Back when travel was a thing, we tested about half of Lo & Sons' travel bags — if you're looking for a gift or a bag to use when it's safe to adventure again, here's what to buy

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  • Lo & Sons bags are made of high-quality materials and feature thoughtfully placed pockets and compartments.
  • Lo & Sons currently has more than 15 travel-bag styles, including the roomy Catalina Deluxe Large Weekender Travel Bag (from $86) and the sleek Claremont Leather Camera Bag ($368).
  • The Insider Reviews team has reviewed eight different Lo & Sons bags so far and found that their ergonomic, versatile designs are game-changing and worth the sometimes hefty price tags.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the company, Lo & Sons makes stylish, travel-friendly bags that are optimized for space and function.

Founder and CEO Helen Lo originally launched Lo & Sons with the mission of creating a travel bag that alleviated the back pain she developed in her mid-60s. This sparked the idea that birthed the O.G. overnight bag, a smartly designed shoulder bag with a suitcase-handle sleeve for easy transportation.

From there, Lo & Sons' success drove the team to develop over 15 other styles, including overnight bags, laptop bags, camera bags, clutches, backpacks, and more — for both men and women. Lo & Sons prides itself on only using high-quality materials to make its bags, careful placement of pockets and compartments, and travel-friendly details, like the aforementioned suitcase-handle sleeve, so you spend less time fumbling with your belongings and more time exploring.

At first glance, some of the bags seem a bit pricey, but consider what you're getting for the money: Many of the bags convert to multiple styles (the $128 Edgemont goes from backpack to tote in just a few steps) and all of the bags feature thoughtfully designed pockets and compartments, for everything from your shoes to your laptop depending on their size. There's none of that, "What am I supposed to do with this?" business. It's obvious how much designing and testing Lo & Sons has done before launching each travel bag.

The Insider Reviews team put eight different bags to the test (back when it was safe to do so), traversing New York City and even traveling across the country and overseas. Our travels and daily commutes were much improved as a result. Whether you're preparing for a future when travel is finally safe again, or you're looking for something that can take you on a safe weekend trip in driving distance, we can help you choose which bag to buy.

Edgemont Convertible Backpack Tote

Edgemont Convertible Backpack Tote, $128

With its structured form, multiple well-designed compartments, and ability to convert between two different styles in just a few steps, this backpack tote boasts value that far outweighs its $128 price tag. In safer times, I used it as a work-to-gym bag, and it fit all the essentials for both purposes, but still managed to feel fairly light and very comfortable on my back or shoulder.

Its stash pockets, perfectly placed under the arm, make it easy to access IDs, keys, and MetroCards, and are one of my favorite features of the bag. I also love that the material is eco-friendly and water-resistant, and specifically the Navy Camo pattern is subtle but stylish. — Connie Chen, Insider Reviews senior reporter

Read our full review of the Edgemont here.

The O.G. Overnight Bag

The O.G. 2 Overnight Bag, from $113

Editor's note: Our review was of the original O.G. Overnight Bag, you can now purchase the redesigned O.G. 2, which features similar specs.

The O.G. Overnight Bag quickly became my go-to personal item on flights back when it was safe to travel. Its suitcase-handle sleeve is a game-changer; I could rest assured that when I placed my personal item atop my carry-on it wouldn't fall off. Inside the bag are some even cooler features, like a padded laptop sleeve, a separate shoe compartment, and tons of pockets for organizing everything from my pens to my earbuds. The O.G. also comes with a messenger strap for easy and comfortable carrying across your body or over your shoulder, and it's made of durable and water-resistant nylon, so there's no need to worry about it being ruined by coffee spills or bad weather. — Ellen Hoffman, Insider Reviews executive editor

With all of all the smart features, I've found I'm able to fit just about everything I need for a weekend away in this one bag, unless it's winter (because sweaters and coats are just too bulky). Even though the bag is so structured, it's really lightweight, making it really easy to carry, even when loaded with clothing and toiletries. While pricey, I think it's worth the $295 investment. — Remi Rosmarin, former Insider Reviews reporter

Read our full review of The O.G. here.

Catalina Deluxe Large Weekender Travel Bag

Catalina Deluxe Weekender Large Travel Bag, from $86

I took the Catalina Deluxe Weekender Large Travel Bag on a couple of short road trips a while ago. Packing a bag is easier than lugging a suitcase around, but I usually travel with the weekender version of this blue and white striped nylon Baggu tote. It's weightless and holds a lot, but it lacks structure and organization.

By comparison, Lo & Son's weekender is made out of thick canvas — it's heavy duty, but can be folded when not in use. I have yet to max out the large bag on a weekend trip, even with packing sweaters and bulkier items. If I were traveling to a warm-weather destination, the bag could easily fit a week's worth of clothes. The bottom compartment comes in handy for separating out shoes and heavier pieces of clothing, but I did find the zipper hard to maneuver when the bag was empty, since the weight of the canvas bag weighs it down. Overall, this is a well-made travel bag and one that I will definitely continue to use. — Lauren Lyons Cole, former director of personal finance 

Waverley 2 Convertible Leather Crossbody

Waverley 2 Crossbody, from $84

Small but functional, this bag is perfect for taking on the go while running errands, exploring new cities, or toting around during the day. It's big enough to fit a phone, wallet, and other small essentials, plus the interior has three small card pockets that can help save some space if your wallet takes up too much room.

The best part of this bag, though, is the exterior — it can be worn four different ways! Adjust the straps to wear it as a crossbody, a belt bag, a shoulder bag, or a wristlet. I've worn this bag on days when I'm just walking around the city. The size is small enough to bear holding for long walks, but big enough to hold all the essentials for a casual weekend day. The light grey color is unlike any bag I've owned before, but it has a minimalist chic look that I'm excited to incorporate more for spring. — Remi Rosmarin, former Insider Reviews reporter

Claremont Leather Camera Bag

Claremont Leather Camera Bag, $368

I've had a DSLR camera for six years. During that time, I've probably taken it on vacation with me once or twice — and at least one of those times, it didn't make it out of my suitcase. The problem is that it's clunky, no lightweight or attractive travel purse fits it, and wearing it around my neck is not appealing. It also becomes a risk in museums, when I worry every time I lean over if it will swing it into a neoclassical treasure like a cannonball.

Lo & Son's Claremont camera bag is a game-changer. It's attractive, lightweight, and built specifically to house and protect my DSLR as well as the other tourist essentials, like my passport and money in the easily accessed back pocket. Its organization is helpful but not overwhelming — meaning that I can convert it to a crossbody bag, or make full use of the SD memory card pockets and the soft and protective divider. — Mara Leighton, Insider Reviews senior reporter

Hanover Deluxe Backpack

Hanover Deluxe 2 backpack, $100

Editor's note: Our review was of the original Hanover Deluxe backpack, you can now purchase the redesigned Hanover Deluxe 2, which features similar specs.

I was honestly shocked how much I was able to fit inside this backpack. There two side pockets and one exterior pocket, plus the main compartment has a removable insert designed to organize all your stuff. I was able to fit well over 20 items, including multiple outfits, a pair of shoes, laptop, Kindle, and random electronics and toiletries, with ease. On top of that, the memory-foam shoulder straps are very comfortable, so much so that I almost forgot I was carrying 15-20 pounds on my back. I'm not sure I'll ever use another travel backpack if I'm being honest. — Francesca Rea, Insider Reviews senior story producer

Read our full review of the Hanover Deluxe here.

Rowledge Convertible Nylon Backpack Tote

Rowledge Convertible Nylon Backpack Tote, from $170

The newest Lo & Sons bag, the Rowledge, marries style and function for one of the company's most-wanted bags to date (there's currently a wait list for it). It does have a hefty price tag, but it has a lot going for it to justify the cost: It converts three ways so it can serve you whether you're in work mode, travel mode, or weekend mode. It has a laptop sleeve, key leash, and many other useful compartments, like exterior side pockets that can be unzipped to store your water bottle, or zipped up for a sleek, virtually invisible, look. I used it to commute to work so that I could ditch my gym bag, back when that was a thing. — Francesca Rea, Insider Reviews senior story producer

Pearl Crossbody Bag and Clutch

The Pearl Crossbody Bag and Clutch, from $119

This leather crossbody looks small but holds everything I need to go out during the day. The main compartment located in the middle of the bag is perfect for items I need to access quickly, like my phone and wallet, and the smaller zip pockets on the outside are optimal places for loose cash. It also includes this neat little leash that I could hook onto my keys. I hate digging for my house key in the bottom of my purse (especially when it's raining outside), so this was perfect! The leather feels high-quality; although I've only used the bag a few times so far, I can tell it's going hold up well and not going to scratch easily." — Megan Foster, former Insider Reviews intern

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at reviews@businessinsider.com.

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