January 3, 2010

Wm. J. Mills & Co. Canvas Duffels

When I travel (which is rarer than I would prefer these days) I tend to be a "throw it all into a bag with a zipper" kind of guy.  I don't do garment bags and I really don't care to roll a suitcase or fiddle with hard plastic handles that go up and down.  Truth is, I really hate those things.  I like something that I can strap over my shoulder and walk with (or run if I'm late.)  I also like stuff that looks traditional.  I'm not into swooshes and stripes and sporty logos.  I don't care for a bag that looks like it should contain aluminum bats for the little leaguers.  I need something basic and manly.  Behold, the Classic Duck Duffel from Wm. J. Mills Co. of Greenport, NY.

Apparently, these hand-crafted bags are made by a company that used to be in the business of making canvas sails.  I find this comforting for a few reasons:

1.  Boats are cool and those who man them are tough.  I wouldn't mind feeling like a seafaring sailor while I'm packing for a weekend in the Chicago suburbs to visit the in-laws.

2.  Sails are strong.  This bag will probably not be ruined by baggage handlers.  When was the last time you saw the America's Cup Challenge postponed due to sails being mishandled by airport personnel?

3.  This bag is a ticket to survival in an airplane crash over water.  I simply fashion a crude skiff from a piece of debris and hoist my makeshift sail-bag until I sight land.

There are several models and sizes in many colors on their website.  I chose "teak tan" because it looks like the chore coat my late grandpa always wore.  I do kind of wish those straps weren't white but I'm willing to overlook them if this bag is as tough as boat sails from the 1880s.

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