The Monolith Daypack is a fine specimen, made of burly ballistic nylon and featuring titanium hardware & Molle system webbing loops. It also converts into a carry-on, duffel & messenger style bag by simply tucking the shoulder straps into a hidden pocket. If versatility is what you want in a bag, this could be the one.
For nearly 20 years, California-based Chrome has been producing some of the world’s best messenger bags and packs. The Sotnik duffle is a new one. As always, Chrome focuses on utility & mobility. It’s made of 1000-Denier Cordura and features a waterproof internal compartment to separate your beach stuff or beers from stuff you don’t want wet. If you don’t want to carry it as a duffle, no problem, it can be worn as a pack, too.
The San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado offer some of the best mountain biking in the lower 48; the ideal R & D lab for Durango-based Bedrock Bags. They make bombproof bags for biking and bikepacking. If you like to do it in the dirt, their growing line of handmade handlebar and frame bags will carry your cargo proper-like.
Even if you’re unsure about whether to classify your “urban carrying needs” as “extreme” or just kind of normal, these two stealth black packs from Modern Industry are worth a closer look. They’re constructed with tough 10-ounce waxed duck canvas and Horween leather & lined with organic cotton. The Conduit is a sling-style pack & the Magnitude is larger, featuring a removable padded laptop sleeve.
On the unending quest to find the best duffle bag ever made, there is certainly no shortage of choices. Here’s a fresh entry in the waxed cotton canvas and leather variety from a North Carolina-based purveyor of supplies for the “rugged gentleman” called Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.
This is a great example of how SLR & video camera bags are getting more functional and versatile. The weather-resistant Perspektiv pack will carry a full DSLR or video kit to the summit or when you just need a pack for the hike, pull out the padded SafeZone pod and stuff it with other stuff.
The problem with airlines’ 50-pound weight limit on bags is that most bags weigh a good 7 or 8 pounds, meaning you (or she) only get to ram 42-43 pounds of stuff into you suitcase. This collection of roller cases from Tumi are ultra light & offer extra capacity for packing more in.
This antique leather duffel bag is a real looker. Made with ultra-durable and whistle-whetting Whisky Batido Leather and fitted with brass hardware, plus a burgundy micro-fiber suede lining, it is sure to charm veteran travelers as well as passers-by who have any sense of class.
Word to the wise: airline baggage handlers compete to see who can throw the bags the farthest & highest. When they come across that Louis Vuitton leather logo luggage, they go extra caveman on it. But if instead you checked a pre-smashed 4-wheeled roller bag from Crash Baggage, you’ll be carefree while L-V boy is sure to be left crying over the busted handle on his Alzer 80. Available March 20.
Phones work fine for most of us, but if you’re one of those photographers or video enthusiasts who uses a camera so big that it needs its own bag, this SLR-size pack from Chrome is a solid choice. It offers weatherproof denier nylon construction and enough space to hold your SLR or video camera kit, lenses and accessories plus it’s got an interior laptop pocket, external tripod straps, and even a holster for your U-Lock if you happen to bike to your photoshoots.