Every man should have at least one piece of an item made of genuine leather- nothing like a well-tanned leather to scream sophistication and style and bring the extra boost to your overall attire.
This is why men leather travel bags have been on the rise as more and more designers jump to satisfy the growing demand. The demand is mainly attributed to the fact that you can use the bag in all aspects of life- travel, running errands, going to the gym, weekend gateway, and so on!
Typically, genuine leather can last you a lifetime if well taken care of. Unfortunately, there is not enough genuine leather in the world to satisfy every consumer’s demands; therefore, there are a lot of dupes in the market.
It is tough for an untrained eye to spot a real from the fakes, but worry not! in this article, I have outlined several examples of the best leather travel bags for men in the market, what to look for when choosing one, and answered frequently asked questions.
Our top picks for best leather travel bags for men
1.Ashwood Genuine Leather Holdall – Editor’s choice
Since the inception of Ashwood in 1986, the company has continually blessed us with classy and timeless pieces. Over the years, their style has remained authentic whilst adjusting to fit the modern style of sophistication.
As their latest release, this vintage holdall embodies everything the label prides itself on and more.
It is made of genuine vegetable-tanned leather that’s subjected to rigorous quality checks. This is because the brand only hand selects the finest natural leather hides in order to deliver you an exceptional product.
This bag is perfect for anything you have in mind- be it an overnight bag, travel, business, weekend gateway, or a gym bag. It comes in the dimensions- H 35 cm, W 53 cm, D 28 cm; which means you can easily fit all you want for a short stay.
The same way you dont have to worry about space is the same way you won’t have to worry about packing and compartmentalization. it comes fitted with a Large Main Compartment + 2 Large Side Zipped Interior Pockets + 1 Small Outer Front Zip Pocket + 1 Small Outer Rear Open Pocket + 1 Fixed Luggage Tag/Address Pocket.
Its single grain vegetable tanned leather is perfect for those going for a stylish, classy yet minimalistic look. Since leather is a natural product, the hide is always a different color hence yours will be unique.
However, this particular collection features bags in cognac or black ish color with a sheen like finish. If well taken care of, you will never spot any wear or tear and the color will continue deepening hence becoming more beautiful.
Depending on how you prefer to carry your holdalls, this one comes fitted with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap and a pair of permanently fitted side carrier handles. Both these handles are well padded and specially designed to offer the utmost comfort.
All in all, this bag is perfect for the modern man as it embodies every level of style, functionality, and quality.
Pros of the product
- It is multifunctional as it can work as a travel bag, errand bag, sports bag, etc.
- This masterpiece is made of genuine full-grain vegetable-tanned leather
- The brand prides itself on the fact that this bag is handcrafted with the finest artisans hence the impeccable finishing
- It is designed with multiple pockets and compartments which makes packing easier
- Comes with a two-year warranty
Cons of the product
- During the first few months(depending on the day the bag was manufactured)the vegetable-tanned die may transfer to clothing.
- It is too pricey for the average consumer.
2.SID & VAIN large real leather Travel Holdall bag
SID & VAIN upholds its promise to always deliver timeless and quality leather prices with their latest release- the travel holdall bag. Everything from the craftsmanship to the vintage effect screams opulence and class.
This bag comes in a rich brown cognac color, and it is made of 100% genuine top grade calf leather. The best part is, the more the bag ages, the richer it color becomes.
To further attest to their leather’s legitimacy, you can easily rub away scratches with the branded cloth the package is thoughtfully shipped with.
This classy bag is very versatile as it can easily blend with all your activities- from going to the office to catching a short flight to working out at the local gym. Though it may look small, this bag has a whopping measurement of 53 x 28 x 26 cm.
Coupled with its two compartments and outside zipper, you can easily organize your luggage for convinient reach.
As comfort is paramount, the shoulder strap is both detachable and adjustable to suit your height. Otherwise, you can opt to use the carrier handles which are also padded to ferry your bag around.
The owners of the brand were going for a retro and minimalistic look and that is exactly what this bag embodies. Handcrafted with love so every stick is meticulous and you get to support the local community indirectly.
Pros of the product
- Made of 100% genuine calf leather and it is also 100% handcrafted
- Suitable for all kinds of activities and can carry all sorts of things- books, clothes, shoes.
- The cognac brown exterior has a sleek finish and is very soft to touch
- The vegetable tanning process plus the fac that leather is a natural product guarantee the color gets richer with age
- It is very affordable judging by the quality of the leather
Cons of the product
- The zipper is very cheap and flimsy
- It weighs a bit too much for comfort
- The finishing on the edges could use some improvement.
3.Leather Carry On Bag – Holdall Airplane Underseat Travel Duffel Bags by Rustic Town
This genuine leather bag is a great option if you are more into the rustic and vintage vibe. It is tough, can last a lifetime, and is 100% handcrafted with the best Indian artisans.
The company that makes this bag- rustic town, partner with the locals in India to ensure that traditional stitching methods do not go extinct. So in a way, by buying, you will be supporting a tradition.
This Indiana Jone’s beauty is made of buffalo hide known to withstand any abrasion life throws at it. After taking it on wild adventures, all you need to do is to wipe it down with leather salve, and all scratches or blemished disappear.
Since quality is paramount, this rustic bag features break-resistant YKK zippers, and vintage brass fittings. This touches might be subtle, but they complete the bag’s vibe perfectly whilst still playing their functionality part.
At first glance, you might think this bag will not fit much, however, it is designed meticulously with precision to fit a lot. Thanks to its 2 exterior zip pockets, 1 inner zip pocket, 4 card slots, 2 pen loops, 1 mobile pocket and extra space for your tablet/laptop.
The outside pockets are so thoughtful as they make it easier to have things like your charger and wallet at arms reach, instead of having to fumble through a mound of clothes.
Due to its small size( 51 x 21 x 29 cm), this bag can perfectly fit under seats and overheads hence it is ideal for bus rides, plane rides or just about any activity. Also, since it is made of natural leather, no two bags from this collection are the same.
Depending on the usage you subject them to and the tone of the hide used, every bag ages differently- but don’t worry, leather always looks better with age.
Pros of the product
- The company that makes it supports local talent and only employs the best artisans in India
- Every bag is made with its own unique touch adding on to the fact that its final state is determined with how it is used by the buyer.
- It comes with a thoughtful internal card and pen slots
- Made of 100% genuine buffalo hide that falls under full grain leather
- You get a 2 year quality warranty
- It is tanned naturally using the vegetable tanning process
Cons of the product
- The color of the dye used may transfer to clothing
- It is quite costly for an average consumer
4.Berliner Bags Oslo XL Leather; Travel Gym Sports Duffel Bag- Retro Brown
This wouldn’t be a true best men leather bags product review without it featuring a gem from the upcoming brand- Berliner. This particular ‘Oslo’ collection is made of 100% genuine vegetable tanned leather that is then coloured with vegetable oil.
This guarantees you that your piece will have its own unique touch that adapts to your lifestyle. Also, all their bags are hand-stitched in India where there are several major artisans whilst its designed in Berlin.
This bag is built with every consumer in mind- one can use it to catch flights, run errands, take a short road trip, go to the gym, etc. The best part is, with good care, this bag can last you a lifetime, hence why it is an excellent investment.
Keeping in mind that its vintage rustic look is authentic and never goes out of style!
You can carry this bag anyhow you want as it comes fitted with two large and adjustable shoulder straps. If not, you can always detach the straps and the hoops that hold them and carry the bag with its side carrier handles.
Mind you, both the side handles and vintage straps are designed with comfort in mind.
The interior is compartmentalized into two, and it features a zip pocket for your toiletries. The exterior has two zip pockets for those you usually use often, e.g., charger, phone, wallet, and cards.
Although it appears somewhat small, this beauty has a whopping 45-liter capacity and the leather is totally expandable to fit way more.
Just incase you do not like your product, the Berliner company has a 100 day free shipping return policy. To top it off, it comes with a 1-year quality warranty.
Pros of the product
- Made of 100% genuine leather and is wholly handcrafted
- It is both air and land travel friendly as it easily fits on overboard and under the seats.
- The stitch and dye work is impeccably done giving you a shiny vintage finish.
- It is suitable for all consumers, whether you intend to carry books, electronics, shoes, weapons, etc.
- Its genuine leather exterior is highly resistant to any kind of abrasion.
Cons of the product
- Comes with a strong leather smell
- The buckles and zips are of very dismal quality.
- Your arm is bound to get tired if you carry it for prolonged periods of time due to its uncomfortable handles.
5. STILORD ‘Myles’ Vintage leather Travel Bag for men
Last but not least, this unique vintage leather bag by the brand Stilord. It features a stained look that greatly resembles old baseball gloves- perfect accessory for a stylish and classy gentleman.
But this bag does not just look good, it has plenty of storage too. It comes with whopping 30-liter storage as its dimensions are 54 x 25 x 28 cm- this storage is enough for all your paraphernalia when going for a short trip or just running errands.
Its rustic exterior is thanks to genuine cowhide that is further dyed with the vegetable tanning process. As for the interior, it is compartmentalized into two parts with faux leather which looks just as good.
Additionally, you get zipper pockets on either side that can act as extra storage or to hold those things you use a lot eg; charger.
Pros of the product
- The dye process gives the leather a very unique stained look
- The handling ca either be done with the adjustable shoulder strap provided or the side carrier handles.
- It is very affordable judging by the quality and attention to detail handiwork you are getting.
- Designed with a very large interior compartment with outside pockets to boost.
- Made with an inner lining wich features faux leather which is almost as good as the exterior.
Cons of the product
- Only comes in a singular color hence doesn’t cater to a variety of consumers
- Depending on the difference between the day it was manufactured and when you buy it, you may or may not feel a certain smell.
- It is very uncomfortable to carry for long periods of time.
Important hings to consider when choosing the right leather bag
Judging by all the fake leather that is available in the world, you have to train your eye to spot the real deal lest you are duped off your hard earned money. Here are a few tips;
- The type of tanning process used
Leather is either tanned using the chrome method or the vegetable tanning method. The latter is preferred as it is where the leather is tanned with natural barks from trees hence it is very eco frindly.
The hide is first passed through a rigorous rehydrating process to remove any pending hairs; then, it soaked in the natural tannins for a couple of weeks. Since it is a very lengthy and tiring process, leather items tanned this way are more expensive.
On the other hand, there is chrome tanning where the hide is stripped off hair then tanned using a chemical such as chromium. Most leather items are made this way, as it takes a shorter time.
However, items tanned naturally develop a harder and sturdier exterior. Also, they tend to have an awesome patina and a genuine leather smell.
Items tanned with chemicals do not have the patina effect and tend to last shorter than their counterparts.
2.The kind of leather that was used
You can either choose from full-grain leather, top-grain, and bonded leather. As the name suggests, top-grain leather items are the best bet as it is the sturdiest leather available.
Very few leather items come with the quality of material as it takes a long time to develop. However, it ages wonderfully as, after a few years, it will develop a nice shiny patina as it also becomes easier to touch.
The second best type has to be full-grain leather- this too is sturdy and ages perfectly. The difference is, it tends to stretch over time if you overstuff your bag.
Since you are bound to overstuff your bag at some point, it will eventually lose its shape. However, this is not entirely a bad thing for a cabin bag.
Lastly comes bonded leather; this is basically the lowest grade as it is made from leftovers of its better quality counterparts. The leftover pieces are bound together with either polyurethane or latex and then placed on a fiber sheet to form a complete piece.
Such items lack the longevity of real leather and do not age well.
3. The craftmanship of the piece
Since leather generally lasts a long time, what matters is the craftmanship. You wouldn’t want your bag to unravel its stitches after a few years, right?
If you are shopping online, try and use the zoom feature to ensure the stitching is consistent both inside and out. If you spot any loose threads, then that is a red flag,
This is however easier to check with the product at hand as most of these prominent company prefer handstitching hence every bag is stitched with someone different.
4.The overall hardware of the bag
Another thing that is very imperative to a leather bag is the hardware. Things like a buckle, zips, shoulder straps, locks, rings, etc.
Such things may seem minor, but they play a huge part in the bag’s general functionality. If not on par with the rest of the bag’s quality, then the whole item’s longevity is compromised.
Ps; the best zipper are from Ykk.
4.The intended use
Before settling on a purchase, ask yourself what you will be using the bag for most times. It could either be travelling with flights, backpacking, gyming, schooling, etc.
If you see that your ideal activity is strenous and might cause a lot of abrasions on the leather, then do not go for ones with a glossy finish asthey will ventually succumb to scratches and blemishes. On the other hand, if you plan on backpacking, then go for a bag which is resistant to averse weather conditions so as to protect your luggae no matter the weather.
and so on so forth!
Frequently asked questions on Best men leather bags
-How do you clean and protect leather bags? To ensure your bag retains its sheen and ages gracefully, you need to buy a product like a saddle soap or leather salve. Then wipe your bag down ever so often.
-Is thicker leather better than thin leather? They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Thick leather is weighty but lasts for a very long time, and it is hardly disfigured. At the same time, thin leather is lighter but tends to disfigure if you overstuff your bag.
-Can you tell the authenticity of leather by its color? This is a no, mainly because the color of the leather is heavily dependant on where it comes from and the method to dye it.
Nowadays, leather comes in all colors imaginable but most are black and dark brown.
#Our favourite men leather bag
All aspects considered, our favorite men’s leather bag has to be Ashwork Holdall. It perfectly embodies everything that a good leather bag should possess- longevity, style, uniqueness, functionality, and versatility.
Though it appears tiny, it has plenty of space inside as it comes in H 35 cm, W 53 cm, D 28 cm dimension. As with all Ahwork products, this one is handcrafted with by the very best artisans in Tuscany who use 100 % vegetable-tanned leather.
The handling can either be done by an adjustable strap, a detachable strap that goes across the bag, or side carrier handles- the choice lies in your desired comfort.
Our best feature has to be the clever way in which they increased storage space. You get lots of extra pockets on the outside and thoughtful spaces like pens and cardholders on the inside. Then, of course, there are the two main spacious compartments where you can store your luggage.