NOTE: Looks like this thing can drop an extra $5 for most (all?) customers if you use a coupon (just check the box) at checkout. Not sure when/if that expires.
While digging through my local Goodwill in December, I found a few cool items. Most of them were wool sweaters, but my big score was a canvas duffle bag. It still had its tags and a dust bag over it, so I grabbed it and paid the 10 dollars, taking it home. A quick google search showed me the bag sold for about 45 bucks. I paid 10, and so I was greatly pleased.
Now, seven months later, the bag has been my luggage on about 10 trips, most of which were by greyhound bus, where luggage gets pretty beat up. I used to own a Saddleback Leather waterbag, and even an incredibly durable piece of luggage such as that bore the scars of being thrown around under a bus. I didn’t know how this bag from an unfamiliar brand would do, but since I sold the Saddleback, I didn’t have any other luggage. Needless to say, as you can see in the pictures, it’s still in pretty great shape.
Looks and Build Quality:
At 21.6” x 11.8” x 9.8” this appears to be similar, albeit slightly smaller, in size and appearance to the Filson medium duffle bag. While the Filson is certainly the more handsome bag, this one isn’t bad looking, and I’ve received a few comments on it. Mine is the “army green” color, which I think is the nicest color, but hey, taste is subjective.
It’s been rained on a few times, and I’ve never had the colors run or bleed. The leather is impressive for the price, and is reasonably thick. It’s not pleather, and the hand straps are backed with canvas, so there’s no fear of them stretching. The top of the bag features a rain flap to cover the heavy duty zipper. I’ve used the flap to hold an umbrella when packing, and it seems to work great.
At 2500 cubic inches, this bag is a great size for packing. On a week-long trip, I managed to fit two pairs of slacks, six shirts, assorted undergarments, my shaving kit, my shoeshine kit, my gym clothes (including running shoes), and a few odds and ends.
I’ve also used this bag as just a weekender, and since it’s canvas, it compresses quite well. The interior contains a few pockets that are good to hold your small things, like a deodorant or travel alarm clock. Thus far, the bag has avoided any abrasions or discolorations, so I think I can say with confidence that the durability is quite good.
Overall, the bag is a great find. For less than 50 dollars, it represents a better value than you’ll probably find anywhere. While not as high quality as a Filson or Duluth canvas bag, the S-Zone should last you for years if treated properly.
About the Author: Zach S. is an expedition and product/lifestyle photographer from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and a graduate of The United States Military Academy Preparatory School. When he’s not doing photography, he’s writing and working towards his goal of becoming a Marine Aviator. Click here for Zach’s 5 Favorites.