Travel Gear

Sustainable Travel Bags for Southeast Asia: The Ultimate Guide of Lightweight Travel Bags That Protect Our Oceans

Southeast Asia is home to some of the best travel destinations in the world! According to Northern Illinois University, Southeast Asia can be defined by the following eleven countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


Of course, each country has it’s own unique culture. If you explore them all, you’ll find differences in history, religion, cuisine and lifestyle. Though there are also some things the Southeast Asian countries have in common: they are all coastal destinations, and, seeing as they are geographically close to one another, they share a similar climate.

With so much coastline to explore in Southeast Asia, you’re bound to run into a topic we at Sherpani hold near and dear, ocean plastics and plastic waste. Did you know that Sherpani creates bags made from recycled materials? Our travel bags are made from 100% recycled materials, including ocean-bound plastic!

Over the years, Sherpani has repurposed 4.2 million (and counting!) plastic bottles into beautiful, functional travel bags. Sustainability is a core principle of what we do, and diverting these bottles from landfills and waterways is our solution to the plastic threat our oceans face. As ocean lovers, we aim to protect and preserve these waters so they can be enjoyed for generations to come. With Southeast Asia being home to some of the most pristine, turquoise waters you can imagine, a sustainable travel bag is a must for exploring this part of the map!

As anyone who has been to Southeast Asia knows, the weather can get hot. The humidity is no joke either, so it’s important to consider how to set yourself up for success there. Lightweight is the key to travel in Southeast Asia! This goes for your clothes, your shoes, and, of course, your travel bag. So, our roundup of travel bags for Southeast Asia is focused on some of our lightest designs

Without further ado, let’s breakdown the styles we’ve selected as the best travel bags for Southeast Asia!

Number One: The Prima


Weight: 8 ounces

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 13!

This Anti-Theft crossbody purse has a compact design for carrying just the essentials: phone, keys, wallet and a sense of adventure! The Prima is the smallest bag in the Sherpani Anti-Theft Collection, making it the lightest by nature, so we think it’s the perfect fit for security-focused travelers who don’t want don’t be weighed down as they explore Southeast Asia.

The Prima includes all of Sherpani’s coveted Anti-Theft technology: locking zippers, RFID protection, a wire-loop chair lock, a ReturnMe tag, a slash-proof bottom and Sherpani’s proprietary wireless slash-proof crossbody strap.

Typically, an Anti-Theft purse strap contains internal wiring to make it slash-proof. However, this adds to the bulk and weight of the bag, plus the wire can get bent out of shape! The Prima features an adjustable crossbody strap that is completely wireless. Comfortable and uncuttable for security that does more than just protect. Functionality is what we do best!

Number Two: The Logan


Weight: 8.8 ounces

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 17!

Get ready to flip over our adorable mini travel backpack, the Logan! We know this part of the world well, and backpacks are a super convenient way to travel in Southeast Asia - be it on foot, scooter or tuk tuk! The Logan features comfortable and adjustable backpack straps, as well as tote handles for convenience.

The lightweight design allows for all-day exploration, and the added RFID security will prevent cyber theft in big cities. Go from the quaint Laotian countryside to the decorated city of Kuala Lumpur, with a backpack that does both.

Available in several colors and patterns, you can use the Logan to blend in or stand out! This mini backpack wants to be your new favorite travel buddy.

Number Three: The Sola


Weight: 1 pound, 6 ounces

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 35!

The last duffle bag you’ll ever buy. Meet the Sola, our lightweight duffle that is ready for adventure! The Sola features a large capacity of 29 liters and a light-colored interior that makes it easy to see everything inside. It has fixed tote handles and a removable strap that adjusts to be worn over your shoulder or as a large crossbody.

The Sola has two internal zipper pockets for extra organization, and an outside zipper pocket for quick access to items like your passport or ID. Additionally, the Sola has an external compartment for storing toiletries, so you can easily pull them out during airport security. Complete with everyone’s favorite airport feature, the luggage pass through, the Sola is your go-to bag for big trips and long travel days!

Book your ticket to Vietnam, then pack all your tank tops and flowy pants in the Sola, you’re going to need them!

Number Four: The Dispatch


Weight: 1 pound, 2 ounces

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 20!

The Dispatch is about to amaze you with its versatility! This multi-function travel bag offers three ways to wear it: backpack, crossbody and tote. A great medium-sized backpack that is easily convertible when you’re shopping in Singapore and come across a sign that says “no backpacks allowed.” The adjustable, removable straps let you switch up the style in seconds. We chose this style for Southeast Asia because versatility is key when you’re traveling through both urban and rural places, which is often the case in countries like captivating Cambodia.

Another Dispatch favorite is the unique “doctor bag” style opening; the mouth of the bag features a rectangular frame, so you can open it wide and see right to the bottom. Complete with RFID protection, a luggage pass through, a padded laptop sleeve and three water bottle holders, the Dispatch does it all!

Number Five: The Jolie


Weight: 1.75 ounces (small), 3.2 ounces (medium)

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 3 (small), 5 (medium)

The Jolie is a cute wristlet made for minimalist travel. When you don’t want to be weighed down, throw the bare essentials in the Jolie! This travel pouch is available in two sizes: small and medium. The small size is perfect for carrying cash, your ID and a few cards (don’t forget your hotel key card!), while the medium option offers extra space for items like car keys or mini cosmetics.

The Jolie comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns and features a wristlet strap for easy carrying. With the Jolie, you can wander freely as you chase down the best street food in Bangkok!

Number Six: The Esprit


Weight: 11 ounces

Plastic bottles diverted from landfills and waterways: 17!

Who doesn’t love a cute sling backpack? We love the Esprit because of its tear-drop shape and fun asymmetrical design. This ergonomic bag is comfortable for all-day wear and has a big enough capacity to carry all you need for a day of exploration. With its smart design, you can spin the bag from your back to your front and quickly access what’s inside - no removal required. To us, the Esprit is the perfect bag for a day at the beach, perhaps on one of the remote islands of the Philippines.

Carry the Esprit on your back for rural adventures, or on your front when you want to keep your belongings close. From the Sherpani Essentials Collection, the Esprit has RFID-blocking technology along the front panel to prevent cyber theft.

Want more security? Sherpani also makes an Anti-Theft version of the Esprit, the Esprit AT. Note: The Anti-Theft features make the bag slightly heavier (a 2-ounce difference), which is why our Southeast Asia list highlights the Esprit and not the Esprit AT.


Time to book the trip!

Which of the countries in Southeast Asia is next on your travel bucket list? Which Sherpani travel bags are going to accompany you there? Whether your destination is Brunei or Bali, we know we have a bag that will be the perfect match for your adventure!


We make bags for sustainably minded women who want to see the world and play their part in protecting it. We believe that travel restores the human spirit, and aim to empower women to boldly explore our planet by providing them with the best (and most sustainable) travel bags around. Browse all Sherpani styles!


Discover more from the Sherpani Travel Blog:

Want another buy guide?

Read Western Europe: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Sling Backpacks, Crossbody Travel Purses, RFID Wallets and More!

Never been abroad?

Try Travel Tip Tuesday: Your Pre Travel Checklist, the Complete Guide of Things To Remember Before You Go Abroad (By Women for Women)

Heading to a different part of Asia?

Check out our “Unmissable” Sherpani Travel: This Ancient Buddhist Temple is a Tokyo Must

By women for women, the Sherpani Travel Blog talks about all things travel. With a new post every week on Travel Tuesdayour blog is the go-to place for unique travel guidesgeneral travel tipspersonal travel stories from women in our community, and more!

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