Refreshed Garment Bag Makes a Comeback

Spend any time in an airport or hotel, and you’ll see streams of little rolling bags being dragged through concourses and lobbies. But as any veteran business or leisure traveler knows, a normal suitcase can present some drawbacks. The trickiest? Packing beautifully pressed suits or business outfits without wrinkling them.
Inevitably, by the time you arrive at your destination, your once neatly pressed clothing require ironing in a hotel room or a trip to the dry cleaners—if you have time.
Crew 8 Rolling Garment BagSo whatever happened to the garment bag? For a generation or so, this wider luggage style was a popular choice for business travelers who wanted to avoid the risk of wrinkling. It also provided more room to pack more stuff, from business paraphernalia to recreational gear.
Inexplicably, the garment bag fell out of favor as uprights proliferated airports—that is, until recently. Frequent travelers are rediscovering the advantages of the garment bag, and why it may be the perfect travel companion for weeklong business trips or long weekend getaways.
Like today’s ubiquitous rolling uprights, most new garment bags come with inline skate wheels and roll behind you. The higher quality bags have sturdy telescoping handles, with ergonomic comfort grips, that extend to multiple stops of 38 inches and 43 inches to accommodate taller travelers. This refreshed garment bag has never been easier to move around.
Non-rolling models tend to be lighter than a rolling bag, since they don’t require wheels, handles and frames. But you have to sling those wheel-less bags over your shoulder, an unwanted load on sore backs.
The expandable rolling garment bag is the most popular style today. This convenient, practical model features one or two hanging wally racks and a couple inside shoe toiletry pockets. It expands as much as 2 1/2 inches, providing roughly one-quarter to one-third more packing space.
Garment bags come in all sizes too. Today’s 20-inch to 24-inch carry-on models give you extra packing space, yet fit easily into overhead compartments. At the other end of the scale, 50-inch rolling garment bags are not only enormous pieces of luggage, but they also come equipped with all the bells and whistles.
In these super deluxe bags, features matter. Many have a convenient trolley device fitted to accommodate closet hangers. Extra-wide straps are designed to secure clothing and minimize wrinkling during travel. The high-end bags feature three outside zippered pockets. Extra large interior pockets are ideal to store shoes, electronics and other bulky items. In one top brand, we found a secret hidden pocket that tucks underneath the lining, plus a stowaway pocket, located between the struts, to save space.
In all sizes, the best of the breed are built tough to last the rigors of the road. Made of durable water-resistant nylon fabrics, they shrug off the rough and tumble of modern travel, and prevent staining, moisture intrusion and tearing.
All these wonderful modern features aside, the main benefit of the garment bag is the same as it has always been: to keep clothes flat, wrinkle-free and tidy during transport. Once again, it is emerging as an essential bag for the frequent traveler.
Durable, lightweight garment bags and luggage have been the hallmark of Travelpro®, the preferred choice of pilots and flight crews worldwide. In the U.S., Travelpro also provides deluxe garment bags to many of the NBA basketball teams. Visit the Travelpro website to see our different luggage collections.