– Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer
There’s something satisfying about having the ability to pack up a bag and go on a moment’s notice. And weekender bags help facilitate that. It should have ample space (2000 cubic inches is a bare minimum), but not so much space that you’re suckered into overpacking. They should look good when new (travel & vacations should feel like a luxury, not a chore) yet look better after getting dinged up. They’ve got to be easy enough to carry. Wield-able even. Bonus points if they sneak perfectly into the trunk of a fast car or in the overhead bin of regional jet, since these things were made for the glory that is the 3 or 4 day weekend. Here’s a few that fit that bill… for not so many bills. Travel safe.
A dead simple, stonemason-bag-style made from canvas w/ leather accents and a metal framed top. While that metal frame adds a bit of stability, it does make it a little less maneuverable than a completely soft sided bag. Just a hair over 2000 cubic inches, so not the biggest thing. This is the 2nd generation of these bags, and you can see a full review of the first over here. Bonus points if you go through the mess of waxing it.
Been on lists like these for years, and for really good reason. Made in the USA from incredibly durable feeling waxed canvas and super-soft leather. The “Carry on” size is getting close to three thousand cubic inches (2800″ to be exact) and has plenty of room inside. Full in-person review over here.
Made in Oregon and stunningly inexpensive. Not a lot of frills, but still a handsome bag. Made in four different colors. Leather reinforcements at stress points. Know that if you want the shoulder strap, you need to shell out an extra $10.
L.L. Bean Signature “Bean’s Zipper Duffel” – $135 w/ MAY10 ($150)
Good sized, waxed canvas, oiled leather, suede, leather covered bottom… sounds like an S&Menswear party. “Sometimes you think you have true love and then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a…” … where were we? Color shown here won’t ship until June. Code is good for 10% off through today.
“Might as well have the best” is Filson’s slogan, but if you can wait, you might as well hang out for a sale at Brooks Brothers. BB usually doesn’t exclude their 3rd party stuff, so their sales are a good time to land a piece from Filson. If memory serves, a few of these were available during the F&F 25% off sale from not that far back. Pretty good deal if you can get it on this Made in the USA duffel. Sizeable at over 4500 cubic inches.
Jack Spade Mill Leather “Wayne” Duffel – $259 w/ SAVEMORE ($495)
Not cheap, but most leather duffels aren’t. Already on sale, and the tiered code SAVEMORE drops it to the $259 price. Code is good for 20% off $150, 25% off $250, and 30% off $350.
J. Crew Abingdon Weekender – $138.60 w/ WEEKEND ($198)
Also a big one. Over 4000 cubic inches (17 1/2″H x 26″W x 9 1/4″D) and available in three different shades. Wondering how stable that shoulder strap is going to be (attached to the side of the bag) under heavy loads. But an awfully nice price now, thanks to the 30% off select items code WEEKEND.
Cotton exterior and faux-leather handles. It’s Zara… so… not gonna be a hand me down. But it’s a decent size (11 x 20 x 11˝ = 2420 cubic inches), ships and returns free, and seems to get the rugged-look right.
Not cheap, but a real looker. That, and it’s guaranteed for life. Made in the USA, a boatload of different color options to choose from, and has a classic design that’s been used for a century if not more.
Sneaky sizeable but still not huge. Has a separate compartment for a pair of shoes. This one is their cotton canvas option. The poly sided bags run cheaper at $80. Was just on sale via MaxtonMen, so keep an eye out for more codes.
Man… there’s just something about suede luggage. Simplicity, a bit of luxury, and a medium to deep red garnet color (it’s not as dark in person). Also available in “Coal” or dark brown in suede… and plenty of other color options in twill for $95. 2160 cubic inches and fits in an overhead compartment. Shown at the top of the post.
The Not Currently Available: Gustin Waxed Canvas Duffel – $127.00
Currently unavailable since they fulfilled the funding needed for this thing a while ago… but perhaps they’ll make another? Was also available in brown. Might want to keep an eye on Gustin for a second run of these suckers. Meanwhile, the product page says it should ship, or has already shipped, this month. So if you ordered one… should be showing up at some point in the not too distant future.
The Reminder: Go check your local Army/Navy surplus store
Lots of good stuff there… for real cheap. Bags might/probably could be one of those items.