Topo Designs The National Classic Duffel Bag

This limited edition bag from Colorado-based Topo Designs is part of a collaboration with the Grammy Award winning band The National. You’re sure to impress your friends and colleagues with something so different and unique. It is also something that won’t easily be snatched by mistake from an overhead bin or luggage carousel from an unsuspecting fellow passenger.

You can thank one of the clever design teams at Topo Designs for coming up with a bag that is so unusual and different from the rest of the bags out there. If you recognize the color of the bag, it is because it was inspired by the band’s recent and popular Sleep Well Beast album. I have never seen any other similar type of collaboration between a musical group and a luggage company. It is certainly a clever way to promote both brands while giving travelers the option of a unique and sturdy duffel bag.

Designers wanted to create a special duffel bag stylish enough that a band member would travel with it, but also something that everyone can enjoy. The National logo is embroidered on the side of the bag. The natural leather handle makes it easy and comfortable to carry around an airport or the street. The handle is the size and format of a standard airline seat belt and just as strong.

In line with the other duffel bags made by Topo Designs, they are sleek in design and produced from high quality materials in the United States. It is ideal as a carry-on bag for flights, but its durability means that it can also be checked as a bag without concern. A heavy-duty zipper slides easily atop the bag and protects the interior contents. Inside, there is another zippered pocket to keep valuable things like keys, chargers, and coins separated from the rest of the contents.

The Classic Duffel’s fabric is made with 1000D Cordura® material assuring that it can withstand the brusque way baggage handlers toss luggage around. I was impressed with the way the bag did not get drenched immediately when walking through the rain.

The shoulder strap detaches from the bag in case you don’t want to carry it that way, and I found this bag to be great to swing over a rolling trolley bag. It makes it easier to carry if it is heavy, and pairs well for short trips where I only want to travel with a carry-on bag.

The shape of the bag is long and narrow meaning it can easily fit into overhead compartments or car trunks. It does not take up much space in your closet when it’s not being used, and the bag can be folded into tight spaces. When you’re packing its flexible exterior means you can put a lot in there especially if using those plastic bags that pull the air out so that things take up less space. Even when full, the bag’s exterior is thick and does not bulge in places.

I was worried about traveling with this bag as a carry-on when traveling in Europe where airlines are especially strict on bag size and weight. Luckily, it was not a problem on any of the flights I most recently took although I did have to stuff it into those sizing containers a few times. Thankfully, the bag is flexible enough to be shoved in to them.

This exclusive bag in The National’s signature blue color is available for sale on Topo Designs’ website for $149. Get one while you can because Topo Designs is only producing a limited number of them adding to the uniqueness of this bag, which could make a great holiday gift.

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Ramsey Qubein is a travel journalist who has visited 154 countries covering the hotel and airline industry from every corner of the globe. His work appears in travel publications and outlets including Travel+Leisure, Business Traveller, Airways, Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris, US Airways magazine, Northstar Travel Media, Yahoo Travel, and BBC. He serves as the National Hotels Travel Examiner and writes for numerous blogs and web sites. He travels more than 350,000 miles a year and is highly recognized as an expert in loyalty programs, business travel and the luxury travel segment. You can follow him on Twitter at DailyTravelTips or at his website

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