Many people have a garment bag in their luggage collection, and it’s not just business travelers. Many travelers appreciate these versatile pieces of luggage for packing clothing to arrive wrinkle-free when they arrive at their destination.
If you’re thinking of investing in a garment bag, here’s our buying guide covering what you need to know. There are a few recommendations at the end, including our top choice, Samsonite Silhouette 16 Hardside Spinner Garment Glider, a sleek design with flexible packing solutions.
Many people reserve garment bags for more delicate clothing, such as suits and dresses. Typically, these pieces use wrinkle-prone materials, like wool, silk or polyester.
Garment bags’ designs include spacious interiors that allow garments to lie flat without being crushed or wrinkled by surrounding items. As a result, clothes sustain minimal wrinkling and creasing in transit and may only require light steaming or ironing before they’re worn.
Some travelers use garment bags as overnight or weekender bags, even if they’re not packing fine clothing. Many of these bags are space-savvy and highly organized, making it easy to pack a couple of days’ worth of belongings.
There are a few styles of garment bags you’ll come across:
Generally speaking, the larger and bulkier a garment bag is, the more it weighs. This is important to keep in mind for air travel. Airlines enforce strict weight limits for checked baggage, and if your garment bag is over the limit, you may need to pay extra fees.
Consider the garment bag’s length when opened, especially if you’re packing longer garments like gowns. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuffing the bottom of a dress or suit inside the garment bag, which defeats the whole purpose of wrinkle-free travel.
On average, garment bags measure between 40 and 54 inches, though a few styles open to 60 inches. Keep in mind these measurements refer to travel garment bags. Garment storage bags, which often hold wedding and formal gowns, may be longer than 60 inches.
Some travelers seek garment bags with high levels of organization, typically in the form of compartments, pockets and sleeves. Depending on their shapes and sizes, these compartments may hold footwear, toiletries or accessories.
Garment bags have wheels, straps or handles for carrying. It’s common for garment bags to be equipped with some or all of these.
Lightweight and soft garment bags, which aren’t always suitable for travel, cost $50 or less. Mid-range garment bags cost between $60-$150. High-quality garment bags made by reputable luggage manufacturers cost anywhere from $175-$600.
A. Once you have the garment bag’s specifications, take a look at the airline’s carry-on size requirements. Keep in mind that size requirements may vary between airlines. If you have a connecting flight with a different airline, you’ll need to check their carry-on size requirements as well.
A. It’s common for luggage manufacturers to include limited or lifetime warranties. They often request proof of purchase to open a claim. Many manufacturers now offer online product registration, which saves your purchase information and may streamline claims.
Our take: This premium hard side spinner garment bag offers premium protection and has an expandable storage design.
What we like: The telescoping handle offers seven height adjustments. It’s equipped with built-in TSA-approved locks, has a removable suiter panel with a roll bar and is backed by a 10-year warranty.
What we dislike: It weighs a little over 11 pounds and is rather bulky.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy's
Our take: Popular for packing uniforms and formalwear, this garment bag is an affordable option that holds several garments and a couple of shoes.
What we like: It has a durable design with 1200D polyester and reinforced edges, mesh corner compartments suitable for footwear or accessories and the telescoping handle is stable when fully extended.
What we dislike: It doesn’t have spinner wheels, but that’s not a dealbreaker for most consumers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Our take: A slender travel garment bag that holds the bare essentials and secures them with a three-belt system.
What we like: The lightweight design is easy to carry with the adjustable shoulder strap. It has a large external pocket for basic office supplies and a rear sleeve that fits over most telescoping handles.
What we dislike: It doesn’t hold too many garments and has mixed reviews regarding whether it fits in overhead bins.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.