How many pieces of luggage do you lug around? Do you stuff everything into one suitcase — from your cufflinks to your shaving cream? Or do you do things properly; dividing, folding and methodically packing every single item into well-made, well-maintained pieces of signature luggage?
Because that’s what you should be doing. Packing your bags before a journey is a ritual; a pre-trip art that takes talent and patience in equal zipped-up, clicked-shut measure. That’s why we’ve had a rifle through our own luggage collections and identified the six bags and cases that every modern man should own. Let’s start small, and work our way up…
Begin with a quality washbag…
First up — if you’re all set for passport covers and luggage tags — is a good quality washbag. If you’re toting your toiletries to far-flung destinations, the last thing you want to do is stow them in a sub-par, non-sealable piece of luggage. Invest in the best and, if a toothpaste tube does explode, your trousers won’t bear that minty brunt.
Our first choice would be this black ‘saffiano’ washbag from Aspinal of London. Handcrafted using this textured full-grain leather, it’s got a particularly hardwearing finish — accentuated by sturdy feet and a hardy full-length zip. It’s also lined with silk, for an added touch of luxury.
Aspinal of London Black Saffiano Washbag
Next up, a durable tote bag…
There’s nothing particularly suave or sophisticated about a tote bag; but these handy pieces of mid-level luggage make perfect travelling companions. Easy to carry, you can throw any manner of tools, trinkets or accessories into them on the shortest of notice. Heading to the beach? Tote. Mad dash through the airport? Tote. Nipping out for a coffee? Tote.
And Bennett Winch’s full leather tote has even managed to capture some of the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that the usual designs lack. It’s kind of a ‘Tote 2.0’ — with a solid brass zip, secure laptop sleeve and slightly longer handles than you’re used to. Pair those design tweaks with some supple Tuscan leather, and you’ve got a workaday winner.
Bennett Winch Tote Bag
Obviously you’ll need a backpack…
Knapsack, rucksack, bookpack — call it what you want; every modern man should own a backpack. Some slightly older gents may prefer a briefcase, or the more scholarly satchel, but there’s a reason most men carry a backpack on their commutes, on their holidays, or just through daily life. It’s because they work.
The design is a masterstroke. It’s simple, easy and spreads the weight of whatever you zip away across your shoulders. Chapman has here improved on the classic backpack design; adding a roll-top, smart black leather and a reflective surface for safety. There’s even a briefcase handle thrown in for those attaché traditionalists.
Chapman Innovative ‘Cycling’ Backpack
Then there’s your suit carrier…
Don’t go forgetting your formalwear. Whether you’re jetting off on a business trip, or heading into the countryside for a destination wedding, nothing rankles like wrinkles in your three-piece. But there’s a simple solution; the suit carrier was designed to hang your threads and fold them oh-so carefully — to ensure they don’t crease or crumple.
From luggage experts Rimowa, this slick black garment bag takes things one fold further. A ‘trifold’ design sees your suit turned three ways and secured with snap buttons — with webbing loops and a custom made Rimowa hanger keeping extra secure. Particularly handy if you hit a patch of nasty turbulence.
Rimowa Trifold Garment Bag
Don’t forget your overnight bag…
It’s another important piece of versatile luggage. Whether you opt for an unstructured duffel or a tougher, rougher option (Bennett Winch make a holdall with a built-in suit carrier if you’re looking for a two-in-one), an overnight bag is a key piece of luggage in a modern man’s travel arsenal.
We prefer the smarter look; and have plumped for this jet black, vegetable-tanned leather ‘Weekender’ from Charlies Laurie London. With interior laptop sleeve, front zip pockets and a removable shoulder strap for ease of use, the British brand can tailor the leather colour and suede lining to your exact wants, whims and specifications.
Charles Laurie Weekender
And finally, a solid suitcase…
Well what else would we end with? The suitcase has been a cornerstone of luggage collections for centuries. And, while Rimowa above may have introduced the iconic mass market aluminium suitcase, we’re rather taken by this blacked-out option from Away.
With a striking hard shell, 360° spinner wheels and the brand’s signature interior compression system, this case may be big — but it’s designed to still fit in the overhead lockers of most major airplanes. It also has an electrifying hidden talent; an ejectable, TSA-approved USB charger built in so you can charge your gadgets and gizmos on the go.
Away 'The Bigger Carry-On’ Aluminium Edition
Want more travel essentials? Pack these noise-cancelling headphones next time you jet off…
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