5 Best Men’s Weekender Bags: Crank Your Carry Up To “Hell Yeah”

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William Barton Avatar by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Sep 28, 2020
5 Best Men's Weekender Bags: Crank Your Carry Up To "Hell Yeah"

Do you have an upcoming trip and want to pack a nice new bag rather than that ratty old suitcase you’ve stashed under your bed? The world of weekender bags can get overwhelming quickly.

We put together a list of our five favorite weekender bags, from inexpensive and stylish to luxury leather heirlooms so you can find the perfect one for your next jaunt.

Best Overall
  • Minimalist design with technical fabrics
  • Water resistant shell and storm-proof zippers
  • Easy to access shoe compartment
Best Under $75
  • Based on stone-masons tool bags for a rustic look
  • Reinforced steel frame
  • Cotton canvas shell with leather handles and accents
  • Get 15% off just by following our links
Best Leather Weekender
  • Beautiful luxury full grain Ethiopian leather
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Will develop a patina over time
Best for Travel
  • Can be folded up to the size of a small book
  • Made from the recycling of 22 water bottles
  • Features a trolley-handle sleeve to fit over a roller suitcase
Most Eco Friendly
  • Deeper seated case for extra storage room
  • 100% recycled polyester and vegetable tanned leather
  • Meets TSA carry-on requirement

Gents, it’s real talk time.

At some point, you’ve got to put away that old backpack you’ve been holding on to since college. 

Say a few words, maybe shed a tear, but it’s time to say goodbye. 

The good news is that you get to say hello to your new favorite travel buddy. 

A quality weekender bag is an essential part of your slow ascent into manhood.

With enough adventures under your belt, a weekender bag can feel like a companion. So with that said, we put together our favorites in a variety of categories so you can find your perfect bag.

What is a Weekender Bag?

A weekender bag isn’t a suitcase—no, those don’t have enough “pick-up-and-go.” 

And a weekender bag isn’t a backpack; it’s more refined than that. 

It’s what you toss in the back of your car when you’re heading out for a road trip. It’s what you stash in the overhead compartment for your long overdue vacation.

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If you’re adventure-forward and like to pack light, a weekender becomes your travel partner. 

Most weekender bags have a few key features that distinguishes them from other types of travel luggage. 

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First, they’re usually small enough to be carried and stowed in an airplane overhead compartment. Most have a removable shoulder strap and handles on top.

The top handles make the bag easy to carry short distances with one hand, but if you’ve got a lengthy walk from one terminal to the next, the shoulder strap helps balance the load on your back. 

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But despite their name, weekender bags are just as handy during the work week. Especially if you’re a gym-rat and head to work right after. 

If you’re picking up a weekender bag to carry your workout clothes (before and after they smell), a pair of shoes, and basic toiletries, find one with a separate shoe compartment like the Public Rec Pro Weekender

You can stuff your used gym clothes in with your sneakers and the rest of your bag won’t develop a funk. The same goes for travel. As you wear through your clothes, a separated pouch keeps your clean clothes clean.

5 Best Weekender Bags for Men

1. Public Rec Pro Weekender

Public Rec Weekender Pro bag

The Public Rec Pro Weekender makes the top of our list because it’s the most versatile we’ve tried in the category. 

While most of us usually think of short vacations as the mainstay of the weekender bag, when you use one every day for your commute to work your bag becomes an extension of yourself. 

The Pro Weekender is handsome and built with durable water-resistant fabrics. Plus, the interior shoe compartment is crucial if you’re using it as a gym bag or packing for a wedding.

What We Like

  • It’s not flashy, but it’s sleek and has a very subtle stripe pattern that lends a refined edge. 

  • The heavyweight poly-twill blend fabric is durable and water resistant, plus the storm-proof zippers make for a fairly water-tight bag if you get caught in the rain. 

  • The easy-access shoe compartment is big enough to fit a pair of shoes and some dirty clothes.

  • The pockets aren’t over-engineered with dozens of unnecessary sub-compartments.

What W Don’t Like

  • The smaller side zippers have a small string in a loop as a pull-tab. We would’ve liked something a little easier to grip. 

What Other Reviewers Say

As of writing, the Pro Weekender has a perfect 5-star rating with 17 reviews:

Public Rec Pro Weekender Reviews

Most reviewers speak positively about the style, but their reasons for buying varies a lot. Some wanted it as a gym bag, others only for travel. Some just bought it as something they could commute with to work. 

We had a similar reaction. This bag is a noble companion in a standard weekly routine, even if you’re not planning a weekend getaway.

The Verdict

Why have two or three bags when you can make do with one? 

If you could only have one bag in your life for the gym, your commute, and for long weekends away, we recommend the Public Rec Pro Weekender.

It’s a handsome bag but the construction, durability, and quality turns a simple piece of luggage into something closer to a side-kick. 

We love the restraint of the pockets—while many brands load their pockets with subcompartments, bells, whistles, and doodads galore, Public Rec gives you the space to store what you need whether you’re tossing it in a gym locker, the back of a Jeep, or in the overhead bin of an airplane.


2. Bespoke Post Weekender

Male Model Holding Bespoke Post Weekender Bag Outside While Wearing Watch and Jeans

Bespoke Post bills itself as your monthly box of awesome, and we’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the subscription service since we started covering them back in 2017. 

But their Weekender box is still our favorite. 

The Line of Trade weekender bag is based on the carrying cases stonemasons used to lug their tools around in. Its spacious interior and reinforced shell make for an excellent weekend getaway bag. 

The bag is just over $50, but if you subscribe to Bespoke Post, you can get it for $45 (plus an exclusive further 15% off just by following our links).

As a subscriber, you’ll also get products like a set to build up your home bar or a stellar Damascus steel pocket knife.

What We Like

  • The waxed canvas shell and leather accents give it a rustic appeal.

  • A reinforced frame makes this bag extra sturdy (trust me—it even survived me slipping and rolling down a hill with it).

  • It’s inexpensive, plus comes with a few fun bonuses like all Bespoke Post boxes. 

What We Don’t Like

  • There are no separate compartments so you can’t store dirty clothes or shoes. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Professional reviewers and customer reviews largely say the same thing—they’re routinely pleased with what comes in from Bespoke Post. For many people, the Weekender box is their favorite because the bag just looks good. 

For a more in-depth look, check out our Bespoke Post Weekender review.

The Verdict

The Bespoke Post Weekender from Line of Trade isn’t a complicated bag. It’s simple, inexpensive, and can pack two days worth of clothes, shoes not included. 

If you’re looking for an easy pick-up-and-go bag for a short weekend that won’t put a big dent in your budget, this is our top recommendation. 

It doesn’t have the same versatility as the Pro Weekender from Public Rec and so we wouldn’t recommend this as a morning commute or gym bag because it only has the single main compartment. 

But if you just need something that can pack a few shirts, a pair of pants, your Dopp kit and a good book, you’ve got everything you need here.

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Bespoke Post Weekender
(Get 15% off automatically by following our links)

Our favorite no frills carryall. Boasting genuine leather handles and sturdy construction, Bespoke Post's classy Weekender offers excellent value for money.

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3. Parker Clay Montecito Weekender

Parker Clay Montecito Weekender bag leather on boating dock

Our favorite luxury weekender. The grail of bags, if you will—is the Parker Clay Montecito Weekender

We tried the Parker Clay Atlas Backpack and were blown away with the leather. Made with full grain Ethiopian leather, this Californian brand creates heirloom quality goods at a very reasonable price. 

Yes, the $500+ price tag might seem steep, but this weekender will go for decades and will only gain more character as it ages.

What We Like

  • The Ethiopian full grain leather is incredible—it looks and feels creamy soft and smells great too. 

  • The Montecito has a padded laptop sleeve which is unique to this list.

  • With proper care, this bag will develop a rich patina and give evidence to your well-traveled life.

  • Parker Clay ethically sources and produces all bags and offers free shipping.

What We Don’t Like

  • At $500+ the cost may be prohibitive for many. But it’s a heirloom investment that should last you a lifetime.

What Other Reviewers Say

At the time of writing, Parker Clay’s Montecito bag has a 4.8-star average. While most said the bag fit their travel lifestyle perfectly, the only negative comments (there were two) were about the size. Some felt it was too large.

The bag is TSA carry-on compliant and can fit about four days worth of clothing, which is exactly what we like about the Montecito and other bags like the Pro Weekender. If you want something for an overnight bag, check out Parker Clay’s Omo bag.

The Verdict

For a weekender bag you can pass on to your children, the Parker Clay Montecito is your best bet. 

Yes, it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s rare to find a bag made with such prime quality leather under $1,000, let alone for just over $500. 

If you can afford the investment, you won’t be disappointed.

Parker Clay Montecito Weekender

California style collides with full grain Ethiopian leather to create the Montecito Weekender: an heirloom quality bag from Parker Clay.

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4. Paravel Fold Up Bag

Model Holding Paravel Fold-Up Bagin Safari Green Over Shoulder Outside Near the Water

In 2018, Oprah said this bag was one of her favorite things. Who are you to disagree with Oprah?

And when we picked up a Paravel Fold Up for ourselves, there was no denying the thoughtfulness of the design. 

Its name comes from its best perk: when the bag is empty, just fold and zip it up. The bag can squeeze down to the size of a small book, but more squishy. 

This is an amazing feature if you’re traveling and want to bring back souvenirs for friends and family. Just stuff the zipped up duffel in your suitcase on the way there, and load it up for the trip back.

What We Like

  • It’s made with ripstop nylon from 22 recycled water bottles.

  • There are custom embroidery options available. 

  • The contrasting white and black nylon handles looks great across all colorways. 

  • The folding design is helpful for storage and for using as a supplement bag for travelling. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Of all the bags on this list, this has the least structure.

What Other Reviewers Say

Nearly 100 reviewers gave the Fold Up bag a perfect score. Folks seemed to love how casual the bag is, and many reviewers mentioned using it as a gym and work bag, too. 

The only negative comments we could find had to do with the monogramming. Some felt the quality could be better, and some just didn’t like the font.

The Verdict

One of the best parts of traveling is finding gifts to bring home to friends and family. 

How to bring it all back is a common problem that doesn’t get a lot of airtime. 

The Paravel Fold Up bag solves it. But even if you’re not into bringing home trinkets and printed shirts for the fam, check out this bag for its easy storage. 

A quick zip and this thing can fit practically anywhere.

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Paravel Fold-Up Bag
(Get 15% off with code TAM15)

Paravel’s fairly priced, designer quality Fold-Up bag is a versatile travel essential that can adapt to almost any packing scenario---whether it’s a weekend getaway, daytime excursion or an everyday trip to the gym.

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5. United by Blue Carry-On Duffle

united by blue model carrying the carry on duffel weekender bag

United by Blue is passionate about the environment. For every product purchased the brand removes a pound of trash from the ocean. 

So far, that’s over three million pounds removed, and some of it has been recycled into their Carry-On Duffle

This bag is built for travel.

What We Like

  • Mesh top lining makes it easy to carry toiletries so they’re easy to grab. 

  • United by Blue’s passion for cleaning the environment is big for us. 

  • The 55L capacity is small enough to use as a carry-on, but big enough to store enough clothes for a week if you pack it tight. 

What We Don’t Like

  • This duffel can carry the same amount but has a less refined look when compared to the Pro Weekender or Montecito. 

What Other Reviewers Say

In a rare showing, United by Blue has racked up over 100 reviews, all of them 5/5-star as of writing. 

Reviewers mentioned this was a perfect companion for snowboarding trips, hiking adventures, and epic world-wide exploration.

The Verdict

Each bag on this list has its own niche, and the Carry-On Duffel speaks squarely to those with a bit of wanderlust in them.

The recycled nylon with vegetable-tanned leather straps makes for a rugged bag that can handle more than one trip around the globe. 

And if you feel that your purchases should make an impact, United by Blue has already cleaned over three million pounds of trash from the ocean and they’re only ramping up.

United By Blue Carry On Duffel

With a 55L capacity, this duffel from United By Blue is a great way to max-out your travel load while still being able to cram your bag in the overhead compartment.

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Pack Your Bags

Each weekender bag on our list speaks to the limitless possibilities we get when we have a little time off. 

Are you a city-dweller that needs a bag that can work as hard on the weekends as it does during the work week? Check out the Public Rec Pro Weekender

Maybe you’ve got an overnight planned and just need something low-cost, but don’t want to sacrifice the handsome looks. If so, the Bespoke Post Weekender box is worth a look.

For a sun-filled venture into California backcountry vineyards, the Parker Clay Montecito has class and sophistication that lasts for decades. 

Just want something simple that stays out of your way when you’re not using it? Paravel answers the call. 

And if you’ve got a passion for seeing the world, United by Blue can put in the miles with you. 

So which one sounds like your ideal getaway?

FAQs

What size is a weekender bag?

Weekender bags come in a variety of sizes. Ideally, look for something that will work as carry-on luggage. The largest it should be at the moment is 22”L x 14”W X 9”T

How should a man pack a weekender bag?

For a quick 2-day trip, a man should bring two shirts, an extra pair of pants, your dopp kit (with shaving and hair products), any specialty clothing you might need (swimsuit, sunglasses etc.), two pairs of socks and underwear, and an extra pair of shoes. Most weekender bags, especially the ones on our list, will allow that and more.

Can I use a weekender bag as a carry on?

Yes, most weekender bags can be used as carry on luggage. All the bags we’ve featured on our list can be brought on board.