The perfect leather weekender bag for all your travels should be well made, functional, stylish and appropriately priced.
In this article I discuss the main qualities that you want to look for before purchasing a leather weekender.
BECKETT SIMONON DAVIS WEEKENDER
Special thanks to Beckett Simonon for sending along the Davis Weekender bag in oxblood for testing purposes. I’ll be using the Beckett Simonon Davis Weekender bag to illustrate 5 important qualities that you want to look for in a leather weekender.
But first, let’s answer what is a weekender bag, and when and why to use one.
WHAT IS A WEEKENDER BAG?
A weekender bag, also known as an overnight bag or duffel bag, is ideal for when you don’t quite need a suitcase, but more carrying space than a traditional backpack. It’s the perfect size for a weekend trip (2-3 days).
WHEN & WHY USE A WEEKENDER BAG
A weekender bag is a great choice for a short trip of a few days. It’s more stylish than a wheeled carry-on suitcase and takes up less space, but has all the room you need for a couple of outfits, an extra pair of shoes, toiletries, etc.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WEEKENDER BAG
First and foremost, you want a bag that’s durable to withstand whatever you throw at it. The first 3 things to look for are going to determine whether the weekender bag is built to last.
Here’s what you want to consider before picking up that weekender bag.
1. LEATHER QUALITY
One of the first things to look for before you buy a leather weekender bag is the leather quality. Especially, take a look at the thickness of the leather. It should feel substantial and tough, not thin and flimsy.
The Beckett Simonon Davis Weekender is made of full-grain pebbled leather. Full grain leather is the highest quality grade of leather money can buy, better than top grain. Full grain leather comes from the top layer of the hide and is typically thicker because it includes all of the natural grain.
The beauty of a high-quality full grain leather bag is that it will age beautifully, whereas other leathers or heaven forbid, cheap pleather will wear out and fall apart sooner than you’d like. As it ages, it will develop character and the much desired patina that makes the leather look better with time.
In my opinion, carrying a weekender bag with low leather quality is in bad taste, especially if you’re traveling for work where first impressions are everything. Just as you want your clothing to best represent who you are and what you’re all about, your accessories including your bag, should project an image of success.
2. HIGH QUALITY HARDWARE
After finding a bag with quality leather you’ll want to inspect the hardware, which includes buckles, zippers, straps, and hoops.
First, the buckles should feel solid and have a good weight to them. If there are clasps, the mechanism should easily open and close. Additionally, the zippers should glide smoothly without getting stuck. Look for steel YKK zippers as this is the standard for quality zippers.
The handles and straps should be made with the same quality leather as the bag itself. And the seams should be sturdy and strong to withstand wear and tear from lugging the bag around overtime.
Stress points like these should be overbuilt to ensure longevity. Also, look for an adjustable shoulder strap (similar to a belt) and ideally the strap will be removable. And finally, a sliding shoulder pad will provide more comfort while carrying the bag.
Related: You might like this Kodiak Leather Duffle Bag Review.
3. SOLID STITCHING
The third thing to look for in a quality weekender bag is solid stitching.
This is one area that’s often overlooked. Pay close attention to ensure that the bag has solid stitching throughout, especially at stress points where you’ll often be handling the bag, zippers, buckles, seams, etc.
There should be no loose threads or fraying visible. The stitching should be strong enough to endure long days and nights on the go, carrying, swinging and tossing the bag around. If it’s already showing signs of wear before you buy, there’s clearly a quality control issue. A high-quality weekender will withstand the test of time and a big factor is how the bag is constructed via quality hardware and stitching.
4. APPROPRIATELY SIZED BAG
The perfect weekender bag is big enough to store a few days worth of outfits, extra pair of shoes, and other personal belongings, yet small enough to easily carry on your shoulder and stow away in overhead compartments.
The bag should feature a main compartment for your clothes with a few inner pockets for toiletries and a tablet perhaps. Bonus if there’s an outside zip compartment for quick and easy access to any small accessories or your passport for example.
All in all, an appropriately sized bag will make it easy to carry around with you wherever you go on your travels.
5. WEEKENDER BAG STYLE
Lastly, the style of the bag will be a factor to consider before making your purchase. How does the bag look? Is it structured or more relaxed and flexible? Aesthetics are always important when it comes to style. Of course everyone has their own preference.
As a general rule, you can’t go wrong with a classic design with a clean silhouette, and minimal to zero branding. Details like a pebble grain can add visual interest. And darker, rich colors like burgundy, dark brown, and black are more versatile, whereas tan or walnut comes off as more fashion forward and trendy.
There is no right or wrong here as it’s up to you, but go for whatever style resonates most with you and your personal aesthetic.
BONUS: AFFORDABLE PRICE
I’m all about finding the best value for your buck. While everyone’s budget varies, you’ll typically find leather weekenders anywhere from $100-$500+. Coming in at $359, the Davis Weekender is a great value for an overall high-quality leather bag.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
The Beckett Simonon Davis Weekender is a great example of a quality leather bag. Everything from the build quality to aesthetics and affordable price point make the Davis Weekender an ideal leather bag.
ARE YOU IN THE MARKET FOR A WEEKENDER BAG?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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