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Buyers Guide

Best Heritage Bags | Guide to Timeless Style

Best Heritage Bags | Guide to Timeless Style

by , September 13, 2023

As the leaves start to turn, and there’s a chill in the air, there isn’t a better time to whip out some heritage goodness. These bags are nods to days gone by. Some are silhouettes plucked from the archives and made anew. And all the perfect marriage of hardy heirloom materials, timeless style, and utility. Designed and crafted to be carried and passed down to the next generation.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the best heritage bags of 2023.

Fjällräven Värmland Rucksack (US$235)

Fjällräven Värmland Rucksack

If you’re looking for classic heritage styling, Swedish brand Fjällräven is always a good choice. And when it comes to eye-catching style and versatile design in one, the Värmland Rucksack doesn’t disappoint. While it’s designed for hunting and forest use, this pack lends itself to a variety of outdoor and urban environments and loads. It’s made with Fjällräven’s burly G-1000 HeavyDuty fabric, paired with recycled wool fabric on the pockets and sides. It features bottle holders and a sleeve pocket in the main compartment, with exterior front pockets and side loops.

Billykirk No. 609 Standard Issue Backpack Tote (US$275)

Billykirk No. 609 Standard Issue Backpack Tote

With its clean, attractive styling and dual carry options, Billykirk’s No. 609 Standard Issue Backpack Tote is a savvy pick for commuting, day-to-day use and weekend adventures alike. As the name suggests, it moves easily between backpack and tote mode as required. The slim design transitions between work and play, with an assortment of interior and exterior pockets to organize your gear, including space for a 15″ laptop. Made in the USA with 10.10oz waxed canvas and vegetable-tanned, full-grain leather detailing, this 12.6L bag is a great multifunctional piece for carrying smaller loads.

Bedouin Foundry Barbarossa (US$338)

Bedouin Foundry Barbarossa

Bedouin Foundry’s Barbarossa is a real head-turner that exudes class and charm. Made by hand in the UK, it features premium materials including 12oz waxed canvas from Halley Stevensons and Italian vegetable-tanned leather. Secured with an AustriAlpin Cobra buckle, the messenger has an interior laptop sleeve, padded interior dividers for organizing camera and electronic gear, and two sleeve pockets under the flap. The bag is fully padded and features a hand-printed lining with Bedouin’s signature Crank pattern.

Trakke Bannoch Backpack (US$350)

Trakke Bannoch Backpack

The award-winning Bannoch dishes up a refined blend of urban-friendly style and functionality, paired with a durable construction that will happily embrace many years of use. Made by hand in Scotland, the pack offers a burly dry-finish waxed canvas exterior and a choice of either G-hook or AustriAlpin Cobra buckles. An assortment of pockets organize your gear, making this a handy go-to hauler for your daily commute, about-town trips, and outdoor adventures alike.

Bedouin Foundry Delireis (US$363)

Bedouin Foundry Delireis

The handsome Delireis offers a suavely durable design with minimalist aesthetics and versatile functionality. Made in England with 12oz waxed canvas from Halley Stevensons and Italian vegetable-tanned leather, it has a roll-top opening that secures with an AustriAlpin Cobra buckle. The pack provides an interior laptop sleeve and two exterior sleeve pockets, as well as a padded back panel and base. Adaptable for work, travel, and play, this is a fine example of elegant simplicity done well.

Bedouin Foundry Poacher (around US$388)

Bedouin Foundry Poacher

Taking inspiration from traditional game keepers’ bags, the Bedouin Foundry Poacher offers an enticing blend of contrasting materials and multifunctional design. It’s made in England using bonded cotton drill, top-grain vegetable-tanned leather, and Portuguese knotted netting, creating a striking aesthetic that will age handsomely as you venture forth with this useful companion by your side. The front netting pocket and rear quick-access pocket are complemented by interior sleeve pockets that keep smaller items organized without cluttering up the main compartment.

Filson Journeyman Backpack (US$395)

Filson Journeyman Backpack

Filson’s Journeyman Backpack puts the focus on understated functionality, keeping things clean and practical with its sleek style and hard-wearing build quality. The pack is made with a blend of durable and water-resistant Tin Cloth and Rugged Twill, along with bridle leather detailing and a brass YKK zipper with a rain flap on the main compartment. The bag has a padded back panel and padded 15″ laptop sleeve, as well as an expandable gusseted exterior front pocket. Whether you use it for work or play, it’s a useful grab-and-go pack for a variety of carry needs.

Filson 24 Hour Tin Cloth Briefcase (US$395)

Filson 24 Hour Tin Cloth Briefcase

If you love timeless heritage style and trusty build quality but want it in a briefcase format, Filson have you covered with their 24 Hour Tin Cloth Briefcase. The bag can be carried by hand or over the shoulder, while also offering a rear luggage handle passthrough strap. With an assortment of pockets on hand including easy-access front pockets and a padded internal 15″ laptop sleeve, you can easily organize your gear while you’re on the go, whether that’s commuting to the office, striding through the airport or handling errands around town.

GORUCK GR1 Heritage (US$415)

GORUCK GR1 Heritage Backpack

GORUCK’s most iconic pack is legendary when it comes to its durability. But it welcomes a suave heritage twist with the GR1 Heritage, made in the USA with a tough waxed duck canvas that will stand the test of time and look even better the more you put this hard-working pack through its paces. The lay-flat main compartment makes it easy to pack and retrieve gear, with a range of pockets and MOLLE webbing keeping your smaller items tidy and quickly accessible. The pack has a removable frame sheet and a suspended laptop compartment, as well as a choice of 21L and 26L sizes to suit different users and loads.

Filson Rugged Twill Duffle (from $495)

Filson Rugged Twill Duffle

One of Filson’s very first bags introduced over three decades ago, the Rugged Twill Duffle has proven itself as a hard-wearing hauler that will withstand demanding use. Available in small, medium, and large sizes, the bag is made in the USA with waxed Rugged Twill, vegetable-tanned bridle leather, and brass hardware. The bag has internal endcap pockets and can be carried by hand or using the removable shoulder strap.

KASPERI S.05 Fold Top (around US$710)

Kasperi Fold Top Backpack

Want a conversation-starter? The KASPERI S.05 Fold Top is the kind of bag people will stop you in the street (or crowded airport lounge) to ask questions about. And it’s not hard to see why. Handcrafted in Finland, this pack exudes premium quality with its German and Italian vegetable-tanned full-grain leather. It has an adjustable volume courtesy of the fold-top opening, a removable 17″ laptop sleeve, a quick-access front pocket, and multiple exterior attachment points. If you’re after something a little different that you can pass on to future generations, this pack is well worth considering.

Racing Atelier Rucksack#1 (around US$2473)

Racing Atelier Rucksack #1

Let’s be frank, this pack is firmly in luxury price tag territory here. But it’s important to consider the bag in its rightful context. Racing Atelier isn’t a bag manufacturer. It’s a design studio based in the Bavarian Alps, where creative freedom and expression come out to play in pieces such as the Rucksack#1. It’s handcrafted with vegetable-tanned leather and Dyneema® Composite Fabric, creating an eye-catching visual and textural contrast with long-lasting durability. The hardware is custom-made too and there are options for customizing the bag to make this a bespoke piece uniquely tailored to you. If you’re looking for a piece that finds that fine balance between functionality and art, the Racing Atelier Rucksack#1 could be your ideal carry companion.


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