The 5 Best Travel Vacuum Bags of 2023 | by Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure / Brian Kopinski

Travel hackers know one secret to being a good packer is to travel light. However, this doesn’t mean you have to make do with less. Compression travel bags — plastic bags that work to vacuum seal your clothing and other items to pack flat — are a great hack for saving suitcase space. Luckily, travel vacuum bags don’t always need a vacuum to work either. There are different types of pumps — and even no-pump bags — on the market for when you don’t have access to an actual vacuum. 

So, which should you choose for your trip and your specific needs? During our research, we found different bags that work for all types of vacations. Durable compression bags and a compact electric pump make VMSTR Travel Vacuum Storage Bags our top pick. But if you’re looking for a variety of sizes, check out some of our other go-to choices.

Our Top PicksBest Overall:VMSTR Vacuum Storage Bags at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Large-capacity:Ziploc Space Bag Vacuum Sealer Storage Bags at AmazonJump to ReviewBest With Hand Pump:Spacesaver Vacuum Storage Bags at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Roll-up:KFYM Vacuum Travel Storage Bag at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Families:Cozy Essential Roll-up Compression Bags at AmazonJump to Review

Best Overall

VMSTR Travel Vacuum Storage Bags


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

These bags come with an electric pump that uses a USB-A cable.

What to Consider

The pump is slow, especially for the larger-sized bags.

These VSTR Travel Vacuum Storage Bags come in a variety of sizes ranging from small to, our favorites, extra large. This means you can pack different types of clothing from swimsuits for a beach vacation to thick coats for snow without wasting space. The biggest bags fit in a standard wheeled carry-on, while the smaller ones easily fit into a backpack, tote, or other travel bag.

The double-zipper seal acts as dual protection to ensure the bags stay closed and compressed. The electric pump means less labor for you versus using hand-pump compression bags, while the convenience of having a travel-friendly USB vacuum means you aren’t just limited to a wall socket to use this device (though the bags can be compressed using a standard vacuum tube if you have access to one). The fact these bags have a lifetime guarantee is also a huge plus, but you can also purchase more extra-large bags separately for your travel companions.

Price at time of publish: $32 for 8 bags and an electric pump

The Details: Vacuum compression | 8 bags (2 small, 2 medium, 2 large, 2 extra-large) | 11 x 8.6 (small); 12.6 x 10 (medium); 14.1 x 12.6 (large); 17.7 x 12.6 (extra-large)

Best Large-capacity

Ziploc Space Bag Vacuum Sealer Storage Bags


View On AmazonView On Home DepotWhy We Love It

These reusable bags are high-capacity and work great for trips in which you’re packing heavy clothing.

What to Consider

They may be wider than your checked bags and need to be packed at an angle.

These Ziploc Space Bags will fit everything you need on a long trip, even if you’re packing bulky clothing. While these bags are best compressed using a vacuum, they can also be rolled to pack and the dual sealing zippers help keep an airtight seal. The volume of your items can compress down up to 75 percent, adding plenty of space to your luggage or storage boxes. These heavy-duty bags are also completely waterproof, so you can ensure that all of your items are protected. Just take note of their size and fullness when packing to ensure they’ll still fit in your suitcase when filled.

Price at time of publish: $19 for 3 bags

The Details: Vacuum or rolling compression | 3 large bags | 22 x 30

Best With Hand Pump

Spacesaver Vacuum Storage Bags Variety 12 Pack


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

The hand pump screws into the compression valve for a secure and sturdy fit. 

What to Consider

Plastic zip caps may fall off after repeated use. 

The Spacesaver Vacuum Storage Bags Variety 12 Pack offer three bags each in small, medium, large, and jumbo, which is convenient for packing checked bags of various sizes. The included hand pump is travel-sized and screws directly into the triple-sealed turbo valve on the bags so you get a good, solid fit each time, and better compression than hand-rolling. (You can also use most standard vacuum hoses with these valves.)

The bags also have double-lock zips to keep air from leaking into the bags. Unfortunately, repeated use can cause the zipper caps to break off, which makes for a weaker seal. And, unless you’re planning to also store some large blankets at home (or bring your own bedding for a road trip), most people aren’t likely to use the jumbo bags, making them feel like a bit of a waste.

Price at time of publish: $35 for 12 bags and a hand pump

The Details: Hand pump or vacuum compression | 12 bags (3 small, 3 medium, 3 large, 3 jumbo) | 16 x 24 (small); 20 x 28 (medium); 24 x 32 (large); 30 x 40 (jumbo)

Best Roll-up

KFYM Vacuum Travel Storage Bag


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

These bags come in three different sizes, perfect for carry-ons and checked suitcases of different sizes.

What to Consider

The air may leak over time.

This travel set includes various sizes so you can select and fill the perfect bag for each suitcase and include more than one in each piece of luggage, including your carry-on. The bags are reusable and air-tight, compressing just by quickly rolling up — perfect for on-the-go use. They’re also water- and insect-resistant, so you can ensure that all of your items arrive at your destination safely. The zips are dual-layered for extra durability, but air may still leak due to cabin pressure, so be mindful when reopening your suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $15 for 10 bags

The Details: Rolling compression | 10 bags (4 small, 3 large, 3 extra-large) | 14 x 20 (small); 16 x 24 (large); 20 x 28 (extra-large)

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Best for Families

Cozy Essential 24 Pack Travel Roll Up Compression Bags


View On AmazonWhy We Love It

This set comes with a whopping 24 bags.

What to Consider

There’s no option to use a vacuum with this set.

This pack of Cozy Essential Vacuum Storage Bags have a double-lock zip closure to help prevent accidental leakage, and a thick, flexible material. We especially love the options these bags give travelers as there are nine bags to fit a carry-on, nine bags for checked luggage, and six bags for a duffel or smaller wheeled suitcase. Not only would this make the perfect set for large families, or to share with friends traveling together, the bags can be rolled using your own arm power so there’s no need to pack an extra pump, or worry about finding a vacuum before returning home.

Price at time of publish: $27 for 24 bags

The Details: Rolling compression | 24 bags (6 small, 9 medium, 9 large) | 19.5 x 13.8 (small); 23.5 x 15.7 (medium); 27.5 x 19.5 (large)

Tips for Buying Travel Vacuum Bags

Choose your compression method wisely

Remember that the compression method matters. For example, rolling compression bags are convenient because you don’t have to rely on a pump to flatten them, but they require more physical energy and time to compress and decompress. Bags that use vacuums are the quickest and most effortless, but you’ll need a vacuum to recompress them.

Look for bags that use a portable pump (or no pump)

When traveling, less is more. Compression bags that don’t require a pump not only save space, but can be used any time. If you don’t want to self-roll your bags, consider bag sets that come with a portable pump. 

Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do vacuum bags work?

Compression bags work by removing the air inside the bag in order to make the contents of the bag as flat as possible. They’re great for saving space in your luggage, but keep in mind they don’t change the weight of what you’re packing (so be sure you can still lift your bag and it doesn’t weigh-in over the limit).

Can I bring vacuum bags in a carry-on/checked bag?

Yes, but be aware that TSA may need to decompress the bag during any inspections. This can pose a problem if you can’t re-compress the bags afterward. 

Does using a vacuum bag hurt my clothes?

Vacuum bags do not damage most clothes, though they can cause more wrinkling. Down clothing pieces should not be packed to the bag’s capacity as flattening down can ruin it. 

Do vacuum bags make your luggage heavier?

Using vacuum bags does not make your luggage heavier — packing 30 pounds of clothing will still be 30 pounds whether compressed or not. However, you may find that your suitcase ends up heavier since the vacuum bag will open up more space, allowing you to pack more items. When using vacuum bags for travel, especially in your checked luggage, be sure you’re not overpacking to avoid any overweight bag fees.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this list, T+L contributor Katherine Alex Beaven researched dozens of travel vacuum bags to suss out the best for saving you time, energy, and space on your next trip. 

The Best Carry-on Luggage of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Updated byTravel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.” tabindex=”0″ data-inline-tooltip=”true”>Taylor Fox Taylor Fox Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.learn more

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