Let’s be honest: on paper, very little separates a tote bag from a purse. They both carry stuff and go over a shoulder or in a clasped hand. In reality, however, a tote can be a very masculine carry-all beloved for its form and function. This is why we are presenting you a tensome of bags that are manly things for one reason or another. Man bags that you can carry with confidence.
See our 10 manly totes after the jump…
Filson lets us know right away where this small tote bag is coming from: “We’ve been field-testing our newest Small Tote and we think you’ll like it as much as we do. It’s just the right size for lunch, ammo or extra field gear.” It has been in the field and carried ammunition … and lunch. Manly—and a total classic.
If this fabric looks familiar, it might be because you saw it here as part of a collaborative backpack with Outlier. The Cuben Fiber construction keeps the tote super lightweight (7-ounces) and practically indestructible. There’s also an interior zipper pocket. Show up seaside with one of these and there will be no mistaking your level of manliness, even if you pull out a mauve towel and a Danielle Steele paperback.
The design on this bag from South 2 West 8 was inspired by old banker bags, and like a bag designed to carry many wads of cash, it locks. One option, then, would be to dress like Dillinger and sprint down a city street with this in tow, looking over your shoulder and screaming at people to get out of your way. Another option would be to carry it calmly to the office with some work-out clothes packed inside.
Just a simple canvas tote in army green from Japanese brand Head Porter. The detachable white shoulder strap lets you know it didn’t come straight from the surplus, and while it has a bit more brand stamping than we usually go in for, it is an easy, handsome manly thing.
Don’t let the light leather and bare appearance of this tote cloud your judgement. In the right hands it is a downright intimidator. Imagine some crazed bastard like Doc Holiday bandying the bag about. Wouldn’t take but a moment before folks started wondering how much danger lurked inside and if the leather itself came from the lovingly cured and stitched hide of an unlucky victim of his justice.
We defy you to call this tote from Chicago’s Defy Bags a purse. It is made from recycled sailboat sails, for one. For another, that color blocked pocket on the front is just the right size for a 750ml bottle of Scotch. Pack a man-sized picnic in this and be prepared to unleash it on a captive audience.
This is not an ordinary orange you are seeing. It is Blaze Orange, or Hunter’s Orange (or color No. 12199). Blazing and hunting are rugged pursuits, but this tote was designed with mushroom foraging—a softer manly activity—on the brain: “It reminds us of days from our youth, wandering through the woods in the early fall, hunting for Chanterelle mushrooms with Pops, doing my best to remember his top-secret spots,” Tanner tells us. Mushroom hunting with dad? We are choking up a bit, please hold …
… And we are back. A butler is the chief manservant of the house. By definition, that can only be a dude and, thus, Wood Wood’s Striped Butler Bag must be designed for hairy hands. This Danish brand keeps casual living as its locus, and this is one of the beachier bags we’ve run across. Also: big enough for at least two mini-kegs.
With a brand name like Billykirk—clearly a mash-up of Billy the Kid and Captain James T. Kirk, two of the rawest bros in history—you know this one is a heavy-dangler. Handmade from thick cow leather by Amish artisans in Pennsylvania, pedigree is built-in and it will age beautifully, like a pick-up truck.
One telltale sign of a purse is that it is usually overstuffed with wild accoutrements (flats, makeup, napkins, napkins, crowded key-chains, etc.). What better way to claim no-purse than with a bag so slender it would be damn-near impossible to over-stuff. At capacity, this calf-leather tote from c.dellstrand could only hold a tablet, two slices of pizza and a copy of Juggs.