As fun as traveling can be, all the grief leading up to the actual act of vacationing is awful. For many, the worst part is having to pack. There’s nothing more humbling than taking out luggage for a trip and realizing your bag just isn’t up to the task—it’s likely the case that some of your groomsmen have experienced this very feeling.
Why not help your friends out ahead of your wedding, especially if you’ve asked them to fly out and support you? Putting some groomsmen gifts into an awesome weekender or backpack is a great way to tell your crew that you appreciate their efforts.
As your wedding details begin to come together, it might be a good time to consider upgrading your groomsmen’s bags. You can give them the gift of peace of mind before they head out to your bachelor party or even the wedding itself. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best backpacks and weekenders to ensure their travels are as smooth as possible. Our selections, below.
The budget bag that looks expensive
Looking at the price of this weekender from Bespoke Post might lead one to believe it’s the “budget” pick on this list—but a deeper dive into its construction and features proves it’s anything but cheap. This weekender is a stylish upgrade on what was once considered a mason bag (essentially a bag used by stonemason to lug around their tools to and from the site), but one that’s been reimagined for the grit and grind of travel. Thick canvas is wrapped around a hefty frame to provide equal parts strength and security for all the gear essential for a weekend getaway. And once travel is over, it will collapse down on itself, making it quick and easy to stow away for the next adventure.
The big bag with a small carbon footprint
Everlane’s commitment to creating products at a fair price while using completely ethical production processes would be commendable enough on its own—but it also helps their stuff is just damn good. Case in point with this ReNew Transit weekender, as the bag provides quality and features that would typically be reserved for luggage double the cost. An exterior luggage sleeve makes it easy to slide on and off your luggage handle, while another exterior pocket allows for quick storage. Meanwhile, the interior has a dedicated laptop space should work need to be finished. And, to top it all off, the bag is made from 100% recycled polyester, cutting down on environmental waste.
The ethically sound, durable bag
Billed as the brand’s “workhorse” bag, the Patagonia Black Hole duffel lives up to its namesake, providing a full 55 liters worth of storage capacity in a tough as nails ripstop that’s durable and water-repellent. In addition to that dense storage capacity, there are a number of features the brand has included to make it even more travel-friendly including built-in shoulder straps, which allow the bag to be carried like a backpack should it grow too heavy. Additionally, the bag actually collapses into itself for better storage—or in case your groomsman packs heavy and hits the checked bag weight and needs to unload a thing or two.
The uber-stylish black tie weekender
This elevated nylon holdall from Saturdays NYC is a minimalist-looking offering to be certain, but one that doesn’t skimp on plenty of space for travel gear. The snap-fastening sides allow for a wider top-entry, meaning your groomsman can just fill it fully without worry. The front and back zipper pockets can keep smaller essential items handy, while the sturdy side handle will make it easy to retrieve from an overhead bin or at baggage claim.
The Swiss Army knife of really nice bags
If a canvas tote and a weekender had a baby, it would look a lot like this elegant bag from French outfit Bleu de Chauffe. With perfectly-long straps, it’ll slip comfortably over one’s shoulders without it riding up too far—making it easy to carry through a terminal. The bag features a roll-top closure with water-resistant and durable nylon to better protect belongings.
The funky camo bag for adult men
Just because a bag is functional doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it along the way. This duffel from NYC brand MZ Wallace has a bold camo pattern that subverts typical trappings of the pattern by opting for a dark blue color instead of the standard green that’s become oversaturated. Made from durable and lightweight nylon, it’ll handle the ups and downs of travel without you worrying about it falling apart on you. All the typical trappings of a duffel (interior organization, etc) are represented here, but the exterior pockets are particularly helpful to get to those quick-access items.
The classic standby backpack
A classic-looking design, the North Face’s Crevasse daypack looks as good on the trail as it does in a terminal. With a padded laptop sleeve and plenty of interior storage space, the bag ensures there’s room enough to sock it full of essentials—and then some. Meanwhile, the outer barrel pockets can hold ticky-tack things like chargers or any other accessories needed for long bouts of airport boredom.
The hipster backpack for young-at-heart travelers
Herschel has become somewhat of a household name amongst anyone that’s a shopper at Urban Outfitters, due in part to their vintage style bags—and because they just make really quality products. The Retreat backpack has those belted closures that evoke a mountaineering look, while the interior has a top cinch closure that compresses everything down. The padded laptop pocket does a good job of providing some delineation between sections. Additionally, the shoulder straps themselves offer lots of support in case you need to haul it around for long periods of time.
The clean and simple bag for artsy dudes
Another minimalist-style bag, this backpack from Rains is, fittingly enough, 100% waterproof thanks to its polyurethane-coated exterior shell. That allows the bag to go through a variety of different climates without concern. The front exterior pocket has a surprising amount of depth, while the main zipper section has enough room for a 15” laptop and other items as necessary.
The all terrain bag that doesn't sacrifice style
Equal parts stylish and pragmatic, the Fjällräven Foldsack No.1 Backpack is another flap-style bag made for those who want to get to items quickly and easily throughout the course of a travel day. The buckle straps adjust open rapidly for fast access, giving way to two decided carrying sections. A blend of G-1000 ripstop-like polyester is blended with cotton canvas to provide a water-resistant outer and then emblazoned with the iconic Fjällräven logo to give the bag that bit of stylish swagger.
The color-explosion bag with endless compartments
A fusion of a carry-on and a backpack, this Topo Designs bag is two items for the price of one. Exclusive to Nordstrom, this modular bag can scale up or down depending on the needs of the trip, coming equipped with a dedicated laptop sleeve, dopp kit, and two zip bags for smaller items. Your groomsman can double strap it or toss it sideways and pull out the shoulder strap for more of a duffel-style look—the possibilities to customize it as they see fit are virtually endless.