Monday, September 22, 2014 want a fun and functional overnight bag.

Here's a great question we got from a reader this week:

"I'm looking for a new overnight bag - not a mini-suitcase but more of a duffel type bag - nice enough to bring on work trips."

Clearly, the L.L. Bean canvas bag is not going to do.  When I travel, I have a bag for just about every contingency.  For a long, 10-day European, souvenir-heavy trip, we bring what's affectionally called "the body bags" that would hold a small child.  For a 5 days or under, out comes the large-wheeled Samonsite.  For a 3 or so days in the New York when I might be traveling by train, enter the small-wheeled Tumi.  For one or two days, when I travel exceedingly light - my husband would raise an eyebrow to "light" - I turn to my trusty Longchamp La Pliage.  It's lightweight, folds up,  and holds a bundle.

Reader, consider this when choosing a bag:
  • Nylon is lighter. If I'm not wheeling, then I want something that doesn't add weight. Nylon with leather trim fits the bill.  If weight isn't a concern, then all leather is a luxurious choice.
  • Shoulder Strap.  Preferably detachable so I can sling it over my shoulder or remove and carry as a satchel.
  • Outside pockets.  Makes compartmentalizing so easy and keeps tickets, lip balm, etc. within easy reach.  A huge plus if you're cramped in the window seat and your bag is under the seat.
  • Since the bag will be heavily used for business travel, I'd recommend sticking with trusted brands known for luggage and travel gear.
We are looking for something a littler more stylish and substantial for business trips.   Tumi and travel are synonymous. The Tumi Dublin WeekenderEverett Essential Tote, and the Cortina Boarding Tote are all pretty spiffy.  I'm loving the outside pockets and detachable shoulder strap.  Black is expected but consider another neutral color, like Gray or Garnet, to add pop to what will certainly be a dark outfit.
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From Longchamp, the Baxinyl is a true duffle with yummy leather trim.
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Come hither you gorgeous, all-leather Cavalier, also from Longchamp.
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Perhaps one of the best known and trusted brands known for luggage and travel gear is Hartman.   Hartman's Winged Weekender is an elegant choice.  The two-toned leather is a classic that will go with any outfit.
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Finally, Bric's Bojola Duffle is dreamy.  It comes in a rainbow of colors and while the winter white is not the most practical, it is simply divine.
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We hope that helps!  Now, time to plot the next weekend trip! ~ LB