Holdall Bags | Travel Bags for Men & Women [Buying Guide]

Holdall Bags | Travel Bags for Men & Women [Buying Guide]

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Holdall bags are special items. Indeed, they follow us on our most beautiful journeys, they last in time and allow us to carry our most precious belongings.

Therefore, choosing your holdall bag is an important step that should not be taken lightly.

After all, you can easily find many travel bags on internet at extremely low prices and of average quality. If you like to take risks and change your bag every time you travel, go for it!

However, if you want to invest in a quality holdall bag, you've come to the right place. Let's take a look at the essential points that a good carryall bag should have in 2020.

Let's dive into it!

canvas holdall bag

1. What is a Holdall Bag? 

The term "holdall" or "carryall bag" comes from the American English language. It refers to a wide range of travel bags, but generally describes a large, rectangular-shaped bag, usually made from fabric (either nylon or cotton canvas) or leather, in which many different objects can be easily stored.

Holdall bags are part of the big family of duffel bags. The term "Duffel" refers to the town of Duffel, Belgium, where the first duffel bag in history was made.

A holdall bag is a minimalist, carry-all but extremely sturdy bag that features two reinforced handles, usually made of leather, and sometimes a shoulder strap, most often removable, allowing you to carry it by hand or over your shoulder. It is thus a versatile and functional bag.

It is therefore a popular type of travel bag for frequent travelers, sportsmen and lovers of weekends away from home.

In fact, this type of travel bag easily replaces particularly bulky suitcases for travelling.

Some holdall bags are even equipped with wheels, and sometimes a telescopic handle to make it easier to carry.

However at Eiken, we believe that these features makes the bag heavier and negatively impacts its practicality (it adds weight to your bag and you can no longer compress it as you please).

mens holdall

2. Key Features for a Great Weekend Holdall Bag

1. A Durable & Waterproof Travel Holdall Bag

Holdalls are bags mainly designed for travel over more or less long distances. They are therefore used in sometimes difficult weather conditions.

You will carry your belongings, sometimes precious and extremely fragile in this bag. It must therefore be resistant and waterproof.

Imagine arriving at your hotel and finding your things soaked... not very tempting, right?

If you're looking for a cheap and practical travel bag, you'll obviously find what you're looking for 30-50€ on the internet.

But if you're looking for a quality holdall you can count on, you'd better put the price on, the price of tranquility.

The most resistant materials include leather (full grain if possible), waxed cotton canvas (a must for people who appreciate the vintage feel), and synthetic fabrics (light but unnatural).

It is important to take a moment to check the materials used in the design of your travel bag. Check the strength, durability and waterproofness of the materials.

At Eiken, we mainly offer vintage holdall bags, made from full grain leather and canvas (waxed or not). Leather rucksacks are the most durable ones but are also a bit heavier.

If you choose a canvas travel bag, it is very simple to waterproof it with beeswax that you melt on the fabric (this is an excellent DIY project by the way).

womens holdall

2. A Functional & Handy Canvas Holdall Bag

Another essential feature of this kind of travel bag is its practical and functional aspect. It must be able to store a maximum amount of stuff easily and quickly.

With a large main storage space, holdall bags allow you to easily organize your stuff.

"Less is more" is the motto of these bags. They are often call carryall bags because of this specificity.

They sometimes feature slit or zippered pockets on the inner sides to safely store your smaller accessories (chargers, keys, smartphone or wallet).

On the outside, they usually offer zippered pockets to keep your everyday accessories close at hand.

On the comfort aspect, they also offer a removable reinforced shoulder strap and two sturdy handles.

So depending on the situation and your preferences, you can opt for a shoulder strap style or carry it by hand.

large holdall

3. A Versatile Womens Holdall and Mens Holdall Bag

This aspect is not crucial, but it is a matter close to our hearts. We believe that the bags we offer are unisex and meet the needs and styles of both women and men.

We therefore offer holdall bags with minimalist designs and sleek shapes to meet everyone's expectations.

Moreover, we have chosen to offer an original colour palette, to cut with the gloom of the market (generally black or grey bags) and to brighten up your days with colours that remind you of natural landscapes.

You can opt for a family travel bag that can be used by all members of your household. You will save a fair amount of money while avoiding over-consumption.

Moreover, since we are thinking about everything, including your style, we offer a wide range of canvas backpacks but also satchels and messenger bags whose style and colours fit perfectly with these travel bags. You should have a look.

canvas rucksack backpack

3. Holdall Bags: Essential things to check

  1. Fabric: you will find numerous materials on the market. Choose the one that suits you best, but go for something durable, strong and waterproof to keep your stuff dry, no matter what the weather.

  2. Weight: You will have to choose and compromise. The more durable and strong your materials are, the heavier your bag will be. So you need to think carefully about how you're going to use it. If you travel in humid climates, choose a heavier bag if it's waterproof. If you're looking for a light travel bag for your hotel weekends, opt for a softer, lighter fabric that won't take up too much room.

  3. Carry system: This is one of the trademarks of the duffel bags, weekend bags and other holdall bags: the two wide reinforced handles and the removable shoulder strap. If you like innovation and want to stand out from the original design, some brands offer other features such as wheels or rucksack back straps. Always keep in mind the importance of having a light and space-saving bag when travelling.

  4. Closing system: Again, the vast majority of brands offer long zippers that run the entire length of the holdall bag. It is important to check the quality of the latter because bad closures will be easily damaged over time and will let water infiltrate, making your bag heavier and endangering your electrical accessories. Some brands offer locks that can be locked with a code or padlock. 


Conclusion: Opt a High-Quality and Durable Holdall Bag

At the risk of being repetitive, we like quality and things well done.

A travel bag such as a holdall bag should, in principle, accompany you for many years on your various trips.

It needs to be strong to withstand the assault of time and weather to effectively protect the things you carry.

It's up to you to choose what you like the most between a light bag that is potentially prone to water infiltration and a waterproof bag that is heavier. The stronger your bag is, the heavier it will be, it's up to you to put the limit wherever you want.

Nowadays, many brands offer a very wide range of products. At Eiken, we bet on solidity and vintage with a meticulous selection of women's and men's holdall bags of remarkable quality.

Made from cotton canvas (waxed or unwaxed) and full-grain leather, our travel bags are stylish accessories without equal, but also reliable travel companions that will follow you on all your travels for many years to come.

Take a look and let yourself be tempted!

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