Man looking for a good bag.
March 14, 2005 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Can I get recommendations on a high quality, stylish side bag to be used day to day for business? Needs to be rugged enough to withstand travel and fashionable enough to be able to bring into a business meeting.

The days of knapsacks are over for me. Here is what I would like the bag to be able to carry: Laptop, cell phone, couple of notebooks, not much else. I also would like something that has a shoulder strap. I'm not a briefcase guy per se, so perhaps something straddling the knapsack and briefcase genre.
posted by jeremias to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
These "Bohemian Bags" made the geek rounds a while back. I've never used one but some pass the stylish test.
posted by alan at 8:23 AM on March 14, 2005


I use a simple leather flap-over messenger/mail bag I got from j.crew years ago, which means it isn't available anymore. If I ever had to replace it, I'd probably get something along these lines. Maybe not that brand in particular, but definitely that style.
posted by Sangre Azul at 8:33 AM on March 14, 2005


Check out Tom Bihn. I have the ID bag, which I love (and bought for the same reasons that you are looking for a bag, basically.) Their prices are more than some other bags, but they quality is fantastic and they produce everything in their own factory (instead of outsourcing.) And they're really nice folks. And the bags are REALLY well-designed.
posted by desuetude at 8:46 AM on March 14, 2005


If I could have any messenger bag, this one from Jack Spade would be it. Unfortunately, it's about five times what I can afford for such a luxury.
posted by fake at 8:49 AM on March 14, 2005


I've heard that Tom Bihn bags are pretty good but I've never actually had one myself.
posted by nalihasan at 8:49 AM on March 14, 2005


Best answer: I'm a big Filson fan, though I've never owned one of their bags. Yesterday, while waiting for my wife to finish shopping, I stumbled upon this beautiful bag. It's expensive ($280, marked down to $210 in the store where I found it), but knowing Filson, it's worth it.

I covet it.

A lot.

You should, too. :)
posted by jdroth at 8:53 AM on March 14, 2005


Tumi makes some extremely high quality bags, *very* durable bags. I personally have experience only with their rolling bags, which are the best on the market. The unfortunate thing with Tumi is that they're extremely expensive ($450-600 for the nice rolling bags, probably around $200-300 for the type of bag you're talking about)
posted by sirion at 9:29 AM on March 14, 2005


If you have the money, I'd second TUMI. Very nice, very durable, and pretty stylish baggage that will last forever.
posted by dogmatic at 9:53 AM on March 14, 2005


Another vote for Jack Spade. I just bought this bag for my fiance for xmas. It's seems very sturdy and comes with a sleeve for a laptop. There's also plenty of room for a cellphone, wallet, even a bottle of water. There's also an mp3 player mesh pocket with it's own opening to thread the headphones out of.

It's only $150, so it might be a good alternative to spending hundreds on their leather line.
posted by mileena at 10:02 AM on March 14, 2005


I'm currently using one of the newer TUMI Flow messenger bags. It has removable inserts on the inside for securing a laptop. The top flap is closed with strong magnets which also help to maintain the nice shape. Best part of the bag are the side pockets on either of the main compartment - great for easy access and storage for my cellphone and iPod. Oh and go with the black - that green is horrid IMO.
posted by junesix at 10:07 AM on March 14, 2005


I swear by my Trager Messenger Bag. The link only shows the colored ones, but I have a black-on-black one that is just wonderful.
posted by goatdog at 10:21 AM on March 14, 2005


My 7 year old Timbuk2 will probably still stop bullets, so I imagine their recent stuff is still very good. I'm also in love with my Eagle Creek bags for travel.
posted by abingham at 10:32 AM on March 14, 2005


I haven't tried them yet, but I've had my eye on these really cool looking bags for quite awhile now. Elegant, stylish, seems to be appropriate for business, but if you scroll down and check around the site, they have a hip looking messenger bag. They seem to be more affordable than some of the other items suggested, and I don't know if it matters but they seem to be designed for Powerbooks. I present the BOOQ website.
posted by geryon at 10:40 AM on March 14, 2005


Just want to second Bohemian Bags.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:41 AM on March 14, 2005


I have a Trager messenger bag - it holds a ton of stuff and is great if I'm out for a day with only public transit, but I've had it for 5 or 6 years and it has begun showing its age. For business purposes I use a Victorinox that looks a lot nicer and sort of lands somewhere between messenger bag and briefcase. It's quite a bit smaller than the Trager, but I can still carry my laptop, a novel or two, a notebook, and some smaller stuff in the front pocket like a phone, mp3 player, calculator, etc. Both of them have shoulder straps and were around $75 a piece.
posted by milkrate at 10:48 AM on March 14, 2005


I used to carry a leather bag. While I love the way leather looks as it wears, it just gets too heavy. I didn't realize how much weight the bag itself was contributing until I switched. (Compared to what some of these bags cost, I rescind my caveat about Tom Bihn's price. Wow.)
posted by desuetude at 11:27 AM on March 14, 2005


Best answer: The Filson Bridle Leather Field Satchel. I have owned one for over 12 years, used it every day, and it looks even better today after 12 years of use. It will set you back $640 now (I think I paid $500), but I really do think this will last another 20-30 years. Look at the larger picture to get a feel for the construction.
posted by probablysteve at 12:31 PM on March 14, 2005


Completely in a different category from all the others mentioned here, but I can't let this thread go without mentioning that I love my Kensington Contour bag.

I'm certain that it is not as fashionable as many of the others mentioned here, but I can bet you that it is more functional and utilitarian than all of them (check the Product tours to see why). It is very solid built, has separate pockets for everything you mentioned above, and I can't imagine travelling without it anymore. It doesn't look like something out of Paris, but it certainly looks professional to be able to bring into an executive meeting.
posted by tuxster at 12:43 PM on March 14, 2005


Just looking at these I realize I'm completely out of my league, both in budget and in style, but I loved my basic Dickies messenger bag, and plan to buy another any day now. It was strong as can be, machine washable, and the patch was easily removed with a standard seam ripper.

But then I wear Docs to work, so my version of workplace/meeting appropriate may be different from much of the world.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:18 PM on March 14, 2005


I've had a Traeger backpack for about four years. It converts to a side bag with a shoulder strap for business oriented occasions. There is a front pocket for easy cell phone access. There is a side pocket for an umbrella. There is plenty of room for a laptop and notebooks. Cost me about $120. No complaints.

Sorry, can't find it online anywhere. Maybe it's no longer produced?
posted by quadog at 3:41 PM on March 14, 2005


I wouldn't recommend the Filson laptop bag linked above, simply because it's very heavy (presumably it's proportionately protective). I have this Filson briefcase, though, and it is the best thing I've bought bag-wise. I've owned Jack Spade and Timbuk2 before; the Filson makes a great briefcase, is rugged and essentially waterproof, and is a swell bag worn messenger style if you get your own shoulder strap.

I'd love a leather field satchel, someday--I tell myself it'll be my present to myself when I finish graduate school!
posted by josh at 4:49 PM on March 14, 2005


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