Bags Every Guy Should Own | Best Bags & Luggage For Men in 2020

Any self-respecting, modern gentleman understands that he needs to use the right tool for the right job. And that definitely extends to the bags and luggage he carries. Today we’re going to discuss the essential bags and luggage depending on where you’re going and what you’re wearing.

 

Backpack

The backpack is the most versatile of the items on this list and depending on your lifestyle, it could be a smart business-casual accessory, a daily go-anywhere bag for trips to the coffee shop, grocery store or gym or a piece of luggage.

While you can technically use a backpack for everything, you don’t want to because if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, that may not be enough space for your belongs and it can get heavy, which can negatively affect your back or shoulders. And if you need to wear suits for work, even a well-designed leather backpack looks unprofessional and will ruin the shoulders of a suit while wearing it.

You can find virtually any level of design and price for backpacks these days, so much so that they’re officially a staple bag now. There is one caveat, if you need to wear suits for work, no matter how classy the backpack is, there are still better options for you that won’t ruin the shoulders of your suit jackets.

Best Options
Budget Options: here and here

Rolling Luggage

For trips away, whether on a plane or via a car or train, when you need to carry more stuff with you, nothing beats rolling luggage.

We didn’t have one of these for a while and as soon as we got one it quickly dawned on us that this was superior to using non-roller luggage. It’s too convenient not having to lug around your luggage on your back or by carrying it by the handles when this bag can be gliding effortlessly next to you.

The Carry-on by Carl Friedrik is our favorite for a number of reasons:

(get 15% off until March 15th with code: AW-15)

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Personalization options – monogramming and colored leather detailing and handles.
  • Durable Polycarbonate shell
  • Rigid aluminium frame with TSA approved side locks
  • Smooth and silent gliding Japanese wheels
  • Option for integrated power bank
  • Available in: Cognac, Black, Chocolate

Briefcase w/ Shoulder Strap

If you prefer more of a classic piece with versatility or just can’t see yourself wearing a backpack, then look no further than a briefcase with a detachable shoulder strap.

The shoulder strap provides versatility (as long as you’re not wearing a suit jacket). Technically, you can call this a messenger bag, but where messenger bags tend to be less structured and sporty-looking, the briefcase is a little more rigid and sophisticated. You can get a messenger bag, but we’d prefer a backpack in 99% of scenarios when a messenger would be appropriate because it just looks better and frankly, is more comfortable to use.

Best Options

Budget Options

Weekender or Duffel Bag

These are great for short trips or if you’re a light packer. While we’re big fans of the classic styling, admittedly, they’re not as nice to use as a piece of roller luggage if you pack it to the gills. These come in all shapes, sizes and materials and are very sophisticated looking.

Best Options

Budget Options

Dopp or Toiletry Kit

The final bag or piece of luggage you need is a Dopp kit for all your toiletries and grooming essentials. These are great for gym trips or for any sort of travel. They keep your stuff organized, are sophisticated-looking and are just a joy to use.

This is our absolute favorite one by a longshot.

The Best Men’s Weekender Bags of 2019

Whether you’re taking a weekend getaway or packing up for a shorter business trip, a stylish, functional weekender bag is the perfect travel companion. We’ve discussed some of our favorite weekender-style bags before, but these bags are so useful and versatile that we decided it was time for an update. All of these bags meet carry-on requirements and are ideal for 1-3 days of travel. Here are our picks for the best weekender bags of 2019.

Check out all our picks below plus a few extra bags that we added for good measure!

 

Stuart & Lau -$385

A truly excellent bag, we love the mix of waterproof nylon and full grain leather, as well as the simple, lined interior and clean design. An added bonus, this bag comes in multiple sharp color options and also comes with a matching, full-grain leather strap. It may seem like a small detail but the two exterior pockets on each end are a really handy design detail that gives you some extra storage flexibility. The navy and tan colorway we tested was great, but we also really like the olive and black combo.

 

Herschel – $90

We’re big fans of Hershel’s backpacks, briefcases, and wallets, so it makes sense that their weekender bag would be excellent as well. This bag boasts a very nice price point that belies it’s sturdy, high-quality construction and materials. It’s constructed with heavy-duty nylon and has an integrated shoe compartment that we thought was a nice feature. While we preferred the basic, monochromatic black and grey colors, the huge range of colors and patterns is a nice bonus if you prefer more colorful options.

 

Everlane – $98

As with all things Everlane, this bag has a great price point and super simple, classy design. In our previous weekender video, we chose this one as well, but it had a rubber bottom. In this newer version, they’ve done away with that and added metal feet instead, which we feel is a downgrade. But overall, it’s still a great bag at a great price.

 

Combatant Gentlemen – $110

We loved the price point and mix of leather and canvas with the shoe handy shoe compartments and this bag is a really excellent value. The bag has a unique garment bag design to it but in the end, we weren’t a fan of this aspect because it could potentially affect the clothes you normally put in a garment bag as they can get smashed on the sides and bottom. But, other than this small part, this bag was really great.

 

Frost River – $215

The Frost River bag is made in the USA and boasts a great mix of affordability and quality.  It’s constructed with heavy-duty materials that will age beautifully and last a long time. The leather accents are very nice and the hardware is sturdy. The top zipper design opens up very wide to make packing easier and the exterior pockets are perfect for stashing books, magazines or an iPad, both nice design touches.

 

Filson – $395

Another made in the USA, heritage brand, Filson builds extremely durable, handsome bags that will literally last you a lifetime.  If you favor the more rugged, woodsy look, this is the bag for you.  It’s constructed of very sturdy canvas, outstanding leather accents, and strong hardware.  It has a very large capacity and features a beautiful all-leather shoulder strap. This bag takes some time to break in but will only get better over time.

 

Want Les Essentials – $450

This stylish weekender bag boasts a sleek, monochromatic design that we really loved. There’s minimal branding and it features very nice cotton canvas accented with Italian leather details. We loved that the entire base was leather, a very nice touch. While the shoulder strap wasn’t all leather, overall this bag is very nice and has exceptional design.

 

Billykirk – $550

Another outstanding American-made bag, Billykirk is known for their leather goods and excellent quality.  This handsome bag is made from heavy waxed canvas and very nice leather accents (including an all-leather shoulder strap!) that will age beautifully. The style is clean and simple but with a bit of a rugged vibe that’s not too over-the-top. It’s really a great mix of modern classic styles. It comes in two great colorways but we especially love the all-black version, it’s really sharp.  This bag also comes in smaller and larger versions, so if you’re looking for more or less space but love the looks you’ve got some options here.

 

Frank Clegg – $925

Dorian has owned this bag personally for 4 years now and it looks brand new. This bag has it all: clean, classic design, buttery soft tumbled leather that just gets softer with age, an all-leather shoulder strap, lined interior and no metal feet on the bottom. Plus the design features just the right amount of structure to it. It’s a pleasure to own and use this bag, it’s the best of the best.

POTW: Leather Weekender Bag

We see a ton of bags, some good ones and plenty of bad ones, and finding a good-looking AND well-priced leather weekender bag can be super tough.  We recently got a chance to check out one of the weekender bags from Beckett Simonon and we were so impressed we had to make it our Pick of the Week!

The bag features excellent leather quality, a solid build and a nice set of features, all at a great price.  We loved the tan color but it also comes in a few other colorways.  Make sure to check out the links below for all the options!

      

Tan Weekender Bag

 

      

Black Weekender Bag

 

      

Oxblood Weekender Bag

 

      

Their Other Collections

 

Dorian’s Outfit

Topman Shirt

Barton Perreira Glasses

Nvidia Grenchen Chronomaster (Vintage)

Watch Strap

Holiday Gifts Under $50 For Him

This season, I wanted to break up my annual gift guides by price and gender, so in this one, I want to talk about the gifts under $50 for the various men in your life. 

Keyring Multi-Tool

Every man will find this handy, regardless of his age or occupation. I like it because it easily fits on a keyring and is super convenient.

$35 – Leatherman Squirt PS4

Pocket Pen

Well designed, pocketable, and something most men don’t think about it but use more often than they’d think.

$20 – Fisher Space Pen

 

Cigar Pack

A humidity sealed pack with two cigars, a cutter, and matches for the aficionado, or those who’ve yet to be initiated into the cigar world. You can pick these up as either single purchases, or a part of a monthly subscription. Dorian has spoken to the CEO a few times and has sampled a few of their packages and says they’re top-notch.

$30 – Cigar Pack (2 cigars)

 

Leather Keryring

This unique leather keyring will keep up to 7 keys all organized and silent within its cowhide leather sheath in your pocket. Like I mentioned in my Accessory Essentials Series, use quality items and you’ll thank yourself (or the man you give this to will thank you, hopefully).

$45 – Orbitkey Keyring

 

Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer

It’s one of those things that most men don’t think of buying for themselves but will use way more often when they actually have it in their grooming kit. It seems weird, but a lot of clients have commented about it being one of the best sleeper-hit style gifts they’ve ever received.

$20 – Panasonic Trimmer

 

Classic Watch

Beautiful, classic styling and a great price – you can’t go wrong. I’ve covered this and many, many other watches in my best men’s watches guide.

$35 – Timex Weekender Watch

 

Braided Charging Cables

Charging cables can be a boring necessity, or they can be a classy addition to a man’s Everyday Carry. I’d suggest getting a 10ft cable – the extra length comes in way more handy than you’d think.

$10 to $50 – Native Union

 

High Quality Socks

One might think this is a boring choice, but if you haven’t tried the best men’s socks yourself, you’d be dead wrong. Give the gift of amazing comfort and a lifetime warranty with these awesome socks.

$10 to $40 – Darn Tough Socks

 

Coffee & Espresso Maker

Hailed as one of the best ways to make a single serving coffee, I’ve gifted this to quite a few people who are into coffee and it’s been a success every time.

$25 – Aeropress Coffee & Espresso Maker