With travel becoming increasingly difficult in terms of how much luggage you can take with you and worries about the airline losing it, combination bags seem to be the best way to go, and for a short trip, a folding garment tote bag is ideal. If you pack carefully, you can take your suits and good dresses, as well as shoes and sundries, all in one handy bag.
Using a Folding Garment Tote Bag
The classic garment bag has been beloved by business travelers everywhere, because it has a decent capacity and will keep your suits, shirts and coats wrinkle-free. This means that when you arrive at your hotel, you can change quickly and be ready for your meeting. Airlines traditionally hang garment bags in the plane, so you don't have to check anything, saving time and trouble.
However, the bags can be unwieldy to carry. Additionally, planes are cutting back on services which, combined with more people traveling, makes it more likely you have to check a bag, and garment bags are impractical to check. The solution is a folding garment tote bag, which allows you to lay your clothes in the same as any other garment bag, but then fold the bag into an easier to manage tote. The only disadvantage is that, depending on the fabric of the outfit you've packed, you may end up with a crease at the folding point. Hopefully, it will be nothing an hour or two of hanging won't fix.
Styles of Folding Garment Tote Bags
The folding garment bags are based on the same style as traditional garment bags. One bag consumers seem to like is the Wally Tri-Fold Garment Tote. Made of denier polyester, the bag is durable, lightweight and water repellent. It is long enough to allow for the various lengths of men's and women's clothing. You can use your own hangers, making for convenient packing. A patented lock at the top secures the hangers, thus preventing slippage. You can pack six items, perfect for the average trip, and there are two additional pockets for shoes and accessories. There is a full length center zipper and the handles fasten via Velcro, making for easy carrying. Best of all, once folded, the bag easily fits in an overhead compartment.
If you want something sturdier, the Cordura Garment Bag by Buckstitch is made of their versatile canvas. The bag is on the pricier side, but it will last a long time and sports a convenient handle and adjustable shoulder strap. There is a hook at the top so that you can hang the bag either in your car or hotel closet. The canvas comes in fourteen colors, so you are guaranteed something eye-popping that you like. It is, however, only 40 inches long, so measure your clothes before you make your purchase.
Tough Traveler Line
For a great selection of folding garment tote bags highly rated by consumers, the Tough Traveler line seems best. For a short trip, like a wedding weekend, their Thin Flight bag folds to only 10x22 inches, making it the perfect carry-on while keeping your clothes wrinkle-free. The main compartment holds two suits or dresses, and there is a zippered shoe pocket at the bottom. There is a full-length zipper and Velcro attachment to secure your hangers.
Keneth Cole Collection
The Kenneth Cole "Smooth as Silk" Garment Bag is a tri-fold combination garment and tote bag. Made of leather, its main compartment features a secure hanger clamp and wrinkle-free garment restraints. There are three zipper pockets on the interior, as well as front gusset pockets and two exterior zipper pockets for maximum convenience. The hanging hook is removable, there are secure snap lock closures, and it will fit in most carry-on compartments. The top handle is padded and the removable shoulder strap is padded and adjustable.
Shopping for Your Bag
Although you may get a better deal online, you might try shopping for the bag in a brick and mortar shop. When traveling, you want to be sure the bag is comfortable to carry and will suit your needs, and you can determine this best in person.