The perfectly sized and properly priced duffel can be elusive (hell, brands can’t even decide one way to spell it). When the occasion calls for light packing in something that’ll easily fit in the back seat or sling comfortably over your shoulder there are myriad options, but how many of them can be considered worth a buy? What follows are 40 of the best duffel bags to fit every budget. We’ve stripped out old options and introduced 25 new bags across a wide range of prices. Get packin’.
Steal that storm's thunder
An umbrella paired with classic, temperature-appropriate outerwear is and always will be the best way to stay dry and fly. With that in mind, we picked five excellent umbrellas that run the gamut from compact to full-sized.
Empty Canvases, Waiting to be Filled
We know you love leather bags, and so do we. But there are times, say, when you’re toting your photography gear, that you need a more all-weather, utilitarian alternative. In fact, we’ll say it now — leave the leather for trips and commutes. We’ve rounded up our favorites and put them through their paces to come up with our list of the five best canvas camera bags for the discerning photographer.
Hungry Like the Wolf
Immorality? Regulation? Terrible ties? Ah, the early 90s. Whether you recall that fateful turn of the decade where the 80s blindly roared into the 90s as a style doldrum (gaping pinstripes and questionable patterns) or a blind, no-holds-barred epoch (let’s do lunch!), there’s no questioning that Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street will smash into theaters this Christmas with boom-time style.
In anticipation, we’ve put together a big-money style guide inspired by a few memorable scenes to commemorate Scorsese’s nearly three-hour celluloid tribute to the infamous “Wolfpack”. The 90s may have lacked style, but it’s hard to say we don’t miss it, just a bit. Fuckin’ a.
Be a stylish song reader
Music is a language everyone can appreciate, a language many of us can understand aurally — and a language only some of us can read. Because it’s most accessible to the population in its aural form — that’d be the CDs or MP3s you purchase (okay, vinyl too, hipsters) — artists generally (always) release their music in a format that can be heard. Beck isn’t a typical artist. Case in point, his latest 20-song album, Song Reader, was, in a clever/strange/excellent twist, released unrecorded, in sheet music form.
And so a unique musical release begets another unique release. Warby Parker (they of remarkably affordable and stylish eyeglass/prescription lens combinations) has collaborated with the man himself (he of personal style that is as notable as the music he writes) to offer a line of eyewear — dubbed the Carmichael — to ensure those music types among us who suffer from unfortunate vision can read the songs from Song Reader‘s sheet music release, and to make sure music fans (well, anyone, really) can enjoy strutting around with limited-edition specs perched atop their noses.
Always Be Closing
The present state of business prizes efficiency above all else: large outputs from small teams, multitasking, checking email while jogging, jogging while conference calling, working vacations. In this paradigm a leisurely lunch gums up the works. But the reality is that a face-to-face over charred ribeyes and bone-dry martinis can replace a week’s worth of email exchanges. One good single-pump handshake and a knowing smile is good for a billion retweets. The power lunch, like the double-breasted suit, is not back: it never went away. To do it right you’ll need a few accoutrements, which you’ll find right here. We’ll see you at Dorsia.
Slim Is In
Reducing your wallet’s contents reaps many benefits: it’s cathartic, helps with prioritization, and, most of all, gives you the chance to get a new, minimalist version. But finding the right minimalist cash caddy can be overwhelming. There are all sorts of types to sort through: card wallets, slim wallets, very simple money clips, front pocket wallets and so on. Instead of categorizing and complicating things more, we’ve decided to round up the best picks that run the entire gamut. Read on and find the perfect Simoleon sleeve for your new, minimalist life.
If you're between a soft and a hard case...
In the good old days of train travel a gentleman would have a cavalcade of steamer trunks in tow, housing all manner of wardrobe, knick knacks, accoutrement and what-have-yous. These days, a guy’s lucky if his rolling carry-on isn’t checked at the gate. Thankfully, weary traveler, technology is on your side. We’re pleased to introduce to you the best hard shell suitcases we would find, each a convergence of all the necessary requirements for travel, each unique in its own way.
Not far behind the invention of the wheel, in terms of ingenuity, is the wheeled duffel. The problem is, most wheeled duffels are either good at wheeling or good at holding gear, but seldom both; that’s not to mention most have a hybrid appearance that neither looks stylish on the concourse nor rugged in the outback. But that’s not true of the Victorinox Swiss Army Alpineer Wheeled Duffel ($250), a bag we’ve dragged around three countries and four mountain ranges since June.
36 gifts for the well-dressed gent
If you’re a stylish gent, you’re acutely aware of each seasonal shift. Spring affords chances to wear lighter, refreshed colors; summer is time for light material and sunglasses; autumn means breaking out a chunky cardigan. But it’s winter when a man can truly shine. He can layer. He can sport rich fabrics and hulking boots, overcoats and purposeful accessories. When there is such a wide, deep array of options in the winter wardrobe world, what exactly do you give the man who lives stylishly? We’re here to turn that dilemma into fruitful present curation. So brew up some nog, get out the wrapping paper (even if you’re giving to yourself) and check out our top picks in these important categories of winter style for the well dressed man.
What's old is new
Retro gear is retro for a reason: modern outdoor gear design performs better than its forebears in almost all respects. But we still have a soft spot for the leather, wool, canvas alpine designs of the 1950s and ‘60s — you know, before things got all sleek and neon. After seeing two Gear Patrol favorite brands, Topo Designs and Howler Brothers, collaborate to design a classic climbing pack, the Klettersack ($189), we decided to go all Reinhold Messner and take it to the mountains to see how a retro style pack works in the environment that inspired it.
Essentials for the daily grind
Dali said intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Clearly, you’ve got both in spades — all that’s lacking is better preparation. Small upgrades can make big differences in organization, confidence and execution, and luckily for you, we’ve dug up the must-have office essentials to help you stay focused on conquering the office, one job done well at a time. Heed our advice and maybe you’ll be patting backs soon.
Essentials for a Smooth Trip
Travel pros. You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. They glide through check-in, make the body-scan look like a photo shoot and sightsee like locals. Sure, part of it might be their passport with 200 stamps, but the right kit makes a world of difference, too. Whether you’re embarking on a shuttle flight or a trip around the globe, there are a few pieces of gear that will improve life on the road dramatically. We’ve got ‘em.
Hope your son's into photography
When traversing with photography equipment, you need a camera bag that can travel the same way you do: with a minimalist’s panache. We recently spent a weekend in New York City with something that fits the bill: the Billingham Hadley Small ($204), a handsome shoulder bag with a hefty woven strap, adjustable compartments, and an understated sophistication.
A look beyond the usual suspects
Once you’ve got your bike, which you should by now, the next step is to pick up the appropriate accessories. For commuters, second only to a helmet is a suitable bag that holds the necessities and, beyond that, meets specific, personal work- or looks-related criteria. The next thing to consider is the style of bag — backpack, messenger or something else entirely? We’ve got all of the above, with a preference toward backpacks.
In fashion, it really is the little things that make a big difference. The little things Happy Socks does just happen to be bigger. The Swedish-designed combed cotton socks are bold in all the right ways, playful yet fashionable, sui generis without being obnoxious. Their colorful creations are a great fit in today’s bold style moment, the perfect eye-catching touch to draw the kind of stares you’re after. Read on for more on the brand.
Call it the “Goldilocks of Bags” if you like, though sometimes it seems like more of a “Unicorn of Bags”: the perfectly sized and properly priced duffel can be elusive (hell, brands can’t even decide one way to spell it). When the occasion calls for light packing in something that’ll easily fit in the back seat or sling comfortably over your shoulder there are myriad options, but how many of them can be considered worth a buy? What follows are 30 of the best duffel bags to fit every budget. These represent a vast array of materials, styles, colors and purposes, but suffice it to say each of these duffels is just right.
Getting attached to GORUCK's Weekend Bag
On my first night with the GORUCK GR2 ($395) we slept together in a bus station — and we’ve been going steady since. Specifically, after a flight from Cancun to Havana and midnight bus from Havana to Santa Clara, in the geographical center of Cuba, I looped a carabiner through the side webbing of the GR2, clipped it to my jacket’s pit vents, rested my head gently against her rugged 1000D cordura, and knocked off for six hours in a metal row chair.
The good kind of shady
Finally the brightness of summer is on its way. Now, for the harsh reality: you’ve had plenty of time during the last five months of gray to forget where you left your last set of sunglasses. If you’re in need of a new pair, the beloved aviator never goes out of style, pairs well with everything from a suit to board shorts, and just looks damn good. Read on for the five best aviators for summer 2013.
Integral travel companion
I have terrible luck checking luggage, and the list of destinations where I’ve arrived with only the clothes on my back spans the globe: Iceland, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Germany. The problem is, most carry-on bags are unwieldy, anonymous “roll-aboards” or lumpy backpacks that are better suited for campus or the trail. The TUMI Tegra-Lite ($595) bucks those trends and has quickly become my second favorite travel companion, behind my wife.
Old School, High Quality, No BS
In the constant pursuit of a high-quality, stylish lifestyle, it’s understandable that we men may stray from the path a time or two — a truck stop frozen burrito here, a discount-grade pair of white socks there. Most times, though, we regret purchasing shoddy products. Owen & Fred, The Store For Men is a response to just such disappointing gimmickry, providing the superbly crafted choice for everything from dopp kits to ties to kitchen accessories and all the rest.
Men’s accessory master Alexander Olch has stepped out of the box with a woven “in-the-round” wool-twill pocket companion ($60). It’ll even spruce up drab winter attire and transition to spring if you’re the type to live dangerously by taunting the sun in a blazer. More importantly, origami skills aren’t required. In fact for best results, a certain sloppy swagger is desired. Just pinch from the middle and tuck it into your blazer. Matchey mates will want to grab this companion tie, too.
Ring belts are the saving grace for casual types who can’t stand the sight of belt loops in the raw. These Archival Webbing Belts ($28) are a restrained alternative to the preppy stripes and bright colors you’ll soon see crowding retailers’ spring shelves. They’re made in Portland, OR, from British mil-spec cotton webbing and feature a Horween leather tab and red bar tack stitching. For proper sizing, measure your waist and add 6 inches, then compare this number to Archival’s “Finished Length of Belt”. Remember to leave slack for those porterhouse binges.
Stiff in any size
Tie wearers know that material, pattern and the cut of neckwear goes a long way; indeed, perhaps more important is the knot. But what good is the perfectly done tie without a properly crisp collar to cinch it around? Dedicated to maintaining a gentleman’s good form in over 20 common collar styles, Swiss Stays ($8-$125) has given the sometimes frustrating behind-the-scenes champion of men’s formal fashion, collar stays, a shot of much needed one-size-fits-most juice.
A Real Guitar Hero
It may not house the firepower needed to take down a Mexican drug lord, but the Mono Vertigo Top Loading Guitar Case ($205) will keep any mariachi’s six-
shooter string safe, sound and ready to rock. Unlike other soft-shells, which fold faster than a limp bizkit without an axe on board, the Vertigo was built to stand up (literally) to something all strummers do: grabbing that baby by the neck and getting onstage in a hurry.
There’s nothing novel about the A.P.C. Leather and Canvas Holdall ($370) in terms of shape or size. It’s the versatile combination of black washed leather and brown canvas detailing that caught our eye. The 18″ (W) x 10″ (H) x 10″ (D) bag features an internal pocket, detachable shoulder strap and has more than enough room for gym clothes or even an overnight stay, granted you don’t pack like Kanye. An included luggage tag should keep confused (envious) travelers from “mistakenly” grabbing it.
Toting around an über-expensive camera and loads requisite gear can be stressful — rain cares about your $7,000 DSLR about as much as it cares that you didn’t pack an umbrella. Hope is not lost. Chrome’s Niko Camera Pack ($180) is made of weatherproof nylon and is a multi-tasking, multi-pocketed beast.
It's what's underneath that counts
“Daily wear” is right; we’re not promoters of commando in the least. Mack Weldon socks, underwear and undershirts ($13-$32) hit the nail on the skivvies head. They’re simple, reasonably priced and comfortable as hell.
Riding your vintage hipster fixie might be cool. The tattered velcro handlebar bag that looks like you stole it from your sister when you were eight? Not cool. Detroit Cargo bails out ill-fitted cyclists with their Jefferson Handlebar Bag ($84). More English saddlebag than beats by Dre, the bag can hold tools, phones or even…