I’m against bags for men. The only real exception is utility. You are a guy and you have pockets, that should work in nearly all occasions. If you have a lot of things you need to move from one place to another – you can use a bag. If you have a laptop, that works too. All is right in the world. Now with that being said I must confess, I own far too many bags. My brain likes me to compartmentalize things and bags help with that. While I was working and wandering around Project last week I ended up carrying a bag most of the time. It started innocently, I woke up the first day hungover so I grabbed my bag with everything in it and left. It had all of my essentials for the show, business cards, pen, notepad, camera, sunglasses. It was perfect and I ended up carrying it every day while I was there. All was right in the world.
Brands like L.L. Bean and Filson dominate the landscape these days. I see all sorts of guys carrying them (often it’s full-on bankers in suits). Another classic Made-in-America brand is Klein Tools. Founded in 1857, Klein Tools started out making tools for the growing “communications industry” in Chicago. Over the years the family owned business has branched out into a full-fledged tool company. It still caters to electricians and guys who work for the phone company and the company’s logo still features a workman on a pole. Klein Tools bags are authentic and cool. The model number is printed in plain sight right on the front of each bag for no reason other than pure utility.
My Klein Tools 5139 bag re-purposed for Project.
The Classic 5102-16.
The brand Billykirk makes great bags that are clearly inspired by these classic Klein Tools bags. The Billykirk bags are made by skilled Amish craftsman in Pennsylvania. The company uses great materials in the construction and the bags turn out beautifully. The sturdy bags fit perfectly with the authentic American and work wear trend that has been growing over the past few years. I’m glad Billykirk decided to make the bags here in the States – it helps justify the price and adds to the allure.