Even those who know next to nothing about bicycles can recognize a Brooks saddle. Since 1866 the British brand has hand hammered copper rivets into stretched hunks of leather to be ridden by the world’s most discerning cyclists. Each product is produced to the highest spec and engineered to last a lifetime, even after daily use. But most importantly to folks like us, each product is also designed to be as elegant as can be, which again is why the brand’s legacy extends beyond the core cycling community. To further their reach within the growing population of urban dwelling, cycling-inclined aesthetes, Brooks introduced the Metropolitan range, a line of highly considered minimal bags for travel on and off bike. The Mott Medium Weekender and the Irvington Rucksack are our pick for standouts.
The Mott Weekender comes in two sizes, and is really quite beautiful. It’s funny to call a duffel bag beautiful, but really, it is—or handsome, if you prefer. Either way, it’s damn attractive, and functional too. Made in Italy of an organic water resistant cotton textile, the heavy duty carryall features riveted vulcanized handles and an adjustable (and removable) shoulder strap. Inside you’ll find a couple org pockets and bright yellow lining to help you find all the junk you carelessly threw in while packing last minute.
Like the rest of the range, the Rivington Rucksack is made of water resistant organic cotton and is named for a lower Manhattan street. Looks like Brooks did their research on where their target market may live. Anyways, the large roll top backpack is only slightly less minimal than the weekender, with two outer pockets—one zip, the other flap—a concealed, quilted laptop pocket with vertical zip closure and a sizable 22-27L main compartment.
Gone are the oversized Military-inspired components most Brooks bags are known for (well, you can still get all those bags, but why would you when the Metropolitan line exists). Explore the entire collection online, and while you’re there maybe thumb through the newly released Dispatch series of city guides for a look at some to-dos by some decidedly corny locals in London, NYC, and Berlin, of course.