- A good weekender bag carries all your belongings comfortably through a short trip. A great one, like Paravel’s Main Line Duffel ($285), is also stylish, durable, and so roomy and flexible that you can bring back plenty of souvenirs.
- Its interior is simple, with just two zippered pockets and one main compartment, making it perfect for low-maintenance storage of four to five days’ worth of clothing. On the outside, the slick cotton canvas fabric repels water and dirt.
- The elevated and sophisticated style, complete with leather trim, wraps this practicality and durability into a complete package.
I tend to skimp on my mode of transportation when I travel. Case in point: most recently, I took a cross-country red-eye flight where I settled into a Basic Economy middle seat at the very back of the plane.
I don’t skimp, however, on my travel bags.
For me, being able to bring everything I want on the trip is more important than a few hours of discomfort (and, anyway, there are easy solutions to make a trip more comfortable, from ultra-soft clothing to supportive neck pillows). One of my favorite weekenders that lets me do this is Paravel’s Main Line Duffel ($285).
At almost $300, it’s not cheap for a weekender bag. But I think the Main Line Duffel is worth it because it’s at once practical and stylish.
While it’s probably just as roomy, flexible, and durable as other top duffels, a simple but not unimportant distinction is that it looks a lot nicer.
The trim and handles are made from soft yet strong leather, and it can be personalized (for $35-$75). The removable shoulder strap is made from a woven material, while the body of the bag is a slick cotton canvas. All in all, the bag looks sophisticated and makes me feel like I’m about to ride first class.
As I quickly discovered and came to love over the course of many travels, the Main Line Duffel is also more than just a pretty bag.
The spacious, carry-on-compliant bag measures 20 x 11 x 10 inches and can fit about four or five days’ worth of clothing and toiletries, including a pair of shoes. The interior is simple, with just two zippered side pockets and the main compartment, so it’s up to you to do some additional organization (like with packing cubes) if you wish.
Although its cotton canvas construction means it’s not as expandable as a nylon bag, it’s also a lot more flexible and roomy than I originally expected. It’s easy to tuck my belongings into every corner of the bag, and even when I think I can’t possibly fit anything else in, the bag finds a way to give and accommodate my things.
I like to bring home souvenirs or food packages from my trips, and the duffel rises up to the challenge. Whether my mom is unloading Tupperware containers of a week’s worth of home-cooked meals (as moms do) on me or I decide that every person I’ve ever met needs a cute trinket I discovered at the local market, I don’t have to sweat about my bag’s ability to fit it all.
I’ll carry it a variety ways — by the two handles, using the shoulder straps, and if my arms or shoulders get tired, simply by the entire body with two hands — and each way is comfortable. I normally stray away from light-colored travel bags because I know how dirty they’ll get, but the Main Line Duffel’s light gray body still looks as good as new. That’s because of Paravel’s signature cotton canvas fabric. It repels water and dirt, and it’s highly durable. If a more stubborn stain does get on it, I just use a cloth and soap to quickly remove it.
I know that you can get other high-quality travel bags for around the same price, and their interior design is much more organized. But I’ve found that sometimes I just want a large and simple duffel that I can throw all my belongings in without a second thought. The Paravel Main Line Duffel fits that bill, while looking stylish and holding up to the strains of travel.
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