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Best Weekend Bags

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Do you have any weekend trips planned this summer? For years, I’ve been a huge fan of Lo & Sons, a line of travel bags designed by a mother and her two sons. I’ve used their Catalina weekend bag for years, and they just launched a new Catalina Deluxe. We asked four cool New Yorkers how they’d pack a Catalina for a quick getaway. Here’s what they said…

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Cup of Jo x Lo & Sons_Christine Han Photography-107 (1)

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Hana Asbrink, a news editor and co-creator of Pantry Confidential, likes to pack for herself and her two-year-old daughter, Lana, in one bag. It makes hopping on the train to visit family in Connecticut easy and stress-free. One of the best parts of a Catalina bag is the bottom zippered pocket. You can pack things separately from the main bag — beach towels, shoes, dirty clothes, whatever! Hana puts her own clothes in the main compartment, and Lana’s clothes and diapers in the bottom pocket of the Catalina colorblock.

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Ryan Kaple is a cardiologist who rides his bike every day (he actually clocked 100 miles last weekend). The new Catalina Deluxe has a padded liner in its bottom pocket, which Ryan used for his gear. That way, his bike shoes won’t poke holes in his clothes, and he won’t have to fish around to find everything he needs for a quick ride. (One of Lo & Sons’ mottos is “less fumbling, more globetrotting.”) The canvas is lightweight and machine washable, too.

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Lo & Sons Weekend Bag

Sisters, roommates and interior designers Hollister and Porter Hovey will be traveling for getaways with friends this summer. Porter kept her party clothes neat and tidy in the bottom pocket of the Catalina Deluxe — including her dress and sky-high heels. Hollister used the zippered pocket for makeup, toiletries and hair tools. (This also keeps toiletries quick to locate during airport security checks.)

Says Hollister: “I have fits with the public’s obsession and seemingly ubiquitous lack of decorum with roller bags (it always seems like a war of roller bags vs my toes!). Unless faced with some dire packing scenario, our carry ons are truly that: handles + strap, no wheels! They look so much better, too.”

How would you pack a Catalina Deluxe? The colors are beautiful; it comes in large and small; and the extras, like lots of pockets and a padded, removable messenger strap, make traveling feel easy and cool.

Bonus for all readers: The Lo & Sons summer sale is happening right now with up to 40% off select styles. See everything here.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post sponsored by Lo & Sons, a New York-based brand we’ve loved for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Jennifer says...

    Hey there, thanks so much for this awesome post! I know I’m super late here, but can anyone chime in about whether the Catalina Deluxe Small would fit under the seat of an airplane? Thanks again!

  2. Tiffany says...

    Hi,
    I’m just seeing this about a year late :) Do Hollister and the Dr. have the size small or large bags? From eyeballing it, they look like the small deluxes, but just wanted to make sure.

    Thanks :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they have the small ones, thank you, tiffany!

  3. Sandhya says...

    Just wanted to chime in — I bought the Catalina on sale and it was a godsend for a weekend trip! Although I traveled on a pretty small United plane (one row on one side, two rows on the other) I was able to push my (very fully packed bag) into the overhead with no problem. It did get a little heavy in the absence of a padded strap, so that might be an argument for getting the model that has that feature. Otherwise, perfect and so beautiful!

    • Anna says...

      Hi! Quick question, did you have the catalina deluxe large? I’ve looked up sizes and the size of the large is bigger than what is “allowed” as a carry on. I want a little bit more room but want to make sure it fits as a carry on. Thanks!

  4. Haas says...

    Hey there, these bags look so big in the pictures, can anyone confirm that they would be allowed as carry-ons for most airlines?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, they’re allowed as carry-ons. i’ve taken mine many times!

    • Haas says...

      Thanks, Joanna! <3

  5. Ooo! They’re so simple and so sophisticated. I really want some weekend bags for travel that don’t have kid’s stuff all over them, so we can use them for anything. Beach bag, hygeine stuff, shoes, you name it!

  6. Jenn says...

    How does Dr. Ryan ride his bike with the weekender bag? Even cross body I find that they tend to rotate on me and end up at the front! Any tips?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      He was actually walking his bike to his car, where he was going to put the bike on a rack and the bag in the trunk, and then drive upstate. I can ask if he has any tips for riding with a bag, though! I usually wear a backpack when riding my bike.

  7. ilhaam says...

    :( they only ship inside the US!!!!! would have bought this bag in a heartbeat!

  8. Kadija says...

    Cute bags!!(and hello hot cardiologist guy ;-) )

  9. Nathalie says...

    I love the Catalina but they don’t offer international shipping :-(
    I guess I just saved some money. Grudgingly.

  10. Laurie says...

    Just ordered the deluxe large in thistle. Thanks SO much for your review of this product. I recently discovered these bags and was planning to order but your post really clarified which one was best for me. Seeing the bags in action in the photos was immensely helpful!

  11. Michelle says...

    I bought myself the original Catalina as my hospital bag before having my first baby in May ( hence commenting at 3am, ha!), but I’m now wishing The deluxe had been available. It’s a beautiful bag but I have a hard time keeping the contents organized…any tips on how ti not make a complete mess of clothes in an unstructured bag like this?

    • Vicky says...

      Have you tried packing cubes? I ordered some from eBags for a recent trip and loved them!

  12. Ivey says...

    I was looking for just this bag last week and settled for something inexpensive until I found the perfect bag. I this is it! I love the size, the material, and the separate section. Keep sharing great finds!!

  13. Trena says...

    These are cute, but I’ve broken skin capillaries on my shoulder from using a duffel bag, even a lightly packed one. It might not be fashionable, but a roll aboard is going to be kinder to skin if you don’t have a bell hop or personal butler available. It’s the hard truth.

    • Jeanne says...

      I thought something similar especially when I read the Hollister comment. These large bags are wonderful when you’re younger and can physically carry them. As one gets older, lugging a filled Catalina Deluxe through long terminals is, sadly, simply not possible without injury. They’ll learn that eventually. But Lo&Sons is a great brand and have bags that are built to slip over rolling luggage handles. I’m off to buy a Pearl myself.

    • I thought the same thing!!! As someone who travels regularly for work, (flying at least twice a month for 3 years, and connecting nearly every time), you would have to pry my roller bag from my cold, dead hands. :)

      Maybe if you’re only doing “summer getaways” (3-4 trips a year?) it’s kind of reasonable. But even then, I have shoulder issues from lugging just my laptop around in a purse, and had to switch to a backpack to more evenly distribute the weight.

    • Robin says...

      Oh I agree! Yes they look adorable and so much more beachy/casual. I’m sure they’re great if you’re traveling by car. However, by the time you fill up a bag that size it is usually very heavy! And forget it if you need to run in an airport and keep track of a small child at your side. But I have been eyeing on of Lo & Sons’ bag that slip over the luggage handles. That’s much more realistic for my lifestyle. (lots of flying, often on my own with a 6 year old)

  14. Have you seen Cleobella? My husband just gave me the most beautiful weekender and I will keep this forever. It’s a piece of art!

  15. Jordane says...

    I read the post. Fell in love with the Catalina Deluxe (particularly that thistle color!). And now I’m on the verge of tears because they do not ship to Canada. Sooooo sad!!!

  16. Marisa says...

    I love my original Catalina, but all the things i would re-design about it, to make it even better… they have done with the Catalina deluxe… a less flimsy bottom, slightly smaller size, shoulder strap. The original is difficult to carry in an airport, but ok for the car. Both are still a great design though!

    • Megan says...

      The Catalina is currently 40% off but the deluxe is not. I can’t decide which one to get! I like the idea of a shoulder strap but I REALLY like the price of the other one! A recent college grad moving to China in the fall, looking to buy a weekend bag for shorter trips around the country! HELP!

  17. Kendra says...

    I got my Catalina after you first posted about them a couple years ago. I am so in love with it! When it’s time for a trip, I actually get excited about packing. I’ve received so many compliments on it, too. Everyone needs one of these bags.

  18. Emily says...

    Those weekender bags look awesome… but man, I’ve had a crush on that pearl crossbody bag for years now (at least it seems like that) and I’m seriously debating going for one on sale. Am I crazy? Doesn’t it look kind of like the ideal little purse?

    Lovely sponsored post, thanks for the heads up about the sale! (Now to sit at work debating with myself about the purse for hours… gah).

    • Kathryn says...

      I bought the Pearl last year in the soft black leather – I forget what it’s called but it’s the untextured one. I got the gold hardware and the lavender lining. I have carried it every single day since I got it. It seriously made me never want to switch purses. It looks right with everything, it carries the essentials but doesn’t load you down with junk, I get a million compliments, and I always feel stylish and pulled together with it. A few months ago I had a freak issue with the strap hardware breaking, and they immediately shipped me a brand new strap, free of charge. Great product, great customer service. Get it – I know you’ll love it!

  19. tiffany says...

    those sandals, where o where did she get them?! (:

  20. Summer says...

    Love! And funny, because a few months ago I was SCOURING the internet to find a bag with a bottom compartment. It’s shocking how difficult they are to find. Putting shoes in with clothes makes me seriously feel ill (SO MANY GERMS! HOW DO PEOPLE DO THAT!?!?! GROOOOOOOOOOOOOSS!!!).

  21. Shannon says...

    LOVE these bags. The bottom portion is genius!

  22. What a great bag! I would pack my shoes in the zippered compartment. I have large feet (that comes with being tall) so my shoes take up a lot of space and are the most difficult to pack. This would give them their own space in my bag. Thanks for sharing.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

  23. Allison says...

    can anyone comment on the large vs. small size for a long weekend and/or as a carry-on for a flight? Definitely want to upgrade from the $15 duffel i’ve had for 15 plus years. Do you find the small is too small for a weekend trip or that the large does not comfortably fit in the overhead bin?

  24. Robyn says...

    Any idea how easy/difficult it is to carry the large size on a plane when it’s fully packed? I’m just wondering about hitting everyone sitting on the aisles when I board….and if it’s too big to fit under your seat.

    • Each airline has different requirements for under-seat bags. I looked at Spirit – their rule is 16x14x12 to fit under the seat. Even the small is 18″ wide at the bottom, so I’d say you couldn’t count on fitting it under the seat.

  25. Ana says...

    I go out a lot with my 3-year-old and I always pack for both of us; but I use a large panda bag in bought in London a couple of years ago.
    The fact that I have to carry it – instead of rolling it – makes me pack lighter than I usually would. It is actually a way to keep perspective on what you really need. But I would never board a plane or a train with anything without wheels; the long corridors and security lines would be unbearable.

  26. All these posts about Dr. Ryan are cracking me up! Not that I disagree ;) Also, Lana is seriously the cutest!

    I’ve been in the market for a new weekend bag. I’ll have to check these out!

  27. lynda says...

    At your recommendation years ago I bought one of these bags. It is timeless and amazing. As always you are on point!!!! Still loving your blog Joanna!

  28. Jeannie says...

    These look so cool and I lobe the separate compartments!

  29. AK says...

    Love Hana’s silver sandals! Can you ask her where they are from?

  30. Andrea says...

    What colour is the bag of Porter Hovey? It seems to light for midnight ash and to dark for dove grey?

  31. Super cute bags!
    And what stylish individuals.
    Like all the looks!

  32. Your girl looks so cute next to the bag!

    • Thank you, Leah Rose!

  33. Jenny says...

    Waiting patiently for them to start shipping to Canada!! :) I need this bag in my life!

  34. S says...

    Off topic but what are those adorable silver sandals Hana is wearing?? Love this blog.

  35. Hana so cool to see you on Cup of Jo! Yay! great post, Joanna!

    • Thanks, Nicole – hope you are well!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Erin! :)

  36. Em says...

    I believe it’s “roll aboard” instead of “roller board”…
    The first bag is awesome though. I love the separate compartments.

  37. Natalie Brennan says...

    I can second that the bags are great. My sister has one and it looks cute and fits a TON.

    PS Can we talk about McDreamy for a second, please? ;-)

  38. Hunter says...

    Paging Dr. Ryan!

  39. Eva says...

    Gosh just looking at these gigantic bags makes my shoulders and back ache. Is that not an issue for folks? Love the multi-compartment design, but this bag must be excruciating to lift when full. Would love to hear from owners!

  40. Nora says...

    I’m very much obsessed with Hana’s shirt. Any ideas of the brand?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!

    • Lucy says...

      Yes me too please!

    • Elizabeth says...

      It looks a lot like a Zara shirt I have, I checked and it just happens to be on sale right now for $20.00! Not sure if that’s hers but looks like it.

    • Nora says...

      Whoa you just made my whole week! Thanks!

  41. Michelle says...

    Love the bags and all the information L&S gives on their site – helps with the size decision.

    On a sidenote, I didn’t give much thought to this before, but it’s refreshing to (1) see someone with a non-“creative” career on this blog, and (2) see a non-celebrity male featured in a post (talking about Ryan for both). It would be so great to hear a bit more about women in STEM/law/medicine/public policy/etc. and also hear from a few men (especially husbands) in some features. For example, I loved hearing about Toby’s birth story from Alex’s perspective.

    I know that the majority of your readership is creative women, and obviously I would not be drawn to this blog if it weren’t about women’s lifestyles. Just thought I’d share my opinion on these content areas!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for the feedback, michelle! we’ll definitely keep this in mind!

    • Sandy says...

      Yes! This resonated with me too! Female engineer over here (with a big creative side too) ;)

    • Mallory says...

      Exactly! I think this is such a well done post. I typically am not in love with sponsored posts, but this one is special.

    • Sarah says...

      This is a great idea. Female working in finance here. I don’t work in a creative field but that does not mean I’m not interested in creative pursuits. I’d love to see home tours etc. of people who are not in creative fields to see how they are blending a corporate day job with a desire for a creative home, adventure, etc.

    • I’ll chime in, another female engineer with a creative side in agreement!

    • NSU says...

      Agree!
      -Female in Finance

    • Eleanor says...

      I totally agree! It doesn’t hurt that Dr. Ryan is a complete heartthrob, but would be awesome to see city men like him featured in a bigger way every now and again. With such a strong women’s readership, we all deserve a little eye candy and insight about the cool guys who exist around us (for the NYC dwellers, anyways)! This totally peaked my curiosity!

      Also, um….after this, I am convinced that you could totally be successful posting ‘a day in the life’ profiles of single men on here, Joanna! Maybe become a dating matchmaker :-P

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for the feedback, eleanor! and i like the matchmaker idea…. ;)

  42. Aga says...

    Thanks for making your sponsored posts so good, Cup of Jo! The photography is great, the written content is interesting, and the post as a whole seems as sincere as any other CoJ post, and doesn’t feel like you’re pushing some random thing on us.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, aga! that means a lot. we turn down the vast majority of brands that come our way and only work with brands we really love.

    • Sarah says...

      Agree, it definitely shows!

    • Anna says...

      I second this. I’m in Australia and I can’t get my hands on some things you do sponsored posts on (like Lo & Sons, which doesn’t ship internationally!) but I appreciate that I can still enjoy the content regardless. There’s still something in it for me!

  43. Karen says...

    Does Dr. Ryan want to come ride bikes in Seattle?

    Puts on prom dress…

    I mean, cool bags! Yep, real cool.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha :)

    • This is the best comment ever. Thanks for making me crack up! Wish you were in Denver so we could be friends IRL:)

  44. Cara says...

    I’ve been looking for a great new weekend bag. I’ll be ordering for sure. ps. I was scrolling and got to Ryan’s photo and said, he looks like a doctor. I kept reading and low and behold he actually is. Ha! I loved this post.

  45. Krissy says...

    I have this bag. It fits all my stuff for a weekend away and is very stylish, but it is uncomfortable to carry. It is now my road trip only bag and will never go though an airport again. The one I have didn’t come with a cross-body strap though.. so maybe that is a new addition?

    • Shannon says...

      I have one too and I agree!! Very awkward and uncomfortable to carry through the airport.

  46. Elizabeth says...

    Do you know which sizes of the Deluxe are featured for Dr Ryan and Hollister and Porter? I’m trying to figure out which size would be better!
    Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks, elizabeth! they all have the large size.

    • Yishey says...

      I looked at both the large and the small Catalina bags on Lo& Sons and I could swear that Dr. Ryan’s bag is the small. Correct me if I’m wrong Jo. Great post as always! Bit steep for me at the moment with the Canadian vs. US$ exchange rate but appreciate getting to know lovely products all the same.

  47. Tyler says...

    I have this bag, and I love it. My only gripe is that once its packed, its really too heavy for me to lug through an airport. I’m more of a roller bag girl when flying. But I love it for car trips, and days at the beach! You can fit so much stuff in it!!!

  48. Ipsica says...

    I am a huge fan of jujube bags. I own one in almost every style. They are diaper bags which I came across I had my baby, of course. They are super versatile. I use them as my laptop bag, yoga bag, baby bag, beach bag and so much more. ‘Be prepared’ is my favorite weekend bag. No, I am not paid by jujube for this comment.

  49. I have this bag and love it. It fits EVERYTHING and doesn’t have a big footprint. Great post!

  50. Love these bags! I love my Vera Bradley weekender bag- colorful and fun with a strap, lots of pockets and tons of space. Great carry on to the plane kind of bag too.

  51. Great post! About a month too late though (for me, I was looking for a weekender bag for the husband for Father’s Day)

  52. Amy says...

    This bag looks awesome but I personally love my JLEW bags Triangle Top Tote for weekend getaways. All of the inside pockets are perfect for organizing things and the bags are super chic (and made in NYC)

  53. um whoa. i’ll be packing to go wherever Dr. Ryan goes!

    • Laura says...

      haha, i was thinking the same thing!

    • Eliot says...

      Ditto.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha, i’ll let him know ;)

    • Natalie Brennan says...

      same!

    • Kate says...

      Hubba hubba :)

    • nicole b. says...

      I’ve been coveting these bags for so long! I would use mine as a carry-on for short weekend trips. And also crushing on the cyclist! But, dang it, looks like Ashley B. saw him first. ;)

    • Nikki says...

      I literally came to these comments to read and wonder if he was single. I’ll fit right in that bag please!

  54. Large bags are my thing. I like all of them!

  55. Fiona says...

    Love the bags and the different tips on using the storage

  56. Nina says...

    hmmm I’m not sure. I think I’d probably go with toiletries and things I need to grab fast in the bottom and the rest in the top. great pictures!