- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Esperos Weekend Warrior
When Esperos Bags popped up on my radar I was intrigued. It was one of the first bag companies I had seen leveraging the popular Buy 1, Give 1 model made famous by TOMS and Warby Parker. Their unique twist is the idea of giving 10% of proceeds from each bag to Pencils of Promise, helping kids around the world better themselves through education. So all that said, what about the bag? Given my recent streak of duffels, the Weekend Warrior seemed like the logical choice. While I enjoyed some of the details, the bag had a few quirks that I just couldn’t get on board with.
Who it Suits
The Weekend Warrior is made for someone who wants to make a difference through their own material gain.
Who it Doesn’t
If you’re looking for bells, whistles or even a bag with structure (aka one that doesn’t lie flat like a pancake without anything in it), you should look elsewhere.
One of the things I really dug about this bag was the little details riddled throughout. The inner lining is a beautiful “railroad stripe” interior with a navy accent (webbing/piping) that entices you to open just to see it. The two interior “shoe pockets” are deep and can fit the bill depending on your size.
One of my favorite details though was the zippers with the Esperos bird on every one. It was so subtle that I didn’t even notice it until packing on my first trip with it.
“One of the things I really dug about this bag was the little details riddled throughout.”
The leather-wrapped handles are incredibly comfortable no matter how jam-packed the bag is. Not to mention their nice patina that comes with use over time.
The last aspect that needs to be addressed is the bag’s volume. At 20″ x 12″ x 8″, there’s plenty of room for all of your weekend fun. I never found myself having to rethink what I’m packing to make sure there’s room. The bag’s volume is exactly in line with weekends of this category and perfectly suited for the task. As a result, it stows easily under the airplane seat or in the overhead bin. Pick your poison.
“…there’s plenty of room for all of your weekend fun. I never found myself having to rethink what I’m packing to make sure there’s room.”
The Not so Good
I found myself at odds with this bag throughout the testing period. I wanted to like. I tried to like it but I couldn’t truly get behind it. One of my biggest gripes is that despite being a 10oz heavy duck canvas, the bag is completely shapeless as if it’s being melted away by gravity. While this is great for storage (you can literally roll it up and put it into a backpack), I found it frustrating for packing.
“…the bag is completely shapeless as if it’s being melted away by gravity.”
It takes whatever shape you stow it with. Place too much on one side and it’ll bulge uncomfortably as you carry it. The easiest proof of this is the external pocket which wants to have shape but instead hangs lifeless.
My biggest issue with it was the construction and quality of that construction. I caveat this since I was given a sample so there’s a chance it wasn’t a product finished off the line. But riddled throughout the bag were seams that weren’t finished cleanly and what seemed like not enough tolerance when they sewed certain corners so the seam is exposed.
“My biggest issue with it was the construction and quality of that construction.”
Is this a deal breaker? For me, yes. Does this affect the way the bag works? No, but for a company that nailed other details, this is a big one they need to work on.
Others to Consider
Given the Weekend Warrior’s style and canvas fabric, it’s hard not to bring up companies like Herschel Supply and Poler Stuff when talking about Esperos. Herschel’s Keats Duffle runs about the same price ($99, only $5 more than the Weekend Warrior), has nearly identical specs/dimensions and has the same style aesthetic as the WW. Poler Stuff is a favorite of mine and their Carry On Duffle is in the same category and won’t disappoint.
As much as I wanted to like this bag, I just couldn’t get into it. For one, it felt like a slightly more expensive Herschel bag without adding anything new to the mix. I applaud Esperos for their desire to give back to the world but expected more from the bag at the end of the day. Unlike say Poler’s Carry On Duffle which has an ethos of “what you see is what you get,” the Weekend Warrior constantly feels like it’s trying to be and do more. And that is where it comes up short for me.