The Springtime Commuter Luggage Upgrade

Because your college backpack is no longer cutting it.

byMichael Frank|
The Springtime Commuter Luggage Upgrade


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Luggage. The very name implies strenuous work, and whether we’re talking about transmissions or post-holing up the subway stairs “lugging” is never a positive. Still, you can lug in style, whether you’re valeting the Benz at a four-star hotel or hauling ass across town on your mountain bike. The key points are the same: Timeless design, high quality and utility.

Here are three new pieces for spring that fit the bill and then some.

Thule Stir


Paper or plastic? How about just piling all your groceries into this backpack It’s a big, rugged bag that comes in both 15 and 20-liter sizes, the ultimate streamlined hauler. Sweden’s Thule—also responsible the roof rack on your car—guarantees everything it makes for life. The Stir is no exception. And, at $59.95 this pack, is a pretty good deal to boot. For that, you’ll get a mesh back so it’ll breath, a daisy-chain of attachment points on the rear, and a removable hip belt for when you’d rather not look like you’re headed to the Alps. Wide straps are made breathable fabric and a cinch top (plus a rain cover, included with the 20-liter model) make the Stir an ideal option for bike commuters.

Slicks Travel System


Modular luggage is a good idea; one bag can serve many functions. The Slicks system is designed to tackle everything, with internal organization for a business trip, a folding suitor, but also options for carrying work and casual clothing and all your sundries for a weekend getaway.

The internal packing cubes compress, leaving extra room for a change of shoes, as well as a laptop and charger. What’s most intriguing is that there are multiple carry options, from standard backpack to messenger and brief.

That flexibility likely explains why, at the time of this writing, the the Slicks has already hit $234k against an $80k Kickstarter goal.

Timbuk2 Bici Laptop Messenger Bag


If a brief is too snobby for work but a backpack is too casual, this $269 shoulder bag might hit a sweet spot. The canvas and leather mix are more professional than typical pack cloth, and the ambidextrous shoulder strap prevents you from tiring out hoofing around town. There’s internal storage for your phone, pens, a oleskin and chargers, plus a full padded laptop slot. And we especially like that Timbuk2 uses a digital patterned bright print on the bag’s liner, since black-lined briefs make it impossible to find contents quickly.