags. It's better for environment anyways. A thin one can easily fit inside your everyday casual handbag as an extra if you happen to need more space for purchase.
You may want to pick a good bag that can hold your yoga mat (if you are a yogi), for shopping, and make sure the material is thin & easy to clean.
The recommended material for these events would be heavy-duty polyester, nylon, and thin canvas for functionality. These materials are light, water-resistant, and can be machine-washed.
A good example would be the Yogiii Yoga Mat Bag, which allows you to store your yoga mat, shop, and can be used at the beach too. This can be unisex as there are quite a lot of guys in Asia that carries bags and this style doesn't look too feminie.
Manduka Be Ready Tote can be great for yoga, shopping, beach, airport, and everyday causal.
Another nice one is the waterproof travel tote, which is multi-fuctional and light-weight, great for gym, beach, airport, shopping, and yoga.
For airport, casual hang out, date, meet-up, and business events
Airport and casual hang out can use the bags from above. And I also have another good looking bag that won't make me look like a backpacker.
The recommended material recommended material for these types of events would be polyester, stylish nylon, and soft leather. Don't get hard leather because they are too bulky, heavy, and easily get scratched.
The one I'm currently using right now is the DDDH 3-way Women leather hangbag from Amazon. I like how it's 3-way where I can carry it on my arm, hang on my shoulder, and use it as cross-body. From business to dates, this bag is suitable for most events and maybe even for airport.
I use it every day almost anywhere I go.
The downside about this handbag is that the leather & chain makes it too heavy for travel and it doesn't fit laptop well. So I'd recommend the next one.
Alternative to the LongChamp and Jemma, there's NNEE water-resistant satchel that is perfect for co-working space, cafe, airport, gym, yoga session, and casual events. It looks stylish enough for everyday casual events and large enough to store your belongings.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Tote is pretty good. I had one cross-body purse that's a very good size and even fits my Surface Pro 3.
What's best about them is that they are very travel-friendly with multiple pockets and compartments, a lot of the styles by Travelon are RFID-blocking material for the cards. They are water-resistant and very durable as well.
These two styles from Travelon are great for everyday use, casual hangout, casual date, and meet-up.
Travelon did a good job designing stylish travel bags, you can use them for a good majority of your events when you travel but probably not suitable for formal events. Ont thing to note is that the colorful interior fabric may cause staining or discoloration, so be careful.
Other styles that are great for everyday use and fits the requirement:
YALUXE cross-body purse uses soft leather and is light-weight enough for various occasion. Different compartments and pockets is good for storing belongings.
Another great style for travel is the Kate Spade New York Cobble Hill Small Ella Shoulder Bag. This style allows you to carry in your arm, on your shoulder, and wear as cross-body purse. The zipper design can be opened and closed for extra room and it's stylish for most events, even for some formal. However, you will not be able to fit any kind of water bottle for this size.
I've used the Merona mini satchel from Target before and loved it because I can fit most of my stuff in there (except the water bottle) without breaking my shoulder. However, it's not my airport bag and it can be challenging to pack because of the wide bottom. You'll have to stuff the crap out of this bag before you put it in the luggage. Think Tetris.
For evening and formal events
Formal events can be local parties, seminar-opening parties, date nights, or maybe you will be going to nice venues.
It's likely you'll dress up with makeup on and certainly you don't want to carry your big airport travel nylon bag for these types of events.
For these events, it's highly recommended to get bag styles that's shoulder purse, hand purse, clutch, over-sized clutch, or wristlet.
Recommended materials would be soft leather, PU leather, glossy leather with few embellishment. (The more embellishment, the heavier it is, not ideal for travelers)
For colors, you can have more fun with these purse because they can make a great statement piece to enhance your look. You should only store small wallets, credit card + ID or some cash, cell phone, and maybe a pack of gum in this type of purse.
The Covelin Quilted Style Clutch Purse can be used as cross-body purse, worn on shoulder, or held on arm. The style is safe for most occasions from casual to formal, but not suitable for airport.
Here's another style from Covelin.
Sam & Libby has some nice collection for the clutches and purse.
La Regale Floral Envelope Clutch can be suitable for daily casual, hang outs, dates, or formal events.
ilishop cross-shoulder purse is classy and suitable for almost any events, even in casual t-shirt and jeans.
I like cross-shoulder purse that can be used as shoulder purse, hand-held purse, and a clutch (multi-functional).
I sometime use over-sized clutch and has designed some in the past. Unlike large shoulder bags, they are great to store most important things and serve as accessories. I sometimes just use them when I go out for a stroll and store my thin nylon shopping bag in there if I came across more things to carry.
BMC Envelope Purse is suitable for casual and formal and is good size to store your belongings.
For hiking, workout, and outdoors
For events where we dress for workout, hiking, and outdoors, you'll certainly want a nice spacious bag to store your water bottle, snacks, wallet, camera, phone, possibly towels, and maybe even changing clothes.
Recommended material is usually mix polyester/nylon.
The bags for these types of events should be water-resistant, spacious, have different compartments, have side pockets, and have very comfortable shoulder straps.
For yogi, you can consider Aurorae Yoga Multi Purpose backpack.They are not only durable and convenient, they also store yoga mat nicely. They can be used as gym bags, hiking backpack, or laptop bag. You can find yoga rooms in few airports around the world nowadays so this backpack would be ideal.
For everyday casual, coworking space, café, hang out...execept Safari
Fashion backpacks are pretty trendy and in style nowadays. They are great options for stylish travelers of both gender who do not wish to look like backpackers.
The good thing about these fashion backpacks is that they are not made with your typical-backpacker nylon/polyester material with plastic buckles and bulky zippers.
Choosing the right one can make you stylish and also save you from carrying bags on your arm or hand.
Some recommended styles are:
The minimalist and modest COCIFER Leather Backpack Purse is great style for people who don't want to be too flashy. The black backpack purse is spacious enough to store most of your belongings and posh enough to enter airport lounge.
WINK KANGAROO Fashion Shoulder Bag Rucksack is another stylish backpack that has a bit of embellishment to enhance the bag. The zipper on the side makes the style high-end and fashionable. Even if you wear white t-shirt with black jeans, this backpack will make you look posh.
No I didn't forget you guys.
Most traveling men (particularly the location independent group) prefer backpacks and there's a few stylish ones I can recommend.
For men who wish to look like a well-traveled nomad who's got his sh*t together:
P.KU.VDSL Canvas Laptop Backpack is good style blend with leather and canvas fabric. The leather is enough to enhance the look, but not overly done like this sad cow here (<-whatever you do, please don't get this one, it looks too bulky and heavy).
I could totally see the globe-trotter Chris Guillbeau using this:)
ZEKAR Vintage Waxed Canvas Leather Backpack has nice buckle style that enhance the looks without being too bulky. There's 3 color selections of brown, gray, and coral green and comes in two size. I'd recommend grey.
For men who wish to look like a smart geek who can hack into anything:
The Mn&Sue British Style Backpack would be a nice option. The sleek design gives a bit of minimalistic, clean, clutter-free look.
eBags Weekender backpack is another nice backpack that has the smart geek style. The various compartment makes it easy to store pen, earbuds, charger, USB cords, and you can certainly put your laptop in here. There are no open-top pockets outside so that makes the style looks compact and sleek.
Another tip: If the adventurous-Tarzan traveler style is not what you are going after, try to avoid warm earth-tone colors like orange, brown, and orangish-brown. Instead, pick colors in gray, dark gray, black, or navy blue. (Various tones of) Brown is nice when pairing with the right clothes and look.
For business traveler who don't want to use briefcase:
Iswee Leather Laptop Backpack is a good option because it's made with all leather. It's spacious enough for your laptop or tablet and makes you look sleek. What I like about these types of stylish leather backpack is that they won't make you look like the old-school businessman you'd normally associate with in traditional settings (I probably offended a lot of people in this post, oh well).
For location independent flashpackers who just want a bag with more versatility but not look like frugal backpackers:
Okay, so you may not want to be all canvas & buckles nor do you want to be the suit-up model from GQ (or, maybe you do?)
Here are some common styles that are casual enough for everyday, versatile to store your belongings, and has some nice styles.
Swissgear backpack is one of the best brand for travel backpack. Not only it's versatile, durable, and convenient, it also has the smart geek + experienced traveler feel to its style. The reason being is because the materials used and the metal embellishment is not plastic and cheap looking.
They are usually black, which makes it durable and stylish, and the red silver logo makes it pop. Another great thing about SwissGear is that it's Unisex. I've used them before and liked them a lot.
Hope this guide can help you choose the right travel bag to better organze your belongings and stay stylish on your trip.