Sometimes you can get away with cramming your keys and over-stuffed wallet into the pocket of your jeans but at other times what you really need is a man bag (and never, ever a bum bag). Like many things in life; smart, chic man bags are hard to come by. When investing in one, you want to make sure that it’s versatile, classic and practical. Look for something that is suitable for work, travel and weekends. A bag that’s roomy enough to carry your laptop but light enough to hold on to all day. Obviously, leather is the classic choice, but there are also options like heavyweight canvas that are suited to those who prefer a casual look.
Below, we’ve listed some of our favourite man bags in a range of styles, sizes and price points. And just to be clear, the vibe we’re going for is more Don Draper, and less daggy dad of the 1980s.
Starting from $1250 (USD) for the unlined version, it’s certainly not the most budget-friendly option, but the craftsmanship behind this bag is undeniable. Frank Clegg have been making premium leather goods out of their Massachusetts studio since 1970. In the past 4.5 decades they’ve seen countless brands move their manufacturing offshore, but these guys say they'd never consider following suit. It’s great to see their motto being resolutely held to - ‘to be better, you have to be different’.
Inspired by old-fashioned music bags, this CSC satchel is an instant classic. The 14-inch size is perfect for holding your laptop of tablet and having two straps means you can carry it as a briefcase or a cross-body bag. Like Frank Clegg, the CSC believe in high-quality materials and production and to this day, the bags are handmade in Great Britain. At £110, this bag is a great option for guys who are on a budget. Plus, shipping to Australia is free!
Whipping Post founder Ryan Barr started out making guitar straps and then moved on to making guitar-pick wallets. His business has expanded in recent years and he now makes a range of great, rustic leather goods. This bag was inspired by antique postal bags but has the practical 21st century addition of a Macbook compartment. Made in Mexico from 100% vegetable-tanned leather, this bad boy will set you back $295 USD.
At $75 USD this is the cheapest option of the bunch, but it's still effortlessly cool. This canvas duffle bag features a pebbled leather trim and gold hardware, with Herschel's signature striped lining. Herschel Supply Co. was founded in Vancouver in 2009, by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack and has since become a global success story. Specialising in high-quality backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories, Herschel is designed to meet the needs of the modern adventurer.