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Going Shopping For A Garment Bag? Four Types Of Hybrid Bags You May Run Across

Garment bags have evolved. Originally they were simply an elongated bag made of flexible material with a hand zipper down the middle of one side. The top end had an open space where hangers could be placed so the traveler could use the curved handle to carry the case. Eventually handles were added, one at each end. You could opt for holding the bag with one handle, or folding it in two and using both handles. In either case the clothes inside remained relatively wrinkle free. The next time you go shopping for a garment bag, you're apt to find these simple old-fashioned beauties. You might even come across these four innovative hybrid garment bags/suitcases.

Original Garment Bags with Additional Pockets Added

These are the closest in design to the original garment bags. It's still one long flexible container with hanger access on one end and handles on both ends. The difference is in the carry-all pockets on one side. Now you can carry toiletries, shoes and other apparel in addition to the items you want to keep from getting wrinkled. When folded, the pockets are on the outside, so you can access them easily. Depending on the brand, you might be able to pack quite a big of clothing and accessories in those pockets. Keep in mind that if the bag is too full, it may not qualify as a carry-on for airline travel.

Over The Shoulder Garment Bags

This is similar to the garment bag with the pockets, but it has a shoulder strap in addition to the two handles. Many designs have easy access open and close clips on the side to make the bag easier to manage. No need to hold on to the two end handles to keep the garment bag folded. Like the garment bag with the pockets, it can get bulky when its fully loaded and might end up in checked baggage, depending on the airline.

Roll Up Duffle Bag Style Garment Bags

If you prefer duffle bags, you can still have your wrinkle protection while sporting that casual look. The duffle garment bag has the non-wrinkle section along with pockets on the outside. After you've stored your good clothes, the protected section is rolled into the duffle bag shape. Zippers on either end keep the bag secure. The outside pockets usually don't hold as much as the first two bags, but the entire duffle tends to be smaller and has a better chance of passing as a carry-on. Once you're at your destination, unzip and unroll the bag and hang it up just like your typical garment bag. Many of these duffle hybrids come with two side handles and a detachable a shoulder strap. A similar hybrid garment duffle bag takes the roll-up design even further. The garment bag section still rolls up, but it wraps around the duffle bag section. When separated, the garment bag section may be hung in a closet, while the duffle section gives you easy access to your other items. Depending on your packing skills, this garment bag hybrid may also pass as a carry-on. 

Garment Bags with Wheels

Garment bags with wheels are still garment bags, but some models almost cross the line into roll-along luggage territory. Some models have push along wheels, while other tag along behind you. You'll find an assortment of pockets, including ones large enough for laptops. These qualify as garment bags because the main compartment totally unzips to lay flat or to be hung up in a closet. Will you manage to get it on the plane as a carry-on? It depends on the airline, the size of your hybrid garment bag, and whether it's completely stuffed.

Look at places like Bag Outlet as you look for your next garment bag.