If you’re heading out for a short trip, you have a lot of choices to make about what to bring, and what to bring it in. That problem is only made more confusing when it’s just a weekend getaway. Is a backpack enough? How many shoes do I need to bring? Is a duffel bag overkill? Do I need a swimsuit?
That’s where The Shrine’s The Weekender backpack comes in. It’s just big enough to take everything you need for a weekend away from home. With room for two pairs of sneakers, two changes of clothes, a dopp kit, watches, and up to four hats, The Weekender will make sure you bring exactly what you need, and nothing you don’t.
The Weekender has a wide, rectangular frame that looks big sitting on your bed as you pack it, but feels surprisingly compact once you put it on. It will also invoke jealousy as other travelers, whether at the airport or in your road trip crew, realize that you have everything you need packed away conveniently on your back.
The straps on both bags are quite comfortable for how thin they are. Whatever combination of gel and padding is found in the thickest part of the strap is more than enough to carry a fully loaded pack without straining your shoulders. Similarly, the mesh on the back-facing side of the bag is comfortable and breathable, so you won’t be sweating it if you have to run to catch your flight.
The quality doesn’t stop at the straps–The Weekender is wrapped in durable nylon and a textured herringbone fabric that feels as good as it looks.
Opening the Weekender reveals two distinct halves. On one side, you’ll find two spacious compartments for shoes, with a pair of straps that run over each pair and buckle in the middle. The other side is a blank panel with a zippered edge, underneath which is the remainder of the bag’s storage.
This main compartment isn’t particularly spacious, but still has plenty of room for a weekend of clothing and a dopp kit. Planning ahead becomes a bit more important when you’re working with the limited space – this isn’t the bag of you can just throw your stuff in and hit the road. It’s worth it though, as you won’t weigh yourself down with too many button-ups.
Inside the storage area, on the dividing panel, there are a number of small zippered pouches. Two of them are designed for watch storage, with clear windows in the middle for displaying watch faces. In addition to wrist wear, the pockets are good for holding the many other odds and ends you end up needing on the road – concert tickets, chap stick, a phone charger.
Once the pack is closed, the hat sling pulls out from a zippered pocket on top of the bag. Stack your hats on top, pull the sling over, and buckle it to the front of the bag for convenient hat storage without damaging the bills.
So there’s plenty of room for your junk, but if you’re buying one of the Shrine Co bags, chances are it’s for the sneaker storage.
Shoe storage is one of the main features of the Shrine’s bags, and it’s not hard to see why. Sneakerheads in particular have long sought methods for transporting their coveted footwear, and Shrine’s answer keeps it simple while protecting your investment.
Each compartment has ample room for anything from a pair of dress shoes to your loudest high-tops. In fact, the storage is large enough to also fit two pairs of runners or sandals in each side, if you need some extra footwear. The pockets are lined with durable, padded material, and feature expanding sides for larger kicks, plus ventilation in case things start to get a little sweaty.
The sneaker storage found on the Weekender and Sneaker Duffels is one of the most elegant options available. It keeps two or more pairs of shoes well ventilated, and protected from both the elements, and the other stuff in your bag that might pose a risk to your sneakers.
The sad truth of The Shrine’s Weekender and Sneaker Duffel is that they aren’t for everyone. If the only shoes you bring when you get out of town for the weekend are the pair on your feet, it’s probably not the right choice of luggage for you.
Sneakerheads and footwear-forward travelers, however, will find the size, organization, and storage options on the Weekender a perfect fit for traveling without compromising on style. No longer will you have to spend twenty minutes figuring out how to stuff your favorite Jordans into your backpack, only to arrive and find they’ve been totally creased by your laptop.
While the Sneaker Duffel’s clothing storage is a bit more spacious than the Weekender’s, it lacks a lot of the dedicated organizational options that make the backpack so useful, leaving just a single panel with a few zippered pouches and a watch display. As such, it’s less likely you’ll take the duffel on its own, and more likely you’ll use it as a supplement to the Weekender when your trip is a bit longer than just a day or two.
The Sneaker Duffel carries a $250 price tag, while the Weekender will cost you $290. Those prices might seem a bit high if you’re just used to buying laptop backpacks, but are quite reasonable when it comes to high-end luggage.
Ultimately, these bags are going to end up in the trunks and overhead bins of those who don’t shy away from spending $200 or more on their footwear anyway. If you constantly find yourself trying to figure out how to fit a couple clean pairs of kicks into your bag on a trip, you’ve found the answer, and it couldn’t look cooler if it tried.