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Award-winning travel gear you can get on Amazon: The best luggage, walking shoes and more — from $11

Dropped, packed, splashed and bashed, we put these products through the wringer to find the very best travel gear on Amazon.
Vivian Le / TODAY

When you find yourself in a time crunch ahead of vacation, it's vital to make sure your necessary travel gear arrives ASAP. Luckily, Amazon has plenty of great options — many of which are available with fast, free shipping — that can be delivered straight to your door.

To make sorting through the retailer's massive inventory a little easier, we pulled our favorite Amazon-accessible travel picks from this year's Shop TODAY 2024 Travel Gear Awards. We reviewed over 100 products, putting them through extensive evaluations while on planes, trains, hiking trails and more.

From checked bags to walking shoes, keep scrolling to see all of this year's award-winning travel picks you can shop on Amazon.

Suitcases | Carry-on and weekender bags | Packing cubes | Toiletry bags | Purses and backpacks | Tech | Travel pillow | Water bottles | Walking shoes | Swimsuits | Sandals | Clothing for inclement weather | Joggers | How we chose | Meet our experts | Has your product been featured?

Best suitcases on Amazon

Wrangler 20-Inch Rolling Carry-On

Award: Best budget carry-on | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

This simple-yet-smart suitcase from Wrangler is everything we want in a carry-on model. It's compact but spacious inside, with one zipper divider and compression straps that kept our belongings exactly where we packed them during our trials. It's sturdy but lightweight, rolling effortlessly with its spinning wheels, and it's genuinely cute, with eight colors to pick from. At under $50, this is a straightforward, budget-friendly find we'd recommend to anyone looking to avoid checking a bag on their next trip.

Traveler's Choice Pagosa Indestructible Hardshell Check-In Spinner

Award: Best overall checked luggage | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.6/5

This suitcase is proof that high-quality checked luggage doesn't have to break the bank. We preferred this option — which will run you about $100 — over other suitcases that were quadruple the price!

In addition to being relatively stylish (as far as Amazon luggage goes), our editors were impressed by its functionality, with easy-to-maneuver 360-degree wheels, sturdy handles, a light-yet-durable hardshell frame, multiple organizer inserts and a two-inch expansion capability. Plus, it passed what we've coined the "roll away test," which is when we let go of the suitcase on a ramp and it didn't roll away or budge even an inch!

Best carry-on and weekender bags on Amazon

Vera Bradley Weekender Travel Bag in Cotton

Award: Best overall carry-on | Value: 4.6/5 | Quality: 4.6/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.8/5

A repeat winner from last year, Vera Bradley's reliable weekender travel bag held its place as our highest-rated carry-on in 2024. Trends come and go, but this classic style remains on our list — and our cars, trains, planes and more — for good reason.

“I’ve had two versions of the weekender travel bag over a decade and each one has lasted me years," reports associate editor Shannon Garlin. "I used it as a carry-on/personal item when I moved to and from Asia, and jammed it with things. The fabric is extremely durable and so is the zipper. It also fits under the seat even when it’s packed to the brim.”

Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel

Award: Best travel daypack | Value: 4/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4/4 | Average: 4.3/5

After associate editor Kamari Stewart put this backpack duffel on our radar, we put it through rigorous trials for our awards. We stacked it up against competitors in terms of style and functionality and made sure it holds up to its water-resistant bottom claims (spoiler alert: It passed with flying colors).

"This duffel has so many pockets and I love that it can be worn as a backpack," gushes Stewart. "I just used it for a weekend spent away and was able to pack two days worth of clothes in it along with a pair of shoes, various random items I bought over the weekend, a laptop, an iPad and other stuff. There are so many compartments that you end up having plenty of space for what you need."

Baggallini Gramercy Carry-On Duffel

Award: Best splurge carry-on | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

Designed by flight attendants, the Baggallini brand has become a favorite of Shop TODAY editors for its thoughtfully designed products and smart solutions. Although this carry-on is technically a duffel, it opens and packs sort of like a traditional suitcase, which we loved in our trials — it rivaled our suitcases in terms of how much we could fit inside, but it was compact and soft enough to fit in a range of compartments. Wheels are an unusual feature for a duffel bag, but they made it really effortless to transport compared to other options. There's even a divider for your shoes!

Best packing cubes on Amazon

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes (4-Piece Set)

Award: Best packing cubes | Value: 4/5 | Quality: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 3.6/5

In case you haven't already heard, packing cubes are a travel game-changer. Not only does this set condense your things to help you fit more into your luggage, but the cubes also act as organizers to keep all of your stuff neatly sorted and easily accessible. While nearly all of the packing cubes we tried got the job done with a little effort, our editors thought this set was a cut above the rest due to its excellent value (four packing cubes for under $25!). Hit that "add to cart" button and prepare to kiss the days of sitting on your suitcase to make it shut goodbye.

Best toiletry bags on Amazon

Bagsmart Bonchemin The Space Saver Toiletry Bag

Award: Best budget toiletry bag | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.6/5

No counter space? No problem. Living up to its "space saver" name, this neat toiletry bag can be hung up on a wall hook, door knob or closet hanger to keep the bathroom vanity clutter-free on your travels. Our editors were floored by how much we could fit into this organizer, which unfolds to be about four times its length and features clear, splash-proof zipper pockets at each level. But don't just take our word for it — this bag has garnered over 45,000 perfect, five-star ratings from satisfied customers on Amazon.

Shop TODAY readers can grab the Space Saver Toiletry Bag at 30% off with code TODAY on the brand's site through April 22.

Cotopaxi Nido Accessory Bag

Award: Best overall toiletry bag | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.8/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.9/5

This 2023 winner held its own against this year's competition, coming out on top once again for best overall toiletry bag. With its easy-to-clean recycled nylon, “spacious yet compact design” and “pockets within pockets,” our reviewers’ love for this accessory bag borders on ridiculous — there was literally nothing about it that they disliked.

“I hate the level of excitement that this Cotopaxi bag has brought me,” confesses senior social media editor Kate McCarthy. “I used it in my office, on the train and brought it all over Massachusetts, bouncing from bathroom counter to bathroom counter, and it stood up to the test of travel like a champ.”

Best purses and backpacks on Amazon

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag

Award: Best travel purse | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Another winner from last year maintaining its top spot, this compact-yet-spacious crossbody purse got a perfect five out of five. Designed for travel, it features locking zippers and water- and slash-resistant material all around, including the straps. It also has a key clasp with an LED light inside and slots for all of the essentials, including important documents.

Commerce analytics manager Amanda Smith likes this hands-free bag so much that she’s even used it as a dog park bag when she’s not traveling.

“I was able to carry my dog’s water bottle, a soda for me, a small umbrella, a ball for Mac to play fetch, sunglasses, treats for my dog and there was a great compartment for my credit cards,” Smith says.

Carhartt Vertical Snap Tote

Award: Best waterproof/all weather tote | Value: 4/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 3/5 | Overall score: 4/5

This cool tote is kind of like the Goldilocks of our winning bags. For the days when you need a bit more space than your average purse but you don't want to lug around a backpack or bigger duffel, we recommend reaching for this durable style. Thanks to the brand's Rain Defender technology, it's truly water-repellent, which our team verified in testing. The simple snap closure is a bit of a controversial design element to our editors — some wish it had a zipper closure or flap at the top, while others found that the free opening makes it easier to access your things quickly on the go.

Speakeasy Travel Adventurous Kate Modern Bohemia Scarf

Award: Best 2-in-1 accessory | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5| Overall score: 3.9/5

At first glance, you'd never guess that this scarf has a zippered compartment that can hold your valuables... and a thief wouldn't, either! That's why this unassuming accessory is kind of genius, earning it an award that straddles categories as both a clothing accessory and a functional carrier. We fit a phone, card holder, keys and a passport in its cleverly hidden pocket, so it's great for housing any necessities you want to keep close to the chest — literally.

The North Face Base Camp Voyager Daypack

Award: Best outdoor travel backpack | Value: 4/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5In search of a new travel backpack that can work as a personal item for plane travel? Our editors really liked this one, which is full of thoughtful dividers and pockets, but also features a large main compartment that can fit clothes, shoes and more. It's got impressively generous water bottle side pockets, and we can attest to its water-and abrasion-resistant fabrics. We liked that this backpack can stand on its own when you're packing it, but even when stuffed to the brim, it didn't feel bulky to carry around.

“Whoever designed this sleek 26-liter daypack with so many surprises inside definitely deserves a standing ovation," says Jackson. "Although it was clearly made for durability — hence, the abrasion-resistant fabric that repels water — someone also paid attention to every small detail. It has pockets for all my smaller valuables and built-in organization, so everything has its place and is easy to find.”

Best travel tech on Amazon

Etekcity EL11 Luggage Scale

Award: Best flight essential | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4.9/5 | Overall score: 4.8/5

If you don’t pack lightly, a luggage scale like this one can make traveling less of a guessing game. It can support up to 110 pounds, so you’ll definitely be able to tell whether your suitcase exceeds the weight limit on your airline. For the second year in a row, this luggage scale has earned a win for best flight essential in our awards. What can we say? It really pulls its weight (pun intended).

"It can be hard to differentiate the difference between 70 pounds and 69 1/2 pounds when traveling internationally or 49 pounds and 50 pounds pounds when traveling domestically, but when you arrive at the airport, that little bit of weight can make a giant cost difference," says travel expert Jonathan Alder. "It can be hundreds of dollars for an overweight bag and this small device can prevent you from ever having an issue again.”

Tessan International Power Adapter with 4 USB Ports

Award: Best adapter for international travel | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Whether you’re traveling internationally or not, this handy adapter is the only plug you need to carry. The plug features three USB ports, as well as one USB-C, allowing you to charge up to five devices with one cube! For traveling abroad, the brand says it covers over 150 countries around the world, including popular destinations like Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, our editors found it easy to use, well-priced and multi-functional, resulting in perfect scores across the board.

Apple AirTag

Award: Best tech for checked bags | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

While we hope it'll never happen to you, checked luggage doesn't always make it to the correct destination. Rather than agonize over where your belongings are, slip one of these AirTags into your checked bag and you'll be able to track its every move from your iPhone. These are also great for wallets, keys and other personal belongings that we always seem to misplace. At under $30, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

“I’ve had clients had a suitcase lost with an airline and be able to prove that the information they were being given was totally incorrect based on an AirTag," says Alder. "This truly revolutionized baggage and property tracing like never before.”

Twelve South Airfly Pro

Award: Best in-flight must-have | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.8/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.7/5

If, like us, you can’t travel without your favorite pair of wireless headphones, this gadget is one you’ll definitely want in your carry-on the next time you travel on a plane. It acts as a transmitter, so you can connect your wireless headphones to any 3.5mm audio jack, like the one most airlines have for in-flight entertainment. If you don’t travel often, it’s not just for use on airplanes — it can also be used with tablets and at gyms.

“This is such a great idea that I’m surprised it didn’t come out sooner," remarks Alder. "While it’s wonderful to have a screen at your seat, having to use extremely low-quality earbuds can make enjoying it more annoying than a benefit. This little device allows you to have access to the airlines entertainment system, while using your own Bluetooth headphones of your choosing.”

Through April 25, Shop TODAY readers can grab the AirFly Pro for 30% off with code TODAY on the brand's site.

Veger Portable Wall Plug Charger with Built-In Cables

Award: Best portable charger | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

There’s nothing worse than running out of your phone battery when you’re out and about, and it’s an even bigger problem when you’re traveling somewhere unfamiliar. Skip the tech headache and throw this genius power bank in your bag before you head out the door.

Our editors stacked this all-in-one portable charger against a number of top-rated models, and found that it charged a phone from 0% battery to a full charge the fastest out of all of our options, with battery life to spare. It displays the percentage of battery remaining and actually has all of the cords and plugs you need built right in, so you don't need to pack any extra cables or cubes. It earned perfect scores from us across quality, value and overall satisfaction, and has more than 3,000 perfect, five-star ratings on Amazon.

Best travel pillow on Amazon

Travelrest All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow

Award: Best travel pillow | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4/5

If you want to arrive at your destination well-rested (and with minimal neck cramps), a truly excellent travel pillow is a must-pack. Rather than wrapping around your neck or head like other options on the market, this pillow quickly became our editors' favorite because it can be worn across the chest and leaned on, which we found to be way more comfortable. Plus, this one won't take up much room in your bag, since it can be deflated and rolled up for easy storage. It also only took us about a minute to blow it up. Sweet dreams!

Best water bottles on Amazon

Brita Premium Filtering Bottle (26 oz)

Award: Best budget water bottle | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

Water from the tap tastes different everywhere you go, and that's because every destination's water makeup is a little different. You can sip easy knowing this bottle is WQA-certified to filter as you drink to reduce chlorine (taste and odor) and particulates, according to the brand. We found it to be durable, surviving 3-foot drop tests (and remaining dent- and crack-free!), and totally leak-proof, withstanding vigorous shaking upside down with no drips.

Stanley IceFlow Bottle

Award: Best insulated water bottle | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall: 4.3/5

If you like your water ice cold, this is the bottle for you. Over 24 hours, its impressive insulation kept its contents the coldest out of all of the bottles we tested. Plus, it didn't spill or drip one bit during our shake tests. Its stainless steel frame did get a small dent in our drop tests on concrete, but that's the tradeoff we've found to be standard for insulated bottles that don't weigh a ton. While we love the brand's viral Quencher, this is the model experts and editors alike recommend for longer journeys.

“With so many hydration stations at airports these days, I never travel without a water bottle," says Jackson. "While there are definitely cheaper bottles out there, the IceFlow can keep drinks iced for up to 40 hours.”

Best walking shoes on Amazon

Dr. Scholl's Jetset Loafer

Award: Best dressy walking shoe | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Any frequent travelers know that your choice of footwear can make or break your trip. These TSA-friendly shoes from Dr. Scholl's will take you from the airport security line to a nice dinner and everywhere in between — sans discomfort, thanks to its foam insole, arch support and heel cup. This winner is another truly great travel find making its way onto our list for a second year, earning perfect scores across the board.

Best swimsuits on Amazon

Cupshe Longline V-Neck Bralette Classic High Waist Bikini Set

Award: Best two-piece set | Value: 4.3/5 | Quality: 4.6/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.5/5

Shopping for swimsuits can be an ordeal. That's why we tried a bunch of top-rated options, narrowing down the many styles on the market to just a few that we really love and recommend, like this two-piece set.

"I love the cut of this swimsuit, especially that it offers a full coverage backside and high legs," says Garlin. "It has decent padding on the top to help you feel covered without feeling heavy."

Editorial assistant Erica Marrison adds that the bottoms are "comfortable, easy to slip into and don’t sag when wet."

Summersalt The Perfect Wrap One-Piece

Award: Best one-piece swimsuit | Value: 4.6/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.7/5

This comfy, stylish swimsuit takes the award for best one-piece. The front coverage was a bit higher than some reviewers expected, but it impressed us overall because it easily accommodated large bust sizes, smoothed and supported curves and flattered everyone's bodies.

"As a person with a larger cup size, I tend to stay away from bathing suits with dramatically deep V cuts out of fear of accidentally flashing somebody," confesses senior editor Jess Bender. "The girls, fortunately, stayed in place in this Summersalt one-piece, even without the underwiring I usually require! The silhouette was also extremely flattering with the wrap waist, though my tie efforts came undone when exposed to water for a long period of time. I also loved the two-toned colorway and amount of compression it provided."

Best sandals on Amazon

Reef Cushion Vista Hi

Award: Best budget sandals | Value: 4.6/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.8/5

Our reviewers found these versatile sandals surprisingly comfortable for a cork shoe, earning the award for best budget sandals this year.

"As someone with a wider foot, I was worried the double straps would feel too restrictive, but I was pleasantly surprised by their comfy feel," remarks commerce writer Danielle Murphy. "My favorite feature has to be the different textures featured throughout. I also think it provides great arch support."

"Unlike other platform sandals which are only designed to be cute, the Cushion Vista Hi is also designed for comfort," Jackson adds. "Reef also doesn’t cut corners when it comes to sustainability. This sandal features a 100% natural cork footbed, and the soft leather straps are vegan and PVC-free."

Plus, Shop TODAY readers can score 30% off the Vista Hi and Vista Hi Energy with code TODAY through April 25 on the brand's site.

Best clothing for inclement weather on Amazon

Columbia Bora Bora II Booney

Award: Best sun hat | Value: 4.3/5 | Quality: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

In the market for a new hat? This unisex option is our pick to pack for an outdoorsy sun hat.

"This hat is super comfortable and fits easily over the head," says Marrison. "I like that it comes with an adjustable cord so it won’t blow off in the wind, whether you’re on a walk, a boat or the pool deck. It keeps your entire face sheltered from the sun, too!"

Panama Sun Hat

Award: Best packable hat | Value: 4.6/5 | Quality: 4.3/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.5/5

For a more polished look, this sun hat is a tried and true Shop TODAY favorite, rolling up to pack seamlessly for your trip.

"I've owned this packable hat since 2020 and swear by it for any and all travel," vows editorial director Adrianna Brach. "It's practically indestructible no matter how I fold it or cram it into my suitcase."

G4Free UV Protection Jacket UPF 50+

Award: Best sun jacket | Value: 4.6/5 | Quality: 3.6/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.1/5

Looking for a bit of extra sun protection? This breezy jacket has you covered.

"This jacket is nice, soft and lightweight," says social media video producer Anita Chomenko. "It feels like you could wear this without overheating. Perfect for the beach, on a walk or on a court. I love that there are zippered pockets so you could carry a few items in the jacket. Another bonus is the hood! Not sure how this would hold up over time, but at $25 I’d be willing to take the risk!"

Eddie Bauer Women's Packable Rainfoil Jacket

Award: Best waterproof jacket for women | Value: 4.3/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4.3/5 | Overall score: 4.5/5

If rain is in the forecast for your trip, don't fret — this lightweight, packable rain jacket will keep you dry and comfy no matter the weather.

"Rain can ruin everything, from a commute to the office to a trip to the tropics," warns editorial operations manager Jillian Ortiz. "I’ve gone through a number of windbreakers and rain jackets in my day but have to say I am impressed by how well this one held up. It is sturdy but flexible; you can move around in it but can also feel how durable it is from the moment you put it on. I wore it on my commute in the pouring rain and once I got on the train and took my hood off, all of the water I had collected dripped onto my neck. Other than that, it was good."

CorSurf The Huakai Jacket

Award: Best waterproof jacket for men | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Don't let a little rain put a damper on your trip! This option is our pick for a men's rain jacket.

"I wore it around the city in the rain and could actually see the water beading and wicking from the surface," our deputy editorial director's partner said of this perfectly rated jacket. "It’s lightweight and breathes much better than other rain jackets I’ve worn. It didn’t really feel stuffy at all. It’s comfortable, fits well and has a lot of pockets. I can’t imagine I’d ever use the little bag it comes in, but it’s nice to know you could pack it for camping or a trip if needed."

Best joggers on Amazon

Hanes Originals Women's Soft Brushed Fleece Joggers

Award: Best overall jogger/travel pant | Value: 5/5 | Quality: 4.3/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.7/5

According to our reviewers, Hanes hit it out of the park with these affordable joggers, which go up to a size 4X. But fair warning — after you slip these comfy, travel-friendly pants on, you may never want to take them off again!

"Can I live in these joggers, please?" asks associate commerce editor Dani Musacchio. "They are hands down the softest pair of sweatpants I’ve ever tried on. They fit perfectly — not too baggy but not too form-fitting. I’m obsessed with the “Wheat Heather” color I got because it can be paired with anything."

How we chose

We sorted through hundreds of new launches, editor recommendations, trending products flooding our social media pages and tried and true products to curate a list of must-have travel items worth reviewing for our awards. We then tried the products in our studios, putting them through practical experiments to see if they meet requirements when it comes to durability, function and quality for travel gear. Then, our team of editors and writers signed up to try out apparel and shoes, putting them to the test in New York City — and as far as Guatemala — to see how they held up. Finally, our panel of experts reviewed some of our winners and gave feedback based on their expertise.

Has your product been featured?

Shop TODAY is editorially independent and our team of editors and writers work hard to pick the best products to share with our readers and viewers. We may license our logo to brands or products that have been featured on Shop TODAY. Click here if you’re interested in licensing your inclusion in Shop TODAY content or to learn more from our licensing partner, Wrights Media.

Meet the experts

  • Brady Schrock is a flight attendant for a commercial airline.
  • Katie Jackson is a travel writer and expert, who also served on our panel of experts in 2023.
  • Jonathan Alder is a luxury travel planner and adviser, and CEO of Jonathan’s Travels, a travel management company.