Our buying guide, The Best Weekender Duffel Bags, will provide you with our top choices for bags than can manage even an extended weekend trip. Each of the bags come from established and well-known brands and are manufactured to the highest of standards. But before we get to the list, let’s take a deeper look at what exactly qualifies as a weekender duffel bag.
What is a weekender bag?
Well, a weekender bag is pretty much what the name implies. It’s a bag that allows you to pack for a two-day trip usually during the weekend where there are no formal or work wear requirements.
The very first weekender bag was actually released by the noted brand L.L. Bean in 1944. It was basically a large canvas tote bag. But it wasn’t until later on in the 50s that it really caught on, when the bag was converted to leather.
Eventually, our ideas of a tote bag and a weekender diverged and a weekender was seen as a soft-sided duffel bag with two handles, and a large compartment for clothing.
What is a Weekender Bag Made From?
As we stated earlier, the first bags were made from canvas and later caught on when they were converted to leather. Modern day bags depending on the aesthetic and functionality that you’re looking for will be made from a multitude of materials. These materials include the original canvas and leather, as well as nylon.
Nylon is an excellent choice for those looking for an all weather bag. The canvas will work for this purpose as well if it is waxed. Waxed canvas may also be referred to as tin cloth.
Leather is great for those looking for more of a luxury bag that will stand the test of time. As these bags ag,e they will only gain more character.
How big are Weekender Bags?
Quite honestly this is a very subjective answer. Most bags should be big enough to fit a weekends worth of clothes and toiletries. You should look for a large opening for easy access and some even come with a compartment for a pair of shoes or electronics.
One our list most of the bags will measure around 22 inches long x 12 inches wide x 10 inches high. Sizes vary but you want to make sure you’re somewhere in this vicinity. This size is important especially if you’re going to be flying because the standard carry-on size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches. You want to make sure you don’t go over this or you’ll be stuck checking your bag.
What kinds of Weekender Bags are there?
The weekender bags that we have on this list are of the duffel bag variety. They will be soft sided and made from either canvas, leather or nylon and will have a large middle section with straps on either side. They will also have a variety of interior and exterior pockets.
As we stated previously there may also have specialty pockets for shoes and electronics. More modern weekenders may even come with batteries to keep your electronics charged on extended trips.
But there are also a couple more options to consider.
The only reason I’m included Totes is because they were they were the first weekender bag ever released. They are primarily made from canvas and are normally carried over one shoulder. L.L. Bean still carries totes for boating, hunting and camping. Some urban men have recently started using totes for day trips to the city.
Totes are no longer practical because of the shape and the ability to carry the appropriate number of items. They also lack appropriate security as most don’t have zippered openings.
For these reasons, I would suggest going with either the duffel bag or backpacks. But they are still great for camping, hunting trip or even that trip to the city.
Backpacks for weekend trips are becoming more popular. They’re normally associated with carrying books and electronics, but now brands are starting to design for clothing. When you think about it back packs are actually perfect for this kind of job. The main interior compartment can be adjusted in size for clothing, while internal and external pockets are great for carrying toiletries and electronics. And lastly, the fact that everything can be carried on your back, freeing your hands, makes them perfect for that trip through the airport.
We’ll take a deeper dive into Weekender Back Packs in the future. But for this article, we’ll be looking at the duffel variety. Let’s take a look at some popular brands.
Our Two Favorite Weekender Duffel Bag Brands
L.L. Bean made the original boat tote bag. So it was a must that we include them in the list. L.L. Bean was started in 1912 by Leon Leonwood bean who was an avid outdoorsman. He created his first boot after hiring a cobbler to stitch leather uppers to workmen’s rubber boots. Creating the first Main Hunting Shoe, a comfortable, functional boot perfect for exploring the Main woods. He landed expanded his catalog to include bags and the classic Boat Tote.
Filson is another rugged clothing brand who got their start in 1850. C.C. Filson headed to Seattle, Washington in the 1890s and ran an outfitting shop for the 1000s heading to the area for the great Gold Rush. Filson was known for designing goods that were particularly good at handling the rugged conditions of the north. One of Filson’s best bags is the aptly named, 48-hour duffle. Which happends to be the first bag in our buying guide.
The Best Weekender Duffel Bags
Filson 48-hour Weekender Duffle Bag
The Filson 48-hour Weekender Duffle Bag ($475) is absolutely gorgeous and makes the top of our list. It’s made out of Tin Cloth or Waxed Canvas making it water-repellent and extremely durable. It measures 19″ W x 11-1/2″ H x 7″ D which meets the maximum airline carry-on restrictions. The Filson Weekender bag will be your go-to bag for any trip.
It’s manufactured to the highest of standards. It features a solid brass zipper which allows full access to the bag. But that’s not all, it includes 7 pockets; 2 zipper pockets, 2 stow pockets, 1 interior slotted utility pocket, 1 interior zipper pocket, and 3 interior stow pockets. It also features tough bridle leather handles and an adjustable leather strap for over the shoulder carrying.
Whether you’re traveling on a business trip or just need an everyday bag you’ll find this to be one of the most versatile weekender bags around.
L.L. Bean Signature West Branch Weekender Duffel Bag
Early in this guide, we identified that one of the first weekender bags was the L.L. Bean Boat Tote. That tote is still in production today and the waxed canvas version is $89. But for the purpose of this guide, we’re going to take a look at the L.L. Bean Signature West Branch Weekender Duffel Bag ($199). For under $200 you’re getting a great weekender. The exterior is made our of ultra durable 1,200-denier polyester and features premium leather for the handles, straps, and trim. While the interior is wrapped in a water-resistant thermoplastic interior coating. Additional features include a removable leather shoulder strap, double zipper closure for easy packing, and buckled straps across the top for added security. Another classic that’ll never go out of style and will hold up for years.
Mismo M/X Explorer Navy/Dark Brown Weekender Duffel Bag
The Mismo M/X Explorer Navy/Dark Brown Weekender Bag ($586) is one of our favorites on the list. Any man will love having this stylish Italian nylon weekender bag with them! Whether you’re traveling, hitting the gym or just shopping this bag is ideal for today’s fashionable man. With total dimensions of 30 x 60 x 40 cms, it offers plenty of room for storage and features both interior and exterior pockets, leather trimmings, and a water repellent coating. It also features thick dual padded handles that mean this bag will always be comfortable to carry wherever you’re going.
Blue Claw Co. Worton Weekender Duffel Bag
The stylish Blue Claw Co. Worton Weekender Bag ($325) is a real work of art and its masculine color scheme and design makes it perfect for traveling, sports use and just general day to day usage. With total dimensions of 21 x 11 x 11 inches and a full-grain leather construction this stylish bag is perfect for today’s modern man. It features a variety of interior and exterior pockets and brass fixtures. It also features dual 9-inch handles and an adjustable shoulder strap so you can carry it however you like.
Travelteq Weekender Inside Out Duffel Bag
Available in a range of stylish colors and patterns the stylish Travelteq Weekender Inside Out Bag ($413) is ideal for today’s modern fashionable man! The perfect hybrid of style and practicality this glorious Italian bag is ideal for a variety of needs, from going to the gym and sports to traveling and much more. With total measurements of 22 x 12 x 10 inches this bag offers plenty of storage. It is made from a combination of leather and nylon so is also weather resistant and waterproof.
Sandqvist Jordan Cognac Leather Weekender Duffel Bag
The stylish Sandqvist Jordan Cognac Leather Weekender Bag ($385) is perfect for someone who is looking to add some premium leather to their trip. With its stylish tan leather construction, this charming bag has a very masculine quality and features a variety of pockets including an outer zipper pocket, a slip-in pocket, and two twin inner canvas pockets.
It measures 50 × 31 × 21.5 cms and features an adjustable shoulder strap, twin thick handles and a padded lining that will be sure to keep your belongings safe and secure. Plus it also comes with its own dust bag as well. Whether it’s traveling, the gym, shopping or anything else this leather weekender bag is versatile enough for a variety of different tasks.