While the fall and winter are as good of times as any to escape your home base, there’s a uniquely special and exciting feeling about packing for a summer weekend away — especially with Memorial Day coming up, and plenty of summer travel in store beyond that. The gear that you take with you needs to be ready for anything, especially if your travels involve activities you can only do in the summer, like a trek to the beach followed by an all-night bonfire followed by a repeat the next day.
Some weekender bags are more investment-worthy than others, and some are going to blend in sharply with a tailored suit as opposed to outdoor gear, but the best weekender bags all have one thing in common — the perfect size for the outdoor essentials you need, and all the style you need to go along with it.
Yes, the essential weekender bag should be one you carry with you for a long time, and there are plenty of classic brands that are taking the general idea and running (or hiking, or riding) with it. Grab one of the best weekender bags on the market now after reading our picks.
Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle
Some solid elements go into a great weekender bag, and the Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle has all of them, or so it would seem. From the rich Martexin waxed canvas to a solid metal zipper from Riri (some of the best quality in the world), this stylish weekender bag is going to hold everything you need and then some, with oiled leather straps to boot. The made-in-the-USA construction is simply second to none, especially for a durable bag. It’s a great price, and it’ll take you farther than you think — from the beach to the barbeque and back, with space left to spare. – $179
Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender in Army Green
Owen & Fred’s distinctive approach to excellent men’s goods (“made great,” as the brand says) is paying off in spades — particularly with the introduction of its new Voyager Waxed Weekender. As if the brand’s functional, crisp aesthetic wasn’t enough, this weekender bag also packs in some beastly specs, including waterproof and re-waxable 10oz. Martexin waxed canvas and harness leather straps that come from the likes of Wickett & Craig, one of the oldest tanneries in the country. Add in a navy twill lining that complements the bag’s handsome exterior, and you’ve got one of the finest pieces on the market. – $275
Filson Tin Cloth Duffel Bag
It’s to be expected that a brand like Filson can outfit hardy explorers from head to toe, year after year. What’s less expected though, is the brand’s focus on introducing new styles that keep the same heritage quality and excellent styling potential — such as the Tin Cloth Duffel Bag. It’s a combination of rain-resistant Rugged Twill and Bridle Leather. If you want an exceptionally tough bag, this is the one to grab. Right down to the rustproof zipper, no rain or debris stands a chance at damaging this piece. The deal is only sweetened when one considers the price, as it’s soon to be a modern-day classic. – $175
Troubadour Fabric & Leather Duffle
When it comes to making bags that blur the lines between exceptional functionality and luxury quality, Troubadour stands out — in a decidedly stellar way. The Fabric and Leather Duffle blends 100 percent natural, vegetable-tanned Italian leather with the more technical qualities you might expect to see in a bag built for the field, including rivet-reinforced straps injected with technical rubber, plus tough nylon. It’s a heritage-quality duffle with the functional specs to make any head turn. A top flap, plus internal mesh side pockets, make it easy to access anything you might need on the go, from a premium pen to a nice dive watch. – $1,015
North Street Bags Scout 21 Duffle
If you thought nylon bags were flimsy and ill-fated for use on exacting weekend trips, think again. North Street Bags makes its Scout 21 Duffle in the United States (Portland, to be specific), and it’s that homegrown quality that makes it worth your time (and hard-earned dollars). Like the best weekender bags out there, it’s made from 1000 denier Cordura nylon and waterproof sailcloth, two extra design touches that leave little to chance when packing for a hard-working vacation. Space for an interior zipper pocket and lanyard finishes things off, with enough space leftover for the rest of your everyday carry. – $99
Herschel Supply Novel Duffle
Among bags that can get the job done subtly and stylishly,, Herschel takes the cake. The Novel Duffle takes the nylon construction for which the brand is known and adds a super-handy and ingenious shoe compartment that can tidily pack your favorite pair of sneakers, a crisp chukka boot or a sharp set of leather Oxfords for day or night. Plus, the saddle leather handles and detailing add a new dimension to a bag that’s understated and functional yet still stylish. And, you know exactly what type of bag you’re getting thanks to the distinctive white logo patch, virtually synonymous with quality. – $140
Shinola Medium Gym Duffle
If you by any chance have a remarkably durable and stylish Shinola watch in your rotation already, there’s a very good chance you’ll want to add the Shinola Medium Gym Duffle to your weekend packing list. The Medium Gym Duffle makes this list of best weekender bags thanks to the exceptionally rich navy leather from which it’s constructed, plus a slew of product details, each very well thought-out. Those details include an interior zip compartment and card pocket, plus a detachable key fob. It’s the perfect accessory to your favorite watch — and it’s soon to become your favorite bag. – $995
J.Crew Abingdon Weekender Bag
Just as with the Shinola Medium Duffle above, there’s a very good chance you’ve got an item or two (or a dozen) from J. Crew in your closet. The brand has quietly expanded upon its core classics with a line of bags that meet the travel needs of the stylish globetrotter, including the classic and rather affordably priced Abingdon Weekender. The waxed cotton canvas comes in the rich Khaki color seen here, which looks tremendous alongside the burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. Those two design touches — along with the overall composition of the bag — would make it a stylish, sharp wardrobe addition. – $198
United By Blue Trafford Weekender
As if the fact that United By Blue focuses on removing one pound of trash from oceans & waterways with every sale wasn’t enough, the knowledge that the Trafford Weekender itself is made from organic waxed cotton canvas should be worth your attention. This bag combines the best of both worlds — eco-friendly elements and two excellent color options — with a particularly sturdy construction and smart details like water-repellent protection. A large main compartment should be able to fit anything and everything you can toss in there, and a back zip pocket adds some secret storage space for last-second add-ons to your trip. – $148+
Timbuk2 Custom Weekender Duffel
Right down to the color of the flaps on your bag, Timbuk2 gives you, discerning traveler, the power to craft a bag entirely to your own choices. The fact that TImbuk2 takes care of the production, standout materials and top-notch technical specifications is just an added bonus. Everything from the trim to the sides to the bottom of the Weekender Duffel is customizable with rugged materials like waxed canvas or weather-resistant and lightweight materials (or both). The array of color options available is enough to make your head spin, and the end result is outstanding in terms of price and quality. – $199