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How to Pick the Best Bag for Your Outdoor Adventure

Posted by Ava Kuhn on

We just launched our very first outdoor collection! Years in the making, these new styles are all about the details — all made with your new adventures in mind.

To introduce you to some of our new styles, we asked our adventure-loving copywriter Colleen to sit down with product designer Molly for the full scoop!


Colleen: As you’ve probably already guessed, I am really, REALLY excited that we’re taking this first step into the outdoor space with VB Adventure. What inspired the collection?


Molly: So many of us at Vera Bradley love getting outside, but could never find styles with the performance we needed combined with a design we really liked, so we decided to make our own with the perfect mix of function and fun!


Colleen: That’s great! I know this has been a labor of love for some time.


Molly: Oh, yes! VB Adventure styles are packed full of lightweight durability, innovative details and sustainable performance, all engineered for the outdoors … but it didn’t happen overnight! We spent years designing, testing, asking for customer feedback and consulting with industry experts until we felt we had everything *just* right.


Colleen: I love that! Well, let’s dive right in …

Best Bags for Car Camping

Colleen: Okay, let’s say you’re going for a relaxing long-weekend camping trip with friends/family, and space is no issue because you can park your car nearby. Which bags are you taking along?


Molly: The VB Adventure Drawstring Family Tote is great choice, it was designed so you can pack it, cinch it, grab the kids and go! It even comes equipped with a mesh collar built into the drawstring so you can shake out any dirt or pine needles that get in there without losing the contents.


I’d also recommend the VB Adventure Cooler Backpack for keeping all of your favorite snacks and drinks cool. You can carry it to your campsite using either the tote handles or the backpack straps, and it also features a water-repellent finish so it’s safe to set on the ground. The lining is wipeable and completely food-safe, and we heat-sealed the seams to prevent leaks if you add ice to the pack!


Colleen: I could also see the VB Adventure Camping Blanket coming in handy for staying warm around the campfire, and bringing the VB Adventure Quick Dry Towel for wiping down camp chairs on dewy mornings.


Molly: Absolutely, add those to the packing list!

Best Hiking Backpack for Women

Colleen: Alright, for a day hitting the trails where space *IS* at a premium, what do you suggest packing in?


Molly: I’d recommend either the VB Adventure Daypack 15L or the VB Adventure Large Daypack 22L. We made two different sizes depending on what kind of excursion you have planned, or how much you like to bring along!


Colleen: I feel like one of the biggest advantages of this collection is the ripstop material we used, can you tell me more about that?

Molly: It feels MUCH lighter than other materials our customers might be used to so that it doesn’t weigh you down on the trail — but don’t let that fool you, it’s engineered with a special focus on durability. The heavy yarns in ripstop gives the material its signature look with tiny squares, but they literally prevent the material from tearing if you scrape against a tree branch or rock, or if you have something pointy in your pack (hence the name “ripstop”!)

Another new feature for us is that these bags are hydration reservoir compatible so you can stay hydrated, hands-free — no need to stop and fumble with a bottle.


Colleen: I definitely love that addition to our packs. Okay, so we know from our research and from our customer comments that comfort is SUPER important.


Molly: Yes! We spent a lot of time designing these bags to have a women’s-specific fit. We also added sternum straps, waistbelts and compression straps to help stabilize your load while you’re on the move so you can jump over rocks and streams with confidence! We’ve also integrated airmesh material on the shoulder straps and back panels to increases breathability and airflow, keeping you cool on the move.


Colleen: I know here at Vera Bradley we are also BIG fans of pockets, and these styles look like they are no exception.


Molly: We definitely take pride in perfecting our pockets! From soft-lined sunglass pockets to stretch mesh water bottle pockets, we’ve made sure you can easily find all your necessities. Plus, the large main compartments make it easy to pack bulkier items (think extra layers, like a puffy jacket) or organizers (like packing cubes or the VB Adventure Hanging Organizer!)

Best Bag for Sightseeing

Colleen: For all of our travelers out there who maybe aren’t going outdoors, but are spending a lot of time exploring, say, a new city … what style would you carry?


Molly: Definitely the VB Adventure Sling Backpack! This one may look familiar to fans of our popular sling backpacks, but this one has LOTS of extra features built in. For instance, the outside water bottle pocket keeps hydration handy, plus the stabilizer strap keeps this one-shoulder style in place for long days walking around. We've also added webbing straps where you can clip things like hand sanitizer or keys to keep them easily within reach!


Best Bag for Cycling

Colleen: And you know I’m a big fan of riding bikes, so of course I have to ask: If I were to go on a greenway ride or a quick trip downtown, is there a VB Adventure style for me? 


Molly: We thought of that, too! The VB Adventure Hip Bag is a really exciting style because of how versatile it is. There are hook-and-loop straps for mounting it on your bike’s handlebars, but let’s say you want to stop in a shop for an iced tea or snack on your ride.


Colleen: I’m a big fan of ice cream stops on my bike rides, for sure! 


Molly: Oh, you’re going to love this: You can tuck those mounting straps into the back panel, and there’s an adjustable waist belt that turns this into a hands-free hip bag so you can carry all of your essentials with you.


You have to explore the complete collection for yourself. Check it all out here.