Updated November 7th, 2019 – Credit to AJB007 user sruzgar for being (as far as I know) the first to identify the bag Bond used upon his arrival at the Austria clinic in SPECTRE as the Brunello Cucinelli Travel Bag. It originally sold for $2400.00 and you can find more information about the design at James Bond Lifestyle.
Features Wanted for the SPECTRE Brunello Cucinelli Travel Bag
- Lighter brown leather
- A-Frame design
- 22″ wide by 12″ high by 9.5″ deep
- Top zip extends half way down the sides (not floor to floor)
- Zippered side pocket
- Carry handles are attached with d-rings with reinforced single rivet tabs.
I wanted to stay with genuine leather but keep the price under $400.00. So we may need to manage our expectations about the quality of the hide we’re going to get. That being said, there are some pretty nice options out there that come close to the design of the Cucinelli.
Best Option for the SPECTRE Brunello Cucinelli Travel Bag
Full grain calfskin leather. Brass zippers and hardware. 8oz. cotton duck lining. And it’s handmade in Florence, Italy. All for under two hundred bucks. Sure, the leather is a little darker/redder than the Cucinelli. But the styling and measurements (21″ X 11″ X 10″) are pretty spot-on. Despite being “full grain”, I doubt that the leather is very thick (they claim it’s between 1.5 and 1.8 mm). But the Cenzo is sitting with 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon after 362 reviews. So obviously plenty of folks have been happy with their purchase!
If you happen to have a little more to invest in a travel bag, it would be hard to wrong with the Jefferson. In terms of design and color, it’s a good match for Bond’s duffle. But those aren’t the only reasons to consider paying up. We’re now getting a thicker, full grain, vegetable tanned cow leather and heavier, solid brass hardware and YKK zippers. And although it’s not screen accurate, that separate shoe compartment should come in handy. The Jefferson measures 20″ X 11.2″ X 9.25″. So a little smaller than the Cucinelli, but still plenty of room for a weekend’s worth of packing.
David King Frame Leather Duffle Bag 8308 in Brown: on sale for $129.27
The David King Frame Leather Duffle Bag in Cafe is on sale at Briefcase.com for just under $130. It’s only 18.5″ wide, has a floor to floor zipper and the color is a darker brown than the Cucinelli. But it gets the overall look right (it does have the outside side pocket on the back) and that sale price is more than reasonable.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Pebbled Leather Travel Duffle in Dark Brown: on sale for $127.49
Aside from the significantly darker brown color, this could be the closest to the Cucinelli design-wise. The real selling point here (beside the price) is all the anti-theft RFID tech they’ve packed into it. Basically, the organizer pockets are lined with a thin fabric that blocks radio waves from being transmitted from passports and credit cards. So you’re getting extra protection from identity-theft which (sadly) is becoming more and more common. The bag measures 20″ X 11″ X 11″, which is about perfect for a carry-on.
A more rustic take on 007’s luggage. Aaron Leather has gone with buffalo hide, a thicker leather with a very distinctive grain and reddish tone. With the brass hardware and YKK zippers, this could actually be a pretty bomb-proof bag assuming the stitching is up to snuff. Measurements are 20″ X 11″ X 9″ and it comes with 1 year warranty.
Mancini Buffalo Collection Carry-On Duffle in Brown: on sale for $171.49
Moving over to Macy’s for another buffalo leather bag. This one has the extended top zip that buckles down at the sides. It’s not screen-accurate. But personally I appreciate having the extra-wide opening for packing. Unfortunately that zipper is nylon, so there’s potential for problems if you like to really stuff your bag. The Mancini measures 20″ X 10″ X 12″. And you need to use the code “FRIEND” to get the extra 30% off sale price.
Measuring 18.5″ X 11″ X 10.5″, this is a slightly smaller bag than the Cucinelli. But the color and style details are a pretty good match. The weak point here is that floor-to-floor zipper. Again it’s nylon, which (in my experience) just doesn’t stand-up over time to the wear and tear of travel. However, if you want a stylish gym bag that has the right look, this could be a decent choice.
Piel Large Top-Zip Duffle Bag in Chocolate: on sale for $191.99
The extended straps on this made-in-Colombia bag add some nice visual interest, just in case you find the Cucinelli design to be a little plain. For just under two hundred bucks, we’re getting full grain leather and a decent size for weekend trips (19″ X 11″ X 11″). But, once again, that top zip is coiled plastic instead of metal. However, it does come with the 3 year warranty against defects in material and workmanship. That’s a nice offer. I’m just not sure how much peace of mind it provides if you’re worried about your zipper blowing out at the start of your trip.
A little more “Old World”/vintage in styling, the Floto Luggage Milano Duffle Bag in Vecchio is available on Amazon. It’s missing the outside zippered pocket and it’s not a true A frame design. But it is almost exactly the same size as the SPECTRE bag. And the color is a nice change from the darker brown of some of the other options. I actually own a Floto bag (this one), and I’ve been very happy with it for the price. When I first got it, I thought the leather was on the thin side. But after three years of pretty regular use, it’s held up great and is slowly developing a nice patina.
The Time Resistance bag has been on this list for a while now. And (IMHO) it’s still a great choice if you’re looking for a smaller duffle. It measures 16.5″ X 10″ X 9″, so a little too small to be a true weekender. But a great size for a carry-on or gym bag. The leather is full grain, vegetable tanned calfskin and the all the hardware (including the zipper) is brass. And it’s made in Italy.
In terms of construction and materials, this one is pretty much the same as the Floto Milano above: made in Italy from full grain, vegetable tanned calfskin and finished with solid brass hardware and zippers. The main difference is the extended top zipper that buckles down at the side, providing a wider opening for packing. Size-wise, the Cabin Duffle is very close to the Cucinelli, measuring 22″ X 12.5″ X 9″. I’m also liking the re-enforced double layer corners. Although I could do without the metal “Floto” logo on the outside.
LL Bean Signature Leather Duffle in Mahogany: on sale for $249.00
Rugged style from a heritage American brand. And it’s a biggun! Made from oiled cowhide leather and finished with brass hardware and zippers, it measures 23″ X 10.5″ X 11″. So might actually be pushing the size limits if you want to use it as a carry-on. I’m not sure how long that sale price is going to last. But overall, it seems like a pretty good deal if you want more of true duffle bag design.
H&M Leather Weekend Bag in Brown: $299.00/£149.99
I honestly never thought a time would come when a product from H&M would be one of the most expensive alternatives in a post. But here we are. I can’t tell you much about the leather (simply because the product page just says “leather”). But the color looks like a good match. If you’re in the UK, this could be a solid choice for the money if you don’t mind the extended top zipper design. But for those of you in the U.S., I think you can do a lot better for less cash with one of the other alternatives.
Tuscany Leather Voyager Leather Duffle in Brown: €312.00/$315.66/£274.57
A clean, simple design that’s made in Italy from full grain, vegetable tanned leather and finished with solid brass hardware. It measures 20″ X 9.8″ X 7.8″, a decent size for a weekender or carry-on. Is it better than one of the less expensive Floto bags above? I honestly have no idea. But it sure looks nice and definitely captures the minimalist vibe of the Cucinelli bag.
The Investment Pieces
And now for something a little different. If you like the simple design of Bond’s bag, but want a more rugged feel, how about football leather? The grain has same pebbling effect as you get on an actual football, which helps it stand out without being obnoxious. And according to the reviews (going back to 2009!) this thing is pretty bomb-proof. Measuring 18.5″ X 10″ X 15.7″, it’s going to have plenty of space for most of our needs.
I seldom toss out descriptors like “elegant” and “heirloom piece” when talking about alternatives. But I think this bag is more than deserving of their use. Handcrafted in Massachusetts from vegetable tanned, drum dried European bullhide leather and finished with brass hardware and RiRi zippers, this one is built to last a lifetime (or longer). I’m not going to pretend the initial investment to get one of these in your hands is cheap. But if you’re a frequent traveler that appreciates luxury, then it starts to make sense from a cost-per-use perspective. Frank Clegg leather goods have a very loyal following for reason.
Do you have an alternative for the SPECTRE Brunello Cucinelli travel bag you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments! And check out our article on Daniel Craig inspired luggage if you’d like to see some other designs!
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