With fluctuating coronavirus restrictions forcing people to holiday closer to home, domestic weekend breaks have experienced a huge surge in popularity. It’s good news for your wallet, but less so for your 80l hard-shell suitcase. Because while simple staycations are more affordable, they call for a different breed of luggage entirely.
Enter the overnight bag – a smaller, softer, more portable alternative to your cumbersome long-haul luggage. It’s the perfect companion, not just for weekends away, but for carrying gym or sports gear, accompanying you on business trips and transporting your overnight essentials wherever you’re headed after lockdown ends.
The perfect overnight bag should be durable, large enough to carry a change of clothes, toiletries and other essentials, and perhaps have space for a laptop or tablet. Aside from that, it’s very subjective and a lot of what makes an overnight suitable will be down to how exactly you’re planning to use it.
With that in mind, we went in search of a range of overnight bags to suit every taste, budget and lifestyle. We were on the lookout for options to suit a variety of needs but that were united by a few core attributes. They needed to be built to last, look good be roomy enough to cope with weekend duties. Here’s what we found.
From high-fashion to high-function and everything in between, these are the best men’s overnight bags to buy.
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Millican miles the duffle bag 40l
Don’t let the minimalist styling of this roomy holdall from Millican fool you, it’s actually packed full of functional features that we absolutely love. It’s just the right size for the weekend and has plenty of neatly concealed pockets, pouches and compartments to house everything from a laptop to small valuables like watches or jewellery.
The carrying options are great too, doing away with the traditional single strap and instead opting for a backpack-style design. There are also two handles – one on the top, one on the side – which allow the bag to be carried easily by hand if needed, with the shoulder straps tucked away.
Inside the main compartment, which is accessed by a full-length zip, there are compression straps, a zip pocket perfect for toiletries, and a press-stud pouch, which we found handy for laptop chargers and the like. Plus, it’s lined with bright-yellow fabric which makes finding loose items a breeze.
Columbia outdry ex 60l duffle bag
If you need an overnight bag that can withstand a battering from the elements, this one from Columbia will be right up your street. It’s made using the same waterproof tech that goes into Columbia’s high-performance hard-shell jackets and is topped off with water-resistant zippers and taped seams to keep your gear bone dry.
It features lots of lash points for attaching outdoorsy gear like ropes and pots (or just a spare baseball cap), plus haul handles to each end and two removable shoulder straps. This means the bag can either be carried like a backpack or over one shoulder by converting it to a single strap.
The face fabric is super durable, making it perfect for the most demanding of overnight activities but looks-wise it’s versatile enough for general day-to-day duties too. In other words, whether it’s an expedition to the Himalayas or an equally perilous weekend at the in-laws’s, this weatherproof holdall will see you right.
The North Face base camp 71l duffle bag
The North Face’s base camp duffle bag is an icon of the great outdoors. It’s instantly recognisable, endlessly versatile and functional to the extreme. If you’re looking for a robust overnight bag for everything from climbing expeditions to urban commutes, this is it.
In terms of practicality, every minute detail of the bag has been refined over decades. From the detachable ergonomic shoulder straps to the zipped end-cap pocket for keeping dirty gear separate, it’s all been thought about to the nth degree and designed with exploration in mind.
The outer fabric is a water-resistant ballistic nylon which handles scrapes, bumps and abrasions very well and will keep your gear safe and sound no matter where you take it. All in all, it’s a solid option, long favoured by explorers and civilians alike, from one of the best-established names in the business.
Filson leather-trimmed twill duffle bag
Seattle-based Filson’s knack for crafting premium outdoor gear that looks the part has made it a go-to for stylish blokes and rugged outdoorsmen alike. One thing the label has always done particularly well is luggage and this leather-trimmed overnight bag is a perfect example.
With its brown leather trims, brass hardware and thick canvas outer, this is a bag that’s elegant enough to pair with smart-casual clothing but beefy enough to survive a grenade blast. It’s a seriously well-made piece of luggage, and it’s durability is matched only by its good looks.
In terms of the practical stuff, there’s a large two-way zip opening to the top, a removable shoulder strap (leather, naturally) and two sturdy carry handles. Aside from that, there’s not a huge amount going on. But you don’t buy a bag like this for its gimmicks and hidden features, do you? This is the kind of carrier that you’ll still be using half a century down the line.
Louis Vuitton keepall bandouliere 55
For those who appreciate the finer things in life, there’s no substitute for a Louis Vuitton holdall. The French fashion house started life crafting luggage for the Parisian social elite and the leather bags it still makes today are an intrinsic part of the label’s heritage and history.
This particular one is rendered in a coated canvas fabric and finished with LV’s signature checkerboard print, with subtle Louis Vuitton Paris branding to several of the squares. It has a removable leather shoulder strap, carry handles and can even be personalised on the LV website with hot-stamped initials, coloured stripes and stickers.
Granted, it’s not exactly the cheapest overnight bag here, but if money’s no concern then why not skip the rest and go directly to the best?
Nike brasilia training duffle bag
A great overnight bag doesn’t have to cost the earth. Nike’s holdalls are a common sight in gym changing rooms, on five-a-side pitches and even Premier League club training grounds. Why? Well, multi million-pound sponsorship contracts probably have something to do with the latter, but otherwise, simply because they’re practical, reliable and won’t break the bank.
With simple styling, several pockets and compartments, and a coated bottom panel, this sporty option from Nike is everything you need from an overnight bag and then some.
But the best part is the price. At just a shade over £30 this is about as good as it gets in terms of bang for buck. Particularly when you consider that it easily outperforms some of the high-end options we tested in areas like storage compartments and general practicality.
Eastpak leatherface duffle bag
Why carry your overnight bag around on your shoulder, expending precious energy, when you could let the floor do all the hard work for you? That’s what we liked most about this nifty roller holdall from Eastpak – it gives you the option to do exactly that.
The bag itself has pockets aplenty, including loads of small storage pouches for valuables and a sizeable main compartment for the bulk of your overnight gear. The fabric is water resistant and pretty tough too, which equates to one less thing to worry about when you’re on the road.
But what really sells this bag for us are the telescopic handle and wheels which give you the option to pull it around like a suitcase. No more aching arms on those longer-than-expected walks from terminal to terminal or platform to platform.
Longchamp boxford travel bag
This simple yet stylish holdall from Longchamp will handle both weekend and work duties with ease. The simple design makes it timeless and highly versatile while the thick canvas fabric and leather reinforcements ensure it’ll last for decades to come.
The bag features one large zipper along the top, a small valuables pouch and a spacious main compartment which is the perfect size for a change of clothes and a second pair of shoes. There’s a removable shoulder strap with leather detail and two sturdy leather handles for carrying by hand.
If you’re camping or doing outdoorsy things, this probably isn’t the right bag for you. But if you regularly find yourself on business trips and need something that will go with casual clothing and tailoring equally well then there are few bags better suited to your needs. We’d suggest opting for black or navy blue for maximum versatility.
The verdict: Men’s overnight bags
We really love the design of the miles duffle bag from Millican. The simple, minimalist styling belies a wealth of practical features and hidden extras waiting inside. It’s also extremely well made. In fact, we’ve been using ours for several years now and it looks just as good as the day it arrived.
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