spring bags

The LLBean canvas bag that I was looking at when I put up this post has arrived, and it's going back. It doesn't pass the HWE test, it's Heavy While Empty. I wanted it for travel, which means I'd have to carry lots of stuff in it all day, day after day. Around here, a travel bag has to earn its keep.

A trip to Florida is imminent, I love woven straw bags in non-big-city warm weather. I'm waiting for some enterprising merchant to knock this one off:

Dolce & Gabbana, $1975, well, looks like a long wait.

Although there are some contenders:

TLC, $90. That's more like it.

I'm also attracted to this one, it looks like you could find things in it without fumbling.

Also TLC, $99.

You can see that great big unlined straw totes hold little appeal for me, although I use them at the beach.

The real advantage of the small to medium travel bag, straw or anything else, is that if your traveling companion asks if you have room for his paperback /guidebook /sunglasses /passport /hat /keys, whatever, you can say NO with a clear conscience. After all, what's the point of limiting the weight and volume of my stuff to avoid back, neck and shoulder aches, if I wind up lugging his stuff?

Hmm, D & G make a bridge line, no?

What's your favorite travel bag?


  1. The HWE is definitely a good test. I also think it's important to do the dump test, would the bag dump its contents if held by only one handle on your arm while you have it open looking for something? My very favorite travel bag is an older J.Crew I got for a steal from the aftermarket. Don't you love it when you hear, honey, do you have room in your bag for my wallet, sunglasses, [insert common item belonging to him]?

  2. The D&G looks like a small picnic hamper, so I prefer the TLC version. I always do the HWE test on new handbags - otherwise it feels as if I'm lugging a suitcase around with me.

  3. Whenever I see woven straw or rattan bags I always think fishing creel, or if really large, picnic basket. You are pretty crafty, perhaps you could start your own line of fishing creel converted to handbags. ;^)

    I have an ugly leather but not HWE, cross-body travel bag that is incredibly functional for use during the actual travel. It has secure pockets that seem designed to hold tickets, Customs cards, hotel keys, etc. You can see it if you scroll down in this post. I also take a smaller bag along to use while I'm out and about, preferably also cross-body as I like to walk for hours on end. More practical than pretty I suppose.

  4. Hi, tiffany rose, I keep telling Himself that the only thing I might possibly have room for is large-denomination bills, but he keeps trying.

  5. Hi, sulky kitten, that's exactly why the Biennial Satchel got to my house, slowed down for a minute and made a U-turn. Sigh. From a distance, it looked great.

  6. Hi, xoxo, alas my "crafting" is not of the practical kind. For most travel, I use what's known as "everybody's first Prada" while in transit (large rectangular black nylon shoulder bag with compartments) and a small tailored leather cross-body for the rest. Key West, however, well, the "look" is a lot more relaxed, even among the 1% - those who arrive in yachts not rental cars. I still regret having brought a gorgeous Cole Haan bag, rectangular with rounded top and compartments (theme here?) to Marco Island, because its resemblance to a miniature golf bag drew unwanted attentions from superannuated sozzled country club guys. After only one day, I left it in the room and reverted to the "creel" look.

    That Prada thing, by the way, just will not wear out!

  7. I am also attracted to these small wicker handbags, I have a couple of straw clutches which are mostly useless but do hold a lipstick and camera for going out to dinner.
    I've got my eye on the Tillary but I don't think it will pass your HWE test!

  8. Hi, Dani, I may be in a JC today if my mtg breaks early, and plan to look at the Tillary- will report!

  9. I have a non-stylish nylon Baggalini cross body bag for travel http://www.amazon.com/baggallini-Metro-Bagg-Charcoal-Fuschia/dp/B003RN9314/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1328117433&sr=8-9.

    This bag is all about function and it was perfect for 2 weeks in NY this summer. It weighs next to nothing and and takes up less space than a cotton cardigan to store so I had room for a small clutch to use for evenings.

  10. Hi, JulieStyles, that sounds like a great find!

  11. Hi, Dani, I hefted that great big two-tone thing at Rock Center. It's weighty.

    BTW, Heavy While Empty has nothing to do with the LLBean bag being suitable to carry "small concealed weapons."

  12. I use my Longchamp Pliage tote bag as my travel bag. It folds flat in my suitcase, and then when I arrive at my destination, I pull out it and it's big enough to carry all the necessities, like camera, map, wallet and water bottle. It's not terribly stylish but it is functional and lightweight. HWE is an excellent test!

  13. Never heard of the HWE test, but it totally makes sense.

    I also like the idea of keeping the bag size down so you don't have to carry HIS stuff. Perhaps a 'man bag' a la Jerry Seinfeld would do the trick. ;)

  14. Hi, Louise, functional and lightweight - sounds like a win!

  15. Hi, Rose, after having been lumbered with enough maps, sunglasses, guidebooks, etc, to stock the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, I know whereof I speak. It is not fun to trudge wearily behind while hearing, "C'mon, they close in an hour!"

  16. I like these wickery bags, but would they take too much suitcase room as you would not take them on the plane b/o the size? I need to start thinking about this as I have a meeting on Marco Island with a vacation farther north and another meeting in Charleston coming up in the next couple months. The price on the D&G is insane! Perhaps they still carry mortgages on their 3 houses in Portofino?

  17. Hi, Lane, I couldn't figure out that price either. Maybe it's just a showroom sample, not meant to be produced and sold?

    I actually have a Kate Spade straw bag, the hard straw not the squishy, and I've taken it to Florida in my suitcase, but I stuff it with underpants and socks and bathing suit pieces. So far, so good.


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