Why Use a Garment Bag – Guide to Wrinkle-free Travel

Garment Bag opened with suiter

What is a Garment Bag, Why Use One, and How to Choose the Best Rolling or Non-rolling Garment Bag for You. 

When you want to show up looking your best, the right luggage can make a world of difference–and for wrinkle-free travel, nothing beats a garment bag. Below, we help you decide when to use a garment bag and what is the best garment bag to fit your needs. 

Garment bags are what a duffel bag is for weekday travel to a casual weekend escape. When you’re packing casual basics, like t-shirts, shorts and rolled-up jeans, a small tote is ideal, but weekday-workday business trips usually demand different gear. For transporting suits and/or dresses and ironed clothing, choose a well-equipped garment bag that easily fits what you need to pack and leaves no room for wrinkles. 

Travelpro® Garment Bags come in all shapes and sizes, including wheeled and non-rolling garment bags in various styles. To find the best garment bag for you, consider the three most important factors: size, function, and travel style. 

What Is a Garment Bag and Why Should You Carry One?

Before we cover how to choose the best garment bag, let’s define what exactly it is. A garment bag is a piece of luggage designed mainly to carry hanging clothing that would get wrinkled if it was folded.

Unlike standard suitcases and duffle bags that work best for folded or rolled clothes, garment bags allow clothes to be packed while lying flat, making them the best luggage for carrying pressed clothes, blazers, suits and dresses.

At Travelpro®, we’ve incorporated the function of a traditional hanging garment bag into a variety of luggage styles and shapes. In addition to our compact, medium-sized and larger garment bags, we also offer overnight bags  and rolling luggage with suiters for pressed clothing protection.

Collection of different types of Garment Bags

Garment bags are usually made of ultra-strong fabrics, like ballistic nylon and stain-resistant, water-resistant polyester. Like other softsided luggage, garment bags have some give and can stretch a little to accommodate what you pack.

Today’s garment bags are more than just a way to transport your fancy duds. After all, it’s unlikely that you will spend your entire trip dressed up. And even if you do, you’ll still need toiletries, undergarments and maybe even a change of shoes. Look for garment bags with plenty of room and zip pockets for smaller items as well.

What Size Garment Bag is Right for You?

Travelpro® offers a range of garment bag sizes, from carry-on size to larger garment bags. The size you choose, like any luggage, should be determined by how much you need to pack and how you plan to travel.

For shorter trips of one to three days, choose garment bags that provide plenty of room for a few hanging garments and also have space for pyjamas or other folded clothing. A small but functional all-in-one garment bag spares you from carrying one bag for your pressed garments and another bag for the rest.

You can choose from our Travelpro Maxlite 5 Bi-Fold Hanging Garment Bag, a lay-flat design with dual hanger hooks to hang open for easy access or Travelpro Platinum® Elite Tri-Fold® Carry-On Garment Bag– a unique, lightweight, compact garment bag that also allows you to hang the bag while open, providing easy access to everything you packed.

 All four bags, along with the rest of our garment bags, have comfortable carrying handles and shoulder straps.

Trifold garment bag open

For wheeled options, Platinum® Elite Rolling Garment Bag is one of our most popular large garment bags, and for a good reason. With dual hanger hooks on each end of the bag, you can double up your hanger space. Plus, the built-in organization of this bag is hard to beat.

Platinum Elite 50 inch rolling garment bag features dual hanger hooks water resistant pocket large zipper pockets

Multiple interior zippered pockets include four interior corner pockets, shoe pockets, and even a water-resistant wet pocket for keeping damp or soiled items away from everything else. A large zippered exterior pocket is big enough for a laptop, jacket, or shoes, and a smaller zippered pocket keeps small items and accessories handy.

Which Garment Bag is Right for You?

Choosing the best garment bag for your needs isn’t just about size. After determining what size garment bag you need, look at the features and functions available. For example, if you don’t want to carry your bag, shop wheeled luggage only physically. Travelpro® makes several wheeled garment bags designed for easy mobility.

If lightweight luggage is your priority, the Travelpro® Maxlite® 5 Carry-on Rolling Garment Bag is a great choice. Built for lasting durability, this lightweight, carry-on sized garment bag has a lay-flat design with multiple zippered and mesh pockets inside and out and is designed to fit in the overhead bins of most major US-based commercial aeroplanes.

Check our section “Shop Cabin Luggage by Airline” for the EU's most relevant airlines size allowance

Maxlite 5 rolling garment bag

Prefer to avoid checking bags and their associated fees? Stick with carry-on-sized garment bags and suiter suitcases. If you are going on a longer trip than your carry-on alone can handle, consider pairing it with a travel totebackpack or another personal item. Better yet, for ultimate convenience, get a rolling carry-on garment bag and a travel tote or backpack that stacks securely using the extension handle of your rolling bag.

Whether you’re a business traveller or just mean business about travelling wrinkle-free, a garment bag is key. The best style for you will keep your style looking its best.