Trusty holdalls for men: The best bags for weekends away

Trusty holdalls for men: The best bags for weekends away
From leather to camping and gym bags, get prepped for that overnight trip with the best weekend bags for men, Mから&S, リース, フレッドペリー, もっと

Many would say a weekend bag is merely that: a bag for the weekend. That could be a suitcase then, or a backpack.

But anyone who’s come a cropper to a poorly thought out weekend pack — nice shirt all creased up at the bottom of your rucksack, chasing your mates around town as you lug along your oversized hard-shell — will tell you it pays to have a proper weekend bag.


この記事のために, we looked at several different weekend bags in a range of materials — rip-stop cordura, recycled polyester, nylon, real leather, synthetic leather — and price points, from bags around the £50 mark up to over £300.

We tested the bags in an array of different settings depending on their stated use and function, from camping trips in typically wet British weather for those sold with waterproof capabilities to overnight staycations for those made with leather and better suited to dry land. Each one was packed with everything you would usually need for at least one night away, including a change of clothes and a toiletries bag.

We also tested the bags on how easy they were to pack and whether they had pockets or compartments that would help their usability. 結局, there’s nothing worse than trying to fish your keys out from the bottom of a fully, and neatly packed, bag.


その後, もちろん, affordability and appearance play a part. Now looks are subjective, but we were looking for stand-out touches, from well-made straps and well-stitched seams to studying the quality of the zippers and clasps. 同上, いくつかの点で, 手頃な価格, the extra cost of real leather as a material, 例えば, impacting the relative cost of the weekend bag.

The best weekend bags for men for 2021:

  • 全体的に最高 - NS&S collection leather weekend bag: £99, Marksandspencer.com
  • Best luxury touches – Aspinal of London Anderson holdall: £360, Aspinaloflondon.com
  • Best for affordability – Eastpak stand more triple denim: £55, Eastpak.com
  • Best for wet weather camping – Snow Peak Boston dry bag: £170, Snowpeak.co.uk
  • Best for overnight stays – Fred Perry classic barrel bag: £80, Fredperry.com
  • Best for business class – Reiss Elliot leather weekend holdall: £375, Reiss.com
  • Best for toughness and durability – Carhartt WIP vernon travel bag: £125, Carhartt-wip.com
  • Best for everyday travels – Herschel Supply Co. novel duffle: £85, Herschelsupplyco.co.uk

M&S collection leather weekend bag

ベスト: 全体

評価: 10/10

M&S has always been a reliable choice when it comes to accessible and affordable quality, and that’s especially so with this handsome weekend bag. The leather is responsibly and sustainably sourced, as all the brands leather products are, and is billed as “genuine leather” which is crafted from any layer of the hide, and not as highly prized as full-grain or top-grain.

しかしながら, it is extremely soft and supple, cast in a deep, versatile shade of brown that will look good with any outfit across the dress codes. The leather handles also feel weighty and well-made with neat, classy metal attachments, while a strip of leather on the back is useful for sliding the bag onto a suitcase handle.

中身, everything is fully lined in a complementing darker brown fabric, with three sizeable pockets, the one closest to the mouth conveniently coming fully zipped and at the absolute perfect size for your keys, 電話, and wallet. In the main body, there’s plenty of room for any and every weekend trip, while some might even be able to get away with using it for a whole week.

全体, this is a well-made, well-thought-out weekend bag that should appeal to a range of tastes and needs, and all at that reasonable high-street price point. It’s currently out of stock so sign up to be notified when it’s back.

Aspinal of London Anderson holdall

ベスト: Luxury touches

評価: 9/10

Luxury often comes with a stomach-churning price tag, and for the most part, it’s hard to justify. But in certain circumstances, when the maker is truly the best at making that particular item — think of all those masterful tailors on Savile Row, or the pristine shirtmakers on Jermyn Street — that price tag does start to justify itself. That’s certainly the case with leather goods and bag makers, Aspinal of London.

That ineffable quality and craftsmanship shine through in the details on this weekend bag. The silver-tone metal zippers and strap attachments are positively gleaming, the latter coming nicely engraved with the Aspinal name, which also sits resplendent on a handy travel card slip-in pocket.

Then there’s the little leather clip on the hardy tubular grab handles which keep the straps together while carrying, as metal protective base feet keep the bottom of your bag away from the floor, and any menacing puddles. And while the main body of the bag may only be tight weave nylon — albeit very thick and durable nylon — there’s enough buttery soft leather on the underside of the bag to make you feel like you’ve not been short-changed. In sum, it all adds up to a rather special bag that feels a cut above the rest, even if the price tag is too.

Eastpak stand more triple denim

ベスト: For affordability

評価: 9/10

価格, 汎用性, and durability are the main selling points of the massive American bag maker Eastpak, with this weekend bag by the brand ticking every single one of those boxes. 最初, the price. At £55 you’d be hard-pressed to find a bag from a reputable brand at this price point, and it makes Eastpak an attractive proposition right off the website page.

But what about the bag IRL? 上手, there’s no false economy here. The bag comes folded away in a mini storage bag and is clad in an attractive flecked deep blue that’s casual but still smart enough to carry into a five-star hotel. Inside you have a shoe compartment and a small zipped pocket, with another pocket on the outside. The details look well made and hard-wearing, and sure you might not be getting any gleaming silver-toned zippers, protective base feet, or leather trimmings, but you are getting a bag that will do the job and leave some money left over for you to upgrade your trip elsewhere.

Snow Peak Boston dry bag

ベスト: For wet weather camping

評価: 8/10

Japanese brand Snow Peak has a fervent cult following with an MO that focuses on all the camping gear you could possibly need, made slick, スタイリッシュ, and inconspicuous. Hence why its version of the weekend bag is made with serious campers in mind, with functionality and durability paramount. What you get then is a waterproof rating up to 10,000mm and a super wide mouth, which makes it brilliantly easy to just throw your things in and get on with your hike.

しかしながら, the Snow Peak isn’t as plug-in-and-play as it initially seems. Its ability to change sizing from tote bag to a more weekend bag shape is novel but does involve some fiddly and initially confounding flap folding and strap clipping. さらに, a valve on the side is missed at first glance, used to release the air pressure in the bag, while also acting as a water drain if liquids do somehow slip inside.

All these clever mod cons only serve to make the bag more charming though, even if it might not have the old-school leather-bound good looks of other options on this list.

Fred Perry classic barrel bag

ベスト: For overnight stays

評価: 8/10

Fred Perry is a dab hand at conjuring up long-lasting classics, from its quintessential polo shirt to its popular, logo-laden barrel bags. This weekend bag takes a great deal of its style cues from the mod culture in which the brand is indelibly tied, especially with those Sixties stripes and shiny, almost reflective PU leather. It’s a bold choice compared to some of the other bags on this list, and can somewhat lack versatility as a result, while also being quite small in comparison, better suited to overnight stays than multiple nights away.

しかしながら, a sizeable side compartment and inner zipped pocket make it one of the easiest to pack and access, while a zip and snap button closing system make it that extra bit more secure. プラス, you can’t knock the price, coming in just under what you’d expect to pay for one of its polo shirts. It’s a solid option then, and one that comes with a great deal of menswear heritage.

Reiss Elliot leather weekend holdall

ベスト: For business class

評価: 8/10

Reiss sits on the higher end of the high street, making contemporary, clean-cut menswear and womenswear that fits particularly well within the office, even if those dress codes are erring evermore casual. Its selection of weekend bags – including this holdall, cast in a reddish-brown tinge that Reiss itself describes as Bordeaux – slot in effortlessly alongside suiting or one of its elegant overcoats. 全体として, it’s a timeless, elegant, and simple piece, with minimal stitching and branding.

However you are missing out on some of the storage points offered up by other bags on this list — no shoe compartment, or travel card slip-in pocket — although there is still a single zipped pocket inside for you to scurry your items in. The shoulder strap offered is also curiously cast in an unmatching black nylon, and without a shoulder pad to ease any friction or rubbing.

言うまでもなく, this is still a great option for those looking at a more traditional, smart-casual weekend bag, particularly if you’re going on a plane, with the bag neatly fitting into all major airlines’ hand-luggage limits.

Carhartt WIP vernon travel bag

ベスト: For toughness and durability

評価: 7/10

Workwear brand Carhartt and its streetwear arm, Work In Progress (WIP), has risen to become one of the most in-demand labels around in recent years, and a strange beast in its appeal to everyone from Gen-Z skaters to actual, real-life lumberjacks. This travel bag sits in its millennial-targeting, streetwear division as emphasised by the zeitgeisty pastel hue (opt for the black if you’re looking for something more versatile).

Cast in a cordura rip-stop fabric, it’s also one hell of a workhorse, with a snap button fastener over the top making it even hardier and lessening the chance of unwanted liquids getting to your personals. しかしながら, those same buttons do also make it a bit of a challenge to easily get in and out, while the Vernon also loses further points for being almost too cavernous inside, with it hard to neatly pack in your folded clothes as a result.

No worries if your wardrobe is all heavy workwear of course, but if you’re carrying around anything on the smarter side of menswear you may want to look elsewhere.

Herschel Supply Co. novel duffle

ベスト: For everyday travels

評価: 7/10

Herschel Supply Co. is one of the biggest names in the bag world, building its reputation off the back of its retro-styled backpacks, made to evoke the heavily strapped up sacks worn by frontiersmen in the 19th century.

The novel duffle is its entry into the weekend bag race, and at first sight, it looks like a frontrunner. Firstly you’ve got a reasonable price point, and some nice design touches including a handy shoe compartment on the side, a mesh inner side sleeve so you can grab valuables at a glance, and a comfy padded shoulder strap, a godsend when you’re carrying about a full-to-the-brim sack, and not something every weekend bag has as standard.

しかしながら, just as the Aspinal of London weekend bag (£360, Aspinaloflondon.com) impresses in its details, the Herschel novel duffle trips upon closer inspection. The reinforced, synthetic leather handles look and feel flimsy, while there’s loose stitching all over the seams. Then there’s the jarring design choice of having a white zipper against the stiff black nylon, while the plastic strap clips further ruin the aesthetic.

そうは言っても, there is a very clear discrepancy between the price points on these two bags, which makes the novel duffle a rather more practical, everyday option. We could see it doubling up well as a gym bag, or a bag to carry a change of clothes in after a cycle to the office.

Weekend bags FAQs

What are key features of a weekend bag?

The weekend bag can take on many guises, but in its simplest and purest form you have two grab handles, a soft, relatively unstructured shape to squish your items inside, and enough space to carry everything you need for a night, または2つ, あちらへ.

それ以上, a flat bottom is a relative necessity so you can neatly fold and pack your clothes away, while a weekender needs to be portable and versatile, able to be lumbered up the stairs on the tube or over cobbled streets, a strength it carries over it’s wheeled adversary, the suitcase.

A shoulder strap helps when things get heavy, while a separate shoe compartment is more than a novelty, a change of shoes allowing you to be prepared for all conditions, while also keeping any unwanted mud firmly on the soles, and away from your clothes.

In terms of material, weekend bags are firmly split into two camps. You have your nylon options, which tend to sit better with more casual outfits, while a real leather choice will look knock-out alongside the sharper end of menswear, and is especially well-suited to trips away with an occasion in mind — races, trip to the in-laws, 結婚式.

評決: Weekend bags for men

ザ・ M&S collection leather weekend bag was the best weekend bag for men that we tested, excelling in both price and quality. Those searching for a less-frills, casual weekend bag that’ll get the job done could do a lot worse than the Eastpak stand more triple denim, while real big-spenders would do well to take a look at the Aspinal of London Anderson holdall, a prime example of how a luxury price tag shines through in the details.


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