Bawego Weekender Bag Review | Stylish Scandinavian Minimalism
A New Bag For New Adventures
With the Shoegazing Super Trunk Show in London on the 23 of March 2019 fast approaching, I started planning my trip. The perfect place to try a weekender bag. I like supporting upcoming smaller companies and the local economy here in Sweden, therefore I reached out to Bawego, which currently produces only weekender bags for a great price. In today’s article, we will Review a Brown Leather Weekender Bag by Bawego and see if it is value for your money.
Get ready for some history lessons, background info and exciting analysis!
Wait…What Is A “Weekender” Bag?
A Weekender is a Bag designed for longer weekend escapes and trips. Think of a piece of luggage capable of holding all your clothes, toiletries and items for a few days. These days many bags can qualify as weekenders. The traditional bag however looks like a holdall, with an open top and two handles.
It can be rectangular or round and often has an optional shoulder strap. Typical materials are nylon, canvas, calfskin leather or even suede.
A Weekender should also qualify as a carry-on/hand luggage for most air flights. For most commercial flights, a carry-on bag’s dimensions are 55 cm × 40 cm × 23 cm.
Lastly, there are so many names out there that it can get confusing. Here are a few:
- Weekend Bag
- Overnight Bag
- Duffel/Duffle Bag (More of a military term)
- Holdall Bag
- Travel Bag
Great, But Why Do I Need One?
Let’s face it: Backpacks are for teenagers and will make you look like an inexperienced kid if you wear it with a suit. Sure, they are practical and have their uses, but it is time to step up.
How many times did the handle or wheels broke or malfunctioned with one of your luggage? How do you carry your gym equipment and change of clothes?
Men have been carrying these for decades, which makes the Weekender Bag a timeless classic. It will upgrade your style but most importantly, will be a comfortable way to carry your necessities.
Bawego – Background & Specifications
Bawego is a relatively new company that was found in 2018 by Jonathan Skogsberg in Sweden. The idea was to create high quality products for good value and fusing it with Scandinavian minimalism and finesse.
At the moment the company focuses on Weekender Bags and offers 5 beautiful models.
- 2 in Black & Brown Full Grain Leather
- 3 in Beige, Navy & Black Suede
Today’s model specifications are:
- Product: Brown Leather Weekender
- For: Men & Women
- Leather Quality: Full Grain Buffalo Leather
- Made In: India
- Pockets: 1 Inner & 1 Outer
- Handles: Two Leather Handles
- Shoulder Strap: Adjustable/Removable
- Interior: 100% Ecological Cotton
- Size: 46 cm × 23.5 cm × 25.5 cm (approved for commercial flights)
- Price: 1995 SEK/215 $/190 Euros/160 £ including VAT (~10$ less for the Suede versions)
Ordering & Delivery
The website is in Swedish and the English button seems to not work at the moment. This presents you with a problem if you want to buy from abroad or live in Sweden but cannot speak the language. However, the website is really clean and simple that you can easily find what you need. There is a Home, Products and About section with some additional information at the bottom.
It is equally as easy to check out, with a variety of paying options. It is fast, secure and responsive, which is extremely important these days.
Bawego also offers free & quick shipment (2-4 business days). After your purchase, you will receive a confirmation email with information and another one when your order has been dispatched.
This is something that Bawego could improve, as I received no tracking number for my order. It can be especially important for a new customer to know that their package is on its way and not stress over a potential scam or delay.
However, calm down! Your bag will arrive as quickly as advertised, in pristine condition and ready for use!
The bags arrive in a sturdy cardboard box. Mine was packaged neatly with no signs of wear and tear. As soon as you open up the box, you will be pleasantly surprised.
There is a lovely white linen dust bag with Bawego’s logo, which is something I did not expect honestly. Maybe I should not, since the Briefcase from Tuscany Leather also came with one. Regardless, a very nice touch with a premium feel. The bag is also inside a plastic wrapper for some extra protection.
The smell coming from the leather is extremely evocative and slowly dissipates after a few minutes. Inside there is a lot of paper stuffing (a lot!) to give the bag shape and does its job well. Inside you will also find the leather shoulder pad and a rather large name tag.
All in all, you should expect neatly packaging and safe transport with all the essentials you would expect when purchasing a bag. A potential improvement would be a very simple note that thanks you for your purchase from recyclable paper or a simple return form in case you are unhappy.
Update: Jonathan has told me that they plan to improve the dust bag in the future.
I got a very nice feeling handling the bag for the first time. The overall design certainly adheres to Scandinavian minimalism which I like very much. I am a fan of simple and classic. If you are looking for excitement or texture, then probably the Suede versions are better for you.
The first thing to do is always take a quick look around for scuffs, cracks or stitching problems. Specifically for bags I would advise you to use the zippers and feel the leather to identify possible issues.
My initial impressions were very positive especially considering the price point. Visually, you get exactly what you see in the website. The bag feels good on the touch and just the right size to carry.
Let’s take a closer look now shall we?
How’s The Leather?
In general it is very hard judging the leather quality of a product online. This is especially true when you try a new relatively unknown company.
The first time I ran my hand over the leather I could tell something was a little different. It turns out that the Bawego Weekender Bag is made from full grain leather but not from regular calfskin. Instead it is buffalo leather.
Overall it is very uniform and smooth, but there is a part on the back side with some creasing and blemishes. It is not a bad thing actually and a decent indicator that it is not man-made material. I would be more cautious if I could spot this consistently all over the bag.
Buffalo Leather Vs Cow Leather
In general, buffalo leather is considered to be more durable and thick, which is great for the longevity of your bag. We expose them daily to hazards like rain or rough treatment so it is always a plus if you intend to use a weekender like a gym bag.
The tanning process is also a bit different because buffalo leather is usually tanned using organic material. Cow leather on the other hand is subjected to more modern methods often involving chemicals.
Lastly, tanneries do not stretch the buffalo leather in order to preserve its characteristics and grainy pattern.
In the end, both leathers can produce distinctive, high quality items.
Any Tips To Spot Bad Quality Leather?
Here are a few indicators and potentially red flags:
- The Smell: Real leather has a distinctive strong smell, especially at the beginning. If the item has a plasticky smell to it, chances are it is fake.
- Touch: If it is real animal skin, it should feel like it. Touch it and it should stretch and wrinkle like real skin does. If it is too uniform and flat, it probably is synthetic.
- The Label: Anything that says “Man-Made” is a sign of synthetic material and should be avoided.
- Price: Simple as that, good quality leather costs more. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
The Bawego Weekender Bag in Brown is simple but beautiful and above all, functional. Each bag has two leather handles that are quite robust. Each handle is connected to the rest of the body with brass buckles and a patch of leather that runs all the way to the other side. Two buckles also exist on the sides to connect the shoulder straps.
On the right side you will find a zip-pocket which has enough room for some documents such as your passport. On the top the same style zipper open and closes the bag and runs all across to the other side. It is functional and both have a leather slider. Time will tell how durable this part is but so far it has been easy to close and open it.
The front is nearly identical with the sole difference that the Bawego logo is embossed discreetly about 5 cm from the top.
Lastly, I find a nice detail that the bottom has 6 brass brads that offer a little bit of protection when you put the bag down.
Inside, things change quite a bit. The lining is from 100% ecological cotton and certainly has a nice texture and olive green color. There is an inner pocket for a few small documents and the zipper slider is solid this time.
The cotton does feel a little thin, so I would probably not overload it with things or sharp objects.
Quality Of The Construction
Considering the price tag, the construction is pretty good. The Bawego Weekender Bag is designed in Sweden but assembled in India. This does not mean it is low quality but some parts could be better.
Let’s start with the good stuff. The stitching is on point all over with approximately 6 SPI (Stitches Per Inch). I did not notice any inconsistency whatsoever! The handles, buckles and zippers all work great and I think the proportions of the bag are spot on for short escapes. It fully captures the essence of the weekender.
Now some potential negatives. There is some premature creasing on the back of the bag, but from my experience the larger the size of the leather, the easier it will crease. Do not forget that buffalo leather is not usually stretched. I hope it will develop a nice patina in the future!
The only other thing I notice is that the skiving of some edges seems a little rushed. You can easily notice this where the handles connect to the buckles and the name-tag accessory. There is also a tiny scratch on one side but nobody will notice it unless they own the bag.
What Should I Put Inside?
The Bawego Weekender Bag can function as a regular gym bag or a travel companion. It has enough space for your travel documents, laptop, a pair of shoes, pants, underwear and shirts. It is also spacious enough that most of your stuff can be neatly placed and not crease during transport. Adding a blazer might be a little tricky unless you carry a portable steamer.
Remember that a Weekender is about packing the essentials and not over-stuffing. However, if the situation requires it, this bag can handle the punishment.
Taking Care Of Your Weekender
Your bag is a leather good, just like your shoes. From time to time, brush it with a horsehair brush and if applicable, buff with the correct color polish.
This will ensure that your bag will age wonderfully, last longer and develop that patina we all want!
Bawego Weekender Bag Review – Is It Worth Your Money?
If you are looking for an entry level quality bag, I think you will be very happy with your purchase. For just above 200$ you will get a spacious weekender with good stitching and quality buffalo full grain leather. Bawego sells directly to consumers so that allows a lower price. Additionally, you will support a new small family business. Jonathan is very kind and will always answer your questions. I suggest you reach out to Instagram for faster responses.
Both the Achilles heel and strong point is that Bawego currently offers only 1 style. If you are looking for a multitude of styles, briefcases or messenger bags, you will not find them here right now. At the same time, it means that Bawego can focus all its efforts at producing the best possible weekenders they can. I expect the range of items to expand in the future.
With consistency across the board and valuable client feedback, I hope to see a bright future for this company. I am very glad with my purchase and I believe you will be satisfied too. It is a whole lot of bag for great price.
This brings us to the end of the “Bawego Weekender Bag Review“! Please, leave your comments down below and remember to subscribe for more awesome content!
Thank you for reading,