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Gear Bags & Duffels


The 6 Best Weekender Bags for Men Right Now

by , August 15, 2018

Packing for a short urban getaway? Heading on an overnight business trip? Keen to set off on a spur-of-the-moment weekend road trip? Generally you won’t need to pack a lot for these short types of trips. So why bring a large bag or suitcase that will weigh you down unnecessarily? Weekender bags are designed for, as the name suggests, weekend or short trips. The kind of trips where you’ll be carrying more minimalist loads. Generally clothing essentials and toiletries for one to two days (though savvy packers may be able to get by with just a weekender for longer trips too). So what things should you consider when deciding on a weekender?

Can a weekender bag be a carry-on?

Sure it can, assuming the dimensions meet the airline’s carry-on restrictions. Whether you want to use it as such depends on what you need out of a carry-on bag. Do you want quick access to tech or lots of organization pockets for smaller items and travel essentials? If so, make sure to choose a weekender that meets these needs. Are you going to be roaming off the beaten path with a solid trek between you and your accommodation? Then a backpack is a better option. Weekenders play well in urban environments and where transport to your accommodation is relatively simple and strain-free (for instance a taxi ride versus on foot over rough terrain).

How big should a weekender bag be?

There’s no specific size, but general guidelines are big enough for a weekend’s worth of gear. Of course, one person’s weekend supplies will differ from another’s, so the main thing is to ensure the bag you choose is big enough to fit everything you need it to. The key thing to remember? Weekenders are designed for shorter trips and traveling with the essentials. They’re not meant to be large, gear-hauling beasts. Instead they lean towards smaller carry that you can transport easily by hand or sling over your shoulder (and that you won’t be carrying for extended periods of time). And a pro tip? Regardless of how big your weekender is, choosing one with a large opening will make it easier to pack and access gear.

Billykirk No. 513 Weekend Duffle

Duffels vs. weekenders

Distinguishing between duffels and weekenders can be tricky, as sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. In general though, weekenders have boxier silhouettes, often with a nod to stylish aesthetics that find that smart-casual balance. Weekenders tend to roam within urban environments, such as airports and hotels rather than outdoor settings, so their more formal styling compared to their duffel cousins makes sense. They’re also often more compact too. Again, a focus on carrying a weekend’s worth of gear. Duffels may be larger and might offer more versatility to move between diverse needs such as EDC, gym or longer travel use.

How to pack a weekender

Need some handy hints on how to pack a weekender? This helpful video is a good place to start. But not everyone is the same, and people have preferred packing methods that work for them. So if you have any tried-and-true tricks of your own to help others, share them in the comments below!

So you’ve got an idea of what to look for, but where do you start in your search? We’ve got you covered with a selection of the six best weekenders for men right now…

WP Standard Weekender (US$350)

WP Standard Weekender

If you love leather bags, this beauty will certainly draw your attention. But it’s not just rugged good looks here. The bag is made in the USA with premium full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and backed by a lifetime guarantee. A weekender that will journey with you for years to come and only get better with age and use. The bag comes with a removable shoulder strap and ID tag and suits most airline carry-on restrictions. There’s also two quick-access pockets and an interior pocket for small items.

Stuart & Lau Monaco Weekender (US$385)

Stuart & Lau Monaco Weekender

The Monaco Weekender offers an attractive mix of clean aesthetics, durable and weatherproof construction, and a choice of handy pockets for stashing smaller essentials. The bag can be carried by hand or over the shoulder and includes a leather strap to secure it to a suitcase, as well as a detachable luggage tag and pen. The weekender is backed by a lifetime warranty and suits carry-on use, keeping you dapper on the move whether you’re traveling for business or leisure.

Filson Tin Cloth Excursion Bag (US$425)

Filson Tin Cloth Excursion Bag

Filson’s Tin Cloth Excursion Bag offers great access and thoughtful storage, with a U-shaped opening to easily pack and retrieve your gear. A separate water-repellent, collapsible pocket with inbuilt ventilation grommets provides useful storage for wet or dirty items. There’s also a variety of additional interior and exterior pockets to keep gear tidy and conveniently accessible. The bag is crafted with water-repellent Tin Cloth and bridle leather detailing for a stylishly sturdy build.

Billykirk No. 513 Weekend Duffle (US$535)

Billykirk No. 513 Weekend Duffle

It’s not cheap, but this suave piece is a definite head-turner, offering premium fabrics, durable American-made construction, and understated looks that adapt to formal and casual settings alike. The Billykirk No. 513 Weekend Duffle is made with Abraham Moon & Sons Thornproof Wool (a highly durable and eye-catching tweed), Horween black waxed flesh and black vegetable-tanned leather. Interior and exterior pockets keep smaller items accessible, while the carry handles and shoulder strap offer flexible portability.

Troubadour Goods Adventure Troubadour Weekender (US$670)

Troubadour Goods Adventure Troubadour Weekender

We’re well into premium price tags here, but you get undeniable quality and class for your money. The Adventure Troubadour Weekender features quick-access pockets to keep travel essentials at the ready, with further interior pockets for additional organization. The clean, minimalist design brings a touch of elegance to any environment, complemented by expert handmade construction with bluesign® approved weatherproof fabric and leather detailing. Carry it with the removable non-slip shoulder strap or by the top handles and enjoy the admiring glances as you step out in chic style.

Troubadour Goods Generation Troubadour Weekender (US$1525)

Troubadour Goods Generation Troubadour Weekender

There’s no getting around the fact that this bag costs a lot of money. But you get premium luxury for that premium price. Pared back in form, top-notch in quality and versatile for work or play, this handsome piece suits high-flying executive business travel and downtime getaways equally well. Made by hand with Troubadour’s DryFibre waterproof vegetable-tanned leather, this piece will age handsomely while keeping your gear safe from the elements. Multiple pockets are on hand to keep essentials and small items neat and within easy reach. And you can alternate between the grab handles and shoulder strap to suit changing settings and needs.


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