Nothing murders your stylish-stranger-on-the-train vibe quite like having a tattered old gym bag slung over your shoulder; the lingering smell of damp five-a-side kit cutting through your Tom Ford cologne.
Whether the majority of men choose to acknowledge it or not, luggage is as much a part of an outfit as a jacket, shoes or jeans. This means it’s worthy of some investment, particularly if you’re using it to carry your clothes and valuables on weekends away and business trips.
A well-made, stylish weekend bag is an absolute must for every modern gentleman and if you don’t already own one you should start giving it some consideration. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite options while highlighting the brands that do them best.
From the casual workwear stylings of Filson to the unadulterated luxury of Louis Vuitton, these are the weekend bags that should be on your radar.
From the Klondike Gold Rush to the hipster coffee shops of East London, Filson’s high-end workwear has earned it a varied yet loyal following that spans well over a century.
The gear is equal parts rugged and stylish, and hard-wearing cotton canvas bags are one of the outdoor brand’s signature items. Is it a little more than you’d expect to pay for a canvas bag? Sure. But you’ll understand why when you’re still loading it up for weekends away 50 years down the line.
You can’t have a conversation about leather bags without mentioning Mulberry pretty early on in the discussion. Women have long raved about the British brand’s handbags, but we think the men’s luggage options are every bit as good.
Premium leather, beautiful finishes, timeless designs and subtle branding are all par for the course. Plus, the classic styling of their men’s bags means they’ll work with everything from tailoring to jeans and trainers. If leather is a little too smart for your taste, there are some equally stylish coated canvas options too.
Hailing from arguably the most picturesque corner of the United Kingdom, Millican is a homegrown Lake District brand making some seriously nice bags. It’s functional outdoor gear but with a stylish contemporary twist and the Miles duffle bag is one of the label’s hero pieces.
A mainstay in the collection, this unconventional holdall features a full-length zip to the front for easy access, shoulder straps (like you would find on a backpack), compression straps and multiple carry handles. The 40-litre version is just the right size for a weekend bag and ideal for those looking for something a little bit different.
Porter-Yoshida & Co
Yes, it’s probably what your high-school PE bag was made from but don’t be too quick to write off nylon as a suitable material for your weekend holdall.
Renowned luggage label Porter’s bags are all made exclusively in Japan from durable, water-repellent nylon. They’re also about as far as it’s possible to get from whatever godforsaken sack you were hauling your football boots around in. This is the same stuff that was used in the US Air Force’s famous MA-1 bomber jacket, so you can imagine how robust it is. Plus, let’s face it, it looks pretty great too.
Imagine the perfect overnight bag. Smart enough to take to the office; robust enough to handle day to day duties; stylish enough to sling over your shoulder at the weekend. Thankfully, the bag you’re now picturing actually exists, all thanks to British brand Troubadour’s quest to create the ultimate weekend receptacle.
With clean lines, minimalist styling and ergonomic details like detachable shoulder straps and comfortable carry handles, this London label has all the boxes ticked and then some. Take a look at the Weekender and the Getaway Day Bag to see what we mean.
Since the middle of the 20th century, New York leather-goods brand Coach has cemented its name as one of the leading forces in premium luggage. It’s also widely credited with being the brand that made luxury accessible. And while its bag designs may still sit at the upper end of some budgets, the level of quality on offer at these price points is unmatched.
In the brand’s ever-expanding collections you’ll find classic, plain leather styles sitting alongside eye-catching graphics, bold branding and vibrant colours. Don’t be surprised to come across the odd unexpected collaboration, too. In the past, Coach has joined forces with the likes of Keith Haring, Disney and there’s even a BAPE collab in the works for streetwear aficionados.
If there’s one label that knows how to seamlessly blend a laid-back aesthetic with pure, unfettered luxury, it’s Brunello Cucinelli.
Whether the item in question is an unstructured linen blazer or a leather-trimmed holdall, that trademark air of Italian stylishness and sprezzatura is plain to see. If you want something breezy enough for the weekend, but that still exudes sophistication and style appeal, look no further.
The North Face
If you’re more likely to be hauling your weekend bag up hillsides than handing it to the concierge at a five-star hotel, The North Face may have what you’re looking for.
The Californian outdoor label’s hard-wearing holdalls are now every bit as iconic as its puffer jackets, becoming a calling card in their own right. Sure, they may not be made from the finest Italian calfskin or pair with tailoring particularly well. But if you’re simply after a sturdy, casual bag that’s built to last then there is no better.
We feel quite confident in saying there is no other brand on earth that even approaches matching Louis Vuitton’s legacy when it comes to luxury luggage.
From the leather trunks of the mid-1800s to the Supreme collabs and streetwear-infused designs of the present day, Louis Vuitton has managed to remain not just relevant, but at the forefront of fashion for almost 200 years. It’s hard to imagine a more iconic holdall that its Keepall. Probably because there isn’t one. If you’re going to do this weekend bag thing properly, you might as well invest in the best.