GEAR | Filson Zip-Top Tote Bag
When considering carry-on luggage, most people max out on space as much as possible. Between luggage fees, lost bags, and long wait times for checked luggage, people are schlepping as much as they can with them to the gate and on to the plane. So beyond the primary carry-on bag, I am always trying to be strategic with my "personal item". My three needs for a personal item are: it needs to be big and still fit under the seat, it needs to zip shut, and it needs to have a little give. The L.L. Bean zip-tote ($29) is a great option that I have used many times—its only flaw is a lack of shoulder strap. I've also been a fan of the French-made Tampico bags, but they're made of cotton, so they're not the most resilient. Recently I found the Filson Zip-Top Tote ($285), and think it may be a big winner. It's roomy with pockets on the outside, a zipped security pocked on the inside, and cotton oil finished shelter cloth on the outside of the canvas that's really soft. Filson's lifetime guarantee speaks for itself in terms of durability, their stuff lasts forever, and if it doesn't they'll fix or replace without a question. I had to add a little something though, so I sewed on a Japanese patch by A Love Movement. Perfect. I'm ready to take it for a spin.