A Man’s Guide to Travel Luggage: Choosing the Right Bag for Your Trip

by Antonio on April 23, 2012 · 91 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

Vacations, business trips, conferences, class reunions–whenever you leave home, part of your wardrobe has to come with you. We’ve talked before about what to bring–now let’s take a look at what you’re taking it in.

A man’s luggage is both a practical and a stylistic decision. You want something that carries all your necessities, is convenient to haul all over the world, and doesn’t look awful when paired with your traveling clothes. The last consideration can be especially important for business travelers, who often end up making first impressions when meeting people at the airport with their luggage still in tow.

Different Trips, Different Bags: Know Your Luggage Options

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when you have to carry it.

Different trips call for different bags. The family vacation suitcase is going to be all about volume and will almost certainly need rolling wheels to manage the weight, while a business trip suitcase should ideally be slim, easily slung over one shoulder, and broad enough to lay a suit coat in without folding. Even if the trips are the same number of days, the different circumstances require very different bags.

I’ve laid out all the primary options for you here, from the smallest to the biggest. It’s a long list, and in some cases you’ll be taking more than one of these bags, even sometimes one within the next. Read on and know your options:

A Man’s Dopp Kit

Image from Put This On

The “Dopp Kit” used to be a trademarked product, but the term is used generically these days.

A Dopp kit is a shaving and toiletries bag specifically styled for men and in my opinion is mandatory for the professional traveler. It’s about the size of a football, shaped like a loaf of bread, and has a zipper all the way across the top lengthwise. Leather and nylon are common materials. Most are just a single compartment, often waterproofed (don’t buy it if it isn’t), and some may have small pouches along the sides to hold small items.

Roll-up Dopp kits, like this one from Col. Littleton are another option, and have the advantage of coming with a hook you can use to hang the bag up.

Why carry the extra weight and separate out your toiletries?  All it takes is one busted bottle of shampoo or shaving cream to ruin your clothing and you’ll never ask this question again.

Use it for:

  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Small cake of shaving soap (or can of shaving cream)
  • Razors (just the handle without blades if it’s in carry-on luggage)
  • Keeping small items from bouncing around when stored inside larger bag

For more on what you should pack in your Dopp kit, take a quick look inside of one.

And check out Put This On for some ideas on great Dopp kit options, broken down by price range.

A Man’s Briefcase

Briefcase Man Bag

Maxwell Scott Briefcase

The standard man’s dress case is rectangular, soft or hard-sided, and made from a business appropriate material (most often leather) in a business appropriate color (black/brown). These are the ideal carry-on for a business traveler who is also checking luggage–smart-looking and large enough to hold papers and a book or a few small electronic devices for entertainment on the flight.

There are a wide range of briefcase styles available to include satchels, pilot cases, computer bags, and the attache. The man who works in a traditional, conservative workplace will want to get a dressier briefcase that pairs well with a suit and helps him look professional when walking into a business meeting (like the one pictured above), while a man who works in a more casual and creative job can choose something more rugged. The differences between casual and dress cases are subtle, as I explain in this video:

Use it for:

  • Business items needed immediately upon arrival
  • Airline tickets and information
  • Electronics, laptops, and books
  • Hassle-free carry-on (easy to fit in-between larger bags overhead)

Attaché Case

leather attache case

The thin, structured, locked case gives this bag away as an attache.

An attaché case is a specific kind of briefcase: hard-sided, latching, and traditionally lock-able. Its origins are with diplomats and messengers carrying important information and little else–thus attaché cases are thinner than normal briefcases and minimalist in design. Inside, the cases are divided into two compartments by a hard, hinged tray.

Use it for:

  • A very clean, minimalist look. Great for carrying only your client’s proposal into a meeting or across the world without the risk of overstuffing the case.
  • Storage of a few small objects in their own trays
  • Extra security from the hard sides and lock

A Man’s Backpack

Duluth Packs Backpack

A soft-sided, two-strap backpack should be familiar to just about all of us. They often lack style but are much more comfortable for carrying over long periods, and most will have more storage space than a briefcase. There will also be more zipping pockets, which makes carrying small items easier.  Backpacks are certainly handy and versatile, but please, don’t wear one with a suit.

Use it for:

  • Convenience
  • Travel that involves lots of standing/walking with your bag
  • Trips where first impressions aren’t important
  • Casual, non-business travel

Messenger/Laptop Bag

ONA Laptop and Camera Messenger Bag

Basically a modern hybrid of a suitcase and a backpack. Messenger bags utilize one strap that slings over a shoulder and across the chest while the bag rests on the opposite hip. Typically used for laptops, but many are more general-purpose. They tend to have less space than backpacks but are easier to carry than a briefcase, and in plain black or a similar dark color scheme they can look much better with a suit than a backpack.

Use it for:

  • Carrying a laptop, papers, and accessories
  • Small luggage and items
  • Business travel where you have too many items for a briefcase

Carry-on Luggage/Suitcase

Filson Carry-On Bag

The last of the carry-on-sized options for air travel, these are cases made specifically for airline size restrictions. They are basically mini-suitcases that give you every cubic inch of space you’re allotted. They’re ideal for avoiding checked luggage if your trip is short enough to live out of a small bag. Just be aware that standard sizes keep shrinking–an older model may not always pass muster.

Use it for:

  • Your main suitcase on a short trip
  • Avoiding checked bag fees
  • Your official “carry-on,” with a briefcase or backpack as your “personal item”

Two-Wheeled Suitcase

Any regular traveler will recognize these ubiquitous pieces of luggage: firm-sided rectangles with a long handle on top and a pair of wheels on the bottom. They’re the easiest checked-luggage-size bag to transport, and so tend to be the most common among frequent travelers.

Of course, some men feel you shouldn’t use a wheelie bag unless a health problem requires it; one of Walker Lamond’s “rules for his unborn son” is this: “Never pack more than you can carry yourself, and a man’s luggage doesn’t roll.”

Use it for:

  • Short trips where only a few days’ clothes are needed
  • Storing easily-folded clothes like cotton shirts and slacks
  • Getting around the airport in a hurry

Upright Suitcase

From our friends at Saddleback Leather–you will certainly turn heads with this piece of luggage.

A broad family of luggage–basically any big, rectangular suitcase that stands on its own. Some have wheels and some just have a carrying handle on top. The most basic kind looks like a hugely-oversized briefcase, while others may have a more tapered shape. Sides can be either hard or flexible cloth.

Use it for:

  • Long trips
  • Packing for multiple people
  • Fitting clothing, personal items, toiletries, etc. all into one bag
  • Reducing the number of checked bags a group/family needs
  • Travel where you don’t have to walk far or fast

A Man’s Garment Bag

Garment Bag For Man

The garment bag is a staple in the traveling professional’s set of luggage.

Quite literally a “suit case”–garment bags are luggage designed to hold garments that are hung on hangers, rather than folded in drawers. Garment luggage tends to be big and soft-sided, with each side broad enough to fit a man’s jacket without folding it. Higher quality designs should fold in half, doubling the soft clothing over but not pressing down hard enough to crease. Depending on size, they may be roller cases or carried by a single over-the-shoulder strap.

While it depends on the airline and your status with them, I have seen many men hand a lightly packed garment bag to the flight attendant who hung it up for the duration of the flight.  Also–if not carrying more than two suits, it is often not treated as your carry-on.  But check with your airline.

Use it for:

  • Transporting suits and shirts without wrinkling them
  • Week-long business trips that require multiple sets of high value clothing

The Weekend Bag

Weekend bag

Blue Claw Co. Weekender Bag. Always leave the wheels off your weekend bag, as it looks better without!

A big, soft-sided tote, longer than it is tall or wide. They make functional checked bags yet are small enough to carry with one hand and throw into the back of your car for a weekend trip (hence the name).  These bags are made to hold the maximum amount of gear per cubic inch without taking on excess weight (no wheels, lighter weight materials) and usually have only one big internal compartment.  One drawback is that the soft sides offer little protection, and if made from an inexpensive material, one rip (or a thief with a box cutter) can lead to all your contents spilling out.

Personally the weekender is one of my most used bags for road trips–I avoid the above problems by selecting a bag made from heavy duty ballistic nylon reinforced with sewn on leather straps.

Use it for:

  • Transporting a lot of gear without careful packing.
  • Casual trips and vacations–business trips if dark colored and made with quality leather.
  • Soft and non-breakable items–use your Dopp kit!

Frame Pack Backpack

These are big backpacks with built-in hard frames to give them structure for long-term carrying. They’re mostly used on multiple-day backpacking/camping trips, but if you happen to be flying out for such a trip, they make a decent checked bag as well. They’re by far the easiest thing to carry around with you all day–that’s what they’re designed for–but they’ll never pass muster as anything but casual vacation gear.  Also, they scream tourist, so be aware you’ll be quickly approached by taxi drivers and other “airport salesmen” in many countries.

Use it for:

  • Carrying a large amount of gear very comfortably to a destination where you’ll be walking often
  • Travel that involves hiking
  • Camping trips

Steamer Trunk Luggage

Take your office with you on safari!

A hard-sided chest, often with internal compartments on the sides or top. Meant to be either stood on its side and opened like a mini-wardrobe or laid flat and opened like a clothing chest in a ship’s cabin.  They can also come equipped to stand as working desks.  Old-fashioned and heavy, they’re from a time when trips away from home often lasted for months and are not meant for air travel, though they can be checked bags.

Steamer trunks are very rarely seen as tighter airline restrictions, overnight shipping, easier access to stocked stores, and better hotel work spaces have negated the need to carry your own closet/desk.  However, these relics are still useful for many professions.  Shooting a movie in Africa?  You need to have all your costumes with you and organized.  Commanding a mechanized battalion in Afghanistan?  Your S-1 should have a portable desk available so you can perform required admin duties during downtime.

Use it for:

  • Remote travel where organization and access to a wide range of amenities is required
  • Cruises and ocean trips or multi-day sleeper car train trips

Other Masculine Bag Styles

If you’re a man living in a city and using public transportation where you have to carry around your gear daily, there are other stylish bag options.  Check out The Style Blogger’s post here.

Summary: A Man and His Luggage

Watch the video to have me talk you through the article and to see more examples of bags.

Great luggage is peace of mind.   Buy the right bags for the right occasion, and you’ll know that you have everything you need right where you want it, safe and secure.

OK – so what did I miss?  What would you add?  What are your personal recommendations for bags that have gone the distance for you? Let’s hear it in the comments!

 

Written By:
Antonio Centeno
Grab My Free 47 Page Men’s Style eBook  

{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joan of Argghh! April 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Luggage Salesman: Have you thought much about luggage, Mr. Banks?
Joe Banks: No.
Luggage Salesman: It’s the central preoccupation of my life.
Luggage Salesman: This is our premier steamer trunk, it’s all handmade, only the finest materials. It’s even watertight, tight as a drum. If I had the need, and the wherewithal, Mr. Banks, this would be my trunk of choice.
Joe Banks: I’ll take four of them.
Luggage Salesman: May you live to be a thousand years old, sir.

2 bil April 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Seems all too too to me. A good student backpack and a gym bag with a wet protection pocket work really well for real travel (not the business trip). Soft bags fit into odd spaces better–a crowded bus, that overnight train to Berlin. You should be able to hold it all in your laptop, use a bag as a pillow. Zip lock bag instead of the Dopp bag works well, and is a lot lighter. But if style is more important to you, they are nice–mine’s 60+ years old….

3 Maarten April 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Obviously Walker Lamond doesn’t ski.

4 JRThom April 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

It took me several months of searching to find the perfect Dopp Kit. The Jepsen Leather and Col. Littleton kits were at the top of my list but I came across the HoldFast Triple and was sold almost instantly. I’ve used it several times and it is as perfect as a Dopp can get. Now all I need to do is hunt down a good messenger bag.

5 Martin Weißhaupt April 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I like to carry around a german army backpack called “bw Jägerrucksack” together with the matching camping mat as a cushion for my back.

It is very hard to destroy it and it looks decent enough for sports and private activities.

6 David G April 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

The one bag, that I use almost daily, that you left off of your list is a diaper bag. While most of us think of women needing a diaper bag, men need one too. But it does not have to look like a flowery giant purse. The bag needs to be big enough to hold a bottle, a travel diaper changing pad with supplies, a change of clothes, and a small waterproof dirty diaper/clothes bag. I have used a small messenger bag and a backpack that both work well, but I would like to find a more stylish one.

7 Kurt Kuster April 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Best luggage guy in the world, for my money, is a salesman in Cincinnati by the name of Nick Plummer. Incredible knowledge and always gets you precisely what you need. So good, they once did a magazine feature on him:
http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/features/story.aspx?ID=1579368

8 caleb April 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

To note on the “frame backpack” as it was called: there are more varieties of backpacking packs than the types of bags listed here. If doing an intense trip, you would probably just buy a cover for your regular pack to make it work as luggage. They also make some for the “backpacker tourist” as I like to call them. These bags are designed for backpacking through a county/continent and easily convert back and forth. You would probably not want to use them on trails as they are not designed for wilderness use.

9 LG April 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Biggest miss: four-wheeled hard-side suitcase. Your quote, “a man’s luggage doesn’t roll,” might sound nice, but a) I’m a woman, and b) the next time you — male or female! — are trekking through Heathrow or Narita or LAX or any other major metropolitan airport with (literally) miles of walking between you and your destination, slavishly adhering to such a principle might start to seem a bit silly. Hey, it’s your shoulders/neck/back, none of my business, but just offering a different perspective.

My bags of choice for overseas travel: a messenger bag or neat Euro-style single-strap backpack to hold laptop and carry-on items, and a medium-sized *wheeled* suitcase in a bold color (the better to pick it out at the luggage conveyor).

10 A6 April 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Pretty good article. I especially like the “Dopp Kitt” section, it’s funny how I’ve been using it since High School and never knew its official name. As far as my personal choice on luggage: My black Nike duffle bag has served me well from carrying College textbooks, gym clothes, my trusty aluminum laptop, to the weekend to visit the Mrs. It has been one of the best purchases I’ve made in the last four years and looks similar to what NFL pros use on their way to catch a plane. I don’t have a fancy Dopp kit (yet), I use the Anthony Logistics kit (about $40) that comes with all the essentials you need to get prepped and groomed for anything imaginable. That kit is TSA approved and I’ve had it for just about as long as my duffle bag. When I’m traveling long distance (anything farther from NY to NJ), I use the Adidas soccer duffle w/ rolling wheels at the bottom. Needless to say, there’s enough room in there to outfit at least two gentlemen’s workout gear as well as dress clothes, equipment, etc.

11 Hunter April 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

This summer I will be going to Spain for all of July on an archaeology program for high school students and I need a medium size duffle. I currently do not have one and I want a manly one without having to break the bank (over $200). If anyone can help out, I would greatly appreciate it.

12 caleb April 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Good call, David G! I made sure we bought one for my daughter that wasn’t too girly. I feel better carrying it and we can use it if the next one is a boy. Since my wife and I work largely opposite shifts, it seems like we are 2 single parents much of the time so I end up taking the munchkin a lot of places!

Sadly, if I don’t have her in the backpack carrier, we usually use a smaller bag, similar to a disposable diaper bag.

13 caleb April 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

*grocery bag. Like a disposable grocery bag. Dur.

14 Tom April 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I love the look of the Dopp kit, but how do you get it through security (TSA) with a safety razor? This is a dilemma I have had for some time. They usually flag it done and throw away my blade. They will let the safety razor through, but not with the blade or any replacements which forces me to check my bags (which costs an additional $25 each way!). What do you guys do?

15 Bob Lewent April 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I love bags. I must have two dozen, from fine, fine leather to Nylon. Each one is used for a image that I want to portray when I meet with a new client. I am in outside sales. From my watch and pen to my shoes I have to dress to impress. All most a uniform. Your information is great on right on target.
Thank you

16 Doc_S April 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

“A man’s luggage doesn’t roll?”

Said by someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time in airports. Schlep that 20 lb. wheel-less wonder around McCarran, DFW, Hartsfield, O’Hare, Logan, LAX, Heathrow, etc. a few dozen times. Roller bags are a godsend when doing the terminal-to-terminal jog to make your connection. Non-rollers are great for cars, trains, and ships – not planes and airports.

@Tom – I either mail blades ahead or I buy a pack of Personna/ASRs from CVS or Walgreens once I’m on the ground. In order to get through security faster, I put my razor with my liquids, separate from everything else. I usually carry an old Gillette TTO, and I open the doors before sending it through the x-ray. Don’t try to sneak blades in your carry on – just don’t.

17 Brandon April 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

My job requires a lot of travel and 5-6 days worth of work and after work clothes for all types of weather. I always check a bag, and if you have a nice bag, do not expect it to stay nice more than two checked bag adventures. Nice stuff for carry-on is fine. Unfortunately I have to travel with camera gear, so I have a Lowepro camera/backpack combo that fits under the seat in front of me and holds my laptop and work papers. But a high-quality big suitcase is a must for me. I have worn out several – handles and screws get sheared, inner bars get broken, dirty, scuffed corners and edges, etc. Those guys chuck stuff around with little regard for what it is or how nice it is.

18 OkieRover April 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

My dopp kit is the first piece of real man luggage I received when I went away to US Marine Boot Camp. My uncle bought it for me. I still have AND use it. Thirty-one years this May. I bought one for my son his Senior year in high school.
I have a killer steamer trunk. But I can’t imagine taking it with me on a trip. It’s just too big.

19 Jason Clark April 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm

If you are a full blown real global traveler you have to check out “LuggageWorks.com” 300 bucks but worth every penny. This is the same luggage that Pilots an Flight Attendants use. Steel frame and fits in the overhead. There is no better luggage on the planet. I am a Delta Airlines Flight Attendant do not even bother with any other luggage. I know travel this is what you need.

20 Crazy Eddie April 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I’ll put in a vote for the Red Oxx Air Boss as a weekend bag or carryon bag. It fits in an overhead compartment on an airplane, I can pack a week’s worth of clothes in it, and the construction is bulletproof. The only downside is the price ($200+) and the fact that they’re impossible to find on sale or used. (Back to that bulletproof construction again – people who have them don’t seem to get rid of them.)

I also like Tom Bihn’s laptop bags, particularly the Empire Builder, but that’s definitely a matter of personal taste. The Empire Builder is big for a laptop bag, and while it fits comfortably under airline seats, not everyone may want to schlep that much stuff around on a daily basis. Personally, I like a bag I can throw a laptop, power adapter, water bottle, books, binder, etc. in and still have room left over.

21 Tim April 24, 2012 at 2:41 am

I’ve gotta agree with LG and Doc S. For weekend trips, domestic travel, sure- take a duffel and a briefcase.

For 2-3+ weeks, international travel? You’d be crazy to not have a nice hard-sided roller bag to check. Heathrow, Nairobi, Singapore, Dulles, you’re going to do a lot of walking- both in the terminal, and to your mode of transportation upon arrival. Get a rolling carryon (with collapsible sides to fit on smaller planes), and you’ll thank me when your redeye switches gates.

Tip: Stores like Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Nordstrom rack have good luggage for cheap.

22 Jeffrey C. Anthony April 24, 2012 at 3:05 am

I’ve traveled for years, and have had to represent the company we did work for as their person on site involving multi million dollar contracts. Granted it was a somewhat technical field.

After utterly destroying a good 10 pieces of lesser luggage with a 100% travel job (some that people swore would never wear out). I finally went all out and got a Pelican 1610. It’s got wheels. It’s going to survive a plane crash. It qualifies with security to carry discrete things. And I have always checked it. Not having to shortcut your life with cramming a carry on is worth $25. I have never had an item stolen from my checked luggage, and occasionally I’ve found that TSA has actually improved the level of organization of my belongings, having left it not always perfect after a full week of double shifts.

For carry-on, I keep my portable office in a Pelican 1510 LOC case. It doubles quite nicely as a seat when needed, and fits into every overhead bin i’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of meeting. I have been searched more often than the average traveler, but I’ve also found that this too is a fine time to exercise dignity and calmness, while demonstrating one does not have to thump one’s chest nor challenge everyone to maintain one’s true rightful place.

There are many definitions of manly, and where I come from, there are few arguments against “rugged” qualifying.

23 Britalian April 24, 2012 at 3:45 am

I am always looking for good luggage.

I usually use a bright red North Face duffle for flights and weekends but more recently I have been checking this in and going through the airport just with a Mont Blanc Nightflight bag.I love the bag but it is a little off balance.

For cycling I settles on the Deuter Bike 1 after using a laptop bag for some time.

I do like the North Face though. It is solid as hell and looks great in red.

I respect Antonio a great deal but I think there is room for some slack in the wheeled luggage policy. For long haul you can either be the gentleman who cannot enjoy his holiday due to a broken back or the one having a swim thanks to his Samsonite roller.

Now looking for a Dopp kit.

24 CameronSS April 24, 2012 at 5:15 am

Most of my traveling (I’m a college student) is of the road trip variety, and my favorite packing method is with an old Army surplus duffel/backpack, the cylindrical sort with one end that folds over and closes. Plenty of space to hold even my tent and sleeping bag if I’m camping, but small enough to toss in any car trunk. The ability to carry it as either a handheld bag or as a backpack is excellent, and I can contain everything I bring in a single water-resistant container.

25 Nick April 24, 2012 at 5:40 am

Poppycock.

As someone who travels weekly for work, I wouldn’t be caught dead with these bags unless I was:
1) In a Clark Gable film
2) Had Gunga Din and an entourage to schlep them for me.

My cardinal rule of travel is that it be functional and unobtrusive. Wheeling luggage? Yes, please. It allows me to zip from the airport to meet a client without sweating or appearing to be a pack mule.

While the featured luggage is lovely, the article should be named, “Harken the Romance of Travel with These Vintage-Inspired Bags”

26 Striker Yeoman April 24, 2012 at 6:24 am

As CameronSS said seabags (as I call them) are great. They have an amazing amount of storage space, if you’re taking a lot of clothes you can pack more fragile items in the center and have them pretty well insulated. They fold at the top are and designed to be locked, also designed to hold a lot of weight and be worn on your shoulders or carried if you want. And they’re TOUGH! I’ve been using my bootcamp one for traveling and camping since 2004 and its been true to me the entire time. Also they’re usually not as expensive as what you’d pay for a comparable suitcase. The downside is they’re more for checked luggage then a carry on.

27 Antonio Centeno April 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

OK, OK, I give in. A Man’s luggage can roll! I always find it funny how you guys pick up on one sentence in a 2000 word article:) Haha!

My point though – which @Bob Lewent illustrates, is a man is creating an image when he first meets people. His luggage is a part of that – so if you’re carrying your gear in a plastic grocery bag expect me to wonder about the quality of work you’ll do for me as a consultant.

Rational? Fair? Not at all, but as human beings we make split second decisions and if I meet you in the airport or hotel lobby – your luggage is part of your professional image.

Great comments – please keep adding to the conversation!

28 happy5 April 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

Good article on the historical perspective. The bags I use for my personal/business (i.e. without my family) trips, and the companies that made them:

1) Peasants and Travelers: this company from California makes great bags for men only. The website is not that good, but the service is top notch (gave me a discount on one bag through Facebook). What sold me is their Youtube videos featuring man showcasing each bag, after having them for one week.

Doctor’s bag (get compliments every day, and can fit a 17 inch Mac!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB5zS62EjN4&context=C4608687ADvjVQa1PpcFMcUY3x50k5T8iFFBE2ilXZnLubTJADYiw=

Overnighter bag/suitcase (use it for short trips):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psTU0IHAUUc&context=C484f9f4ADvjVQa1PpcFMcUY3x50k5T_WvNftpCHoMT-ONjDwTicA=

2) Kenton Sorenson:

That’s the bomb Dopp Kit on the top right corner in the first image):

http://www.contextclothing.com/item.php?id=1315

3) Duluth trading:

I use the “Original One Night Stand”, which is like a roll-up garment type of bag. These were discontinued and brought bag. They are made from this firehose material which is just great, and it has two additional side bags for a Dopp kit and 1 pair of shoes.

With a name like that, you know you wanna buy it!

I used this bag for a 4 day trip, and while it was good, stopped using it because I overpacked and thought the bag was no good. If you travel and plan on bringing souvenirs, you need something else. Been using it again and it is all good!

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/product/overnighter-fire-hose-leather-one-night-stand-42109.aspx

4) Saddleback leather:

Well known around here. The small leather satchel is good for carry on, the iPad, and for important documents as well.

The traditional briefcase is great too, but these are heavier. The only way is to use them as a backpack.

And as a comment, while quality bags generally should not have wheels, one often wishes for them while walking through terminals. Perhaps a separate rolling attachment might need to be purchased…

29 Michael La Vean April 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

i have had my Zero Halliburton’s for more than 25 years. I expect to use them until I die. They are not cheap but they are a lifetime suitcase.

Designed by Howard Hughes to endure planes and pick up trucks in the oil fields and around the world, they are more durable than leather, waterproof, dustproof, can be dropped from a 3 story building and still preserve that bottle of Talisker.

Plus the carry on has the added advantage of being a seat when you are in line waiting to board.

Best possible luggage purchase.

30 Chase Christy April 24, 2012 at 9:24 am

When my wife and I were packing our family for our spring break trip a few weeks ago, I was determined to buy and pack a dopp kit. But, being one of your more frugal readers, I was met with a very interesting questions. Why buy a dopp kit for 15 bucks plus when I can simply use a gallon plastic baggy? Other than style is there any other justification for purchasing a dopp kit?

31 Southern Man April 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

For whatever reason I have an aversion to checking luggage so when I fly alone I bring one carry-on and briefcase/laptop bag. If it’s a business trip I wear the suit on the plane rather than fool with a garment bag. Dress shirts can be steamed and pressed at the hotel. And those rolling combo sets are fine. The goal here is not to impress everyone in the airport with your manly luggage lugging abilities but to use every square inch of volume allotted to a carry-on. And, yes, rolling luggage is great when racing from concourse A to concourse FF to make that connection after a late arrival.

32 Joseph April 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

Doing a two month trip through Europe next summer. Not camping, but hosteling. Didn’t want to spend more than 50$ or scream tourist. http://www.amazon.com/Olive-Cordura-Double-Strap-Duffle/dp/B001ARCPSC found for 20$ at a local army surplus store. Army backpack with maximum storage/cost.
My 2c.

33 Keri April 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

So much nicer than my husband’s blue nylon luggage set with too many straps and compartments. (Can you imagine a woman saying there are too many compartments in a bag?!) But what can I say–it was free.

But I’m salivating over that hard-sided leather suitcase.

I would say that one thing everyone should carry in their Dopp Kitt is 2-3 days’ worth of their prescription medicines. I keep telling my husband that he needs to do that, because sometimes we end up staying the night somewhere unexpectedly. I always carry a small bottle of my medicine in my purse, so I’m ready for any emergency which might take me away from home for several days.

34 Tim Hardy April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Good article with lots of variety – I’m taking notes for my future range.

35 Jason Clark April 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

http://www.luggageworksonline.com/

Indian Jones would have this luggage!
Joe Banks (Joe vs. The Volcano) would have this luggage!
Frodo would have this luggage!
Han Solo has this luggage!
Capt. Kirk has this luggage!

36 Brent Pittman April 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

This is the dopp kit I’ve got my eye on:
http://shop.mcmanus.la/dopp-kit/

37 CS April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Err…. Ummm… I believe this site is called “the art of MANLINESS”… F$%^ NO a man’s luggage shouldn’t roll!!!! What’s all this garbage about sore necks and backs!?!?!? What’s this horse puckey about looking like a pack mule!?!?!? I’ll SMOKE any one of you fey travelers by jogging past you at Narita airport wearing my pack while you sissies are trying to keep your silly rollerboard from flipping over! BEING A WIMP IS A WEAK ATTEMPT AT JUSTIFYING A LACK OF MANLINESS! (those with health issues are excused)

38 Ghost April 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Nope. I’ve been using the same backpack for the last 12 years. It got me through part of middle school, all of high-school, and college.

39 Jerrod April 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

@LG, Doc_S, Nick

I do not believe Walker Lamond meant to offend any of yalls feminine or out of shape deltoids or forearms. And someone carrying wheel-less luggage that is able to “zip from the airport to meet a client without sweating or appearing to be a pack mule” and able to “schlep that 20 lb. wheel-less wonder” through various airports is……manly :)

40 Ted Dubin April 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Need luggage that rolls. Non-rolling luggage is a leftover concept (unless it’s a weekender bag) from the days of porters and skycaps. I travel for business and I am not going to wear my meeting suits on the plane to save $25. Nor am I going to sacrifice my personal standards to cram everything I will wear for 4 days in a carryon-size case. Man up and check a bag or 2.

41 Oliver Lewis April 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Meh… Seems like most people take way to much luggage with them. I travel often, and for durations of weeks, and I see no reason why all of the essentials cannot be fit in a carryon bag. Most people tend to overpack and purchase bags that are too large. Practice minimalism and maybe go to laundromat.

42 Mr. Smith April 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I use the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 day pack as my college bookbag. It holds any book that I will need along with my laptop. I’ve also used it for traveling by air and for USMC training marches (I am NOT a Marine yet, I’m applying to become an officer). The bag is very durable being made of heavy nylon and adaptable due to the MOLLIE system and number of pockets on board. It looks both awesome and Manly! I wouldn’t use it for a business trip, but it works great for almost everything else! Check it out!

43 Scott April 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

For a garment bag, I use a product called the Skyroll. It is a garment bag that rolls around a central tube. It makes it a great carry-on and my clothes come out smooth. You can store shoes, Dopp kit or whatever in the tube as well.

44 Mike DeMarco April 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm

At the end of the day, after all is said and done, buy Tumi Luggage. You can’t kill their ballistic nylon products and their leather carry-ons and garment bags are the best.

45 jsallison April 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm

When I checked in to G Trp, 2/2 ACR our irascible 1SG ‘informed’ me that I would need one of these: http://www.militarylogisticsmfg.com/p0000202.html for our bi-annual trips to the local IGB border camp as only what could be stuffed into one of these would be allowed to board the troop train along with our duffel bags stuffed with other stuff we had to bring and that was of absolutely no value for daily living. It has served nobly for 35+ years in the capacity of official stuff schlepper for me. Absolutely indestructible, cheap and in-deformable. Toss in a $2.50 ‘shaving stuff” bag from the local PX, a minimalist ‘dopp bag’ and I’ve traveled tens of thousands of miles since with nary a worry or lost/broken ‘stuff’. I’ve eyed many high-dollar, usually full leather ‘solutions’ to this problem since, but I’m nothing, if not cheap.

46 jsallison April 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm

As I had the habit of letting it ride in the bustle rack of my ride du-jour (usually an M60A3 or M1 MBT at that point) the repeated exposure to triple-base propellant has caused me to be of continual interest to the slack-jawed morons who infest airport ‘securitah’ lines these days. My response to them can be summed up in one, two word phrase that I leave to your imagination. And be damned to them.

47 jsallison April 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

There’s a reason that I absolutely WILL. NOT. FLY. And TSA is “IT”.

48 Paul Hilbink April 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm

This was a decent article, but with all due respect you may have taken the “manliness” thing a bit too far.

Most of the luggage reviewed is either canvas or leather, and HEAVY. I love Filson, but not their luggage. As a sailor and beach bum, most of my travel is to places that are hot and humid, and canvas and leather doesn’t do well in those climates.

A few years ago I sold all of my Filson and Orvis canvas and leather luggage, and bought one Red Oxx carry on bag. Half the weight, and no issues with salt water or mildew. Red Oxx rocks!

49 JT April 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I’m going to Thailand for 2 weeks I tought this article to be ammusing but not to helpful as I am still a student (16) I’m going to take a 60L hiking pack so I can use it for my out door trips when I get back. I want to make sure it will fit in the overhead though as it will be a pain in the ass to have to worry about my bag for a several hour flight.

50 LPB April 25, 2012 at 12:29 am

I can swear by this stuff, you will NOT wear it out!

Rigid, but lighter than anything else.

Not cheap, mind.

http://www.globetrotter1897.com/shop/flagship/

And it will take a lot more than TSA to keep me from flying.

51 BB April 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

@Tom and @Doc_S

I’ve read a number of these comments and questions on this blog lately and they make me wonder … are you seriously going through THAT much trouble to get your safety/straight razors through security and/or check them so you’ll have the kind of razor your great-grandfather used during the depression?

I’m all for the retro-manliness that is celebrated (often at the expense of a] economic wisdom, and b] the realities of modern life) here at AofM, but come on …. Use a disposable 4 or 5 blade Gillette MachFusionWhatever. They actually do a pretty good job of getting the stubble off your face without having to worry about whether you can get them through TSA checkpoints.

It seems that too many people on this blog are so concerned with “appearing” manly, that they have become just one more flock of fashion-followers, and not true men.

Because seriously, the best shave I ever got was from a cheap-assed single blade plastic disposable that a hotel gave me when I’d forgotten to pack one. I don’t need a throw-back to WWI or Teddy Roosevelt to get a good shave or to feel manly.

52 Native son April 25, 2012 at 2:25 am

Ah, to have the relatively unlimited budget and the opportunities to travel that Antonio enjoys!
The man has style.
However, most travellers I’ve seen tend to pack far too much clothing and stuff for a short trip. I believe my forebearers managed to cross at least one ocean and a continent with less clothing than some guys think necessary for a three-day Wine Country weekend. somehow I’ve managedfor several decades with at most three pieces of luggage (one checked suitcase, a carry on bag, and the ancient canvas briefcase that triples as a laptop bag, briefcase and emergency overnight bag (it also fits under the economy-class seats in aircraft).

53 Sean Connolly April 25, 2012 at 2:31 am

The distance from the taxi stand to either the check-in counter or baggage claim is insignificant. Roller bags are fine in linoleum-floored airports but awkward in cobble-stoned streets, dirt roads, and countries beyond the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For my birthday, my wife has kindly upgraded my luggage from rip stop nylon USMC hygiene kit and sea bag to leather Brooks Bros. shaving kit and garment bag. I endorse both sets for their intended purposes.

54 AC April 25, 2012 at 3:22 am

“OK, OK, I give in. A Man’s luggage can roll! I always find it funny how you guys pick up on one sentence in a 2000 word article:) Haha!

My point though – which @Bob Lewent illustrates, is a man is creating an image when he first meets people. His luggage is a part of that – so if you’re carrying your gear in a plastic grocery bag expect me to wonder about the quality of work you’ll do for me as a consultant.

Rational? Fair? Not at all, but as human beings we make split second decisions and if I meet you in the airport or hotel lobby – your luggage is part of your professional image.

Great comments – please keep adding to the conversation!”

I work in colsultancy. Dressing up and causing a flawless impression is essential in this business, and long international trips are frequent. I can guarantee I’ve never seen anyone in my business travelling with anything other than a wheeled suitcase. Comparing it with a grocery bag is one big fallacy.

.

55 Jason April 25, 2012 at 7:59 am

I’m a carry-on kind of guy. Who wants to wait for a half an hour for their bag when you can get off the plane and go? That said, I have to have a tight package. First, I start by packing only what I know I am definately going to need. If I can wear the same clothes/shoes to go out in at night that I wore for business during the day, then why pack another set of clothes/shoes. If I have to wear something different when I go out at night; can I just rewear the clothes from the night before or mix an match to make a new outfit? Now for the baggage. For business travel, I rarely use anything other than a tri-fold garmet bag. It folds up tight, you throw it over your shoulder and go. I love a nice dopp kit, but as guy who carries on and with TSA regulations, my dopp kit is a now a Ziploc bag, which by the way has saved me a huge mess several times over. If you pack right and mark smart decisions about what you bring along, you can easily pack for a 4-5 day trip with one tri-fold carry on and a business-style backpack for all your work needs.
Family travel is a whole different story. Don’t even think about packing light. Get a large roller, pack it full and check the bag. Forget about trying to lug anything on the plane other than a backpack full of entertainment and snacks for the kids.
Safe travels!

56 bMac April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

After checking out onebag.com I decided to go carry-on for our next trip. My wife wouldn’t risk losing her ‘options’ as she called it, so took her usual mid-sized wheelie. I thought, great, you can check my dopp kit in there. Worked fine on the way out. But on the way back I ended up schlepping her wheelie, my carry-on, a new set of queen-sized sheets, a duty-free bottle of scotch, and my personal carry-on through the damned airport!! Lesson: there’s no such thing as travelling light!

57 Tim Muse April 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

A Sea/Cruise Box if you’re headed out on deployment!

58 jsallison April 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

from LPB:
“… And it will take a lot more than TSA to keep me from flying.”

Oh, they aren’t the only reason and while I do actually enjoy flying I refuse to be treated like cattle, or a potential terrorist. It’s my money and I’ll spend it, or not, as I please.

59 Brandon April 26, 2012 at 12:38 am

Those that make fun of roller luggage are not seasoned travelers who must stay in places more than two changes of clothes. I have put tons and tons of miles on my checked bag suitcase just going from terminals to rental car stations, to hotel desks, and rooms. If you have to bring a lot of stuff with you, like I do, and you don’t have rollers… when you finally accept electricity and running water, you will see their place in life. Hehehe…

As for the TSA comments, if you know what they need you to do, it’s not much of a hassle. Don’t bring any silly liquids, remove your shoes, put your laptop in a separate bin, take off all of your metal, remove your jacket, stand with your hands above your head in the scanner, and go get your stuff. It’s not rocket science… and sure enough, I get the crusty old dude in front of me who is astonished that he needs to take off his shoes with a “this is an outrage” comment… He’s the hold up… We’ve been removing our shoes for a decade. I don’t even think about it.

60 Orac April 26, 2012 at 6:06 am

@BB…

Thank you. It needed to be said and I couldn’t agree more. Still, as long as these folks are willing to live with the consequences of their choices more power to them. I tilt at windmills all the time even though their are more logical choices I could make.

61 Moeregaard April 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I’ve found that a small, wheeled suitcase properly packed will keep me in clean clothes for a week. Everything that needs to be checked goes in here, while my carry-on contains my laptop, wallet, and a change of clean BVDs and socks in case the checked bag goes awol. I never spend too much on a suitcase that will be checked, because airline baggage handlers will do their best to give it that “well traveled” look. Think of it as a consumable item. Also, I carry a roll of 3M filament tape and a handful of nylon “zip” ties for the inevitable luggage malfunction. Finally, be polite to the TSA guys. I’ve checked shotguns when going over to Kauai for a week of bird hunting, and they were kind enough to carefully repack everything after inspection, and even wrapped the latches of the gun case with the aforementioned filament tape at my request.

62 Chris April 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Great article, keep up the good work!

63 H April 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

For international travel, I would not use anything other than a rolling suitcase, preferably in a carry-on size. I have managed trips up to a month with nothing but a carry on. The only time when I would consider anything else is if I was expecting to carry the pack over uneven terrain, for extended periods of time. In that case the choice would be an ultralight backpack.

Local travel, especially by car allows for more stylish options but even then a black roll on is almost never out of place.

64 Kevin B April 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

I want that Steamer Trunk. That would be the coolest piece of luggage ever.

65 Buffet April 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

Only flaming homosexuals use luggage with wheels!

66 Mike April 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Don’t forget the seabag!

67 dannyb278 April 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Buffet:

Dont be a baffoon. i am on the road 3 weeks out of every month, 6 months out of the year. I do backmountain survey for the u.s government. Figure 70 pounds of gear for 2 weeks plus survey equipment and laptop. For me to carry my pack, computerbag and all my gear, a roller is neccesary. i tried it my first season with my old army duffle, and it made running accross denver airport almost impossible.

Anyone who thinks roller bags are unmanly is free to join me in the backcountry for a few weeks, hiking through the bush (not on trails).

68 jesse April 29, 2012 at 12:08 am

i use a 50′s samsonite hard side bullet proof and easy to locate at luggage carosel

69 Don April 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

@JT I just did two and a half weeks in Japan almost like you’re describing; we went minimalist, though staying in hostels and taking the train a LOT. A 60 liter pack isn’t going to pass as a carry on, 46 liters is the max for that, and it needs to be as compact as you can manage. I used an Osprey Porter 46 and found it to be perfect on 4 flights and wrangling on trains and subways. HOWEVER, I can’t recommend it for wearing as a pack for more than a short time, the straps and waist belt lack good padding, though the harness itself is nicely adjustable. The harness also stores nicely and makes for a very clean appearance with little to snag on anything. My companion had a traditional 46 liter pack with better harness, but it was a nightmare to carry on transportation.

70 Kerfin April 30, 2012 at 12:53 am

I found that while backpacking in Europe, a backpack that can be carried on flights was great. Maybe not quite so much for the business trip, or for style, but it was definitely effective. Some even have smaller day-packs that attach to them for excursions.

71 Hartmann April 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

While the bags shown in this article are all handsome pieces and no doubt represent excellent craftmanship, there seems to be an emphasis on form over function. Shouldn’t funtionality be the most important quality a man looks for in a bag? As a seansoned traveller I judge a bag in terms of durability, waterproofing, and cubic inch capacity. Fashionable details, no matter how appealing, should take a back seat in this arena.

72 Expatriated May 1, 2012 at 8:01 am

Learn to pack (www.onebag.com)

“He who would travel happy must travel light” Never pack anything you’re not willing to carry the length of Heathrow.

I haven’t checked a bag in years and I fly 2-3 weeks internationally with a suit.

And no wheels!

I’ve bought pretty much every brand mentioned above. Like some of the others, I finally settled on Red Oxx. (www.redoxx.com) Their C-Ruck is perfect for me.

I love a good Dopp kit but they are almost impractical now as you have to have your liquids in the plastic bags for the government special needs workers (TSA).

73 nic May 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Being a frequent traveler myself, I’ve already knew most of this. But good to see a more organised and detailed layout of it. And yeah, backpack with a suit is a definite NO.

74 Gregory May 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Does anyone know where a guy can get a leather gladstone bag these days?

75 Bryce May 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Any thoughts on travelling with a suit when you don’t have room for a garment bag?

I travel with a rolling cary in size bag and often end up wearing my suit on the plane. Is there a better way to pack a suit if you are short in space?

76 Bryce May 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Any thoughts on travelling with a suit when you don’t have room for a garment bag? I travel with a rolling cary in size bag and often end up wearing my suit on the plane. Is there a better way to pack a suit if you are short in space?

77 DCHANSON May 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

glad to see NO man purses.

78 James of the Glens May 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

Dchanson (77), exactly. And if you do, give ‘em a very wide berth. Barge pole distance.

Surprised the Billingham (UK) canvas/leather bags, as carry-on, did not get a mention. I use one extensively, and although they’re rather old school that same quality allows you to get away toting them with almost any gear (except a Gieves and Hawke suit.. and even then..). Plenty of models and sizes, too, albeit expensive (but the older they get, the more cache gained).

79 Kyle December 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm
80 SL December 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

If you travel hard do yourself a favor and spend a little more upfront. It pays dividends in the long run. I recommend Briggs & Riley.

81 Jeff January 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Wearing a bag slung over your shoulder is a good way to ruin a suit. Better to have wheels.

82 Ruth February 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it
and checking back frequently!

83 DC Keel February 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I like this one too. It’s similar to some of the bags shown though.
http://mentelligent.com/piazza-italian-calf-skin-leather-messenger-bag

84 JK April 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I love the bags on this site https://www.facebook.com/#!/BURGHLEYBAGS.
They have a website but i cant remember it

85 Chris T April 21, 2013 at 10:49 am

I realize this article was posted a year ago. But, after just returning from Disney World with my wife and our six year old son here are some observations.

DOPP Kit. I use a soft sided REI one. It has a hook to keep it out of the way and takes up little space. Leave the Merkur rasor at home and use disposable razors.

Most resorts have washers / dryers available. Call ahead to check. You don’t need a new set of clothes for every day.

I also packed an REI Flash Pack. ( http://www.rei.com/product/827110/rei-flash-18-pack ) for daily carry in the parks. This became my son’s carry on item for our return.

My one “duh” moment was realizing we could have skipped the roller by using a full size carry on bag for our son. Nothing says he has to be able to carry his item.

86 Michael S. April 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

When I travel, I use my old U.S. Army OD Green duffle that was Issued to me back in Basic and for dress gear, I put that in the black garment back I got from the PX for my Class A’s back in the day. But for my laptop and other electronics, I have a ACU-style ruck that has a compartment for laptops up to 17″.

87 J.H.P. July 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

Mr. Centeno, I’m a little sad you forgot the rucksack! it’s a good balance between a duffel and a backpack, but with less protection. I always use my canvas ruck for a daily carry, unless it’s time to be outdoors, then a frame is necessary. In my opinion, the army duffel is the best check in luggage; it can be locked, made of tough canvas, water resistant, and very, very few people have the audacity to mess with an army man’s luggage, which is easily identifiable from a distance.

88 Euan M July 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I work offshore and as a rule you will see most guys taking their gear with them in holdalls. The North Sea standards are the Montrose Rope and Sail All Weather Kit Bag in size medium or the North Face Duffel Bag in a size medium. Both seem to fit well with helicopter size limits and can put up with a fair bit of abuse from being thrown on and off helicopters! I use the North Face Duffel and it has done me well so far.

As for rucksacks I have just upgraded to a North Face Surge 2 backpack which seems to have lots of space.

For a smarter look at home I use a Barbour Wax and Leather Briefcase.

89 CrifJohnson October 24, 2013 at 4:04 am

Thanks for sharing this amazing post. When I travel, I love to take my carry on bags. It is very convenient and can accommodate lots of stuff.

90 Eric J. December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

A couple of years ago when I was in college, before I joined the real world and got a job, I would have been in full agreement with the author of the article. Traveling in a civilized style is pleasant, and I enjoy the aesthetics of traditional manliness, like using my father’s old dopp kit, a straight razor, etc. That being said, I have come to realize, as my travel now consists of flights for personal vacations and not business trips or casual weekend road trips, that for many men, old-style luggage is simply not practical. It tends to be expensive, it tends to be both heavier and less durable, or more prone to damage, than modern luggage, and it tends to stand out in a way that screams “I have more money than I need, feel free to relieve me of my accessories and accoutrements.” In other words, it’s mostly for looks, and represents style over substance. This is fine and dandy if your multinational company’s picking up the tab and can pay for your higher-end hotel with porter service, etc. It’s not fine and dandy when you’re footing the bill (and hoofing the luggage) yourself.

1. Wheeled luggage: Good and bad. Great for checked bags, if you must have one, because any checked bag is probably going to be sufficiently heavy that you’re not going to want to carry it on foot any great distance. In all likelihood it will never leave the environment of paved parking lots, tiled airport floors, and car trunks, or perhaps luggage racks on a train.

Wheels are Bad for carryons, because they’re often singled out for gate-checking if you are flying on the increasingly common smaller regional jets. It’s better to learn to pack light, and to carry a carryon that can be worn over the shoulder or as a backpack, which is worlds faster than a rolling carryon when you’re making a mad dash to the farthest gate in the farthest terminal in order to make your connection flight.

2. Dopp Kits: cool idea, but not practical today because of TSA. Leather ones also tend to be way too full of wasted space, and heavy. Only worthwhile if you’re taking a trip by car, in which case you can bring the bathroom sink too if you want, and are only limited by the capaciousness of your trunk or back seat.

3. Most briefcases employed in a luggage role serve simply as conspicuous tech-toting cases. This has it’s place, and it’s great to pull a slick looking laptop out of a slick briefcase to give a slick presentation, but it should be borne in mind that for a lot of guys it’s an affectation. Unless they actually need to impress business contacts, a good carryon will serve just as well to hold boarding passes, a pen, gadgets, and maybe a book when traveling. A “personal item” is really quite overrated, and is just one more thing to carry.

4. Hard-sided non-wheeled luggage, like that Saddleback monstrosity, is obsolete for practical purposes. The hard sides are meant to provide protection, but protection from careless human baggage handlers is seldom up to the rigors of protecting the contents from automated airport systems, and isn’t necessary when the luggage is used in a car, so it just adds unnecessary weight and bulk.

5. Leather is impractical. It looks great, feels luxurious, but it’s expensive, prone to rotting in humid environments, needlessly heavy, doesn’t offer a great amount of protection compared to superior synthetic materials, and really offers nothing but appearance to recommend it.

6. One enjoys travel much more when one doesn’t have to fret about one’s stuff. Stuff is cheap these days, is readily available everywhere, and there is no need to pack massive amounts of it, even for longer trips. Usually, for car trip or flight, one carryon-sized piece of luggage per person is quite sufficient.

91 Ryan R March 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Um,I’m a young man in college and I do like to carry my laptop/note book with me, as well as various other things for maintenance and paper work that I need to complete. I currently have a well cared for Laptop Case that is in a black false-leather. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or recommendations about something a bit more professional for me to carry such articles in?

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