/  Style /  Accessories

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag Review: This Is Adulthood

Disclosure: We received courtesy product from Carl Friedrik in exchange for our honest review only. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Joe Niehaus
Expertise:

Style, Skincare, EDC, Fitness, Shoes

Joe is world traveler and brand fanatic. He's been writing about physical goods and the founders behind them for over four years. Beyond his work for The Adult Man, he's contributed to The Quality Edit, Business Insider, Men's Health, Travel + Leisure, and more. He's been around the block, taking his goods across the world to countries like China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Dubai, France, and Mexico. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024
10 min read
Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag Review Model Holding the Cognac Palissy

There are hundreds of different weekender bags on the market, spanning from $20 nylon bags to $20,000 Birken bags that could only be described as “my precious”.

But, how do you know what’s truly worth it versus what’s just marketing fluff? In this Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag review, we break down the construction, materials, value and compare it to other weekender bags so you’ll know if it’s worth the investment for you.

This thing will last
The Adult Man Image/Icon
Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag

Bottom line: If you’re ready and able to invest in a heirloom quality bag that will last for decades, the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend is a very solid choice.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Highest quality materials like Italian Vachetta leather
  • Compact design great for quick trips and overnight stays
  • 40mm optional shoulder strap if you don’t like carrying your bag
  • Lifetime warranty and 100-day trial period
Cons:
  • The leather can get scratched and discolored with improper care
  • There’s only one outside pocket

You know the type of guy you see at the airport: He’s on a mission, well groomed, fashionable, and has his s*** together.

He’s the type of guy you just want to know more about and what he does.

Ever notice his luggage?

It’s probably something that’s elegant, durable, and screams quality.

Perhaps it’s leather or a nice aluminum, but either way it’s a cut above an old raggedy gym bag.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to upgrade to something a bit more tasteful.

How do I know? Because I’ve been there.

I’ve used the same backpack I got in high school to travel across the world. Italy, Spain, buses, trains, you name it and it’s traveled with me.

It’s a reliable bag but to be frank, it looks trashy and unprofessional. The zippers are falling apart and it doesn’t even hold my goods well.

Now that the time has come to upgrade, I decided to look into a few brands that may fall on the pricier side but appear to be worth the splurge.

I came across London-based luggage brand Carl Friedrik, which appears in the HBO show Succession, and wanted to see if it truly measures up for someone in the Roy clan.

Read on for my full breakdown of their Palissy Weekend Bag.

Palissy Weekend Bag Overview

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag

Carl Friedrik was launched in 2013 by two brothers looking to create long-lasting products that blend design, craftsmanship, and style. The brand has quickly earned a reputation for marrying timeless aesthetics with attention to detail.

They make most of their products with leather from a family-run tannery in the heart of Tuscany. To back it up, they offer a 100-day trial and a lifetime warranty.

The brand even won first place in the 2023 “Carry Awards X” by Carryology, a team solely devoted to sharing insights on bags and luggage.

Carl Friedrik box up close

While Carl Friedrik has designs ranging from for-the-office up to long vacations, the Palissy Weekend Bag is their essential overnight bag.

With a heavy-duty zipper, strong leather, and functional pockets, the Palissy Weekend Bag claims to be your new go-to when leaving your home.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Weekend Bag from Carl Friedrik

Carl Friedrik’s line appears to be made from the best materials, backs it up with strong promises, and has a price tag to go along with it.

At hundreds of dollars for a bag, it’s certainly an investment.

You may be wondering, “Is that worth it for a bag? Do I need something like this?

I know the price was a bit daunting at first, but there are some other considerations at play here like durability, quality of materials, and overall convenience.

View this post on Instagram

Personally, quality is the biggest factor. If I know something will last a lifetime (and if a brand promises it will) I’m more willing to pay the piper.

I don’t want to mess around with buying crappy stuff and having to replace it a year or two later. Also, like the guy in the airport, I want to look clean and put together, especially if I’m on a work trip.

I’m assuming you do too.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag

If you’re ready and able to invest in a heirloom quality bag that will last for decades, the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend is a very solid choice.

Check Price

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekender Review

Unboxing and First Impressions

The Palissy Weekender shipped across the world in about a week. It arrived in a standard, unassuming cardboard box.

Carl Friedrik logo box above

Thankfully, there wasn’t an overemphasis on unnecessary packaging.

Upon opening the box there was a nice envelope with a thank-you note, a leather care guide, and usage tips from a designer.

Carl Friedrik unboxing card

The bag itself comes in a cotton drawstring bag to protect the leather in the shipping process. 

At first glance I thought “Wow, I’ll have this thing forever.”

Carl Friedrik onboxing bag

The leather was pristine and they crisply zipped the bag. My cognac variant appeared even more vibrant in person, and totally in a good way.

Inside the bag was the optional shoulder strap attachment.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag strap inside

Features

As mentioned before, they constructed the bag of Italian Vachetta leather, which is known for lasting a longtime. Brands like Louis Vuitton use Vachetta leather.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag leather tag

The overall form of the Palissy Weekend Bag is curved, not boxy like a carry on.

This allows for more space when you’re rolling up your t-shirts or cramming in your toiletries.

One of the biggest signals of quality is the zipper. Like I said, my backpack’s zippers are falling apart at this point.

Plastic components made in China don’t cut it anymore.

Every tooth in this heavy-duty zipper is individually brushed and polished before assembly, which adds a delicate touch.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag zipper upclose

The bag also has a tight pocket on the outside which can be used for a passport. I hate filling my pant pockets, which makes this a welcome addition.

Included is a 40mm wide shoulder strap that I like to use when flying, but maybe not as useful if you’re taking a road trip and can just put your bag in the trunk.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag strap

Design

The design of Carl Friedrik’s line is one of its boasting traits. All of the goods seem to be thoughtfully planned and assembled.

Measure twice, cut once, as they say.

The Palissy Weekend is no exception.

What really drew me to it was its iconic look. Right when I came across the Palissy, it looked familiar. Like straight from a classic movie.

Male model wearing Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag

Beautiful leather, strong handles, and useful pockets all speak to the intention of the Palissy Weekend.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag strap logo

Like me, if you want to play the part and look like you know what you’re doing, this bag will help you get the job done. It’s not flashy and plastered with logos and shiny embellishments.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag outside pocket

It’s simple and subtle, but elevated.

Quality of Construction

Because you’re a busy guy with no time to fuss around with bad gear, construction quality is probably top of mind. Same here.

One of my main grievances with paying more “luxury” brands is that I feel like I’m holding a baby any time I use them.

No, I want to be able to hop off a fast-moving train and not worry about anything falling apart.

Male model holding Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag

The Palissy Weekend doesn’t disappoint.

Vachetta leather typically comes from the bull’s shoulder, so it’s sturdy and durable. Because it’s natural and vegetable tanned, it’s susceptible to scratches and the elements.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag bottom

But with proper care, it can last a lifetime. Carl Friedrik offers a Leather Cream to keep its bags soft for years to come.

I mentioned how brawny the zippers were above. I probably shouldn’t have done this, but immediately after opening the package I rattled the zipper and shook the handles.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag above

Trust me, I think they’ll do just fine on my next trip.

Value for Money

Here’s the big question, right?

Yes, at almost a thousand bucks the Palissy Weekend Bag is pricey.

Could you find something similar on Amazon? Sure, but it’s probably made of fake leather and they likely don’t include a lifetime warranty.

Carl Friedrik

Considering that the Palissy Weekend has real Italian leather, custom-made hardware, looks beautiful, and is backed up with a warranty and 100-day trial, I probably wouldn’t look any further.

View this post on Instagram

You can always play the price game trying to find a better deal. But ultimately, I’m looking to find one bag I can buy now and then not worry about again.

What Do Other Reviewers Say About the Palissy Weekend Bag?

View this post on Instagram

Customers who have bought in used the bag absolutely love its design and durability. Like me, they say the leather is beautiful and it maintains its structure through a lot of uses.

Of the people who’ve bought directly from the Carl Friedrik website, 93% say they would recommend it.

The main quips with the Palissy Weekend Bag are that it could be a bit bigger (though some said the capacity was perfect) and that it doesn’t open wide enough for tech products that may get scratched.

In my experience, this is a valid critique but if I’m going away for the weekend, I’m probably not bringing my laptop.

One piece of feedback was overwhelming: Carl Friedrik’s customer service is excellent.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag Alternatives

Parker Clay Montecito Weekender

Parker Clay Montecito Weekender bag leather on boating dock

Parker Clay is similarly a leather-focused accessory brand, but more geared towards women. They also hire at-risk women in Ethiopia for production, which is pretty neat.

It is more focused on discounting their products, displaying a “traditional retail” price next to their price. (Think Everlane or Italic.)

The Montecito Weekender has a similar form for about 30% less than Carl Friedrik’s Palissy, but based on the leather and other materials used, likely won’t be as durable. 

Parker Clay Montecito Weekender

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

Check Price

Beckett Simonon Davis Weekender Bag

The Davis Weekender Bag from Beckett Simonon is like Carl Friedrik’s value cousin. It has similar handles and a shoulder strap, but the body is made of cotton canvas.

At about a third of the price, it makes sense that the materials aren’t as high-quality. They use standard spec YKK zippers and have hints of leather.

I think the Davis Weekender Bag is a fine option if you’re just dipping your toes into luggage and aren’t sure what you really want. But, there’s only a 1-year warranty so I wouldn’t count on having this bag for the rest of your life.

Beckett Simonon Davis Weekender

I think this is a fine option for a weekender if you’re just dipping your toes into luggage and aren’t sure what you really want. But, there’s only a 1-year warranty so I wouldn’t count on having this bag for the rest of your life.

Check Price

Public Rec Pro Weekender

Public Rec Weekender Pro bag

Public Rec’s Pro Weekender is another good value option. It’s not made with any leather, but rather, a poly twill fabric and 100% nylon lining.

An upside to these material choices is that it’s water resistant and can really take a beating.

I wouldn’t recommend spilling water on the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend, but ‌with Public Rec’s Pro Weekender, feel free to throw your glass.

The Pro Weekender also has a lot of pockets, but the zippers are made of a less desirable plastic.

For under $200, you probably can’t go wrong here.

Check out our review of this on our site.

My Thoughts Overall on The Palissy Weekend

What I Like

  • The Palissy Weekend is made of high-quality Italian leather.
  • The zipper is extremely sturdy and durable.
  • The look of the bag competes with top-end designer brands.
  • The lifetime warranty and trial period gives me peace of mind.

What I Don’t Like

  • It could have more capacity for longer trips.
  • It’s definitely on the pricier side for weekender bags.
  • More pockets would be a welcome addition.

Who Is the Palissy Weekend Bag For?

If you’re ready to invest in a bag that you’ll have forever and evokes a certain sense of style and professionalism, the Palissy Weekend is for you. While it may take some care, this bag will pay dividends with how much use it can take.

The Verdict

Carl Friedrik is doing something really interesting.

They’re not a long-standing fashion house and don’t pretend to be, but they bring a bespoke offering with fair prices.

The Palissy Weekend Bag is made with some of the best materials money can buy, including Italian Vachetta leather and custom hardware.

While a bigger size could be perfect for trips over a few days, I’m happy with the compact form and straightforward approach.

The price is high, sure, but I’m happy to pay it with the confidence of a lifetime guarantee and if I didn’t like it at first, I could’ve returned it within its trial period.

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag

If you’re ready and able to invest in a heirloom quality bag that will last for decades, the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend is a very solid choice.

Check Price

FAQs

Is Carl Friedrik worth it?

Yes, if you’re looking to invest in bags and luggage that will last your whole life, Carl Friedrik is worth it. They use the best Italian leather and hardware to make goods that stand the test of time.

Is Carl Friedrik a luxury brand?

Yes, Carl Friedrik is on the higher end of the market. They have world-class designs that also won’t drain your life’s savings.

Where are Carl Friedrik bags made?

Carl Friedrik bags are made in Florence, Italy by a small leather goods factory and its luggage is made by a leading factory in Guangzhou, China.