Avoiding the Man-Purse: Testosterone-Fueled Travel Bags

Gear Guide — By Alexi Ueltzen on October 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Girls have it easy.

Hmmm. How can I carry my passport, book, water bottle, wallet, phone, camera and probably-excessive number of make-up products while I travel? Oh, right. My giant purse.

Guy have it not-so-easy.

Hmmm. Passport doesn’t fit in back pocket. Neither does this copy of Maxim. *sigh*

Basically, your average male has to resort to one of two options when it comes to carry-ons while traveling:
1. The man-purse. To be avoided at all costs.
2. The backpack. To be avoided unless one is either a) a backpacker or b) a 19 year-old college student.

Read on for this Gear Junkie’s sophisticated, rugged and undeniably manly carry-on suggestions.

Old School: J. Crew’s leather messenger bag $225
This leather satchel blurs the line between preppy and rugged…and who doesn’t kind of love that? If this bag were a human, it would be a lumberjack who also knows how to pick out a good Merlot. He can hang with the guys, but chicks dig him. And his delicious, woodsy scent. Made with aged, scratch-proof leather from Holland, using traditional Florentine design, this bag is as worldly as you wish you were. From the plane to the boardroom to the pub, we guarantee no one will snicker behind your back if you’re sporting this accessory.

Technological Savvy: Timbuk2’s Classic Messenger in Yorkshire Plaid $135
Timbuk2’s bags are handmade in San Francisco, with legendary durability. As the company says, they’re built to outlast “jobs, lovers, pets and train wrecks.” Their classic messenger features a waterproof TPU liner, internal organizer pockets (you know, for your knives and beer and cologne and stuff) and a safety attachment flasher loop (so no one runs into you while they’re staring at your awesome bag). Timbuk2 also has a “build your own bag” option for creative/independent types. To keep it manly, stick with subdued tones, textured fabrics and NOT THE SMALLEST SIZE.

Class Act: Filson’s Small Duffel Bag $215
With over 100 years of outfitting experience, Filson’s has solidly placed themselves as a legit supplier of all things masculine and travel-related. Their small duffel bag has classic design, durability and simplicity on its side. Made of water-resistant twill with leather carrying handles and shoulder pad, it also has two interior pockets, a one-way brass zipper (because two-way zippers are a little excessive, don’t you think?) and a storm flap. No frills, no decals, no excuses. Basically, this bag would explode if you tried to put a toy poodle in it.

Have another dude-worthy bag we left off the list? Or, better yet, a good man-purse story? Leave a comment and let us know.

[Photo: Man-purse by miquelb/Creative Commons]

Tags: bag, carry on, filson, j crew, man, man-purse, messenger, satchel, timbuk2, travel


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