Mastering the art of packing light streamlines spur-of-the-moment adventures, like turning a morning coffee pitstop into an exit ramp for an all-day urban ramble. And, a tote bag is the throw-over-your-shoulder piece absent from most men’s travel repertoire. As always, we got you covered with a hit list of options—the rugged, the waxed, the element-proof, the packable, the minimalist, and everything in between.
Filson - Rugged Twill Tote Bag
Known for its striking, made-to-last products, Filson’s Twill Tote lives up to the brand’s legacy. Constructed with rugged, water-repellent, and abrasion-resistant Twill fabric, and leather straps crafted from the company’s “iconic” saddle-grade Bridle, this is a true statement piece and a dependable sidekick for any urban exploration.
Shinola - Mack Fold Over Tote
The midwest bred watchmakers create more than must-have, American-made timepieces. Functionality and design converge in the cleverly constructed Fold Over Tote, developed with commuters in mind, It’s “rugged meets sophistication.” Premium leather touches add a welcome polish to this go-to work bag.
Timbuk2 - Packable Travel Tote
Just because a product leaves the glitz at the door, doesn’t make it inferior. Timbuk2’s Packable Travel Tote hits all the right chords: low-maintenance, lightweight, self-packing, water-repellant, and fully-wipeable.
RVCA - Standard Tote
We expect nothing less from a badass brand synonymous with sun-soaked San Diego Sundays. This 100% nylon constructed bag is tailor-made for the daily grind or chasing swells. With dual front pockets and a quilted interior, there’s plenty of room for your sunscreen, sunglasses, sandals, and post-surf pomade…now we’re just getting carried away with the alliteration.
Mack Weldon - GTX Commuter Bag
Tough, elegant, and smart…this one covers all the adjectives. Its waxed canvas construction, rubberized bottom, and leather grip handle make it a go-to for the polished commuter or the urban explorer with an elevated style palette. Encountering a little grim is one occupational hazard of being a man about town. Here’s a bag designed to take the brunt of it all, with style.
Mission Mercantile - Heritage Waxed Canvas Ice Block Bag
This bag will (allegedly) last forever, according to the lifetime guarantee. CYTIES is convinced. Everything about this bag screams “in it for the long-haul,” from the heavy waxed canvas, thick full-grain leather, to the antique brass hardware. It’s a remnant of a time when blocks of ice were delivered to homes and businesses by hand. If that Herculean feat is any indication, this bag means business.
Mission Workshop - 500D Drift Tote - 28L
This bag is meant to be taken to the limit and back. Mission Workshop builds “can’t stop” gear for bike commuters, and the Drift Tote is designed in the same vein. It’s a rugged, hybrid bag that packs a punch when it comes to versatility and durability: gym gear, road snacks, laptops, camera equipment—it’ll take whatever you throw at it and still have room for dessert.
Tanner Goods - Simple Tote
Straightforward and solid design is always a formidable choice. Tanner Goods’ Simple Tote takes a tried and true silhouette and upgrades it with a waxed canvas construction and vegetable-tanned leather straps. The detachable crossbody strap is just icing on a sturdy cake.
Sandqvist - Roger - Two Way Totepack
We can’t say it better than it’s already been said; this Scandanavian design-inspired bag has a “sleek style with uncompromising functionality.” With clever details to set off a crisp look, including: backpack straps; internal and external slip pockets; and compression straps, for load management, minimalism never looked attractive.
Bellroy - Classic Tote
Engineered with Bellroy’s signature handsome—yet simple— design, the Classic Tote wastes no space. It’s equipped with a bundle of useful features, including: a soft-lined pocket, perfect for your phone and sunglasses; a key clip; easy-access vertical pockets, in the main compartment; and nylon straps, that makes for a very comfortable carry.
The first tote bag was created by L.L Bean in the 1940s to tote ice and wood
In the 1960s function met fashion, and with it came leather bottoms, zippers, prints, and colors
In the 1980s the New York Bookshop The Strand introduced the new version of the tote