NYC’s 5 Best Stores For Designer Man Bags, Sports Bags

May 18, 2016 5:50 AM

credit: The Lodge / Facebook

credit: The Lodge / Facebook

What makes a “man bag?” Excellent question. We’re using the term broadly to describe messenger bags, satchels, backpacks, and other larger bags fit for the man in your life. These bags are versatile enough to meet everyone’s style and needs. By Jessica Allen.

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Since 1998, Brooklyn Industries has been making durable, wearable clothes and bags for the urban set (men, women, and children). Indeed, the company’s philosophy (and tagline) is “Live, Work, Create,” and was founded on the idea that one could, and perhaps should, envision life as “an evolving art installation.” The company began when two artists started making bags from recycled billboards, and the same attention to functionality, sustainability, and all-around coolness continues today in 16+ stores around the US.

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The Lodge describes itself as “a nice, safe place where only guys are allowed. A men’s club, where whiskey flows freely and the art of manhood is appreciated.” The East Village store sells such “cool guy stuff” as watches, grooming supplies, pocket knives, pocket scarves, organizer cases, tools, cufflinks, candles, dopp kits, cologne, throws, “Pottymints” (which help keep your toilet smelling fresh) and a wide selection of bags, including duffels and backpacks.

“New York Tough” has been the guiding mantra behind Manhattan Portage since the company was created in 1983, seeking to “take the functionality of outdoor gear and bring it to an urban audience.” Today, the range of bags on offer runs from backpacks to messenger bags, to weekend totes and laptop bags. Some are made with waxed canvas, some with neoprene, some with other equally hard-wearing and long-lasting materials. All come in an array of colors, with the tell-tale logo of the city’s skyline.

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Here’s what you need to know about Vaya Bags: they’re handmade by Tianna Meilinger, with occasional contributions from friends and family, in NYC; they boast no-swing stabilizer straps, padded Velcro strap covers, and other fine features beloved by bikers and non-bikers alike (Meilinger is a passionate cyclist); and they’re made from waterproof material made to withstand harsh weather. Sizes and styles include petite messenger, standard messenger, wide messengers, diaper bags, panniers, camera, record, and drum and stick bags.

Because sometimes you need to wear a suit, or take a bunch of stuff with you to a black tie event, or simply feel like elevating your everyday bag. Village Tannery makes its leather bags by hand (custom orders are welcome), and each one is meant to be used as well as treasured. If you’re looking for a man bag to hand down to your grandchildren, look no further than this longtime West Village establishment. You’ll find briefcases, wallets and belts, backpacks, messenger bags, and luggage, made on-site and with a lifetime guarantee.

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