If you feel like you’re getting too old to tote around your personals around in a nylon sports bag you got as a freebie from your high school team but don’t want to be stuck at home because you’ve blown your vacation fund on a single bag, this post is for you.
Thanks to the wonder of Kickstarter and the free market, nowadays there are plenty of labels working in premium materials with an elevated aesthetic that will get you from A to B in style while still leaving some cash left over to actually get out of town.
This canvas bag from Indian label Nappa Dori is a steal at only $181. Available in a variety of masculine colors, the bag has rich details like leather accents and antique finish hardware. It’s got a stylish and nostalgic feel that will make you feel like you’re living in a Wes Anderson film. [Nappa Dori, $181]
If you are into a minimalist vibe, you can’t go wrong with this water resistant cotton twill bag from Everlane. The great thing about Everlane, if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, is that they offer wholesale pricing because they’re selling directly to you, rather than through a retailer. A bag like this would easily sell for two and a half times the bargain $98 price online. [Everlane, $98]
This is the kind of leather duffel that you could pass down to your kids and it would look even better than when you first bought it. Made with oiled cowhide leather, this bag will age gracefully, gaining character with each year of natural fading and well earned scratches from its world travels. [LL Bean, $299]
Filson’s American-made products are a great investment because they will likely outlive you. This duffle is made of their signature rain-resistant twill and durable Bridle leather, which together create a bag that even the most ruthless of TSA agents would have a hard time destroying, not that you have to worry about that because it meets the maximum dimensions allowed for a carry-on, so you’re free to glide past the check-in counter. [Filson, $395]
Another great company which got its start on Kickstart, Kendal & Hyde is known for quality bags with attention paid to the smallest details. Take for example that they have decided to use only leather hides from American and Canadian cows, which are known to have the thickest hides, and even of these, they use only full grain, vegetable-tanned leather. While vegetable tanning is a production-intensive process, it far superior in terms of quality and how the leather ages, and also more environmentally friendly than the chrome-tanned alternative. Bonus points as well for the sleek and stylish laptop compartment. [Kendal & Hyde, $425]
Don’t like any of the bags you’ve seen in the market? Then design your own – it’s actually a possibility with Veeshee, which offers customizable, American-made tote bags. The process couldn’t be simpler, on their website you can choose from a variety of fabrics, prints, and leather colors, as well as add your own monogram. [Veeshee, $197]
If you want a study, classic duffel that costs less than a ticket from Spirit Airlines, Herschel Supply Co has your back. This synthetic bag might not last a trip around the world, but it’ll certainly do for weekend getaways to the beach. A zip compartment for shoes is a smart feature to keep things organized and tidy. [Herschel Supply Co., $85]
Madewell’s quality leather weekend duffel is a beauty to look at. With clean minimal lines and a vegetable tanned leather exterior, this bag looks richer than its price tag might imply. [Madewell, $298]
Made from recycled canvas and pre-distressed leather, this bag will look like you’ve already made a few transcontinental journeys, even if your passport is void of stamps. [Potterybarn, $199]