There's an art to being a weekend warrior. You need to pick adventures that are exciting, but not too far away, and you need to pack smartly, so you can get out of the house quickly. The right bag can certainly help with the latter. You'll need something that's organized, and just the right size. Here are 12 of our favorites.
Topo Designs Travel Bag ($230)
This versatile 30-liter bag is made from burly 1000-denier Cordura fabric and can be worn as a backpack, carried as a briefcase, or thrown over your shoulder like a messenger. We like the large zipper that allows the bag to splay open for easy access to the main compartment, where you’ll find a laptop sleeve and mesh organizational pocket. Two exterior pockets are big enough for 32-ounce water bottles, and woven tabs on the body allow you to secure extra gear.
The North Face Rolling Thunder ($250)
To create this bag, The North Face basically took their bomber, and much-loved Basecamp duffel and gave it wheels. The 40-liter bag is water resistant and has one main compartment plus three smaller organizational pockets.
Cotopaxi Allpa 35 ($165)
This pack is still in the crowdfunding stage but given our experience with Cotopaxi's other packs, we’re psyched to see it hit the market. Cotopaxi employs the nimble suspension system from their backpacking line to make this 35-liter, overhead-bin-compatible pack as comfortable as possible. It’s built for air travel with no exposed buckles or pockets, which tend to get snagged, and hinges open like a suitcase to reveal separate packing compartments divided by mesh and zippers. Bonus: theft-resistant zippers keep sticky hands out of your bag in a crowd.
Filson 48 Hour Duffel ($475)
Yes, that’s a lot of money for a duffel, but with a Filson price comes Filson quality. Put another way: this is a bag you’ll likely pass down to your kids. And the rain-repellent, wax-coated cotton canvas material will only look better with age. At 19 inches long, with all sorts of utility pockets, it’ll carry everything you need, but not take up too much room in the tiny trunk of your vintage Porsche.
Fjallraven Rucksack No. 21 Large ($225)
Fjallraven uses their own waxed polyester-cotton blend for this 30-liter backpack to create a retro style that’ll make you feel like you’re leading a Boy Scout Troop on an adventure. It’s a top loader with a laptop sleeve and a dedicated thermos compartment, and even has a removable seat pad.
Chrome Industries Macheto Travel Pack ($200)
Chrome Industries used 1,680-denier ballistic nylon to make the Macheto as tough as possible, just in case you need to throw it under the plane or on top of your Land Cruiser. It’s big, expanding up to 48 liters, but compression straps and zippered mesh pockets keep everything synched and organized inside.
Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffel ($85)
The Novel is a simple duffel that looks good. For a relatively affordable price, you get a big, 42.5-liter main compartment for hauling everything you could need, an internal mesh storage sleeve, and a dedicated shoe compartment to keep your running shoes separate from your dress shirts.
Timbuk2 Wingman ($180)
The Wingman has a grown-up, briefcase aesthetic that makes it the perfect bag for mixing business with pleasure. A side zipper pocket gives you easy access your gear when the bag is stuffed in an overhead bin, while a padded laptop sleeve and compression straps keep everything inside the 40-liter bag organized. Deploy the stowaway backpack straps for sprinting to your connecting flight.
Gregory Border 35 ($170)
You can leave your laptop in this bag when going through TSA security. How? The laptop compartment zips mostly off the bag and lies flat so it can be scanned separately.
Dakine Descent Duffel ($85)
At 70 liters, the Descent is the largest bag on this list. But that extra space is designed for bike gear, meaning it still qualifies as a weekender. The main compartment has pockets for goggles and accessories, while zippered side pockets keep your helmet and shoes separate from your clothes.
Mafia Day Off ($110)
All of Mafia’s backpacks and duffels are made in California from upcycled sails and no two bags are identical. The Day Off duffel is a combo of kitesurf and boat sails, offering 22 liters of space, a waterproof liner, and two interior organization pockets. Upgrade to the 35-liter Tubo if you need more room.
Osprey Sojourn 45 ($300)
The Sojourn carries well thanks to Osprfey's body-wrapping, mesh-lined harness, and rolls well thanks to a stiff chassis. It’s a 45-liter bag, but compression straps keep your load tight, and it will fit in most overhead bins when fully loaded.