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Are you a bag man?


Stitched Up

Benjamen Judd looks at how clothes can make or break the modern day man.

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Hunt Leather Leonhard Heyden XL Laptop Messenger, RRP: $475, contact 1800 064768. Click for more photos

Bags for gadgets

Dress up your gadgets and stamp your personal style on the portable devices you carry around. 

The man bags... there are ways to wear them – and wear them well.

Usually guys grab their car keys, wallet and maybe a packet of smokes when they leave the house. Though there are times you need to carry a bag, often it is the trusty backpack you were given for free at the gym or the ratty old one you salvaged from your high school days.

Though the man bag has been given a mighty bad rap in recent times, there are ways to wear them – and wear them well – if you know what to look for. Here are some options for guys carrying bags to the office as well as out and about.

It's worth noting that I received no kickbacks for the brands and models mentioned here, they’re actually items I own or covet.

Backin’ it up
Forget your Fitness First branded or Quiksilver backpack, when you need to cart stuff around when on your pushie or if you’re going for a bit of a hike there are two great options to suit your needs.

If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty pack then the first place to look is the Carhartt store; offering some well-made backpacks in neutral colours, they’re a man’s best friend.

I’m also a big fan of the backpacks offered by BAGGU. Considerably more lightweight, they’re great for tooling around the city with your laptop and a newspaper.

A good sport
For your gym kit there is plenty of choice on offer. An iconic Country Road duffel bag is always a safe bet, but you can get them for half the price, or less, at army disposal stores.

For a bag that won’t take quite the beating but is still great for stashing your stinky socks under the desk following a morning workout are American Apparel’s nylon duffels. A technicolour dream.

Working it
It’s always a struggle to find decent options for work. Beyond the humble briefcase, there are plenty to choose from yet also plenty of ways waste money on an inferior product. Also, a lot of guys want to stand out from the crowd but don’t know how.

The hands-down coolest bag I’ve ever owned is perfect for the workday but stylish enough for extracurricular activities – a felt Carga Bag. Made from industrial felt and hand assembled in Buenos Aires in a family run workshop, their version of a briefcase remains one of my favourite things.

Away game
I love Carga Bags so much I also own the same felt product in a weekender version, the only problem being that you can’t zip it up; so while it’s good for the car it’s all but impossible for air travel.

And because it’s also good to have a little variety, you might want to look into Japanese brand N.Hoolywood, by designer Daisuke Obana. A bit harder to come by, they have some high-end – and decidedly pricey – options for weekend getaways. The issue here is that you need to be in Tokyo, Osaka or Hong Kong to snap them up. A perfect excuse for adding an extra day onto that business trip, perhaps?

Do you have any favourites when it comes to manly man bags?

85 comments so far

  • You are missing one of the best brands around, Knomo Bags from London.
    They design a number of great bags, both for business and more casual situations.

    My favourite is the Saxby ( .
    More pockets and compartments you will ever need, great materials and detailing and not costing you an arm and a leg either.

    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 9:51AM
    • Big fan of the tried and tested Timbuk2 Messenger Bag

      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:57AM
      • What's the coolest way to physically wear them - just over the shoulder or strap across the chest?

        Straight guy
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 10:08AM
        • across the chest - dont go shoulder, thats where handbag's go...

          Date and time
          September 14, 2012, 1:23PM
      • I can't stand having anything in my pockets - especially when wearing jeans so I'd be totally lost without having a man bag! Problem is I seem to have succumbed to something similiar to my GF's shoe obsession - 9 man bags and counting lol!!!!

        PS: Definately across the chest mate.

        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 10:21AM
        • Haha. I know how that goes.
          I had about 10 bags myself util I got rid of a couple.

          But then I also have over 25 pairs of shoes. :)

          I have always said though it's the accessories that make the man.

          Date and time
          September 14, 2012, 11:38AM
        • Haven't many bags but i do have 30+ shoes. Lost count these days.

          Date and time
          November 11, 2012, 9:57AM
      • What are your thoughts on the popular Crumpler messenger bag with business attire, instead of being on a courier on a fixie?

        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 10:38AM
        • definitely not for business, the same goes for a backpack!!

          Date and time
          September 14, 2012, 12:28PM
        • I have a plain black Crumpler bag that is just big enough to fit A4 documents and my Dell 10" Netbook if I ever need to take it anywhere. I wear a suit to work and I reckon the crumpler bag looks fine for but that's mainly because it is completely black on the outside and is very rectangular. Simple darker colour schemes and rectangular looks and you should be fine IMO.

          Date and time
          September 14, 2012, 5:41PM

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