As a man, you probably juggle many different roles in your life—worker, friend, leader, lover, traveler, and so on. As you wear different hats throughout the day, so to speak, you'll also need the right bags—not just to complement your style but also to meet the functional needs of your current role.
Whether you're doing business, traveling, or enjoying your leisure time, a quality bag not only lets you bring your essentials in comfort but also gives you the look of a man who knows what he wants and how to get it. Nothing makes you look more out-of-place—and out of touch—than bringing a backpack to a formal event or a briefcase to the gym.
So, to help you round out your wardrobe, let's talk about 10 popular types of bags for men and which ones you need for your lifestyle.
What Types of Bags Are There for Men?
So, what types of bags are there for men?
Generally, men can use nearly all kinds of bags, but the most popular ones are the following:
- The backpack
- The holdall
- The garment bag
- The weekend bag
- The two-wheeled suitcase
- The duffel bag
- The carry-on luggage
- The messenger bag
- The briefcase
- The satchel
Let's look at each of these trendy bags for men—what they look like, what they're used for, why they're essential, and how to spot a good bag from a bad one.
#1: The Trusty Backpack
The reliable backpack is more than just a schoolyard staple; it's mobility and readiness in a bag. With its signature two straps, it hugs your back, ready to carry your world—be it books, your laptop, or whatever else you can't live without.
The beauty of the backpack lies in its adaptability and versatility. Backpacks can come in sleek urban designs and more rugged outdoor variants. Whatever your journey is about, it's easy to find a near-perfect backpack for it.
Now, why is the backpack one of the best types of bags for men? Whether you're about to go on a spontaneous weekend getaway or just going to and from work, a good backpack makes moving easier. It's a bag you can pick up and go, and a good backpack will give you many years of good service.
A big catch, though: not all backpacks are made equal. If you're thinking of buying one, pay attention to the details:
- Feel the fabric. Is it sturdy?
- Examine the stitching. A good backpack won't skimp on quality.
- Zippers should glide smoothly.
- The shoulder straps should feel like a comfortable embrace, not a pinch.
- It should have all the compartments you need, depending on what you intend to use it for.
Also, a word to the wise: leave your backpack at home if you're heading into a boardroom or a posh event. Opt for a sleeker, more refined option from the rest of this article's list.
#2: The Holdall, Your Go-To for Short Getaways
The holdall is the bag for when a weekend escape calls. A holdall is a spacious bag, often made of sleek, rich-looking material, and equipped with sturdy handles and a convenient shoulder strap. It's a bag you use when you need to be on the move, but do it in style.
Why is the holdall so essential? Think about those on-the-spot short trips or that surprise weekend getaway. A massive suitcase would be overkill, and yet you need something compact yet spacious enough to hold everything you need for that quick escape.
You'll want a bag that says, "I'm here for a good time, not a long time." And that's where the holdall shines.
As with all other bags, not all holdalls are made equal. So, how do you spot a good one?
- First, feel the material. Quality is critical. Whether it's leather or a durable fabric, it should feel robust, not flimsy.
- Next, inspect the stitching. Reinforced stitching isn't just a design choice; it's a sign of durability. Ignore cheap holdalls whose stitching looks shoddy or rushed.
- Check the metal buckles and make sure they're real and functional, and not just for show. Few things say "tryhard" more than fake buckles that serve no purpose.
Good holdalls rank among the most stylish bags for men out there, so don't be shy about adding one to your collection.
#3: The Garment Bag, Your Armor for Your Most Important Garments
The garment bag is one of the best types of bags for men who value the sharpness of a well-tailored suit or the crispness of a freshly ironed shirt. Garment bags have a long, soft-sided protector crafted to cradle your garments on their hangers. This keeps you from wrinkling your most important garments by stuffing them in a bag with your other belongings.
Now, why are garment bags game-changers? If you had to head to a business meeting or black-tie event straight from the airport, the last thing you need is a wrinkled suit or a crumpled shirt. A good garment bag ensures that never happens, while a suitcase may not be able to give you that guarantee.
If your lifestyle calls for a garment bag in your wardrobe, keep the following tips in mind when hunting for the perfect one:
- Feel the bag. Does it fold easily? It should.
- If it folds too sharply, it can leave creases on your garments, so it's a no-go.
- Make sure it has all the compartments you need for the garments you usually bring around (including shoes).
A good garment bag isn't just a travel accessory—it's also a statement that you care about the details and understand the importance of first impressions. If you regularly travel to events where you must look your absolute best, it's a must-have.
#4: The Weekend Bag, For Even Shorter Getaways
The weekend bag is a smaller, more compact option for those short weekend getaways. Weekend bags are sleeker versions of the classic holdall, designed for those excursions out of town where you know you won't be away for long. It's not too big, not too small, but just right.
Is the weekend bag a must-have for you? If you frequently have moments when wanderlust hits, but your trip doesn't necessitate the space of a holdall or suitcase. Instead, you need something more effortless to bring around.
That's where the weekend bag comes in. It's handy, easy on the shoulders, and perfect for that quick escape.
A good weekend bag isn't just about looks—it's also about function. When buying one, keep these tips in mind:
- As always, quality matters. Look for durable materials like robust canvas or rich leather.
- Multiple compartments are just as essential with weekend bags as with holdalls. Keep your belongings organized so you're not rummaging around for your charger.
If you're the type to go on weekend trips where you don't need to stay the night, certainly get a weekend bag. It's one of the most stylish bags for men who like to get away once in a while.
#5: The Two-Wheeled Suitcase, For the Frequent Traveler
The two-wheeled suitcase ranks among the best types of bags for men who travel frequently. Sometimes called "trolleys," you see these at airports all the time—they're those firm-sided rectangular suitcases rolling behind passengers as they make their way to check-in.
A good two-wheeled suitcase stands vertically, with a handle and two signature wheels. The ease with which they can bring a significant amount of weight makes them the go-to bag for checked luggage.
If you frequently go on extended trips (such as business ventures or long vacations), you'll definitely need at least one of these. A two-wheeled suitcase glides through airports, train stations, and bustling city streets with the greatest of ease. It's extremely convenient for men who move around a lot.
So, how do you distinguish a good two-wheeled suitcase from a bad one? Here's how:
- Start with the wheels. They should roll smoothly, taking on the weight without a hitch.
- The handle should extend and retract seamlessly. It should not feel flimsy.
- The space should be enough for your belongings plus some more. To give you an idea, a small 23" to 24" luggage is perfect for trips of 3-5 days; a large 28" to 32" should cover you for over a week.
#6: The Classic Duffel Bag
The duffel bag's classic cylindrical shape, topped with a secure closure, is instantly recognizable. Most good duffel bags come with sturdy handles and a shoulder strap gives you that extra carrying option.
What makes the duffel bag such a staple for men? It originated in the town of Duffel in Belgium, where the thick cloth used to make the bag was first produced. Originally, it was used by the military due to its strength, durability, and ease of transport, especially during World War II. Soldiers and sailors appreciated its simplicity and durability, perfect for carrying their gear across varied terrains.
Today, the duffel bag's timeless design has been combined with modern enhancements, making it a favorite for both gym-goers and globe-trotters. A good duffel bag can serve as a sports bag or a weekend getaway companion, blending style and function like few other bags.
As with all bags, not all duffels are created equal. A bad duffel bag is prone to have its bottom give out, spilling your gear everywhere. Here's how to pick a good duffel bag:
- Feel the material. Is it robust? Does it feel like it can withstand a bit of rough handling?
- Check the stitching. Reinforced seams are your bag's backbone.
- Waterproof lining is a bonus—it can be a lifesaver when you get caught in a downpour or when your water bottle leaks.
The duffel bag is one of the most stylish bags for men you can find, so feel free to add one or two to your collection.
#7: Finding the Perfect Carry-On Luggage
If you regularly need to travel light, having the perfect carry-on luggage is essential. Carry-on luggage is (usually) that compact suitcase seasoned travelers glide through airports with. Designed meticulously to fit snugly within airline size limits, it's the savvy traveler's best friend.
Why opt for a carry-on instead of checked luggage? Well, for starters, it saves you from checked-bag fees. There's also a certain peace of mind that comes with knowing your essentials are right above you, safely stowed in the overhead bin. You also save yourself from waiting at the carousel at your destination, fingers crossed, hoping your luggage made the journey with you.
How do you find the perfect carry-on luggage? In addition to looking closely at the details, you'll need to do a bit of research:
- Check the standard airline restrictions in your area. They'll clue you into the maximum allowable size of carry-on luggage.
- When shopping for carry-on luggage, bring a tape measure and double-check the dimensions. Airlines can be strict, and you don't want any surprises at the gate.
- Make sure it has all the compartments you need for your gadgets, books, and travel essentials.
A top-notch carry-on luggage will save you money, time, and energy. If you travel often, it's one of the best types of bags for men you can find.
#8: The Sleek Messenger Bag
The messenger bag is another timeless classic that blends style and function. It's normally a sleek, rectangular bag draped across the body with its signature long strap.
When should you use a messenger bag over your trusty backpack? It's primarily for important documents you can't afford to wrinkle. A good messenger back will let you pack your laptop and still have room for other daily essentials.
Why is the messenger bag a must-have for men's bag fashion? Professionals swear by it. Students love it. It's that perfect blend of sophistication and practicality. It says, "I mean business, but I also know how to keep it cool."
Finding the perfect messenger bag for your needs starts with paying attention to the straps. They should adjust easily to your most comfortable length.
Secondly, check the compartments. They should have spaces for your laptop, books, and other usual essentials.
Lastly, it's got to feel sturdy. You won't be using a flimsy messenger bag for long.
#9: Your Briefcase
Undoubtedly one of the best types of bags for men, the briefcase is the symbol of the corporate world. It has an unmistakable sleek, rectangular design, often with a hard exterior, complemented by sturdy handles. Some even come with a shoulder strap.
The briefcase isn't just about looks, though. It's the guardian of your business essentials, from crucial documents to your trusted laptop. Nothing makes you look like you mean business quite like the briefcase.
Why should you have a briefcase? In business, first impressions matter. A briefcase doesn't just carry your documents—it also carries your professional image. It's a silent statement of your dedication and seriousness about your craft.
When looking for the perfect briefcase, don't skimp on quality. Genuine leather stands out, not just for its aesthetic appeal but also for its durability.
A good briefcase should also have a well-organized interior with dedicated compartments. It ensures that amidst the hustle and bustle of business, your essentials remain as in order as your acumen.
#10: The Satchel, the Messenger Bag's Little Brother
The satchel can be described as a sleeker, more compact messenger bag. While messenger bags are roomy and make a statement, the satchel is all about subtlety and efficiency. The standard satchel looks like a bag that's just the right size to snugly fit your daily must-haves and a little more.
If you're a man who thinks less is more, the satchel should be your go-to. It's especially advisable if you prefer bringing a tablet or smaller device over a standard laptop to your forays into town.
When hunting for the perfect satchel, quality is key. The material should feel sturdy enough to stand the test of time.
Likewise, the straps should feel robust enough to carry the weight of your stuff. And most importantly, comfort is non-negotiable—your satchel should sit just right.
Satchels count among the top trendy bags for men at the moment, so you'd be smart to have at least one in your collection.
Which Types of Bags For Men Do You Need?
Different bags are meant to serve different purposes. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a traveler, certain bags serve your needs better than others. The key is to know which ones suit your lifestyle and go with those.
What's more, choosing the right bag isn't just a functional decision—it's also an opportunity to showcase your good taste and social savvy. So don't miss the chance to round out your personality and fashion sense with the perfect bags.
So, which of these popular man bags do you need? Your activities and preferred lifestyle will answer that question for you. Also, take a few minutes to read our guide on how to dress well to complete the look. Good luck!