Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote by TravelPro

By / Life / May 27th, 2019 / 3
Maxlite 5 Women's Tote review

Stylish, modern travel bags aren’t that hard to come by – not with bulk bag stores in every shopping center. However, stylish, modern travel bags of quality can be a bit harder to find. Enter the Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote by Travelpro, the major luggage company founded by Robert Plath, the creator of the Original Rollaboard (two-wheeled suitcase).

Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote, available in four colours, looks like an oversized purse. And that’s essentially what it is. It’s big enough to fit everything a couple will need for an overnight (or two-night) trip. It could also function as your carry-on for longer trips. It is compact and lightweight with padded protection sleeves, interior pockets, exterior pockets and water-bottle-sized pocket. The handy “rear stacking strap” fits over the retractable handles of most Rollaboard suitcases (though the “strap” in this case is more like a wide, open ended sleeve… I’m not describing it well, but it works).

Unfortunately the padded electronic pouch inside doesn’t fit a standard-sized laptop. My iPad and smaller electronics fit fine, but any laptop or notebook over 12” will have to be stored in the main part of the bag. Easy access pockets on the front and back kept me from needing to dig through my bag for my phone, passport, tickets and the like. While there are many pockets inside, they are all on the smaller side. I got around this by putting my toiletries and smaller items into an organizer and tossing that organizer into the bag. Luckily, the bag itself is big enough that my purse organizer and my clothes all fit with room to spare.

Regardless of the exterior colour you choose, the interior comes in the dusty rose. The light colour makes it easy to find what you’re looking for when you dig through the bag. The lining itself is pretty durable. If you’re one of those people (like me) who likes to shove as much as she can into her travel bag (so that I don’t have to take more than one bag), you can rest assured that this bag will make the trip. Plus, it comes with Built For A Lifetime Warranty and a one-year warranty for any damage caused by an airline or other common carrier.

The zipper is easy to grip, and it opens and closes smoothly without any tugging or hassle. Unlike your standard purse, where the sides pull together at the top, reducing the space inside when it’s zipped up, this tote has flaps that pull close, letting you maximize the interior space. This does create some open “holes” at the top, so if you have loose items in the bag and it is tousled, they may fall out.

The Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote is polyester with DuraGuard coating to resist water and stains. It is pretty durable, so it’ll stand up to the wear and tear that comes with constant use. However, it is a bit flimsy; when you set it down, it flops onto its front or back, depending on what you have in the bag.

The one big drawback, for me, were the straps. The Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote comes with handles, rather than a cross-body or shoulder strap. While the handles are big enough to fit over my shoulder, they are narrow and thin. This means that when the bag is at its fullest, the handles dig into my hands and shoulder. I would have preferred a wider, padded handle. Better yet, a shoulder or cross-body strap. (Luckily, I have a cross-body strap from another bag of mine that I can repurpose).

The Maxlite 5 Women’s Tote is the right size to fit most carry-on criteria. All in all, I’d say if you’re looking for a multipurpose purse/overnight bag, this would be a good investment.


A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

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