Man's Guide To Travel Luggage – Weekender – Suitcases – Backpacks – Messenger – Dopp Bags
Today, I want to talk about luggage particularly the ones I pulled out of my personal collection.
So without further ado, let's jump into it.
Backpack – You've seen it a hundred thousand times and you'll probably continue to see it since it's a very useful piece of gear. Two straps make it traditional. This one in the picture expands open. It has multiple bases in which you can put a laptop and your books.
This was a backpack I picked up when I was a student at the University of Texas:
It came in a very dark color. It's a pretty professional backpack but kind of like jeans here. You can only make it so professional. So unless you're a student or unless you're going out on a weekend trip, you don't want to use this in professional settings because it just screams “student”.
Messenger bag – This one is made by a company called Crumpler and actually a leftover from my student days.
I love this messenger backpack because I could be riding a bike, walking across town and it's fine. Also, it's enough for me to carry my laptop. since it has a nice cushioned area inside.
They used the Velcro which makes some sound. It has brighter colors to it. I was really drawn to the cushioning on this bag but again, a casual piece of gear. You're not going to want to use this in a professional setting.
Let's go ahead and start getting into the professional bags.
Casual briefcase – This is made by Saddleback Leather Company:
If you're watching this over here at The Art of Manliness or at Real Men Real Style, you're pretty familiar. I've talked about this company quite a bit. This was a bag presented to me actually by Brett McKay. Thank you, Brett and Kate. I appreciate it.
Overall, it is a good, professional, simple briefcase. However, because of the style, because of the ruggedness, the thickness of the leather, the proportions and the hardiness build of it, it is more of a casual briefcase than it is a dress briefcase.
I would want to wear this more with a sports jacket, perhaps odd trousers instead of a suit, or actually just wearing casual clothing. This would look good as well and leather does definitely make this dressy.
But because of the lighter color, thickness, build and proportions, this has a very rugged feel which kind of delegates or pushes it down in the level of formality.
Dress briefcase – This one is by Maxwell Scott and you can definitely wear this with a suit:
As you can see, the leather isn't as heavy duty. It's actually Italian leather versus the Saddleback that's Mexican leather. I'm not going to get into the leather details, but when you feel this one, it's got a shinier and more delicate appearance.
It doesn't mean it's any less rugged. In fact, I know Maxwell Scott has a great guarantee and it's definitely a very solid build, but when you open this up, you can see it has a lot more compartments.
This one is designed definitely for the businessmen in mind which explains why we don't see any flashy colors. The target customers for this are men who wear suits, sports jackets and odd trousers almost on a daily basis.
You're not going to want to carry this bag with casual clothing because it's just going to look out of place. Oftentimes, bags don't come with shoulder straps nut if they do, you don't have to use them. But the shoulder strap is nice for those of you that are commuting and moving around and need a hand free.
Duffel bag – This bag right here, I bring this up because there's a lot of ex-military or current active duty military guys out there watching this:
When it comes to weight, it doesn't get much better. This weighs a pound so if the airline has a 50-pound limit, you can get in 49 pounds of gear. The problem with these types of bags is that as soon as a person sees them, they immediately know a bit about you.
If you're flying into San Diego, you're going to see these everywhere because you've got marines and sailors all over the place. You could have somebody actually grab your bag because they all look the same, but a great piece of gear if you need to move a lot. You're not worried about it getting damaged.
Now let's talk about some hybrid pieces.
Carry-on luggage – So like you've seen, it's wheeled:
I'm not against wheels. I know I wrote about that in the article but definitely there is a time and a place for wheels. It's also has the telescopic handle that comes out and goes right down:
This is an inexpensive bag. There's much higher quality ones and usually what you're paying for in quality actually has to do with this telescopic piece that comes out.
The lower quality bags, the more likely you're going to see this break very soon versus the higher quality bags. Usually, it lasts a bit longer.
This is a hybrid bag because not only does it have room for your laptop, it's got as much as probably one of those professional briefcases I just went over right here with all your professional gear and it also has room for your clothing.
So if you wanted to take one day's worth of clothes and change into that, you're going to have room in there.
Dopp kit – The reason you want to have a Dopp kit is that oftentimes you've got aerosol cans.
Well, it depends on how you're flying, but you want something that is going to be waterproof and it's going to prevent any gels, any liquids if they spill, from spreading throughout the rest of your bag.
Overnight bag – This one is made by Blue Claw. This is an amazing bag and this is also waterproof on the inside. You can tell higher quality bags, they pay attention to those small details.
There's one pocket inside which you can put your passport or something else in it and protect it from everything else in there. Overall, you are just going to be filling this bag up.
I really like this bag because it doesn't have the wheels so it has a more elegant look. In addition, it's been fully reinforced which means this uses a rip-preventive type of material.
Also, it's got these leather straps on the side, which not only makes it a bit more elegant, but they also provide support and prevent the bag from ripping open or if it does get a tear.
Garment bag – This one is made by Blue Claw:
If you're going to be moving a lot of suits, sports jackets, pairs of trousers or dress shirts and you don't want to have to iron or they're already ironed, the garment bag will do the trick.
Most quality garments bags also have a lower pocket, so you can put additional material in there, but very simple bags.
Carry-on bag – The one that you guys have seen all over airports:
This one is usually for small electronic items, books and other things (I had a surprise bag in there, so we get to talk about another one). It's pretty much empty and this is where you would put your clothing.
For a lot of guys, this works well. If you're carrying a laptop, this is a bit difficult because you don't want to have to open up your entire bag. When buying a bag like this, look for the stitching and make sure there are rivets.
You don't want the handle coming off and pay attention to the quality of the wheel build. A lot of other bags also have straps that go around and it will make sure they secure even if the zipper pops open. This one does not have it.
Last but not least, this is the advantage of when you buy a set. This bag, actually I would never have bought it by itself:
It actually came with the bag I just pointed out there and the nice part is it fits right on there. It's not really built for a laptop, but if you are carrying a lot of the small stuff, this should help.
Alright! That's it for now. If you'd like to see any individual pieces of video made for them, go ahead and let me know in the comments and I'll try to do that.