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15 Best Crossbody Bags for Travel for Women in 2023

Aug 22, 2023

Every product on this page was chosen by a Harper's BAZAAR editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Hands-free is the way to go

For me, traveling always lives up to the hype. And I start every vacation by getting a new bag, because the right bag can make every step leading up to the actual trip as enjoyable as possible. And the only bag that’s been able to do that without fail—whether I’m just going away for a weekend in upstate New York or on a longer excursion to see friends in Europe—has been a simple crossbody bag.

The best crossbody bags for travel allow for a versatile, hands-free approach to standing in security lines at the airport or Google Mapping my way around new destinations. They let me do it all without tugging at any straps (which is typically what I have to do when I wear a tote bag or a shoulder bag).

There are a few things I always look for when picking out my next crossbody. I tend to carry a lot on me for a day of exploring, so I gravitate toward styles that aren’t too bulky in size, and I always consider the weight of the bag. Fabrication is also important, since the bag generally gets a lot of wear. I prefer sturdy leather, canvas, or nylon, all of which can be cleaned easily. Bags made of these materials stand the test of time, so I don’t have to worry about being gentle while throwing one into a security bin at the airport.

As a fashion editor, design details are also always on my mind—one of the most important being the shoulder straps. I prefer a thicker strap, since anything too skinny can dig into the shoulder in an uncomfortable way, or potentially snap. I also recommend looking for a bag that closes fully, whether it is a zip-top or button-flap closure, so your personal belongings are completely secure if you hear, “Attenzione, pickpocket!”

Should you need a little extra guidance on where to start, you can find the 15 best crossbody bags for travel below. I guarantee any one of them will make your next getaway a little more effortless.

Madewell makes affordable bags from luxe Italian leather that wear quite well over time and are usually under $150. This compact bag’s extended strap is extra long and has loads of notches for additional adjustability.

Personally, I’d take this medium crossbody with me on a weekend excursion when I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking. It will also look just as great at the peak of summer with a white summer dress, and come fall with a chunky sweater and vintage jeans.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 5.5" H x 8" W x 2" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 25" drop

Colors: True black, harvest moon

If I were to go the designer logo route, I would most definitely choose Gucci’s messenger shape for the ’70s feel of the heritage interlocking G logo. The durable canvas is also ideal for travel, making cleaning and touch-ups easy. The front flap and magnetic closure ensure that all important belongings within will be kept safe and secure. It’s also the ideal accessory for a day of sightseeing, especially if styled with a cotton button-down, a pair of faded jeans, and Birkenstock slides.

Materials: Canvas, leather

Dimensions: 10" W x 6.7" H x 3.1" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 21.2" drop

Colors: Beige and ebony GG Supreme canvas

The A.P.C. Betty is my personal tried-and-true. I can always fit my personal essentials inside, and it never feels too heavy when walking around a new city for hours on end. I have owned this bag for over six years now, and the stiff leather barely shows any sign of wear or tear. And it’s even compact enough to throw into my personal item on a flight, so I don’t have to worry about extra baggage.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 8" W x 7" L x 2.4" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 19.4" drop

Colors: Brown, black

I like traveling with nylon bags since they don’t feel too precious. Prada’s version is a classic, reimagined in its Re-Nylon, which is produced from recycled, purified plastic materials. It has plenty of organizational pockets for all my necessities, too, so I am fully prepared for a full day of wandering.

Materials: 100% recycled nylon

Dimensions: 9.4" H x 11.6" W x 3.5" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 37.4" drop

Colors: Black, desert beige

Cuyana excels at creating leather goods with purpose. The Double Loop bag is made from Italian leather—certified by the Leather Working Group—and produced in a woman-owned factory in Turkey, which has been in operation since the 15th century. The brand’s minimal designs, like this crossbody, are always in my suitcase because they’re guaranteed to work with any outfit I wear.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 8" H x 9.5" W x 5.5" D (medium size); adjustable shoulder strap with 24" drop

Colors: Dark olive, black, cappuccino, ecru, caramel, dark coral

Longchamp’s Le Foulonné bag looks like a saddle you can carry. The bag has a top zip closure, so belongings won’t spill out while you’re zipping through security. The fabric lining inside also makes for easy cleaning in case of spillage—so there’s no need to worry about mini TSA-approved perfume bottles or a rogue uncapped lipstick making a mess.

Materials: Cowhide leather

Dimensions: 7.75" W x 7.75" H x 2" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 18.75"–22" convertible strap drop

Colors: Caramel, turtle dove, black, cloud blue, love

Slow fashion is key to Il Bisonte’s work. The brand’s leather products are made by hand in Tuscany, Italy, by skilled artisans who use vegetable-tanned cowhide in an effort to produce leather more sustainably. This minimalist Salina crossbody looks like a vintage bag I’d stumble upon in a Parisian flea market. And the retro design isn’t clunky, making it ideal for a day of gallery hopping.

Materials: Cowhide leather

Dimensions: 10" W x 9.5" H x 3.5" D

Colors: Blue black, avorio, caramel, nero

Loewe’s Gate Dual Mini is a no-brainer. It’s stylish and compact, with a Jacquard canvas strap that is thick, soft, and won’t rub on the shoulder. It’s also available in a bevy of rich color ways, so there is something for everyone. I personally would go with the olive green to add a nice pop of color to the white tee, black jeans, and blue button-down uniform I usually pack.

Materials: Leather, cotton/polyester strap

Dimensions: 5.1" H x 8.3" W x 3.5" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 29.5" drop

Colors: Green, tan, beige, peach, yellow, light green, cream, lilac, blue, light blue

One of my personal favorite handbag brands, TL 180, comes from a cool, female design duo based in Rome. They introduced nylon into their usual leather offerings a few years ago, and I haven’t been able to take off my La Forti bag since. The fabric is super lightweight and easy to throw around, especially when traveling. The unstructured nature of the material also means a lot can fit inside. I like that this shape can be worn as a crossbody or a shoulder bag, depending on my mood.

Materials: 100% nylon and Napa leather

Dimensions: 7" H x 1o" W x 8.5" D; shoulder strap with 17" drop

Colors: White and black

The camera bag shape is an easy, packable option for travel. This one by Yvonne Koné is simple and clean, with a minimalist Danish design made of luxe pebbled leather. The two-way zipper on top makes reaching for your wallet or passport easy. The boxier silhouette also has enough room to stow my external battery and charging cables too, so my iPhone battery never dies while I’m snapping photos for Instagram all day long.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 7.5" W x 6" H x 4" D

Colors: Rio black

Hereu is all about heritage. The Spanish brand’s contemporary leather goods are made by a network of family-run manufacturers who have been passing down skills and techniques for generations. The Pinar has a unique, braided detail along the outline of the bag that makes it feel super special. I also like that the crossbody strap is removable, allowing the bag to be worn traditionally as a crossbody during the day or as a clutch by night for dinner, meaning I don’t have to pack an extra evening bag.

Materials: Calfskin leather

Dimensions: 8.5" W x 7" H x 10.25" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 22.1" drop

Colors: Dark brown, black

Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato crossbody bag is a worthy investment. The thick, supple leather strap sits comfortably on the shoulder. But most importantly, it’s also removable, so the bag easily converts to a clutch.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 8.5" W x 5" H x 2" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 18"–22" convertible strap drop

Colors: 15, including black, teal, regent, white, and cranberry

Chloé’s Marcie bag has been a permanent fixture in the brand’s collection, with good reason. It’s a roomy crossbody shape that fits all the essentials for travel: passport, wallet, phone, and keys. The stitching and simple hardware give it a slight Bohemian-meets-equestrian feel. I’d take this one on my summer travels and pair it with airy, cotton dresses and lace-up sandals in the Mediterranean, or to the countryside in the fall while wearing a blazer, jeans, and cowboy boots.

Materials: Leather

Dimensions: 11.4" W x 10.2" H x 3.5" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 35"–42.9" convertible strap drop

Colors: Tan, black, light gray

Clare V. always has a knack for creating simple, wearable leather goods with a twist. The size of this crossbody is perfect for taking on a weekend away, and it can easily transform into a clutch for an evening out.

Materials: Cowhide leather

Dimensions: 8.75" L x 6" H x 2.75" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 20.5" convertible strap drop

Colors: Natural and cream, black and cream

I like to play with textured handbags within my own wardrobe, and this canvas-and-leather version of DeMellier’s iconic Vancouver style is a must-have. The striped pattern feels classic enough to work with anything from linen shirt dresses to chunky wool coats, while still making more of a statement than a plain colored bag.Materials: Canvas, leather

Dimensions: 8.7" W x 7.1" H x 2.8" D; adjustable shoulder strap with 20.9" drop

Colors: Brown striped, black striped

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