Stuart and Lau –Anywhere Bags for the Man on the Go
August 10, 2018
For men who don’t want a backpack that makes them look like toddlers or a clunky carry-on purchased from the airport. While we don't always give our luggage the same forethought as our outfits and outerwear, frequent fliers are often at a loss when it comes to finding a bag that can handle a little rough and tumble inspection, courtesy of the TSA.
Enter Stuart & Lau. Launched by seasoned travelers Matthew Stuart Janney & Jimmy Lau in 2015, this namesake brand aims to bring quality and style to the urban male professional--whether they're looking for the perfect bag for light travel or a gym bag that doesn't look out of place draped over your finest business attire.
About the Brand
Stuart and Lau is a jet-setting, international-based brand for men seeking bags that complement their professional, practical style. In other words, S&L creates backpacks, carry-ons, and gym bags that can go from the gym to the
A New York/Hong Kong collab, S&L craft briefcases and weekenders designed for “motion and movement” to men who jet-set, commute, or just want a better brand to haul around their belongings.
Bags are simple, stylish, and most importantly, they’re grown up. Stuart and Lau--the guys--dreamt up this collection of bags during one of their many business trips between NYC and Hong Kong. They found they had to choose between style and function when it came to travel bags. The attractive ones didn't hold up to the demands of long, global treks, and the functional pieces tended to look clunky or ergonomic.
So, the guys joined forces to create a line of bags that can take on anything —and today, they're racking up press mentions and accolades from the likes of The Wall Street Journal and Esquire.
Our top pick here is the Cary briefcase. It's not built exactly like a briefcase, nor does it qualify as a messenger bag or a tote. Instead, it's a soft, lightweight back made to be worn across the body, kind of like a weekender. It’s perfect for work and can hold both your laptop and your umbrella.
At $395, it doesn't come cheap, but it's the kind of bag you'll use for far more than traveling. Chances are you'll carry the Cary with you to work, on short weekend adventures or even the gym. Load it up with snacks, sneakers, whatever you need to get through the day--like a backpack but elevated.
The Monaco weekender bag comes in a few different neutrals, and we have to say, we particularly like the styles that feature contrasting straps. The bag looks professional and polished, with its timeless lines, but it's made from technical fabrics that are lightweight and weather-proof.
Oh yeah, they do have backpacks, too.
Capstone is super sleek, but falls into the regular backpack realm, while the Clarke Totepack is modeled on the British banking bags of yore—it’s a little purse-y (like an over-sized bucket bag), but for those men who don’t mind, it’s a cooler version of the standard backpack you bring with you everywhere you go.
Why Stuart & Lau?
While the bags aren't some significant innovation disrupting the bag space, we have to hand it to S&L--the bags come equipped with small stash pockets and microfiber lining, little details you didn't think you needed. The microfiber is especially useful as you can use it to wipe down your glasses should you forget your cloth at home.
The bags don't come with a million and one additions, so it’s clear that this isn’t another one of those forays into smart luggage. Instead, these guys are more focused on quality and simplicity. The handles are comfortable, even if you’re holding them tight for stretches of time, and they can be replaced. Essentially, the S&L bag is an investment that can last for the long-term.
Are They Worth It?
A $300 backpack? A $400 weekender? $335 for the Cary Combo? Reasonable if you’re after the perfect bag, but high if you don’t really care where your laptop hangs out while you move from place to place.
We like the look, and they appear to be high quality, but some guys might find the price point to be a tough sell. Still, the bags stand to last for years to come and aren't embellished with trendy designs, logos or crazy color schemes. Our takeaway? Stuart & Lau seem well worth the investment--whether you're a globetrotter or a guy that just needs to carry stuff around.