Recently I’ve developed a need for a big(ish) bag to hold some clothes, toiletries, laptop and some other bits while working and staying away from home. I’ve been here and there for a while working in London and short of having multiple versions of everything in various places I decided I needed a suitable overnight bag to chuck everything in and take with me. Overnight bag to me means 2 days and 2 nights. My criteria was –
- Black or Brown (maybe Blue)
- Not too flashy
- Under £100
There are some great bags that meet almost all of the above but very few that meet the final one of being affordable enough. I mean this one from Paul Smith – awesome but £599!
I went to Debenhams, John Lewis, Next, Zara, House of Fraser and searched the net.
Here are the ones I liked and tried –
Tommy Hilfiger Cruise Soft- House of Fraser – £112 (close enough)
The more time I spent trying these bags I realised that the durability was actually the most important factor. Unless it was real leather, the PVC material of the Jeff Banks & Zara couldn’t handle the rigorous commute through the London Underground and fell apart. I also found that actually I quite liked the idea of always looking like sports was part of my everyday routine!
I bought the Nike bag from Sports Direct after trying all the others and for me it is perfect. The size is just right – slightly small so I don’t take too much with me and maneuverable on the commute, the material is durable and very lightweight, it isn’t plastered in Nike logos and it was the most affordable of the lot.
I really liked the Eastpak bag for the material and the amazing 30 year guarantee but the Nike holdall tipped it because of price and that I could compact it down to a very small size to take with me as spare luggage should I need it e.g. a short holiday where I would take a small suitcase, I could squeeze this into a side pocket!
The big learning from this is that if you want a leather bag that is durable and smart, you will have to pay for it. But if you are happy with simple practicality then there are loads of other options.