May 4, 2009  ·  design  ·  style

Saddle Tan Overnight Bags

Did the recession eat your two-week summer vacation? We feel your pain, but there are upsides to taking a long weekend instead. You can pack light and carry on everything you need, eliminating the inevitable lost luggage and the checked baggage fees. We think you should arrive in style with a classic cabin bag in saddle leather over your shoulder, instead of with a tired slab of black nylon rolling behind you, so we reviewed three affordable options.

1. David King & Co. Frame Duffel | $89
It's pretty cool that you can even get a leather bag for under $100 these days, and the quality of the leather on this one is surprisingly decent. But ultimately you get what you pay for, and the handles are an unfortunate weak point—flimsy, unpadded, and not looking all that firmly attached. Great colour, though, and we preferred the same-colour stitching over the contrast stitching on the other bags here. Also the only bag of the three to have a front zippered pocket for your boarding pass and shades.

2. Latico Leathers Cabin Duffel | $185
A nice compromise. The leather and stitching are not great but pretty good. Design is the best of the three we reviewed here, with two handy outer pockets, round padded handles, and excellent interior organization—two zippered pockets and secure slots for pens, gadgets, and documents. The lining looks like nylon, in a tasteful complimentary brown.

3. Floto Venezia Duffle | $299
As you'd expect, first-rate leather. This bag is more rigid than the others, so there's no jamming it under a seat when the overhead bins are full. The colour is a little of a disappointment, neither tan nor a proper brown with a bit of a reddish hue. The lack of external pockets, and only one inside zip, also hurt practicality. On the other hand, the lining is absolutely beautiful, a striped cotton denim that is pure old-school menswear. The zipper runs floor to floor so it's easy to open and pack.

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