Saddleback Leather – purveyor of almost ludicrously high-quality leather products – wants to give you one of their signature bags: the $500-$600 Saddleback Briefcase. If it reminds you of Indiana Jones, you’re not alone. We’re certainly in the same boat (biplane?), and so are some of the customers as the fan photos on their site suggest.
Well, as you know, a giveaway is just fine with us, and to win it, all you have to do is became a fan of us on Facebook (you can’t win if you’re not in our fans list). Go to our profile, and leave a comment about what you would use yours for. The best answer, gets the best leather bag that money can buy (but, in this case, won’t have to). Even if you don’t have the best answer, though, you’ve still got a shot. First and second runner’s up will receive their Passport Wallet and studded, Leather Mousepad respectively. The contest closes this Friday at 9 p.m. Pacific, and the winners will be announced next week.
To give you some idea about what we’d put in our bag, though, here’s a brief guide to packing for a weekender.
The right bag: Well, we admit we’re a little bias because of these guys’ generosity. But, really, you just want a bag you can take as a carryon. Checking bags wastes time and throws an unneeded variable into a weekend excursion that can be messed up by a single wrong move. This means renting skis and bikes, weekend warriors.
Be a flashpacker: Running slightly against the grain of the style of a Saddleback bag, a flashpacker is a neologism that suggests simultaneously a bigger, flashier budget, more style, and more technology (with our without flash memory). You wouldn’t want to lose access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, would you?
Pick neutral colors: Pack in grayscale if possible. Especially when it comes to primary items like jackets, pants and shirts so that everything matches everything giving you more sartorial permutations.
Pack layers: Think of t-hirts, button-downs-dinner jackets, sweaters, and coats. Choose 3 of those things that are most appropriate to the climate you’ll be going to, and pack ‘em.
Weigh your options: Pack it like a grocery bag. Light stuff, goes on the top (eggs and fragile things like digital cameras or art), heavy stuff goes on the bottom (like frozen steaks and boots).
Roll it up: Rolling your clothes is as space-efficient way to condense them as any, and it has the added benefit of keeping them (mostly) wrinkle free. To this end, the more clothes you roll together, the bigger diameter roll you’ll have, and the less chance of wrinkles.
Leave room: Don’t jam your bag full. It’s tacky, it’s unnecessary, it can be bad for the bag, and it leaves no room for any souvenirs you might pick up along the way.
Pick versatile styles: Like the Arc’teryx line of semi-formal outwear.
Wear your biggest clothes: If you’re going skiing, wear your ski jacket on the plane. If you’re going to a Hawaii from Montana, don’t wear your Hawaiian shirt and sandals right away. Pack the light stuff. Wear the heavy.
Airport security: Don’t wear a suit on the plane if you can help it. We really can’t express how much we regret the decline in civility infecting commercial air, but when you have to strip off everything metal, your shoes, and maybe your underwear, it’s no longer worth anybody’s time to dress nicely.
Spare I.D.: Go to the DMV and get a state I.D. card, or just pack your passport. If you’re wallet gets stolen, it’s a lot easier to whip that out than what the security guards ask you to whip out in the back room.
Condoms: Always bring ‘em. Just in case. They even come in travel size!