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Gear Bags & Duffels

How to Choose the Right Weekender Bag :: Buying Tips

How to Choose the Right Weekender Bag :: Buying Tips

by , April 2, 2014

A good weekender is all about relaxed style. If you want a technically awesome few-day bag, get a duffel or rucksack. A weekender is more about great fabrics, easy access, and only shorter periods of actual carrying.

But most weekenders suck.

In shooting for classic style, most brands spit out basic forms with very little thought to functionality. So here’s our ABC for picking a good weekender instead of suffering a frustrating weekend.

3 things to look for:

Good access:

Can you see most of the contents in your bag? Do you need to empty the whole thing to find your socks? Access is generally dominated by the opening shape, so look for wide openings without complicated latches or rough zips.

A few features:

This usually means a few pockets (mainly for toiletries, reading material, and fragile items like sunglasses or fun tourist collectibles), a nice and comfortable shoulder carry option, and a base that won’t scratch and look crap on your first use. A great bonus is a wet & dry section for swim gear or muddy footwear.

Great style:

Beyond ‘simple and restrained’, this becomes mostly about fabrics. All leather is often overkill with weekenders (it can work, but only when mastered). Typically, we suggest a non-technical fabric like coated canvas, with the finesse of some leather hits. Generally avoid synthetic fabrics, as this is about relaxed style, not airport tech.

3 things to avoid:

Nasty hardware:

Catchy zippers and clanging hardware are the main culprits. Make sure these work smoothly and don’t feel like a charm bracelet.

Rigid volume:

Your weekender should flex between an overnight trip and a week-long holiday by the pool. If your weekender can’t collapse a little, or be stretched to fit a small shopping spree, you’ll get frustrated by it.

Poor ageing:

Some leathers scratch really easily. Some light-colored canvas attracts dirt like a moth to flame. Your weekender should last for years so you can build amazing memories into its very patina. Make sure this bag will get better with age, not worse.


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