A while back I did a staples post on the overnight bag explaining that it’s the perfect travel option for shorter trips. A little while later I did a follow-up post showing a good-looking option for those of you interested in buying a new overnight bag.
Well, since then I’ve been in contact with Herschel Supply Co. who were kind enough to send me that same bag to try out.
I’ve had it for a month now and have been fairly happy with it.
If you’ve travelled with a duffel bag in the past, you know that one of the most difficult aspects is proper shoe storage. Most of the time I just shove my shoes in the bottom of the bag and hope they don’t end up rotating around and exposing the dirty soles to the rest of my clothes. Nine times out of ten I can get through a weekend or even a full week without a problem. But there’s always that one time where I end up having unwearable clothes because they’ve been sitting on top of dirty shoes for three days. Herschel found a simple but effective solution to this problem – make a shoe-specific pocket that is accessible from the outside of the bag.
Nice and easy. It removes the worry of your shoes contaminating everything else. I used this to my advantage quite a bit while I was up in rainy Oregon a couple of weeks ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to try out and throwing my boots in the shoe bag kept the rest of my clothes dry.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the size of the bag. It’s large enough that you could very easily pack a week’s worth of clothing and have room for your cords and a book or two. It’s quite a bit larger than the weekender I’ve been using for the last couple of years so I’ve felt pretty spoiled on the trips I’ve taken with it.
The construction seemed pretty sound and the zippers and stitches held up even though I had one trip where I had to really work to get the bag shut. This was actually surprising because the bag itself looked to be on the cheaper side of quality and I had read complaints about Herschel in the past. My experience with the construction quality was good though and I’m not worried about using this thing in the future.
Aesthetically the bag held up as much in person as I was hoping from what I’d seen online. It’s definitely a casual bag and is not something you’ll want to use on a trip to Monte Carlo, but the brown leather contrasted with the white stitching and the grey body very well. I also liked the red and white candy stripe lining. It has a very Americana prep feel to it.
My biggest complaint was with the quality of the hardware. Although the zipper held up well, it’s plastic and I’m worried about it breaking easily from being roughed up – even if it holds up to a full bag. On top of that, the attachment rings for the shoulder straps are plastic as well – both on the strap and the bag itself. A metal option will have a lot more durability and also make the bag look better.
The shoulder strap itself is also just a nylon as opposed to being the same leather of the bag handles. This isn’t a quality issue so much as an appearance one but it’s still an improvement that could be made.
All in all, this bag provides a good bang for the buck. A lot of the negatives really would only be negatives if this were a bag you were paying a couple hundred for. But just being south of $100 ($80) is a reasonable price. The biggest advantage is the shoe compartment and how simple a solution it is to a common problem. I’m comfortable recommending this to my readers as a worthwhile bag.
PS. Have you gotten your Style Evaluation? It’s a great way to know the strengths and weaknesses of your current wardrobe.