This American-Made Bag Will Protect Your Most Precious Booze

We put Vinarmour to the test

April 3, 2024 12:12 pm
the vinarmour wine carrier in a suitcase with an american passport and green prada shoes
No red wine or whiskey stains here.
James Harnois

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If you’re like me, you’ve likely brought a bottle of alcohol back from a trip as a souvenir. Maybe it went well — I’m lucky enough that I’ve never had a bottle break in my luggage or the backseat of my car, even if there was other cargo piled on top of it. But some folks I know haven’t been so fortunate. They arrive home and open their suitcase to find their clothing has been soaked in tequila or chardonnay. It’s obviously not the welcome home you want or deserve, but sometimes said bottle of tequila is way too precious to leave behind — you have to at least try  to bring it home, right? 

Brian Hart and his partner Heather had the same conundrum. They were visiting Napa Valley and wanted to bring home a bottle of wine they had purchased there. But none of the local wine shops sold anything worthy of protecting the bottle, their clothing and electronics. In fact, everything they found was either too bulky to fit in their suitcase or too flimsy to confidently put all their trust in. So Hart took matters into his own hands and spent the next 18 months developing Vinarmour, a line of leather and waxed canvas wine carriers that are as attractive as they are functional.

two vinarmour wine carriers side by side in front of a brick wall, one collapsed and one open
The Vinarmour Wine Carrier folds down for easy transport when it’s not in use.

How Vinarmour Is Made

Vinarmour products are handmade in Seattle from really nice materials, including Halley Stevensons waxed cotton twill (which has been crafted in Dundee, Scotland, for more than 150 years) and leather from The Horween Leather Company. The Wine Tote Bag is a super beautiful way to carry your favorite bottles, but The Vinarmour Wine Carrier is what you need if you truly want to transport wine and spirits worry-free. The waxed cotton and leather create the durable outer shell of the bag, but the inside is what really will protect both a bottle and anything around it if it does indeed break.

It starts with three-ply laminate with recycled fleece closest to the bottle, which is heat-resistant and regulates temperature, so your wine will stay cool or cold as you transport it. The next layer is Poron XRD foam, which absorbs 90% of impact — this is what is protecting your bottle from shattering in transit, even if TSA chucks your luggage like they’re trying for the blue ribbon in shot put. Next comes Dyneema and Kevlar fabrics, which help prevent broken glass from puncturing the final layer, TPU. This is essentially a durable water bladder that will protect your other belongings from leaks, should the bottle break.

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Vinarmour Review: How We Put It to the Test

My colleague Kirk Miller was gifted the Vinarmour on a trip, and he used it to carry a bottle back in his luggage. He said it worked great and protected the precious booze in his bag. But what kind of journalist would I be if I didn’t test this thing out myself? So I filled an empty wine bottle with water, screwed the cap on tight and did everything I could, within reason, to break it while it was nestled inside the Vinarmour Wine Carrier.

I walked through the office halls and let it slip off my shoulder onto the hardwood floor. I let it hit door frames as I passed through them. As I can be a clumsy person, these types of mishaps are natural occurrences for me. But I wanted to know if the Vinarmour Wine Carrier could really take the heat.

So I threw it up in the air and let it fall on concrete. I used my famous two-hand, “let it get some air before it hits the ground with a thud” bowling technique. I even gave it the old TSA welcome by standing on top of it and lightly jumping up and down to mimic the handling of bags on a commercial flight.

All this, and the bottle inside didn’t even budge. It stayed fully intact with no cracks or breaks through it all. But the Vinamour also promises to protect leaks if a bottle does break inside. So I opened the water-filled wine bottle and sloshed it around so the liquid would spill into the bag. No liquid leaked out of the bag — the Vinamour fully contained it. I was actually amazed.

While I almost never check a bag, I’ll definitely use the Vinarmour Wine Carrier on future car trips — whether I’m bringing back a precious souvenir bottle or transporting a gift for someone else. If you’re frequently traveling with booze and want some peace of mind, Vinamour should 100% have a place in your luggage.


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