A good bag is hard to beat. The three bags below made the gift guide cut because they are so dang good. If you are looking for a simple, sturdy, open-top bag, a burly backpack, or a burly messenger bag, these are them.
ADK Packworks Packbasket
What can effortlessly swallow 18 pounds of fat, juicy, late-season tomatoes, plus seven pounds of the tastiest grapes without so much as a single complaint? No, it’s not a big goat or a hippo or any sort of animal at all. Instead, it is the Packbasket Spinnaker by ADK Packworks.
Unlike the average bag, the Packbasket Spinnaker is freestanding thanks to its internal frame and folding hard bottom. This makes loading and unloading effortless. When done, the Packbasket folds flat for easy storage.
The Packbasket Spinnaker comes with a matching lid and can be fitted with a backpack system, cooler liner, insulated bottle sleeve, and more. I’ve waxed enthusiastic about ADK Packworks products in the past and I’m doing it again right now. These bags are truly excellent and almost infinitely versatile. $49.99
Carhartt Elements Army Duffel Backpack
If you have a heap of gear to stow and carry, packing it away in the Elements Army Duffel Backpack couldn’t be easier. This backpack, with its 11.5”x16” main opening is made for easy loading. Add to that its 24-inch depth, and you have a bag into which you can stuff a lot of stuff.
Inside the bag, there is a handy hanging pocket that has proven to be the perfect place for an external drive/battery, micro-USB cables, a couple pens, a small notebook, and on occasion, my mobile phone. This is the place for all the grab-and-go gear. The best part of the Elements Army Duffel Backpack, though, is its versatility. Not only can it hold a lot of gear, it will keep that gear dry, too, thanks to its nylon and TPU exterior with Carhartt’s Rain Defender durable water repellent. This is THE burly black backpack. $89.99
Chrome Industries BLCKCHRM Citizen
The built-in-the-U.S.A. Chrome BLKCHRM is based on the venerable Chrome Citizen bag but it is thoroughly blacked out. The outside of the bag is covered in the waterproof and chemical resistant synthetic rubber known as Hypalon. This material is soft, smooth, and inviting to the touch while remaining extremely tough. An embossed leather panel runs across the front of this bag and adds a touch of class to this gothic messenger.
On the inside, there is a black digi-camo military-grade truck tarpaulin liner that is as sublime as it is subtle. This liner also has a soft feel to it and has proven itself to be at least as tough as the Hypalon on the outside. These stark contrasts between textures and toughness are the things that make this and all the bags Chrome Industries manufactures so attractive. This is THE burly black bag. $135