Garment Bag Solutions for the Frequent Traveler
Do clothes come out of your luggage looking like this? A garment bag may be a wise investment, traveler. [Image by Rob Boudon via Flickr]
Are you a frequent traveler? There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to discover that your clothes have become wrinkled and ruined during the trip. There are plenty of more interesting things to do with your time on the road than iron your clothes. You can get a dedicated garment bag, sure, but having something that’s equipped to handle more than just clothes is ideal.

Even more important is the build quality of your luggage. Nothing is worse than having a bag fall apart on you during a trip. It’s happened to me, and it sucks.

So what do you do? Do you buy a cheap garment bag at your local big box store and hope it holds up? Do you invest in an entire set of luggage (complete with a dedicated garment bag) that may or may not actually meet your needs or survive the perils of frequent travel? I say nay to these options. If you’re going to travel more than a couple of times a year, you owe it to yourself to get a bag that works for you.

A Carry-On That Can Serve Double Duty as a Garment Bag is the Way to Go

Garment Bag Solutions for the Frequent TravelerI’ll admit that when I travel, I’m often stuck spending the time and money it takes to check bags. I do, however, avoid this whole inconvenience whenever possible. If you can get away with packing only carry-on luggage, then do it. You’ll be saving yourself time, money, and the risk that the airline might lose your luggage.

So what should you look for in a carry-on bag? What makes one bag better than any other? I found one good solution in the Briggs & Riley Carry On Expandable Upright Bag. This bag is loaded with features, and many of these don’t come standard on anything you’ll find in the budget market.

Handle Mechanism
For one, the handle mechanism is located outside of the primary contents area. This is a huge space saver. Many bags try to integrate the expandable handle into the compartment, making it harder to fit your essentials in a space that has to be shared by a bunch of metal hardware. Oh, and this hardware tends to cause more wrinkles than it solves as it creates a weird bulge in the middle of the bag. Who wants that?

Securing Straps
You want to have some good straps in the interior of the bag to hold any folded or rolled clothes in place. This is another wrinkle-preventing feature that can come in handy, especially when the contents of your bag are prone to being jostled and shaken during transit.

Pockets are important for your various toiletries and other essentials. Ideally, you’ll want a transparent and removable pouch that makes your trip through TSA a bit easier on you. Who wants to have their bag searched anyway? Go with what works.

Weight is also a huge consideration. Even though most luggage comes with wheels these days, having a bag that weighs as little as possible makes loading and unloading them into the overhead bins on a plane, or the trunk of your car much easier. There’s nothing more frustrating than standing in the middle of a plane and struggling with getting your bag into the overhead bin. It’s embarrassing. Go light.

When you travel, what do you consider to be the most important features in luggage? Do you think a dedicated garment bag is essential, or do you agree that something more multipurpose is preferable?