Makers Mondays: On The Road

From canvas backpacks to leather duffel bags, American-made luggage to take you anywhere


For Detroit-based manufacturer Shinola’s Makers Monday initiative—which encourages purchasing American-made products to help create and keep jobs in the United States—Cool Hunting is highlighting and looking back on our favorite brands that make quality products in our very own backyard. First up, it was sturdy, functional, long-lasting gear for those venturing into the wilderness. This time it’s luggage and bags for anybody who is packing up and hitting the road (or sea or sky) as we shine the spotlight on some of the best—from canvas backpacks for bush hikes to leather duffel bags for more fancy weekends away.

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From their ripstop cargos to sturdy sling bags and travel packs, Topo Designs has had our attention for some time now. Each product drop delivers a sensible design, done in the brand’s typical outdoorsy style—and that is reflected in one of our favorites: the Tote Bag. The pared-down bag offers everything one needs for a quick trip—without any of the unnecessary extras that technical outdoor brands love to slap on their products. Made in Colorado, the durable tote is stitched together with 1000D Cordura and a coated packcloth liner for added strength. Perfect for a day trip to the beach or an outing within the city limits.


Mercy Supply

The old adage “They don’t make them like they used to” insinuates that modern products don’t stand up to the test of time like those of yesteryear. While this might be true for many manufactured items of the day, Michigan’s Mercy Supply is the opposite. Built for utility, the company’s line of leather and canvas bags and accessories has garnered a core following via Instagram. Founder Rusty Zylstra has built the company from the ground up on a few simple but time-tested values: work hard, stay inspired and build products that last—and when they break, fix them. We’re particularly fond of the roll-top backpack, made of heavy duty canvas—complete with water-resistant lining and thick Italian leather straps.


Lotuff Leather

Made by hand in New England, each bag in Lotuff‘s collection is made to last but also entirely elegant. Unlike most leathers, bridle leather is treated (tanned and waxed) on both the flesh and grain sides for an end product with superior quality and appearance—this important detail leaves the inside looking and wearing better than most traditional bags’ exterior. Among the brand’s bridle leather offerings, we’re particularly fond of the versatile Bridle Duffle for its classic aesthetic and sturdy build. Guaranteed to take you from the city to a glorious weekend away for many years to come.

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The backpack is an essential for weekend jaunts and extended holidays, and Archival‘s basic Roll Top packs offer plenty of storage space for day trips or overnights. Made in Eugene, Oregon, the weather-resistant backpack is constructed of sturdy 18oz cotton duck canvas and accented with rich Horween leather and solid brass hardware. On the exterior sides you’ll find two stash pockets perfect for stuffing keys, your train ticket or even a mini U-lock, while inside a single lined pocket keeps the bag’s contents divided. The company is proudly all-American and all about making gear that gets you out of the house and on the road.

Images courtesy of respective brands