Upgrade Your Bag Game This Spring

From backpacks to belt bags, here are some of our favorites for traveling and traipsing in style

April 4, 2024 12:55 pm
The bags you should be shopping for this spring!
The bags you should be shopping for this spring!
Loewe, Alex Mill, Ghurka

Cue the obligatory “Spring is here” opening sentence. But seriously, spring is here, so there is a great chance you have some upcoming outdoor trips and activities planned. Whether that involves long weekends in upstate New York or simply hitting up record shops with friends before rooftop hangs, you will need something to carry all your things — big and small. As we stated in our Spring Denim Guide, this is the perfect time to upgrade essentials, whether it’s that duffle or tote that’s been tossed in countless trunks or that folio that has seen better days. Although some silhouettes trend at various times, the below have proven themselves to be new and classic staples. In our current zeitgeist, the tote has become the new version of a messenger, and a chic folio is the latest cross-body. But the common denominator is that all these bags are inherently stylish and timeless.

The Best Duffel Bags for Every Kind of Traveler
13 duffel bags that would make for an excellent traveling companion

Different bags suit different occasions and, of course, various style preferences. Some are more utilitarian, built for whatever the day throws at you, while others remain refined style statements. Some are super-lux leather, while others are hard-wearing canvas or technical nylon meant to brave the elements. Whether you’re considering upgrading that weekend getaway duffle, a folio case to bring documents to work or a backpack for biking around, these premium bags are crafted from the finest materials and are stylish investments that will last many years. Here are 14 of our favorites for the upcoming spring-summer season.

Tod’s Italian-crafted leather goods are part of what the storied house does best. This textured pebble grain folio in a handsome caramel color exudes chic sophistication that would work just as well in the office as during weekend errands. Crafted in soft calfskin leather, with central ribbing and stamped Tod’s logo, it contains a maxi zip pull that enables it to double as a wristlet for easy carrying.

Prada is renowned for their iconic black nylon garments and accessories. This square folio is crafted from Re-Nylon, an innovative material sourced from recycled and refined ocean plastic waste and discarded fishing nets. Made in Italy, it features accents of Saffiano leather and a distinctive crosshatch pattern and wax finish, emblematic of Prada’s rich tradition in luxury innovation.

Loewe epitomizes unique Parisian designs and masterful craftsmanship. This “Puzzle Edge” belt bag exemplifies this, crafted from smooth leather into a distinctive cuboid shape suitable for wearing off the shoulder or across the chest. Moreover, its ability to fold completely flat makes it ideal for travel purposes and the beautiful dark green leather hue stands out in a stylishly understated manner.

Made from their iconic GG Supreme canvas, known for its durability and effortless upkeep, and with a design inspired by the logo of the 1930s, this Gucci small messenger bag pays homage to the brand’s storied history. Sized to accommodate your phone, cardholder and other small essentials, it is designed with a two-way zip closure and a detachable strap, allowing the option to carry it for added versatility.

If the stylish slouchy half-moon bag worked for renowned Irish novelist and director Samuel Beckett (who made it his signature), then it can surely upgrade your style. This “Slouchy Banana” version from the luxury minimalists The Row is a bit more compact in shape. Crafted in Italy from durable canvas, it has a single, spacious compartment that’s perfectly sized for your daily essentials. Adjust the webbing strap to carry it cross-body.

This handsome, rich brown briefcase from Boss is perfect for everyday work — neither overly business nor overly casual. Carry it like a traditional briefcase with the handles or sling it over your shoulder with the detachable shoulder strap. The side zippered section adds extra storage, while the polished logo lettering adds understated class.

There’s a distinct quality to Montblanc’s inky blue hue that has become one of their trademarks. The Swiss manufacturer, renowned for their exquisite timepieces and pens, also excels in luxury leather goods. Sleek and stylish, this briefcase is crafted in said ink blue leather and includes handles designed to honor the elegance of handwriting. The iconic Montblanc logo adds a subtle finishing detail.

Frank Clegg is an insider, artisanal brand whose leather goods have been made in America since 1970, with a small team of skilled artisans who craft each bag in their Massachusetts workshop. This nubuck tote, a collaboration with Permanent Style, will never go out of style. Featuring polished edges, an interior solid brass zipper pocket, and an unlined interior, this tote walks a line between high craftsmanship and luxury.

Alex Mill specializes in crafting exceptionally stylish, elevated renditions of wardrobe staples, with a nod to historical authenticity. So, it is no surprise their bags carry the same gravitas. This “Perfect Weekend Tote,” inspired by a vintage military canvas bag, is perfect for daily commutes and, weekend trips. Crafted in durable, garment-washed canvas with bar tacks and reinforced trim, this will last for years to come.

The “Tanker” series, created in 1983 by the Japanese bag manufacturer Porter, draws its inspiration from the MA-1 flight jacket uniform of the U.S. Air Force. Crafted from a custom-developed three-layer fabric, this backpack features a highly dense and resilient twill exterior, along with a padded interior, straps and a multi-pocket compartment, making it built to withstand whatever you throw at it.

This Ralph Lauren backpack, in a gorgeous rich brown hue, is exceptionally chic and well-designed. Fully lined and equipped with adjustable straps, it is crafted from smooth full-grain leather and boasts a streamlined silhouette. Additionally, a padded internal sleeve ensures laptops and tablets stay secure.

This iconic Rugged Twill duffle from Filson is seriously tough. Introduced over 30 years ago, this Made In The USA design remains unchanged, a testament to doing things right. The bridle leather handles are built to last a lifetime, and the industrial-strength twill comes from one of Britain’s most storied mills. Built to withstand trips for many summers to come, this duffle will only grow more handsome with use.

The Cavalier Bag from Ghurka, introduced in the late 1980s, quickly became another iconic American luxury staple. Its functional design includes an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap, dual top handles, a cotton twill lining and an interior that expands to provide extra room when needed. The stunning vintage chestnut leather too will only improve with age.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.