Ask anyone who travels a lot: it’s much more fun when you have good luggage. Organisation while travelling is key, and you need the right bag for the right trip.
When it comes to the best men’s bags, we like to think practical, but stylish. They should get the job done, and be big enough to handle all your gear, but still look good while strolling through the airport. This is especially true for business trips, where looks genuinely matter.
There are dozens of types of bags for men, but as a general rule, think in terms of size. You want a small bag for your toiletries, a laptop sleeve or briefcase for work, a slightly larger messenger bag for day-to-day wear, and finally a duffle bag for check-in and clothes. You don’t need all these bags on every trip, of course, but having options will make your planning much easier. In this article we’re going to break down the best travel bags for men, and what you should (and shouldn’t) pack in them. Hint: sandwiches and old fruit are not good.
You’ve got plenty of flexibility when it comes to overnight bags. For most trips, you’re looking at one or two changes of clothes, your laptop, a wash bag, and that’s about it. Something like the Montoro Travel Bag is perfect for this sort of thing. It’s more compact than a full-size duffle, but there’s still plenty of room for all your stuff. It’s also got a detachable shoulder strap, which is handy when you’re running through airports or jumping in taxis. If you don’t need many clothes, even something like the Hugo backpack can work for overnighters. It’s lightweight, portable, and has a dedicated laptop sleeve.
You can also use men’s messenger bags for this sort of thing, but just be careful: don’t try and cram too much into a satchel bag. It’ll stretch and deform the leather. These guys are better for commuting and general day-to-day use.
Short trip bags
For short two or three-day trips, we recommend a couple of bags. One travel bag or duffle for your gear, and then a smaller bag for everyday wear. This is when a crossbody bag or messenger satchel can really shine. They’re not great for clothes and bulky items, but you can slot your laptop, headphones and work documents in here, then save your duffle for clothes and shoes. Start with the Montoro messenger bag for this one.
For larger items, the Cassian black duffle bag is a great check-in option: it’s got a detachable shoulder strap and external pockets for your phone and wallet. For something a little roomier, try the Montoro Weekender. It’s purpose-built for longer trips.
For long-haul adventures, you really need a duffle bag, or ‘weekender’ as they’re sometimes known. The best duffle bags for men are the ones with plenty of room and plenty of style. It’s a functional piece of luggage, sure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look good. For an all-leather duffle, again go with the Cassian: it’s made from hard-wearing leather, and it’s even got a padded laptop sleeve inside. Something like the Montoro or Cruiser Weekender are also good options. They’re a little bigger than the Cassian – perfect for overseas trips, or weekend getaways.
Just remember, duffle bags are unstructured, which means (without proper care) your stuff can get a bit jumbled. We recommend investing in some packing cubes, laptop sleeves, wash bags and other accessories to help organise your duffle. You’ll thank us when you need to unpack. If you’re travelling with expensive suits, don’t cram these in your duffle either. Invest in a proper garment bag. That’ll keep your suits clean, safe, and unwrinkled.
Business trip bags
Business trips might require a couple of bags, depending on your plans: a duffle or overnight bag for your clothes, plus a men’s briefcase for meetings and day-to-day use. The Cruiser Weekender is a classy option for your check-in luggage: it’s got a canvas outer and leather trim, with a detachable shoulder strap to keep your hands free. Your briefcase choice will again depend on the nature of your work, but make sure it’s big enough to handle a laptop, documents, business cards, and anything else you might need (not sandwiches and old bananas, don’t do that). The Montoro briefcase is a classic business bag, but if you need a little more room, go with the Hugo Briefcase instead. It features multiple pockets and compartments to help you stay organised.
Toiletry bags are the bags within bags. Nobody is going to see them, except you, but they’re still an important consideration for guys who travel a lot. You don’t want your toothpaste, shaving cream, razors and toothbrushes rattling around your luggage, potentially damaging your clothes and shoes. Something like the Montoro wash bag is a good place to start: it’s compact, but still roomy enough for all your gear; it’s made from embossed tumbled leather, so it’s easy to wipe clean; and it’s got an inside sleeve, to protect the bag from any spills. If you’re after a slimmer profile wash bag, try the Cruiser instead: it’s made from tough, hard-wearing canvas.
Lastly, if you’re travelling with good quality leather shoes, it’s worth investing in a cloth shoe bag, and even shoe trees to maintain the shape of the shoe. Leather is particularly vulnerable to getting squashed in transit, especially if you’re got a bunch of heavy or spikey stuff in your bag. Scratches, scuffs and warping are not uncommon. A simple shoe bag will protect the surface of your shoes, and shoe trees will prevent them from being squashed and dented. (For a cheaper alternative, roll up some pairs of socks and pop them in your shoes – they won’t work quite as well as a shoe tree, but they’ll help, and it’ll save you luggage space.)