Best of CH 2012: Five Travel Pairings

Our most memorable destinations and a proper piece of luggage to complement the trip

This year, like many before it, travel played a central role in the stories we found and the people we met. Not to mention the equipment we had the pleasure of traveling with. Knowing very well that the perfect piece of luggage can make or break a travel experience we’ve selected five favorite bags to present alongside five of our most memorable destinations.

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As the most adventurous CH Edition to date, this year we led a crew of old and new friends on a photo safari in Africa. Dubbed CH Zambia, the trip introduced a group of city slickers to Nat Geo worthy wildlife with cameras and clinics by Pentax, custom safari jackets by Geren Ford and safari boots from Vintage Shoe Company. While in the bush we also teamed up with Mfuwe Day Secondary School to help provide a boost in education funding for the local children. The experience was truly exceptional.

Tumi Travel Bag

CH Zambia also gave us the opportunity to develop our very own duffel bag specially for the excursion. By teaming up with Tumi, CH founders Josh Rubin and Evan Orensten designed each detail, from shrinking the size to carry on standard to adding Cool Hunting green and hefty embossed leather tag accents. Available from Tumi, the bag sold out in a matter of days—a proud surprise.

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Wythe Hotel

Building a sought after atmosphere around an idea is nothing new to Andrew Tarlow. The restauranteur owns Marlow & Sons and Diner and has played a key role in establishing South Williamsburg as a proper destination just outside Manhattan. His biggest venture yet opened this year, the Wythe Hotel. Tarlow renovated a gorgeous 100 year old industrial building near the East River water front to turn it into a bustling hotel complete with restaurant and roof top bar. All the while staying true to the carefully curated aesthetic that’ll keep the crowds coming back.

Nomad Duffel

On the other side of the country we find Portland’s Tanner Goods churning out equally impressive hefty bags and leather goods. As suited for the Oregon Trail as they are the cobble stone streets of SoHo, we particularly love the Nomad Duffel. The substantial bag is sturdy as hell and made entirely in the great NW of domestically sourced materials.

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In August we spent some time navigating the narrow streets of London in search of the best street food for a Word of Mouth segment. Spurred on by local tips we found more than we bargained for. From burgers to banh mis and hot dogs, we couldn’t have been happier—or more stuffed.

Dubbel Duffel

Perfect for those trips where you bring home more than you brought, the expandable Dubbel Duffel turns from a regular duffel to a double height backpack. A once defunct product the 1970’s, designer China Young revived the brand this year, updating it’s colorways and reintroducing the product with a collaboration with Opening Ceremony.

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Belgraves Hotel

A designer’s destination of choice in West London, the Belgraves is the latest boutique project to be rolled out by Thompson Hotels. By nestling the cozy estate in the opulent Westminster neighborhood, the hotel gains a sense of luxury without being outwardly annoying.

Unit Portables

Modular, clean and durable, the Unit Portables range of bags, pouches and iDevice sleeves serve a specific purpose. Each functional unit can be attached in various positions, giving the user a wide array of arrangement possibilities. Great for the inner OCD design driven amongst us.

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Portland, Maine

Another segment of Word of Mouth brought us north to Portland, Maine. Here we found the expected lobster alongside a handful of other outstanding eateries. boutiques and beer gardens. The quaint city offered a much needed breath of fresh air and fresh food.

Pointer Tote

Ideal for running around town, shopping or hitting the local market, this American made tote from honest workwear maker Pointer is nice and simple. One large pocket and that’s that.