With the holiday season right around the corner, we thought our readers could use some help with last minute shopping ideas for that special Carry fan in your lives. Though we have a handful of Buyer’s Guides, this is a more focused list with just two bags per category. We’ll present an “affordable” option as well as a more luxurious option for those who want to splurge. You may find some repeats in our guides or even mentions of bags we’ve covered on Facebook or in Road Tests, but all that means is we really, really dig them. Let’s get started.
Unless your job literally is working as a bike messenger, it’s unlikely that the same casual messenger bags that work on the bike do that well once you’re off it and in the boardroom.
Jack Spade Messenger
For a basic no frills bag, we’ll have to go with something from Jack Spade. Their products are always very well designed with clean lines and no frills. This bag is straightforward and functional and comes in different materials and colors, though in this case we definitely recommend black. You can find the nylon canvas day bag version here for $175.
Property Of … Tommy Work Bag
We have been following this brand for a while and their Tommy Work Bag is a real treat. The bag’s waxed cotton exterior makes it seem a little less stuffy while the leather straps and accents keep things professional. You can pick it up for about $300 USD (Hint: check out Gilt and other flash sale sites as they often feature Property Of …).
This is probably my favorite category because it’s the type of bag I use most often. It’s perfect for using around the city, taking to work or school, or even on short trips. The emphasis is on comfort, durability, and of course price.
Topo Designs Daypack
Let’s get things started off right. This recommendation should come as no surprise to readers of this site. We are big fans of this company out of Colorado. They make all their bags in their LEED certified facility and quite frankly we think they offer a great product for a very reasonable price point. I still use the Daypack (Generation 1) as my go-to bag each day; in fact, there’s one sitting by my feet as I type this. If you haven’t had the chance, check out our review here. You can pick up the Daypack here.
For a nicer pack that is still considered casual, we would be remiss to go with anything but a visvim. This cult brand out of Japan makes some of the nicest bags we’ve ever seen and the 20L size is just perfect for a daypack. There are plenty of models and collaborations to choose from but one you can check out is the SOPHNET x visvim 2012 FW Collection. You can find it direct from visvim. Just a word of caution: get ready for sticker shock.
I don’t travel much but when I do it’s usually just for two nights. If you find yourself with a similar setup, a weekender is perfect for you. While bigger is usually better, there’s something sleeker and more refined about just hopping in the car and throwing a small bag in the backseat.
Our pick for the more affordable travel bag is the weekender from Everlane. The bag features dual leather handles, a canvas body, and an internal zipper pocket for small items like keys or contact lens cases. It’s currently available in six colors and comes in at under $100; a true bargain. You can buy it direct from Everlane.
KILLSPENCER Weekender 2.0
For something more refined, look no further than this bag from our favorite Carry shop out of Los Angeles. With a choice of fabrics ranging from Nubuck leather to waxed cotton canvas, there’s a style to fit everyone’s personality. The size is just right for a 2-3 day trip and the attention to detail (e.g. Riri zippers from Switzerland) make this a bag that will last a lifetime. You can find it here for $595 in leather and $375 in waxed cotton canvas.
Topo Designs Duffel
What can we say? We love this company. Their duffel bag is no exception, sporting a hefty 42L in capacity and coming in five colors. We are partial to the black or navy. We especially like the pull tabs in contrasting colors and the classy use of leather on the handles and sides. You can pick one up directly from Topo for just $129.
Porter 2Way Boston
One of a handful of “grail” companies out of Japan, Porter usually finds a way into any list we can dream up. The 2Way Boston duffel is gorgeous in its simplicity with a craftsmanship that is hard to beat. You can pick one up for $385.
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