From tricked-out messengers to a rebirth of the proper satchel, men's bags are experiencing a design evolution and losing their stigma as sitcom fodder. Evolving to accomodate the gadget- (or diaper-) toting needs of the modern male, we've rounded-up 12 of our favorite daybags.
Ting Small Canvas Satchel
Inghua Ting set up her company in London in 2000 after graduating from the Royal College of Art. In her designs, she likes to recycle things like old saddles, gentlemen's braces and leather belts, like she has with this satchel. The result being classy and modern, but with a bit of vintage character. £180 from Ting.
Japanese maker Rootote makes totes that one-up others in more ways than one. Firstly, a hidden zippered side pocket means smaller items like mobile phones are accessible even when the bag's over your shoulder and the bag features interior pockets as well. The grey and black camo-meets-skull pattern is a perfect marriage of motifs. $36 from Reed Space. Call (+1 212 253 0588) to order.
Jack Spade Access Bag
Known for his sleek version of the messenger bag, Jack Spade's red 3-ply nylon tote has green contrast lining, an included shoulder strap, and interior pockets to neatly transport devices. $265 from Jack Spade.
Diaper Dude Brown Faux Suede Bag with Flap
Whether you're a dad or not, Diaper Dude's bags have enough pockets to carry anything you want, be it iPod and mobile phone, or pacifiers and wet-wipes. Unlike a lot of baby-bags, the faux suede design is more in tune with the man wearing it than the little person he may be looking after. $98 online at Diaper Dude.
Vivienne Westwood Borsello Propaganda
Beating hands down the the logo-a-go-go efforts from Prada and Gucci, this messenger from punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood is the one I would go for if I had to have a designer bag. Eccentric and, obviously, a touch anarchic—or manarchic... $498 online at Styledrops.
Skip Hop Saddlebag
From the New York company devoted to making well-designed bags for urban parents, Skip Hop's Saddlebag has a briefcase-style handle and uses three straps to attach to the sides of strollers. It features mesh side pockets, a divided interior, and it's available in 15 different colorways—we chose pink camo in our ongoing effort to liberate the color from the female gender and for its oxymoronic pop. $36 from Skip Hop.
Acton Treadway Sidearm Bag
We wouldn't normally advocate wearing things on your belt like the fanny-pack brigade, but this luxe leather bag gets away with it, despite being quite pricey. We don't know if you could actually carry a sidearm in it, but it does come complete with a removable leg-strap for an authentic covert-ops feel. No surprise then that they're made in Jack Bauer's home city, Los Angeles. Available online for $400 from Acton Treadway.
It's probably been a while since you checked out the goods at Gap. Starting this fall you'll see a great range of bags for guys (and girls) thanks to the recent arrival of China Young as head of accessories design. (He started the hugely popular Loop/Parcel lines). Two of our favorites for fall include this waxed messenger bag in olive with denim and striped lining (pictured left and center, click for larger images) for $39.50 and the camo canvas messenger bag with neon yellow zipper and yellow vinyl interior for $29.50. Both have great details and plenty of pockets for your gear. Visit your local Gap store or shop Gap online this fall.
Classic Canoe Bag
From New York-based Engineered Garments, which mixes influences from sportswear, outdoor clothing, and military uniforms in their designs, this over-the-shoulder Classic Canoe bag has all the retro appeal but is updated with today's fabrics. On sale for $68 from Steven Alan.
Filson Small Carry-On
Long a staple of fly fishermen and other outdoorsy types, Filson's durable bags are made from leather, brass, and paraffin-treated cotton twill that stand up to extreme conditions. Originally designed for Gold Rush adventurers who braved the Yukon, a Filson will see you through many a commute or vacation and live on as heirlooms. How many diaperbags can you say that about? $225 from Filson
A|X Armani Exchange Waxed Cotton Messenger Bag
For those who prefer black, we love this utilitarian bag from A|X. Featuring plenty of pockets and water-resistant waxed cotton finish, it's just the right size for daily use. Available in-store and online for $125 from A|X Armani Exchange.