Let’s say you’re a seasoned traveler with a borderline obscene amount of passport stamps and airline miles. Or a road warrior with a Buc-ee’s obsession, one too many sling bags, and mysterious clout with the AAA executive team.
Hell, maybe you just like bags.
Regardless of your travel pedigree, you owe it to yourself to take a trip through this list of the best leather duffle bags known to man. And woman. And spoiled toy-breed dogs.
The duffle should be considered a staple in any luggage collection—the leather component ups the aesthetic ante, but not in a way that’s obnoxious or try-hard. And considering the staggering amount of storied tanneries in the game today, you can bet there’s a leather duffle bag out there with your name on it.
The best leather duffle bag for you is the one that best suits your taste, lifestyle, and the type of travel you do. Leather is a specific look and is often chosen for its durability and the fact that—if taken care of—it could last a lifetime.
Levels of quality and craftsmanship run the gamut, but if you’re looking for an everyday carry in a universally appealing size that you can pass down to your kids, Ghurka’s Cavalier II No.97 is tough to beat.
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Size: 20 x 12 x 10.5in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 4
Ghurka sources its hides from Italy and manufactures 80% of its products in America. Few producers can rival the brand’s meticulous attention to detail, which shows in all variations of the Cavalier II No.97.
This is a duffle’s duffle. The type of bag with plenty of room for the essentials and just enough for a few non-essentials. The type of bag that fits anywhere on a plane or in a car. The type of bag with a handsome cotton twill lining, pockets in all the right places, and one of the most dapper, sophisticated looks I’ve seen in a duffle. I’m not saying it’s the Ghurka soldier-inspired logo embossed on the side of the bag, but I’m also not-not saying that.
Size: 19 x 13 x 9in | Type of Leather: Vegetable-tanned Leather | Colors Available: 2
Every stitch of this vegetable-tanned leather duffle was poured over by the detail-obsessed artisans at Troubador. It’s lousy with clever pockets, compatible with rolling luggage, makes for the perfect carry-on, and has a sleek look capable of turning heads in any scenario. This is the type of bag that’s built to last. Something you can pass down through the generations.
As for utility, the sky’s the limit. Its clean lines and smart look are office- or work trip-ready. But part of what makes this one of the best leather duffle bags out there is its ability to take a beating without losing its charm and good looks.
Size: 23 x 11 x 11in | Type of Leather: Full Grain Trimming | Colors Available: 9
Try to put
That old chestnut.
One of the many outstanding results of this sartorial melting pot is the M/S Explorer, a near-perfect travel bag with a sneaky amount of vacancy under its khaki canvas body and full-grain leather straps. Deploy it whenever you’re out for a serious adventure, out of town for work, or just whenever you feel like mindlessly staring at a really nice bag. That last one’s only weird if you make it weird.
Size: 20.5 x 11 x 9.5in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 2
Weekend trips can be as varied as they are fickle. You could be doing something as low-key as hopping in the car and heading home for the long Thanksgiving weekend, or as delicate as embarking on a work trip where appearances can make or break its success.
By your side for those and countless other adjacent scenarios should be Luca Faloni’s Weekender bag. Handmade in Florence of full-grain Tuscan leather, this handsome men’s leather duffle bag is the perfect size for those not-too-long and not-too-short trips. And as the best weekend bags should, this one too will only develop more character and generally get better with age.
Size: 14.5 x 19.75 x 8.75in | Type of Leather: Natural Grain | Colors Available: 2
Detroit’s own Shinola is perhaps best known for their outstanding watches. But as good fortune would have it, they’ve also been producing some of the best leather duffle bags in the country for some time now.
The Canfield Classic Holdall is no exception. This travel-ready piece is constructed from natural grain Vachetta leather, giving it a lived-in look that drips character from every stitch. It features brass hardware, a few zip pockets, and enough room for your laptop and shoes. Though the Canfield won’t replace the other types of bags you’ll need for longer trips, it’ll definitely stand out as a trusty go-to.
Size: 12 x 19 x 9.5in | Type of Leather: Antique Pull-up | Colors Available: 1
This antique pull-up leather duffle from Frye is just a touch larger than a generously sized tote bag—just big enough to make it the perfect flight or road-trip companion for short stays (and not a bit bigger).
From the padded handles and detachable strap to the antique brass hardware and glossy finish, everything’s built for comfort and for turning heads. But while the Holden would be a nice addition to your existing stable of the best leather duffle bags, it shouldn’t be at the expense of having a larger go-to option.
Size: 20.5 x 14.5 x 4.3in | Type of Leather: Vegetable-tanned | Colors Available: 2
I’ve owned a messenger bag from the British Belt Company for the better part of a decade now. Among other harrowing scenarios, it’s been with me through four years of Manhattan walking commutes and everything the elements could throw at it. And with nary a scratch—needless to say, the company’s products are tough as nails and built to last.
As is the case with the Wellbrook Weekender. It’s likely not going to win any design awards, but it’s what you want if you’re looking for a functional bag that’s going to last. You’re working with vegetable-tanned leather on the outside and a handsome check lining inside. The blue cross-body strap adds a pop of warmth to this workhorse, and the size is just right for all kinds of travel scenarios.
Size: 22 x 12 x 12in | Type of Leather: Presidio | Colors Available: 1
Tecovas has a long history of poring over the most minute details when it comes to their products. Though they make clothes, wallets—and yes, bags—Tecovas is a bootmaker at its core. To put the whole “minute details” thing in more concrete terms, each pair of boots is made using 200 handmade steps. 200.
The same quality and care were put into the Tecovas Large Duffle. Made of supple Presidio leather and stitched to last, this is a large-for-a-duffle bag that should be the first thing you reach for regardless of how long or short the trip.
Size: 19.3 x 11.8in | Type of Leather: Intrecciato woven | Colors Available: 1
Bottega Veneta’s iconic Intrecciato weave is on full display with this luxury duffle. This is the statement piece. The bag you deploy when you’re sick and tired of not turning every neck in the immediate vicinity into rubber. The bag that’s so unnecessary that it somehow travels a full 360 degrees and becomes necessary.
It comes in five colors, but I’m a fan of “deep blue,” which catches the light in a moody, sexy way. And yes, you’ve got a zippered pocket here, a detachable pocket there, and handsome silver hardware peppered in throughout. Standard fare in an anything-but-standard package.
Size: 21.2 x 10.8 x 11.7in | Type of Leather: Polyurethane | Colors Available: 6
If you’re in the market for a synthetic leather duffle bag, chances are you don’t want to break the bank. You just want a well-constructed, sturdy, roomy bag that looks good. And for that simple ask, we keep the simple train rolling along to Amazon and one of its highest-rated polyurethane leather bags.
It’s a solid addition to a no-frills travel lifestyle, especially if you’re prone to inadvertently beating the hell out of your luggage. It’s waterproof, which is nice. And it’s also got a separate zippered storage area at the bottom for dirty shoes or clothes. Bonus: you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the price in the faux category.
Size: 21 x 13 x 9in | Type of Leather: Hand-stained Buffalo | Colors Available: 2
Walking. Running. Walk-running through Terminal C while trying to play it cool, even though you know you’ll be swan-diving into your middle seat at the buzzer.
Jack Georges’ Voyager sees you, gets you, and wants to make it all better for you. Made of hand-stained Buffalo leather, this duffle is functional, eye-catching, and—more importantly—has wheels. Do your worst. No situations are out of bounds when it comes to this be-wheeled duffle.
Size: 17.3 x 11in | Type of Leather: Calf | Colors Available: 5
Which brings us to the
The Savoy large duffle features gold hardware, inner zip pockets, a shoulder strap, and
Size: 21 x 11 x 11in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 8
When it comes to your everyday travel carries, details matter. Whether you’re a student refusing to settle for an average backpack or a seasoned professional who realizes that every zipper and pocket counts, yes, it’s all about the details.
Not only does Mahi’s Classic Duffle deliver on said details (discrete phone pockets, brass feet to help reduce wear, padded shoulder strap), it’s constructed using full-grain leather. And if you opt for the Vintage Brown option (protip: do that), you’ll be the proud new owner of a carefully distressed look that oozes “been there, done that.”
Size: 23 x 10 x 9.9in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 3
Fact: full-grain leather lasts a long time. Opinion: red pandas are cute as shit.
You just Googled “red panda,” didn’t you? Cute, right?
Anyway, full-grain leather. It’s going to develop character as it ages, it’s going to feel great against your skin, and it’s going to be in your best interest to procure Yukon Bags’ offering in convenient, immortal duffle form. It’s got a separate compartment for shoes and other thoughtful storage touches, plus it fits beautifully in an overhead bin or under your feet on a plane. But beyond all that, this is just a head-turning bag with head-turning features that should be on your duffle radar at all costs.
Size: 20.5 x 13 x 8.5in | Type of Leather: Full Grain Pebbled Cowhide | Colors Available: 1
Handcrafted in Texas by ride-or-die artisans, it’s tough to beat the quality of Lucchese boots. Boots? Yes, Lucchese is known for making some impossibly handsome and sturdy boots. But the company—founded in 1883—also makes an equally impossibly handsome and sturdy leather duffle bag. Oh look, here it comes now.
This pebbled cowhide beauty, as you might expect, features a retractable handle to keep things easy and breezy as you navigate your way through the airport. The Italian brass hardware is nice. As is the wide zip-around opening accessed via two zippers accented with leather pulls.
But what’s really cemented this bag’s place in the Nice Touch Hall of Fame (it’s a new hall—don’t fact-check that) is the removable packing cube for keeping muddy shoes or that pile of dirty travel clothes separate from the rest of your luggage.
What To Look For In The Best Leather Duffle Bags
The duffle, by its very nature, is a nomad. Sometimes you need one for a weekend work trip, other times for a weekend camping trip. Will the items you’ll need be bulky, or can you get away with minimal interior space? Will you be gone for days at a time or weeks at a time? All of these and countless other questions should be considered before deciding how big or small of a bag you need.
The best leather duffle bags are the ones that meet the needs of your specific situation and lifestyle. Luca Faloni’s Weekender, for instance, is the perfect size for no more than a few days away. For longer stays or if the look you’re going for is all business, opt for a more timeless, structured, and formal look.
Are you the outdoorsy type who’s always stashing muddy clothes in your duffle? Do you need hidden pockets for whatever could use a good hiding? Have you ever wished your duffle bag had wheels? As with most gear, there are countless features to fit countless lifestyles—do your homework to figure out which of them are crucial to you and which ones you could do without.
If you’re in the market for a leather duffle bag, you’re in the market for quality, obsessive attention to detail, and utility that matches your lifestyle. As far as crowd-pleasing bags go, it’s hard to beat Ghurka’s Cavalier II No. 97. Ultimately, though, the best leather duffle bag for you is the one that suits your lifestyle.
There are many schools of thought regarding how to keep the best leather duffle bags clean. As for the handful of universal truths: give it a thorough wipe-down a few times a week with a cotton cloth, occasionally condition it with a natural oil such as almond or mink, and try to avoid getting it wet.
For routine maintenance of your leather duffle bag, either saddle soap, a store-bought leather cleaner, or warm water mixed with dish soap should do the trick. After washing, dry your bag off with a non-abrasive towel.
A quality leather duffle bag could last you a lifetime. With proper care, you could even pass it down through the generations. If you plan on making frequent use of a men’s leather duffle bag and place value on craftsmanship and quality materials, it could be worth the investment.
Due to their size, shape, and ability to fit into an airplane’s overhead bin, most leather duffle bags are ideal for travel. And if you’re hitting the road, the best leather duffle bags can be tossed into the trunk and live to tell the tale decades into the future.