– 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. Does tend to come and go in terms of availability.
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.
“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 doesn’t always 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.
J. Crew Abingdon Weekender – $114.00 w/ LONGWEEKEND ($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 40% off sale items code LONGWEEEKEND.
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. Full review here.
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.
24″L x 9″H x 11″W (2360 cubic inches). 20 oz, heavy duty waxed canvas that’s sourced from the USA. Made in California. Gorgeous looking oil-tanned, full-grain leather accents. Classic cylindrical duffel shape, but they’ve got pockets on either end for quick access.
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.