13 Bags A Man Should Buy – Visual Guide To Men’s Luggage

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Luggage.

It’s something every man needs, but most of us aren’t excited to buy.

 

Why?

Luggage is confusing. 

What should you buy?  How much should you spend?  How to spot good quality?

 

Well, in the info-graphic below I lay out the thirteen bags I feel every man should consider owning.

As for quality pieces that are worth your hard earned money?  Click on the links below to see my choice for each of the bags listed.

The 13 bags I think every man should buy at some point in his career are:

  1. Dopp Kit
  2. Shoe Bag
  3. Garment Bag
  4. Tote Bag
  5. Satchel
  6. Briefcase
  7. Backpack
  8. Overnight Bag
  9. Messenger Bag
  10. Wheeled Carry-on
  11. Weekender Bag
  12. Duffel Bag
  13. Large Suitcase

 

Timeless Style Tip – Buy Quality Once.  You may pay more upfront, but 5 years later you’ll have a handsome piece that looks better with age vs. having to go shopping to replace a cheap buy.

 

 13 Bags A Man Should Own  Dopp Kit Shoe Bag Garment Bags Tote Satchel Briefcase Backpack Overnight Bags Messenger Bag Wheeled Carry-on  Weekender Bag Duffel Bag Large Suitcase

 

 

  • Jean

    A Tote… looks like a women’s purse around here… What would you use it for?

  • RMRStyle

    For toting around your things of course! :)

    Seriously – it’ the one I almost left off but Dan over at TSB style pulled it off well here – tsbmen.com/6912/top-5-bag-styles-for-men/3/

  • Paul

    Also relevant: dappered.com/2013/09/style-debate-the-man-bag/

  • RMRStyle

    Great add Paul – I forgot about that article Joe put out! Solid.

  • Ben

    There seems to be a lot of overlap here. Do you really need an overnight, a weekender, AND a wheeled carry-on? A satchel, briefcase, and messenger bag all seem to fulfill more or less the same function.

  • RMRStyle

    Fair points – I guess I could say a man should own 7 out of the 13……doesn’t have the same ring to it though :)

  • J

    As others have said, I do see a bit of overlap. I’m also a big fan of multifunctionality. If I can get away with fewer bags, I will. I will also buy bags that I can use for a multitude of things rather than just once per year on vacation.

    Dopp kits are cheap enough (even nice ones) to always have one.
    For shoe bags, I’ve resigned myself to using a plastic shopping bag. Not classy, I know, but it works until I have some disposable income to spend on a dedicated shoe bag.
    Garment bags are good if you’re traveling with suits. I don’t, so I don’t own one.
    Totes are again a matter of “do you use it?” If you have a need for an easy-access bucket-style bag, then go for it!
    I feel the satchel, briefcase, and even messenger bag could be lumped into one. My brain automatically lumps these into the same category: laptop bag (because that’s what I would use them for – your use may vary).
    Backpack, I’ll say is need-based as well. I have one that can carry my laptop if I need… because it was free to me =)
    I’d say between the weekender, overnighter, and the duffel, there is a bit of overlap. However, where that overlap is is up to the individual and how much they use which type. I never use an overnight sized bag, and I generally don’t need anything between my weekender and my large roller suitcase.
    Not much way to argue against a carry-on or large suitcase – they’re purpose-built devices. I’d recommend a rolling suitcase, though, despite the fact that the pictured Saddleback Leather suitcase is awesome. Heavy suitcases are just that: heavy!

    My personal collection is as follows: Dopp, laptop bag, backpack, weekender, large suitcase. Together these satisfy my needs, but they may not satisfy yours! You may need more or less. This seems to me to be more of a “here are all your options” rather than “everyone needs all these”, but it is a solid run-down of all the available options!

  • RMRStyle

    Wow – J, I need to hire you as a writer – great comment!

  • Locke42

    What’s the difference between a satchel and a briefcase?

    Also, personally, I would leave out the overnight bag (the weekender should be good for any trips between 1-3 days) and add in a good camping or backpacking backpack, if only because I believe every man should learn how to spend time in the outdoors.

  • Denis

    Imho i dislike the tote. I think it is much too feminine. I’d rather use a classy satchel or messenger bag.
    And then i’ve always had issues with backpacks. While incredibly useful i think they usually look either cheap or dorky. Or they are just too much like schoolbags. So yes, when hiking and well ‘backpacking’ then yeah go for it. But otherwise… it’s a big no for me. I’d rather use my messengerbag or satchel.
    On all the others i agree. Though not necesserily with the accompanying pictures though that is of course only a matter of taste.
    Also I see the point of multifunctionality mentioned by another commenter. And I agree with him. Though dedicated shoebags can be fairly cheap. Or use a cheap canvas or cotton cloth bag instead of plastic. This way the shoes can still breathe which helps prevent nasty odors from forming.

  • William D Wright

    I do believe that you can eliminate the tote, Antonio. Seems a bit repetitious in some ways. Still, there will be men who will buy one just to fill a need. Everything else is pretty necessary. Seems to me, that as far as luggage, when a person was a senior in high school, and their parents knew they were going away to college (as in out of state a long way from home) the graduate’s gift was a set of luggage-both a large suitcase as well as the medium size and if you were a female, the additional matching makeup case. I know my brother did in fact, receive his Samsonites in that way. I wasn’t so lucky 9 years later as I spent my first two years at Community College and then transferred over to university which also was 15 miles from home base. My parents figured luggage wasn’t so necessary in my case. Strange though, I have come to need a few pieces every now and then.

  • Fred

    I look frequently for the ideal suitcase or bag, ie. ideal to my taste and use, which means travelling at least once per week (across 7 factories in China) .
    I agree with previous commenters, the list has several overlapping pieces. So here goes my list
    always:
    – birefcase or laptop bag (1st is classier, depends on where I’m going to, who to meet)
    – wheeled carry-on (rimowa, yes the duffel looks nice and meets the manly-fashion-driven must have :) , but not pratical to lug around airports)
    – dopp kit (transparant so security can see right away what is in it)
    – shoe bag (use the cotton fabric ones, can easy wash)
    .
    occasional:
    – bag pack when sportier or gym
    – garment bag when extra suit is needed (thinner or larger depending number of suits)
    – large suitcases (rimowa, wheeled, yes the saddleback looks great and still looking for a classic suitcase that hides the wheels at a touch of a button)
    .
    other:
    – a foldable and expandable nylon bag is useful for when you get back with too much stuff or need something to put laundry in (could be used like the tote, although the one pictured isn’t my cup to tea.
    .
    looking for:
    – men’s sling bag: 1-strap nylon narrower bag back to put in travel stuff i want with me in when seated in the plane (ear phone, ipad, phone, book, passport, pen, mints, medicine etc..) this avoids getting up to pull stuff from the overhead, nor fidling for what i need before taking my seat and blocking the isle :)
    Happy travelling

  • Danilo

    Hi Antonio. Thank you for your many posts, I have learned a lot from them. Personally I think 13 bags are to many. If you need 13 bags or one for every purpose, they you have forgotten to consider the versatility of bags. Many of the bags shown could easily be substituting each ofter and some are more versatile than others. I would rather have a tote than a overnight bag as it would be more versatile. And the same with a weekend bag than a wheeled carry-on. I like the idea of buying a quality item and using it as much as possible. To me it is a waste of resources to have things laying around and rarely use them.

  • Sam

    There is one thing missing which I would like to see. Not to everyones taste perhaps but how about a 65-80litre rucksack for hiking? Otherwise some great ideas, thanks Antonio.

  • Rocket Jones

    One bag I have that replaces several of these is the packable backpack. I got mine from EMS and has outside pockets for keys, maps, water bottles, etc. It folds up into itself to become a soda can size package. When I need the duffel, backpack or tote it’s there, and takes up almost no room until then.
    I too use a disposable plastic store bag for shoes.
    I don’t care for backpacks for daily use, unless I’m actually backpacking. I have two different sized backpacks for hiking, and I don’t think those need to be on this list. When air travelling, if I have to check my backpack full of gear, it’s stored inside a larger cheap duffle to keep the straps from being caught up in the equipment and to give the baggage handlers something solid to grab hold of so they’re not slinging my gear around with whatever handhold they can find. When I get to my destination, I can fold up the duffle and mail it home or dispose of it if necessary.

  • Daphne Magna

    Thanks Antonio, pretty solid list. As some mentioned, some items are repititious and can be replaced with others on the list. I feel the Tote is the least masculine and is likely only appropriate for men who are averse to a satchel, knapsack or briefcase. I feel it totally depends on your profession and industry culture. Also I’d say most men prefer less than more, so things like the overnight and the weekend would likely work as one. The rest though I feel necessary especially if you want to maintain the quality of your wardrobe. However, one option instead of a purchase shoe bag, are those little cloth shoe bags that often come with a great pair of shoes, they’re usually in a strong fabric but one that is not too stiff, hence great for packing. Thanks. #dcm

  • Sean

    13 bags? I have a much smaller number, and I already consider seeking out an organization for people with bag acquisition disorders. This article gives the impression of a thin advertising piece than being informative, which is disappointing because you usually provide excellent content.

    You request a single bag to be eliminated, and I select the tote.

    Not only is it feminine, as noted by Denis, but it is also very fashionable right now. I use the term fashionable as a negative, because the tote has become a fashion statement; a fad, if you will. Throughout the day, one sees dozens of cheap totes everywhere. They’re branded with grocery store logos and hideous patterns.

    The more I consider what Denis has said, the more I return to my original thought when I saw the email. I think this should be retitled “13 Bags a Man Might Want”. This is a palette, not a checklist. I am unlikely to use or need to own a heavy suitcase, wheeled carry-on, or an everyday backpack. On the other hand, I consider the Dopp bag so essential that I purchased one for my son when he started shaving.

    When I travel, I typically pack a duffel that I carry aboard. Properly organized, my shirts are relatively wrinkle-free on the other end, and nothing is lost or stolen by airport personnel.

  • Louis Mejia

    Tote works if you’re going to the beach or the farmer’s market. A sachel, messenger or briefcase, pick one based on your style/age. Overnight bag, weekend bag or carrry on, pick one. Duffle bag or large suitcase, pick one. Backpack if you’re backpacking or going to school

  • K

    Those prices are insane. If you are going to buy a Tote, you can buy one from Lands End for $30 and wouldn’t feel as bad about it getting dirty or lost compared to $150. Congratulations on being more wealthy than the regular person.

  • RMRStyle

    Why stop there – you can get a tote at Walmart for $1 :)

    I wouldn’t say the prices are insane – I would say it depends on your needs and quality requirements. I use a tote quite often to carry 20+ pounds of books to and from the library (my kids read a lot!). I want something that’s going to take a beating, look good, and made in the USA. If I use it 1000 times and it lasts 10 years – was the price really high?

    Debatable – but in my opinion buy quality once.

  • Barry

    No way I’m toting that tote around. Drop the satchel, brief case, shoe bag, overnight bag and the large suitcase.

    Basically, I just need the dop kit, messenger bag, roll aboard suitcase, back pack and a duffle. That set covers every need I’ve ever had.

    I grant you that the Blue Claw stuff is way more stylish than what I have but there is no way I can justify the price of those bags.

  • Chr

    Hey Antonio and community.
    Nice article and comments. I have a question that I’ve wanted to ask you: which kind of bag should I consider using for my life situation. 21-year-old Dane, student, classic look wearing a trench coat. When I am going to campus I need to carry a bag for my laptop and a gym bag for my after school work out. While it is not very efficient using two bags, I get that awkward feeling wearing them with my coat (1.95 meters high as this might contribute to the result).
    Would there be an elegant single-bag-solution for my daily purpose?

  • menstyle

    It would depend on your needs and quality preference. You would also have to consider your budget and expenses before you invest on other material things but I recommend Blue Claw because of the quality and material of the bag – it lasts more than 5 years

  • Khawar

    i think ‘Money Belt’ can also be added in the list.

  • Kai Sosceles

    Is it just me or is the backpack linked not the same as the backpack pictured? O.o

  • menstyle

    Thank you sir! You can invest on the Weekender bag – it’s large enough to fit your work out gear, as well as your things for school – it’s also elegant and it lasts long

  • menstyle

    thanks for the suggestion khawar!

  • menstyle

    Good point there Louis!

  • menstyle

    You are welcome Daphne! Thanks for the feedback

  • menstyle

    Sounds great!

  • menstyle

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • menstyle

    Thanks for the feedback

  • menstyle

    sounds great!

  • menstyle

    thanks for the suggestion

  • Crif Johnson

    Thanks Antonio. Duffel Bag looks really awesome. I personally love duffel bags and prefer carrying it for my trips.

  • menstyle

    I agree Crif! Duffel bags are great for trips

  • Rui Figueiredo

    I disagree with lumping briefcase and satchel/messenger bag together. Personally, I have a black waterproof messenger bag for casual, everyday use and a leather briefcase for more formal meetings / conventions.

    The overnight and weekend bag, for me, is just a matter of size, I don’t see the need of make a distinction.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Rui Figueiredo

    I disagree with lumping briefcase and satchel/messenger bag together. Personally, I have a black waterproof messenger bag for casual, everyday use and a leather briefcase for more formal meetings / conventions.

    The overnight and weekend bag, for me, is just a matter of size, I don’t see the need of make a distinction.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Rui Figueiredo

    I disagree with lumping briefcase and satchel/messenger bag together. Personally, I have a black waterproof messenger bag for casual, everyday use and a leather briefcase for more formal meetings / conventions.

    The overnight and weekend bag, for me, is just a matter of size, I don’t see the need of make a distinction.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Rui Figueiredo

    I disagree with lumping briefcase and satchel/messenger bag together. Personally, I have a black waterproof messenger bag for casual, everyday use and a leather briefcase for more formal meetings / conventions.

    The overnight and weekend bag, for me, is just a matter of size, I don’t see the need of make a distinction.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Rui Figueiredo

    I disagree with lumping briefcase and satchel/messenger bag together. Personally, I have a black waterproof messenger bag for casual, everyday use and a leather briefcase for more formal meetings / conventions.

    The overnight and weekend bag, for me, is just a matter of size, I don’t see the need of make a distinction.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • menstyle

    Cool!

  • Kenneth Geathers

    Hey antonio, The listing on these types of bags ,are they for a business man or are they just for any man just have for their essential needs?

  • menstyle

    Hi Kenneth – This list is for every type of man.

  • Topher White

    I almost never use my dopp kit, mainly because I’m typically traveling with just a carry on and therefore I have to pull half of the contents out of it at the security line anyway. For a typical overnight or two-day excursion, I can put all my toiletries in the 1qt bag (including razor, comb, and toothbrush).

    The tote is great to bring on vacation. It’s perfect for going to the beach and such. However, if you’re doing more of a sight-seeing trip, a day-pack comes in handy, I usually have a few of these type lying around from various promos – http://www.mapleleafpromotions.com/3072jpg.jpg.

    My primary bag is the wheeled carry-on. I have to say, I have been pleasantly stunned at the superiority of the four-wheeled version over the two-wheeled version ever since I got one. I prefer had sided to soft sided, and there’s some pretty interesting innovation going on with them. My next one is going to be the Victorinox dual-access – http://www.victorinox.com/us/product/Travel-Gear/Category/Collections/Spectra-2-0/Spectra-Dual-Access-Extra-Capacity-U-S-Carry-On/31318102

    I think that in the “large suitcase” category, wheeled is the way to go there, too. I can’t imagine lugging something that big and heavy around.

    I’ve never had a need for something “weekender” sized.

  • joe merchant

    All types of men’s bags can be easily purchased at myntra.com. In different color, shape, size, range one can buy bags at myntra.com. If you want to purchase bags for your father, grandfather, boyfriend, brother than you should visit myntra.com.

    shopping link: http://www.s2d6.com/x/?x=c&z=s&v=5338189

  • menstyle

    good point there Sean